The Suckitude of Grief and Soggy Toast

It’s been a very ‘interesting’ two weeks-ish. We have Widdercat’s ashes back, (they’re sitting on our altar) and, in the mysterious ways that cats have, although she’s not physically with us anymore, (unless you count the ashes, which is interestingly morbid) the big hole she left in our lives is lessened.

On the other hand, grief sucks. It turns me inside out, gives me headaches when I have big sobbing crys. I feel as though I’m the only one in the entire cosmos who’s feeling this bad. (seriously, the rest of the world ought not to be allowed to just continue turning and have the temerity to look exactly the same when I do eventually surface)

On occasions, it’s also funny.

I don’t know if the ‘baby brain’ of pregnant women and new mothers is a myth, but I can personally attest that the ‘grief brain’ is alive and well. Take breakfast the other day.

I had just turned the dishwasher on. It’s one that connected to the kitchen sink hot water tap. I then set about preparing my breakfast of eggs on toast, one of my comfort foods. We’d recently retired our old frying pan and bought a shiny new ceramic one that was just for the frying of eggs. It takes some time getting used to the whims of new appliances, and after a few not-so-dazzling efforts on previous mornings I was determined this time my eggs would be perfect.

The scene is set. The play begins …

I plop the bread (Mrs Widder’s 1-day-old bread, ‘cos it’s a mortal crime to toast fresh bread the day it’s baked) into the toaster and prepare my plate. Usually I run a bit of hot water over it to warm it up, (there’s nothing worse that your eggs-n-toast cooling too fast on a cold plate) but of course the hot water tap is currently occupied.

There is still some hot water in the kettle from my tea so I pour a bit onto my plate and set it to one side while I cook my eggs in our shiny new frying pan. I sense that this time they’re going to be perfect, and I’m right.

The toast pops up … I throw it on the breadboard … turn the heat off under my eggs … butter the toast and quickly throw it onto my plate before my eggs get too hard …

… with frying pan and eggflip in hand I turn to deposit the eggs on the toast when I realise …


By the time I toast some more bread my perfect eggs are somewhat past their former glory.


I told this story, along with other non-funny stories of my journey through my grief, (they did ask first. I was merely being obliging) to a not-quite-an-acquaintance who then commented with the best of intentions that they didn’t really get why I was so upset, after all she was just a cat.

This person is still alive only because it was a public place and I couldn’t immediately think of anywhere to hide the body.

I’m willing to bet if they had an animal in their lives at all, they’d consider themselves to be ‘owners’ of a ‘pet’ rather than sharing their life with companion of a different species.

However, the incident made me realise what a wonderful genre Speculative Fiction (SF, Fantasy, Paranormal, etc) is, and how glad I am it’s my genre of choice for the writing and reading of. I think that more than any other genre, it has raised the awareness of other species as being more than just ‘pets’.


In among all of the turmoil of these last weeks we did have a peek at our dandelion wine. I’ll tell you all about that in my next post.

The Next Big Thing

Widderlake WillowTree

Widderlake WillowTree

Many thanks to Jennifer, of ‘Cosmic Driftwood’ fame,  and her post ‘The Next Big Thing, – 8 degrees F Style,  wherein she picks me to be ‘it’!

This is how it’s supposed to work …

1 – Thank and link to the person who picked me – Done

2 – Pick someone to be the next ‘it’ – There are quite a few folk who read my blog that I know have a Next Big Thing on their horizons, so, you’re all ‘it’.

3 – Answer these questions:

What is the working title of your new project? Where do your ideas come from? What genre do you write? Cat-person or dog-person? What’s a one-word description of yourself? Will your work be self-published or traditionally published? How long does it take you to write a first draft? Whose work would you compare yours within your genre? Who are your favourite writers? What else might pique a readers interest?

Done? – Not so much.

In fact not gonna do it at all. Well … sort’a, kind’a, because I have to preface it a bit, ramble on, take a few steps sideways, and doh-see-doh along another pathway.

I’m outlining another novel. A big, challenging stretch-Widder-as-a-writer novel, that, no matter how hard I try, refuses to be shoehorned into a SF genre. (in this case, SF stands for Speculative Fiction)  I could add gratuitous SF but that would be cheating.

It’s not going to be a SF novel.

This got me to thinking about branding.# How I brand myself as a Writer, and how I’ve branded this blog.

That subtitle, up there, just underneath the name of my blog, is my brand.

“Writing Lesbian Science Fiction and Fantasy since the 20th Century”.

Which translated, means; I am a Lesbian. I am a Writer. I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and I’ve been doing it for quite a while.

I’ve ambled along those lines with my posts as well. Occasionally writing about something I’m passionate about, (ranting) or what’s happening in my life, my writing, my world, and I’ve brought almost everything back to either writing or SF stuff.

These things won’t change, but I’m about to add another layer to what I post. Not so much changing direction, more like shifting the goalposts, my brand, a little.

What that layer is, I’m not exactly sure. It’ll evolve as I go along. These things usually do.

With this new novel, (working title: ‘Dedication Page’) I’m officially branching out into other genres … which caused me to have long internal, and external, conversations about using ‘Widdershins’ as my nom-de-voyage for these alternate adventures … but that’s another story.

As for those questions at the beginning of this post? I’ll answer the one that a pair of intensely staring yellow eyes is strongly advising me to answer … cat personcatpersoncatperson!

P.S. I’m going to do a little interior decorating too!


“My name became a brand, and I’d love to say that was the plan from the start. but the only plan was to keep writing books. And I’ve stuck to that ever since”John Grisham, author, lawyer, politician


# Excellent post about branding at ‘The Creative Penn’: Branding for Writers: An Essential Step to Building Your Author Platform

# And the lighter side of branding from Holly Robinson in HuffPost Canada