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July 26, 2016

A Woman’s Worth in Words

worth

I attended the re:Create conference earlier this year and during a lunch conversation with Emily Joy and a few other creatives, I made the remark that as a ghostwriter and editor for the last fifteen years, I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the sexes when it comes to storytelling.

My male authors may ask a lot of questions during the process of telling their stories—stories of abandonment, betrayal, divorce, poverty, war—but they’re typically based on marketing ideas and the composition of the overall book. “Can we play up this angle more?” “Can we move this chapter, revise this paragraph, use a different term here?” Their questions point to the main desire to tell their story well and be able to effectively reach their audience. Though I can’t throw all male authors into the same boat, mine have primarily been confident, optimistic, and even if I have to coax them through difficult sections of their story, they’re willing to be transparent for the greater good.

Women have required an entirely different approach. For reasons I cannot completely understand or adequately address, my female authors struggle with doubt, hesitancy, the desire to hide certain parts of their story, the fear of making other people angry, and at least once or twice they’ll express the thought that they should quit writing entirely, asking me, “Who will buy the book?” “Who even cares what I have to say?” “What if people don’t agree with me and give me bad feedback?” “What makes me so special to want to tell my story?” “What does it matter anyway?”

In fact, in the entire span of my career, I can damn near guarantee you that every single woman author—even those who are very confident and outspoken—has asked me at least one of these questions…and meant it. In those sensitive moments, I’ve had to switch from my editorial role and become a cheerleader, therapist, confidante, encourager, and Kleenex provider as they break down in tears.

Time and time again I’ve told them they’re absolutely worth it, that their story should be told, that they can’t let their worry keep them from succeeding, that someone else needs to hear what they have to say, and that there is healing in the process if they keep at it. And they may really believe me for a moment or two as they gather their thoughts, take a deep breath, and continue. I’m a professional, after all. I should know what I’m talking about.

They’ve all pushed through the discomfort to share their stories, but I wonder if even as they sit down for their third book signing this month that they don’t still hear a whisper between their ears asking, “Why are you doing this again?” Because I have the exact same thoughts, and I’m fifteen years into a booming career. Every new project begins with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. “Will I be able to do a great job for the client?” “Will they like me?” “Why in the world did they pick me over other writers?” Different questions, same language of fear and worth.

So is it simply the difference in the sexes, some mental wiring that controls our comfort threshold? Is it a cultural phenomenon that women are more sensitive to literary collateral damage? Could it be that we feel our stories aren’t as powerful or meaningful as a man’s? Or maybe we’ve been taught to ask permission first…

I can’t assume that men never have these issues. I’m quite sure that plenty of men struggle with low self-esteem and “bigger picture” doubts, but they haven’t voiced them to me during our writing projects. Maybe they would feel silly confessing their fears to a woman. Or maybe they don’t have those same fears at all.

Truth be told, in the hundreds of authors I’ve worked with, I can’t recall a single time a man asked me if I thought his story mattered. Not once. He might ask my opinion on the cover design, the book title, or whether he should include some of the more gory details in chapter 9. But for whatever reason, I’ve never heard any man waiver on his worth. Yet all my women do.

Why? And if we can’t explain why, can we at least motivate ourselves and others to push through the guilt, the doubts, the questions? Silence the voices that have silenced us for however many years, convincing us that our stories don’t really matter. Because they do. All stories do.

The message is not dependent on the gender of the voice, even though sometimes the gender behind the voice is scared shitless. Crying at her desk. Shaking as she writes. Apologizing for tears that need no explanation. Gasping for air as she grasps for the words to say what she needs to say…what she has to say.

In those mental whirlwinds, sometimes all she needs to hear is that her words matter. They have worth. She has worth.

And that is enough reason to continue.

 

*Originally posted on “The Flawless Project,” May 19, 2016: http://theflawlessproject.org/a-womans-worth-in-words/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2015

Faith of the Fatherless

I had a great talk with a new friend last night, and we both shared that we’d had less-than-stellar male role models. I felt both validated and lacking, happy that I wasn’t alone and sad that so many of us in our twenties and thirties are still dealing with the aftermath of childhood. It made me think of a chapter I contributed to The One: Experience Jesus, by Carlos Darby and Judah Smith.

To those who still struggle with self-worth and self-esteem, know that you are never alone.

