Back to cats and kittens

Cbkgandalf Why Charlie in a Halloween costume? Because I failed to get a picture of Charlie with a cat. My son and daughter-in-law's cats try to eat Cabbage Patch Kids, so I'm not even sure it's wise.

I don't have any particular pictures for this blog, so they'll be random choices.

I've really enjoyed reading through everyone's lovely stories about cats and kittens. Someone said that they were surprised that I'd never had a cat, as I wrote about them well. Thanks for that. 🙂 I have been around cats, of course, but there is an ability writers have — to be able to believably construct things about which we don't have strong personal knowledge. I suspect all writers have it when they start out, but that it gets stronger the more we write.

I remember a piece on the radio years ago. It was a CBC show called Morningside, hosted by Peter Gzowski, who had been a journalist, and the author was Margaret Attwood. He complimented her on the realism of scenes set in a '60s newsroom and asked if she'd ever been a reporter. If not, how had she done it? She replied, "Imagination, Peter. Imagination!"

(The picture is of Torcross, Devon.

It'll be a lot busier now, but still, it's an amazing thing to come across in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.)

Torcross

I'm not sure I completely agree with the word. I think of imagination as something I use to weave stories, and it can be literally out of nothing. If I sit here now and come up with a story about two non-human, non-humanoid characters from a fantasy world that bears little resemblance to earth, it's going to be a feat of almost pure imagination. It wouldn't be particularly difficult. Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand, otherwise it's too difficult a constructive task. Would you agree?

This ability to create a reality we don't really know is something else, because we use a whole lot of stuff. We go through life gathering stuff. No, not the knick-knacks and clothes we'll never wear again — our experiences. Every moment of every day, new things stick. Most of them we don't even remember. But if we're a writer, they magically bubble up when needed.

I don't think I could create an impressively real '60s newsroom because I haven't got enough stuff about it. I don't even watch movies or TV programmes set in news rooms as it's not all that interesting to me. That's probably why I don't write stories likely to be in newsrooms! If I were likely to write such stories, I would have been interested in newsrooms all along. If you follow me.

Penzancecafe (A very good cafe in Penzance. Had to go to a place called Steckfensters in Cornwall, didn't we?)

I have been interested in history all along. English history. Roughly 1100 to 1820. Really interested, really all along. As far back as I can remember. As a child I headed straight for the old and ran around gathering as much as I could, and I've been doing it ever since.I bet all historical writers did this, because we end up choosing to write stories set in worlds we can never actually live in. We have to use this ability to alchemically change a load of stuff into a believable reality for our readers.

We need a name for this ability. Anyone want to have a go at coming up with one?

Of course we research, too — that is, go in search of information we know we need to know. We also deliberately expose ourselves to books, screens, and places where there's likely to be loads of the right stuff just waiting to glom onto us. Period houses, costume galleries, old inns, old streets, and every museum that comes within our radar.

Fireplace (This picture is a fireplace in the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight. A wonderful place to stuff-gather. They also have on line podcasts of talks about some of their works, such as one about a Holbein portrait of Henry VIII. Check out the site.)

But at the end, we can't research every moment, every step. At least, I can't. In the end I have to write the story, and that means surrendering to the creative flow. Going with my characters, hanging on for dear life. I can't be constantly doing reality checks about shoes, cups, staircases, street surfaces etc etc, never mind the feel of things. Not just the smells, which can be researched, but which smells that character would notice in that place at that moment.

But you know, we mostly get it right. Authors will often mention this. Sometimes there's a detail we need to know and we go looking for it. Exhaustive searches fail to reveal it. So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic?

In a sense, yes. But really it's the stuff. When we make that best guess, we're doing it based on everything we know by deliberate research and a lifetime of stuff. We might have a hole in our knowledge, but all around the hole is knowledge, and tho boundaries of a hole tells us a lot. Some would say that the universe is actually the space between the stuff. It comes to the same thing in the end.

I started out with cats and kittens, didn't I, and drifted far afield.

I've had a great time reading over the cat stories again and I thank you all for sharing them. The random pick was easy. That turned out to be the very first comment from Danielle, so one kitten is Georgie.

Choosing the other was very hard.

Librarychair (This is a library chair, designed for sitting "backward", complete with book stand. They also had library chairs that niftily transformed into steps when needed!)

