Rush Resurrection

I resurrected in a rush this morning, since Sir Boxnoggin, He Who Chases Squirls, was trying to get under the covers with me and ended up punching me in the face. My yelp must have been puppylike, for it brought both dogs to try and lick anything of me they could reach. “DON’T WORRY, MUM, WE’LL SAVE YOU!”

After that, well, there was no more room for sleep, and my heart was pounding anyway, so…I rolled out of bed and into my running togs. The dogs both need some work to settle them so they stop stealing each others’ rawhides.

We never could have rawhide while Odd Trundles was around. The danger of it getting stuck in his poor compromised airway was too great. There was the time the Mad Tortie fished an old chunk of it out from under the couch, thinking she was Being Helpful, and that didn’t end well, let me tell you. It was one of the many times we almost lost that little fuzzy snuffler.

I was just thinking yesterday about how much I miss Trundles. He was a good dog. Smelly, yeasty, constantly in need of medical attention…but a lovely dog. Not a mean bone in his body.

Anyway, I’ve another 20K to add in revision for this damn epic fantasy. I’m hoping I can get the needed effects without making the book break 200K. I’m already sick of the story and there’s two more in the trilogy to write. I need a break, but I’m not going to get one. Plus there’s Atlanta Bound to format into ebooks, and the whole Roadtrip Z omnibus to put together to go on sale after the first of the year.

No rest for the weary or the wicked. Time to swallow the last bit of coffee, get the leashes buckled around my waist, and take the dogs for some work. Hopefully they won’t pull in different directions very often. But if they do, I’ll drop my center of gravity and keep going.

Funny, how that skill translates into other areas of one’s life.

I wish you safe running on this Monday, my friends. Just drop your navel a little and keep going.

It’s the only way through.

Ours Now

Yesterday was a very quiet day. We have a sick neighbor, so we made extra at each step and sent it next door. The Princess was settled on the loveseat with both dogs, but when she was called away to finish up some baking, Boxnoggin and B decided warm cushions were not to be left to waste.

They even got ham brought to their silly selves, like the spoiled brats they are. But really, look at those faces. Could you deny them anything?

Anyway, I hope your holiday was as low-stress and full of good food as ours. And I am thankful for you, my darling Readers. You’re all amazing.

Here’s to another year of stories. And especially dog stories.

Better than Monday

Things I’ve said already today:

  • “You dropped a sock. I’m hanging it on your doorknob.”
  • “Clearly this fellow’s only experience of sex comes from Clive Cussler novels.”
  • “What’s the right time to tell your date about your barbed penis?”
  • “I’d read that for charity, but I’d need a LOT of weed.”
  • “No, Mary Berry wouldn’t be disgusted. She’d just be disappointed.”

As you can tell, it’s been A Morning. Tuesday is already better than Monday, though. I seem to have processed most of my less-than-ideal feelings about yet another revision in record time, and today’s going to be full of working that book into the ground. I finally know how to fix the major thing the editor wanted addressed, and can do it in a way that provides depth as well as the simple answer.

Being edited initially feels like having someone yell from the audience while you’re juggling chainsaws. You’re already working at capacity and some asshole has advice. It’s not the editor’s fault, they’re working to make the book better just like you are. Still, it initially feels not only like a judgment (and a particularly harsh one, at that) but a personal affront.

Getting through that shitty-ass feeling and into the headspace where you can take the advice calmly is part of a professional writer’s toolkit of necessities. Schedule in enough time to stamp your feet and scream, or, like I do, print out an edit letter, curse vociferously, and throw the thing across the room.

It’s surprisingly therapeutic, and calms one down wonderfully.

So. I have largely recovered from the most Monday of Mondays, and am even feeling philosophical about Thursday. (Mostly.)

Time for a run, and then I pick up the edit letter again and get to work.

Over and out.

Die Hard and Ham

They’re about to start playing Yule music everywhere you go. Honestly, they started even before Samhain; pretty soon the consumerism ramp-up will begin in July. I despise Yule music with a passion; it partakes of my feelings around the entire holiday. Especially my feelings from when I worked retail and saw overstimulated children dragged around by tired, snappish parents. The world might be better off if we stopped this ridiculousness, but as long as there’s money to be made we won’t.

Which is pretty par for the course with humanity, really.

You can probably tell I’m in a Monday mood. I’m sure lots of people really like Yule, but it was always such a source of stress and tension growing up I am allergic to the very mention. I’ve always seen it as a great pretense–people pretending to love their family get-togethers, people pretending they have the cash to spend on unwelcome gifts, you get the idea. Add in the fact that no gift I received as a child was permanently given or free1 and you can see why I just want to cancel the whole thing.

Fortunately, my kids feel the exact opposite way. To them, Yule has always been a soft, relaxing time, full of good food and happiness. It makes me feel good to see their joy; indeed, it’s the only reason I participate in the holiday anymore. But even so, I’d really like it if the whole thing didn’t send its tentacles creeping out to strangle other holidays I like better.

