Education in Continuing

At least the radio in my head received a jolt (probably from the rain) so this morning it’s playing Kim Carnes. It’s not that I minded the Michael Bolton or Leo Sayer, but I was ready for a change.

There was a lot of rain, even for this part of the world. It was pretty glorious, though I did have to wring myself out when I arrived home after a run. Even Miss B, who is normally an all-weather pooch, was giving me resentful “why the hell are you doing this?” looks during walkies. And of course the tree trunks are still wet, glistening black and damp.

Not only that, but I did get some work done yesterday once the shakes and anxiety from streaming died down. The Tea with Lili experiment is still going strong, and I’m hoping that in time I’ll become desensitized to performance anxiety. I mean, I never want to get completely comfortable in front of a camera, but a little less like my heart might explode from sheer panic? That I would like, very much. I am hoping against hope it’s not like the anxiety from book releases, which seems to never ever get better even if my coping mechanisms become fractionally more effective each time.

I figured out the problem in Hell’s Acre. Avery didn’t want to engage upon the rooftop battle without at least seeing a certain lady first, and said “chance” meeting was a good move structurally to bracket the fight. So now Gemma knows something is amiss, Avery has drawn the attackers away, and today if the gods let me I can finally write a scene that’s been in my head since I started this damn serial. Writing this particular story during pandemic has been…interesting. If I were to be charitable I could call it an education in continuing under extreme stress, but I’ve already had a few of those and don’t need any more, thanks.

Shame the world isn’t listening.

I also got almost the daily complement of wordcount in on Sons of Ymre #2, tentatively titled Stray Dog but that will change. I like the Mifune overtones, though. (I should watch that movie again.) It’s about time for some kind of chase. The “hero” (I hesitate to call him that at this point) is desperately trying to keep things together without admitting he has no idea what to do, which is a terrible place for someone who prizes competence–and indeed, builds their whole identity around it–to be in.

He deserves every moment of agony and angst, frankly, yet I still feel bad. Once he’s groveled enough he’ll get a bone or two. I’m pretty terrible to my heroes, but we knew that.

There’s a slight break in the rain, and Miss B is at my knee, resting her chin and reminding me she has not been walked yet today, thank you, and would really like her silly human to get on that instead of staring at the glowing box and making clicky-clicky sounds. I often wonder what she thinks typing is, or if she just consigns it to the realm of cosmic riddles she’ll never unravel. So much of what her biped does is probably mystifying in the extreme.

The world is still burning, and I feel guilty for the grace and peace I am granted. I’m trying not to look at the news, and trying not to think about historical parallels. Today’s run should help; yesterday’s purged a bit of stress and I’m looking forward to burning off yet more panic-chemicals this morning. In order to do that, though, I should swallow some toast and get the dogs walked before this break in the weather is over. It can dump rain on me all day and I don’t mind, but Miss B is old and Boxnoggin slick-coated, and neither of them needs another dunking for a while. I’m sure they’d be very happy to hear me say that.

Courage, my friends. And I say this because it helps me remember. Chin up, mask on (fuck you, CDC, I will not sacrifice immunocompromised friends or strangers), and baseball bats ready, let us stride into Tuesday.

There’s work to be done.