Roxie’s Resolution

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A Happy Meewww Year to everyone from me, Roxie.  Mom has decided to take a break from the blogosphere this week. She’s made an early New Year’s resolution to get the first draft of her mystery completed and is trying to avoid distractions.

IMG_8716I’ve decided  to help by getting rid of her main distraction.

I told ZuZu we were going to play her favorite game of hide and seek (or hide and NOT seek, as I prefer to call it). She’s in the laundry room behind some plants, waiting for me to come and find her. That’s not happening! You’d think by now she’d have caught on, but sadly, the light’s been out in that girl’s attic for quite some time. This game never gets old!

Continuing in the spirit of good will, I’ve decided to write Mom’s weekly post. My theme is “Continuing to Be Indispensable in 2016”. For those of you who have not been keeping up with posts about me, here is a brief recap of  a few of my most successful, indispensable, pet projects of 2015.

Managing mealtimes and welcoming guests

Directing  Mom and Dad’s daily hygiene

Overseeing the recent painting of the kitchen

Organizing our annual holiday home decorating extravaganza

Supervising Baby ZuZu.

She’s not really a baby anymore. But, as you may know, Mom wrote a book about her called A Berkshire TaleIn it she’s an adorable, precocious kitten and although she’s since grown into a big pain in the butt, to her readers she’ll always be thought of as that sweet, little, gray tabby born in a barn filled with other blissful, cuddly livestock in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. (If you’re looking for a book about Me, don’t bother. There is none. Life is cruel!)

I’ve been serving as live-in Nanny to the grub-eating ball of fur ever since she showed up six years ago. Have I mentioned her incessant whining? “Whaa, whaa, whaa!”  It’s turning me to a lighter shade of gray! But she’d exhaust Mary Poppins! She’d test the patience of Mother Theresa! The Dalai Lama would give up all hope and fall into a state of utter despair if he had to put up with her on a daily basis !

It doesn’t help one bit when The Big Chinook swoops in to console the little darling. And lately, because of all her recent hysterics, Mom’s come up with the idea of “Time-out Boxes” for us to go to when we’re “over-stimulated”.  I ask you, “What cat-care manual is this woman reading?”

Now, I admit, I love boxes. Boxes can be very soothing at times. But what good are they as a positive, behavioral reinforcement tool, if Helicopter Mom can’t get Little Snookums to stay in hers? Half the time I wake up to find her in the middle of Dad’s lap! Locking her in a dark closet (preferably in another house in another town in another country) would be a much better method of sensory deprivation, if you ask my opinion. I’m full of good ideas. I should write a manual!

I realize that there’s not much necessity for my own self-improvement in the New Year, but I plan to continue my tireless efforts to keep this house running smoothly. Also, I intend to make myself available, free of charge, to any fellow-blogger in need  of my guidance and expertise. It’s the least I can do to make the world a better place. I’m even thinking of starting my own Blog and calling it Around Roxie’s Place –  Maintaining Purrfection in an Impurrfect World

Now, for my avatar – See you in the New Year!

 

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83 thoughts on “Roxie’s Resolution

    1. Thanks. She’s been so good for the past 3 days, I had to let her have her own post for the New Year. I also wanted to try out the directions Melinda gave me to do links. It appears it worked and now I’ve learned something new for the New Year! Onward!

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    1. Lynn! Happy New Year! Roxie felt a little “Year-end Review” was in order. Glad you liked it. I’m going to your blog now and will check in later this week. Have you made a resolution to start organizing your book? I’m really looking forward to helping with that. See you in a few minutes…..Love, Clare

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    1. Don’t let those soulful eyes deceive you. Roxie can be quite the hellion when she decides she needs attention. And she would just love to be an only child! Sharing is not her strongpoint in spite of what she’d have you believe. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t have us laughing.

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      1. Ah! She’s gained another admirer. The whole “Other Cat” thing started when some of my blog followers commented after reading my bio,”You have two cats? And only one has a book? What about the other cat?” So, Roxie gets to put her 2 cents worth in every so often. Her personality is unique, to say the least!

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    1. When Charley and I married, he brought 2 cats with him and I had 2. They all lived to be over 20 and had distinct personalities just like Roxie and ZuZu. I can’t imagine a home without a cat or dog. Pets give so much to us. And ZuZu even inspired a book. (Much to Roxie’s chagrin!) Thanks for your good wishes. They are appreciated.

