Monday, November 3, 2014

Dear Mel Dawn of the Dead

Thank you for sending us your short story, “Zombie Cats of the Apocalypse”.

While we do enjoy a good zombie story, this wasn’t it.

We also take exception to the phrase, “90% of the adult human population is already infected with the Toxoplasma gondii cat parasite, and hence are already zombies due to the fact that placing a mustache on a cat will result in the human’s voices descending into a monotone of “who is a cute liddle widdle kitty cat now?”

We also suggest that you go back to school and take a grammatical course as I’m fairly certain that a zombie cat would not say “you look meowalushus today hoomin,” but rather, “You look meowalicious today human”.

The editors at the Zombie Cat Anthology do not wish you the best in your writing endeavors and suggest that you give up writing altogether and find a job at Walmart.

Best regards,
Edwina the Editor

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I See Cat People

There are cat products available for purchase in nearly any shop nowadays. You can find Grumpy Cat merchandise, or the latest books on Nala Cat, or Maru the Box Cat, and Homer the Blind Cat. There's also a wide variety of general cat merchandise, from wallets, to jewellery, and clothing.

Last month I took a trip to Steveston, in Richmond, BC, Canada. You'd think the area would be inundated with Once Upon a Time merchandise, as that's where the TV show is filmed, but no. The only place I saw Once Upon a Time merchandise was at the local tourist office and museum.

Instead, I found tons of cat merch. I couldn't leave without buying a few items, but most had to remain on the shelf. Here's some photographs of What the Cat Saw. Meow!

A kitty bookmark, but who wants to take it out of its cute packaging?

These kitty bottle openers will have you smiling too!

Because we all love cat butts!

The other side of the cat butts coin purse.

Liar liar furry pants on fire!

You too can be as pretty as me with your very own cat compact.

Cat fabric for your arts and crafts.

Kitty cat cross stitch kit.

Kittys on the keys needlepoint project kit.

Cat picks for food or hair?

Cat pillow.

Tiny kitty cat post it notes.

Kitty purse.

A blue kitty scarf.

A pink kitty scarf.

T-shirt or night shirt? Doesn't matter, when I held these up, a little old lady saw them and bought all four! I should have earned commission!

Another of the shirts that I inadvertently sold.

Back view of another shirt.

Front view of the shirt.

A kitty princess t-shirt.

Some cute cat socks that I found at the local crafts shop.

None of these items are for sale, but I do have a few cat items for sale in my own Catews shop. Please do stop by for a visit!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grumpy Cat Says No to Christmas!

The Grumpy Cat Christmas movie is currently filming in Coquitlam, BC, Canada until September 16th, and I had a chance to check out some of the sets.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As I walked past, a lot of angry shoppers were mad that the Christmas decorations have been put up even earlier this year, especially in August. But wait....Can it be a Grumpy Cat movie, sponsored by Lifetime Channel? Yes, it's Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever! So, don't worry shoppers, all the Christmas decorations will be back down again, just in time for Halloween!
Someone to watch over me. Yes, they had crew, just in case anyone stole one of the faux presents from under the tree.
Just say NO! That's right. That's what the crew told me when I asked if I could have a look at the set.
But all is not lost, as I was allowed to visit Whiskers, the pet store in the film.
Here's customer service all decked out for Christmas.
Michelle at Customer Service gave me four cat buttons, so I guess my Christmas shopping is now done for the year.
An exterior photo of the pet shop.

An exterior shot of the other side.

The neat sign the crew made.

Some lovely stars on the side.

Another WTF Christmas tree in the Mall.

Some of the actors from the movie decided to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Take note of Grumpy Cat AKA Tardar Sauce, in the background there. 
Here is Grumpy Cat on her Santa throne, not looking very amused.

So, no, after my great voyage out to the boonies, I never did get to meet Grumpy Cat. When I talked to Michelle at Customer Service, she said the crew didn't give them any information. It was hit or miss whether you saw her at the Mall or not. She did make an appearance last Saturday, so it's possible another one is coming up on Saturday. Stay tuned for the Grumpy Cat movie on Lifetime Channel at Christmas time. Until then, say NO to Christmas in August.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Odds Are Against You Being Born a Human in Canada

Happy Canada Day to my readers! Have you ever thought about the astronomical odds being in your favour when you were born as a human baby in Canada, rather than as an ant, plant or even a human in another country?

