Sunday, November 7, 2010
You see, when I told her how tough this past year has been for the LGBTQ community, all the homophobic bullying and the senseless teen suicides the bullying has caused, she got very angry and wanted to help.
For the next week: Monday the 8th of November thru Monday the 15th of November, Triangle Tara will be available for sale for $100 bucks - with all proceeds from the week going to The Trevor Project. Triangle Tara and I will include a personal note to everyone who participates in the project and I will also sign and personalize Triangle Tara, too!
After the first week, Triangle Tara will be available for $125 for the rest of November and December with 50% of the proceeds going to The Trevor Project.
Triangle Tara knows that times are hard and she wants to make sure everyone has a chance to help, so if you donate $10 or more to The Trevor Project and send your receipt to email@example.com, your name will be entered into a drawing for one of three special prizes!
All the info for Tara 4 Charity is right here!*
The Trevor Project is working hard to make sure that every LGBTQ teen in crisis gets the help and support they need. Help Tara help Trevor make this holiday season safe and bullying free!
*Special thanks to Theresa Grammer and Xita and the Kitten Board (Theresa did the beautiful web design work) for helping to get this event off the ground!
Monday, October 18, 2010
I will be reading from the book, so bring your kids.
Oh, and I almost forgot: there will be Halloween candy for all!
October 22nd, 2010
2339 Fair Oaks Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95825
with Sina Grace
October 23rd, 2010
400 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
with Sina Grace
October 24th, 2010
3251 20th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132
with Sina Grace
Thursday, September 2, 2010
So I had a funny little idea, one that I thought I would share with you. Sometimes you have epiphanies while driving in the car – usually they have more to do with what you want to make for dinner or how much time you really spend washing clothes (a lot more time than you think!), but this epiphany concerns children's books: chiefly my new one, Among The Ghosts.
I want to do an Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign via twitter. What? A postcard campaign, you say? Whatever might that be?
Well, folks, today is your lucky day because I am going to explain exactly what I mean.
For every person who retweets a particular tweet (one that I am going to tweet today at 3pm pacific time and has the hashtag #AmongTheGhosts), I will mail you a postcard. It will have something funny, silly or weird written on it and it will be addressed to you personally, no matter where you live.
I will be checking for your retweets and then I will tweet you to email me your info (name and address) at a special email address.
Now I have explained the twitter Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign and it's your job to get you and your friends to join in the fun. The Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign will last from 9/2/10 through 9/6 - he cut off is midnight pacific standard time on 9/6.
So be prepared for some nutty Amber Benson goodness. I've always wanted to do something crazy with postcards and today is that opportunity. Help me get the word out about Among The Ghosts - let's make it a best seller!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I will be schilling my new middle grade book, AMONG THE GHOSTS, at a local bookstore near you (well, some of you - as I am hitting SOME local bookstores, not ALL local bookstores, which means some of you might get left out of the loop and for this I humbly apologize).
Well, here goes.
MY TOUR SCHEDULE aka The Dishwater Blonde Unambition Tour:
Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Barnes and Noble (Encino Chapter)
16461 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
w/illustrator Sina Grace
Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302
San Diego, California 92111
w/illustrator Sina Grace
FYI: Mysterious Galaxy is accepting online orders for this
signing - just specify in the "order comments" box
that you would like your book signed and/or
personalized by me and Sina!
Venue and Time TBA
Sunday, September 26th, 2010
West Hollywood Book Fair
West Hollywood Park
647 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
3512 W. Magnolia
Burbank, CA 91505
w/Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski
FYI: Dark Delicacies is accepting online orders for this
signing - just specify in the "order comments" box
that you would like your book signed and/or
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
Orange County Children's Book Fair
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA
w/illustrator Sina Grace
Sunday, October 10th, 2010
New York, NY
Venue and Time TBA
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
45 Layfayette Street
Salem, MA 01970
w/ Christopher Golden and Paul G. Tremblay
October 15-17, 2010
The New England Comic Con
Hynes Convention Center
with Christopher Golden
Now add this into the mix:
DRONES will be screening at:
Sept 23rd - 30th
Adam Busch and I will be in attendance
and I will have a book signing
during this trip
DRONES will also be
screening at a film festival
in Germany in Sept.
with venues and times
TBA soon! Adam and I
may be there, too.