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  1. Whew, you’ve been busy this year, Roxie!! And putting up with Zuzu, you deserve a break too! I hope you have a great New Year, and I look forward to hearing more from you in 2016! Just remember you have a whole fan-club here all your own, Zuzu not included! 😉

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      1. Haha, yes Nelson definitely does not agree! Rocky just lets Nelson beat him up too, it’s kind of sad yet funny. There most definitely is always more room for love and slobbery kisses!! You can never get enough. 🙂 Love, Lydia

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  2. Life’s a bitch, Roxie but you write about it so eloquently and I am certain there is a place on most bookshelves for your hand-book on handling recalcitrant kitties. ZuZu is rather endearing to us human’s but you have a big place in my heart and the unfettered sympathy of The Bean as you struggle cat-fully through your Cinderella life 😉

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    1. Aptly put, Osyth! Roxie does tend to identify much too closely with Cinderella. And apparently, I am cast as the wicked stepmother. I never should have read those story tales to her when she was young! But even the most delusional characters within the covers of our books deserve some unfettered sympathy and so, we’ll let her continue in her quest for her own novel in which to star. Stranger things have happened! (Just taking a break from writing my mystery book and so glad to find you here safely on my comment page. How goes it?)

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      1. All is good chez moi …. I arrived back in MA last night for 3 months. I’m agog to read your mystery when it is published and can only reassure Roxie that I am certain she appeals to a braid audience and it is only a matter of time …..

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      2. You are here in New England! I know that you’ll be very busy, but please try to put aside some time for us to meet. Charley and I are becoming good cooks although I certainly have a lot to learn from Lynn and the other food bloggers. I made my first French meat pie last week and it was so good I made another today. Usually my initial attempts at anything are catastrophes and not the kind I can blame on Roxie!
        Your mother must have been so happy to have you with her for the holidays and Bean must be ecstatic to have you with him again. It is ten o’clock. Charley officiated at a track meet today in Providence, so I was alone. I have been working the entire day on this book (except for stopping to make a meat pie and checking on comments and other blogs). I spent the time primarily developing characters. And yet it is no where near what it should be.I need to take a break for awhile. I was so happy to see your comment and I have a few other places around the blog world to visit. Adieu!

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      3. I’m happy the Pie works well – what is life without pie but a hollow shadow of what it could be …. We passed a lovely Christmas and The Bean is finding her New England feet slowly (ice under foot necessitates). Your outline and development of text and characters must take the forefront – the process is different for all but space is essential so please take a step back whilst you let the creatives flow. I am certainly making time for meeting with you …. You are on my list and I always persist so I’m afraid there is no escape! Let’s get the New Year into its stride a few days and then plan. My email
        Address is on my avatar so do feel free to use it. Warmest thoughts and wishes for now 🙂 X

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    1. Oh, Robyn, I informed her that she has gained another fan for her growing club and she is now running around the couch gloating. I’m trying to get her into the time-out box, but I can’t catch her! It’s going to be a long night. Happy New Year!

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  3. Roxie! So good to hear from you!! I impatiently await your cat care manual. WE gotta get out some press releases!! As your number one fan, I’m politely requesting a signed 8×10 of you to post on my wall. That would make my New Year’s complete. What did I ever do before I met you?? Poor thing, you have to put up with so much! You should come to Florida for a little vay-cay!
    Love, Melinda

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    1. My dearest Melinda, The President and my Best Fan. I will definitely send that photo! I am developing that manual but it has taken a bit of a turn. The new Title is “Ridding Your House of Unwanted House Pets” (Ooops, I mean Pests) It snowed a bit yesterday. Florida is looking good!

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  4. Roxie, we have a new kitten in our household and I may need you to visit Colorado to help whip her into shape. She’s run our resident cat ragged in the 2 months she’s been here. Let me know if you have any tips, and keep up the good work.

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    1. Oh, your new kitty and Roxie would make a fine pair. But the poor resident cat might not survive the Dynamic Duo. Roxie has so much mischief she’d love to share with a protege! I think your poor resident cat should learn how to play a rousing game of “Hide and NOT Seek”. Roxie sends her deepest regards and loves any compliments you may want to send her way.

