Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Mr. Tanner's Opus

by Tanner (resident kitty)

I have heard that if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters, in a million years or so they will eventually write the works of William Shakespeare. That is plagiarism. That Shakey guy already wrote it so those monkeys shouldn't mess with it. However, I have been thinking about writing a book myself, even though I am a cat. (Note: If Arlo can be an artist, I can be a writer!)

I take pen in paw to begin.

My mommy wrote and self-published a book recently, and I have been helping her promote it.  That is where I got the idea of writing my own book.


It took her several years to write Them That Go—longer even than I have been an esteemed feline member of the household. If she can do it, I can do it.

I figure that a kitty with computers and iPads in the household can write something original in a lot shorter time than either those monkeys or Mommy. So I want to run an idea by you for King of the Catsel and see what you think. I am maybe basing the characters on some cats I know, but I will change things so they don't get mad at me. These are my characters so far:

  • The Young Prince Tannerite, of humble origins (like maybe a dumpster somewhere in the kingdom) who explodes upon the scene and proves his superiority over all the other cats in the kingdom.
  • Good King George, who is nice to the Young Prince Tannerite even though Tannerite is trying to take over his kingdom. King George goes on a lot of quests, so he isn’t exactly watching the kingdom very well.
  • The Fair Princess Chloe, who becomes the bestest friend of the Young Prince Tannerite (hereafter abbreviated to YPT because it’s hard to type a long name when you only have paws that don’t have opposable thumbs) and who is a sort of free spirit that roams around the kingdom whenever she pleases.
  • The Pirate James-Robert, who has many adventures and is more or less nice to the YPT except when YPT wants to lick his head. The Pirate James-Robert is good friends with Good King George and is the Fair Princess Chloe’s brother.
  • Arlodor, who is a young upstart dark knight—or maybe a wizard or something sneaky—who slinks around and plots evil deeds, but he also has a few good points. I will think of those later.
  • Clawmilla, who is an evil old witch. She is mean to YPT and he is mean right back to her because she was mean to him first.

Here is what I have so far for King of the Catsel:

I am trying to pen my tale but Arlo's tail keeps distracting me.

 Once Upon a Time, not so long ago and maybe far away but not too far, a young kitty prince found himself in dire circumstances at a dumpster site. He was most forlorn as well as homeless, and was reduced to begging to make his way in the world. When he had almost given up hope, there arrived two magical creatures who enticed the kitty prince with tasty viands which they fed unto him and which he did most highly relish. Then they ensconced the kitty prince in a small plastic enclosure, swung shut the gate, and spirited the young prince away to another part of the kingdom. Where he got even more to eat. Which he again did most highly relish. To thank his hosts, he slew a rodent that night, an act for which they heaped upon him much praise.

Alas, he was kept in solitary confinement for a time, being visited by the tall and magical creatures, and once by King George. Before too many days had passed, YPT was again ensconced in the plastic enclosure and spirited away to a place where an unspeakable thing was done to him while he was asleep. He later compared notes with King George who’d experience the same procedure.
“I’m not sure what happened while I was under some sort of a spell,” quoth King George, “but I know I’m not the man I used to be. No matter. At least they feed you well here and provide a warm place to sleep. It could be worse.”

King George tended to look on the bright side of things. Soon, YPT was allowed to venture farther into the interior kingdom, though not into the exterior kingdom where King George reigned and occasionally slew a most dragonish rodent, much of which he devoured on the spot.

Good King George with rodent.

For a time, YPT was mentored by an old black wizard cat, Edward the Puss, who—Alas!— is no longer with us. He taught YPT the ways of cathood in the household, for which YTP is most grateful. And he taught YPT how to avoid Clawmilla, who never missed a chance to hiss vile incantations at him.

YTP befriended the young vagrant Arlodor and tutored him in the ways of cathood. 

Young Prince Tannerite teaches Arlordor about cleanliness.

Young Prince Tannerite teaches Arlordor about book promotion.

But Arlodor grew up to be a dark knight or evil wizard or something who liked to jump on the dashing YPT. Eventually, however, YPT became King of my his own catsel, of which the other cats were highly jealous and who sometimes attempted to overthrow me him—especially Arlodor. 

That is all I can think of for now. I need to work something in about Princess Chloe, but I am having writer's block.

Prince Tannerite with Princess Chloe.

Thinking about this book has made me a basket case. Maybe I need a nap.

Anyhow, until I get my book done, you should buy Mommy's book. It will likely take you a while to read it. Maybe by the time you read it, I will have finished my book or abandoned the idea because the other cats might not like me writing about them. One of those.


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Blogger CountryDew said...

I think Tanner should write this book, and Arlo should illustrate.

1:02 PM  

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