I was very taken by some names — Catullus in particular, especially as the companion cat is Isabella, my heroine's name. Of course Sherlock Holmes and the Duke of Wellington just won't do. I loved the bossy cats, and the saucy cats, and the cats who think they're dogs. Not to mention the rabbit! And I love that Louis had Manx cats, and that Ink the guard cat could growl loudly enough to scare away burglars.

It was an impossible choice, but in the end I picked this, fairly short one, from Dorotha Holloway.
"Our 14
year old "Sable the Unstable" stable cat, lost her life in a auto
accident May 5th. She gained her title as a 4 week old abandoned
kitten. My daughter smuggled her in with our 4 datseys and she grew up
thinking she was a hound. She loved rolling in mud, chasing horses, and
seekning up on unsuspecting humans. We miss her very much, the only
other member of the cat family I have ever known was a blue Manx that
was know as Smoke to all who met him.
"

Uniform (Picture on right is of a British uniform. It's from the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Another excellent place to visit.)

Three simple things came together here for me. At 4 weeks, Sable was about the age of Tabby's kittens when she was lucky enough to find a great home. She died very recently. And Dorotha also had a Manx cat. I do also like the idea of a cat who chases horses, though what the horses made of it, I have no idea. 🙂

So, Danielle and Dorotha, the kittens are Georgie and Sable. Georgie after the king, I'm sure. I'm assuming for now that Sable is very black and sleek. Borrowing from some other posts, I think he or she is the non-Manx and very proud of its tail.

Djframe I'll send you both a copy of Dangerous Joy if you'd like one. E-mail admin@jobeverley.com

Thanks, everyone.

Jo 🙂

30 thoughts on “Back to cats and kittens”

  1. Jo, I’d agree with you that “imagination” isn’t quite the right word for that ability to make something unexperienced seem real.
    I’d go with “empathy”–the ability to project ourselves into a situation where we don’t have real world experience. As you say, we all collect a lot of “stuff” along the way, and that usually follows particularly interests, so we have a sackful of “stuff” to draw on.
    But there is also a very real empathy factor that I think is very common–perhaps universal–among fiction writer. It’s why strangers are always telling us about their lives. 🙂 It’s how how we can take a vaguely similar experience of our own and project it into a different but not wholly alien situation.
    It’s one of a novelist’s most valuable tools, really–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  2. Jo, I’d agree with you that “imagination” isn’t quite the right word for that ability to make something unexperienced seem real.
    I’d go with “empathy”–the ability to project ourselves into a situation where we don’t have real world experience. As you say, we all collect a lot of “stuff” along the way, and that usually follows particularly interests, so we have a sackful of “stuff” to draw on.
    But there is also a very real empathy factor that I think is very common–perhaps universal–among fiction writer. It’s why strangers are always telling us about their lives. 🙂 It’s how how we can take a vaguely similar experience of our own and project it into a different but not wholly alien situation.
    It’s one of a novelist’s most valuable tools, really–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  3. Jo, I’d agree with you that “imagination” isn’t quite the right word for that ability to make something unexperienced seem real.
    I’d go with “empathy”–the ability to project ourselves into a situation where we don’t have real world experience. As you say, we all collect a lot of “stuff” along the way, and that usually follows particularly interests, so we have a sackful of “stuff” to draw on.
    But there is also a very real empathy factor that I think is very common–perhaps universal–among fiction writer. It’s why strangers are always telling us about their lives. 🙂 It’s how how we can take a vaguely similar experience of our own and project it into a different but not wholly alien situation.
    It’s one of a novelist’s most valuable tools, really–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  4. Jo, I’d agree with you that “imagination” isn’t quite the right word for that ability to make something unexperienced seem real.
    I’d go with “empathy”–the ability to project ourselves into a situation where we don’t have real world experience. As you say, we all collect a lot of “stuff” along the way, and that usually follows particularly interests, so we have a sackful of “stuff” to draw on.
    But there is also a very real empathy factor that I think is very common–perhaps universal–among fiction writer. It’s why strangers are always telling us about their lives. 🙂 It’s how how we can take a vaguely similar experience of our own and project it into a different but not wholly alien situation.
    It’s one of a novelist’s most valuable tools, really–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  5. Jo, I’d agree with you that “imagination” isn’t quite the right word for that ability to make something unexperienced seem real.
    I’d go with “empathy”–the ability to project ourselves into a situation where we don’t have real world experience. As you say, we all collect a lot of “stuff” along the way, and that usually follows particularly interests, so we have a sackful of “stuff” to draw on.
    But there is also a very real empathy factor that I think is very common–perhaps universal–among fiction writer. It’s why strangers are always telling us about their lives. 🙂 It’s how how we can take a vaguely similar experience of our own and project it into a different but not wholly alien situation.
    It’s one of a novelist’s most valuable tools, really–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  6. Thanks for your info on Stuff. Enjoyed it. As someone who enjoys stuff and has more than I need, the pictures, etc. were interesting. You are very correct. The stuff builds a world and gives yu a feel for it. It makes filling in the blanks easier.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for your info on Stuff. Enjoyed it. As someone who enjoys stuff and has more than I need, the pictures, etc. were interesting. You are very correct. The stuff builds a world and gives yu a feel for it. It makes filling in the blanks easier.

