Tag Archives: Karen Duvall

So You Think You Can Write

One of my favorite TV shows is So You Think You Can Dance. I watch the episodes streamed on Hulu.com because I’m never able to catch them at the time they’re televised.

While watching the show the other night, I noticed some similarities between dance as an art form, and writing.  Dance is an art, as is theater, music, the visual arts, and of course the various literary arts. Each art can be performed with varying levels of creativity.

One of the points made by judge Little C was how each dancer, as an artist, interprets dance differently. They may each execute the same steps, but it’s how the dance is performed that makes the difference. Some dancers are superb technicians with impeccable timing, posture, extensions, and all the other myriad moves that are choreographed into a performance. But if their heart and style and individuality is left out, they won’t rise above the ordinary. Dancers who give it their all and let themselves feel the joy of dance, who pay less attention to their steps and more to how dance lifts their souls, are the ones who become extraordinary artists.

So I got to thinking about how writing is much the same way. I should change the title of this post to So You Think Can Write a Novel because writing, like dance, is interpreted different ways. There are superb technicians who are competent wordsmiths. Journalists and technical writers might fit in that camp. If you can write an excellent software manual, can you write an equally excellent novel?

Maybe.

Good skill in one area does not guarantee excellence in another even if it’s the same art. Aside from the X factor no one can quite put their finger on, when it comes to writing fiction, there’s so much more to it than good grammar and a knack for stringing sentences together. A great poet may be a poor storyteller, a fabulous storyteller may suck at journalism. I think it’s rare for a writer to be especially good at writing everything, but I’m sure there are exceptions.

So tell me, writers, are you a good writer? Or are you a good storyteller? Do you think there’s a difference?

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

The Joys of Being a Contest Judge

The first writing contest I ever judged was the Colorado Gold almost twenty years ago. After that first contest, I was hooked on judging and have been a judge in dozens of other writing contests ever since. Imagine my excitement when I received my entries for this year’s Colorado Gold. It brought back wonderful memories of those early years and reminds me how judging has helped me improve my own craft while introducing me to some talented new voices in fiction.

I understand how scary it is to enter a writing contest, to put yourself out there in front of strangers and have your work judged. You’re being brave and generous because judges, who are writers themselves, have the privilege of reading your work.

What are the benefits of judging a writing contest?

Honing your craft: When you read the work of others, whether it’s through critique or a writing contest, you have an opportunity to consider craft issues you might miss in your own writing. You see first hand how someone else does it the right way, or the wrong way, and can then identify those same issues in your own writing.

Stylistic Differences: The entries in a writing contest help you understand how styles differ for every writer. You get to experience how style affects the voice of the writer and you come to understand that differing styles are not wrong, only a unique signature of the writer.

Appreciation of Imaginative Voices: The talent of others is a privilege to see. Every entry has a creative spark to appreciate regardless of any technical problems it may have. As a judge you can review the writing for what it is, not for what it isn’t.

New Perspectives: If you ever wondered what it might be like for an editor or agent to read through the slush pile, judging a writing contest can offer you a fresh perspective. It helps you view the writing from a publishing professional’s point of view.

Paying it Forward: A fair judge with good intentions of helping other writers is paying it forward with constructive advice and feedback. It’s a win-win for us all.

If you’ve never judged a writing contest, please consider volunteering to do so. The rewards are real and everybody wins. If you’re a contest entrant, I want to thank you for the joy of reading your entry. And if you’ve never entered a writing contest, I hope you’ll consider doing so in the future.

I have a pretty good memory and I still remember many of the writing entries I’ve judged in past years, even those that didn’t win, and I’m always hoping to find those stories on bookstore shelves (virtual and otherwise) someday. Thank you for the privilege of reading your work!

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Should You Cut an Agent Some Slack?

I recently read a blog where the writer talked about her friend who had an agent that was unresponsive. Her point was that it was time for her friend to “divorce” her agent and find someone new.

I get it. In the past, I’ve had unresponsive agents myself. The waiting to hear back is excruciating. First you query agents and wait forever to get a response, which is tough enough. But then to actually sign with one who won’t communicate with you is sheer torture.

The key word here is communication. The blog I read stated the agented writer had lost confidence in her own writing, thought the agent no longer believed in her, and was even thinking about ending her writing career. My first thought was that there are two sides to every story and this post didn’t share the agent’s side. There’s no point wallowing in a pit of despair if you don’t talk to the person responsible for pushing you into that pit in the first place.

