Steep Learning Curve for a Scaredy-Cat

A scaredy me! Photo: Diana Parkhouse (Creative Commons Flickr)

A Scaredy-Cat in Deadline Mode. “No, no, make it stop!” (Photo: Diana Parkhouse, Creative Commons Flickr)

A cat has lots of lives. Even a Scaredy-Cat like me.

It’s been quite a year for this cat. I’ve used up a few lives. Good thing that by God’s grace I have so many!

It’s been a year for Mom, too. Other people have health issues, not us. We bounce back from anything, well… until now. This year we’ve struggled with the same kidney issues. Who’d a thought? It’s almost laughable.

Also a scaredy-cat (Domino), this time in Avoidance Mode (Photo: Ben Lyons)

A Scaredy-Cat in Avoidance Mode. “No worries, Mate, I’ve got this!”  (Photo: Ben Lyons)

I hit the skids in April, bouncing back by summer. Mom had her turn in November and again in January. These days she’s home, happily puttering toward better health.

Now it’s my turn to swing on the health trapeze. Another (arthroscopic) kidney surgery is set for Tuesday, after rounds of antibiotic and antifungal medication. Sigh. Who knew something so small would make me feel so blah?

Anyway, here I am, being a Scaredy-Cat. Not about the surgery. It’s a minimally invasive day surgery, the same thing I’ve had three times before. I don’t even bother with the pain meds.

Here is the Scaredy-Cat in Teacher Mode. I am Queen, defy me at your peril! (Photo: Ben Lyons)

And here’s the Scaredy-Cat in Despot Teacher Mode. “I am Queen.”(Photo: Ben Lyons)

No, it’s the book thing. Not going under anesthesia with the novel unfinished, not again. So after school tomorrow I’m loading the manuscript. The book won’t be released until the print cover art is finalized, but the interior is done. Finally, yay.

I guess you could say that  I’ve been “puttering toward publication.” Puttering, now that’s an unusual “cat” concept. Producing a book is more like a marathon.

Do cats run marathons? Nope. We sprint madly, and then we lie around.

Ha, do cats teach school? Yes, but only in Despot Mode. (“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.”) Then we come home and lie around.

When the book is released, I’ll let you know. Around here there will be lots of purring. And teaching school. And then lying around. Until April’s Camp NaNo, when it will be time to start working on the next novel.

UPDATE: Another infection, another round of antibiotics. The good news is that Tuesday’s surgery is set to happen during spring break. My poor marked-up calendar. 🙂

Laura Hile (1)


20 thoughts on “Steep Learning Curve for a Scaredy-Cat

  1. childofaslan

    So, I love everything about this post (except for your medical woes–for real). The cats and their captions are just perfection! (Why yes, dear, despot-mode *does* exist and it is very, very real if you pet me in the wrong spot.) And the sprint-and-sleep, sprint-and-sleep method is precisely right. And are there any sweeter words than “but the interior is done”?! I think not (unless it’s “the whole thing is finished and on sale!”). 🙂 Congratulations! Hit that button! And know that prayers are ascending for both the book and the procedure.

    P.S. Tell Ben he takes great kitty pics, and consider having him do your next batch of author photos. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Hile

      Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, Roslynn. At school we have begun the much-loved Drama Club (last two quarters of the school year), and the off-stage drama brings out the despot in me, oh yes. I hiss a lot, and sometimes the claws come out, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Laura Hile

          Hon, we are READY for spring break, are we not? My students are talking a blue streak and can’t seem to keep still. It’s like Spring Fever on steroids! Hissing and claws AND fangs, oh my.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Antonia Malvino

    Too funny. I loved the roller coaster ride of this from funny to deep as life itself. You’ve had quite the year. Love the comment about cats sprint and then lie about. Love the comment, too, about puttering towards health. The tempo of this piece makes me feel like I just watched a bunch of cats for the day, observing all their movements. Puttering along we do get there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Hile

      As usual, you’ve nailed it. My signature tempo seems to be comic and smiling, with deep undercurrents.

      Wish I could just write funny.
      Wish I could just write serious.

      Must be that cat thing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Crystal Thieringer

    I thought of you this morning as Sydney (one of our cats) was doing her Tigger routine, bouncing from my bladder to my husband’s. I am amazed at how precise her aim is when she has such a target in mind as she encourages us to “Get up and get food, already!” I’m relatively certain it could be an effective, though as yet untried treatment for blasting those stones. Take care, brave cat. Take special care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. whitney

    Laura, You set the bar pretty high for a scaredy-cat. Congratulations on the book. Most days I feel like I’m the puttering towards something just out of reach and end up just “cat”erwauling in frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Hile Post author

      Life is a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other journey, right? “My times are in Thy hand,” I remind myself, especially when it comes to this book. I do what I can, when I can, but God is in charge of the release date–ha, and even of the timing of the marketing!

      It sounds impressive to have finished and formatted a manuscript, but it’s been almost three years. Many small steps in getting to this point. Moreover, I am where I am after years of learning, raising a family, and work as a teacher. I have plenty of “cat”erwauling times, especially after a wacky day in the classroom. Writing calls for emotional energy, and often there’s not much of that left! 🙂


  5. Carryl R

    I love this post, health issues notwithstanding. I love the pacing, the ebb and flow from funny to contemplative and back again. I love the kitty-pics (Does any creature do “despot” better than a cat?) Congratulations on the book and praying for an uneventful procedure. Thank you so much for sharing this!



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