Tag Archives: personal

Things that happened during the hiatus: I gained (and lost) a cat

The story is this: one of my siblings moved to Montreal and started collecting cats. First there was the one from the classified ads, or some such, I honestly don’t remember. Then there was the one litteraly rescued from the street. Then it was volunteering at the SPCA, taking cats in foster care. I find it especially funny since the sibling in question has always been a dog person. I, on the other hand, am a cat person, and the sibling knows that very well. Ever since classified ads cat, the sibling has been telling me that I should get a cat of my own.

I was hesitant, to be honest. At first I had the excuse that I was still living with my parents, and they didn’t want to have pets. Once I moved out on my own, the excuse became “I have to work, I’m gone for nine hours a day, I don’t want the cat to get lonely and depressed”. Finally, the sibling fostered a cat who got along very badly with the other cats, and who apparently had no problem being left alone for hours on end. Out of excuses, I relented.

And into my life came Miou-Miou. (pronounced mew-mew)


I was going to give him a more dignified name, but come on! Look at him. He is such a Miou-Miou. Also, I had the hardest time taking a good picture of that cat. This was the best I could do for the longest time. Then there was this picture, which might be concidered better, by some.



Anyway, he was terrible with other pets, if the Montreal sibling is to be believed, but I never had any problems with him. He would walk up and say Hi to me when I came back from work, or even just from being away. He could be very playful, when I teased him with the feather thing or threw a catnip mouse at him (I don’t think the catnip made any difference: he just liked to chase the mouse), but he could also be really chill. I could always pet and brush him; he even let me rub his tummy, and cats generally don’t do that. The worst thing he ever did to me was slither out of my grasp when I was trying to give him a hug.

That is, until the end of February, when he began to worry me by not eating anymore. I mean, fair enough, I was gone for nine hours a day, so I might have missed him eating a few times, but I did clean out the litter box, and the absence of stool was hard to miss. On March second, he completely freaked me out by doing nothing all evening but lay on his side next to the living room window. That’s when I called the vet.

Long story short? Effusive feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP. Google it, or if you don’t want to, just take my word for it: it sucks.

I spent a lot of time crying after that first vet visit, and since. I also spent a lot of time on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was told from the get-go that whatever the diagnosis (leukemia was an option for a little while, and so were other tumors, or some bacterial infections), the prognosis was bad, and that Miou-Miou’s lifespan had been dramatically shortened.

The great fear I had when I really began to realize that he was sick was that I had somehow accidentally caused that illness. He was a rescue cat, he survived six years or so in really difficult conditions, and the idea that I somehow killed him in three/four months was driving me nuts with guilt. Thankfully that fear was unfounded and dismissed by the diagnosis. Humans can’t cause FIP. The second great fear was that he would die without me there. It’s what happened with the last pet my parents and I had; he was sick and died while my mother and I were gone on a week-long trip. I had plans to go to New-York on Easter. While I didn’t want to unnecessarily cut his life short, I also didn’t want to have him die while I was gone.

I spent three weeks of trying a bunch of meds and watching him get a little bit better before slowly, slowly getting worse. I started coming home from work at lunch to feed him. Whenever I left the house, I was always afraid that I would be gone too long, that he would miss a feeding or a dose of meds. I was watching him all the time, breathing a sight of relief with every sign of life. One of my favorite activity became laying my head on him and listen to him breath, or purr.

Three weeks of that turned out to be my limit. I finally took the decision to have Miou-Miou euthanized. I had the final appointment on Friday, March 27th.



(My mom went with me to the vet’s, and she tried to get some pictures of us together. He struggled against the camera to the very end, my poor baby.)

It went very smoothly, and as well as those things ever go, I suppose. I cried buckets at the vet, and I cried myself to sleep that night. Since then, I emptied and stored the littler box, washed the food bowl, put away the toys that weren’t completely mangled and tossed those which were. Now all that remains are clawmarks on the drapes, and on the couch. And my memories.


(The only unarguably good picture I have of him.)


(A little magnet message I made with the set I got for Christmas two years ago. My Montreal sibling got very upset upon seeing that the set included puppy, but not cat or kitten. The Montreal sibling lacks creativity.)

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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Things that happened during the hiatus: I got a haircut

It’s not a big thing, but it’s as good a place to start as any. I was turning 30, and I realised that I had the same hairstyle for years now. Long, natural brown, pulled in a ponytail. Look at my author photo. (You can’t really tell how long it is from that shot, but it gives a general idea.)

Aurelia Osborne

That was taken in december 2013. I don’t think I even had it trimmed since. Then I decided: “enough”. I wanted a new look, and this is what I got.


Here I am with my freshly re-dyed hair.

Not the best picture of me, I’ll give you that. Still, doesn’t my hair look great? I’m really happy with my new style. It’s more upkeep, I’ll have to get trims and roots done more often, but I think it’ll be worth it.

I guess I’ll need a new author photo soon.

