Heat, Hose, Happy

It hit the upper 90s yesterday (Fahrenheit, thank goodness for small mercies) and I am still a headache-y puddle despite air conditioning. I just don’t do well with the heat, though the garden is extremely happy. It would be better if I could have gotten the sprinklers turned on, but what with one thing and another that hasn’t happened and I don’t really truck with plumbing or electricity. Best to let the professionals do it, because so much could go wrong.

In any case, I got to the forty-chapter mark in the proofreaders’ changes yesterday; That Damn Werelion Book is ticking along. Another day should see me through, then I can look at global changes, one last circuit through the thing to check for formatting errors…then it’ll be time for the wrap template to go to the cover artist. That’s one of the very last steps before final release scheduling.

I might also do a sale for Moon’s Knight next month; I haven’t decided yet. So many things to think about, and even working through the weekend I haven’t been able to catch up with other stuff. I’m not quite chicken-with-head-cut-off yet…but it’s close.

Birds are yelling outside my office window–wide open to catch what coolth is possible this morning–and the cicada in the Venerable Fir is already droning. Boxnoggin needs to be walked and I should suffer through another run today, too, which means I need to get started very soon indeed. But the coffee isn’t even halfway finished.

It is rather satisfying to go through the proof. There are less errors than I thought, which is always welcome. Any page not bearing marks or highlighting is a gift. I want the paperback out well before the ebook, for obvious reasons, and come September I’ll be glad I set it all up beforehand. Future Me will be thanking Present Me, but Present Me is in a bit of a nasty mood, muttering balefully into a coffee mug.

The high point of yesterday was taking Boxnoggin’s collar off and making him sit in the backyard, then picking up the hose, setting the nozzle to “jet”, and watching him lose his tiny little mind while he chased a spray of water. He loves it. I will never be as happy with anything as that dog is with a water-jet, my gods. A few years ago he could easily go for twenty minutes, but now that he’s safely out of puppyhood (well, at least physically) it only takes about eight to ten before he’s exhausted, happy, soaked, and ready to nap the rest of the day. It’s a nice, easy way to wear him out during hot weather. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, and all that.

Some canines mature as they get older; Bailey was born old, I suspect. Others remain puppies, at least mentally, all their life. Max was, and Boxnoggin is, the latter. Lord van der Sploot will always be a puppy, mildly baffled when his body doesn’t cooperate. Just this morning he forgot he’s adult-sized and almost rolled off the bed–I wasn’t even giving chest skritches, for heaven’s sake, though he gave me a reproachful look as if I should have telekinetically moved him back from the edge.

Little weirdo.

The sooner I get started on the rest of the day, the sooner I can settle in the cool dark cave of my office and return to folding in proofreader changes. I don’t often talk about this part of the process because I suspect it’s intensely boring for readers to know about, even though it’s crucial. But so many people seem to think books just…appear, without grasping the months (if not years) of hard work that go into them. Or these people pretend not to grasp the truth so they can steal ebooks (that’s what piracy/torrenting is) without consequence.

Thinking about that will only make me upset, and I spent most of yesterday in a hole of “why bother, you should quit this gig anyway, so many asshats are going to steal, it’s a losing game.” I have no desire to return to that mental space.

Off I go to finish coffee, choke down some toast, and take Boxnoggin on a ramble. It’s not chasing the hose, but he loves walkies almost as much, and his joy will dispel some of my sadness. We don’t deserve dogs; it is a miracle they love us so.

Gods grant I become even close to the human he thinks I am. And that’s a good prayer for a Tuesday, indeed.