Waited Half the Year

The rains have arrived again. False summer has fled, heat-stressed leaves have dropped and those who survived the drought have begun to turn. Miss B is sanguine–she remembers, however dimly, that water falling from the sky is a thing.

Sir Boxnoggin, Lord van der Sploot, however, is agog. Things were not like this in Texas, he informs me, every time he has to step outside. I tried to remind him of a hurricane or two, but he informs me archly that what he remembers is dust and heat, not this damp bullshit.

Lord van der Sploot is not a big fan of change. I don’t blame him, he’s had more than his fair share. He needs a good long chunk of boring, nothing-ever-changes time, and we’re doing our best. It helps that feeding time, running time, and playing time is all the same, even if there is water where there shouldn’t be.

I took a forced rest this weekend, in order to gear up for the big push to get Steelflower in Snow out before the end of the month. I managed not to work except for a thousand words or so on Incorruptible, mostly because I don’t want to lose momentum. It was a chore to keep myself from working, but I did get all my Sunday cleaning chores done early. Other than that, I stuffed a lot of movies into my head, watched another couple episodes of Castle Rock–though I must say, the Queen episode brought everything nicely to a halt for me and I’m not sure I want to continue–and managed to read a good chunk of The American Slave Coast, which I’ve had to take in small pieces because it’s just so devastating.

Once I’m finished with that, I can reward myself with finishing Laura Kinsale’s For My Lady’s Heart, the Middle English edition. Right now the main characters there are in Ruck’s secret fastness and I want them to stay there until I can return.

In order to get there, though, I’ve got to work. The siege portion of Steelflower needs some heavy revising to make it ready, and I should probably go looking for the glossary, too.

*sigh* No rest for the wicked, ay? There’s also a run in the rain to accomplish, while Sir Boxnoggin complains next to me. He’ll settle down once it’s clear we’re outside to work. I may even have to get him a little coat, since he’s shorthaired and runs warm. He’s glad to have a nice bright home to return to, full of comfy beds, pets at the drop of a hat, and regular mealtimes, and his gladness helps when I start dragging.

Other than that, I have my SAD light on just to stay ahead of the game. I’ve been more productive on rainy days than I was all bloody summer. And bonus, with the rains, not so many people will be out letting their dogs off leash or wanting to stop me while I run in order to exchange commonplaces about the bloody weather.

I’ve waited half the year for this, and dammit, I’m going to enjoy it.

Over and out.

Breakfast at Leisure

This morning brought a leisurely breakfast with the Princess. We haven’t seen each other for a couple days, so it’s good to catch up, even though both of us are coughing, hacking, and filling wastebaskets with used tissues at a truly alarming rate. The dogs were glad both of us were in the same place for an extended period–they hate when anyone leaves, and both canines want to herd the hoomins into a tight bunch so they can supervise with little effort.

So the Little Prince was off to school and the remaining monkeys were in the same room, which sort of balanced everything out. Now, however, we’ve separated to begin our days, which means Sir Boxnoggin is trotting up and down the hall and Miss B is curled next to my chair, eyeing me reproachfully. Why, oh why, can I not stay where she places me?

In any case, I’m not as physically miserable as I was Sunday, and feeling better than yesterday. The Princess is a couple days behind me on this cold cycle, so today will probably be the worst. Thankfully, she can spend it on the couch with a box of tissues and plenty of liquids.

I might even make triple-garlic chicken soup for dinner. We all sorely need it.

Incorruptible continues apace, and revisions on Steelflower in Snow do too. If I can get the “Karnaugh” section of the latter revised, I’ll count it a day well spent. I’ve decided the next serial will be the gunslinger story, so I should start making preparations for that, too. A placeholder cover will be fun to do once I accomplish everything else today.

And maybe, once all that is done, I can make another pair of super shiny earrings. I’m experimenting with cup chain, which is sparkly but finicky. And so. many. jump. rings. I must have wasted at least six trying to get everything connected on yesterday’s pair.

Shiny!

But the finickiness is so worth it, since these were EXACTLY what I wanted. Bright, swinging armor. I can’t wait to make more of them, frankly. People keep asking if I’m going to sell them on Etsy, and if I get to a place where I’m comfortable about my craftsmanship, I’ll probably put a few pairs up. It seems like a cool way to lose a little cash, and better than shipping books around.

So that’s my day. I might shoehorn a run in, too, if I get really ambitious. But for now, it’s time to brush my teeth, make some more coffee, and get down to Incorruptible.

Over and out.

Solace and Camouflage

The nights are finally cool enough to leave a window open and sleep through. Trees are burning their summer leaves, letting them drop, and emerging naked from the fire. Rain lingers though the afternoons warm; the ground is damp. The Great Pumpkin approaches.