…it’s over a month away and already I’m done with the bullshit, it’s going to be a long holiday season.

In any case, there is a gentle jog to accomplish on my strained ankle, possibly while a dog or two tries to re-injure me, and there’s work to be done. There’s always work to be done, and perhaps I can work straight through all the foolishness and only start decorating on the solstice.

It’s worth a shot.

At least there will be Die Hard and ham, and a ham bone means split-pea soup. Which the kids despise, even after I christened it Dragon Snot Soup, so there’s more for me. It requires fresh bread, too, and that’s always a fun task. Now that I’ve finished my yearly complaining, I’ll be turning on my “ignore” blinkers and moving ahead.

Just kidding. I’ll complain more in the weeks to come. It’s a holiday tradition, after all.

*snork* Over and out.

Season Is Now Upon Us

I took this picture before Samhain. Pretty soon, we'll be seeing Yule decorations as soon as July 4 is over.

If all decorations were like this, though, I wouldn't mind. May all the gods bless Archie McPhee.

Fog, Cobbler’s Bench

Sometimes the stars align, and my once-monthly insomnia (no doubt a hormonal thing) rouses me not at 2am or at 3am, but at 5:30am and I can lie in the dark, thinking, and roll out of bed early because the urge to write is filling me from toes to scalp with raw tingling.

The Muse is a bitch, but sometimes that’s useful.

So I got up, fed the dogs, swallowed my porridge while grumbling about the injustice of having to feed my own meatsack, and made some very, very strong tea. And now I am typing, which is where I longed to be ever since opening my eyes.

It’s quiet outside because of the fog. It’s not quite a pea-souper, wrapping its fingers around each leafless branch; the wind earlier in the week stripped most of Autumn’s finery and hurried her home. Now all I’m waiting for is the rains. Cold, dark, damp, that’s when I’m most productive, lighting a candle to keep the night at bay.

Of course, lying in bed, I knew what the Friar Tuck on a Spaceship scene I was struggling with yesterday needed. The answer arrived on little cat feet like the fog itself, and is one of the reasons I’ve rolled out of bed. And, of course, the storm king and the witch are finding their feet. The witch needs kidnapping, of course, just so I can write the scene with her beating the shit out of thugs in a van and eventually bursting out of the vehicle on a puff of flame and shrapnel, dusting off her motorcycle jacket as the daimon and the storm god arrive to “rescue” her and find out she’s rescued herself, thank you very much, and when’s dinner?

Of course, there’s revisions on The Maiden’s Blade to deal with, too, but those are proving troublesome. I need a certain lord to do something, but he’s proving cagey. Plus, plenty of that book rips my heart out, and I’m already feeling a bit sore and tender in the cardiac area.

So today’s work is cut out for me, and I bend over my cobbler’s bench, cutting and stitching, my fingers pricked and bleeding. Friar Tuck needs to understand just what sort of snake-pit Prince John’s court is, and his crisis of faith–already well underway–needs some higher stakes. I was trying to write it yesterday, but Robin and Gisbourne kept intruding, and I finally had to write a conversation between the two of them. I wanted to do it while they sparred with lightsabers, but I think they need to have a different convo while they do that, an exceedingly male “let’s punch each other and then go for drinks” one.

Dawn has strengthened. Everything is grey, though the cedars are black lacework blots. They’re not whispering this year, having gone to bed early; all the trees round here are determined to sleep deeply. It’s like they sense something coming.

…dear gods, I hope they’re wrong, but they’re trees, and as such, it’s not likely. But for today, there’s work to be done.

Over and out.

Hope, Despair, Work

I attended the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s yearly Authorfest on Sunday right after Orycon, and got to see a lot of lovely people, from fellow authors to regular Authorfest readers. It was nice, and the drive out there and back settled some plot points inside my head.

Driving’s good for that. Tires on paving and the hum of the engine shake all sorts of things loose.

Now I’m back home with no event looming on the horizon, but I think Orycon con-crud hitchhiked on a bunch of people and found a congenial home in my sinuses. Hydration, ginger, and vitamin C are all called for.

Season One of HOOD proceeds apace for NaNo, and there’s revisions on The Maiden’s Blade to get done before the end of the month too. Plus, there’s Thanksgiving, which means I’ll throw a ham in the oven, make some mashed taters, and call it good. At least the Little Prince will be home from school and the Princess has some holiday time off work, so that’s nice.

I’m just…drained, and fighting off the crud is exhausting. It’s a good thing I only do the one event a year. Otherwise the loss of working time would be a bigger problem. Plus I’m recovering from the midterms. Hope is almost as exhausting as despair.

The cure for both is work, I guess. Which means it’s time to get out the door with the dogs, then come home and settle into a long day of revisions and grinding. If I do well, I may get to play hooky with the storm-king-and-witch book, which I’m using to make other projects jealous so they behave.

It’s a fine juggling act, and if I can just fight off this hitchhiking crud I might even pull it off.

Over and out.