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Cat vomit and shocked vermicelli

July 9, 2011

While I was away, my cat expressed her grief by throwing up all over the floor of my writing room. Right where I sit. I suppose I should be flattered that she cares so deeply. But it did not make homecoming any easier. After scrubbing my rug, I went outside and weeded my poor neglected garden and now I am trying to weed through the jungle of my manuscript. Mary Shelley is currently listening to Shelley and Byron talk about scientific experiments, particularly those of Charles Darwin’s grandfather, who made a piece of spaghetti move by shocking it with an electrical charge. An experiment I cannot picture, despite having researched it fully. I also wonder how it occurred to Charles Darwin’s grandfather to shock a piece of vermicelli. This is why I do not write my books faster. It takes an enormous amount of self-control not to discuss this pasta episode at great length. Why it occurred and where and how. But I know the important thing is that Mary disagreed with Shelley and Byron about whether or not the vermicelli was a good thing. They were thrilled. She was appalled. The worst thing that could happen, she said, was for human beings to take over the job of Creator. But then she had a far more jaundiced view of human nature than her male colleagues. An important point, as there are those who say that Mary had no ideas of her own, that her ideas were all actually Shelley’s. I can’t let that pasta derail me from pointing out how independent she was.

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