There are nearly seven billion people on the planet Earth and approximately 196 countries in the world. Have you ever wondered why you were born here and not in China, Kenya, Australia, or Fuji? Many other countries in the world are lovely, but there is an equal amount where there are no human rights, people don't know if they'll see the light of day when they wake up in the morning, or even where their next meal will come from.

There are 34,000,000 people living in Canada. Of that amount, about 30,000,000 people were born here.

What were the odds that you were lucky enough to be born in Canada? I'm not a mathematician, but my calculations work out to a 0.04% chance of a baby being born at a Canadian hospital tonight.

Now think about how many animals are living on the planet Earth. When I tried to so some research, there wasn't even a number that could describe that amount. The highest number is about a centillion, which I believe has 600 zeros after it. However, scientists believe there are many more living beings in the animal kingdom than that. 

What if we also included plants? Do plants have awareness like humans and animals? No one really knows.

Since there are 2 billion cats in the world, odds are greater that you will be born a human than a cat. I personally wouldn't have minded being born a cat, particularly a cat in Canada. 

It is estimated that there are 10 quadrillion ants in the world, so, odds are greater that you would be born an ant, than a human. Unless you committed wrong doings in your past life, your odds are greatly increased in being a human the next time round.

These statistics are sobering. How did we get so lucky? Why weren't we born ants, spiders, etc? Is there truly a higher being who has classified our spot on the Earlh?

With these thoughts in mind, please enjoy the remainder of your Canada Day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mel's Predictions for the Year 2020

My blog has been a bit neglected this month, due to several projects in progress. Let's try something fun. What's the year 2020 going to be like? Finance? Business? Entertainment? Here's my top 10 predictions for the year 2020. Five years from now I'll check my predictions and see how many of them came true. 

1. The television show Doctor Who will still be running. David Tennant will come back as Doctor number ten AND Doctor number 18, the first actor on Doctor Who to return for a future season. They'll work the details into the plot, with Martha, Donna and Captain Jack returning as well. 

2. All the major TV networks will fold and everyone will be watching their programs via web or Netflix. Privately-held companies will sponsor television programs and they'll be higher-quality scripts as more is at stake.

3. 80% of employed persons in North America will become self-employed. At no other time in history will there be so many small business start ups as now.

4. Walmart will have gone bankrupt and be gone. Target will do well in the US, and Zellers will make a comeback in Canada.

5. So many self-employed Canadians will be making under $19,999 per year that they won't have to pay income tax.

6. Due to the major overseas job fiasco, the Liberal government will permanently be in its grave. The Green Party will be the new opposition government.

7. Due to a huge employee-abuse suit, most major corporations will fold, leaving mom and pop shops to take up the slack. When leasing rates go up, more small business owners will choose to run businesses online or from home.

8. Housing prices will plummet, allowing families to purchase their first home. Especially important as small business owners will need extra space.

9. The creators of Doctor Who will announce ten new science fiction television show start-ups, and they'll all be awesome.

10. GMOs will be banned world-wide and all food must be organic. If it's not organic, then it must be labelled as such. So, organic becomes the norm, becoming affordable, leaving junk food as a luxury product. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Five Lessons I Learned from My Cat

For those of us who have spent an entire lifetime living with a variety of cat companions, we have gained a deeper understanding of how the cat's mind actually works.

Cats learn a variety of things from us, mainly on how to be domesticated. Don't scratch the furniture, it's wrong to climb the drapes, or pee outside the box.

We in turn learn a variety of life-saving tips from our special furry loved ones.

Here are five lessons that I have personally learned from my cat, Isabel.

1. Sometimes it's okay to spend all day in bed. Cats sleep an average of sixteen hours a day. Humans sleep an average of eight hours a day. Sometimes when we're not feeling well, whether mentally or physically, it's a day best spent snuggled up to a warm kitty cat in bed, reading a book. Have a nap with them, they love sharing their lives with their fellow pride member.

Please click here to read the remainder of my article on

Monday, May 19, 2014

Queen Victoria's Wisdom on Writing

Happy Victoria Day! I decided to dig through my archives for a post from a couple of years ago.

Queen Victoria wrote a minimum 6000 words in her journal each day. She received her first journal in 1882 when she was a young girl of thirteen years old. It is unclear where her journals were stored as she finished each one, but a staff member of the royal household deemed them valuable enough to store away in the archive of her life.

Queen Victoria's entire journal collection can be found online at the Queen Victoria's Journals website. 

