February 29, 2012

Great and Small

It's no secret that I love cats, and if ever it was, my Favorite Things post dispelled it. Cats have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember, excluding a brief period after one of ours ran away and before we got our current ones, Buster and Esther. When I was little, the neighbors had a massive amount of cats (all one family, I believe) that Jenny and I were allowed to play with, and when they moved, they left one cat with us. At the same time we had Ashes, a big black devil-cat who used to lie in wait and pounce on me when I came around corners. My contact with cats, you see, has not been wholly positive.

But despite that emotional scarring at such a tender age, I grew up loving cats - and of all adorable and sweet cats, I consider my Buster to be the best. I've had him now for about eight years; he sleeps on my bed at night, gives me "kitty hugs," plays peek-a-boo with me, gets blue (so I am told) when I go away. Those who know more about dogs than I do say Buster is one, only in cat form. That may be true; I couldn't say. All I know is that he is one special cat.

I suppose, then, that he forms a large part of the inspiration for Sunshine and Gossamer. I have not "properly" begun this story, "properly" entailing research and Word Documents, but I keep a special notebook for it and write sections when the mood strikes. Right now it is merely the tale of a girl and her cat come to live on a Welsh farm for the duration of World War II - a coming-of-age story, of sorts. Mostly, however, it has shaped itself into a tribute to my love of cats in general and Buster in particular. I'm just finishing up a James Herriot novel, so what comes to mind is the song which inspired his titles:

all things bright and beautiful
all creatures great and small
all things wise and wonderful
the Lord God made them all.

Not deep or profound, but for some reason it makes me smile. And now, in the spirit of Sunshine and Gossamer, here is a snatch of the story for you.

Dear Father,

Today, in a sweeping naval battle that will go down in the history of Farrowdale, the Great Gossamer Armada was defeated by the Sunshine Fleet. The struggle raged for hours with great loss of twigs on both sides; the Sunshine Fleet (two noble bogwood corsairs and six bark galleons) was outnumbered by the Gossamer Armada (five corsairs, four galleons and a dinghy), but superior seamanship was shown by the Sunshine Fleet. Oh, the suspense was terrible! It looked as though the Armada would prevail, having sunk two of my galleons, but a stroke of genius saved the Fleet: I converted a corsair into a fire ship, and that was that.

Of the Gossamer Armada, only the dinghy sailed away. The Sunshine Fleet returned to harbor with a corsair and four galleons only slightly crisped, but the fire-corsair went to the bottom of the pond. Ho hum. The Navy Department will build another one.

With love,

Sunshine and Gossamer


  1. Cats. Ah. I love cats myself. I adore cats

  2. I've never had a cat - I've had a rabbit, and we have a dog - but I like them anyway. Sunshine and Gossamer sounds right up my alley =) I can't wait until it's oficially in the works! (I can relate to the whole 'it's a book! Uh... well, just a notebook' thing. I have so many WIP's like that it's laughable. Either laughable or 'not even funny,' depending on your humor!)

  3. Oh, Abigail! Sunshine and Gossamer has me in it's velvety paws already. I love it, just from that playful little post-script. Thanks for sharing it! (As I type my own black pussy, Cricket, sits on the computer desk and sleeps. :)

  4. Haha, I'm going to stick like a sore-thumb in here, but I do NOT love cats, hands down! Oh kittens can be really cute and cuddly so I really don't have any problem with them... its the cats that I have trouble with (your big-black devil cat experience is a good example on why I don't like them in general :p). But if your Buster is as a friendly as a dog, then I'm sure I'd fall in love with him =D!

    Sunshine and Gossamer sounds like a really wonderful, heartwarming story! I really love this excerpt and can't wait till it is written and finished so we can all get to read it =D.

    I know how it is so much with the "I have not "properly" begun this story, "properly" entailing research and Word Documents, but I keep a special notebook for it and write sections when the mood strikes." Because I have a lot of stories in my head and notebooks and not really written out... yet. Once The Crown of Life has declared itself ended, I can't wait to get my hands onto them. I really hope you all the best for Sunshine and Gossamer!

  5. Ashley - Cats are wonderful, aren't they?

    Mirriam - We had a rabbit once, too - also guinea pigs (now deceased) and a cockatiel (still alive, alas). Our pet ventures have been quite diverse. Currently we have three cats living inside, one of which belongs to a cousin who is staying with us, and a fourth stays out-of-doors. Our house is rather like a zoo and a library in one building.

    Rachel - I thought Sunshine and Gossamer would be your cup of tea! I'm so glad I was right. As for Cricket, it has been my experience that male cats tend to be more fun than females, but she sounds like an absolute dear. And such a great hunter - army-men, my word! She must be positively fierce. I tremble at the thought of ever meeting her.

    Joy - Ah, well, to each his own! I've had good experiences with some dogs, but they just aren't my pets of choice. Perhaps some people are born to be cat lovers and others born to be dog lovers.

    I'm not sure if I will devote my time to writing Sunshine and Gossamer in quite the same way I usually do. Since the beginning it has been a child of whimsy, and it may stay that way: something I write from time to time, but not a story I drive myself to complete. However, since Tempus Regina is looking as though it may not be ready to roll by the time I finish White Sail's, I may fill that empty space with Sunshine. We shall see!

  6. We have six cats... Archie, who just showed up, Brute, and his four children, Nim, Kitty Cone, Spock, and Panther. Since I am the one who feeds them, they think I am their mommy, and they follow me around whenever I am outside. :D Cats are so fun! Affectionate, yet independent.

  7. ...that's seven. Anyhow, six or seven, that's a lot of cats. All outdoors, I take it? I'd hate to scoop the litterboxes of seven indoor cats. I love the names, by the way, particularly "Nim." So cute!

  8. All outdoors, yep! "Nim" is my nickname, short for Nimbrithlor, my Elvish name. ;)


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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