Toothmarks and Video

The coffee is particularly tasty this morning, the marine layer is back, and it’s a decent temperature–for however long that lasts, which might only be until this afternoon but I’ll take it. I’m choosing to believe the trouble I’m having with a certain signup and onboarding process is a result of low caffeine levels and not a particular company making it difficult in order to avoid payouts.

Call me an optimist.

September hath arrived, hurrah! It’s pumpkin spice season–I sort of want to don a mask and head out to collect a small bottle of coffee syrup, not to mention take a look at some earrings. And naturally I am very ready for the weather to turn. Even if it’s not rain, cooler afternoons will be a blessing.

The big news here at the Chez is the Yankee Squirrel Flipper DEATHRIDE 5000 running out of juice far earlier than expected–probably since the heat is affecting the battery–so the level of sunflower seeds in it dropped dramatically. The problem was remedied with the charger, and yesterday I refilled it, slapped the battery back in, and found out the steel cap to the tube of goodies bears multiple tooth- and clawmarks around the rim.

That’s right, the goddamn arboreal menaces have been trying to chew their way through solid metal. Hell hath no fury like a hungry squirrel, I guess. It’s not that I mind feeding them–well, maybe I do mind, but the neighbors have that particular neighborhood duty covered and I am under no obligation. Besides, the birds need food too, and I much prefer them even if they’re a shade messier.

At least they’re not trying to chew through steel. I should take a picture of the cap; I made the Princess look at it for verification, since I absolutely could not believe what I was seeing.

I’ve also started something kind-of-new, Reading with Lili. For as long as it’s fun, I’ll read first chapters (and other things, like that famous fanfic) to you, with commentary. (And silly voices, sometimes.) I’ll stream new ones on Wednesdays (or so) on Twitch, and they’ll go up on YouTube after a decent interval. Since they’ll fall off Twitch in a week or two, YouTube is where they’ll live in perpetuity.

I can’t believe I’m doing this, but the response has been so overwhelmingly kind that I might as well continue. And if I get to do things like enthuse about Moby Dick’s first chapter, what’s the harm? I’ll only continue so long as it amuses me, which is a good way to do anything.

The whole streaming thing started because my agent wanted me to BookTok, but that’s so not my style. It’s much more like me to sit down for a half-hour or so to tell you weird things about literature, or just read you some famous fanfic for fun. Ideas for upcoming Read with Lili sessions include the first chapter of Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla, maybe some Varney the Vampyre (I’m noticing a theme) and maybe some Lovecraft to get us through spooky season, then perhaps the first chapter of Fifty Shades because it started as a fanfic and I’d love to see what all the fuss is about, and so on, so forth.

I like sharing my enthusiasms. And this might keep me out of trouble, since otherwise I might want to do something silly like set up an OnlyFans to read Victorian erotica with as straightfaced a delivery as I can manage. (Still not entirely decided against that, by the way.)

In any case, there’s walkies to accomplish and a run to get done while it’s still a decent temperature outside, and I am spitting distance from finishing the second Sons of Ymre book. I had wanted to be finished with this beast by now, but various life stressors (including ongoing pandemic) have interfered. So all my engines have been turned to it, and I’m not even looking at the copyedits for another book until I have the zero draft of this one sorted. On the bright side, I’m very near the end–the last set-piece battle is about to commence, during which I need to get the “hero” stabbed (or bitten!) in the ass again. (I promised my editor as much, and by the gods I intend to deliver.)

All told, I’ll be working through the weekend, but that’s not unusual. Right now, I’ve got to get some toast, and Boxnoggin is reaching the end of his morning nap so he knows walkies are nigh. He’s been very excited about local kids going back to school, since it means he can watch out the front window to bark his fool head off when they come walking home. It’s a job he takes very seriously. There’s a subscription drop to get handled today, too. No rest for the weary or the wicked, not while we’re also breathing.

Time to get started.