Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello
I can’t begin to express how much I don’t want to have to write this post. My little Meglet cat died last Friday, October 30, and I am going to miss her forever. Over the years I’ve had to say a final goodbye to six dogs and seven cats that I thought of as mine to some degree. All of them were special to me, and much loved. But, as anyone can tell you, some beloved pets are extra special. Meglet was one of those for me. We brought her home in April of 2004 after she stole my heart at the Humane Society, and she spent much of the eleven and a half years since then curled up on my chest or in my lap along with my beloved Isabelle cat, often forming one half of what I refer to as my catvest. I wrote fourteen novels with her on or near me.
She had spent two years at the Humane Society where they had named her Nutmeg. That quickly became Meglet once she got here because, like Winnie the Pooh’s friend Piglet, she was a very small animal—eight pounds at her heaviest, and three and a half when we finally had to let her go. But she was fierce and fearless and incredibly scrappy. She was also incredibly social—always willing to come out when we had guests and to greet everyone and collect pets and skritches. I think her years at the Humane Society were part of why the one thing she loved nearly as much as hanging out on my chest was lying in the sun on our screened in porch where she could smell the wind and feel both free and safe.
Meglet made marvelous little chirping noises that always sounded to me like she was asking: Murder? Murder? in the most cheerful way imaginable. Meg was an inveterate snudger, which is something between a snuggle, and a nudge, and a smear where she would rub her nose and lips across your cheeks and ears. Every night when I came to bed, she would stand on my chest and press her forehead into my chin as hard she could and just purr her heart out. She was utterly devoted to me and I adored her, and now she’s gone forever and I’m heartbroken. That’s all I can bear to say at this time, grief always robs me of words.
Goodbye little Meglet, I love you.
My last Meglet catvest on Friday
And here’s Laura modeling the catvest.
The week we brought her home
In my old screen tent office on the custom built cat perch.
She swore mortal vengeance on her tail.
She wasn’t much for dignity.
But she loved her monkeys, and wanted to be ON them, dammit!
Climbing Mount Monkey Wiktory!
Here she is helping me with one of my books.
And sleeping between my knees.
Every so often she’d get what we called her “crazy eyes.”
Snuggled up in the down comforter.
Love this shot of her. I think our catsitter Paula took it.
With Isabelle and our late and much loved Leith cat in my lap.
Sunbeams and happy smiles.
Sprawling in my lap while I played video games was another favorite.
Lying in the sun on the screen porch.
Meg loved that Laura always let her finish off the milk from her cereal.
Two of her favorite things in the whole world, a fire and a sunbeam.
Did I mention a lack of dignity?
She loved everybody. Here she is with our friend Matt.
She adored the windows in my studio.
I just love this shot.
She was queen of the top of the stairs.
I set a couple of logs on the windowsill and she claimed them as hers,
preventing me from putting them away.
This was what it was like every night when it was time for bed.
Most mornings too.
This was her pick me up face, I saw it a lot.
I will miss this smile so very much.
Shh, do not reveal my secret identity.
You’re Captain America? Kiss me you fool!
Your ideas interest me, my I subscribe to your newsletter?
If she’s Captain America, I’m the incredible Hulk.
I could believe that.
More like incredible Bulk…
Shh, do not tell anyone I am here. I am the invisible Marie Cat.*
*With thanks to Lynne and Michael Thomas.
Tomorrow Night: Friday September 25th at 7pm, my wife, the fabulous Dr. Laura McCullough and I will be on stage at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis for a live recording of the Screw It! wine podcast hosted by Dawn Krosnowski and Lana Rosario, a pair of talented and lovely Twin Cities actresses and comedians. This should be good silly fun with some attached discussion of art and wine. Neither Laura nor I is particularly versed in wine lore, so expect honest amateur reactions and much talk about things like books and science and art. Afterward I should have some time to sign books etc, if you should choose to bring them*
Here’s the official description:
“Author Kelly McCullough (School for Sidekicks, Fallen Blade series, Webmage series, and the Dragon Diaries fame) and his amazing wife, Laura, are gonna hang out and drink with wine with us!
You should come, too! We’ll be drinking the fabulous wine offerings that the Phoenix Theater has to offer to so you can try the wines with us!
…Hopefully they won’t be as bad as “canned wine product”…
Feel free to bring a book or twelve and your photo taking device since Kelly has agreed to do a book signing after the show.
Yay! Nerds unite! And drink wine!
(Admission is free)”
If I were more on the ball you would have had weeks of warning on this and much in the way of reminders, but I am so far underwater on the things I need to do that I’m actually feeling kind of proud that I got a post done for this at all—lowered self expectations for the win!
*Sadly, I won’t have any for sale because I’m really not set up for retail.
I’m incredibly excited that the first of Graphic Audio’s rendition of my Fallen Blade series is out now. These are abridged full cast audio productions of the the books with sound effects, a bit like a radio play and the are super fancy!
Broken Blade is out now, and the rest of the series is in production.
Here’s a sample: