While the Cat’s Away


Yes, if you are reading this, I am gone.  Hopefully, not gone as in dead, but gone as in on the road. Also hopefully, that means the house sitter showed up and is sitting on my recliner watching TV and eating popcorn and studying. Third, hopefully, he did not bring his dog, who is a high-energy dog who needs to run ten miles a day and might get three.

Me? This trip is a combo one — rest, one day of paddling, one day of talking to the Shreveport, La. RWA writers, one day
visiting with my aunt in Lafayette,  and RESEARCH!  Lots of research.

So what does this mean to you, our readers and lurkers. It means I am taking a day to offer something that we haven’t done on
MW in a long time. I am giving the day to you to introduce yourselves. Take today, de-lurk, post 200 words or less about yourselves. Say hi. Tell as much or as little as you want. Chat among yourselves. Use Internet protocols and etiquette.
Have fun.

You might come away with something great: online or in-person crit groups, discovering that you live close to one another, discovering that you are going to some of the same cons, attend the same school, have the same hopes and dreams. Some mighty fine friendships have come about because of this site, and a few of you have shared rooms at cons. J

I’ll check in from the road if I can. And next week, we’ll have something else new and different.





47 comments to While the Cat’s Away

  • Beatriz

    Hi y’all. I’m Beatriz and these days do more lurking than commenting because my job keeps me hopping. I’m not a writer of fiction nor do I want to be. I’m a voracious reader whose never met a dog I didn’t like. Since I live in the Carolinas I can be found at ConCarolina and DragonCon each year.

    I’m also the self-appointed, UNofficial Minion for MW.

  • At this point you’re not just official, but The Minion In Charge. We have to hire you a staff… -laughs-

  • Oh, so the MW Minion shirt I made for the last ConCarolinas doesn’t count? 😉 Misty, I think MW has its own brigade of willing minions at this point.

    I’m Laura. I write mostly YA fantasy, and my current work is first-person, present-tense, YA high fantasy (a mouthful, I know). I live near Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I am blessed to work in the library field helping the print-impaired. I regularly attend the Surrey International Writers Conference, PAX prime, and for 2011 and 2012 at least, I’m lucky enough to be able to go all the way to ConCarolinas. I’m also an incessant optimist, cat person, and a proud geek. 😀

  • I’m Christina Stiles, and I write and edit role-playing games. I’m working with Faith on the official Rogue Mage RPG at this time, and it will be heading into layout shortly. I also dabble in fiction. I am usually a guest at ConCarolinas and MACE. I sometimes make it to Dragon*Con. I’m lucky to call a few of the MWers friends. I even gamed with The Minion in Charge–and Misty!

  • Greetings,

    I’m Daniel and I write fantasy, science fiction, and romance in various crosses and subs. I wrote an RPG supplement a few years ago for Eden Studios called Arrgh! Thar Be Zombies! which is out there for purchase here and there. I also write the occasional screenplay and assist in writing others. When I’m not writing I’m cooking. When I’m not doing either, I’m working on some other bit of art or playing various role-playing games (the pencil, dice, and paper kind, not the game console kind or the “other” kind 😉 ). I’ve got one book out there in query-land and I’m currently working to finish a fantasy-romance duology and a 25k limit sci-fi romance for a contest. I even occasionally do some special effects and help with indie film. I live in Podunkville, Ohio (also known as Sunbury) with my wife, daughter, two cats and a bunny.

  • Hepseba ALHH

    Well, I’m still lurky enough to use my tag name of Hepseba. I’ve been working on my first novel off and on now for about five years – currently in major rewrites with a word count of 125,629 and fluctuating. It’s (the first part of) a fantasy with almost no magic, 3 main POV characters who have no direct interactions, primary idea based around a different character who so far has less than 4000 POV words to her name. Yeah… Or: it’s about a resistance movement to overthrow an evil/usurper Queen and good people on both sides of the fight. I really want to finish it so I can try working on one/all of the dozen other story ideas that continue to build themselves in the back of my brain. I have two little girls, each with four (non-maiden-name-induced) initials of their own, an out-of-control container garden, and if anybody knows of work for a recently graduated astrophysicist in the Boulder-Denver area…

