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October 25, 2007


Joyce Moccero

Nice story, Jeanne. Cat women--they're everywhere. I just read a fantastic book called The Art of Dramatic Writing. The author calls this wonderful type of conflict, The Unity of Opposites, not necessarily one bad, one good, but two opposing forces equally comitted to win. Makes a good story, as you just did. Love you, pal.


omygosh, they're so cuuuuuute!

But I digress. Great point about conflict, Jeanne.

Michelle Pendergrass

Your cat story is so much prettier than mine. Phil's grandma is an old Ozark Hills woman, lived on the same 80 acres of land for most of her life. She fed cats. (The discerning reader would noticed the past tense "fed") LOL

Maybe I'll blog.

Have you read Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson? I finished it recently and would have to say it is a brilliant example of this kind of conflict.

Madison Richards

Ah, the great Christian novelist's dilemma: being in the world but
not of it, yet trying to write authentic characters while wearing a
straight jacket. Hmmm... Talk about tension.

Christopher Fisher

Ha, ha! The moment I read "Let me say up front that I like my neighbors" I knew this would be about cats and, er, Candy Kane.

I remember Jen and I watching all those cats from our second floor apartment window, and me wishing I owned a good pellet rifle. You guys are much, much nicer than me. But I'm sure you knew that. :)

As for the conflict, you're right. Some of the best dramatic conflicts I've seen are the "who's right and who's wrong" type. There's a movie called "The House of Sand and Fog" that does this quite well.

Michelle Pendergrass

Chris, my story involves firearms. LOL

Heather Goodman

I'm sorry. Were you talking? I was distracted by the oh-so-cute kittens. I hope they find a good home.
Oh, right, conflict. Yes, yes, I agree. Or disagree. Whichever is the right side. :)


This is fabulous, Jeanne. What a great story. And such an excellent illustration. It goes to show how terribly difficult a job we have in writing Christian fiction to get across the real, deep underlying conflict that seems almost invisible on the surface. So much easier to draw cardboard villains.

Wonderful writing, too. Except I can still smell the baked cat do.

We have someone next door with two big dogs. And someone who used to live on the other side of us who let their dog run out and poop on the edge of their tiny lawn, on the common area of our shared ravine. Then they would let their kids play on that grass in the summer, where they put their ugly plastic slide contraption into the common area. The two big dogs are now enclosed in their own tiny yard, but my balcony view of their lawn is dotted with yellow-urine-fried patches.

Me, I prefer birds.


Rachelle G.

Jeanne, I love the way you tied your story into a writing lesson... but I gotta say, I would've loved the story all by itself. Great story about real life in a neighborhood. Uh, in the world. And wonderful pictures of kittens! (I love kittens, though I am not a cat owner at present.) My husband would be on Chris's side, collecting his pellet gun, while I'd probably be the one feeding the kitties. Neighborhood conflict, all in one house!


Great story. Next time George traps one of those cats you should take it to my parent's house to chase the squirrel my mom is after . . .

Jeanne Damoff

Thanks for the comments and compliments, everyone. And thanks for the book and movie recommendations. Those are always welcome.

Yes, Michelle. You should blog your cat story.
They are adorable, aren't they, Mary? I couldn't stop taking pictures.
I know what you mean, Madison. Straight jackets are confining. But they do have a certain fashion flair, don't you think? And I adore my padded room.
Chris, my real motive for writing this was to see if you would comment. ;)
Heather, you make me laugh. 25 pts.
Deb, I prefer character-driven books with at least as much internal as external conflict, and I agree they're harder to write well. Classic authors used an omniscient narrator, but the teacher deducts points from our grade if we do that nowadays.
Thanks, Rachelle! I'm always happy to accept lovely compliments from talented editors. (You could sell the pellet gun on eBay.)

Thanks again, friends. Your words encourage me so much.
Love, Jeanne

Jeanne Damoff

Tina, maybe she should just borrow the live trap. George removed a whole family of squirrels from our attic that way.

Michelle Pendergrass

Blogging the cat story...

(and I can't get the link to work)

Robin (the PENSIEVE one)

OOooo, Jeanne, you wove story and lesson and KITTENS into a delightful primer in conflict, tension and the art (the benefit?) of resolving both. With diplomacy...discretion...subtlety... Having the eyes to "see" often comes at the cost of conflict, yes? It's through those related experiences that tender our heart even to consider the fullness of someone else's perspective.

Loved these thoughts, the cuteness factor for the pics is off the chart, though ;).


Chris, I spent much of my childhood crying over pellet rifles. Now I own one. And, sadly, I use it. Sometimes the humane thing is not easy.

***Don't send me hate kitty email. The things I shoot are neither fluffy nor cute.

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