I’m not excusing the agent for ignoring her client, but I do feel the writer/agent relationship is a two-way street. Neither can possibly know what’s going on with the other without asking. I think it was C.J. Box who regaled us all with a story during his farewell luncheon speech at a Colorado Gold Conference several years ago. His first agent had ignored him for an entire year and he was pretty upset about it. Finally, he called the agent to fire him and found out his agent was dead. The fault here is with the agency for not dealing with all the dead agent’s clients, but C.J. acknowledged that if he’d called sooner, he wouldn’t have had to go through months of agonizing silence.

The problem with a lot of writers (not C.J.) is that after months of pursuing the attention of an agent and then finally landing one, we’re reluctant to rock the boat. We hang onto that agent for dear life because if we lose him or her, we’ll never get another one. Obviously, that’s not true. However, it can be like staying in a bad marriage (I’ve been there, too) because you think you have no choice. You do have a choice. Depending on the circumstances, at some point you have to fish or cut bait. If you’re not happy with a situation, get out.

So how do you know whether or not to stay or go? Just be sure to get in touch with your agent. Initial contact might have to be through his or her assistant, but ask for a “come to Jesus” meeting by phone so that you can hash things out. No emails or text messages, but a good old fashion verbal discussion. Chances are the silence is legitimate, and if so, make sure your agent is aware of how it’s affecting you. It might be time to switch to another agent within the agency. Or it might be time to leave altogether. Or it simply might require more patience on your part.

My point is that in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to fire your agent, you need to have all the answers. Talk it out before letting the silence do you in.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

I Could Have Lost Everything

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and started my usual routine of preparing for work. I work at home so I have a short commute to my office: down the hall, take a left at the entryway, and an immediate right through a set of double doors. It was a gray morning, typical in Oregon for this time of year, and like any typical morning, I pressed the little silver power button on the tower of my Mac Pro. I was rewarded with the Mac “bong” of greeting, but what followed was anything but typical.

Sick MacMy computer, my livelihood, my career-in-a-box, showed me an odd image on my monitor with scrolling words in several different languages. Something was wrong. The operating system refused to load.

Panic ensued. I called my local computer shop the moment they opened, we tried a few things over the phone, but the conclusion was indisputable. I think I heard Taps playing through my computer’s speakers.

Had I backed everything up? Most everything. The important stuff, at least. But I was going to be without my home business until whatever was wrong with my computer was fixed. They also needed my back-up drive in case the files on my hard drive couldn’t be restored.

I started imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios. My back-up drive had been acting up recently after my dog dropped her ball on the USB cable plugged into the back of the computer and disconnected the drive. I’d had an error message that it might have been damaged. I’d checked it and it appeared all my files were there, but when I tested it on my laptop, the drive didn’t show up. Lovely.

Deep breaths. Okay, so at least I had the laptop I shared with my husband and I could access email, the Internet, Microsoft Office… But all my graphics software, the lifeblood of my business, was on the sick Mac Pro in the shop. I had design deadlines and various unfinished projects needing my attention. What was I going to do? There wasn’t anything I could do but wait.

After 3 days and 2 sleepless nights, I called the shop to ask for a diagnosis. They’d just started to run a diagnostic test and would call me later that day to give me the result. They didn’t call. It felt as if I were waiting at the back of a very long line that wasn’t moving.

I had to do something while I was waiting. It’s not in my nature to be unproductive. Since my husband and I were sharing the laptop I had to use my time wisely. This is how I learned the value of my Kindle Fire for things other than reading.

I’d recently finished revisions to the first book in a new series I was writing and had sent it off to my agent a couple of weeks before all this happened. It was time to start on the next book and the unexpected down time was a sign for me to get a jump on it. Though I’d been entertaining some ideas for the second book, I hadn’t planned anything yet. Two notebooks, a pencil, and a few Kindle web searches later and I was on my way. Not writing it but preparing to write it, which is not my usual process. The pantser inside me would normally hop directly to page one and get busy, but not this time. I had an opportunity to plot and develop my cast of characters, to fill up however many days I’d have to wait for my career-in-a-box to be in working condition again.