***

faith of fatherless long road

Know this: children are a gift from the Eternal;

the fruit of the womb is His reward.

–Psalm 127:3

 

For years, anytime I was at an event or even walking downtown and spotted them, I’d stop and watch. They interacted—holding hands, laughing, enjoying the moment—unaware that they were on display as my curiosity ran wild. They were an anomaly as far as I was concerned. I was always a little skeptical of the sincerity, the permanence. And always a little sad, maybe a twinge of jealousy too, that I missed out on that part of life. Fathers spending time with their kids—the whole thing was a mystery to me. After a minute or two, I’d walk away, leaving them in peace. Leaving my heart in pieces.

Unfortunately, my story is all-too familiar and prevalent. Abusive or absentee father, damaged child. Child grows up with a bevy of insecurities and “daddy issues,” grows to distrust others, becomes withdrawn, forms unhealthy relationships, projects all anger upon a mean and uncaring God. You wouldn’t think that one relationship—or lack thereof—could have such far-reaching consequences…but it does.

When I was a little girl, I used my glow-in-the-dark cross bookmark as a nightlight. It was activated by heat so every night before bed I’d hold it over my bedside lamp until it was hot. Then I’d hang it on the wall, turn off the lights, jump into bed—covers up to my neck—and watch the glow fade until my eyes strained to see even the faintest outline of the cross. In my mind, I was only safe as long as I could see the cross. Bad things happened in the dark and the light only lasted about thirty minutes. After that, God left the room. Left me alone.

As a seven-year-old I rationalized that God didn’t care about me. I went to Sunday school and repeated Bible stories while harboring this disconnect in my heart. When we learned how Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” I was uncomfortable. Without a healthy role model of what a father is supposed to look like…these stories were just that—stories. On the other hand, I lived the reality at home.

When I’d spent two decades being mad and hurt, I had to admit I didn’t want to spend another decade the same way. So I started searching for answers. And not from my earthly father—I’d long since given up on getting an apology or an explanation. In time, I even forgave him for his many indiscretions. But now, as an adult, I was ready for answers about myself. Who was I? What am I worth? I knew I couldn’t magically undo the past, but I could begin to tear down each of my insecurities and rebuild my heart and my self-esteem based on the messages I should have learned and heard as a child. Yes, it would be hard work but I knew I was worth it. Finally.

 

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you.

–Matthew 7:7

 

There was just one catch—I still had daddy issues—as in “Heavenly Father” issues. I may have forgiven my earthly father for all the things he did and didn’t do. But I still had a deep grudge against God for allowing anything bad to happen in the first place.

One night when the pain was too great, I had a full-on argument with Him. I cried. I yelled. I cursed Him. I blamed Him for not caring, not listening, not protecting me, not giving me an ideal childhood and life, for that matter. I pointed my finger and yelled some more. He was quiet, like I’d imagine a patient parent to be, watching their kid throw a tantrum. When I was done—I couldn’t think of any more reasons to shout at Him—there was a silence and a peace. In the stillness, I felt that God wasn’t mad at me. I only felt compassion and a nearly imperceptible whisper inside saying, “Now let’s move forward together.” He wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, He was going to hang around whether I liked it or not. So I agreed to a truce.

If I was going to heal and become the healthy person I envisioned, I needed to know what the right messages were—what God actually says about me. I knew a lot of people who had great relationships with God, even if they didn’t have a great relationship with one or both parents. So I began searching. What I found made me reevaluate my grudge with God.

 

I am God’s child.
 (Galatians 3:26)

I knew children should be protected, loved, and encouraged.

 

I am Jesus’s friend.
 (John 15:15)

I valued my friendships and made time for them.

 

I am God’s incredible work of art. (Ephesians 2:10)

Art has great worth and every piece is unique and beautiful in it’s own way.

 

I am totally and completely forgiven. (1 John 1:9)

I could forgive myself and move on.

 

I am greatly loved. (Romans 5:8)

If I was valuable and worthy of love, I wanted to be near the source.

 

Maybe God wasn’t a bad guy after all. Maybe He deserved a second chance. And an apology.

As the weeks and months passed, I learned to speak with Him in new, more comfortable ways, as though He’s actually near me and listening, because He is. I’m also more expectant of an answer.

