Rest to Conquer

This morning, eating breakfast, I looked at the table, and had the exotic experience of three different words for such a thing–French, Latin, and Spanish–fighting briefly for primacy, while I wondered what the Korean word was and, for the life of me, could not remember the English word for this wooden thing right in front of me. (Even though the French word is spelled the same way, the pronunciation is different, so it might as well be a Whole New Word. Gah.)

I think it’s time to take a day off from language learning, don’t you? I’m slowly going through a couple “learn Hangul” apps; it seems a little easier than Cyrillic. Maybe my brain just isn’t cut out for Russian, who knows? Either way, I’m going to rest a bit, before I start trying to figure out how to say “table” in music, too.

Speaking of music…taking a rest from piano now means that my sight-reading has improved, for some reason. I made it all the way through Scarborough Fair in Dm last night, without needing to annotate. Of course, I’m sure that once I go back to Bach I’ll have to scrawl all over the page like a mofo, but it was nice to have my hands do just what they needed to while at the ivories, for once.

Periodic rest sessions are needed for mental strengthening as well as physical. You’ve got to give the poor overworked neurons time to repair themselves.

I do rather miss my morning Caesar session, though. There’s a certain grim humor to realizing people don’t change much, even over hundreds, thousands of years. I mean, we adapt, but you can still find the same follies in Sumeria, in Rome, and in New York. And, like a certain Miss Bennet, follies delight me, even my own.

So, today is for wordcount, for following up with a couple publishers, and for an easy run, probably with Miss B. She’ll be unlivable if I leave her home, after all. She doesn’t seem to understand that she’s aging, and is honestly baffled when her body won’t obey her puppylike need to jump. It’s a temporal conspiracy, she feels, and looks to me to solve it.

Gods grant me the strength to be the person my dogs think I am. Blessed be.

Exhaust the Brain

Well, I’m awake. Poking around with Hangul practice, since I think I’d like to learn a little Korean. It feels like cheating to do French and Spanish with Latin, and how cool would it be to be able to maybe-piece together lyrics from K-pop and the occasional word in K-dramas? PRETTY DAMN COOL, I’m thinking.

Mind you, I am not going to ever claim any kind of fluency, but picking out the occasional word is going to be ultra-satisfying.

The yoga-in-the-morning experiment proceeds apace, too. The old, paid Gaiam app I was using for a quick 15-min session suddenly updated and turned into a subscription-based piece of shite, so I switched to Down Dog. It really annoyed me that an app I’d paid for suddenly bait-and-switched like that, and there goes all my records of the practices I’ve done so far. Ah well, life is change, right? And I think the Down Dog app might be better for me overall. (The music’s definitely nicer.)

All of this, including piano, is to keep my brain from eating itself. Plus, I have a horror of losing mental acuity. I spent so long thinking the only thing I had to recommend myself was a reasonably agile brain, the prospect of losing grey matter gives me the chills. I also think people calcify as they get older if they don’t purposely seek out new experiences and things to love, and I’d like to put off that sclerosis as long as possible. Since I never thought I’d survive much past my early thirties (it is still a daily surprise to me that I have) I’ve started planning for the type of old Amazon I want to be.

So today is for a run, with new socks. (Well, I’ve had them for a while, but my old socks have been worn clear through.) We’ll see if they can handle the strain. Then it’s settling in to explore more of DEADROAD, which is the sequel to AFTERWAR, which is currently with the editor. (Who is on vacation, argh.) There are other projects, including more Roadtrip Z (they finally got out of the county! After almost 100K words!) and a Sooper Sekrit Projekt I want to get damn well finished, and the epic fantasy I’m writing just as an exercise and a gift for a favorite editor. Then there’s the second Angelov Wolves book, tentatively titled Dog Days. I have the sequel to The MarkedOracle–boiling in the back of my head, too. Preston Marlock really isn’t a very nice guy, and Jude is beginning to understand that about him. And poor, poor Aggie.

Anyway, there’s my day. But first, Caesar is being an asshole to Dumnorix, who has several very good points about the Gauls preferring overlords from among their own cultural set instead of Romans. I get that things aren’t going to turn out well for Dumnorix, and Orgetorix’s daughter seems to have disappeared. *eyeroll* If Caesar were not already long dead, one might want to slap him. I’m sure Cleopatra longed to every once in a while.

Over and out.


I used to go out at night and take pictures of gas meters. Sadly, I’m out of the habit now, but I find myself noticing fireplugs these days. Sturdy little morning papers for the dogs, waiting patiently in all weather, quietly holding a force that can save homes.

Every time I see one, I feel like the world might be an all right place after all. And of course, Miss B loves every single one she meets.

CORMORANT Is Almost Here…

It’s June. You know what that means? CORMORANT RUN is almost out!

ARRIVAL meets Under the Dome.

