Canadian Writers: Cait Gordon—Interview by Kirsten McNeill

dalek

If you can’t be yourself, be a fashionista dalek.

 

I was interviewed by the lovely author Kirsten McNeill for her series on Canadian Writers.

You can read it on her website, The Art is Ours.

Thanks, Kirsten. I had fun!

/cg


cgauthorCait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedic space opera where boy meets girl, but girl doesn’t notice boy because she’s sharing a body with another boy. She is also the creator and editor of the Spoonie Authors Network. You can follow Cait on Facebook  and Twitter.

I’m Writing like Lady and The Tramp Eat Spaghetti

Um, okay, this is a bit different for me. Maybe for you it’s perfectly fine, but I’m a bit surprised at myself.

I am currently writing the first draft (or trying to anyway while LIFE keeps smacking me in the face) of the second book in the ’Cosm Series. There are several new characters, but I’m having just as much fun as when I wrote Life in the ’Cosm. The only thing is that I sort of wrote the first book in a straight line. At least I did for about 23 chapters, and then I came up with the ending. But I sort of continued in a straightish line after that.

pasta

With Book, Too (not the title, I promise), I wrote three chapters and then the last chapter. Then I wrote some more and went back to beef up the last chapter. Then I wrote yet more and then scenes kept popping into my head, so I jotted them down. Then I wrote the second-to-last chapter. I’m not sure if I’m writing the same way that Lady and the Tramp ate spaghetti, from both ends, hoping to meet in the middle.

And with these extra scenes randomly spewing from my brain, I wonder if this book will be coughed out like hairballs. Oh well, I do like puzzles. Even sopping wet hairball ones.

Perhaps this is why some authors use tools like Scrivener. I hear it’s great for organising scenes and characters and such. However, I am stubbornly sticking with my Google Docs and a table of contents that helps me remember where I’ve put stuff. I’m barely organised as a creative writer and I sort of love that. After forever as a tech writer, it’s nice to be so wheeeeeeeee about writing. Yes, that was the appropriate amount of e’s for that word.

With all my editing assignments in the next few months, I’m not sure when I’ll finish this first draft, but I’ll steal moments the way I did with ’Cosm. I’m in no rush, and I loathe the thought of pushing something out for the sake of an imaginary deadline. I want to create and not fret. When you write as silly content as I do, being stressed is not a good place. Being chill leads to the silly.

So, off I return to the spaghetti eating!

Gosh, I love pasta.

I should make pasta for lunch.

And maybe watch Lady and the Tramp.

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Networka blog that solely features writers who manage disabilities and/or chronic illness. She might make pasta for lunch.

The judgy Ovum known as Splot.

He’s oozy and slimy, resembles a fried egg, and is probably judging you right now. He’s the Ovum known as Splot.

In Life in the ‘Cosm, we learn that several years before the story begins, Virj Ofreesin finds an alien known as an Ovum on his breakfast plate at a cheap diner. Instead of eating him, or reporting the restaurant to Planet Cinneh’s food inspection authorities, Virj takes the little guy home as a pet and gives him the name Splot.

The two beings form an interesting pair-bond, and Splot begins to communicate with Virj telepathically. While the Ova use telepathy to talk to each other all the time, an Ovum can only choose one person outside their species to speak to in this fashion. Splot chose Virj. Sounds sweet until you discover the types of things Splot actually says.

“Seriously, what are you, some kind of numpty?”

“Not now, Splot.”

Poor Virj can also pick up Splot thinking aloud or speaking to another Ovum, just like one’s overhears someone talking.

“Don’t look at me! It’s not my fault he’s useless with women!”

“I heard that!” shouted Virj from the hallway.

And it’s extremely difficult for Virj to have a bit of erm, um, self-caring private time, because the Ovum crawls all over the flat and can appear out of nowhere.

[Virj’s] breath burst out of his lungs. That didn’t take long.

“What the blazes are you doing with that thing?” asked Splot.

I had a lot of fun writing Splot’s dialogue, because it was often one line here and one line there. (Personally, I think Splot says the things that many of us are thinking. ) And because he only has these huge eyes to gesture with, I needed to face the challenge of making that work, too.

One time I was fooling with my stylus and I came up with this sketch:

His expression made me laugh so hard. I felt it relayed the essence of his character, and used it as an emoji of sorts when communicating to my friends in private messages. Often, I prefaced the image with the line, “I’m making the Splot face.” It’s such a perfect catch-all for when you want to be a little judgmental, but still funny.

Whenever I hear a reader tell me they also love Splot, it makes me happy. I love him, too. He’s on my screen looking at me right now, just like that sketch, wondering why I’m not writing my second book. An odd sort of motivational poster, but it works for me.

You can read more about Splot in my book, Life in the ‘CosmAvailable on Amazon and Renaissance Press!

/cg

 

 

 

The boingy-haired nuisance who’s Noola Quirk.

She likes thrift stores, glitter, bold colours (mostly pink), and her hair looks like a giant follicular umbrella. She’s annoyingly cheerful, probably the worst roller blader in galactic history, but her tenacity is unbreakable. She’s an expressive extrovert. She’s fighting a mobility disability. She’s Virj’s sidekick. She’s Noola Quirk.

I had no idea I’d invent Noola. Mind you, I had no idea what was going to happen in Life in the ‘Cosm as I was writing it. That was half the fun.

At the time I began ‘Cosm, my mobility had become severely impaired by the chronic pain and complications of fibromyalgia and arthritis. A few years before all of this, I was running. But in 2014, I couldn’t walk without a cane, and getting upstairs had been so challenging, I thought we might have to move. My spirits were low.

Then chapter three happened. That’s where Virj is trying to buy a birthday present for his crush, the unattainable and elegant Frayda, who is permanently attached to Jobie, because they share the same body. In the mall at the Delta Mews Business Park, Virj takes one moment to stop feeling sorry for himself and as he gets up off a bench, WHAM! A streak of colour and glitter literally runs him over. Noola Quirk rammed her way into his life on her rollerboots, on an overly waxed mall floor. And pretty much from that moment on, Virj cannot get rid of her.

virjnnoolaShe’s sanguine. He’s melancholic. She loves people. Him, not so much. She is so friendly, she says hi to hundreds of sentient daisies growing in a field. He’d prefer to be left alone in a fuzzy white robe, in his hotel room, writing. They have nothing in common. Except maybe a whacky adventure to find the mystical Slawncha leaves that will save Frayda’s life, when Frayda and Jobie become gravely ill.

I love her spirit and her optimism. I even love her lapses in judgment. A lot of myself as a once twentysomething went into her. (My husband unit says I am still Noola. I’m not sure. I do say, “Whatcha doin?” a lot, though.) Her lust for life amid the uncertainty of living with a disability helped keep me going. I need Noola. I think a lot of us with disabilities need to strive to tap into our inner Noola. She’s not a giver upper.

It was a riot to show their differences at times. Poor introverted Virj. He just wanted to go solo on this mission. Noola wouldn’t have it. I know from my friends that the worse thing for an introvert who needs to re-energize is an extrovert who never leaves their side.

“I’m sorry, Virj.”
 
“I’m not talking to you.”
 
“You sorta did right there.”
 
“Only because I need you to know I’m not talking to you.”
 
“How’s your bum?”
 
“I’m not talking to you, Noola.”
 
“Can I see?”
 
“Leave me alone.”
 
~ Life in the ‘Cosm, Chapter 26

Want to read more about Noola and Virj? You can buy Life in the ‘Cosm on Amazon and from Renaissance Press. Make a great giftie, for yourself or someone who likes books with words!  😀

/cg