Preference, Edged Laughter

The backyard crows–Carl and Sandra, with occasional visits from poor Jerry and a few more kin–have been very vocal the past few days, mostly because there’s a hawk in the vicinity. I’ve seen their acrobatics as they attempt to drive the other predator off; both the hawk’s wings have a bright spot in the middle. I’m sure it dives for the feral rabbits who have been working their way up from the river over the past decade. The widening of the freeway has gotten rid of vast banks of blackberry tangle where the bunnies used to hide, which just accelerates the process. The hawk will find good hunting at the school field, not to mention one or two parks with open grass, but why pass up other chances?

Except the crows are having none of this business. Which I wouldn’t mind letting them sort out on their own, except for the corvids’ uneasiness spilling over into constant alerts and warnings when Boxnoggin and I are out. I know they like to torment the dog, partly because he’s always willing to play and partly because he’s in-harness whenever he’s outside now, but this is a little ridiculous. Even Jerry gets in on the ruckus, which isn’t usual at all; I think he still remembers getting caught in the fence. Maybe they’re even attempting to warn me to stay inside, as if the hawk represents a danger to me or to sixty-odd pounds of fuzzy destruction on a leash.

Revisions on Riversinger and Minnowsharp continue apace. I made it through the sack of the elvish city last night after dinner, but had to stop because I suspected I was becoming ineffective. For a zero draft, speed near the end may not be essential but is, according to my experience, a given; rare is the zero that I have not finished in a breathless scrabble. But in revision, especially near the finish line, more haste makes less progress. I need to take care, even if I am itching to have this done.

Fortunately I have found I like this book, and think it serves its purpose well. It’s frustrating to be the only one in the room who believes in the work, and swimming against others’ dismissiveness or dislike makes the whole process much harder than it has to be. It’s also hard to keep my frustrations under decorous wrap. Bitching to one’s writing partner only goes so far, and I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

Ah well. One book left after this one is put to bed, I can endure. I’ve done harder things in publishing.

I should do some more memes on Canva. ‘Tis marvelous therapeutic, especially if I get swear-y. There’s just something about stringing a necklace of blue words I find wonderfully life-affirming.

I bounced off a Norman Mailer book recently, and am considering doing the next Reading with Lili on Bukowski as a type of protest. Because if I’m going to read a deeply problematic and misogynistic writer’s work, dammit, I should at least have some fun with the deal, and since Bukowski hated himself so much more than anyone else–including women–it grants his work a deeply mordant hilarity. Mailer on the other hand is deadly serious, the type of obscenely self-satisfied honker who has you cornered at a frat party and isn’t even a funny drunk.

I prefer the laughter, however edged.

Besides, I can just hear the fanboi cries of outrage, how dare someone with ovaries speak about ol’ Hank Chinaski like that! The thought makes me near-snort with glee. I really shouldn’t, it’s not nice to taunt…but one must take one’s fun where one can, in this benighted world.

Boxnoggin’s snores from his early-morning nap have paused. Next will come the jingle of his collar as he stretches luxuriously, then a small thump as he hops off my bed and the familiar noise of him padding down the hall. It is Time for Mum’s Breakfast, according to his internal chrono, and after that comes preparation for walkies. There are things to sniff, crows to bark at, and attempts to crap in oncoming traffic for him to accomplish; he’s busy, busy dog. After that I haul my weary corpse through a run while I cogitate on the last plot problem this book needs solved (Past Me, the bitch, left it for revision), and settle to a day of getting the subscription drop out and the rest of this book handled until it’s fit for the next stage in its parturition.

Off I go.