Below is a preview chapter (Chapter One) from AMONG THE GHOSTS. Hope you enjoy!
Ants and Sweaters
Thomas spied the ants as he waited by the back door to the kitchen. At first he ignored their merry procession, his mind overwhelmed with thoughts of the rich, buttery apple pie that he knew was baking in the oven only a few feet from where he was standing. Once or twice he let his eyes flick away from the window in the kitchen door in order to mark the ants' progression, but it was only after he saw Mrs. Marble pull the golden-crusted beauty from the oven that he gave the ants a real looking at.
From what Thomas could tell, it seemed like the ants were on their way home from a military reconnaissance mission in the kitchen. They marched single file down the concrete steps that led to the kitchen door, across the sidewalk, and into the grass. They each carried a small piece of white fluff on their backs, which to Thomas made them all look like they were wearing little angora sweaters. A grin splitting his face at the thought of ants in knitted sweaters, he decided that the white stuff was definitely not angora, but something edible that the ants had stolen from Mrs. Marble's kitchen.
Thomas didn't like anyone stealing from Mrs. Marble—even the ants. Mrs. Marble was the nicest lady in the whole world as far as Thomas was concerned, besides which she baked some of the best pies this side of the Mason-Dixon Line… or at least, that's what everyone said after they'd sampled one of her delicious desserts.
Feeling like a police detective in search of a crime—a policeman was something Thomas had always wanted to be when he grew up, after being a chef, of course—he decided to follow the ants and see where they were going. He pushed his brown newsboy cap out of his eyes and followed the thieving insects across the school grounds, past the archery field, and back over to the burned-out shell of the West Wing.
There had been a fire in the West Wing a number of years before, and now most people kept away from the building. Thomas thought those people were silly for being scared of an old, burned-out building, but he guessed that anyone was allowed to feel any way they wanted to about stuff that scared them. Though personally he believed that just because something didn't look perfect anymore, didn't mean you had to be scared of it. Sometimes a pie didn't come out looking perfect, but that didn't mean you threw it away—misshapen pie tasted just as good as any other kind of pie, thank you very much!
On the steps that led into the main entrance of the West Wing, Thomas paused to tip his cap to a girl who was sitting on the topmost step. She had her nose pressed firmly into a book, but she looked up and gave him a quick grin as he passed her by. Thomas spent most of his time in the kitchen, which was where he'd worked… before, but because of this, he didn't really know the other kids at the school very well. He wasn't sure what this particular girl's name was, but he thought it began with the letter N—although he couldn't really be sure. He was much better at remembering recipes than names.
Before the grin had even left her face, the girl was back into her book. Thomas saw that she didn't even notice the ants that were marching up the steps beside her. If he'd been the one sitting by an army of ants, he'd sure have noticed them.
Thomas went through the door that led into the interior of the building, his eyes trained on the ants' progress. Instantly he saw that the line of ants was making its way across the room before disappearing down into a small hole that sat right underneath the hearth of a large brick fireplace. Thomas got as close to the hole as he could, putting his eyeball right up to it, but it was so dark that he really couldn't see where the ants were going at all.
Suddenly Thomas felt his whole body go stiff as a strange, prickly sensation swept across him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up at attention. Thomas hadn't felt anything like this in so long that at first he almost didn't recognize what it was.
It was only when his teeth started to chatter that he realized what was happening to him. For the first time in more than eighty years, Thomas was cold. He looked up from where he was crouching by the base of the fireplace, and his eyes went wide when he saw what was waiting for him.
He opened his mouth to shout, but only a deep gurgle of fear popped out. It filled the empty room like the hollow sound of the last piece of candy rattling around inside a trick-or-treater's Halloween grab bag.