Women have extremely busy lives with work and famiy but Queen Victoria fitted a week into one day. She had the time to pen 6000 words each day, so I do believe that I can find the time to do the same, minus a zero or two!

As my vacation looms, I have promised myself to work on my steampunk writing projects at least 5 days in a row. It's been discussed whether I'll go into hiding, perhaps at a seedy hotel, or will I inhabit the local coffee shop and pretend to be JK Rowling? 

Ironically I was heading home one day when I nearly had to smack myself on top of the head! It's so true that we don't pay attention to our surroundings after the first few months. Stay tuned for my further writing adventures. I do know that the Queen did not stress about where to write, she just set pen to paper and wrote it.

If anyone here should finish reading Queen Vic's journals in their lifetime or write 6000 words a day, do come round for tea.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Time for Some Quick Reads!

While socializing at an event, many people will ask what I do for a living. I'll tell them about my writing journey. They're curious about where to find some of my short stories. Generally, I only write for pay. You can find a few of my free short stories scattered over the web if you look hard enough.

Here are a few spots where you can buy my short stories. Don't worry, most of them are only a few dollars to purchase. You really can't go wrong!

What the Cat Saw - Would you kill for your cat? This is a short crime fiction story, with a cat. Only 99¢ on Smashwords. It's quick and easy to sign up and you can pay with your Paypal account.

What the Cat Saw, available at Barnes and Noble Nook Book - Same short story, different location, also 99¢.

The Glass Marble - An ancient Egyptian story about a family struggling to survive, with many temptations available at the town bazaar. About one dollar (site is in the UK).

Zombies Against the Confederacy of Steamfound inside the Confederacy of Steam Vs Zombies Anthology by Marion Margaret Press. Normally zombie stories are told from the point of view of the humans. But what about zombie rights?
$2.99 US, available on Smashwords.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Third Annual Vancouver Fan Expo 2014

The Olympic Cauldron outside the Vancouver Convention Centre
Olympic Cauldron outside Vancouver Convention Centre

Vancouver Fan Expo was an exciting blur of a long Easter weekend with working and playing. 

My BC Crafty Geeks group booked a table to sell our crafts. We had an early move-in on Friday morning. We totally lucked out and had an extra table. Since there were five of us, we could spread out. We had a variety of items on our table to tempt buyers. Crocheted dolls, hats, bags and cat toys. Handmade cross-stitched pins from Doctor Who to Space Invaders. Laser etched glasses and pendants and logos. Doctor Who Dalek and TARDIS soaps, ornaments, Steampunk pins and magnets, Harry Potter miniatures, plastic canvas crafts, stickers and collector's cards. 

Cross-stitched pins for sale
Doctor Who merchandise

With five people, we always had the table staffed with one or two people. We had plenty of time to shop and run around looking at the displays from Lego, to the huge Walking Dead poster, to R2D2 and Mutt (Steampunk K9) driving around. 

Bruce Boxleitner
I had the chance to go to four Q&A panels. Bruce Boxleitner was entertaining, sounds like a "to the rules" sort of guy, much like Captain Sheridan. Bruce Campbell was just the opposite, making the audience be the panel, instead of him. Very outgoing, quite the showman. Charisma Carpenter was charming. Just think Cordelia but without the snobbery. The Tom Felton Q&A had to be the best panel I attended. He was delightful and charming. 

I only partook of one autograph, as they were so pricey. I lined up early Sunday morning for Tom Felton, right before his Q&A panel. Being the Slytherin that he was, he was an hour late to his session. But that's all right, I was nearly one of the first in the lineup. I had him sign my Chamber of Secrets DVD and also got a free photo, which I promptly lost. Fortunately, a friend found it for me later.

Tom Felton's Autograph
At the autograph session, can you see me?

Mel Dawn in the TARDIS
I was a bit disappointed at the lack of handmade goods at Fan Expo, not including drawings or paintings. There were about 20 different spots to buy Doctor Who merch but none of it handmade and I already owned all that stuff anyway. 

The new convention venue was so much better than the location last year, at the old convention centre. Vancouver Fan Expo ran smoothly this year with plenty of space to spread out into. The food concessions were good and reasonably priced. Plenty of washrooms. More than enough graphic novel/comic book vendors, plenty of paintings, drawings and t-shirts to buy, though the t-shirts were all over-priced.

All in all I was pleasantly pleased with this year's Vancouver Fan Expo and look forward to the guest list announcement for Easter long weekend next year.

A giant Walking Dead poster
Even R2D2 came