Daytime Animal

The first fog of autumn has found us, creeping on large padded feet. The east is slowly turning grey and a pine flicker is calling, lonely clicks and mellow flutelike moans. There was a jay screeching a few moments ago too, but oddly hushed as if even Ed and Stede hesitate to break the vaporbound quiet.

It smells like autumn, but a very specific period before the rains have moved in. Crisp with an undertone of spice, dry straw soaking up all the moisture it can find after summer’s dust and crackglaze drought. With warm days and cool nights we’ll probably get some lovely leaf color, if the trees have anything left after all the heat stress. The robins are starting to call now, and the jays are gaining volume and tetchiness.

As for the house, it’s very quiet. Even Boxnoggin would like a wee bit more of a nap, thank you. I’d be happier if this were the end of my working day and I could slither into bed as dawn rises, but the world isn’t built for me. Shifting the dog’s schedule to nocturnal is more trouble than it’s worth, so I guess I’m still a daytime animal for a few more years.

There are worse things.

I also got to spend an entire day this weekend with a pair of Auggie puppies. Apparently that’s what Australian shepherd / corgi mixes are called, and they are 110% adorable. Needle-sharp puppy claws, needle-sharp puppy teeth, romping, slobber, belly rubs, coursing and herding behaviors in play, and bumbling cuteness all added up to a great deal of relaxation for me, and they were perfectly happy to cavort all over me as I kept one foot elevated. It was probably the only thing that could have made me sit still that long without writing, and there were tea and scones too. I felt moderately guilty about not working entirely through said weekend, but the puppies alleviated all stress pursuant to said guilt. Boxnoggin was very interested in every whiff he could find on my clothes when I returned to the chez, and was only a little miffed that I hadn’t taken him along–he got to stay and supervise at least one human, so the day wasn’t a loss for him.

We’re back at Monday, and that means an important scene in Hell’s Acre, as well as more revisions on Cold North. The former needs a ratcheting up of tension before I start letting dominos fall, and I’m coming up on the first major problem that needs to be addressed in the latter. How do I describe a battle for almost-Nargothrond when the protagonist is deliberately kept away from it? I have ideas, naturally, and they’ll all work within the structure of what I’m trying to accomplish. But walkies today will be spent thinking of which particular idea I want to deploy–there’s not quite an embarrassment of riches, but it’s close.

Last week’s Reading with Lili was Dracula, Ho! and is up on YouTube. The algorithm seems to have found it, though, and I’m waiting to see if exactly what I wanted to avoid is going to go down, which is nerve-wracking. I enjoy nerding out about literature so much, I hope nobody does anything shitty to break that.

Dawn has continued to rise as I type. The birds seem confused; there’s not much of a morning chorus. It’s nothing like the Silent Hill pea-soupers we’ll get later in the season, and I’d kind of like to get out with Boxnoggin before it fades. My ankle bears a bracelet of colorful bruising, but I can hobble at a reasonable speed with enough ibuprofen. The dog needs his exercise, after all, and I suppose at a certain point healing requires gentle activity. Not sure how gentle it’ll be if he gets it into his fool rectangular head to chase something, but I suppose even if I’m knocked off my feet my sheer mass will render him incapable of getting into too much trouble–especially since the leash is attached to my waist.

I’m down to the last swallow of coffee and there’s a lot to get done today. Heading out for a ramble before the clouds burn off is the name of the game, so I’d best get to it. Maybe the fog will keep the squirrels from being taunting poor Boxnoggin.

…yeah, that’s probably a vain hope, but better than none. See you around, beloveds.