When the girl with the book came back inside from her perch on the stairs, the room was empty. She scratched a bug bite on her arm and looked around curiously. She was pretty sure that she'd seen the boy from the kitchen come in here only a few minutes before.
She wondered where he'd gone.
© 2010 Amber Benson
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I have never said Scott Prendergast is guilty of plagiarism. I haven't read the script. I'm just saying the concept is eerily similar.
When a DRONES fan forwarded me the link to the SyFy Press Release, you can imagine my reaction.
If the press release had read, Human Relations is: "NCIS" meets "Men in Black" then I would've been a little curious, but with the tone being so different, I wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. But when you take "The Office", a very specific kind of comedy, and mash it up with "Men in Black", well, you have a very specific kind of tone...the exact same kind of tone as DRONES, or at least, that's what Sci-fi Wire thought. In fact, they called DRONES: "The Office" meets 'The Day The Earth Stood Still".
Even the title 'Human Relations' is similar to one of the tag lines we use in the film: "Omnilink, #1 In Human Capital". It's the same joke.
It really appeared as if our idea and its very specific tone had been co-opted by the same network that had premiered our trailer six months earlier.
Now, Scott Prendergast has come up with a time line for the development of his project, but after looking at it, I have to say that there are a lot of strange 'coincidences' in it, too.
Scott says, "My show has been in development since August of 2008..."
Which is kind of odd, seeing as the DRONES script was written in May of 2008 – two months before Scott started writing his script for Human Relations. DRONES was out in the world by August of 2008, available for any curious mind in Hollywood to read and/or take advantage of.
Scott says. "It was not developed at Syfy -- we brought it to them independently in January of 2010."
Which is another strange date.
Our trailer premiered on the SyFy Network's website in January of 2010.
Look, I don't think, nor did I say, Scott Prendergast 'ripped me off'. Heck, I didn't write the script, so it's not literally possible for him to have 'ripped me off' of anything.
I can just ask you to look at the two synopses - mine was culled from our treatment, a few lines come directly from the movie, (just check out the trailer to see our main character, Brian, talking about blowing up the planet), from reviews (right here you can check out: Brian, the regular office worker, who discovers the people he works with are aliens...) and from SyFy directly (they coined the phrase "The Office" meets "The Day The Earth Stood Still", not me) and you make the call. Scott accused us of making up what was in our synopsis. That is inaccurate, it's all their online for you to go and see. Just follow the links. They've all be online since January 2010.
It's not just me who sees the similarities...SyFy pointed it out in black and white.
We've never seen the Human Relations script and they've only released three lines about the show, all of which mirror lines from the synopsis of DRONES at Sci-Fi Wire or from the trailer of DRONES, itself. Until someone releases more information about the differences in these projects, we will continue to draw similarities.
Scott Prendergast throws dates and timelines at us, but he never addresses the real question. How are these two projects different? All he has to do is answer that question and we can lay the issue to rest.
If the two projects are totally different, then great and good luck to Scott Prendergast in the future.
Addendum: Scott says he wrote his script in 1995, but in this interview he purports to be writing his tv pilot in May of 2009.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
"The Office meets Men In Black in this project featuring an office Temp who slowly discovers that his off-kilter and odd-ball bosses at the strange hi-tech "ad agency" where he works are really aliens working on plan to destroy the Earth."
That's the plot summary from SyFy.
"The Office meets The Day The Earth Stood Still...is about a guy who works in an office with a kooky, off-kilter boss/co-workers, who then discovers that he's really working with aliens who are plotting to blow-up the Earth."
Crazy, huh? And if there's as much PowerPoint action in Human Relations as there is in Drones...well, that would just be an amazing cowinky-dink! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
The whole thing kinda sucks for Adam and I because we poured two and half years of our life (and a little blood and gray matter, too) into Drones. But I feel exceedingly bad for our writers, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, because this was their baby, ripped from their own brains and transplanted onto celluloid––and now they get to see someone else take their idea and run with it. Not that I'm saying anyone stole their idea – I'm just postulating a possibility, a conspiracy theory conjecture, if you will. I don't know the guys writing/producing HUMAN RELATIONS and I have not read the script, so I can't say there is any wrong doing. I just think it's a bit...coincidental.