  • bonesweetbone

    I’m Melissa and I’m working at delurking. I live in North Carolina and am a recent college graduate trying to find her way in the world and hoping to go to grad school one day. I took a few classes at school with Dr. Hartley, which is how I found out about Magical Words. I just finished the first draft of my first novel and am now NaNoing as fast as I can because I start a new job at the end of November. I’m hoping to work on rewrites after. I want to write YA fiction, primarily, but I’m hoping to branch out, too, which is part of the reason I’m doing a romance novel for NaNo. Getting to focus on characters this time around has been a treat since the other novel was more plot heavy. I’m hoping to attend ConCarolinas next year after having my hopes this year dashed due to work. Hope to see some of you there!

  • I’m Emily (also called pea_Emily by Faith sometimes, which I appreciate…ahh the fun of using names you picked years ago ’cause ya thought they were cute). I write fantasy with Sarah Adams (*waves*) who hasn’t posted yet ’cause she’s on the West Coast. (HA!) I also write fantasy on my own and am wrapping up edits of my novel: Hell Mary: Full of Fire about a woman who murdered her sister-in-law, who was a demon, and acquired the power of hellfire. She wants out of the demon fighting game, but the demonic sister-in-law is trying to get her powers back and destroy Mary and everyone she cares about. Mary’s got shaken faith, a guilt complex, a short temper and an almost uncontrolable desire and ability to set the world on fire. And the fire talks to her,too.

    I’m in Fayetteville, NC, and I’d love to get involved in an in-person critique group (and I’m willing to drive to the triangle or to SC to do it!) 🙂

  • Unicorn

    If I told you my real name you wouldn’t believe me, so I’m the mysterious Unicorn. I lurked at MW for ages until I was old enough to register. I’m fourteen; at night I write YA high fantasy, and in the daytime I’m homeschooled, work on my parents’ dairy farm, or ride some of my horses. I wrote my first novel (70 000 words) at the age of ten; it was pathetic, and I quickly followed it up with a whole bunch of still more pathetic novels, but once I discovered Magical Words, my writing improved massively, though I still have a long way to go.
    People use me as a walking, talking dictionary. I can speak a second language (Afrikaans, and I know you’ve never heard of it, look it up) and get very angry in a third (Zulu). Oh yeah, and I live in South Africa.
    I’ll join the brigade of Magical Words Minions, because a) I learned everything I know about writing here and b) I’m short enough to be one of those little yellow minions in “Despicable Me”.
    I have a novel and a novella in their first drafts and another novel in revision, so I had better get back to work. Hello everyone 🙂

  • I’m Stephen Watkins; I write mostly Fantasy but dabble in other areas of speculative fiction. I’m currently working on an epic fantasy novel that I describe as being either (take your pick) “Mad Max meets Final Fantasy” or “Steampunk-flavored Post-apocalyptic Epic Fantasy”. I’m in the very early stages… I’m an outliner/planner, so I’m working on that part, and have finished about 30K words of background notes, with probably another 15K to go before I start the novel itself… It’s intended to be a stand-alone story, rather than a start in a series. I occassionally also do short stories & novelettes, with my most recent of those currently awaiting feedback from a big SF&F writing contest. I also blog fairly regularly.

    I don’t write as much as I’d like because I have a full-time day job and a family with a toddler, and those things take a lot of time.

    I live near Atlanta, Georgia.

  • You can call me Rox, or Roxie, but if you start singing that song by The Police, I’ll bob you on the nose.
    In my revision meat grinder, I’ve an UF about Seattle barista chicks vs Mesopotamian demons. I’ve set that aside for my dystopian cyberpunk NaNoWriMo project. Only a day or so behind, so you should tell me to quit posting here and write.

    I live in Seattle with my partner and my little Scottish terrier. Daydreaming of living in New Orleans (Halloween there was epic, as usual)

    During the day, besides reading MW posts, I write software. I also bellydance, travel a lot, hang out in creepy goth clubs and drink a lot of coffee (It’s eggnog latte season, yay). Somewhat cliche, I’ll admit, but that’s just who I am.

