MJ and I recently went on vacation in FL. The crazy part was, we drove. We drove from Virginia to Florida, which is about fourteen hours, each way. After looking at the cost of flights + rental car, it seemed like a good idea. Around hour thirteen, it seemed like a terrible idea.
But anyway, as I was taking one of my turns driving, MJ looked at the copy of Shards of Glass I'd left on the dash. Since I am pretty much addicted to feedback, I kept glancing away from the highway to see what he thought.
"Do you know you've got two chapter fours here?"
"Are you freaking kidding me?" was my instant response. "I just went through as part of my revisions to verify that all the chapter headings were right." (In the first draft, I'd eventually given up on chapter headings and then, as fatigue set in, chapters at all, but that's what edits are for)
"Why number your chapters at all?" MJ asked.
"Because... chapters get numbered."
"You don't have to number them. You could just leave your headings instead."
Anarchy, I say. Anarchy. Right now, Shards of Glass has chapters labeled like this:
Chapter Two: On A Red Balloon
Chapter Three: Nick At Home
Chapter Four: Meanwhile, Across Town...
Chapter Five: Broken Things
The Goddess of Vengeance, on the other hand, gets plain chapter headings. Chapter One. Chapter Two.
I'm currently reading Jodi Picoult's House Rules: A Novel, and she doesn't do traditional chapter headings, either. She has chapters, written from the POV of different protoganists, and so the chapters are labeled purely by who is speaking: Theo. Emma. Rich. Jacob.
How do you organize your chapters? Is there anything you like to see chapter-wise when you read?
On to cats, as promised by the title. When we were on vacation in FL, we went to the awesome Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. The preserve houses big cats that were rescued from bad zoos, circuses and private owners. Did you know that there are more big cats in Texas than in India, because so many people try to make this gorgeous wild animals into pets? They're often misused and mistreated, especially as they grow out of kitten stage and become extremely dangerous. There's a beautiful tiger at the park that was rescued as a cub from a cage so small he couldn't stand and his back legs were emaciated, his fur sticking out of the cage. Two panthers who were kept in a zoo basement for a year without sunlight because no one was interested in viewing the older cats. And so many other animals who were abused by humans who should have protected and cared for them.
For Easter, I'm trying to embed this fun video of some of those cats -- now with a happy home and loving caretakers -- enjoying extra-large "Easter Eggs":
This is also Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and you can find ways to help at the SPCA website here. Sorry for the shameless plugs, but it breaks my heart the way some people treat big AND small cats. Both websites have ways you have can promote awareness and help cats even without donating money. My kitties give me so much joy, and so do the beautiful wild cats that should be free in their native countries!
These are our two adorable foster cats from the SPCA, waiting on their forever home (and in this photo, really fascinated by falling snow!)
What are you passionate about besides writing? I have a million interests, but my two passions are writing and animals.
Last of all, CONTESTS!
Christine Danek is having a pretty amazing 100 Follower Contest, giving away prints and books as prizes!
Shannon is celebrating signing with an agent by giving away six different books to six winners!
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