Ailurophobia – definition: an abnormal fear of cats
Today’s word nearly stumped me. What do I write? Can I relate? I have managed every word (so far) in this year long journey of a post a day. Am I really going to have to admit defeat with this word? Then it occurred to me that it depends on the definition of cat. What if it was big cats, such as tigers and lions. I could certainly relate to fearing one of those large and magnificent animals chasing me down in the wild. A paw would be as big as my head so I would certainly have no defense whatsoever if the full force of a muscular and lithe body pounced.
Domesticated cats do not scare me in the slightest, I have owned several in my childhood. Two cats were my constant companions along with my Alsatian (German Shepherd) as a toddler. We would ‘escape’ to my Aunt’s house on occasion. The dog would dig under the wire fence and I would hold it up to let my furry friends out then crawl through myself. Then when I was in my early teens my Mother bought me a Seal Point Persian, whom I called him Rajah. He was a one person cat, and that was me!
English: A German Shepherd dog Polski: Owczarek niemiecki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bizarre as it sounds my only phobia was rhino’s -a long story but I did overcome it when my young daughter made me pat a real rhino on a wildlife trip. Since she was little she would pick up creepy crawlies and now has a reptile room, so I’m desensitized to any phobia.
A self professed ‘car’ guy, Tom has written a remarkable story of a B-17 bomber crew. We have all seen the old movies and admired the proud stance of the men and women who served our country in WW2. I have used Gait to link Tom to my desk diary word. Definition – a distinctive manner of walking; a particular style of such movement, which reflects the drill march.
a)Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
My first book is based on my late father’s memoirs as a B-17 crew member and POW in Germany, so all of those characters were already there, and I just had to tell their story. Each and every one of them are true American heroes and will always have a special place in my heart.
In my second book, the main character is a rescued shelter dog (Shepherd mix) that observes the oddities of human behavior and does his best to explain it to the reader while looking out for his humans. He is a character that I’ve created, and I have to say, it’s really hard not to like him!
b)Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I’m all over the board genre wise. My first book was a novelized WW2 story based on facts. My second is a young adult fiction which anyone should enjoy. I have two others outlined, one is a fiction story about a rogue spy/operative, and the other is another novelized WW2 true story of another soldier who read Fortresses, and asked that I write his story too.
c)What do you enjoy most about writing?
Seeing the story come to life. Seeing and hearing people enjoy my work is pretty special too.
d)Have you got a favorite place to write?
I usually get the most (and best) writing done sitting in my recliner in the wee hours of the morning.
e)Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I’m kind of both. I try to do a brief outline of what each chapter will contain and work off of that, but if I come up with a good idea I’ll shoot from the hip, and see what comes out of it. It’s usually some pretty good stuff!
f)What inspires your stories?
Mostly personal experience, and the most colorful people I’ve met.
g)What are you currently reading?
Besides writing, I also work a regular job with long hours. Between marketing my finished book and working on number two, (plus three and four) I really haven’t had the time to read. I usually make time to read A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet every winter, just to be somewhere warm, if only in my mind.
h)Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?
No odd habits I can think of…wait…define odd? I have far too many childhood stories to tell here, but I often work them into my writing.
i)Do you have any pets?
A very intelligent and amazingly comical female German Shepherd named Maddy. She is actually the inspiration for book number two.
Yes, I do. I belong to the Huron Area Writers Group, or HAWG as we call it. It is a mix of established writers, editors, a retired English teacher, some aspiring writers, a photographer, and a very talented developer/editor/cover design person that has helped several of us self publish our work. I highly suggest any writer, aspiring or otherwise, join a writers group. They are a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement. Without mine, my book would likely still be a few dusty chapters under the bed.
k)What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I discovered a love for writing quite by accident. I’m a “car guy” and went to college to pursue a business degree and open my own shop. When I heard I’d have to take Writing Composition courses, my first thought was of the Catholic School nuns with steel edge rulers waiting to give me a shot in the knuckles for violating the I before E, except after C rule from my school days. I literally asked if they could poke me in the eye with a sharp stick instead. It turned out I liked the writing classes, and was told “I was good at it, just don’t try to make any money at it.”
l)Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
Yes, I do. It is titled Fortresses, An Airman’s Story of Survival, and it is available in print and ebook at Amazon, or directly from my website.
m)If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
Jimmy Buffet. I would love to learn more about how he develops the wonderful characters in his books.
n)If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
It would have to be near water. I’m just not comfortable otherwise.
My best supporter and looker-upper of mundane facts (that I have little time for) is my sister Kathy. My mentor/encourager is Kathy Henderson-Sturtz (www.56vibes.com) who came up with the idea to write Fortresses from a firsthand POV. Of course, my writers group is always a constant source of encouragement too!