Tag Archives: McQueen

The Annual Mailing of the McQueen Halloween Cards

So today was an auspicious, if not greatly belated, occasion: we mailed out our Halloween cards. For those of you who are new to this blog (so, like, maybe one person; hi, new person!), every year, Bill and I wrangle our tabby named McQueen and photograph her in the midst of random Halloween shenanigans. In the past, she’s played a witch, frolicked through a makeshift pumpkin patch, and doubled as both Renfield and Dracula. Seriously, that sentence actually looks more insane than I thought it would, but hey, it’s who we are and how we hang out with our cat.

Anyhow, this year’s theme (other than profound despair at the state of the world) is Twin Peaks. Which is probably appropriate since the David Lynch universe is pretty well slathered in existential unrest. And McQueen is pretty well slathered in it too…

McQueen Twin Peaks

Now we used to plan more elaborate costumes for McQueen, but after drawing her ire a few years ago for that aforementioned Renfield getup (we tried to tell her it wasn’t a real straitjacket, but she just wouldn’t listen), we’ve decided to go with more elaborate setups instead. Then we just leave her to sort of walk around the set and preen as she sees fit. If you ask Bill, he would say that this is the same approach he uses whenever he photographs me.

Speaking of which, for those keeping track at home, yes, this background setup is indeed the same one we used for my Twin Peaks photo shoot last month. In our house, we’re nothing if not multi-taskers. Not that McQueen is impressed with our multi-tasking… or anything else about us for that matter. Observe her excitement at the arrival of her card:

McQueen with card

As you can see, she can barely contain herself. Secretly, I think she’s very resentful. “I should already be an internet star,” McQueen says, as she quietly blames her poor PR machine (i.e. me). Sorry, Mac.

At any rate, even if McQueen wasn’t happy with the cards, I was. Here’s a close-up of the front…

McQueen Card

… and the inside!

Interior Card

For those of you who can’t get enough weird cat pictures, I’ve included a few more from the photo shoot below. Also, fun fact: cats apparently hate chevron! It must confuse their little cat eyes, because during the shoot, McQueen could not make sense of the pattern. She just stood off to the side, glaring at it. From what I’ve learned about perception in my psychology training (as in, just enough to adequately bluff my way through many a lecture), not only might it be the contrast of the two colors, but it also might be that she saw the black not as the duct tape that it was, but as holes in the floor. Here she is looking very, very suspicious.

McQueen Twin Peaks

Fortunately, McQueen could be talked into stabbing me in my sleep in her never-ending pursuit of food, so once we put some treats on the set, she was up there in the spotlight in no time. Granted, she still wasn’t super jolly about it, but her “Are we done yet?” expression certainly made for a fetching picture!

McQueen Twin Peaks

Also, for anyone wondering who the fourth name on the inside of the card is (once more, maybe that one new person to the blog; hello again!), that’s Rose of Sharon, our second cat, a pretty little calico who is more than a little uneasy about having her photograph taken. Maybe it’s the flash; maybe it’s the uncomfortable possibility of internet stardom. Either way, we don’t pressure her, instead allowing her to remain in the shadows, lurking like a good little Halloween beastie should. We did manage one quick image of her during the shoot before she scurried off to hide elsewhere in the house.

Rose of Sharon

And in what might have been my favorite moment of the photo shoot, there was one brief instant in which Rose of Sharon came back into the room to investigate. By that point, McQueen was enjoying her time in the spotlight, and the notion of sharing her Twin Peaks set with anyone else was apparently abhorrent to her. Consequently, here’s her epic side eye at Rose:

McQueen Twin Peaks

Don’t worry, McQueen; you’ll always be the real star of the 60 Days of Halloween.

So that’s our blog for today! Head on back here tomorrow; I should (or more like might) have another ridiculous post for your reading displeasure!

Happy Halloween!

Goodbye Summer, and Hello Autumn! An Update from the 60 Days World

As friends and family have been pointing out over the last few weeks, 60 Days of Halloween is about to commence for the sixth year. Six years! What started out of an obvious love of the Samhain season (as well as a commitment to make myself write every day for two months) has definitely taken on a life of its own over the previous few years.

McQueen

So in that spirit, it’s time for some changes, starting with the very page that you’re reading right now. I’ve moved this year’s posts to a WordPress platform. This will hopefully make it quicker and easier to upload pictures and update daily blogs. Key word, hopefully. I’ll wait and see. I’ve loved the WordPress platform for my author blog, so I’m optimistic that it will work fine for this site too.

As for the regular site, it’s a complete and utter mess right now. (I blame McQueen, whose catnip-crazed face appears above and as the main image on the site at the moment.) Okay, fine, it’s not that scamp of a feline’s fault; it’s mine. I’m archiving previous years, and trying to wrangle them into some semblance of order. Hopefully, by the end of October, I’ll be able to get those organized in some halfway decent manner, and readers will be able to sort through past events and crafts by category, rather than just scrolling endlessly through former posts. Again, we’ll see.

And finally (and this is quite a case of burying the lede, but whatever), there will be another very major change to the site. The official 60 Days celebration will span the eponymous 60 days starting today and ending on Halloween, but I’m probably not going to be posting every day. Yeah, believe me, I know: it’s a total ripoff. The site’s called 60 Days of Halloween, after all. But on a positive note, my fiction writing career is taking up much more of my time than in past years, so I need to keep my primary focus there. I have a number of solicited short stories that I need to write (including one that I’m polishing up RIGHT NOW), and that’s in addition to a novel to finish, and a novella and a collection to promote. My editors—all of whom I truly adore, because in a cruel publishing world, I have somehow managed against all odds to find the best editors ever—are wonderfully patient people, but when there are deadlines looming, I can’t let them down. So if a pumpkin has to wait to be carved, or an autumnal recipe needs to be put off until the next day, that’s what this crazy little writer is going to do.

So what exactly does that mean? Moreover, it will be the same old, same old here. I will be posting here tons between now and October 31st. If all goes well, we’ll be brunching with owls, visiting a candlelit island by boat, taking a class on how to paint a creepy and famous cat, attending a bewitching trick or treat at a zoo, and of course, failing at plenty of crafts and recipes! So mostly, it will be like every other year, just with breathers here and there for Bill and me to not lose our minds. My goal is at least 30 days of posts, and I will probably break down and post more than that. But I do need that flexibility this year. Think of it as a “Best of 60 Days” rather than the stricter 60 Days of Halloween format from the past.

There is probably not one single person who is as disappointed in this choice as me. I’ve wrestled for months with my lack of time (and honestly, my lack of good time management skills), and this is the only way that I could do it this year. But there will still be Halloween shenanigans galore, and that’s good for anyone who actually reads this blog. Like you, whoever you are, fair reader!

I appreciate the support of those who do frequent this blog, and I hope to bring you plenty of ghoulish, fun antics in 2017, the same as previous years! Here’s to fall and pumpkins and general creepiness! Hooray!