Monthly Archives: February 2011

An Honest Letter to the Dogs and Cats

This has been making the rounds on the interwebs. To be clear, I didn’t write it, and don’t know to whom it should be attributed, but I thought my fellow cat and dog lovers would also enjoy it.

Here it goes:

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don’t.
(2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they
(1) eat less
(2) don’t ask for money all the time
(3) are easier to train
(4) normally come when called
(5) never ask to drive the car
(6) don’t hang out with drug-using people
(7) don’t smoke or drink,
(8) don’t want to wear your clothes
(9) don’t have to buy the latest fashions
(10) don’t need a gazillion dollars for college
(11) if they get pregnant it is okay to sell their children

For those of you non-pet-people who wonder why the heck someone with relatively decent IQ points would tolerate the behavior described in said post, please note that in my case, said dog looks at me every day like this:

Literary Yearbook Awards

Kitchen cabinet time! We’re planning something cool to promote LONG GONE online this summer. Details to be announced, but for now I want your suggestions about award categories for crime fiction characters — not obvious ones like “toughest fighter” or “savviest sleuth” but silly stuff like “best at karaoke” or “most likely to win a hot dog eating contest.” Think of these as yearbook awards for your favorite characters. What award categories would you like to see? And which characters would you like to see in the running? I’d love to include your ideas in our planning sessions.

Feel free to post as a comment or to send them through either the “contact Alafair” link or through Facebook. Thanks!

I Am … Chikezie?

Library Journal was kind enough to give LONG GONE a coveted pre-pub alert.  Love libraries. Love Library Journal.  Love pre-pub alerts. 

“Alice Humphrey has finally landed a job—she’s been hired by corporate type Drew Campbell to manage an art gallery in Manhattan’s style-setting meatpacking district for an anonymous owner. One day she arrives at work to find the gallery stripped to the walls and Drew lying dead on the floor. Only his name isn’t Drew, and Alice suddenly has lots to explain to the police. After six novels in the Ellie Hatcher and Samantha Kincaid series, Burke offers an intriguing stand-alone; she’s popular if not hot-hot and especially well liked by LJ reviewers.”

I’m popular!  I’m well-liked by Library Journal’s (obviously astute) reviewers!  But, sob, I’m not hot-hot?  I feel like one of those middling American Idol contestants- a literary Chikezie if you will. (I know: Dropping idol references in 2011 will do nothing to improve my hot-hot quotient.)

For those of you asking, “What is a Chikezie?,” let me explain.

Back when George W. Bush was President, jumpsuits were briefly fashionable, and American Idol was already uncool, there was a popular (but not hot-hot) contestant called Chikezie.  Here is Chikezie being popular but not hot-hot:

Last I heard, the real Chikezie was arrested for using a stolen credit card to buy cologne.  Hopefully my trajectory will be better. That trajectory will be determined by you in June when LONG GONE is published.  I may be Ch-Cheesy, but need to be hot-hot-hotter than Chikezie.  Get a sneak peek at early blurbs of LONG GONE and pre-order here.