Mental Mustelids

The dogs have turned up their nose at brekkie–“mere kibble, Mother, how dare.” Of course when they arrived from the shelter, even plain kibble was treated like manna. Now they’re spoiled, and they know the dinner-bowl will contain kibble, wet food, and perhaps a scrap or two from the human repast. So they disdain the morning offerings, unless they get just too hungry around midday and snarf it while I’m having lunch, begging all the while for a moiety of my own meal.

Such are dogs. Nothing is as good as what’s in the other’s bowl. Miss B, as an elderly and somewhat demented fur-child, thinks “sneaking” from Boxnoggin’s bowl is putting one over on the entire house. Boxnoggin is a really good sport about it–he can’t understand why she wants what’s in there so badly, but while she’s occupied he’ll wander over to hers and eat. You can see him give the equivalent of a canine shrug each time.

I have just resurrected and am staring blankly at my coffee mug. Someone in the neighborhood has been running a leaf blower for nearly an hour; the sound provoked me out of bed along with the dogs’ bladders. I need caffeine, I would not willingly step away from the slow infusion of java and that is what stops me from going looking for the source of the ruckus. Of course not everyone can keep my schedule, and the world does not exist to please me.

I’m just grumpy.

Yesterday was a good working day. I stripped out and rebuilt that bothersome scene in Hell’s Acre, and the monster hunters in Sons of Ymre #2 are now well and truly caught. The creation of a reasonable amount of text was accompanied by a deep and awful crisis of self-confidence. I suppose Sons #2 is shifting early from the new-and-shiny portion of novel writing to the Slough of Despond part. Hell’s Acre, of course, is having a difficult time because so much of it has been written during pandemic and other awful recent events.

I know where the problems lie, but the quicksand still drags at my feet. I still turn off the light after reading a bit of Nin’s diary and settle into the dark, where the barking of you’ll never be good enough echoes through my interior halls once I’m not distracting myself with actual work. (Or true crime videos.)

I know the only solution is to put my head down and keep working, that it’s most probably the voice of brainweasels and therefore, a lying liar who lies. Yet my defenses are rather thin right now, for a variety of reasons. I wake with the awful seashell song of you’ll never be good enough, you’re a fake, nobody really likes you or your books echoing through my skull, and the only mercy is that there’s usually another piece of music burrowing into my grey matter as a distraction.

Sometimes I wonder if the constant internal music is a self-protective reflex, drowning out the brainweasels. Maybe, maybe not, but either way I value the relief.

In any case, there are the dogs to walk and a run to accomplish. Then it’s back to the word mines–the subscription drop today is going to be lovely, I need to make a few more notes for tomorrow’s Tea with Lili (we’ll be talking about worldbuilding; Part I is now up on YouTube), there’s the return of a favorite character in Hell’s Acre to go back over and tweak, and I need to make some decisions about the structure of Sons #2. It’s a busy day, and I should make a list or nothing will get done. I’d like to do the running-with-werewolves scene in the Sekrit Projekt too, but that may be a step too far in terms of ambition and have to wait for the weekend–always assuming the other Sekrit Projekt via my agent doesn’t suddenly catch fire and rearrange my writing schedule.

…maybe the brainweasels are responding to the sheer amount of work I’ve assigned myself. Which is fine, I’ll lash them to the chariot and make them drag me, if I have to. If I were any good as a graphic artist I’d want to draw that, me in a Boudicca-like vehicle, pulled by a number of mouth-frothing mental mustelids.

Now there’s a fun mental image, and with it I shall bid you adieu, my beloveds. Don’t let Thursday win. If we band together, we can take it down.

Over and out.