The nights were hard as my imaginative brain kept churning out horrible outcomes and expensive repairs, thinking of all the “what ifs” writers are conditioned to think. What if someone dropped my computer and it exploded into a thousand pieces? What if the tech working on my machine spilled his coffee all over the inside while he was working on it? What if the shop burned down? What’s the worst that could happen? I practically what-iffed myself into a nervous breakdown.

Seven days after I dropped off my poor old Mac at the computer hospital I got the call that it was ready to pick up. It had passed all their tests, but some internal workings within the drive were mysteriously preventing the system to load. All the data was still there and they were able to manually load it onto a new drive. I had them install a second drive inside the tower that houses the main drive so it could back itself up an hourly basis. That gives me a little peace of mind knowing my data is protected, but I can still imagine possibilities for disaster. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. Damn it.

In the end I survived. My computer survived. My work survived. What lesson did I learn? That if I’m not careful I can worry myself into an early grave? That there’s no such thing as idle time? That I have to make every moment count? Yep. All of the above.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013. Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com

Talk to the Paw – Neglected Pets

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday. It’s hard to believe it’s already 2014. December blew threw our house like a blustery wind on speed. We don’t do much in regard to celebrating, or decorating, mainly because our fur-kids would be hell on tinsel, ornaments, trees and artificial snow. Our dog Kinsey prefers real snow, but since she enjoys gutting the fluffy stuffing out of her toys, I’m afraid that’s what she’d do to the white cotton batting I usually use to emulate snow. Therefore, no Christmas village. No tree. Not for the last 5 years.

But my husband and I do indulge in gift-giving. We got each other a nice big shiny elliptical machine to help burn off all the extra holiday calories.

Our pets weren’t exactly thrilled with our new toy. Especially Kinsey.

 

Kinsey

Kinsey

 

Sammy

Sammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sammy: Dude! Stop pacing.

Kinsey: I hate that thing.

Sammy: I hated it, too, at first because of the squeaky wheels, but I got used to it.

Kinsey: I don’t care about the squeaking.

Sammy: Then what’s your problem?

Kinsey: Barks and snaps at the metal arms moving the elliptical pedals up and down and back and forth.

Sammy: Yawns. You really think you’ll stop it that way?

Kinsey: This is just one more thing that takes Mom’s and Dad’s attention away from ME!

Sammy: You need to accept the fact you’re not the center of the universe.

Kinsey: Stops pacing to stare at Sammy as if she just grew a third eye from the middle of her forehead.

Sammy: Does that surprise you?

Kinsey: Are you saying that machine is the center of the universe?

Sammy: Laughs. Of course not. Everyone knows I am.

Kinsey: You wish.

Sammy: Actually, I do.

Kinsey: It’s enough that I have to compete for attention with you three cats, but I also have to share Mom with her writing and Dad with his guitar.

Sammy: That’s not exactly true.

Kinsey: What do you mean?

Sammy: We’re great helpers. Mom couldn’t write without us.

Kinsey: Well, I guess you’re right about that. She’d be lost without our company.

Sammy: And our ideas. You know she picks up on our thoughts.

Kinsey: I suppose she does.

Sammy: Think of us as collaborators.

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Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Talk to the Paw: Teamwork

by Karen Duvall

The holidays are upon us and most people decorate their homes for Christmas. I used to when my kids still lived with us, but not anymore. Want to know why? It may come as no surprise that my four rambunctious pets would annihilate any attempt at having a Christmas tree. I don’t even want to think of how my house would look once they got their furry little paws on it. Nope, all of my holiday stuff is boxed up and collecting dust in our attic. That’s where it will stay indefinitely.

Speaking of destruction, that’s my fur-kids favorite pastime. Entertainment for the four-footed. And they don’t do it alone. They act in teams.

Last week, you witnessed Teddy and Kinsey teaming up to get Sammy off the bed so they could have it all to themselves. It’s usually Cody and Sammy who join forces, and their goal is often to get the dog involved in order for their dastardly plan to be the most effective.

(Please forgive the lack of photos, but Photobucket.com isn’t working at the moment, it keeps erroring out. I’ll try to add photos later when, and if, the site gets its act together.)

Sammy: Pushes something across the kitchen counter with her paw. I almost got it.

Cody: What’s taking so long?

Sammy: It’s heavy.

Cody: That’s because it’s made of silver. Don’t you just love Dad’s silver rings?

