Tuesday, July 30, 2013


     I know I've been a terrible blogger. You wanna make something of it? Call me names? Insult me and my family? Go ahead. The fact is that sometimes, a sense of guilt and obligation just isn't enough to get some normally introverted people to blog, because sometimes, they JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE IT.
     But I guess I have a few things to say.  One of them is that last Friday I submitted my entry to the Greenhouse Literary Funny Contest.  At least, I think I submitted it.  It's kind of a long story and it involves my frightening technological incompetence, but I don't want to talk about it.  Nor do I want to talk about the Funny Contest itself, even though that's a much shorter story.  Let me just say that I've learned since Friday that last year's contest winner was a picture book entitled SQUISHY McFLUFF, THE INVISIBLE CAT.  I would not, and could not, lie to you about this.  It's a series, actually, first one releasing in 2014 with three more to follow.  Squishy McFluff gets around, evidently.  Adventures galore.  And I have no doubt that it will be a brilliant series, in both the American and British senses of the word.  And my book, as hard as I worked on it and as good as I think it is, is no Squishy McFluff.  Of that, I am sure.
     But we're not going to talk about the Funny Contest.  Instead, I will provide a helpful household hint, regarding a technique I just discovered this morning.  Say you're getting dressed for work and you're wearing your nice white summer dress.  Well, the slightly torn crocheted white espadrilles you inherited from your daughter when her feet outgrew yours seem just a little too casual, do they not?  So that leaves the extremely old white sandals with the chunky little heels, but when you dig them out from the bottom of your closet - are you paying attention here? - those chunky little heels turn out to be in fair-to-poor condition, having been stained yellowish in many places. White shoe polish, you say?  Are you kidding me?  Who owns white shoe polish?  Not my family, I can assure you.  We don't golf.  And there's no time to go out and buy white shoe polish, either, because you already spent a little too much time wondering how, and when, that ugly little cyst that's been sitting there for years at the inside corner of your right eye magically disappeared.  I mean, you're at an age when ugly things make a habit of appearing somewhere noticeable on your skin, not disappearing.  You're glad this one chose to depart, make no mistake, but it somehow feels like a perversion of the natural order.  So anyway, here comes the advice for the stained chunky white heels, and it can be condensed into one word: Wite-out.  And if my humble tip changes your life for the better - and I frankly can't imagine that it won't - I ask for very little.  Just drop me a line and let me know that I've started a fashion trend, because I've always known that would happen someday but it's been taking a long frigging time and I'm not getting any younger here.  Do you read me?
     Maybe tomorrow I'll try Wite-out on my teeth.  It'll be awesome.  Stay tuned.  Because if it works on my teeth, I know some invisible cats who could really use a touch-up.


  1. OK, maybe it's the word "Squishy" in combination with "McFluff" that is appealing? After all, how can you have one without the other :)

    And a big "thumbs down" for the "Appearing-rather-than-Disappearing Act" that age "magically" affords us with *sigh* I SO hear you on that one!

    I do say that Wite-out was a good stand-in for the shoe polish, though you'll probably have to touch up every time you wear them. Just so you know, we not only have white, but we have black AND brown here. Yes, they're relatively old, but they still work :) hehehe

  2. Yo, Donna! Thanks for stopping by! Black and brown shoe polish, we have. We're not SAVAGES, for God's sake! But you really have white too? That's so cool. Can I call you next time I wear those shoes?? I hope you're enjoying your summer now that your A/C is back in action!

  3. Regardless of the contest outcome, you are a funny writer. You will find a home for your story one way or another! Thanks for the chuckle. (My tip of the day -- if you wear black nail polish, Sharpies are great for touch ups. Not that I have ever done this personally.)

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I love these off-label uses for common household products! I wonder... would Sharpies work on invisible black cats, you think? Please advise.

  4. The White Out solution is brilliant. I want to toot my own horn however, because after buying and having a friend install a new toilet seat a few months ago, I noticed a tiny chip in the white paint along one edge. I agonized for a few days about having to endure the most boring shopping trip times two. ....till, you guessed it - White Out. A great fix for everything from shoes to toilet seats!

  5. That's awesome, Genevieve! Thanks for sharing! And I wish you and your perfected toilet seat a long and happy partnership.

  6. Hello! I'm Pip. I stumbled across your blog just now – I was showing a friend that Squishy McFluff, which is starting to pop up on online bookshops, is also apparently for sale on a site called Psychology Books. They have confused me another Pip Jones, who writes about social theory. I think they might be some baffled sociologists and psychologists out there post publication day! That said, perhaps invisible cats have something to add to discussions on psychology.

    Anyway, yes, I wanted to say hello, and also very best of luck with the Funny Prize! Last year, I thought I had no bloody hope when (after entering) I realised co-judge Leah Thaxton had discovered Andy Stanton's Mr Gum. Whatever happens, hope it encourages you to push on. I know that three of last year's shortlisters pushed on – and are now signed. :)

    What are you writing?

    PS. I bought white shoe polish not four weeks ago – and promptly lost it. Meh.

  7. OH MY LORD, IT'S SQUISHY HERSELF!! I am honored beyond belief! Especially because I was being just the tiniest bit snarky about your title, but mostly at my own expense. I LOVE the idea that psychologists will be ordering your book, expecting to find that Squishy was just a catchy metaphoric title, as opposed to a real invisible cat. Tee hee! It will take years on the couch for them to recover. Thank you so very much for stopping by and for your good wishes. I submitted an older-middle-grade novel to the Funny Contest, and only have six more days to suffer through before the shortlist is revealed. I wish you all the best with your Squishy series, as well as with locating your white shoe polish. Um, I don't want to point fingers, but - have you checked Squishy's bed lately? The invisible cats I've known are notorious borrowers.

  8. Ha!! They most certainly are. Squishy McFluff was named as such because (**sound existential debate klaxon**) he is, in essence, an extension of the girl in the story, because he is a figment of her imagination, and the story was based on my daughter having an actual imaginary kitten, and my daughter's nickname (I don't know why) used to be Squishy McFluffy. But McFluff was better for rhyming with! I'll keep an eye on the shortlist... As for the polish, I honestly don't know why I bought white shoes in the first place. Terrible idea in East London. :)

  9. And I will keep an eye out for Squishy! (as difficult as that might be because he's, you know...) All best wishes!

  10. Oh, Squishy, I didn't even make the shortlist! I'm pretty McDiscouraged. Trying to rally my internal troops for the next battle...

  11. Sorry to hear that. Yes, rally those troops – and push on!