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      1. Hide and NOT seek is a genius game and I’ll try to encourage it. Roxie is so smart and pretty. Right now the favorite game is “ride the resident cat like a horsey” which the NEW cat loves. (Any wonder why her name is Adventure?)

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    1. Roxie is in her time-out box right now. She seems to have a vendetta against the fireplace angels. Another one bit the dust tonight. I don’t think there is one left that does not have her head or another body part re-glued on. And speaking of heads, Roxie came to us with hers already swelled, so no worries there! Thanks, Carolyn. Wishing you a peaceful and happy 2016….Clare

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      1. I can imagine how difficult it must be to write any mystery story – all the loose ends need to come together perfectly. I wish you luck with it, Clare. I know you’ll get there in the end.

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      2. I found A Berkshire Tale much easier to write but publishing it was quite an experience. It was in color, had over 19,000 words of text and more than 30 apped photos.This mystery is more difficult to write, as you noted, because you have to be careful with the clues and the red herrings and you can’t do any “Cheats”. But it’s in black and white and the photos I’m taking of the settings will also be black and white. So, not so expensive and easier to format. Thanks, Millie

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      3. You seem to be very knowledgeable regarding the route to self publishing, Clare. I sent both of my manuscripts to someone to format and I didn’t have all the photos that you have. I’m hoping to publish a book of flash fiction stories this year, but have no idea how to get the images into it. Your books do sound great and I’m sure your mystery will turn out brilliantly.

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      4. Millie, I wrote in Microsoft Word and added the photos into the text as I wrote. Not the easiest way to do it.
        The photos for the mystery’s settings will not be within the text itself but at the beginning of a chapter or on a separate page. I decided to self-publish after sending submissions to presses that would take them without an agent. (Here in the US, most publishing companies require an agent to submit proposals.) A young woman at one of the large children’s presses advised me to put all of my 10 books into 1 and self publish, thereby keeping the rights for when I’m ready to make them into 10 separate children’s books with an illustrator. This worked for me. But I did have to learn about the ins and outs of self publishing which has become much more common here than in other countries.And I did have to illustrate it myself with photos. Not what I really wanted to do. But when I make tons of money from my mystery book, I can finance those individual ZuZu books I’d envisioned when all of this began. Your friend, Clare

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      5. It’s the same with needing an agent here, too, Clare. I haven’t tried the traditional publishing route yet, but hope to do so once the third book of my trilogy is finished. Thank you for all the useful information about photos in the manuscripts. I won’t need to ‘have a go’ at it until I’ve done this trilogy though. I hope you do make your tons of money and your books are a huge success. And yes, you could publish your stories exactly as you’d envisioned them. How great would that be! 🙂 Your friend, Millie.

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      6. I’ve found that doing a trilogy for a first time writer isn’t the easiest way into publishing. I have to finish all three books before I can consider traditional publishing. If I were already a published author, agents and publishers would probably have more trust in me to finish the three. I’ve read this in various places, although I can’t speak from personal experience. So, I’m pushing on with the third book. Even then, I know it will be a struggle to find an agent to take me on – just too many writers all wanting agents nowadays. Still, I’m quite enjoying the self-publishing route at the moment. My print copies were just done by CreateSpace, whereas I gather yours were done through established publishers? As you say, making money isn’t easy the self publishing way – unless your books suddenly become hugely successful. There’s so much outlay, and advertising costs can be ridiculous. But, we have little other choice, so I just go with it at the moment. I’m earning steadily from my two books, but nowhere near enough to sing about. Enjoy your writing. Clare, and get all those strands of your mystery all nicely tied up. 🙂

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      7. Just put in two more clues! I did almost everything for a Berkshire Tale because the publishing company allowed that. They did the galleys and the printing and set up my ISBN #, Amazon, Barnes &Noble, Indie Authors Accounts and Print on Demand. They are connected to a very reputable bookstore (Northshire Books)up in the Berkshires and helped me through the process. But I have a local, Rhode Island press in mind for the mystery. Not sure how I’ll publish it in the end, though.

