The wisdom of a piece of advice in Stephen King’s very useful (and actionable) book, On Writing, has come home to rest in my lap. Purring. Someplace amidst his good advice, he says, “Put the cat out.” In other words, avoid distractions. (No, this is not Save the Cat, that’s another thing altogether!).
Twice lately, I’ve had reason to bow to King. My mystery reading group was reviewing this month’s selection, when my Siamese, William, got his head stuck in a desk-top box of tissues and waved it wildly in front of the Zoom camera. So much for a focused discussion. (Video of an earlier, similar episode attached. Who says cats aren’t willing to conduct repeat experiments?)
Last month, I was the interviewee on a Zoom call about writing, my writing process, and my mystery/thriller Architect of Courage. Kim Ha of the Pennington public library did the interviewing. While a whole checkerboard of Zoomers watched, I had to get up, call my husband, and have him take William away, because he was playing noisily with a plastic bag. Wouldn’t stop, no matter how hard I glared. Talk about wanting to appear “professional”! You can see the interview in this YouTube video if you’re interesting in writing, etc., etc. The thoughtful Kim cut out William’s star turn, however. (I’m hoping that wasn’t the best part!)
So, meanwhile, put the cat out!
No worries. If any group will understand your being interrupted by a rambunctious cat, it will be a group of mystery writers.