Writing Cats

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because catwatching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance.” ~ Dan Greenburg

“A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys (keyboard).” ~ Barbara Holland

When I wrote my screenplay, “Sacajawea, The Windcatcher” (from 2003 – 2007), I must truly say I could not have written it without my big, red cat, Atticus Finch. He was one of my inspirations, and though it may have appeared that I was avoiding my writing by playing with him, for me it was quite the opposite.

AtticusAtticus was the greatest cat in the world – I say “was” because we sadly lost him this year. He was my Hemingway cat, a polydactyl. He had huge paws with extra toes and he loved me with his little soul. His eyes were always focused on me and he would run to me whenever I called his name, from anywhere in the house.

It was the summer of 2004, and being summer, my garden needed attending. So, my days were filled with writing and weeding, writing and watering, writing and sowing. And, of course, Atticus was at my side, rolling in the dirt and teasing the dogs behind the fence – they were jealous of his freedom. Later, he’d roll around the papers on my desk, stretching his arms across the computer keys that kept him from constantly laying in my lap. We wrote the logline, the Synopsis, the Treatment, and the Script together. Summer, fall, winter, spring, summer again… He was truly part of the creative process and I know my script would not be the same without my boy.

GuidoI have a new feline inspiration now, his name is Mr. Guido. He is a Siamese with blue eyes and he is a lover. He will not allow the keyboard to get between us – he jumps up and pushes right into place. He stretches his arms around my neck and taps his lips to mine. Atticus would definitely be jealous – but, who knows, when I think about it, Guido does, somehow, feel like a very familiar soul.

Are you being Called to greatness?

Life is a magnificent and magical mystery. But, “everyday” experiences can get our eyes off the truth about our personal journey. Yet, it is the “every day” that is showing us the way. How do we know, how can we see?

Jane L. Fitzpatrick is on a powerful sojourn. There has been light and dark along the path; there has been heartache and worry, concern and utter joy. She has stood on the edge of a cliff with her back to the abyss, yet somehow, she has balanced her life through gratitude and thanksgiving. She has listened to intuition, she has also ignored it. She has made wrong and hard choices. And, she is still standing.

The Literary Love Affair

Why do I write?  Completing a work that clearly presents what I believe, know and care about, in a way that touches someone, is one of the greatest feelings in my world.

But, there are some days when it is utterly impossible to even get started.  On those days, I realize I have not “thought” long enough.  For, thinking is part of writing, though the non-writer doesn’t understand this.  In fact, they even try to describe the process as “being lazy.”  Some people just do not see…

I sit, staring at a snow-capped mountain in the distance behind a field full of wild daisies.  I watch the irony of an airplane streaking across the sky, while an eagle hovers in one place holding its wings against the wind.  A bee buzzes past the airy screen door…  What was that quote I loved?  Or that story on the news about a rich, elderly lady who fed the poor — what did she feel, what did she believe?

Many times, it is a very private and personal place that I find myself.  Soaking in the world around me, staring into space and thinking about the emotional connection to my topic at hand — that is where I always find the words, if I “think” long enough.

There is only one other place in my life that I allow myself to connect as deeply, and that is with my love, my husband of 31 years.  So, in the words of writer and literary critic, Alfred Kazin, I define how I truly feel about what and why I write, “When a writer talks about his work, he’s talking about a love affair.”