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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The aftermath of an unexpected, (nearly) year-long hiatus

First of all, I have to day that I’m feeling a little silly, right now. Trying to get back into the blogging thing feels awkward. It has been nearly a year since I wrote anything here, and I don’t have a real reason for my absence. I have been thinking of coming back here for a while, now, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. And I didn’t want to risk a vicious cycle of “post for a little while, go silent for a year”. Which means that I had to think about why I stopped writing here, and figure out how to motivate myself to keep writing here.

So, what went wrong?

First and foremost, writing these blog entries has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I’m not super comfortable talking about myself. Talking about my life in general is a little easier, but made more difficult in this case by the fact that I can’t talk in specific ways about the people in my life. (I mean, I could, but I don’t have their explicit permission, so it feels unethical.) All of which is further complicated by the fact that I use a pseudonym. (It’s not a secret; it’s right in my author bio.)

I think the pseudonym was part of a second problem. I felt that since I was using a different name, I had to create a different identity for myself. It was hard enough to share myself online, but now I was adding extra limitations, because there were parts of me that I felt didn’t belong in Aurelia Osborne’s life, and that therefore I could not share here.

The third problem was that I followed the advice of well-meaning friends who told me that to increase the following on my blog, I needed to have a brand of sort. People would be more likely to visit if they knew what to expect was the general idea. It may be so, but it added up to even more limitations on what I felt that I could talk about, until one day, I missed a post and had no idea how to get back on schedule.

Now that I have some idea of what went wrong: too many self-imposed limitations. The solution would therefore be less self-imposed limitations, so we’re going to try that and see how it goes from there.

What can you expect from this blog? For the next few Sundays, I’m going to queue a series of posts about what has happened during the hiatus. So far, I can think of six posts. I might think of something else, but unless/until I do, I will say six weeks of hiatus updates. After that, I will keep on writing every Sunday, but about what? Who knows?

I will also try to write book reviews every Tuesday, I do have a year’s worth of books read to pick from, and I am determined not to limit myself to the books that I believe to be part of the “Aurelia Osborne” brand. And once or twice a month, on Fridays, I will write reviews of movies or plays, or other things that are week-end activities. (That’s all I can say without spoiling future planned )

So I’ll talk to you all again on Tuesday.

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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Friday: The ideal week-end length

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before; I have a day job, one I actually enjoy. It’s a clerical job, so I spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, which is my natural state of being, but it also requires me to walk around quite a bit, so my legs and butt aren’t all numb at the end of the day. As an extra bonus, I am on a friendly basis with my co-workers, especially the two girls who are sitting next to me.

When I see them on Monday morning, I usually ask “how was your week-end?” While one of the girls answers some variation of “good”, the other always answers “too short”. After a regular two day week-end. After a three day week-end. After Easter week-end. The week-end is always too short.

I have to admit, I don’t understand that. A two day week-end works perfectly for me: I can sleep in a little, I have the time to run some errands, to read, or watch some dvd’s, or play some video games, and then it’s back to the routine of work. When I do get a three day week-end, I tend to spend the extra day lounging in my pajamas, doing various computer stuff. Sitting in front of a computer may be my natural state of being, but I still need to move around, and my apartment isn’t as big as the floor at my job, so even if I get the motivation to move around, I don’t have as much space. I always end up spending too much time sitting, so my legs and butt get numb, and at the end of the day I feel lazy and cranky and not that good about myself.

And then there’s the fact that a full week of week-end would not feel like a week of week-end. Even if you don’t have to go to the office five days out of the week, you have to settle into some sort of routine, and drudgery builds up, and you get bored and wish for a change, because that’s how the human brain works.

Maybe I’m the weird one here, but I suspect that I’m also the happier one in the long run: I don’t spend so much time complaining about the length of the week-end.

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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Friday: Criticism vs Satire

A propos of nothing in particular.

Merriam-Webster, my dictionary of choice, defines criticism thusly: the activity of making careful judgments about the good and bad qualities of books, movies, etc.

It also defines satire thusly: : a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc.

I consider myself to be open-minded and reasonable. I can take criticism, not only of my own work, but also of my tastes, especially if I sense that the intent is good. If you think that something I like is problematic for reason XYZ, well, maybe I didn’t notice XYZ, and maybe it won’t affect my enjoyment of the thing I like, but at least I know that you are trying to make the world a better place. If you disagree with my on a matter of morality or of ethic, again I may disagree, but I’ll respect your position.

If you make fun of me, and try to make me look like an idiot for my tastes and my opinions, or my work, for that matter, the best you can hope for is that I’ll dismiss you as an idiot. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if it’s me personally: any kind of person who stoops to satire, I dismiss as an idiot, almost as a rule. (I make the occasional exception for Mel Brooks.)

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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Friday: I love Youtube

I’ve been having this really good week in regards to Youtube. This week-end I was thinking about this old tv show I really liked as a kid, and I got a yen to watch it again. “I wonder if it’s on Youtube,” I said to myself, and then I looked, and it was.

And then after my post about Notre-Dame de Paris on Monday, I pulled out the cd because I put myself in a mood to listen to it, and I found the English version concept album. “That’s right! They made the whole show in London,” I said to myself. “I wonder what that was like. Maybe I can find the lyrics or something.” I turn to Google, and one of the first results is a Youtube video of the whole London show. That video let me to the Spanish version, and the Russian one, and a few other things as well. So really, it’s been a good week for me and Youtube.