I’m kinder to others and to myself. I’ve learned to forgive and move on. I know I’ll have a much better example of how to love, encourage, and teach when I have a family of my own. And I’ve been able to see Him in everything, everywhere, especially in loving interactions within families. Even more so with fathers and their children.

 

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

–1 John 3:1

 

Though our stories may be different, the aftermath of faulty parenting is likely the same. The result is a generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings who have a distrust of authority figures, a fractured view of family, a low sense of value, and an unhealthy view of God. We think God is sitting on a cloud somewhere, completely unaware of what’s happening down here, and when He does pop in for a few minutes, He plays favorites. But nothing could be more wrong.

He loves each one of us dearly. Each one. And He’s right here! He’s not on vacation or unavailable. Whether we’re on the train, in our cars, or walking down the street, He’s there waiting and walking with us. He’s a friend, a mentor, a Father. He wants to spend time with you, like a father and his child. He’s the ultimate example of a good parent.

While we may have been disappointed, abused, or abandoned by those we love, God—our Heavenly Father—will never leave us. And He’s stronger than we give Him credit for being.

 

Be strong and brave, and don’t tremble in fear of them,

because the Eternal your God is going with you.

He’ll never fail you or abandon you!

–Deuteronomy 31:6

 

The sight of dads playing with their kids still makes me pause. I hear a giggle and turn to see a dad chasing after his daughter, catching her amid happy shrieks. He swoops her up in his arms and kisses her head. And sometimes even while I’m smiling I start to feel the tiniest tug of doubt, regret.

My heart says, Where were you, God? Why not me?

Then just as fast, “I’m right here. And I love you.”

 

August 19, 2014

Blog Tag! (You Are It.)

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Last week, fellow writer and editor, Amy Parker, called me out in her blog post for the World Book Blog Tour (WBBT). And well she should; I need to write more. Amy is a fantastic (read: award-winning) writer, mom, and wife. She’s written or co-authored close to 20 books. I’d link to her all of her books but I don’t have an extra 2 hours today. But you’re welcome to look her up and say hello. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.

So, the challenge was to answer some questions about what I do and what I’m working on. Here we go.

What am I working on?

Gosh…what am I not working on. Sigh. I’ll keep it short and vague.

1. A memoir of a woman who grew up in a cult.

2. A memoir of an Army veteran who educates others about PTSD.

3. A memoir of a woman who lost a child and how she walked through the grieving process.

4. A compilation of musicians’ stories about how they got into the industry.

5. A business book.

6. A Southern Gothic novel.

7. A romance novel.

8. A book that discusses the crossover in the areas of quantum physics and faith.

…and a few chapters, blogs, book proposals, and whatnot. I’m also in negotiations for 4 ghostwriting projects. Hooray for work!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I ghostwrite a lot of memoirs. I’d say that’s what makes my work different.

Why do I write what I do?

I find other people’s lives, passions, and personalities fascinating.

How does my writing process work?

It requires a lot of time, silence, interviews, revisions, trips to the bathroom, snacks, emails, phone calls, track changes, and cursing (sometimes). Oh…and chocolate.

Next stop on the World Blog Book Tour?

Next stop is Shayla Eaton of Curiouser Editing! She writes. She edits. She also bakes (I think). And she lives in Oklahoma. She’s also promised me a Snickers bar if I visit her.

Disclaimer: We’re supposed to tag 3 people. I asked 3 people but the other 2 were/are on deadlines and had to pass. It’s life as usual for wordsmiths. Actually…I’m procrastinating on a book proposal to finish this blog.

 

August 11, 2014

A Quitter’s Guide to Climbing Mt. Hope

Mt. Hope

 

On August 3, 2014, I climbed Mt. Hope in Colorado with three friends: Mary, Amy, and Payton. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. And by far the most rewarding.

The first night we climbed maybe 30 minutes to low camp, set up tents, experienced the wonder that is camping food out of a bag, and giggled nervously about bears and having to pee in the bushes. We all had heavy packs on, having brought too much, and my feet already hurt.

The next morning we hiked several hours up to high camp. It felt like 5 hours though it may have been less. However, this is where I started to think, “What the hell have I agreed to do?” In the months leading up to the hike, I’d been playing all kinds of sports like I do, mostly 4-6 times a week. And I’d been hiking with my brother with his 35-pound EMT pack. I hadn’t lost any weight like I’d hoped but still, I was physically prepared for a long hike. I thought.