So, here's what I want: I want peeps to check out DRONES when it comes out in Theaters/on DVD in March 2011 from Phase Four Films. Support real indie/alien film-making.
And if SyFy wants, they can air Drones on their channel whenever they want. It's theirs.
Then you can be the judge.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I Count The Cards, The Cards Don’t Count Me
“The cards. The cards. It’s always about the cards.”
But they were wrong. It wasn’t the cards. Not by a long shot. The cards were only a conduit. They helped you see, but they didn’t divine. The divining rod was you and if you had the all-seeing eye inside, well then, there was nothing a silly card could tell you that you didn’t already know deep down in the gushy, old middle of yourself.
I had watched her work in the park before, on a vivid crimson shawl spread out on the ground so the stickers in the grass didn’t puncture the underside of her tan ankles. She looked like a Gypsy, or someone who wanted you to think they were a Gypsy. Long black hair tied up in a loose ponytail at the back of her head, golden-brown eyes that looked like breakfast mush, a sensuous curve of a mouth, heavy bosoms beneath a cream peasant blouse and long, black skirt. Her eyebrows were harsh, like fuzzy-brown rectangles above her eyes. Her nose sloped and curved and bent at an odd angle making her ugly. Her teeth were pale like stone beneath her sensuous lips.
She laid the cards out in front of her, one by one, not using the whole deck. I tried to count them as she worked, but she moved too fast, laying them down then quickly scooping them back up before returning to the deck and repeating. Usually she was calm, taking her time. Sometimes she formed patterns, pictures even, with her cards. Once I’d seen her lay them out like a gallows––but only once. It was for an old man who’d squatted down beside the scarf as she’d worked. When she was done he’d seemed satisfied with his reading and had thrown down a hundred dollar bill before leaving, never to be seen again.
But today was an anti-thesis day.
An opposite day.
Today I would read the cards to see what they had to say.
I sat on a nearby bench, the cold November air biting into the crook of my neck, cuddling my ears and ruffling my hair. I felt its kiss on my scalp and shivered––but not once did I take my eyes off the deck. I may not have been able to count the cards, but I wasn’t about to let them count me. As long as I had my eyes on them, I was safe. Because I knew in my mushy center what was going to happen––just like the cards did.
The Gypsy threw herself forward and gathered up all the cards, conforming them into a neat pile in her hands. The nails were chipped, no polish, I noticed arbitrarily. Suddenly, she sat up, her back ramrod straight like a cat sensing something on the air, its whiskers quivering. She looked around, her eyes darting like bees, but never once alighting on me for some strange reason. Finally, she pulled a red, hand-woven scarf from her bag and wrapped it tightly around her neck as if that would ward away the cold.
She shook as she threw down another configuration of cards.
I guess she was hoping for a better outcome.
Sensing the time was nigh I sat up from my slouch and stood, stretching. I covertly checked to make sure no one was around, that we were alone in the park––we were––then I lazily made my way down the path toward the Gypsy. She looked up at my approach, her dark eyes full of dread.
“No matter how you lay them,” I said with certainty, “they’ll just come out the same.”
I reached down and wound the end of her scarf firmly around my hand.
And then I yanked.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I am here now to set the record straight.
Yes, I am working on two middle grade books at once.
Uhm, I'm a liar.
The book was originally called 'The New Newbridge Academy' because that's the name of the boarding school my protagonist, Noh, attends. After I turned the book in to my awesome editor Liesa Abrams,over at Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, we decided that the book needed a catchier title. There was a lot of bandying new titles around - I think we went through pages ad pages of the damn things - but it was actually the Aladdin team who came up with the winner, 'Among The Ghosts'.
I loved it immediately. It had all the nuance of a Philip Pullman title ('His Dark Materials' anyone?), plus it gave you a just the tiniest of tastes as to what the plot had in store for you.