Sammy: Shiny. Gives the ring a final shove and it topples over the edge.

The ring bounces on the kitchen floor and rolls under the table.

Cody: Scampers to the ring and bats it with his paws. Wow, look how fast it rolls.

The ring disappears under the couch.

Sammy: Well. That was rather disappointing. What next?

Cody: Leaps up on the counter and sits next to Sammy. Look! A stack of envelopes.

Sammy: Oh, yeah. Dad just brought those in from the mailbox. Mom called them “bills.”

Cody: Oooh! Kinsey loves paper.

Sammy: She sure does. No need for a shredder in the house with her around.

Cody: Nods. Wanna do the honors?

Sammy: Shakes her head. Nah. It’s your turn.

Cody bats at the envelopes until they all fall on the floor.

The sound of clattering toenails echoes from the hall and Kinsey appears from around the corner.

Kinsey: Are those for me?

Sammy: Yep.

Kinsey grabs an envelope with her teeth and scurries into the living room so she can lay down and hold it between her paws while ripping it to shreds.

Cody: Hmm. What else is up here that would look better on the floor?

Sammy: Eyes the bag of frozen bread left out on the counter to thaw. That smells like food.

Cody: Steps over to the bag and gives it a sniff. Twitches his whiskers. Yuck.

Sammy: I bet Kinsey will eat it. She’s like a goat. She’ll eat anything.

Cody: I’m gonna need your help.

Sammy: Sure. Walks over to join Cody in batting the bag of bread to the edge of the counter.

Cody: Just one more little push. Nudges the bag until it falls to the floor.

Kinsey comes running in from the living room with strips of soggy paper hanging from her mouth.

Kinsey: Yum! Chomps into the bread.

Sammy: Our work here is done.

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Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Moody Pets

by Karen Duvall

Have you ever noticed how your pets pick up on your moods? If you’re feeling down, your beloved dog or cat instinctually knows you need a cuddle. Or if you’re cranky, they may become subdued and avoid contact altogether. I’m a generally calm person and rarely get cranky (or if I do it’s because of something they did).

When my pets get moody it’s usually triggered by… Your guess is as good as mine. Who knows why they get worked up? But they have their ways, and they can carry on entire conversations with each other using just their body language and facial expressions. It’s open to interpretation, which I’m always happy to do.

Kinsey, my dog, is typically very happy. Always high energy, always sassy, always wagging her tail, and always bugging the cats. At least that’s how she is during the day. With her energy levels on extreme overdrive, she’s bound to crash at some point and when she does, it’s best to stay out of her way. She doesn’t act like the same dog when she’s sleepy and she wants nothing to do with anyone, including me. She’s quick to snap and I don’t think she’s even conscious she’s doing it. Kinsey is hyper alert when she’s tired.

Threesome

Teddy, Cody & Sammy

Kinsey: Asleep on the bed and snoring loudly.

Sammy (my little tuxedo cat) whispers: Just jump up on the other side of the bed. She won’t even know you’re there.

Cody (my black & white scaredy-cat): Not gonna do it. No how, no way.

Teddy (my 34-pound Tom cat): Come on, it’s no big deal. Leaps up on the bed a few feet from Kinsey, who lifts her head and gives him the stink-eye but is too sleepy to do anything else.

Kinsey

Cody: That’s easy for you to say, Ted. You’re almost as big as Kinsey is. She doesn’t intimidate you.

Sammy: Ah, come on, Cody. We need to stick together for body heat. It’s below zero outside.

Cody: Teeth chattering. I’m plenty warm enough, thank you.

Sammy: Your gums are blue.

Cody: Backs up toward the bedroom door and shakes his head. No.

Sammy: Fine. Go ahead and freeze your nuts off. See if I care.

Cody: I don’t have any nuts.

Sammy: Pauses. Oh, yeah. I forgot.

Cody: It’s your funeral. Turns around and trots down the hall.

Sammy: Sighs. Coward. Hey, Ted, cover me. I’m coming up there.

Teddy: Yawns. What do you expect me to do?

Sammy: Give Kinsey a good smack on the nose if she goes after me.

Teddy: Hesitates and starts grooming himself. Sure thing.

Sammy: Narrows her eyes. I don’t trust you.

Teddy: Stretches and lays on his side, yawning again. Why not?

