You can’t have just one. 

Once I saw a sign that read, “Cats are like potato chips — you can’t have just one”.

I’ve shown you my grimalkin, so here are the other little ladies in my life: Olivia, Zooëy, and Cagali. My word for today is clowder. There are only two people I’ve ever heard use this word. One was an English professor and the other my sister. I once had another professor put a ? by the word.

Earlier today I read an article on Web MD about foods our feline friends should not eat. I can’t recall whether it’s onions or garlic that is poisonous. Turns out it’s both. Click here for the article.

Here’s what dogs shouldn’t eat if you’re one of those people.

Besides bevy, flock, and gaggle, there are many collective nouns. What’s your favorite?

Cries on the wind

With the wind whipping around the house, it feels amniotic. That’s another one of my favorite words, but it’s not the word for the day.     

That’s definitely how I would describe the  noise tearing past my windows. I’m glad tonight hasn’t been so windy. The kitties have enjoyed the fresh air tonight. 

How to Nail NaNoWriMo: Your Story Isn’t a Pie in the Sky

  Last November a friend of mine encouraged me to consider NaNoWriMo

The goal for National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. Should you succeed you are considered a winner. 

  I did not win, but here’s what I learned from the experience: 

1 – Write the Story You Want to Read

With many of my writing projects, I have looked at what’s on bookshelves now and tried to write a similar story. 

By the time a project is finished, the trends will have changed. publishes a monthly newsletter with updates on industry changes. Trends change faster than I can write.  

 Write the story that you want to read, because — chances are — there are other people who like what you do, and you might as well enjoy what you’re writing.  

2 – Make Sure Your Goal is Appropriate 

The default goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words. This is the length of a novel. If you’re writing just because you have a story burning out of you, then go for it. 

Let’s say that you want to pursue publishing your story. Imagine you’ve spent the whole month writing only to find out your novel is too short. 

 The salable length for a novel varies by genre. 
Is this reality that important? Won’t an agent overlook this for a great story? I wouldn’t count on it. Here’s just one example:

 Find the appropriate length for your genre here on The Writer’s Digest. 

3 – Do What Works for You

During Camp NaNoWriMo this month I’ve heard Write Or Die mentioned. This approach doesn’t work for everyone. 

This would throw my stress level through the roof. 

Referring to my outline and pursuing the next step is more helpful than undue stress.  


Writing your story, be it a novel or script or memoir, isn’t a pie in the sky. 

Be true to yourself by writing the story you want to read in the way that works for you, but be mindful of industry standards. Think of it like a haiku — you may write whatever you will, but it must fit the pattern. 

There’s still time to set a goal for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. The next NaNoWriMo event begins in July. 

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What are your pointers?

Mercurial clouds are headed this way

Mercury – the god makes me think of Mount Olympus and winged shoes. When I imagine Mount Olympus it seems like a lofty, broad mountain whose highest peaks are far beyond my finite gaze. In “Three Cups of Tea“, Greg Mortenson is awed by the Korakoram.  

I think of Mount Olympus as being something rather like this, but more obscured by clouds.

Back to the patron god of thieves. Mercury must have been moody to inspire the word mercurial.

This is another favorite word, though I rarely use. It seems apropos with the weather this weekend shifting from snow to sunshine.

The mountain view from my back porch brightens my day, even on snowy days. I don’t think there will be enough snow for a good view picture. Certainly nothing that compares with the Korakoram or Mercury’s home.

Grumbling Grimalkin

Here’s a word my husband and I use almost daily: grimalkin.

No, this isn’t some strange creature out of forgotten lore or from a fantastical world.

Several years ago it was the word of the day on a dictionary website. It was probably featured on, since I’m more apt to use them than Merriam-Webster.

Here’s the reason we use this word so often:

This is my moon princess, Yue.