Out at Night

I was at the Powell’s Authorfest last night, along with a host of other fantastic authors. There were a lot of people, and quite a few of them told me they liked Cormorant Run. Which was great to hear–it’s one of the books I like best, but it seems reviews have been mixed.

Not that I look at reviews often. You know how I feel about that.

Anyway, driving home in the dark, my brain in that strange liminal place of juggling time, speed, distance, and the current stories I’m working on, I felt my life loop over and catch on another peg. I’ve done a lot of driving or wandering at night with my head full of stories, trying to shake out pieces or fit them together. I got out of the habit when the kids were younger–you can’t leave your house empty except for sleeping children, not unless it’s an emergency. I realized how much I missed being out at night.

I suppose I could go out walking with my camera after dark again now, since the kids are well into their teens. Miss B, of course, would ache and pine to go along. At the same time…I love being out at night, it’s my preferred time, but I’ve just arrived at the point where I can sleep reliably. A small but significant proportion of my used-to-be-usual insomnia is the fact that I am a night owl; my internal rhythm is set to rise and resurrect about noon, get to work around 2pm, go until 11pm-midnight, wind down, and go to bed about 2am. Given my druthers, that’s how my entire life would be arranged.

But it’s a daywalker’s world, especially if you have children who are Day People. School means getting up when daywalkers do, consequently I’ve been doing it for years. Now the kids are largely capable of getting up on their own, but shifting the dogs’ schedule would entail a lot of moaning and groaning. And I am on call while the kids are out of the house–just because they’re not home doesn’t mean I’m allowed to sign off.

So, obeying the schedule my body wants would require shifting the dogs’ schedule, possibly being out of commission during a Grown(ish) Child’s emergency, and moving my meds schedule. That last is the least worrisome of the three. I can’t accept the thought of being out of commission while one of my spawn needs me, no matter if one of them is technically old enough to smoke and go to war. (Not that she’ll do either, she reminds me, thank you very much Mum.)

I guess I’ll impersonate a daywalker for a little while longer. Maybe until the Little Prince is out of school and settled on his trajectory. At least I can consciously decide to do so, instead of feeling trapped by circumstance.

Driving at night and feeling that internal catch, the sense of a life decision being reached or coming back to a particular angle on the spiral of one’s current incarnation, is precious. So is arriving home, pulling into the garage, and having Grown(ish) Children and dogs clustering at the door because they missed you and they’re glad you’re home. Hugs and the high-speed downloading of what happened at work or while I was gone, cold damp noses pressed against my knee and wiggling hind ends, grins and “I put the stuff for your dinner right next to the stove, Mum” all add up to another soft, beautiful realization.

Sometimes, I think, I long to go out at night just to come home, now that I have a safe warm nest to return to.

Fluid Flow

Autumn means fir needles everywhere, and as the trees disrobe the rains come, cutting channels through the clutter. On its way down the hill, the temporary stream makes art.

Vapor Lock

Busy week. Busy, busy, busy week. Patreon updates. Making sure In the Ruins is absolutely, positively, no-foolin’ ready for next week’s release. House-sitting and animal feeding. NaNo-ing. (Technically every month is a novel-writing month, but you know the drill.) Latin. French. Greek. Copyedits just landed. Kids both busy with their own lives, so arranging the clockwork of everyone’s schedules to run smoothly requires a bit of negotiation at the dinner table.

I just want to go back to bed.

But! I will be at the Powell’s Authorfest this Sunday, 3-7pm, signing books and blinking owlishly at people. Want your books signed? Come on out!

…I had a lot of other things planned for this blog post, but I just vapor-locked, sitting here staring at the screen while my fingers twitched uselessly. Which doesn’t bode well. Time to make a list and go down it, checking things off ruthlessly, and no knitting until I get at least half of it done.

I can’t promise everything will get done today, but by golly, I have caffeine and I’m going to damn well try. Except for the copyedits. Those can wait for next week.

Over and out.

Beetles In Braids

Peekaboo.
November is upon us. I just looked up and realized as much.

I also realized that the novel I chose for NaNo has a process that is slightly uncongenial to the whole NaNo goal. *sigh* Of course, I’ve hit around 20k, so it’s time for retrenchment–going back and reading the first bit so I can see the shape of the rest lying under a blanket. Feeling around for the story’s contours is vaguely unsettling–you can’t tell what’s going to move under the sheet, or when a tentacle or cold fingers will suddenly clasp your wrist–but necessary.

