Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hemingway Cat

When you live out in the sticks like I do, stray cats come and go. We feed them and they usually stick around awhile.

Recently, a sweet little black and white male has been hanging around. I think he divides his time between our house and our neighbor’s horse barn, and he seems to like our other cat—and us. If we’re not outside, he sits on the back porch and whines at the door.

The other night my husband hollered at me to come out and look at something.

“Look at this cat!” he said, holding the little black and white. “His paws looked huge, so I picked him up. He’s got six toes on each of his front paws.”

I squealed with delight. “He’s a Hemingway cat!” I said. And then I explained to him about the cat a sea captain gave to Ernest Hemingway. It was a polydactyl cat, and many of the sixty or so cats who still live at the Hemingway Museum in Key West are his descendants. About half of them have extra toes. And I see now why they’re sometimes called “mitten cats.” The extra toe does make our little black and white guy look like he’s wearing mittens.

I’ve been calling the cat Ernie, after Ernest Hemingway (my sister thinks Hemingway would be a more dignified name). If I can get a picture of him, I’ll post it. I keep hoping that having Ernest Hemingway running around my yard will bestow some writerly superpowers on me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I’ll be signing books with dozens of other authors at:

4th Annual Author Extravaganza
June 26, 2010
Town Crier Bookstore
Emporia, KS

This is a fun event, with authors packed into the store and spilling out onto the street, at a bookstore that supports authors, schools, and literacy programs like a wild machine. Emporia’s a great town, a bastion of literacy on the prairie, with one of those wonderful small city downtowns you usually find only in movies from the fifties, with wide streets, tall old buildings, and local businesses (including a chocolate shop).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, April 27, I’ll be speaking to the Lawrence Area Reading Council at Signs of Life Bookstore in Lawrence.

On Saturday, May 1, I’ll be leading a Kansas SCBWI writing workshop, Four-Alarm Novels, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Mardel Bookstore, 119th and Metcalf, Overland Park.