The shortened version of Martian Kitty's real name is Mar. I've called her Mar her whole life and the diminutive form of her name was so prevalent in our household and amongst our friends that we once received an invitation to a birthday party addressed to myself, my next two sisters, and "Mar."
As a kid, Mar had a problem. Her attention span was about 0.07 seconds. Not that she was the hyper one of the bunch. But she was...spacey. I once wrote a poem about each of our family members, and my parents cracked up when I recited this stanza about Mar:
I see Mar, light hair wild around her pixie face,
Because of her drifty attention, we joked that her brain was always "out to Mars." Thus, Mar became a Martian.
Well, when the fifth sister emerged into toddlerhood, she couldn't pronounce her R's, so Mar became "Mow." (It rhymes with "cow.") That sounded like meow, the sound a cat makes. Well into our teens, we still meowed when we wanted to get Mar's attention. Of course, half the time, the real cats came running, assuming that we had some delectable tuna for their bowl. But sometimes we'd hear a clearly-human meow from the field outside and we'd know that Mar had wandered away from her duties of the day to observe a caterpillar. Or a frog. Or a bird.
Anyway, if you combine the two parts of her name, you get Martian Kitty, a name I coined shortly before she enrolled in college to become an explorer of proteins and other microscopic aliens.
Why is Martian Kitty on your fiction site?
'Cause Martian Kitty is my buddy, of course! Truthfully, she's done a lot to make me the writer I am today.
You see, I'm a really shy writer. I know it doesn't seem like it, but it's true! It's taken me a long time to open up to people and let them know that writing is something I care about, and it's taken even longer for me to get up the gumption to share my books and stories publicly. Martian Kitty was one of the foremost of my siblings in encouraging me to write and to share. One time, when she was asked to identify her favorite author, she answered without any hesitation and with utter honesty: "My sister Yaasha is my favorite author."
There are quite a few books that wouldn't have been finished if it weren't for her dogged interference: "When's the next chapter? Why haven't you been writing? Get your rear in gear!"
Martian Kitty likes the type of story I write (not everybody does, which is fine) and she actually reads my stories when I send them to her. Her feedback and critiques are super useful in helping me to identify areas that need improvement, or places where I am particularly strong.
She doesn't give her approval unless it's earned. One time recently, I asked for feedback on a story and she responded, "You want the truth, right? We're comfy enough to be honest here." And she told me, in her matter-of-fact way, exactly where I had failed to connect with the reader. I saw precisely what she meant and was excited to upgrade my story from "mediocre" to "awesome." Writer's Ego: 0. Writer's Muscles: 1.
So when you see a review by Martian Kitty on my site, you know that it's by someone who likes science fiction and fantasy just as much as you do!
Who's the person who encourages you to pursue your dreams? Share about your special person in the comments below!