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      8. You seem to have a lot of options over there. Was the publishing company you used very expensive? It sounds as though it did a great job in getting your books out there. If you’re with so many different online retailers, I imagine you can’t be with Amazon Select (which offer authors 5 free days and countdown deals). I’m thinking of coming off it, so I can put my books with B&N etc. I’ve never heard of Indie Authors Accounts, so I’ll look that one up. How lucky you are to have your book in a local bookstore, too. All we have around here are big concerns like Waterstones.
        Thanks for sharing all this with me, Clare. It’s all food for thought for my own publishing process.
        Congratulations in adding two more clues! They’ll all fall into place before too long. 🙂

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      9. As I look around now, I feel they were a bit expensive but the service and the quality was better than most. They charge per page and you have to factor in color and covers and paper quality so when you purchase, say 400 books up front to sell yourself, they end up with half of the profits and when you place the book in a store, the store takes an additional 30-40% so it is work to try and make a profit. They do keep the book POD “print on demand” which can be renewed every year for about $70, so you don’t have to store tons of books in your home.I felt very comfortable with them, but did the editing and formatting and cover and proof myself. I saved a lot of money doing that. It’s the printing that will get you. As for the placement in the Independent book stores- I did that all myself. I emailed them for a meeting with the manager, and almost every single one placed it in their store. The 2 places that did not were The Norman Rockwell Museum and Edith Wharton’s The Mount up in the Berkshires. Everyone else was very welcoming. But it was a ton of work and follow-up. We are just starting to break even with A Berkshire Tale and can use those funds to place into producing another book. That is why I’ve decided to do the mystery next even though I’ve written 3 more ZuZu stories. I’ll make a profit much faster and can turn that over into producing another book unless some big publishing company discovers me and does it all for me!Feel free to ask any questions any time. I love to share.

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      10. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all this, Clare. It’s really appreciated, although I now feel guilty for asking. I’m so pleased that you’ve had a successful ride to publication. I’ll have to hunt around for independent book stores – but I know there aren’t any nearby. I had thought of approaching the museum in the town where King Alfred was born, too. (My books are about him.) You’ve certainly given me food for thought. If you’re breaking even with A Berkshire Tale, it must be selling well after all the initial outlay. Well done! Thank you again! 🙂

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      11. Once I break even, I will have profit and as long as it is out there, the more exposure it gets. Especially in the Berkshires. so, in the long run it should make a profit for many years. It’s the first year that was tough with all the marketing that had to be done. That’s a whole other conversation for us, Millie, if you decide to self-publish. I expect Last Train to Kingston will sell really well because of the local settings and the photos.I’m thinking like a marketer now. I’ve learned a lot with A Berkshire Tale. I think placing you books in museums and the area where King Alfred was born is really a good idea. Maybe you could have your book launch there?

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      12. My biggest ambition for my books is to have them traditionally published. Unfortunately that seems to be extremely difficult nowadays. There are so many authors swamping agents that the whole idea in daunting – and it must be dreadful to be ‘rejected’ over and over. I’m really not looking forward to the process. So I will be looking at self publication (other than eBooks on Amazon, I mean). For now, I really do need to put a spurt on with Book 3. A book launch in Wantage would be great…when and if! 🙂

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      13. That’s a wonderful and endearing thing to say, Clare. But, having a book launch means I need to get published first.That could be some time away…if ever. I’m not giving up hope and will keep working towards that goal. I’d love to see you in England! 🙂

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    1. Ah, but you do not have to live with The Queen! Today a friend was visiting and Roxie proceeded to jump onto the dining room table, lick herself (I won’t mention where, but it but me off my chicken salad sandwich), roll over on her back and then she began kicking my guest with her back paws.She bit me when I removed her. I was not smiling. I’ll check on the postage and maybe I could send her to visit with you for awhile???

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      1. I would like that but sadly, my whole family is allergic to cat dander. Is there a cat that does not have it, I wonder? I would be first in line to get one. 😀
        P.S. Tell Roxie that I am shocked she would be so rude to kick a guest and bite the hand that feeds her.
        Mollie

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  5. Mollie, I think there are bald cats. Really! Not very pretty, but no dander!
    Unfortunately, Roxie can tend to be a bit pig-headed and she is uncanny in her ability to rationalize why she does what she does. And she really doesn’t like to be deterred once she makes up her mind to do something. It makes for some testy moments around here. This week, however, she has been a total angel. Sweet, easygoing, cuddly. I’m afraid the real Roxie may have escaped and Charley got a doppelgänger so I wouldn’t be upset. Happy Valentine’s Day! Clare

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