Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You Writing What You Love?

Two reasons for the cute kitty picture today.

1) Mama Kitty a.k.a. Katie had her litter of kittens this morning. Yes, yes, I am a bad pet owner, considering she just had a littler seven months ago. Unfortunately, by the time she'd weaned the kittens and was able to get fixed, my hubby landed in the hospital. And we all know how that ended up! Since we had no extra money for getting Katie fixed, we just tried to keep her in the house. She snuck out a few times, though, and we couldn't catch her. The result? More kitties. Sigh...

(Rant: why do vets charge so much for spaying and neutering? They want to control the pet population, but it is so darn expensive to get the animals fixed that a lot of people can't afford it, which equals unwanted animals! I just got Slick (the male cat from the last litter) fixed and it cost a little over $100. That's not chump change!)

Well, we're taking care of the problem as soon as these new kittens are weaned (even if I have to borrow the money!). We woke up this morning at 5:40 a.m. to their little mews and so far she has had three. Last time she went a whole 24 hours after giving birth to one, so I was surprised that we had three already. I had to go to work, so I'm hopeful she'll have had them all by the time I get home. I've already got a home for one of them, and will make sure the others have good homes, too. Then it is off to the vet for Miss Katie!

2) Ok, second reason for the cute kitty picture. This little guy looks like he is really into what he's writing. Are you?

If you're a writer, are you writing what you love? If you'll recall a few days ago, I posted about my determination to write what I love and make a living writing what I love.

I haven't changed my stance. And strangely enough, the ideas for my new novel have been coming fast and furious. I get ideas on the treadmill and doing the dishes and trying to fall asleep at night. Strange, considering the last novel (the Italian novel) was like pulling teeth to get everything figured out. Make of that what you will, but I believe it was God's little way of telling me, "Write this one later. You're not ready for it yet." So it's been put to the back burner.

Now, your turn. Are you writing what you love? Are you excited to sit down and get to work, or are you trying to tailor your novel to what's selling? And here's another question. If you're not writing what you love, is it difficult for you to write or can you even notice the difference?


  1. Congrats on your kittens!

    And yes, I'm lucky enough to be writing what I love, especially now with novel number four. I think, with confidence, comes the natural desire to follow your heart vs. the industry's needs.
    Good luck with your writing!

  2. Ooooh, kittens!

    Sadly I haven't written much this year (the mom thing, you know), but I'm hoping to get back to it in 2008. And fortunately for me, what I like to write is still marketable and hopefully will still be by the time I get the book done.

  3. I've never had to pay more than 35 dollars to get any of mine spayed, and I live in New York! Your vet is ripping you off.

    In fact, when I got the twins spayed, they gave me a two-for-one deal -- both cats for $35.

    Both The Humane Society and the clinic at Bide-A-Wee here have the best vets around, are reasonably priced, and do great spaying/neutering.

    Plus, most shelters now include the spay/neuter in the adoption fee.

    Best wishes to your new babies.

  4. We have to pay an arm and a leg for spaying and neutering too. Spaying is more. I think ours were $130 a cat. The dog was $180. You're absolutely right. The service should be a lot more affordable. It'd be a no-brainier for people then.

    And yes, writing what I love. I couldn't do it any other way. I'm glad you are too!

  5. That's the only way you should be writing! Keep the dream alive!

  6. Congratulations on the new additions to the family. I hope mother and kits are doing very well.

    It looks as though the cost is roughly the same. I had to pay £50 to get Holly done, but ended up paying an extra £5 because she was pregnant - I wish they'd told me, I would have waited until she'd had them as I had home for all of them - so that's around $100 too. It is pricey, though.

    Over here the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) will do the ops for free or for a donation if you can prove you're on a low income or are on any kind of benefit.

  7. Oh, new kitty pics soon I hope!

    I'm writing what I love right now...except for the times it frustrates me to distraction ;)

  8. I am writing what I love, baby!!


    Whether anyone else does or not, is a different story ;)

  9. Melissa, congratulations on the kitties! Kitten season is one of the highlights of my year -- I love it.

    I hope you don't mind, but as a veterinarian, I feel I have to address what someone said about you getting "ripped off."

    Places that charge $35 per spay are either subsidized (ie, you're not paying the true cost of the procedure -- like at some Humane Societies) or they're taking shortcuts at the animal's expense.
    $35 doesn't even cover my costs for performing a cat spay. On the other hand, a comparable surgery for a person generally costs $5000!

    All the folks I knew in college who wanted to make "real money" left pre-vet and went into pre-med. Same amount of education at the same cost...but MDs make on average 3 to 4x what we do. I'm not complaining. I love my job, my patients and my clients, and I'd choose it again in a heartbeat. All I'm saying is, if veterinarians wanted to get rich, we'd have picked another profession.

    As other folks mentioned, many communities have organizations that will provide financial help to pet owners who need it for spaying/neutering. Almost every veterinarian I know works with at least one organization like this.

    Congrats again on the babies! I hand-raised an abandoned newborn kitty six years ago, and I was just cooing over her pics again the other day.

  10. Christine - Thanks so much for chiming in. :-) I called to a few different vets here in town and our vet was the cheapest. I think it was $70 for the procedure plus $35 for the office visit. I know some of them that I called were well over that and included an overnight stay for observation. I didn't think that was necessary, but since this is the first time I've owned a cat, I have no idea...

  11. Melissa -- We send them home the same day. Some vets feel differently, but I believe it's less stressful for the pet to be at home than at the veterinary hospital, plus I like that the owner can keep on eye on them. (We don't have overnight staff at our place).

    By the way, I just finished "Dream When You're Feeling Blue" by Elizabeth Berg. WWII homefront novel about 3 sisters, 2 of whom have sweethearts in the war. It was OK, but I felt like it just skimmed the surface of the period. You know, the usual suspects -- seamed stockings, sugar rationing, radio shows -- without really digging deep. Have you read it?

  12. Christine - Yes, I have! In fact, I think I blogged about it a month or so ago. I was very disappointed by the ending. You can read my thoughts here (just so I don't take up too much space in the comments section!):

  13. I do notice a difference when I don't write something I love. Well, scratch that, because 'love' might mean something different. I love to write a great essay or letter, or book...they aren't all things I WANT to write necessarily, but there's something about doing a job well.

    Having said that, if I'm in love with an idea, it comes easier, but only perhaps because I'm enamored of the idea. Want vs. need.

    And now that I've overanalyzed your questions... :)

  14. Marty - You're right. I actually love to write little essays, but don't know that I want to write them. More often than not, they're a "have to" sometimes.

  15. When I have time to write, I'm writing what I love. Though not always loving what I'm writing *g*.

    Congrats on the new kittens! I do hope you get mamma fixed before she can escape again!

    I too have no idea why vets charge so much for spaying/neutering. At least when we adopted C/C, we paid $10 (included in the adoption costs) and received a cert from the Humane Society for Cleo to be spayed. But that doesn't help if the animal is a stray - with our other two, we paid for it ourselves, and as students, that wasn't easy either.

    Hope you can find homes for all those little ones!! If we lived closer.....


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