So I’ll probably spend a good part of Valentine’s Day on Youtube, as it is currently my greatest love. But first I’d like to put some links here, about the blog tour. We had a few hiccups at first, but it looks like we’re off and running now. I’ve had three spotlights yesterday

One on Bakawa’s Book Fair:

One on Down Write Nuts:

One on Writer’s Inspiration:

And one today, at Celtic Lady’s Reviews:


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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Book Wednesday: The Admirer goes on a blog tour.

Is it cheating? I don’t think so, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?

So yes, my novel, The Admirer, begins a two week blog tour today. The tour is organised by Sizzling PR.

My first blog tour, and I’m glad I decided against going at it myself, and chose to hire professionals. I can’t wait to see out it turns out.

Here are the various stops of the tour:

Feb. 12th – Spotlight at Dealing sharing Aunt
Feb. 13th – Spotlight at World of Romance
Feb. 14th – Spotlight at Celtic Ladys Reviews
Feb. 15th – Spotlight at Lachelle Redd
Feb. 16th – Spotlight at Passion For Romance
Feb. 17th – Interview at Self Publish or Die
Feb. 17th – Guest Post at Writer’s Inspiration
Feb. 18th – Spotlight at  Indie Authors, Books, and more
Feb 20th – Guest Post at Heather Powell
Feb 21st – Guest Post at Not So Famous Author’s Blog
Feb. 23rd – Review at Reviews from Beyond the Book
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Friday: A secret

So … I’ve been working on this thing,  this week. The thing is actually pretty involved,  and really cool. I’ve been planning and noodling,  and I have reached the point where, to make the thing work, I have to bring other people in. This is exciting.

The problem is, I can’t tell you guys what the thing is yet.

I’m sorry, I really am. I want to tell, I’ve wanted to tell since December (which is when I first started to work on the thing), but it’s just not the right time.

So instead, I’ll show you some cool stuff I got in the mail this week.


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Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Back to the Internet.

I finished and submitted the manuscript I promised my publishers I would send them yesterday. Finally, I know. And I was only two and a half hours late. Which I consider especially impressive because, and no-one knew this other than me, when I suggested this manuscript three weeks ago, and was asked to submit it, it was only three-quarters written. And I had some extensive revisions to do, because of that bad habit I have of switching between past and present in my verbs, and because some parts were just bad and needed to be scrapped.

So anyway, the point is I am done! Which means that I can start doing other stuff, like using Twitter more actively, reading some books to add to my Goodreads shelf, use this blog more often the way I promised myself I would. (And also do other stuff I’ve been putting off, like shoveling and grocery shopping.)

In my last post, I mentioned plans I had made to be more efficient in my “regular posting” resolutions. Well: here it is. I will be posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. (This Saturday post was planned to be a Friday post, back when I though I might finish my manuscript before midnight.) Some friends suggested that I choose a theme for my blog, because to retain a readership, people have to know what to expect of me. Just talking about whatever the hell I want might have worked if I’d started blogging in the 90’s, but as things stand, I guess my friends have a point. While I don’t like the idea of one theme, I thought I could use some more structure, and maybe a couple of different themes.

Monday is Theater and Musicals day. I’ve had a long interest in both those subjects, and I have seen many plays and many shows, sometimes live on stage, sometimes in a film adaptation, and … let’s leave that at that. Anyway. I could talk about the shows I’ve seen, and the ones I haven’t seen but studied in school (when you study literature, theater kind of comes along with it). I could even upload videos of me singing covers of my favorite songs from my favorite musicals, if/when I ever get my camera back.

Wednesday is Books and Writing day. I do spend a lot of time reading and writing, and it’s only fair that I spend some time talking about that. I can do book reviews. I can talk about book adaptations. I can talk about the ongoing marketing efforts for The Admirer. I can talk about my next project, or about the fan-fiction I write. That’s right, folks, I write fan-fiction and say it proudly. I might even post some here.

Friday is Whatever I Feel Like day. Is it cheating? Maybe, and maybe my friends won’t be happy with me, but you know what? That’s just the way it is. I have things going on in my life that don’t fit in any of the above-mentioned themes, and I want to give myself the freedom to talk about them. I could talk about games, either video or table top. I could upload covers of songs that are not from musicals, again, if/when I get my camera back. (I know I could film myself on my phone, but I have a hard time exporting those videos, and it doesn’t look as good anyway.) I could develop some other interest, like cooking, or baking, or fashion, or make-up, or something that isn’t even tangentially related to books.

So here is the plan. It’s exactly as much structure as I’m willing to implement in my blog at this time. Too much? Too little? Time will tell.

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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Uncategorized



Real life happening here

You know how it is. Sometimes you make some fancy, important resolutions about your online presence, and you even make plans on how to implement that resolution more efficiently. But then you promise your publisher that you can have a draft of your novel ready by January 31st, and everything else goes to hell.

Which is to say, I won’t be writing anything here until February. Sorry. I’ll do better next month.

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Uncategorized