Nope.

Thankfully we made it and that night we celebrated by sharing whiskey around a campfire, watching shooting stars, and sharing stories about life, love, and everything in between.

The third day was solo day at high camp. That meant we got to sleep in, lounge around, and have some time to journal and take pictures. And this is when my meltdown began.

If you’re an introvert like me, somewhere around 11,000 feet on a strange mountain with a group of people you don’t really know all that well, you start to question everything. What am I doing with my life? Why am I here? What did I already miss? How deep am I supposed to dig the hole before I go to the bathroom? 

I had chosen a flat rock nestled under some pine trees that overlooked the valley below. I sat and watched the clouds slowly roll by, and I cried for about 20 minutes. In the amazing beauty of nature, all I could think about was the negatives and the unknowns. What I had missed. What I was doing wrong. When I realized how ridiculous that all was, I gave myself a little pep-talk. But I still felt alone, and still burdened.

The next morning, our guide, Payton, woke us up at 5 a.m. while it was still dark to summit the mountain. Within the first 15 minutes of walking across the grassy field and around the lake to the base of the final climb, I said I wanted to quit. I couldn’t go on. I was gently encouraged by my mates. So I tried to concentrate on walking…one foot in front of the other. Just keep moving.

But then I couldn’t catch my breath. I started crying. Every step felt like I was slogging through mud wearing concrete boots. There was no way I could do this! No. Way. And I said so. Repeatedly.

By this time, I had dropped to the end of the line. I knew the group had a goal and I thought they’d be able to reach it without me. I didn’t want to hold anyone up. Better if I just walked back down to the tent and stayed by myself all day. Like every other time in recent history when something felt too hard.

When I told Payton I was heading back, he turned around and loudly said, “Nope! We’re doing this together.” I was doomed. And I was having my first full-blown panic attack, complete with hyperventilation and the ugly cry. But they all meant it. Mary and Amy had done these kinds of hikes before. Payton has been a wilderness guide for years. I imagine they’ve seen all types of people on the mountain. I imagine they’re very familiar with quitters like me.

So they let me catch my breath. And we walked up that mountain step by step. It was never easy, but it strangely became easier.

In fact, when we were only about 50 feet from the summit, Payton had us stop, circle up, and pray together. When he said, “Jesus, thank You for letting us reach the summit,” and we realized we were nearly there, we all sprinted to the top, screaming and jumping like kids at a county fair.

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It was beautiful. I had done it! We had done it. Together.

It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish something you’ve set out to do. And even more amazing when you tried to walk away but were encouraged on.

It’s also a refreshing feeling to be able to let go of labels you’ve held on to for years and enjoy a fresh start. Now I can no longer say I’m a quitter. Standing on Mt. Hope, looking out over the clouds, I had to admit to myself that there are very few things in life that I can not accomplish, goals I can’t achieve, or excuses I can allow myself to create.

There will be no soccer match, no volleyball game, no 3 sets of tennis, and no book project that will ever be able to rival the mental and physical battle I had against Mt. Hope.

And I won.

 

October 28, 2013

When You’re Overwhelmed

In the wonderful world of book publishing, everything comes in cycles. You push new titles through the spring and summer to meet the often-unreasonable deadline of holiday seasons. And during the beginning of the holiday season, you scramble to meet end-of-year and new-year deadlines.

In between those times, there are weeks of no work, which prompt irrational fears of taking a side job at Starbucks, becoming a live-in nanny, or having to sell a kidney. Those lulls are usually followed by weeks of more work than is humanly possible to accomplish in even 80 hours and cause exhaustion, near-fatal levels of caffeine consumption, and sleep deprivation.

Neither of these seasons will ever change, it seems.

In my ten years of publishing, not once has a year gone by that didn’t ebb and flow as the cycle of supply and demand fluctuated. And every year I’ve told myself that somehow I would be immune to it. That this year, I’d be so super attentive with my scheduling that I’d never experience any type of merciless overage or panic at an empty inbox and bank account.

I’ve been kidding myself.

For one, publishing will never change, at least in the respect that there will always be deadlines, there will always be new content, there will always be new clients, and none of it ever comes in a nicely wrapped package. Never. That just isn’t how it works.