Basically, the book is a spooky Boarding School/cool girl heroine/ghost story and the title and book cover let you know it!
There are some coolio illustrationsan too, that my friend, Sina Grace, did especially for the book. He and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what Noh and her friends would look like, how spooky the school should be, whether or not ghosts should look normal or if they should be shadowy and creepy (we went for a combo of both)!
I have to say that Diana Wynne Jones is a HUGE inspiration, as are John Bellairs and Lemony Snicket. I get lost in those books, totally engrossed in their worlds - which are totally like my own, yet utterly different in so many ways.
(By the way, this is my first mobile blogpost and I have to say it's hard to be coherent when you can only read a few chunks of what you're writing as you work and you're sweating like a pig out in the desert getting harrassed by flies...)
Anywho, this post is to clear things up - which I hope I have done. As we get closer to the 'Among The Ghosts' publising date (Late August - two months away!) I will put up some of the first chapter -and maybe some illustrations, too - here for you all to peruse!
Sayanora for now from the Post-Apocalyptic desert that is my home for the next month!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I remember the day we went. We'd spent the morning at the pool and the asphalt was like tar. It was hot, hot enough that when you opened the car door the overpowering heat attacked you and made it hard to breathe. The seat belts were scorching, opening the windows did nothing to alleviate the heat. Only time and the air conditioning could do that. We drove away from the pool, down the winding Alabama roads, the lush greenery overflowing around us. We got to the theater mid-day and there was hardly anyone there for the afternoon movies even though it was the heart of Summer. Outside, the poster for Ghoulies was up on the wall along with all the other 'playing now' and 'coming soon' films. We parked, clamoring back into the heated, humid air and crossed the lot. We followed our mom over to the ticket window and waited while she asked for three tickets to see Ghoulies. To her happiness - and our misery - the kid behind the window said that Ghoulies wasn't playing anymore, but there WAS another film called The Goonies playing. She bought three tickets for the The Goonies movie and we went into the air-conditioned theater, the cool air blasting our faces and causing gooshflesh to break out on our arms.
Of course, we loved The Goonies. It was great - an instant classic. And for the longest time, I thought it was so fortuitous that we missed Ghoulies and ended up with The Goonies. It's only as I get older that I think back to that time and realize there was nothing 'fortuitous' about it.
Our mom had to have known that Ghoulies was gone when she took us to that theater.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We are premiering DRONES at The Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on April 13th at 7:30. All proceeds will benefit 826LA which is one of my favorite vehicles for good (i.e, charity)!
This is a red carpet premiere with cameras and actors and Amber's and Adam's oh my! So, I'm betting it's gonna be a lot of fun. There will even be a Q & A after - and if that doesn't wet your whistle, well, hanging out a VIP After Party with hula girls and vodka might! Just kidding about the wetting your whistle part....and the hula girls, but probably all things a go on the Vodka!
We have a loverly cast and it's looking like they'll all be there to share in the good cheer:
Jonathan M. Woodward
Dave 'Gruber' Allen
Marc Evan Jackson
Paul F. Tompkins
Here is the link for tickets. I hope you use it for good!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
1) A personal phone call from me where you get to ask me your own 5 questions about Cat's Claw and the writing process!
2) A full read and critique of someone's unpublished manuscript!
Come say hi all day tomorrow!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
We are incredibly excited to officially announce our first show at Largo on the Coronet.
You'll find all the details below:
for our debut at
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90048
Below, a candid Q&A based upon your actual questions!
Q. How do I get tickets to this amazing event?
A. There are two ways, if you know how to read and pay money, and the first step of both is to visit Largo-LA.com
From there, click the link that reads "TICKETS" and follow the instructions therein!
(in a nutshell, you may either call and leave a credit card number--you can trust these Largo guys--or
you can drop by their box office when it's open (MWF, 2-6pm).
FINALLY, if you wish to do neither of these, you may pay cash at the door!
