Dreams, Frost, Defiance

Had one odd hypercolored dream about a were-hyena quasi-Tarzan in New York (I did like the WB series with Travis Fimmel; I am a simple woodland creature of simple woodland tastes) and a flat-out nightmare about being burned at the stake for attempting to warn people of an alien invasion. I’m sure there were others, but those were the ones which stuck once I made it through the shoals and onto the shore of waking.

Thick mist outside, thick frost on the grass. Not quite cold enough for ice on pavement or the deck, thank goodness, so I did not slip and crack my fool head like an egg while taking Boxnoggin out for the morning unload. Poor doggo, he lifted each paw very high indeed once we stepped into the yard, and gave me a very reproachful look. He’s dead certain I’m in control of the weather–along with everything else, from his food bowl to the state of his bowels–and thus I must have some reason for making him endure a few minutes’ worth of chill. He’s just damned if he can figure out what that reason is.

December wears on. Christmas lights are everywhere, which I actually quite like, but the tension in the air is unpleasant. There’s my own feelings about this time of year and then the general malaise, people worried over finances, worried they won’t be able to afford what their children want for the Big Day, worried about family get-togethers, under pressure to keep up with the Joneses or Cousin Al. All that swirls around, and plenty of children are fractious because the adults are tense.

I know there are people excited about the holidays, who love this time of year. I’m even friends with a few of them, and their joy gives me joy. Plus, my own children adore it, from the lights to the decorations to the feasts to the time off, and their happiness is also extremely pleasant. It’s one thing getting me through.

Revisions proceed apace, working against a deadly weight. A lot of the industry is built on trust, and there’s not much of that to go around at this point. If it wasn’t the Frankenmerger court case, it’s the numbers on what writers actually make, and if it’s not either of those it’s the attempts from several quarters to kill one’s books with pettifogging and bad-faith “takes”. Some days I wonder why I do this.

I mean, I’ll write for the rest of my life. I am unable to stop doing what I was meant and made for. But will I continue to publish? That, my friends, is the question.

It doesn’t take very much to keep me going. Just a few mild, modest successes here and there. They’ve been thin on the ground lately, though, and the stress of the “holiday” season isn’t helping. Getting back to building mileage instead of simply recuperative/recovery runs will help, and so will turning on my out-of-office autoreply. Sheer stubborn endurance will help even more. As usual, once I get past irritation into outright defiance I’ll be all right. There’s just a few wickets to pass through before that blessed state is reached.

At least I’m pretty sure no alien invasion is looming. The only pity about that quasi-nightmare is it lacking enough complexity to be mined for a book. There wasn’t even enough for a novella there, and it wasn’t surreal enough to warrant writing down imagery, like Beast of Wonder proved to be. Probably a blessing, since the last thing I need is another project burning a hole in my brain. I have to get someone else assassinated in Hell’s Acre today, and get at least to the point of inserting a whole new chapter in the revisions.

Before that, there’s more walkies with Boxnoggin, who is already prancing with the desire to get out of the house and will become recalcitrant halfway down the street, then settle to work after it’s clear we’re both stuck upon this course. If there are any Canadian geese down at the park he will probably read them for filth again; yesterday, he screamed so badly I was half afraid the flock would take offense or someone in a neighboring house would think I was doing something dreadful to the poor beast. But no, he was having the time of his life loudly insulting geese, of all things.

You’d think he’d have the good sense not to mess with Juno’s blessed watch-creatures, but “sense” is not a thing we can attribute to this canine. At least once he exhausts himself in that fashion he’s moderately well-behaved for the rest of the day. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, and our rambles do tend to put a dent even in his energy.

I’d best get started. And seeing the pretty (Christmas) lights in the mist will be pleasant, even if faintly eerie.

Now there’s an image worthy of being put in a book…