If you’re a freelancer, I’m guessing you know this cycle all too well. So, here are some scenarios with Good and Bad suggestions for how to handle the stress of project management hell, along with some equally Good and Bad suggestions for how to be productive with the down time when it comes.

1. You are booked solid for the next three weeks and a client emails with an urgent need. Do you:

a. Ignore them completely.
b. Put everything else aside immediately and work on that project.
c. Shoot back an email saying you can squeeze them into your schedule in a few days.
d. Curse loudly.
e. Walk away from your computer for a few minutes until you can craft a reasonable response and timeline.

2. You’ve got two time-intensive projects this week that could easily take 70 hours between them. Do you:

a. Go buy a case of Red Bull.
b. Skip the gym, normal meal times, and the majority of your sleep for a week to get it done.
c. Quit your job and move to Alaska.
d. Schedule blocks of time for each project each day and accept that you can only do so much in a week.
e. Curse loudly. And often.

3. You’ve wrapped up everything you’ve been working on but you don’t have any new meetings or projects scheduled. Do you:

a. Call your realtor, sell your house, and move back home with your mama.
b. Use the free time to reach out to old clients, find new clients, and scout some networking events to attend.
c. Sleep for two days straight.
d. Curse loudly.
e. See how many calories you can burn at the gym in a week without being hospitalized.

4. You’d like to increase your project load for the next quarter, but aren’t sure how to use your time effectively. Do you:

a. Let your contacts know that you’re looking for new business and ask them to spread the word.
b. Assume that people will magically find you and beg you to do business with them.
c. Make a cute sign and stand out on a corner in a halter top, promoting your business.
d. Curse loudly when people throw quarters at you while you’re holding your cute sign.
e. Craft marketing material that explains how your company stands out over your competition and spend time each day contacting people in your industry.

I can’t change the craziness of the industry. And you can’t either. But I can make better use of my down time and better choices when I’m nearing maximum brain (and patience) capacity.

You’ll only hurt yourself if you offend a client with a snarky email response—even if it was the best response ever. And you won’t be able to do a good job on any of your projects if you’ve worked so many hours without a break that your butt has stuck to your chair. Or that you forgot to shower. Or that you don’t remember when you last ate anything.

If you have a good reputation, I’m going to bet there will always be at least some work available and if not, you’ll always be able to scrounge up some new projects. So walk away from the case of caffeine and the halter top.

September 26, 2013

30 Things About Me

A friend of mine, Alece Ronzino, posted an article called 100 Things About Me and asked others to do the same. And (so nice of her) she said we could do whatever number we wanted. So I’m doing 30. Because I’m lazy. Er…working.

1. I have to sleep in socks. Always.
2. I love drinking pickle juice
3. Mimes terrify me, as do clowns and scary movies
4. but I love haunted houses with an unnatural passion.
5. The first thing I notice about a man is his nose.
6. then the smile.
7. I danced for 10 years
8. until I discovered soccer.
9. Fall is my favorite time of year
10. and I can’t wait to go camping!
11. I don’t like going on vacations, to movies, or to dinner alone.
12. I lost a city-wide spelling bee in the 5th grade on the word “transition.”
13. I never actually took Geography
14. because my 7th grade Geography teacher died during heart surgery in the second week of class
15. so our substitute spent the rest of the semester teaching us how to play the stock market.
16. I was very good at playing the stock market.
17. It paid for several years of college expenses.
18. But I didn’t know New Mexico was a state until college either…
19. I have a hard time sleeping in past 6 a.m.
20. But I love naps.
21. I once tried to brush my teeth and q-tip my ears at the same time.
22. Don’t ever do that.
23. I don’t cook but I’d like to take classes.
24. I dream of riding a horse across a field with my hair blowing behind me (and appropriate theme music)
25. but a horse bit me once (on the shoulder) and I’m scared of them.
26. I’ve never changed a diaper in my life.
27. I used to make my sister eat cat food.
28. and use deodorant as chapstick.
29. She has mostly forgiven me.
30. I like chasing people with snakes and making them scream.

September 12, 2013

Proof that STEINBECK was a spy!

