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Writing With Cats

Writing With Cats

by Gerald J. Schiffhorst, Ph.D

Butler House Publications, 2003

ISBN 0-9745531-0-7

MSRP $18.00

Order this book at a great price from Amazon now.

If you are a writer who loves cats, this book is for you. Gerald Schiffhorst has taught writing and literature for 40 years, but he has just recently begun to appreciate the value that his cat, Lizzie brings to his work. In fact, he considers her his "muse that mews."

In his book, Writing With Cats, Schiffhorst points out the many ways in which a feline companion can inspire a writer to write. In fact, he tells writing students, "If you’re serious about writing, get a cat." He says that would-be authors might understand more about the writing process and feel more confident by observing their cat.

According to Schiffhorst, a cat can remind writers of the importance of contemplation. If we’re willing to learn from them, they can teach us to concentrate, to be still, and to be introspective. Wouldn’t you like to be as curious and imaginative as your cat? Not only does the author offer ideas to help readers learn from their cats, he also shares delightful stories of famous authors and their mewing muses. There’s Hemingway, for example, Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Dickens, Raymond Chandler and Damon Runyon.

This book isn’t all fluff, fur and fun. Schiffhorst also offers some suggestions for writers who are suffering writer’s block or who have trouble finding time to write. Probably the most helpful and unique part of this book is the section on revising your work. He offers readers tips for "Licking your writing into shape" with some supportive words about the importance and the frustrations of revising and some basic tools.

At the end of this book, you’ll find a journal with statements and questions to help you through some of a writer’s most difficult moments. Here, the author reminds you of how your cat can help with such things as scheduling, pacing yourself, becoming organized and paying attention to detail.

If you are a writer with or without a cat, I recommend that you curl up with this book. You’ll be entertained and encouraged and you’ll learn a thing or two about the process of writing from Schiffhorst and his muse that mews, Lizzie. For order information,

Reviewed by Patricia Fry

–Patricia Fry, President of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and author 16 books including "The Successful Writer’s Handbook."



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