Over the last month, my pen has gone into seclusion, not for lack of ideas or imagination, but as a result of life itself. Roughly five weeks ago, I lost my cat of 17 years. Needless to say, the loss devastated my spirit, leaving little energy for creative endeavors. With the house feeling lifeless and desolate, my husband and I decided to adopt a new kitty just one week after laying our Boo Boo to rest. Enter our then two-month old black-bearded Siamese kitten, Yarr, full of energy, love and rambunctiousness. The little pirate requires much attention and playtime, so my daily writing time quickly turned into daily Yarr time. On top of this, add houseguests, travel, then more houseguests and travel, and feeding my writing beast has become something of a pipe dream.

With my pen in suspended animation, guilt tends to creep and crawl its way into my brain, breeding like a disease. Unfortunately, the guilt feels warm and familiar, like a cozy blanket, and soon I'm telling myself I'm a lazy, good-for-nothing bonehead for the writing deferral. However, although I've not technically been crafting, ideas still slap me in the face, and I still jot down any gems of inspiration. So, this begs the following questions: Just because I'm not actively typing scads of words each day, does that make me any less a writer? Am I allowed to enjoy a guilt-free reprieve every now and then? For now, I'm going to accept the fact that life happens, which does not make me less of a writer--perhaps I can even glean a story or two from my experiences over the last few weeks.