Sequels and Cats

by Mel Gilden

I've been busy writing a sequel to a novel I haven't sold yet.  I suspect this is a silly thing to do, but my agent tells me that a second book may actually help sell the first one.  I hope she's right.  I could not only use the money, but it's been a long time since I was in print.

Actually, I'm not sure this woman is my agent.  We've met a few times and had friendly discussions about my work, she's spoken to a few editors on my behalf, and I even got a Christmas card from her.  But when I ask if she considers herself to be my agent, she gets coy and refuses to make a commitment.  Maybe after she makes a sale I will be able to pin her down.

Roswell, one of my cats, is almost 15, and she's feeling her age.  I let her get away with stuff that I don't allow the other cats because I know I won't have her much longer.  She's a tiny thing, not much bigger than a kitten, so I sometimes forget how old she really is.  As my friend Laurie says, "Eventually, all of them will break your heart."  True enough.

I've been watching a lot of Netflix movies lately.  My Cousin Vinny has become one of my favorites, and Good Night and Good Luck (about Edward R. Murrow and Joe McCarthy) is so good it is not really a movie but cinema. But the film that surprised me most was Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars.  This is a 12-part serial made in 1938 in which the acting and effects are earnest but frequently not very good.  Of the three Flash Gordon serials, I think this is the best — it moves along and occasionally has some very clever scenes.

But the thing I found to be most interesting about the serial was the Clay People.  When I saw this movie for the first time many, and I mean MANY, years ago on early TV I was most taken with the Clay People, a race of beings who live in tunnels and look as if they themselves are made of clay.  But their most memorable characteristic is the fact that they can fade into the cave walls, camouflaging themselves completely, and emerge from the walls just as easily.  I did not expect to be so amazed at this creepy effect when I saw the film recently, but I was.  Do not miss a chance to get a look at it yourself.

Rock Man

Leader of the clay people.

2008 will be here in a week or so.  I wish all of us good luck, good health, and big sales.