The blizzard hit on Sunday, and I didn’t leave the house until Thursday. But I did spend some time watching the critters that act like they own my backyard (from the picture window in the den).
This backyard cardinal is for Teri, Barbara, Jacqueline, and everyone who doesn’t have cardinals in the backyard. (The lady cardinals are even flightier than the males – if they see your shadow they flit: phhhhhht. That’s why I don’t have a lady cardinal picture for you but I’m still trying.)
And for all you who have never actually seen with their own eyes cat tracks in the snow, this is what they look like:
And for those of you who have never tracked the elusive Northeastern Backyard Slouch Cat in the snow, here he is:
And this is the rare Long Island Monster Moocher Cat, migrating from his cubby in the basement to the back porch of the neighbor’s house where , if he can catch the neighbor lady’s eye, she will think he is cute and bring him a bowl of Fancy Feast (they are very wiley, those Long Island Monster Moocher Cats):
You never know what you’re going to see, looking out that picture window in the den:
New Year’s Eve! For me and Top Cat that means champagne and pizza, a fire in the livingroom [in the fireplace], and a movie — my sister gave me a DVD of The Secret World of Henry Orient that will be the prefect movie to watch — and bedtime around 10.
But we have something a little extra to celebrate this New Year’s Eve:
I xeroxed the finished manuscript of The Damn France Book today (57 black and white pages, 147 color pages, about $50.00 worth of xeroxing) and will deliver it to my editor on Jan. 3 . Unlike word-writers, who only have to print off a file copy of their ms., us word-and-picture writers have to make a whole “fake” book to submit to our editors, so I have to bind all my pages in a nice dummy so my ed. can see how I’ve designed all those verso/recto pages. Actually, the publishing contract originally called for the manuscript to be submitted on a CD, but I crossed that part out and wrote in a clause that explained that my ms. does not exist as a digital file so they better be happy with a good old paper version. Even if I knew how to submit a totally eletronic version of my manuscript I wouldn’t want to do it: my books, even in manuscript form, have to be read on paper.
(Yeah; editing me is so 1970s.)
So I’m welcoming in the new year as a chance to start some new projects, try out some new ventures, challenge myself to learn some new skills and take my work in new directions. And I do hope that everyone reading this is also going to use 2011 to take their lives and their work to the next level — whatever the next level is (I’ve heard a lot about it and I think I’d like to be there).
We’re in this together.
2011: To The Next Level And Beyond!