    Reply
  8. Thanks for your info on Stuff. Enjoyed it. As someone who enjoys stuff and has more than I need, the pictures, etc. were interesting. You are very correct. The stuff builds a world and gives yu a feel for it. It makes filling in the blanks easier.

    Reply
  9. Thanks for your info on Stuff. Enjoyed it. As someone who enjoys stuff and has more than I need, the pictures, etc. were interesting. You are very correct. The stuff builds a world and gives yu a feel for it. It makes filling in the blanks easier.

    Reply
  10. Thanks for your info on Stuff. Enjoyed it. As someone who enjoys stuff and has more than I need, the pictures, etc. were interesting. You are very correct. The stuff builds a world and gives yu a feel for it. It makes filling in the blanks easier.

    Reply
  11. I do think empathy is the closet we can come to it, but it’s not exactly it, is it?
    What we need is one of those lovely German or Polish or some other language — words that define emotions or states of feeling that we don’t have names for in English.
    How about the Portuguese word Saudade, which according to Wikipedia is a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Or a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future”.[1] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
    Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” or “the love that stays” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.”

    Reply
  12. I do think empathy is the closet we can come to it, but it’s not exactly it, is it?
    What we need is one of those lovely German or Polish or some other language — words that define emotions or states of feeling that we don’t have names for in English.
    How about the Portuguese word Saudade, which according to Wikipedia is a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Or a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future”.[1] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
    Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” or “the love that stays” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.”

    Reply
  13. I do think empathy is the closet we can come to it, but it’s not exactly it, is it?
    What we need is one of those lovely German or Polish or some other language — words that define emotions or states of feeling that we don’t have names for in English.
    How about the Portuguese word Saudade, which according to Wikipedia is a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Or a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future”.[1] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
    Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” or “the love that stays” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.”

    Reply
  14. I do think empathy is the closet we can come to it, but it’s not exactly it, is it?
    What we need is one of those lovely German or Polish or some other language — words that define emotions or states of feeling that we don’t have names for in English.
    How about the Portuguese word Saudade, which according to Wikipedia is a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Or a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future”.[1] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
    Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” or “the love that stays” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.”

    Reply
  15. I do think empathy is the closet we can come to it, but it’s not exactly it, is it?
    What we need is one of those lovely German or Polish or some other language — words that define emotions or states of feeling that we don’t have names for in English.
    How about the Portuguese word Saudade, which according to Wikipedia is a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Or a “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist … a turning towards the past or towards the future”.[1] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
    Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” or “the love that stays” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.”

    Reply
  16. Sherrie, here.
    “Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand”
    This resonated with me and is probably the reason why I’m usually not inclined toward paranormals and fantasies. Mind, I’ve read a few great para/fantasies–some by the Wenches, in fact–but I love a good historical because, as you said, Jo, it has strong ties to realities I understand, or at least I gravitate to.
    Anne, I’d never heard of the word “saudade,” but it exactly defines something I’ve always felt, and something that Jo mentioned about how we gravitate toward things that interest us. I have always felt a bone-deep longing for a simpler kind of life, and I don’t even know if I can adequately put it into words without sounding utterly demented. I long for a simpler time, when a man’s word was his badge of honor and when neighbors helped neighbors and when businesses were closed on Sundays and when families were less fragmented, and society was less me-me-me … Well, that doesn’t even begin to explain my own personal saudade, but it’s there, nevertheless. I so loved the description of saudade: “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.” Alas.

