Stormy in Heaven

After thirteen wonderful years on the road, Stormy is using this blog to communicate with all his fans from his hammock in cat heaven where he is cuddled next to Princess and is still nipping her ear.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sample Chapter

I thought I'd share a sample chapter with you so you can get a taste of the fun we had. Enjoy!


Chapter 6

A leash has its good points too, as it is great for providing leverage while swinging in a hammock. Hammocking is one of my favorite pastimes while camping, especially if I’m on Mommy’s lap.  A prerequisite for a perfect campsite is four trees spaced about ten human feet or one hundred twenty feline feet from each other for hanging two hammocks. My parents would then strategically place a large screw eye into the ground halfway between each other’s portable bed. Then Princess would join Daddy on his lap and I on Mommy’s lap and they would use our leashes to pull against the stake and rock-a-bye baby time commenced.
I remember one time when we were camping in the desert and there were no trees. Daddy hung a hammock between the top of the camper and a picnic table. That did not work too well because his bottom kept hitting bottom, especially when I jumped onto his lap.
One of my favorite places for hammocking was a campground my parents found on our summer trip in 1978. We were living in Pennsylvania then, as my parents found teaching positions back east. They would travel each summer to visit my grandparents and aunt who lived on the west coast. On the way between Southern California, where my grandparents lived, and Oregon, where my aunt lived, my parents were looking for an out of the way campground to avoid the crowds over the Fourth of July weekend. They found one near Ukiah, California in a Bureau of Land Management recreation area called Cow Mountain. There were no other campers in the campground the entire weekend, not even a cow! Now why is it called Cow Mountain if there are no cows? We had to travel over eight miles on a bumpy, rutty dirt road to get there, which probably explains why there were no other campers. Maybe the cows found it a hard trip too.
We did have some visitors during the day however. It seems as though Cow Mountain is a favorite place for motorcyclists to visit and do some off road riding. So there I was sleeping peacefully in my hammock when I was awakened by “vroom, vroom, vroom”. But fortunately the cyclists went to the other end of the campground and I was able to resume my nap.
One time however, a group of bikers with rough-looking facial features, hair down to their shoulders, tattoos on their arms, and black leather vests decorated with silver grommets that outlined a skull and bones arrived bringing along guns for some target practice. We were pretty nervous until they left, as we were miles from civilization. Maybe this incident explains why there are no cows on Cow Mountain and we hoped it wasn’t an explanation of why there were no other people and felines too. But most of the weekend was very peaceful and it was during that weekend that I coined the phrase “life is a hammock.”
I even slept in the hammock by myself when Mommy got up to do other things. Sleeping in a hammock is great, but don’t ever try changing positions or getting out of one when it is made of cotton string mesh. I may be pretty agile, but I’m not a tightrope walker! But most of the time, I slept. I particularly liked it when Daddy would rock me gently from side to side when I was in the hammock by myself.

The weekend ended with our watching fireworks over Clear Lake. Clear Lake was about fifteen aerial miles from our campground, which is the way I like to watch fireworks. After that episode in Organ Pipe National Monument where the sound of fireworks going off in the campground caused me to use up one of my nine lives, I much prefer looking at them to hearing them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Sedona Book Festival

Hi fans,

Daddy returned home yesterday from having a table at the Sedona Book Festival with a smile on his face. He and a friend were at the festival to promote the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Yavapai College and he had copies of my book for sale at the table as well. Daddy got inspired to finish my book as a result of taking Dewey Laramie's Writing for Fun class at OLLI and the class was truly fun. My good sense of humor had classmates rolling in the aisles as he read some of the stories I dictated to him. So this is why copies of my book were for sale yesterday.

I know Daddy didn't expect to sell any books, but people just couldn't resist my cute cover pose of sleeping on my back in a hammock. When they came over to find out about the book and thumb through it, they all laughed at the photo cartoons we created.  Then when they were told that the profits were going to the Verde Valley Humane Society and the Kreutz Creek Valley Library, six books were sold by the end of the day! That was much better than other folks were doing. In addition, one person who bought the book earlier in the day came back in the late afternoon just to tell Daddy how much he enjoyed reading it. That was so exciting that I nearly fell out my hammock!

