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1 July 2011


But it's a hard lesson to learn. We live in a rural lane occupied by a number of semi-feral cats and every year a litter or two arrive at my door. Luckily I've managed to find all of the kittens - around 10 in all - homes with lovely cat-loving people. However, some litters have been whisked away by the wretched tomcats wanting to have their 'conjugal rights' back - they come in the middle of the night and carry the babies to the woods where they can't be found. Two large guards in the form of white Italian sheepdog have almost put paid to that. 
But this time one wee kitten just lost the will to live. She was a runt, and her two siblings were growing at double the weight she was. We came back one day to find her dead and the mother still cleaning her - strange. But I felt so awful, as if it was something I'd done,  even though I knew it isn't in my gift to give and take life.

As writers though, we can give life to characters (and take it away) and that can be a tricky time too. Nature has no part to play in our creation so we can't blame her, and often I find myself killing off characters with gay abandon. I must have a mean streak somewhere, but most of the time my fellow writers at Writers Abroad will point out the error of my ways and insist that someone survives! We nurture, support and sometimes love and hate our characters with equal measure so no wonder we feel some sort of parental responsibility. Still, I can cope with my fictional creations far easier that I found being a new parent. 

I couldn't find a specific quote for July, but came across this one which seemed to sum things up...

 People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. 
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

~Mother Theresa~

Don't Think Just Write


Sarah Pearson said...

Poor cat. I know it's nature's way, but it still hurts.

I love the idea that you can happily kill off your characters willy-nilly, so many writers anguish over it :)

Louise Charles said...

Hi Sarah, yes it's hard to accept but I'm developing a thick skin, slowly. I worry that I don't care about my characters and that's why I kill them off so easily! :(

Anonymous said...

You're a hard woman! I feel sorry for your poor characters. I quite like making horrid things happen to mine, too. One know it's not real, I suppose.

I like the Mother Teresa quote; it reminds me of Kipling's 'If'.

Diana and "Guido" said...

You are nominated for 7-links. See our last post.

Diana and "Guido" said...

You are nominated for 7-links. See our last post.

Louise Charles said...

Thank you Diana and Guido, now I will have to put my thinking hat on... I'm honoured :)