Sammy: You don’t exactly look ready to defend me.

Teddy: Not my problem.

Sammy: You’re so lazy.

Teddy: Yeah? Tell me something I don’t know.

Sammy: Crouches and prepares to spring. Here goes.

Sammy leaps onto the bed. Kinsey lurches up and barks then snaps at Sammy, barely missing her tail. Sammy hisses and smacks Kinsey hard on the nose once, twice, three times. Kinsey blinks, grunts, then lays back down on the bed.

Sammy: Breathing hard. Damn, I hate it when she does that.

Teddy: Yawns.

Sammy: Okay, move over, fat-boy. I need some body heat. Curls up next to Teddy.

Teddy: Bites Sammy’s ear.

Sammy: Hisses. Hey!

Teddy glares and Sammy hisses again, then jumps off the bed and runs out of the room.

Teddy: Looks like we have the whole bed all to ourselves.

Kinsey: Stretches and yawns. I thought she’d never leave.

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Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Weapons of Destruction

by Karen Duvall

Having pets has its advantages and disadvantages. Young pets are like babies. They explore, get into mischief, teethe… Yeah. Well, sometimes they don’t grow out of their childhood habits.

I have a full grown cat and a full grown dog who still act like a kitten and a puppy respectively. Days go by without a mishap, and then BOOM, it’s massive destruction. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, erupting volcanoes… okay, so I’m exaggerating. I’m a writer and I can’t help it. But these two are like furry natural disasters waiting to happen.

The Criminal

The Weapon

The Victim

Sammy (my cat): You are in soooo much trouble.

Kinsey (my dog): Hangs head in shame

Sammy: I can’t believe how mad Dad got. He was speechless. That’s never happened before.

Kinsey: I wagged my tail to show him I was sorry.

Sammy: You and your stupid ball. You just had to knock over one of Dad’s most beloved cactuses, didn’t you? You know how much he treasures those plants.

Kinsey: I didn’t mean it. It was an accident.

Sammy: Shakes head and looks disappointed.

Kinsey: Hey, don’t act all innocent. You’ve knocked over your fair share of plants yourself.

Sammy: But I’m much, much, much smaller than you. I don’t do half the damage.

Kinsey: Oh yeah? Not only do you constantly knock plants over, I’ve seen you use the pots as a litterbox.

Sammy: Looks left and right. Shhh. No one was supposed to see that.

Kinsey: Well, I saw. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sammy: Lifts her nose in the air. Not my fault. It was instinct.

Kinsey: Mom is still trying to vaccum all the dirt out of the carpet.

Sammy: I didn’t mean to cause trouble. You know I hate sharing a litterbox with my brothers. I simply won’t do it.

Kinsey: Yet you have the nerve to shame me for making a mistake?

Sammy: Mutters. Sorry.

Kinsey: What was that? I couldn’t hear you. I think I have dirt in my ear.

Sammy: Hisses. I said I’m sorry!

Kinsey: Whips ears back and forth. Okay, okay. I believe you.

Awkward silence.

Kinsey: Well, I’m sorry too.

Sammy: What can we do to make it up to Mom and Dad?

Kinsey: Looks thoughtful. Look cute?

Sammy: Nods. Works for me.

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Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her K

night’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Toys!

By Karen Duvall

If you walked into my house today you’d think I had kids still living at home. There are toys everywhere. Stuffed toys, plastic toys, balls… and lots of indescribable detritus that I wouldn’t label as toys but my pets would. On second thought I guess I do have kids, they’re just covered in fur and run around on four legs.

Like children, my furkids play with each others’ toys and don’t always play nice. One in particular can be rather… destructive.

Kinsey   Sammy

Sammy (my cat): I can’t believe you ate my spider.

Kinsey (my dog): How do you know it was me?

Sammy: Gives her a baleful look. There were still pieces of it left and you’re the only one with teeth that big. I found its legs under the couch.

Kinsey: Not my fault. You shouldn’t leave your toys laying around.

Sammy: Whines. I loved that spider! It glowed in the dark and everything.

Kinsey: Well, if it makes you feel any better, the plastic tasted awful.

Sammy: Good. Serves you right.

Kinsey: And like I said. Don’t leave your toys laying around and I won’t eat them.

Sammy: How can I play with them if they’re not laying around? Besides, my spider was inside my petting box on the kitchen counter.