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What’s known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift… and come back, bearing priceless technology that’s almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe the Rat — the best Rifter of her generation — dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

But Svin, of course, has other plans…

Guys, I am SO EXCITED about this. My loving homage to the Strugatsky brothers and Tarkovsky is ALMOST OUT IN THE WORLD. (You can preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, if you’re so inclined.) I am getting release-day nerves a full two weeks in advance, because I am so nervous about this one. It’s different than anything I’ve done before.

*bites nails* *runs away to make tea*

Getting Older

Up a little late, nosed out of bed by an Australian shepherd who was extremely sure I was supposed to be ambulatory before I was quite ready for such an event. She also “helped” me all the way through yoga, hip-checking me when I almost fell asleep in Child’s Pose. Her nose was on my knee all during French and Spanish at breakfast, and she snored all through the sit-down Latin lesson. When I begin my pacing and reading Caesar, no doubt she’ll herd me around my office.

She’s very excited at the prospect of a run today, can you tell? Yesterday I took her along for 5K, very soft and easy, and she was so thrilled she dragged me half the time and tried to slow me the other half, especially when Other Dogs showed up.

She’s neutral on humans (except her own) but she cannot resist other dogs. Odd Trundles is just the opposite–he will schnorgle a new human until the cows come home, and has only met one or two he doesn’t care for, but other dogs fill him with slow, wheezing rage. Except Miss B. I’m not sure why he’s so upset by other canines, since he was socialized to a fare-thee-well, but there it is. He even likes squirrels better than other dogs.

Speaking of which, there were two juvenile Rodentia Arborea doing their level best to tear down the cedars along the back fence yesterday afternoon, which filled both dogs with excitement. I checked to make sure I was wearing shoes and watched, openmouthed, from the deck as they scurried back and forth, shaking branches and sending a cascade of detritus down upon a barking Odd and a leaping, extremely athletic Miss B, who wanted to get her ass up into the branches to herd those small, silly sheep. She landed on Odd twice before he got the bright idea to retreat to the upper garden boxes, where he began to run in circles and bark loudly. Miss B kept going, back and forth along the fence, stopping only to throw herself to whatever altitude her haunches could catapult her weight to.

Needless to say, when they both calmed down, they were filthy. Just a single day after I washed Trundles, too. *sigh* There was a quick brushing to rid them of cedar bits before I dragged them inside. Of course Miss B viewed the brushing as a reward for her doughty performance, and trotted around the rest of the day with her skirts swishing and her ears held high.

The upshot of all this is that they’re both moving relatively slowly this morning, and Odd is exceedingly cranky. He may need a muscle relaxer, the little idiot. Miss B is in a particular stage of almost-elderly-irritation that will no doubt reach epic levels once I leave the house for a run alone.

They’re both getting older, these sweet, silly dogs. Odd doesn’t mind so much, being a creature of sedentary habits, but Miss B doesn’t understand why she can’t run like she used to, or why she gets so tired after a quarter-hour of attempting to scale cedars in pursuit of a herd of juvenile tree-rats. The inevitable codicil to this is that their lives are short, but will be comfortable and full of interesting things.

And with that sobering thought, I’m out the door for a run. Caesar can wait until I come back.

Language Morning

Get up. Stumble through yoga. Stagger into kitchen. Let dogs out, feed cavy his morning treat. Let dogs in, feed them. Breakfast with French and Spanish.

Make coffee. Trip twice heading down the hall, manage not to spill any coffee, open up Rosetta Stone for Latin. Stare at “hoc, hic, haec” and curse every goddamn part of speech. Startle-jump when phone buzzes, reminding me I’ve a 5K slated for later this morning. Eye Caesar, trying to decide if it’s worth opening him up today.

Feel guilty for even contemplating skipping a day. Startle-jump again when a cold wet nose touches my ankle. Let cat out, muttering imprecations.

Head back to my bedroom without tripping, so the coffee must be sinking in. Brush teeth, mumbling “hoc, hic, haec” and various versions of “Fuck this noise.” Grab running shoes, wonder which of my children is stealing my running socks, decide it doesn’t matter. Maybe the dogs have eaten them. Head back to office, stare at Caesar, daring him to open up and say one. goddamn. thing. Have longing thoughts of traveling back in time and stabbing Caesar before Brutus could.

Open Caesar. Blink. Begin reading aloud, checking each sentence against translation on facing page. Startle-jump again when someone slams a car door across the street. Drop Caesar, begin swearing softly so as not to wake the children. Pet Miss B, who has decided I obviously need help and many snootboops this morning. End up sitting on office floor, dog under my arm, reciting Caesar interspersed with “goddammit, fuck you, alliteration, what does that mean…oh, okay…fuck you anyway…”

I have longing thoughts of adding Korean to my daily language practice, but I’m not sure I’d survive the experience.

And that, my friends, is what a Monday morning is like here a la Chez Saintcrow. It’s like every other morning, except with about ten percent more swears.