  • sagablessed

    My name is Donald and I live on Columbus OH with a terrbile Monster (a chihuahua-pug mix) and a Beast (beagle-pug mix)…yes those are the names of the dogs, btw. I write fantasy and urban fantasy, mostly as a a form of personal expression, but have one novel I hope to have out in Query-land next year and the foundations of three more. I am also on scribophile as ‘the Queer voice’, but have not been active there lately. I work in a chocolate factory (nope, not that glamorous, and yes I am sick of chocolate -gods forgive me) 12 hours a day so actual writing time is ‘whenever I can get it done’.
    There are a couple of writers groups in C-bus, and probably in your areas. I encourage writers to find one. They can be amazing.
    Many magical words to all!!

  • Mikaela

    I live in Salem, Sweden. Currently I am mostly lurking, since I am busy with Life. Right now I am switching languages, from English to Swedish 😀 When I am not writing, I am working on my Masters in Environmental Science.
    In my spare time I read books, and spend way too much time on Twitter….

  • Widdershins is my pen name, or Nom de Voyage as I like to call it, ‘cos it sounds far more mysterious. It was my online username long before I reached the submissions stage of my writerly life, so I decided to keep it.

    I’m an ex-Brit, ex-Aussie, Canuck, now happily married in Vancouver BC. (I’m making my way across the British Commonwealth)

    I write lesbian SF/F, meaning I’m a lesbian writing it, and my characters are also lesbians. My first book, Mortal Instinct, came out (if you’ll pardon the pun) in September this year, and only yesterday did my author print copies arrive. (it was published as an eBook first)Let me tell you, there’s nothing like holding your first ever published book in your hands, no matter how many eBooks you’ve already sold.

    I’m working like a trojan to get the first draft of Book 2 finished by the end of the year. I might make it … if only those pesky plot-lines would stay where I laid them out!

    I too, see myself as a MW minion of the ‘Despicable Me’ variety, third row back, second on the left.

    Thanks Faith, for inviting us to take the stage for a while.

  • Hepseba ALHH

    @ Roxie: But the Moulin Rouge tango version of that song is so awesome.

  • Hello all! Late to the party as usual because of the time difference. My name is Sarah, but I usually post under the screen name Levedi that I chose earlier on. I write urban fantasy about faeries with Emily / Pea – that book is out being considered by agents now. My solo WIP, Winter’s Dawn, is an urban fantasy set in Buffalo NY. Harvey works in a steel factory and tries to keep her Berserker urges under control, but with two teenagers at home, frost demons in the streets, and her homicidal brother about to get out of prison holding off a berserk is getting harder every day. This WIP is 80,000 words long and one revision away from being sent to agents. (Anyone on Betas want to read it?) Once that’s out I’m going to tackle my new shiny – my first epic fantasy.

    When I’m not writing (most of the time, sadly) I teach English at a university in the greater LA area. My specialty is medieval literature, so you can see where I get the interest in Berserkers. I’ll be back in NC for Christmas and then ConCarolinas. Anyone in the Fayetteville area want to get a drink and chew the fat around late December? (does that expression make any sense to anyone outside New England?)

  • @Roxanne – Yeah, I used to hang out in the creepy goth clubs over this way, but my back and hips haven’t let me dance for a while, to the sadness of my wife. Now I just play out the beat on a djembe and watch her dance. 😀

    @Donald – Good to see ya over here. 🙂

  • I’m also on the road doing school visits to promote DARWEN ARKWRIGHT AND THE PEREGRINE PACT, but I wanted to just look in to say hi and thanks for de-lurking. AJH

  • @ Hepseba well, if anyone here can sing ‘Roxanne’ as good as Jacek Koman in Moulan Rouge, you get an out, and I welcome your voice. That’s the version that I like.

    ‘Roxy’ from the musical Chicago is also acceptable.

  • I’m Lyn. I was a very active writer in the 90s – with more than a dozen short stories published in a bunch of out of print anthologies and now dead magazines. I took an overlong hiatus due to my son’s medical issues and a few other unexpected left life-turns. I’m back though. I write Fantasy, Science Fiction, Alternative Fiction, and poetry. I like to take traditional norms and turn them sideways. The scariest monsters are generally human. I’m older than most, if not all of you. I live in Huntsville, AL with my son and five pit bulls. I work too many hours a day for the a major Defense Industry contractor. And I’m in the middle of three novels and a half-dozen short stories. Schizo-much? Naw. Not us.
    And… for Misty’s benefit: WAR EAGLE!!!!