    Reply
  17. Sherrie, here.
    “Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand”
    This resonated with me and is probably the reason why I’m usually not inclined toward paranormals and fantasies. Mind, I’ve read a few great para/fantasies–some by the Wenches, in fact–but I love a good historical because, as you said, Jo, it has strong ties to realities I understand, or at least I gravitate to.
    Anne, I’d never heard of the word “saudade,” but it exactly defines something I’ve always felt, and something that Jo mentioned about how we gravitate toward things that interest us. I have always felt a bone-deep longing for a simpler kind of life, and I don’t even know if I can adequately put it into words without sounding utterly demented. I long for a simpler time, when a man’s word was his badge of honor and when neighbors helped neighbors and when businesses were closed on Sundays and when families were less fragmented, and society was less me-me-me … Well, that doesn’t even begin to explain my own personal saudade, but it’s there, nevertheless. I so loved the description of saudade: “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.” Alas.

    Reply
  18. Sherrie, here.
    “Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand”
    This resonated with me and is probably the reason why I’m usually not inclined toward paranormals and fantasies. Mind, I’ve read a few great para/fantasies–some by the Wenches, in fact–but I love a good historical because, as you said, Jo, it has strong ties to realities I understand, or at least I gravitate to.
    Anne, I’d never heard of the word “saudade,” but it exactly defines something I’ve always felt, and something that Jo mentioned about how we gravitate toward things that interest us. I have always felt a bone-deep longing for a simpler kind of life, and I don’t even know if I can adequately put it into words without sounding utterly demented. I long for a simpler time, when a man’s word was his badge of honor and when neighbors helped neighbors and when businesses were closed on Sundays and when families were less fragmented, and society was less me-me-me … Well, that doesn’t even begin to explain my own personal saudade, but it’s there, nevertheless. I so loved the description of saudade: “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.” Alas.

    Reply
  19. Sherrie, here.
    “Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand”
    This resonated with me and is probably the reason why I’m usually not inclined toward paranormals and fantasies. Mind, I’ve read a few great para/fantasies–some by the Wenches, in fact–but I love a good historical because, as you said, Jo, it has strong ties to realities I understand, or at least I gravitate to.
    Anne, I’d never heard of the word “saudade,” but it exactly defines something I’ve always felt, and something that Jo mentioned about how we gravitate toward things that interest us. I have always felt a bone-deep longing for a simpler kind of life, and I don’t even know if I can adequately put it into words without sounding utterly demented. I long for a simpler time, when a man’s word was his badge of honor and when neighbors helped neighbors and when businesses were closed on Sundays and when families were less fragmented, and society was less me-me-me … Well, that doesn’t even begin to explain my own personal saudade, but it’s there, nevertheless. I so loved the description of saudade: “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.” Alas.

    Reply
  20. Sherrie, here.
    “Making it into a good story that earth-based readers would enjoy would be the trick, because I think we all enjoy fiction that has strong ties to realities we understand”
    This resonated with me and is probably the reason why I’m usually not inclined toward paranormals and fantasies. Mind, I’ve read a few great para/fantasies–some by the Wenches, in fact–but I love a good historical because, as you said, Jo, it has strong ties to realities I understand, or at least I gravitate to.
    Anne, I’d never heard of the word “saudade,” but it exactly defines something I’ve always felt, and something that Jo mentioned about how we gravitate toward things that interest us. I have always felt a bone-deep longing for a simpler kind of life, and I don’t even know if I can adequately put it into words without sounding utterly demented. I long for a simpler time, when a man’s word was his badge of honor and when neighbors helped neighbors and when businesses were closed on Sundays and when families were less fragmented, and society was less me-me-me … Well, that doesn’t even begin to explain my own personal saudade, but it’s there, nevertheless. I so loved the description of saudade: “vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.” Alas.

