Thank you, 2015 (with cat pictures)

Thank you, Jane Hawkins, for giving a home to our foster feline, Mr. Cat (now Merkle) who needed to live in a one-cat household.

picture of Kaylee the cat
Kaylee (2004-2015)

Thank you, Kaylee, for 12 years of being such a cute kitten — and a challenging cat. Your sister Zoe misses you, though the new cats (more on them shortly) keep her company.

Thank you, Susan Powter, for helping me start 2015 off with personal yoga training via Skype. I hope you’ll offer Skype training again.

Thank you, Kat Richardson — not just for your Greywalker series and its brilliant conclusion,  Revenant — but for giving back to the Seattle writing community so generously through the Waywords at the Wayward writing sessions. Carving out Tuesday nights for writing made all the difference to my writing this year.

Thank you, neighbors Jerry and Gayle, for exchanging cat-sitting services with us — and for forgiving Sheba our deaf white cat when she bit Jerry!

Thank you, Danielle, for coming reliably twice a month to help us dig out from under the cat hair and clutter!

Thank you, John Simmons Chappell, for taming my hair every few weeks and sharing home remodeling tips.

Sheba the cat
Sheba, seconds before she swept the bowl of berries off the table.

Thank you, Sheba, for being such a fascinating cat for 18 years. A deaf white cat, you learned sign language, loved to cuddle, and kept our countertops clear by throwing anything we left on them onto the floor. I sold my house in Wallingford and moved to a dead-end street in Ballard in 2001 just so you could safely go outdoors once a day.

Thank you, Patrick Swenson, for organizing the Rainforest Writers Village retreat while teaching, publishing, and writing fiction (like the The Ultra Thin Man).

Thank you, Joe HageJosh FreedmanPeter Krause, and Pete Frickland, for sending great writing and editing projects my way.

Thank you, Charlie Hamilton and Barb Rowan, for your brilliant web design and project management work. It is a joy to collaborate with you.

Thank you, Arlin Robins, for rescuing Tinkerbelle, Mr. Tippy, and Perdita in Northern California and sending them to us in Seattle. Especially after Mr. Tippy bit you.

Mr. Tippy on Facebook
Mr. Tippy on Facebook

Thank you, John Hedtke and Marilyn Maurer, for driving down to Cottage Grove from Eugene with cash for the mobile mechanic who took apart the dashboard of my car to get Mr. Tippy out after the cat wrapped himself around the steering mechanism.

Thank you, Rossoe Oil and Gas Systems, for taking apart the cold air system of our heater so we could hunt for Mr. Tippy when he disappeared in the ceiling of our basement.

Thank you, John Hutchison and Hank Graham, for helping us tear apart the walls and ceiling looking for Mr. Tippy — especially Hank, who finally discovered Mr. Tippy three-and-a-half weeks after the cat vanished.

Thank you, Seattle Animal Control, for rushing over to help us try to get Mr. Tippy out of the ceiling after we found him. Sorry he was utterly uncooperative.

Thank you, Kier Salmon, for finding Mr. Tippy and for helping us finally get him out of the ceiling. And for being so understanding when he bit you.

Thank you, Animal Medical Center of Seattle, our 24-hour vet, for rehydrating Mr. Tippy and assuring us that he’d be perfectly fine (he was).

Thank you, Aurora Veterinary Hospital, for helping us get Tinkerbelle, Mr. Tippy, and Perdita caught up on their shots, and for being very flexible about scheduling when it took us 6 months to capture Perdita and bring her in.

Thank you, King County Metro, for selecting my poem “Letter of Conjugation” for the Poetry on the Bus “Writing Home” series.

Thank you, Bundoran Press, for publishing my story “Grief” in the anthology Second Contacts. It was my first (of three) semi-pro fiction sales this year.

Thank you, Viable Paradise friends, for beta reading, critiques, Google writing hangouts, meet-ups at conventions, and sharing you own writing triumphs and woes in 2015.

Thank you, Northwest Folklife, for four wonderful days of music, dance, and volunteering. We loved getting to close the festival Monday night!

Thank you, Liz Vogel, for organizing the writers workshop with me at Fourth Street. And for all the cookies!

Thank you, Clarion West, for the summer public readings. And the parties…

Thank you, Bruce Durocher II, for being such a class act. You, and your film criticism, are sorely missed.

Karen and Tom at Bag End, Hobbiton (Sasquan)
Karen and Tom at Bag End, Hobbiton (Sasquan)

Thank you, Sasquan Con Com, for running a superb convention under difficult circumstances that ranged from Sad Puppies to forest fires and smoke hazards.

Thank you, Gustavo, for getting me back on the track with Zumba classes. You are an inspiration.

Thank you, Jeff Lemkin, for all of the great conversations and meals. You are at once dauntingly intellectual and refreshingly down-to-earth.

Thank you, Mom (and Dad), for underwriting the systems work on the drainage, heating, and natural gas systems at the house this year. Not glamorous, but those improvements are really making a difference.

Thank you, Quality Plumbing, for coming to our rescue when other plumbing companies wimped out. You quickly replaced our somewhat arcane (high recovery) hot water heater.

Thank you, Diabolical Plots, for the Submission Grinder — the online system many of us use to track our fiction submissions to magazines and anthologies. And thank you, Cynthia Ward, for the excellent Market Maven newsletter about speculative fiction markets.

Thank you, Home Owners Club, for posting my humor columns on line this year.

And thank you, Tom Whitmore, for being there with me for all of this.