  • Ken

    Hi there fellow MW-ers. As the name says, I’m Ken. I’ve got two full time jobs (the actual paying one and a goat farm I’m trying to get off the ground) not to mention the dogs, cats, family, oh, and did I mention that I’m a writer? Right now, I’m writing urban fantasy and Sci-fi. Until I win the lottery, I’ve got to content myself with 500 words a day (however long it takes me to get them down) until I get consistent with it, then I’ll increase until I get consistent with that…rinse, repeat.

    I post when I can and lurk when I cant.

    Take care one and all…


  • Razziecat

    Hiya, I’m Razziecat, I took my name both from one of my cats & from the MC of my WIP, Erasmus Thorne. I’m a lifelong Buffalonian (Hi Sarah!) and I work for a newspaper (not as a journalist, though). I’ve been writing since my teens, but life got in the way & I had a long dry spell. I took it up again when I turned 50. I write space opera about a bunch of people rebuilding their lives after a long war, and fantasy about mages, priests, gods, reincarnation, magic & more. Right now I’m about 10,000+ words into my first NaNoWriMo novel, but I also have things simmering on the back burners. This site is a must-read that I visit every day.

  • Cindy

    I live in Washington State and have a husband, a grown son, and a full time job. If that wasn’t enough I compete with my five dogs in agility, herding, obedience and conformation. I have spent down time at dog events writing in a notebook the plot points I was thinking about while driving there. (No accidents yet). Most actual writing takes place in the winter months when it is cold and dark outside. I have been published with non fiction articles, still working on the fantasy.

  • mudepoz

    I’m Mud. Yes, really. My kennel name is Muddy Paws, I breed some of the top ranked springers in the country. I’m probably best known for my dog stuff in Dog Fancy. I currently have 10 dogs here, including my OTCh, and two Ch and 7 7 week old pups (this is for Cindy). I’m a professional gardener, at one time I thought I received my MS in population genetics, but now I clean up poop, clean out closets of disgusting skeletons that weren’t properly cleaned in the 1800’s, label fertilized eggs, listen to crickets that my evil colleague left next to my desk, and hold my own against putrid starfish at UW-Milwaukee. I nearly had to call Hazmat. I’m an avid reader, was taught chess by Robert Heinlein when I was too young to read Robert Heinlein, (My father was a national sales rep for Berkely then) and pretend that I can write. Zombies in love (duct tape necessary) is my only fiction work published. It was the first short I wrote. I’m working on a YA story with a shapeshifting springer and her girl. Laura is my permanent ConCarolinas roommate.

  • WOW! I am impressed with the lives, lifestyles, energy, and passion on this list. Any mroe lurkers out there? Post away. We’ll keep this one open until Wednesday, when we’ll do another intro piece.

    Oh — I’m Faith. I write. I work 70 to 80 hours a week. I paddle Class II, III rivers. I make jewelry in my *free time*. Hahahahahahaha. No, really. I just hired a housekeeper to make sure I get to do that sometimes. I RV with the hubby, have two small rescued Pom dogs, and my small family is on the road (and the rivers) right now doing all that and more. Cheers!

  • Jamie

    I’m coming into these introductions a bit late, but I’m Jamie Kress. I write science fiction and urban fantasy. I am currently eyes deep in my first novel after being a dedicated short story writer for years. When not writing I take Karate classes (blue belt currently) and spend way too much time (when I should be writing) role-playing.

  • Yedra

    My name is Geri, and I’ve been a lurker here for quite a while too. Yedra is the name I picked for high school Spanish class oh so many years ago (it means ivy). I live in eastern Iowa and work as a software project manager during the day. An insatiable, expensive reading habit and a husband and two boys (8 & 6) keep me busy in the evenings, and I write after the kids go to bed.

    I’m fairly new to the writing thing and am working my way through NaNo with an epic fantasy after flaming out miserably in my first attempt last year. I’d love to find a writing group, either in person or online. If anyone’s interested or has suggestions, let me know.