Q. Just how much cash?
A. We knew you'd ask. Unfortunately, we've had to raise the price of admission for our show. BUT there is no longer a food or drink minimum. Largo at the Coronet is a beautiful, proper theater of 250 seats. It has a gorgeous red curtain, a huge stage, proper sound equipment, and an intimate atmosphere. All for $25! (cash at the door or credit in advance)
Q. I've heard rumors about rehashing old material. Just how lazy are Acker & Blacker?
A. Very lazy, but this is not an example of that. There WILL be new material at the Largo shows. Additionally, Acker & Blacker are rewriting and polishing old material from the first three years (there are only a handful of you who were there way back then)!
Q. Is the rewriting because you're finally podcasting?
A. Yes! We'll send details about this once it begins.
Q. My favorite part of my evening out was the interplay between the Thrilling Adventure Hour and Common Rotation.
A. That's not really a question, but we see what you're getting at. Common Rotation will still be a part of the Thrilling Adventure evening. After every show, there will be a post-show after-party featuring music by Common Rotation and many of the WorkJuice Players. This exclusive after-party will take place in the Little Room at Largo. If you attend Thrilling Adventure, you may pay an additional $8 (either on the night of show or in advance).
For that, you will receive a drink ticket and admission to the exclusive after-party.
If you wish to ONLY see Common Rotation, you may pay $15 to receive 2 drink tickets & admission.
We can tell you right now that CoRo will be performing with OUR Paul F. Tompkins and Martin Starr in the first show.
Q. I can't make it to a Friday night show. Will you do a Saturday night show just for me?
A. We WILL do a Saturday night show, but not just for you. You'll need to bring some friends.
In March, we are performing Friday the 3rd. The second show will be Saturday, April 3rd.
The plan is to alternate Fri/Sat each month.
BUT, if you really want to keep our show on Saturdays, then you'll fill the theater for the first two months. If we prove ourselves to have a viable, awesome audience (which we know you are), then we may be able to get Saturdays monthly!
Q. Who is IN this first show?
A. We're glad you asked.
The WorkJuice Players:
Paul F. Tompkins (Best Week Ever)
Marc Evan Jackson (Super Dave's Spike-Tacular)
Autumn Reeser (Human Target)
Dave (Gruber) Allen (Freaks & Geeks)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds)
James Urbaniak (The Venture Brothers)
John Ennis (Mr. Show)
Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, and Annie Savage
Foley artist Joel Spence
and The Andy Paley Orchestra
SPECIAL GUEST STARS:
Kevin Pollak (Kevin Pollak's Chat Show; the Usual Suspects)
David Anders (Alias; Heroes; 24)
Chris Wylde (just click this)
Plus, one guest star so top secret, that we can't even tell you his name yet!
(But we'll announce it on Twitter soon, so follow us there, @ThrillingAdv)
thrillingadventurehour.com is the website.
Visit for updates, merchandise, and (coming soon) HILARIOUS, EXCLUSIVE CONTENT!
@ThrillingAdv is how to follow on Twitter
Much of the cast is on Twitter as well!
And you can become a fan on Facebook
Which is constantly updated and where you can comment!
Monday, March 1, 2010
On another note, I will be doing a few more Cat's Claw signings this month:
MARCH 6th at 2pm
4213 W. Burbank
Burbank, CA 91505
MARCH 27th at 2pm
with Chris Marie Green
6521 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
During my mini-Cat's Claw Tour last week many of you asked me if I was going to do another Review Challenge for Cat's Claw. I have been hard put to come up with something that would best the Death's Daughter Macarena Challenge...and I finally think I have come up with a cool idea!
Whenever I twitter that I will be doing a 'signing', I get at least thirty replies from people saying how bummed they were because they'd thought they'd read 'singing'!
So, my new challenge is this:
If I get 200 reviews for Cat's Claw on Amazon (I know, I'm upping the numbers this time) then I will post a video of me spoofing/singing 'Under Your Spell' on Youtube.
And I promise to make it as silly and as fun as possible!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Now for the winners!