Steinbeck: Citizen Spy has been the most exciting project to work on so far in my ten years in publishing (and that’s saying a lot). Author Brian Kannard has discovered proof that Steinbeck worked for the government in several capacities, and the new information now causes us to reevaluate everything we thought we new about John Steinbeck. His son, Thom, has reviewed the book (he loved it) and provided a note in the introduction as well as a quote for the cover. This is a must-read for the literary lover, English teacher, and anyone who loves a good conspiracy story. Plus, I now get to say I edited Thom Steinbeck. Seriously…it doesn’t get much better than that!

Available in ebook and print.

June 11, 2012

Remember That Time You Said Something Completely Inappropriate?

We all do it. I do it…sometimes more often than I can believe, but it happens to all of us. Sometimes the result is hilarious and leaves you or your friend red-faced and weeping with laughter. But sometimes you really offend someone and want to crawl into a hole and hibernate for a few months. Especially when you’re dealing with topics of grief, sadness, and loss.

Well, now there’s a great little guide to help out with those moments when you want to say SOMETHING supportive or helpful or have a genuine conversation during these times but you aren’t quite sure what to say or how to say it.

Erica McNeal is a super-cool young mom who has already experienced way more than the normal amount of tragedy. Cancer (three times.) Loss of a child (five times). A failed adoption. Hurtful relationships. Through each circumstance, there were people who were supportive and loving, but there were also those people whose words, even unintentionally, cut deeper into an already broken heart. From that pain came a helpful book of what to say when facing touchy subjects. Good Grief: How to Create an Oasis When Life Is a Desert is an incredibly helpful guide on how to be supportive to your friends and family while creating deeper and more authentic relationships.

I’m a little biased because I know her personally and got to work on her book with her, but I was pretty horrified to learn that some of the things that I’ve said to people in times like these were COMPLETELY the wrong things to say. Thankfully, I know better now. And you can, too!

You can buy her book here.

You can read more about her story here.

And follow her on Twitter: @toddanderica

May 31, 2012

Surfing with Monks

The IRS is not your friend. Or mine. But Stacy and I had already scheduled our yearly surf trip to Maine and I was determined to enjoy it, knowing it was likely the last vacation of the year.

We started out with a fantastic RedSox game, complete with a possibly drunk guy doing the half-wave. Then Stacy nearly sucker-punched the guy next to her for being a seat hog. I would have sacrificed my hot dog to see that.

Next was surfing and it turns out, hurricanes make for decent waves. Last year, we were in Maine the weekend that Irene hit. Irene = pretty good surfing for beginners. This year, we missed the hurricane by a week or so. Poor timing. And poor surfing. Plus, Stacy had an allergic reaction to her wetsuit and her hands and feet swelled up.

Then as usual, I found every possible way to bruise myself, resulting in 11 bruises and after the mosquitoes were done with me, I was begging Stacy for Benadryl. Two girls + Benadryl = everything is funny and none of it is memorable.

I never saw a moose. And the monks didn’t even venture out of their rooms this year. Or maybe they were all at another beach surfing. Figures.

But we did see a great Memorial Day Parade complete with George and Barbara Bush who were possibly posing for a moose sighting.

All in all, it was a short trip but New England is just lovely and you should visit every chance you get. And if you do happen to see a moose, don’t tell me about it.

April 21, 2011

Stuff My Cats Like

In the sincerest form of flattery I can muster at 9:45 a.m. I’m going to rip off two books I wish I wrote: Stuff White People Like and Sh*t My Dad Says. I’m still trying to think of a way to mash up these two and I clearly will need more time…and caffeine, because Stuff White People Sh*t really doesn’t sound that appealing. But I promise you it would sell well in Japan. They’re all about poo. I’ve been there. I saw the books and the charts (yes, there are charts). Almost bought the keychain but then thought better of it.

So instead, I’m going to write about Stuff My Cats Like. Today anyway. Mostly because living with cats isn’t just a choice, it’s a way of life. That’s deep thinking, people.

  • Cats like running in circles around the house, scratching the hardwoods to get traction on the turns, and slamming into furniture. Even better at 4 a.m.
  • Cats like eagerly inhaling their food in the morning and then barfing it up just 5 minutes later from the windowsill next to your desk.
  • Cats like waking you up in the morning by practicing their pole-vault sprints across your chest and then touching your face when you don’t react.
  • Cats like waiting until you’re wearing something black and about to leave the house to come show you how much they appreciate your devotion by rubbing their fur all over your legs.