I can’t wait. My favorite time of the entire year-wheel is upon us. I hate raking leaves, but the joy of being forty-plus is that I don’t have to. There’s always neighborhood kids or landscapers looking for an extra buck, and I will gladly pay for a little peace of mind. The scars on my palms from childhood raking have stretched and whitened, submerging until I can only feel them when I spread my fingers and stay tense for a little while. I’m sure they’ll pain me as I grow older, but that’s fine.

I don’t understand people who fear getting older. Sure, there’s facing your own mortality, but one can die by misadventure, violence, or sickness at the drop of a hat at any age. The further I am from my helpless childhood, the better. I have my own car, my own money, my own home full of things I love. I don’t have to speak to my past tormenters or allow them any of my mental real estate.

And, frankly, the longer I endure the more chance I’ll outlive them, and be granted the real freedom of knowing they’re permanently barred from harming me.

Perhaps that’s why fall is my favorite. It reminds me that I’ve survived so far by hiding under ice and bare branches when necessary, conserving my strength and fire until needed. In the rain, tears can’t be seen, and the blurring of falling water gives me both solace and camouflage.

I write, I run, I care for those under my aegis. But sometimes I stop and take a breath, feeling a bone-deep gladness that I have seen many autumns now and each one takes me further from a horrifying pit of bleak despair.

It’s good to survive. Many don’t, and we who do carry them curled inside us. We carry those who cannot crawl any further, and those who were subsumed in the darkness. Each day we are granted, each day we fight through, is a victory for the forever silent as well as for ourselves.

If you’re carrying, today, try to take a deep breath.

I’m with you. We’re gonna make it.

A Wooden Road

On a ramble with both dogs, I rounded a corner and found a wooden road leading into sunshine. I wondered where it went, and if I hadn’t had two leashes wrapped around my waist and a healthy aversion to possibly falling and breaking my fool leg, I might have followed it just to see.

Adulthood means walking away from a possible leg break. But, more importantly, it also means I can choose a time and go back, and climb that road. Maybe just a little, maybe more, maybe just to see where it leads, maybe to peer through at the end and catch a glimpse of the Good Folk at their revels.

Not that I wish for such a thing…but I could, if I wanted to.

And that makes all the difference.

Dandelion

Miss B needs more walks these days since she’s getting a little old to take long runs with me. On this one, we came across a dandelion still holding onto to shreds of its sunny face. Or at least, I did, since she was busy searching for something stinkalicious to roll in.

For some reason, the little fellow made me feel better. Hold on, it seemed to be saying. Just hold on.

I’m trying.

Gore, Battle, Danger, As Usual

Once a month I get mild insomnia; I’m sure it’s hormonal, and I bear it with good grace because now, with the meds, it’s a monthly instead of a nightly occurrence. I settled in bed once everything had cooled off outside–around midnight, really–and read the Lazarillo de Tormes I’d managed to grab as a Norton Critical edition. I love Norton Criticals, and this one doesn’t disappoint, but I’m beginning to note a lot of homonym abuse in academic texts and translations. They can’t all be intentional; it’s just something I’m noticing. My inner editor twitches, and I have to glance up from the page.

Reading for pleasure gets kind of iffy sometimes when you’re in publishing.

Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed, unrested, and have managed a run. Miss B was ecstatic, and we stuck to shaded pavements. Still, we were both glad to get home. Someone up the street has taken out a massive cedar tree; apparently all the neighbors are intent on deforesting this hill so it slides down into the river during the next overly wet winter.1 Added to a new driveway going on, the entire street is full of mechanical noise. Whirring, buzzing, stamping, dropping, engines running. When it gets hot enough, I’ll close up the windows and turn the AC on, and that will provide some relief from the racket.

I also managed a solid 4k words yesterday, mostly in Incorruptible but a significant portion in HOOD. It feels good to be working again, even if I do still catch myself looking for Odd or surfacing from a scene to think that’s strange, he’s really quiet, what’s going on? Moving the furniture helped immensely, I’m not expecting to see him leaning against where the couch used to be or thoughtfully examining trailing geranium leaves from the coffee table.

We even got a lovely card signed by the entire vet office, with condolences for our loss. Once the card comes, I guess, that’s closure. Sometime this week or the next I’ll have to go get his ashes, the last gauntlet to run through.

For now, though, I’m crackling with dried sweat, absorbing coffee, and looking forward to another productive day. I decided to send in the demons early, to get Incorruptible off the ground. I don’t want that book to be a slow burn, I want to write gore, battle, and danger.

As usual, I guess.

Be gentle with yourselves today, dear Readers. The most dangerous time is when you’re feeling a bit better, and you think you’re cured and want to push it. Gently, softly, even when you feel like a tenuous balance has been reached. That’s all my advice for the day, use it as you will.

Over and out.