As a result of online sales and yesterday's sales, Daddy and Mommy were able to make their first donations of the profits to the Verde Valley Humane Society and the Kreutz Creek Library. I can sleep much easier (day and night) knowing that even though I am in Kitty Heaven, my stories are helping these two worthy causes. Please remember that Daddy and Mommy are making my book available on consignment to Humane Societies and Libraries throughout the United States. For each book sold, the organizations keep $4 and they have no outlay of cash. Now you can see why I choose this family to adopt. I could sense their generosity right away, especially after they fed me my first meal the day I turned up after an Arizona rainstorm. You are just going to have to read the book to find out more about that story.

Later my friends,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thank you for your interest in my book

I wish that I could say that we are off to a rousing start with interest in my book, but I realize that some things just take time and Daddy has been very busy with other things. I am pleased to report that we have sold a few copies and have received a donation towards our cause of helping libraries and human societies, so we are on our way. Mommy sent a copy of the book to Dorothy and her family, who were actively involved in my antics when we lived in Tucson and Dorothy was so pleased that she sent a donation to our cause. Thank you Dorothy! And Daddy was passing around my book to members of the writing group he belongs to at the library and two of them enjoyed it so much that they bought a copy to share with family and friends.

Daddy is working with some humane societies and libraries to use my book as a fund raiser and the boards will meet soon to take some action. On October 2nd, Daddy will be promoting my book at a book fair in Sedona, AZ. It is being held at Yavapai College Center for the Arts and Technology, so if you are in the area, stop by and say "hello." I'll be there in spirit only, but Daddy can autograph my book for me.

Well it is time for me to get back into my hammock. All this typing takes a lot of energy but I wanted to bring you up to date on how my book is doing. I hope more people will consider my offer of using my book as a fundraiser. There is no outlay of money and hopefully it will bring in some needed cash to these worthy organizations. Please feel free to write me with any questions or comments. I keep asking Mommy and Daddy to get me an iphone so I can stay in my hammock and answer fan mail, but they think I need to get my big butt up once in a while and get some exercise. Talk to you later.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Copies of "Life Is A Hammock" Now Available

Consignment copies of "Life is a Hammock" have now arrived at Mommy and Daddy's home in Cottonwood, AZ and I have to admit, I do look very handsome on the cover.

When Mommy and Daddy moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona in April 2009, they packed all their belongings into three Smart Move pods as they did not have a place to live and would be camping until they bought a house. Since space was limited, they were scrupulous in weeding out their belongings and Daddy got rid of all the slides he had taken over the years that included many of the pictures of Princess and me. The only pictures he kept were the prints he had made up.

Their new life in Arizona gave Daddy time to put into words all the stories I have been sending him and "Life is a Hammock" came into existence. We wanted to include pictures along with the stories, but since Mommy and Daddy got rid of all the slides, we didn't have what we needed. Daddy decided to sign up for a drawing class to see if he could illustrate the scenes we wanted to depict. He quickly learned that his talents lie elsewhere.

Our solution was to find photos on the internet that were not copyright protected and with the use of Photoshop extract pieces of the photos and combine them with others to create the photo cartoons. The only true picture of me is on the cover, but I was sleeping on the floor at the time and not in a hammock. The picture on the back of Princess and myself on the cat tree is a real picture.

I'm sorry to debunk the myth that these are real pictures of our adventures. The adventures were real but we no longer had the photos to go along with them. I think Daddy did a pretty good job on creating the photo cartoons. I hope you enjoy them.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life Is A Hammock Available August 1, 2010

After twenty five years of channeling stories to my Daddy, Life Is A Hammock is about to debut on August 1, 2010. I hope that all of you will enjoy reading about our adventures. I will be glad to respond to your comments and answer any questions you may have.

Please consider taking a copy of my book to your local Humane Society and Library for them to consider as a fundraiser. In appreciation to the staff and volunteers of these organizations and the communities they serve, Co-op Press has generously established a consignment fundraiser to assist these organizations. In addition, all profits from sales of my book are being given to two of Mommy and Daddy's favorite organizations; the Verde Valley Humane Society in Cottonwood, AZ and the Friends of the Kreutz Creek Library in Hellam, PA.

Happy reading,