Kinsey: Then it must have been Cody who knocked it onto the floor.

Sammy: Probably. He does that to anything on the counter. He scoots it off with his paw.

Kinsey: You do that, too.

Sammy: It’s fun to watch it fall. Especially if it’s something that goes splat.

Kinsey: Especially if it’s something I can eat.

Sammy: Hisses. You’re worse than a goat. You eat everything.

Kinsey: Not everything. And I always leave leftovers.

Sammy: It’s not cool what you did to Cody’s weasel and his skunk toy.

Kinsey: I can’t resist the squeakers. They need to come out.

Sammy: Cody still plays with his weasel and the skunk, though. And only when he thinks no one is watching.

Kinsey: I’ve seen him carry one in his mouth around the house while he yowls.

Sammy: So have I. It’s kind of creepy. Why do you think he does that?

Kinsey: No idea.

Sammy: Searches the floor.

Kinsey: What are you looking for?

Sammy: One of your toys.

Kinsey: Why? You’re too little to eat my toys.

Sammy: But I’m not too little to hide them.

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Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

 

Talk to the Paw: Eating Habits

Like people, pets can have peculiar eating habits. My animals are no exception. Each one of them has their own special way of handling meal time. Or snack time. With four animals, it all becomes a blur.

I’m very particular about what my pets eat and probably spend far more money than I need to on their nutritional needs (and fussy tastes), but I think it cuts down on vet bills. Kinsey is the only one who regularly goes to the vet, but being the active dog that she is, she tends to be accident prone. My cats have always been healthy, but the oldest has had colitis a couple of times and had to have some teeth pulled. Then there’s the incident of Ted eating the dental floss… but I digress.

So what do my pets think about each others eating habits? Let’s find out…

Kinsey   Sammy

Kinsey: You eat funny.

Sammy: Chewing. What? I don’t eat funny, I eat kibble. I probably wouldn’t like a funny if I tasted it.

Kinsey: No, stupid. I’m talking about the way you eat. It’s not normal.

Sammy: Selecting another bite of kibble. What’s wrong with the way I eat?

Kinsey: You don’t stick your face in your food bowl

Sammy: That’s because I’m not a savage. And you KNOW I have to share the bowl with my brothers. They slobber.

Kinsey: It takes you forever to eat two bites. Look at what you’re doing. You stick your paw in the bowl and pick out a piece of kibble, then pull it out of the bowl and onto the table. Then you eat it. What a waste of time.

Sammy: Carefully selecting a piece of kibble with her paw. It tastes better this way. Bite me.

Kinsey: Is that an invitation?

Sammy: Squints at Kinsey. Try it and see what a claw in your face feels like.

Kinsey: Clears her throat. You drink funny, too.

Sammy: Do not.

Kinsey: Do too.

Sammy: I drink water the same way all cats do.

Kinsey: Barks a laugh. I doubt it. You eat with your paws AND you drink with your paws. That’s weird.

Sammy: What’s so weird about it?

Kinsey: You stick your paw in the water bowl then lick the water off your wet paw. If that isn’t weird then I don’t know what weird is.

Sammy: Shrugs. Then you don’t know what weird is. Weird is a dog drinking water out of a glass.

Kinsey: It tastes better that way.

Sammy: Hm, why does that sound so familiar?

Kinsey: Rolls her eyes.

Sammy: I eat and drink slowly. YOU inhale your food.

Kinsey: It’s my survivor instinct.

Sammy: Do you even taste it first?

Kinsey: Pauses to think. Does it matter?

Sammy: Eyes wide with shock. Of course it matters! How can you eat something that doesn’t taste good?

Kinsey: But everything tastes good. Doesn’t it?

Sammy: Mumbles something about creaton dogs. Have you ever eaten something you don’t like?

Kinsey: Looking puzzled. No. What about you?

Sammy: Of course not, dummy. I’m picky about what I eat. If it doesn’t taste good I won’t eat it.

Kinsey: But how do you know it doesn’t taste good if you don’t try it?

Sammy: Stops to think for a second. I just know.

Kinsey: You’d starve instead of eat something you think you won’t like?

Sammy: Long pause. Maybe.

Kinsey: Well, there’s never any shortage of bugs to eat and I know you like those.

Sammy: If not for chewy bugs we’d probably all starve to death.

Kinsey: Word.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

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