Squirrel, Ten Percent Off

I keep being surprised by just how much green is burgeoning. This doesn’t happen every spring, natch; I think I’m just astonished to have survived the past few years. (For whatever value of “survival”, I guess.) I don’t have trouble with change the way Boxnoggin does, but events since 2016 could put a dent in even the most flexible.

I’m well into revisions on Sons of Ymre #2 now, and finding with relief that I might not absolutely hate the book. This is one of the better parts of the process; the shift halfway through when I start liking a story again relieves a lot of internal pressure. Of course I’ll feel hateful and petty during copyedits, and weary unto death by the time proofs roll around…but the active this story is shit, I’m shit, it’s all hopeless is ebbing. Each time it happens I’m utterly grateful.

Boxnoggin had to go all over the yard before finding a place to void his bladder this morning. I don’t blame him–it’s relatively warm, cloudy, and the birds are singing. Plus the fence along the back is finished (thank the gods, and wasn’t that a saga) and there was something odd at the bottom of the Venerable Fir for him to investigate.

I think it’s the very end-tip of a squirrel tail? It certainly appears to be, though I’m at somewhat of a loss to imagine just how it came to be lying there. Boxnoggin huffed it like Tony Montana facedown in nose-sugar, his eyes all but rolling back in his head, but thankfully he didn’t try to consume the damn thing outright. I think I’m just gonna leave it there. I hope the rest of the poor squirrel is okay, but who knows? It might even be a memento from the little bastard who crossed the road in front of us while I was taking poor Box for walkies t’other morning, the one hopping along parallel to our route switching his hind end while the dog kept looking at me in amazement.

I was very surprised Boxnoggin didn’t take off after it and attempt to drag me along wholesale, but while he’s in the harness he generally tries to behave himself. Which makes the squirrel’s taunting that much more eyeroll-inducing. After all, the leash could snap at any moment, or Box’s instinctive longing to chase and shake break through. But the little jerk just kept…hopping along, and I swear before he finally vanished into the shelter of a very large holly the squirrel looked over his shoulder to give us a cheeky wink.

The dog, of course, gazed up at me like can you believe this bullshit, look at how good I’m being. He got extra treats, pets, and praise for that one, but I really don’t think such behavior speaks well of that squirrel, whoever he was.

And I also don’t think we’ve seen the last of that fuzzy little troublemaker. If he shows up with about ten percent taken off the hind end, we’ll know for sure. As it is, I’m leaving that tuft right under the fir, and if the way the birds are yelling, “WANNA SMASH?” this morning is any indication it’ll soon be picked up to line a nest or two.

The coffee is still hot and I’ll be looking over the day’s work before walkies. Today will be the big push to get as much of the revision out of the way as possible. All sings indicate a productive session or two, especially since I’ve now got the geography of Book 2 figured out and all the bloody monster names written down. I really should have a better system for the latter, but since this is the last book I suppose that’s neither here nor there. And once this revise is done and sent off there’s an outline to take a stab at, then the Riversinger and Minnowsharp polish to do, and and and…

Anyway, happy Monday, everyone. Let’s hope we’re all doing better than the squirrel who had to leave behind a bit of themselves.