    MW is one of my favorite places on the net, and I’d like to thank all of the authors who take time out of your schedules and put aspects of your personal and professional lives on display to share with us. I’ve learned so much from you guys!

  • Fireheart1974

    Hi! I’m Tera. I’m usually a lurker but do post occasionally. I live in NC, write short stories mainly and am struggling through Nano with my first attempt at Novel. When not writing, I’m a pirate re-enactor, play D&D and love on my daughter, the Geeklet.

  • Hi, I’m Pandora Swift. I love fantasy and paranormal adventure (is that a genre?), and am working on my second urban fantasy novel. This is my third book in less than three years, and when I got laid off two years ago, I decided to write full-time. My first novel, a post-apocalyptic fantasy was, well, a learning experience. The second novel, an urban fantasy, is currently at work seeking agent representation; and I’ve got a short story that I’m planning submit for the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition (my short stories, oddly enough, are all horror). I haven’t been published yet, but I know I’m getting closer with every word I write. I love this site, and find you all to be quite inspirational. Keep up the good work!

  • Hey! bonesweetbone and Fireheart1974: If you’re still reading (and I hope you are), you’re both in NC, like me! I’m rather hoping to create some kind of in-person critique group. Once a month meeting at a central location (who knows where that would be!) If any of you are interested, we should find a way to connect. Maybe leave a note here and we’ll figure it out? 🙂 Anyone in the NC area, possibly including some of SC, if you want in on this, let me know! 🙂

  • I’m also a bit late to the party. I generally lurk, but occasionally, I comment. My name is Vikki (no creative MW name, sorry) and I live Columbia, SC. I write romance (various sorts). In my free time, I hula hoop and knit. This November for nano, I’m writing a distopian romance. My goal is to complete a full draft in November so that I can go back to my revisions.

  • MaCrae

    I had posted yesterday but my computer exploded… so I’ll try to remember all I said.

    *shuffles up to podium* Er, hi. My name is MaCrae, you can call me Mac. I have de-lurked because I need help with my writing. I am in high school and it frustratingly interferes with my writing. I used to own 4 rabbits, 2 chinchillas, 2 fish, 4 budgies, 2 dogs, and over 200 guinea pigs. I live in a podunk town where everyone is related to everyone else, (except for me, ha ha) I live so far away from anyone on here or any cons, meets, whatevers. I’m a spaz and get really hyper all the time. I have been writing all my life but have only just started to write a full length novel (four years ago, lol.) I’m hoping to get published sometime in my life. Um, if I remember anything really uber important that I forgot that you simply MUST know, I’ll post again.

  • Cindy

    @ mudepoz
    Thanks for the info. My dogs are Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Australian Cattle Dogs. I am tempted to put dogs in what I write too. I discovered this website through the book. I bought the book and then came here. I also made it a point to hunt up and read sonmething by all the authors.

  • mudepoz

    @Cindy. You have to. We do the same stuff (obedience, tracking, hunting, agility, breed, rally (I’m a judge), ) I often wonder just what our dogs think when they see us walking a course? Or how dumb we are for losing gloves all the time. Hehehe.
    Is anyone here lurking from SE Wisconsin? (and no, I’m not looking for puppy homes. I AM looking for homes for plants, however. Quite a few)

  • Mud’s not kidding – I have three oleanders in my yard thanks to her!

    Emily, if an in-person critique group does get started and is within driving distance of me, I’ll definitely consider attending. I know I could join an online group anytime, but I miss the give and take of a real-life group.

  • @widdershins – You’re in Vancouver, too? (and not someone I dragged here?) Awesome! I’m in Burnaby, but I work at a Vancouver college.

  • bonesweetbone

    @pea_faerie I’m definitely interested! I live in Charlotte, though, so almost three hours away from Fayetteville. Quite a hike, but doable if we were to meet somewhere more central to everyone!

  • Fireheart1974

    @pea_faerie, I’d be interested. I live in Greensboro. Centralish seems like Raleigh?? I definitely couldn’t do once a month – too many other commitments. I’d be willing to try for a couple times a year though. (And if you wanted to meet at Cons…I could do that!) 🙂
    I would love an online group with people of like minds. I have a google group that is a carryover from an LJ group but it’s really, really quiet and there’s not a lot going on.

