Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of twenty-four books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Enter the winter of 2013/2014. Twenty-seven BELOW ZERO IS THE NEW NORM.
To put this in perspective, I'd never experienced a low of -27 in my entire life until this winter, and this winter we just keep hitting that number, and it's rare for temps to get above zero during the day. Propane jumped from 1.43 per gallon to 5.50, which means it might cost 1K to heat my place for one month if I keep the thermostat at 58. I wear layers of clothing and move from a chair in front of a space heater to a bed with an electric blanket. Forget showers or washing hair.
But then we have this. The language of winter.
It's hard to truly capture nature because the camera eliminates all but the visual, but there's a bleak beauty to winter than really seems to lend itself to the lens.
Here's my theory: Unlike the language of summer, which relies on sight and scent and touch, winter can be a purely visual experience. What you capture is what you feel deep in your bones.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
This is kind of a downer, but I thought I'd rerun a post from two and a half years ago. My cat of twenty years was the inspiration for the Cool Cats books. He and I actually had a conversation about it.
"I should write a book with a cat narrator," I told him. "What do you think? Maybe a romance. Readers have been asking for another romance." Of course he thought it was a great idea.
It's very strange, but I don't think I've gotten over losing him even though it's been more than two years. About a month after he died I had to fly to promotional events for Grand Central Publishing. A book gig in New Orleans was the first time I'd left the house, and I suddenly found myself at this long table at a fancy fancy fancy restaurant where each meal must have cost several hundred dollars. I was supposed to perform, but I just wanted to be home with the covers over my head. Weird to look back and realize I've been kind of shut off since then. Or at least not fully turned on. :D
To preface the following: I sometimes tweeted as him and called his tweets kitty memoirs.
June 5, 2011
“Yesterday I was put to sleep.” Kitty memoir
It shouldn’t hurt this much, but it’s like the death of a person. I wish I’d waited one more day. And one more day. I retrace the past week, I examine and wonder, and see the days through a different lens every time I look at them. One minute I think I waited too long, years too long. Another, I think I didn’t wait long enough. I wish he were with me right now. That’s all I know.
He was old. Almost twenty.
The last animal from what I call our old life, the life on the farm.
“He’s so charming,” people always said.
He loved it when a group of people got together and sat around talking and laughing. He loved the sound of laughter.
It’s like the death of a person.
He showed up on our farm as a kitten, probably a dump.
“Don’t touch it,” I told my daughter, who was already mentally cuddling the animal. “It might have some disease.”
“It has devil eyes,” my husband said. “Look at how it’s looking at me. Making eye contact.” There was fear in his voice. “Don’t feed it and it’ll leave.”
But the cat didn't leave, and we began calling him Latoya, thinking he was a female.
He hung around the corncrib and caught mice.
One day I found him there, sick. I took him to the vet.
“Pneumonia,” the vet said. “Never seen a case this bad. If he lives, he’ll always be in bad health.” I found out he was a boy, not a girl.
So I took him home and put him in a box in the basement.
“I don’t want that devil cat in the house,” my husband said.
“What is he going to do? Put a spell on you?”
The cat recovered and he was returned to the outdoors. I got him neutered, but we continued to call him Latoya.
He was always around. In the field near the house. In the evenings, when I went for a jog, he would follow me, get tired, and wait in the roadside ditch for me to return, then follow me home. I fed him, and he became my cat.
In 1994, I went on a trip.
“Don’t forget to feed Latoya,” I told my son and husband. “I don’t want him roaming, searching for food.”
While I was gone, my husband accidentally ran over Latoya with a sickle mower, a mower used to trim ditches. He was so mangled that he should have been put to sleep, but my son coaxed him out of the culvert where he’d gone to die. The vet did what he could. “I don’t think he’ll live, and he’ll never walk or use the litter box. Take him home, but you’ll probably need to have him put down.” Poor Latoya had two and a half legs, and half a tail. They’d shaved him, and he was as naked as a mole rat.
Over the next month, pieces of him fell off, but he slowly recovered, and the devil cat became a housecat. My constant companion.
He had no trouble getting around, and could even run and climb a tree if taken outside. Like the vet said, he had respiratory issues off and on his whole life. But he lived and lived and lived.
Two years ago, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, but he couldn’t tolerate the medication. And as time passed, he got so he could no longer go up and down the stairs to sleep with me in my bed. His weight dropped from sixteen pounds to five.
I would spend evenings downstairs in the living room with him, watching television. He lost his hearing, and began to yowl if he thought he was alone. The social butterfly. A few days ago, my daughter came by and we realized he could hear us, and he enjoyed sitting with us as we talked and laughed. He still loved the sound of laughter.
This day has been coming for a long time, but I didn’t know it would hurt so much. He was a cat. A cat. But it feels like the death of a person. I don’t understand how humans bond so strongly with their pets, but it’s something profound and crazy and painful and maybe beautiful. I’m not sure about the beautiful. It hurts too much for beautiful.
Twenty years. He was with me through the death of my husband, my move from the farm to Iowa, my move to St. Paul, my move to Wisconsin. In the past several years, he required constant care. Because of that, my adult children and I took him with us when we went up north and stayed at a cabin for a week. I’m not sure if he enjoyed it, but he took it all in stride, the way he did everything.
I’ve had a lot of cats in my life, but he was special. Unique and almost human. I can’t believe he’s gone. The house is so empty. There’s a giant hole in my heart that I don’t think any other pet could ever fill.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Are these people NUTS?
Now you can find out for yourself! .99!
If you end up being surprised, if you end up thinking wow, this isn't half bad. And wow, I actually LIKED this weird book, then maybe consider leaving a review on Amazon.
Something readers might not know is that one of the few ways writers can promote their books is through paid online advertising. And most advertisers won't accept a book with less than TEN decent reviews. (Goodreads reviews don't count when it comes to advertisers.) Sometimes they won't accept books with less than TWENTY Amazon reviews. So it's tough out there. A cat needs all the help he can get.
I honestly think GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO is my best romance to date, and I'm very proud of it. I set out to write something that was a romance in the truest and purest sense of the word, and I hope I at least partially accomplished that. I'm not going to give up trying to get people to read my cat books, but I'm also being realistic about them.
Check out the latest WONDERFUL (sob, it's SO wonderful) review from Penelope's Romance Reviews.
PENELOPE'S HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION: Grade: A+++++++
"This book has a series of incredibly romantic moments strung together with beautiful writing and sassy cats and funny bits and music. "
" ... all of my favorite things...laugh-out-loud humor, gorgeously-written prose, characters who are real and flawed and lovely in their own way, and old-fashioned romantic moments I forgot still existed." Penelope