So most of the wordcount today has been filling in the hills and valleys I can see from my vantage point in the story. There’s some moving bits I haven’t accounted for yet, and I want to make it more complex than this world perhaps needs to be. On the other hand, it’s the YA my agent wants, so she’ll get teenage-protagonists-dealing-with-adult-bullshit. At least it won’t be sent out on submission.

Small mercies.

Other things that happened today: I washed a dead beetle out of my hair and Miss B tried to kill me. Apparently running on windy days will fill my mane with all sorts of crap, even when it’s braided. I may have shrieked in a less-than-dignified fashion as soon as I realized what the holy hell that knot near the ends actually was. Fir needles I can live with, dead leaves or grass, rain, that’s all fine. But I draw the line at beetles, Mother Nature.

I suppose I should be grateful it wasn’t a bee. I’d feel awful is a bee died in my hair, instead of just hitching a ride for a short while.

I did take B on my run, and she didn’t really try to kill me then. I should have known her halfhearted attempts meant only that she was saving herself up for a larger challenge. While the kettle was heating up for my second cuppa of the day, I did a little stretching–got to take care of your body, the old corpse needs flexibility, stretching’s good for you, right? Except I may have made a noise that led B to think I was dying, and she launched herself at me in an attempt to save her beloved owner.

And knocked me over. Onto the tiled floor. And stepped on me several times while trying to ascertain just what was wrong with me. I may have used some unbecoming language during that whole episode.

At least I didn’t hit my head on the oven. There’s that. And life is never boring with a hyper-charged herding canine around.

So now, sore, full of adrenaline, and with a fresh tankard of tea, I am all set for the afternoon’s games.

Wish me luck.

Season 2 Preorders!

That’s right! Season 2 of Roadtrip Z is now up for preorder. Patreon “Serial Time” subscribers, of course, get access to the serial as it’s written, AND get ebooks of the draft and finished seasons for free.

Season 2 of Roadtrip Z!

Ginny Mills is a librarian with a mission. She’s determined to get to her family, and not even the crowds of shuffling, infected undead will stop her.

Lee Quartine’s spent his life making do and getting by. He knows how to survive, but now he has Ginny and a small band of survivors to care for.

The power is out. Winter has arrived. The infected roam in packs. Survivors are showing up in the strangest places. And Ginny and Lee haven’t even crossed the state line yet.

It’s gonna be a long trip…

Now available direct, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or (soon) independent bookstores.

I am so excited to be bringing you the continuing adventures of Ginny, Lee, & the gang. I hope you like it–Patreon subscribers are about to start Season 3, wherein more survivors show up, this very week.

Sugar Bomb

I’m still playing with this caramel crackers recipe. I want a smudge more caramel, since our baking sheets are huge, and getting the perfect balance of choco to toffee is a matter of personal taste. Plus, I like far more salt with my chocolate than the average person, I’m told.

The kids are thrilled. Even the iterations that aren’t quite perfect are tasty as all get-out. Plus, I can no longer stomach an unlimited quantity of sugar, but they, being much younger, are under no such restriction.

Of such things are childhoods made, and love made visible.

Morpheus Skips Me

Some nights, not even warm socks or an extra blanket can keep insomnia at bay. About once a month, sleep decides it’s skipping me and heading for more congenial shores.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds, really. It used to be I couldn’t sleep at all–the anxiety lay in wait, a sharptooth creature with baleful eyes. Now, at least I can plan around that one day a month Morpheus decides to skip visiting. (Insert Matrix joke here.) And Miss B’s regular breathing, not to mention furry warmth, are far from the worst companions while I’m tossing and turning. Eventually I turned the light back on and wrote iterations of cover copy, then polished off The Vice-Consul.

I’m sure reading Duras wasn’t helping my mood. Her books provoke something very close to depression, kind of like listening to Jandek. Also like Jandek, they scratch a particular itch, and every once in a while I find myself scrubbing said itch until it bleeds.

So today is for the last proofing pass on In the Ruins, season 2 of Roadtrip Z. I’m just cranky enough to snag on details, but not too fatigued to say “fuck it, I don’t care.” It’s a good sweet-spot to hit, and after I get everything done, dusted, and uploaded, there’s a gentle run to shake my fidgets (and Miss B’s) out, with the bonus exhaustion factor to make sure I sleep tonight. I should probably also get the makings for red sauce into the crock pot–I wonder if I should do a roux for a base? Choices, choices.

*sits and stares for a moment* A roux might be over-enthusiastic of me. We’ll see.

Over and out.