I have an imaginary gray cat named Simon who has the ability to travel through time. He’s a pretty grumpy cat who is always complaining about not getting enough saucers of full-fat milk in his life, having his naps interrupted, and the “stupid” books I write. Simon pops up quite frequently in vignettes that I often include in my monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) posts.
Until recently, I wrote my IWSG posts on The Cynical Sailor, a blog I started in 2013 when my husband and I bought our first sailboat in New Zealand. Now that I have this author blog, I’ve realized that my IWSG posts are a better fit over here. But I don’t want lose sight of all of the Simon-related posts that I’ve written over on The Cynical Sailor, so I’ve created an index of them here.
As I’ve pulled this index together, it’s been fascinating to see how my writing journey has evolved over time. Have a look at the list below and check out the posts. They’re good for a few giggles and you might find some useful writing advice along the way.
An Index of Simon the Time Traveling Posts on The Cynical Sailor Blog
The Time Traveling Cat (March 2017) – Simon makes his first appearance on the blog while I answer the question, “Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it?”
How’d You Get So Full of Yourself? (April 2017) – I make cookies and have a chat with Simon about how I worry that people are going to think I’m full of myself because of all the promotion I’m doing about my upcoming release.
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Plays Monopoly (June 2017) – Simon complains about not getting to be the top hat in Monopoly while I answer the question, “Did you ever say I quit? What made you come back to writing?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Goes for a Walk (July 2017) – Simon is less than impressed when I buy a leash and harness for him, and I answer the question, “What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned since writing?”
Interstellar Voyages with Simon the Time Traveling Cat (Sept 2017) – Simon uses his time traveling powers to take us to another universe where I answer the question, “Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Gets a Visitor (Oct 2017) – Simon is rude to a visiting cat and I answer the question, “Have you ever slipped any of your own personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Coughs Up a Hairball (Nov 2017) – I explain to Simon what beta readers are when I answer the question, “Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNoWriMo project?” (Note: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a month-long event where participants from around the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during November.)
Waking Up with Simon the Time Traveling Cat (Dec 2017) – Simon and I travel back to January 1st to answer the question, “As you look back at 2017, with all of its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Takes a Nap (Jan 2018) – Simon gets grumpy when I try to move him from his favorite napping spot while I answer the question, “What steps have you taken, or do you plan to take, to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Gets Evicted (Feb 2018) – Simon knocks stuff off the table (very annoying) while I while I answer the question, “What do you love the most about the genre you write in?”
Celebrating with Star Trek & Dead Lizards (March 2018) – Simon tries to convince me that leaving dead lizards on my pillow is how he pays rent while I answer the question, “How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal / finish a story?”
Why Don’t Cats Sweat? (May 2018) – I complain about the heat in Florida to Simon and answer the question, “It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others?”
Simon the Time Traveling Cat’s Dubious Advice (June 2018) – When I try to answer the question, “What’s harder for you to come up with – book titles or character names?” Simon suggests that I name all characters after him. Silly cat.
Simon the Time Traveling Cat Freaks Out (July 2018) – The 4th of July fireworks scare Simon while I answer the question, “What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?”
Simon the Cat Travels through Time (Aug 2018) – Simon uses his powers to take us back to ancient Egypt. He likes it back then because cats were worshiped. While we’re there, I answer the question, “What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?”
Simon Goes Nuts for Catnip (Sept 2018) – Simon gets high on catnip while I answer the question, “What publishing path are you considering / did you take and why?” Wide, self-published
Simon the Time Traveling Cat’s Life Gets Disrupted (Oct 2018) – Simon freaks out when I serve him a new brand of cat food and I answer the question, “How do major life changes affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?”
Stop Being So Nosy! (Jan 2019) – Simon tries to find out how much money I make from writing when I answer the question, “What are your favorite and least favorite questions that people ask you about writing?”
What Cats Think about Heroes & Villains (March 2019) – Simon takes over the blog from me and answers the question, “What perspective do you like to write from the best – the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)?” It probably won’t surprise you, but Simon thinks all books should be written from a cat’s perspective.
Simon the Time Traveling Cat vs. Dewey Decimal the Talking Chameleon (June 2019) – I tell Simon all about the talking chameleon I have planned for my next cozy mystery series. He’s not impressed.
Release of Poisoned by the Pier & Character Traits (July 2019) – Simon hacks up a hairball on my keyboard while I answer the question, “What personal trait(s) have you written into your characters?”
How to Read without Opposable Thumbs (Oct 2019) – Simon and I chat about whether you can be a writer if you’re not also a reader while Simon shows me how he reads without opposable thumbs.
If you’ve had enough of Simon, here are some other writing-related posts from The Cynical Sailor you might be interested in.
Read an excerpt from Mrs. Moto’s diary – Mrs. Moto’s Murder Meows & Bodies in the Boatyard (Nov 2018). If you’re not familiar with Mrs. Moto, she’s the feline star of my Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series.
Finding Time in My Busy Day (Sept 2016) – I share the results of an MIT study which compared how writers and cats spend their days. No surprise – cats take more naps.
About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
If you’re not familiar with the IWSG, it’s an online support group founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers with different levels of experience from folks who are just daydreaming about writing to those who have published bestselling books.
I’ve made wonderful connections with fellow writers through the IWSG and the support and encouragement I’ve received from the community are a huge part of why I’m now a published author.
Want to get involved in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG)? Just hop on over HERE to sign-up. We’d love to have you on board!
8 thoughts on “Simon the Time Traveling Cat’s Writing Advice”
Thanks for putting the Simon collection all in one place. I really enjoy Simon. I’m surprised he doesn’t time travel more often.
Simon is a worthy “frenemy”!
I had no idea Simon was grey! Great summary and collection of your Simon, Ellen. So many when listed here, yet I remember them all. 🙂 This could have been your next IWSG post, as you answer ALL the questions in one go.
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Gray kind of suits his mood – grouchy and sullen 🙂
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Thank you for compiling these. Your ‘conversations’ with Simon never fail to make me smile even as I’ve enjoyed your authoring journey. ~hugs~ Happy Writing!
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Aww…thanks so much, Darla!
What a list! But Simon is pretty awesome…I’d suggest maybe thinking about him as a character in a book. Lol. And don’t let him know I said that, or he’ll get a big head 😉
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Shush…don’t let him hear you say that 🙂