    Reply
  21. Empathy is good, Mary Jo, but like Anne, I’m not sure it’s quite it. OTOH, I don’t think saudade is it either, though it’s a lovely word for a lovely concept, Anne. Thank you. That’s certainly part of why we write historicals, but I don’t think it’s how.
    What we do is closer to alchemy, I think. Transforming one thing into another. Or rather, a body of knowledge and experience into something both new and old in the sense that we hope it is close to what it really was.
    Temporal literary alchemy. I wonder that what would be in German?!?
    Or one of those long terms they come up with in medicine.
    Authorial Temporal Transformational Creativity. ATTC
    If we could throw together words that make the acronym ACK! it would suit.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  22. Empathy is good, Mary Jo, but like Anne, I’m not sure it’s quite it. OTOH, I don’t think saudade is it either, though it’s a lovely word for a lovely concept, Anne. Thank you. That’s certainly part of why we write historicals, but I don’t think it’s how.
    What we do is closer to alchemy, I think. Transforming one thing into another. Or rather, a body of knowledge and experience into something both new and old in the sense that we hope it is close to what it really was.
    Temporal literary alchemy. I wonder that what would be in German?!?
    Or one of those long terms they come up with in medicine.
    Authorial Temporal Transformational Creativity. ATTC
    If we could throw together words that make the acronym ACK! it would suit.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  23. Empathy is good, Mary Jo, but like Anne, I’m not sure it’s quite it. OTOH, I don’t think saudade is it either, though it’s a lovely word for a lovely concept, Anne. Thank you. That’s certainly part of why we write historicals, but I don’t think it’s how.
    What we do is closer to alchemy, I think. Transforming one thing into another. Or rather, a body of knowledge and experience into something both new and old in the sense that we hope it is close to what it really was.
    Temporal literary alchemy. I wonder that what would be in German?!?
    Or one of those long terms they come up with in medicine.
    Authorial Temporal Transformational Creativity. ATTC
    If we could throw together words that make the acronym ACK! it would suit.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  24. Empathy is good, Mary Jo, but like Anne, I’m not sure it’s quite it. OTOH, I don’t think saudade is it either, though it’s a lovely word for a lovely concept, Anne. Thank you. That’s certainly part of why we write historicals, but I don’t think it’s how.
    What we do is closer to alchemy, I think. Transforming one thing into another. Or rather, a body of knowledge and experience into something both new and old in the sense that we hope it is close to what it really was.
    Temporal literary alchemy. I wonder that what would be in German?!?
    Or one of those long terms they come up with in medicine.
    Authorial Temporal Transformational Creativity. ATTC
    If we could throw together words that make the acronym ACK! it would suit.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  25. Empathy is good, Mary Jo, but like Anne, I’m not sure it’s quite it. OTOH, I don’t think saudade is it either, though it’s a lovely word for a lovely concept, Anne. Thank you. That’s certainly part of why we write historicals, but I don’t think it’s how.
    What we do is closer to alchemy, I think. Transforming one thing into another. Or rather, a body of knowledge and experience into something both new and old in the sense that we hope it is close to what it really was.
    Temporal literary alchemy. I wonder that what would be in German?!?
    Or one of those long terms they come up with in medicine.
    Authorial Temporal Transformational Creativity. ATTC
    If we could throw together words that make the acronym ACK! it would suit.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  26. I think you have several concepts happening here and it’s hard to separate them. While I’m all about empathy and magic, when you say “So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic” you’re talking about informed guesses. “G” We know human nature, we’ve done our research, and the amalgam we create is close enough to the truth to be recognizable.
    Drifting toward certain “stuff” is a whole ‘nuther topic.

    Reply
  27. I think you have several concepts happening here and it’s hard to separate them. While I’m all about empathy and magic, when you say “So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic” you’re talking about informed guesses. “G” We know human nature, we’ve done our research, and the amalgam we create is close enough to the truth to be recognizable.
    Drifting toward certain “stuff” is a whole ‘nuther topic.

    Reply
  28. I think you have several concepts happening here and it’s hard to separate them. While I’m all about empathy and magic, when you say “So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic” you’re talking about informed guesses. “G” We know human nature, we’ve done our research, and the amalgam we create is close enough to the truth to be recognizable.
    Drifting toward certain “stuff” is a whole ‘nuther topic.

    Reply
  29. I think you have several concepts happening here and it’s hard to separate them. While I’m all about empathy and magic, when you say “So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic” you’re talking about informed guesses. “G” We know human nature, we’ve done our research, and the amalgam we create is close enough to the truth to be recognizable.
    Drifting toward certain “stuff” is a whole ‘nuther topic.

    Reply
  30. I think you have several concepts happening here and it’s hard to separate them. While I’m all about empathy and magic, when you say “So we make it up. We take our best guess and carry on. Then later we come across that detail, and we got it right! Magic” you’re talking about informed guesses. “G” We know human nature, we’ve done our research, and the amalgam we create is close enough to the truth to be recognizable.
    Drifting toward certain “stuff” is a whole ‘nuther topic.

    Reply

Leave a Comment