Creaking Systems, Errands

The dogs rocketed out the back door this morning like they had a whole herd of something to run down, which is pretty usual. Less usual was the fact that the birds, clustered on the Yankee Squirrel Flinger, didn’t seem to care. They were too busy chatting about something-or-another. Boxnoggin gave them a hard stare, trying to discern whether or not they were worth chasing, but the relative height of the Squirrel Flinger and their small size meant he discarded the idea. (Reluctantly.)

I’m waiting for the last few preorder links to propagate for Sons of Ymre #1. So far Apple was the only laggard (but that’s fixed now), except for the paperback links, which should naturally sync up with the ebook ones as soon as databases update and the like. The book’s having a difficult way through the pipeline, which is to be expected under current publishing conditions. Everyone is doing their best; systems are creaking with the strain on publishing as a whole. We should be on track with no wiggling of the go-live date (February 22), which is a bloody miracle under the circumstances. Big props to the entire production team on this one.

On every book, really, and this one in particular.

It’s Half-Price Candy Day! I’m forced to leave the house for other errands–I do my best not to, as is well known, but there are things I simply can’t put off any more after three years of semi-lockdown. I mean, I didn’t like going outside my own walls before All This, but…anyway, I held out for three years and now I must mask up, hold my nose (figuratively), and just get everything accomplished in one Tuesday.

On the bright side the land under the kitchen sink remains dry. (It only took four-five visits?) I am obsessively checking it, and each time I shut the dishwasher door I breathe a little prayer. Thankfully the replaced parts on said dishwasher have solved not only the “doesn’t-work” problem but also the “random beeping” problem, which was the underlying cause the whole time. The repairman suspected it, of course, but his hands were tied by the home warranty company and in any case he would’ve had to come back once the parts arrive, so the two visits were unavoidable.

I just feel bad about making anyone come to the house under these conditions. We all masked up and the dogs were put in Durance Vile (i.e., my bedroom or office) each time, I opened all the windows to get air moving through, and there was plenty of sanitizer…but I still felt bad. They weren’t the kind of repairs that could wait, especially the leak under the sink, and yet…yeah, you know what I’m about to say.

I want to take care of and protect other people during All This. It’s the only way we’re going to get through. I know–and have seen–there are people who feel differently, who want to harm others as much as possible, but I am just as mystified by it as I have always been. Sometimes I think that’s why I’m a writer; figuring out why people do the things they do is one of the reasons I step into so many different characters’ skins. If I can understand I can feel some compassion, and that’s important.

In any case, the morning wears on and the dogs need walkies before I brave the Outside World for Errands Aplenty. I’m procrastinating, of course. I don’t wanna, even though I hafta, and the thought of seeing jerkwads with naked faces in public spaces, breathing contagion out through their disease-holes, is just plain awful. It doesn’t help that every time I see an unmasked asshat they’re wearing the same rancid, self-satisfied little smirk while the rest of us flinch away from their malignant stupidity. That smirk reminds me of so many unpleasant, abusive people, it’s positively chilling.

Ugh. Anyway. Wish me luck, and remember to mask up, wash your hands, and treat yourselves gently. We need you–yes, you reading this. You’re important.

Over and out.