  • Yay! for a possible group! So,if we include Misty (which would be awesome) we’ve got Charlotte, Greensboro, Fayetteville, and SC. Hmmm… we’ll figure it out. Can you guys email me at emily (dot) lavin (dot) leverett at gmail (dot) com? (And once I’ve got the emails, I see about deleting this post just ’cause my email is in it! 🙂

    Hopefully we’ll get this off the ground by after the first of the year. Maybe sooner, if we’re lucky! 🙂


  • liornessa

    *sigh. I told myself that if there were comments from the 11th then I’d have to de-lurk and introduce myself, so…Hello, I’m Delena, and I’ve been writing fantasy since those 15 minute sessions given at the start of class in middle school (believe it was 1997) and reading fantasy since…way before that (thank you Patricia Wrede and Dealing with Dragons…or was it Robin McKinley and the Blue Sword?). Anyway, I’m shy with a novelist soul (though the short story bug has bitten me, so that may be mutating). I love tea and chocolate…and cheese. I live in Madison, AL where I know only a few people because I went to high school and college in VA. I write often, revise even more and submit little. And I’m a 5th time participant in NaNoWriMo. Now, I’m going to slink back to my corner and try to BiC until I hit 5k for the day…

  • Hey! liornessa/Delena! Madison AL is just next door!!!! I’m in Huntsville!

  • TwilightHero

    Somehow I’m always late for these things…Hi everyone. I’m Michael, I’m in my early twenties, and though I was born in the US, I’ve been living in Malaysia since I was eight. (Planning to go back for college next year.) So I also speak Malay – bet you’ve never heard of that one either; Google it – and I find it just a little weird seeing Chinese and Indian people in TV or movies speaking English with an American accent =P I play the piano at an intermediateish level and am currently learning Japanese as a hobby. Not sure why, but I’ve always liked the language. Probably too much anime.

    I’ve worn out my eyesight reading bloated epics (I know; that term is overused), but it was Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time that showed me just how…stirring? =D…books can be, and his work had/has the biggest influence on my writing. After two years, my epic high fantasy WIP is about three-fifths done, at 135,000 words and counting. And…what’s that line…this is just the beginning. No really, it is; I’ve got a whole series planned out. Wish me luck with the publishers =) Love the site, all of you rock.

  • TwilightHero

    Oh, and to the mysterious Unicorn…you’re fourteen and you write this well? Seriously? Wow. I’m impressed.

  • OakandAsh

    My apologies if this post is a duplicate. WordPress and I don’t seem to be seeing eye to eye at the moment.
    I’m not sure if the mice are coming out, but the dog people certainly are 🙂 Seeing Mud and Cindy post gave me the encouragement to come out of the kennel-or closet-as well. I just finished the rough draft (possibly the roughest rough draft in history) of my first attempt at writing anything non-academic and am working on a short companion piece to go along with it – both are urban fantasy. I’m located in East Tennessee. Anthropology, dog shows and two very small rug rats complete the picture.

  • jeannette coppens

    Hello, My name is Jeannette. I started writing the moment I learned to read. At the moment I write poems, stories for small children, and childrens books, age 10-12. Next to that I wrote some plays and film scripts that were actually filmed.
    In Holland we have NaNo in february, so I learn from your experiences.
    At the moment I am busy with childrens stories for a book and fairy tales from Indonesia for another one.

  • All you people in far flung places lookking for beta readers (sort of slow moving writers’ group) Don’t forget the MagicalWordsBetas!

  • NickP

    MWM, 38, no kids, BA in English lit, from NYC, and now in the Nashville area.

    Recently discovered Magical Words and lurked to some degree. Work in thoroughly non-creative field and it’s driving me a bit batty.

    I’m a big comic book, animation, and kung fu movie guy.

    Most influential writers on me are William Gibson, Robert Anton Wilson, Joss Whedon, Noam Chomsky, Lao Tzu, and a bunch of comic book guys like Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Howard Chaykin, Mike Mignola, and early Frank Miller.