Mixed scents in the kitchen–and cat gravity

When I woke up this morning, the house smelled like the apple pie Lesa baked last night.

A little later, after I added the aroma of Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits, Lesa began making herself a small frying pan of scrambled eggs while I was peeling carrots and potatoes for a slow cooker pot roast so that it will be ready at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the house was darker than usual due to the monsoon outside.

Whenever we watch a House Hunters show on HGTV, people are always looking for kitchens large enough for the couple to both be preparing food at the same time. We seldom do that. But we were this morning–with an odd combination of foods.

Now, at 2:30 p.m., the entire house smells like pot roast or, if I open the front door, of rain.  This is the kind of day when, other than the cooking, it’s nice to be inside with nothing specific to do. I realized that I’ve been on the edge of burnout, so other than checking e-mail and Ffacebook, I’ve been propped up in my easy chair reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night. Now there’s a grim book, but easier to read than Victor Hugo.

Both Lesa and I see this as a high, cat-gravity kind of day, the kind of day when ramped up gravity brought into a household by a cat makes it hard for humans to stay awake and accomplish anything.

If you have multiple cats in your house, you’ve probably noticed that if any of them are in your lap, you don’t feel like leaving the chair; or that if they’re asleep, you’re likely to fall asleep before the end of your favorite TV show; or that when gravity is light, you feel like you’ve had too much coffee or forgot to take your Xanax.

The multiple aromas of food in the house interact with cat gravity to reduce a human’s ability to give a rat’s ass about anything, including loose rats in the house. I suppose dogs have gravity, too, but it seems to be less heavy. That might be a myth, but today, I don’t care because I’m weighed down by the sheer gravity of the things surrounding me.

Malcolm

Book Bits: Amazon algorithm, ‘We Don’t Eat Our Classmates,’ Sam Hawke, Anne Tyler, Indies Unlimited

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that we’ll be seeing the fourth Comoran Strike novel from J. k. Rowling this fall. I like the series and will be looking forward to the release.

Here’s some more news for your Monday.

  1. Viewpoint: The Amazon Algorithm Myth – “A problematic feature of the world in 2018 is that the social networks we have built seem to spread misinformation faster and wider than its more accurate counterpart, and this can lead authors to make decisions counter to their interests. One of the enduring myths surrounds “’The Amazon Algorithm.’” David Gaughran
  2. Review: We Don’t Eat our Classmates, written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, ages 3-7 – “When a young T. Rex named Penelope starts school, she learns some lessons about her classmates; most importantly, they are not for eating…Fans of macabre, tongue-in-cheek humor (and twist endings!) will enjoy time spent with Penelope.” Kirkus Reviews
  3. NewsCooking and Sci-Fi Are the Hot Print Segments This Year So Far, by Jim Milliot – “The cooking/entertaining and science fiction categories had the strongest print unit sales gains among the adult categories in the first half of 2018 compared to the first six months of 2017, according to NPD BookScan. On the downside, religion had the largest decline among the adult fiction categories, with units dropping 50%.” Publishers Weekly
  4. Interview: A Particularly Potent Brew, Sam Hawke with Noah Fram – “I love a good assassin story but I wanted to write the kind of inverse to that: the tale of the spoiled and pampered officials being targeted, rather than the tale of the assassins themselves. What I particularly love about Robin’s books, and what makes them stand out from other assassin romps, is that the poisonings and manipulations performed are never presented in a glorified or glamorous way.” BookPage
  5. EssayReading Raymond Chandler in the age of #MeToo, by Megan Abbott – “And yet, even reading Chandler’s harsher passages, I find myself not turning away but moving closer. Trying to understand something. Am I still entranced? Even as I resist the faintly gendered connotations of the term, its suggestion of female helplessness in the face of male potency, I still feel the pull. What fascinates and compels me most about Chandler in this #MeToo moment are the ways his novels speak to our current climate. Because if you want to understand toxic white masculinity, you could learn a lot by looking at noir.” Slate
  6. Review: Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler  reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum – “”CLOCK DANCE is a riveting and wholesome story of family, relationships, humanity and self-discovery…. [Anne Tyler] is at the top of her writing game in this outstanding novel.” Book Reporter
  7. News Source: Indie Author Newsbreak, This news feature will offer author, publishing news, and tips every Friday. I found the Amazon Algorithm (item 1) story link here. Should be a good information source from the popular authors’ website. Indies Unlimited
  8. Quotation: “Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.” – Salman Rushdie
  9. Interview: Don’t Make Me Pull Over by Richard Ratay, with by Randy Dotinga – “I came up with the idea while on a family vacation. I found myself on a beach chair, looking at my young sons, who were then aged 6 and 8, and I thought about traveling 1970s America at that age with my own parents and siblings. It hit me how profound those experiences really were. They gave me some of my fondest childhood memories, they broadened my horizons in so many ways, and they profoundly shaped my relationships with my parents and my siblings for a lifetime. But I knew little about how the great American road trip experience developed.” Christian Science Monitor

Book Bits is compiled randomly by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the upcoming novel “Lena” from Thomas-Jacob Publishing. Click on the book title to see the trailer.

–Malcolm