The Random Raffle Winners are: Jennifer Borri, Masha Kashina and Lilac_Mess.
The Picture Winner is: Stephanie Patton
Meet Sammie, who actually volunteered to wear this outfit!
And the Story Winner is: Jenny B.
I have to remind myself this is me having a conversation with you. That is how I want to come across. With that said I have to take you back to the beginning. I was born on September 11, 1982. Oh wait a minute...that's a different story. In the style of my 2nd favorite Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo...picture this Santa Ana 1993. I was 11 years when I had witnessed one of mother nature's miracles. A cat we had taken in at that time was giving birth in my bedroom. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Kitten after kitten was being born. As soon as I saw him I knew he was mine. Lionel is what he later was known as. After finding homes for all the other kittens including the mama, Lionel remained mine. He was a great companion growing up. He always knew how to cheer me up, and was always there when I was at my lowest. I am an only child who was raised by a single mother. Unfortunately for me the one I called "mom" abused me. My mother was a bitter drunk who hated the world and everyone in it. She fed off of other people's misery. Since I was her daughter that gave her the right to beat me and make me suffer all of her woes.
I don't want to get side tracked here this isn't about me or Lionel. You see Lionel wasn't with me forever like I thought he would be. He was in his 5Th year when he came down with severe liver disease. He had to be put down. He was survived by his daughter Nike. Yes, this just turned into the Lion King. The real story here is Nike. What can I say about this lovable feline. She would meow your ear's off that's for sure. Nike wasn't apart of the family. She wasn't some pet. She was an extraordinary gift. She had the ability to do something no one else in this world could do. She made my mom smile, feel warmth, and actually care about something. God knows I couldn't do any of those things no matter how hard I tried. If only for a fraction of a second she allowed my mother to be human. To be humane. When it came time for me to move out I didn't take Nike with me, and not because I didn't want to. I wasn't the one who needed her most. It wasn't a hard decision to leave her with my mom. I had the privilege that some people don't ever have. I had the same beloved pet in my childhood into my adulthood. Throughout the years I visited Nike and saw the effect she still had on my mom. She continued to work her magic. I just wish my mom could have held on to the woman she was when Nike was around. Sadly though she is far more bitter then ever before.
It was in May of 2009 when Nike was diagnosed with a neurological disease. I took her to the vet and had her treated. She seemed to get better, but as time passed her condition worsened. I was faced with one of my toughest decisions. I had to live by one of life's lessons of loving and knowing when to let go. On July 10, 2009 my heart was broken. I didn't want to be selfish and keep Nike with me. Keeping her would have subjected her to more pain, tests, and treatments. I knew I had to put her down. I wanted to be more personal by having the doctor put her down in my presence. I thanked her for giving me 15 years of love and devotion. I thanked her for all she had inspired to give my mom. It's ironic how I saw her father Lionel born into this world, and witnessed Nike leaving it. When she took her last breath it didn't hit me. It wasn't until the doctor confirmed that her heart stopped beating that made me lose it. I wanted to take it back. I wanted to shout no! No! No! I change my mind, but she was gone. I held her and continued to kiss her head. I took advantage of every second of that moment to hold her because I knew it would be my last time. I made arrangements to have her cremated. I didn't get the chance to make those arrangements for Lionel. Nike was always my only connection to him. So in the end I do have both Lionel and Nike with me forever.
Thank you to everyone who donated money and sent pictures and stories – they were all wonderful and therefore I had a terrible time deciding the winners! Everyone listed above will receive an autographed copy of my new book, CAT'S CLAW. Enjoy!!
Monday, February 1, 2010
I will be starting the festivities at:
The Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Feb 23, 2010
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Next you will find me loitering among the shelves at:
Murder By The Book
Feb 25, 2010
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
I will then be found babbling incoherently at:
Feb 27, 2010
signing with the lovely & talented: Anton Strout
Midtown Comics Times Square
200 W 40th Street (Corner of 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
Come and say hi! Come and say boo! Come and don't say anything...we'll still force you to read the book!