Of Cats And Dragons


Shalonie's Notebook

Published 2020-09-08
Carol E. Leever

I started creating this during chemotherapy. Sitting in a hospital ward, hooked up to machines that are pumping poison into your body gets surprisingly boring after several hours. I try to take something with me to keep my mind off what is actually happening. I took a sketchbook one day and started writing out some notes. This is some of my work.

The idea behind this is that it's not my art work, it's Shalonie's. She's not actually an artist. Mostly, she writes down notes on the things she's currently studying. Sometimes they're just random thoughts. Sometimes they're notes for someone else to read. She also doodles -- typically in the margins of the notebook.

The doodles and the topics listed out are rather random -- whatever crosses her mind, or whatever she might see while writing.

The notebook sparked a lot of funny conversations with my father who's always very interested in my artwork. He'd look over my shoulder and just frown at the pictures.

"You don't draw like that," he commented one day.

I answered, "They're not my drawings, they're Shalonie's." There were times I think he thought I'd lost my mind.

Here are a couple of pages to start with. I hope you enjoy them. They're just meant to be something fun.

Shalonie Notebook Page 1 Shalonie Notebook Page 2
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Alan McDonald said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply

Camilla & Carol,

I think Shalonies notebook is great!

What Carol has done with the artwork via Shalonies hand is brilliant.

The book is so beautiful!

And being from Shalonie, then Im sure it will be chocked full of useful material, not to mention all the beautiful colors.

This is a great idea.

I hope youre considering making this something we can purchase.

This might be the first paperback or hardback that I would purchase.


Brittany McDonald

Susan Aceto said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply

Wow, that sure is an inside look into how Shalonie thinks, she is amazing. What a gift to have such an wonderful imagination.

Shirley Stoddard said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply

Looks and sounds just like her.

Mhorag Wilderbeek said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply

I luv this. You are showing us how Shalonies mind works. I especially luv the doodles in the margins, especially the blue bird. This is fantastic!

Catie Zuckerman said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply


I've been looking on your site map & have noticed a lot of different entries entitled Shalonie's Notebook. Are these entries going to be put together so we can easily read them all. Also is there a story about hoe Shalonie became the scholar she is and is there any back story to her brilliance - lineage etc. or schooling, how she became interested in her area of study etc..

I also saw an entry called "Fire Lizards" it reminded me of Anne McCartney's Pern. Fire lizards were very useful as well as being great friends in Pern. I'd love to hear more about the fire lizards and herb creatures that the kids, cats and dog rescued in Solstice Thyme.

Are there more books/stories coming after Ven'trian Silence?

I really love your Of Cats and Dragons series.

BTW, do you have a translation ( for adults of course) of the various &$%#@ terms. My other half and I have been wondering what each different set of symbols stood for. Our curse word vocabulary isn't very big & since symbols are used we have no idea how bad the "bad" words are. We're from Georgia by way of Texas so we're used to people cursing people out creatively. Meaning no actual swear words are used but there is no doubt about what is meant even without swear words!!! LOL!!

Anyway, I only have one novella & one book to read before I have to figure out what next. I love the Cats Language. They make me laugh so much. The best straight men ever!

Looking forward to more adventures. May your series end up like Piers Anthony's Xanth where a trilogy exploded until there were 45 books with more on the way...

Brightest Blessings!


Camilla Ochlan replying to: Catie Zuckerman

Dear Catie,

Thank you for your messages. Let's see if I manage to answer your questions without skipping one (Let me know if I do).

Shalonie's notebook - we are working on putting it together in one book. The process is a little different because it would be more like a picture book.

Shalonie stories - we have thought about writing stories about Shalonie growing up. It's not on the top of the list, but it is definitely on the list.

Firelizards - the critters in Hollow Season were more of the monster variety, but since they escaped the Autumn Lands, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more kinds of lizardy Autumn Dwellers. Love McCaffery, of course.

Wyldwood Fate is book 7 in the series. It comes after Ven'tarian Silence, and we hope to release it before the end of 2021. We also have a few more novellas and feline interludes in the works that should come out around the time of the Wyldwood release.

Funny thing about Tyrin's swearing. We don't have a "translation" of his grawlix cursing as of yet, but in the audiobook, our narrator (my husband P.J.) does a phenomenal job creating crazy cat imprecations in place of the symbols. Carol and I have to think about sharing some of that fun on the website. It's a great idea.

We're so glad you are enjoying the stories, and it is a dream to write as many as are in the Xanth series. Love Piers Anthony too, of course. We will do our best. We sure have enough material.

Carol Leever said about Shalonie's Notebook: Reply

Hi All,

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments! I'm happy that so many people have been enjoying Shalonie's notebook -- they've been fun to draw and write. Finding time to do everything these days is hard -- but I enjoy the work and it gives me something positive to focus on.