Exploring the dark side of humanity to find the light.

abnormally calm

Posted by admin | June 8, 2019

Jynx hates having his toes trimmed. Even though he has never had a toe overly cut back, he kicks and screams at some point during it. Usually, I end up with scratches and sometimes even blood is drawn. He is not a happy kitty.

The other day, I grabbed him to start trimming his nails. I laid him upside down and started going at it. My wife was drawn by the noise; not the noise of the cat who was purring, but the noise of the trimmer going snip. She was amazed that he wasn’t throwing a fit and she asked what was different. To answer, let me back up a bit.

For the last several years, to help him calm down and be happy with me again after a trimming, I would give Jynx a treat. It got to the point, that I would get out the bag of treats when I got out the clippers. He knows he is going to get treats soon and all he has to do is let me do this one thing. I’ve also been giving him more treats the better he does.

Now back to the other day. I hadn’t given his medicine to him, yet. So, I did that before starting the trimming. He gets the pill in a pill pocket, so he thinks this is another treat. From his point of view, he just got one treat and I have a whole bag of treats for him for when he is done with the trimming. He was on his best behavior those few minutes, I worked. He didn’t even kick out of my grasp and he most certainly didn’t scratch or scream. He got a ton of treats after that.

A little over five years ago, I hit my 100th rejection from agents on Alien Fear. I was also just starting to get my first rejections for Gun Smuggler’s Tale. This probably would have driven other people absolutely mad. I had a plan, though.

I had created several short stories over the years. One stood out to me and I rewrote it over and over until it was just right. I entered my short stories in contests and submitted them for inclusion in anthologies and magazines. I didn’t get any traction, but I wasn’t trying nearly as hard as I was for getting an agent for Alien Fear. That was my number one goal. I was trying to get my short stories to draw attention to my novels. After reading an article about authors who would self-publish something and then that would interest agents, I decided to take the stories I currently had, add more to get a dozen, and self-publish them all in my own anthology. It didn’t hurt that I had a good cover, but the idea took off. Plus, I had fun putting together the collection, so I decided to do another one. So, this was my plan.

Then the market turned on me. Agents quit asking me for additional materials when I queried them. Hell, they were rejecting me at an even higher rate. No matter how much I told them about my success with my first short story collection, agents weren’t interested. And still, I remained calm.

My plans evolved. They continued to evolve. If I ran into a roadblock, I just evolved the plan some more. Both Alien Fear and Gun Smuggler’s Tale are now published.

Jynx gets a reward for being good. Seeing my books published is a reward all in itself! All we’ve got to do is remain calm.


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