The Rock of Morning

Read a little Anais Nin in bed while my alarm clock finished waking up–it’s one of those sunrise clocks, where the light begins simmering gently a half-hour before the alarm, which sounds like birds twittering. A good investment from years and years ago, though I stopped using it so much in poor Bailey’s senescence because as soon as it began its cycle she was up, gods damn you, and if she was up I had to be nosed and bullied out of bed along with Boxnoggin, and the dear old dog would do so with a lot of cranky because she needed more rest.

Whereas if I got up in the dark (or semi-dark with the curtains pulled) and started going about my day, she slept on, figuring I was Just Doing Weird Human Things and she’d herd me when she got around to it. It was simply easier, and she needed that gentle time in the mornings.

I miss her so much.

Anyway, Boxnoggin could not give a single hoot nor holler about the alarm clock. He must be rousted from the bed’s comfort with his special morning song and some snuggle time, and may all the powers of earth and sky help you if there is not enough snuggle, because he will mope. I have, however, found out that the snuggles can be achieved while I do a bit of reading, since that’s merely a continuation of the nightly ritual–his nose in my armpit as I awkwardly page through the current book.

Once he’s up he requires a bathroom break, and right after that he turns his nose up at brekkie and goes back to bed while I get coffee and settle in front of the glowing box for the morning session. He won’t eat his own breakfast until right before walkies, when he wolfs down as much as possible to get his peristalsis primed. This is entirely separate from the toll of toast crust or little bit of my morning gruel that must be slopped into his bowl, which he will eagerly partake of before going back to bed, turning his nose up at ordinary kibble.

This is the same dog who was underweight and famished when he arrived, thinking that same kibble veritable manna from the gods. I’m glad he feel secure enough to be picky, frankly.

…I meant today’s blog post to be about other stuff, but best-laid plans founder on the rock of morning. Last night I put Horace de Brassiere‘s washable parts in the dishwasher, on the theory that today’s Lili would find them nice and fresh for the morning potion. Today’s Lili, though, spent a significant amount of time staring at poor Horace, trying to put the parts together in some configuration that would make getting coffee a possibility, and cursing her past self for being somewhat of a sadist.

Eventually I found the missing part in the dish drainer and things began to make more sense. Now caffeine is slowly filtering into my system and I have consigned both yesterday’s self and the morning’s first iteration safely to the realm of “well, that happened, let’s laugh.”

I’m about halfway through Nin’s Cities of the Interior, which is four of her interconnected novels in one. It’s much easier to see the throughlines now, especially after the read of her diaries I did last year. I’m in The Four-Chambered Heart at the moment, and seeing her alchemy of fictionalization is doing good things for me. Filling the artistic well, as is so crucial. Last year ended in exhaustion and bad health, too many things taking time away from writing, so it’s good to be back after the first few weeks of this year were spent pruning. Already my productivity is slowly creeping back up to the usual pace.

Over and over again, I learn the lesson of protecting the work. One has to fight quite fiercely for one’s writing time, especially if one is femme-presenting; other people will assume they are entitled to your time and energy as a matter of course. The people worth keeping around are the ones who take no for an answer, but cutting the others out is painful and requires a lot of energy too. And that’s not even counting the voraciousness of the world at large, especially lately–the news cycle and corporate greed won’t let anyone rest if they can help it.

The idea of going back to bed a la Boxnoggin is intensely appealing. But there’s the actual conversation between the Rook and Miss Dove to write today–now that he’s managed to slip in through her garret window, which is not a euphemism–and yesterday’s almost-drowning of an almost-prince in The Fall of Waterstone has implications that kick off the next big chain of plot events. If I get both done I might be able to burn the last bit of cedar wrack in the firepit, which would please me intensely.

None of that will happen until after walkies and running my own poor corpse, so I suppose I’d best get started. It’s a Tuesday feeling like a Monday, always a lot of fun. If all goes well I’ll be able to get to a kidnapping in one project today, and perhaps–if I’m lucky–set up the river race in another.

It’s good to have things to look forward to. Off I go, then.