Juno, Grant Me Coffee

Dear Zeus, Hera’s home, and she will find out ALL YOUR SECRETS.

Personally, I’ve thought all the Zeus and Jupiter stories were comprised of misogyny and a record of a patriarchal war taking over various goddess shrines. It pleases me to see the classical world in today’s world, but it also irritates me because the misogyny hasn’t gone away, though we’ve fought it tooth and nail. Chop off its head, another one grows.

I could also be slightly cranky this morning because there was little to no sleep last night. If it wasn’t the random bursts of fireworks after 1am (seriously, people, REALLY?) it was the Mad Tortie trying to sleep on my head or demanding pets from whatever hand was uncovered, then yowling at the bedroom door to be let out. She normally sleeps in the Princess’s room, but the Princess is not home and there were big noises. The Tortie found this UNACCEPTABLE. Of course, once I let her out into the hall and settled back into bed, she began rattling my door from the other side, because clearly no closed door can be left unmolested. When I have the porch door open, she settles across the threshold, in true cat fashion, and would no doubt be pleased to do so in the doorway to my room, if I’d let her.

The dogs? Oh, they were fine. Miss B has a two-stage deal: first, anti-anxiety pill, then sedative, both liberally smeared with peanut butter. She slept all damn night, and is full of FUN and EXCITEMENT and LET’S DO THINGS, MUM today. Odd, once he was in his crate, could not have cared less what was happening outside, and snored from both ends all night. (Yes, I gave both canines half a chopped-up hot dog yesterday. I paid for that sin, and am still paying.) Fragrant and unconcerned, both dogs got their full complement of beauty rest.

On the bright side, both dogs went outside this morning without fear, and I have coffee. The former means there will be no fear-spurred accidents requiring carpet cleanup, and the latter is the bare minimum for functioning with anything like normal capacity today. I ache all over and just want to go back to bed, but there’s revisions to be done and sneak peeks to send out. Not to mention the dishwasher to unload and laundry to unfold…

Well, maybe not the last bit. I’ve nearly nodded off twice while writing this.

It’s gonna be a long day.

Boom Boom Cower

EXPECTOPATRONUMsmall Happy “Let’s Have Drunk People Blow Shit Up and Terrorize All Our Pets” Day, everyone! In the grand tradition of anyone with half a functioning eardrum left, I will be closing up the house early and drugging my canines so they don’t freak out. Odd is mostly sanguine, though he mistakes some of the bigger booms for gigantic canine motherships trying to call him home. It’s B who has most of the trouble, and when she starts to wig out, Trundles thinks perhaps he should too, seeing as how she’s older and wiser and reminds him to breathe all the time and all.

So, yeah. Pharmaceutical help for Miss B is definitely in the works. We have meds squirreled away for just this occasion, thank heaven and the veterinarians who work there.

The cats, of course, just hide downstairs. Except the Mad Tortie, who we bring in and keep in well before late afternoon, even though she haaaates it, so that when the cannonade starts she can hightail it for–of all places–my closet.

I don’t know, man, I just work here.

And yes, I am working today. Holidays are only for the salaried in publishing. So after wordcount, it’s cleaning the cavy cage and clipping Bandit’s nails. No doubt he’ll enjoy that; he actually doesn’t seem to care about the fireworks but OH GOD BIG PINK THING IN CAGE WITH ARM ATTACHED MUST BE SNAKE PREY ANIMAL POWERS ACTIVATE! I feel bad for stressing the little rodent out, which must be a first. (And yes, I ALWAYS make sure I’m wearing shoes when approaching his cage. You just never know.) Then there’s the hoovering to do, too, and and and.

So it’s time to go back to work, now that I’ve told you all about the wonder and glory that is Life with the Chez Saintcrow Menagerie. Miss B is nervously licking my ankle while I type this, wanting to be sure I’m still here and ready to protect her from the Big Noises.

Either that, or she thinks the cocoanut oil I’ve slathered on is delicious. I am now marinated, apparently.

Over and out.

Ramblin’ B


Since B is no longer capable of long runs, we ramble a lot. A ramble is at least an hour long, and we have several routes about and around. One of B’s favorites is this park that has a Little Free Library. I want very badly to put one in my front yard, but each time I mention it, someone tells me it’s a bad idea. (Sometimes I even tell myself that.) So I get my little free library fix during the rambles.

Today is the last day to get in on THE MARKED Indiegogo campaign! Remember, even if it doesn’t fully fund, you still get your perks, and the book will still be published. It will just take a little longer for the latter, and I built that time into the schedule for the book. If you like the idea, please spread the word.

And that’s it for this week, my dears. I’ll be huddling in my office for most of the weekend, ignoring the artillery fire outside. Some idiots have already started blowing up bits of native soil. My nerves are already raw, and Miss B’s are almost gone. It will be a relief when the Fourth is over.

The Wisdom of Trundles

The pre-morning-nap nap.

Trundles knows the world is a crazy, sometimes very scary place. Trundles hasn’t read or watched the news–he was too busy trying to roll over, a perennial goal his corkscrewed body rarely reaches but that doesn’t stop him from trying. However, he has heard me discuss current events with Miss B (who always listens, but rarely ventures an opinion, unless it’s to growl every time she hears a certain tiny-handed orange-haired demagogue from the computer speakers) and various others. And Trundles, being the kind giving soul that he is, offers this by way of consolation:


And there you have it, my friends. At least we still have naps. (And pooping.)

Who Lives Here?

A ramble with Miss B (whose leg is doing fine, though I am still chary of taking her running) always shows me something interesting. I’m not sure this tree will survive the hole at its base, but while it does, I think about what could live in such a space.

Stories are everywhere. You can’t escape them, ever.

Agility Saves

gambit2 I’m rolling really high on agility saves today. It may have something to do with the monstrous cup of coffee I’m nursing. I got out the Chemex this morning, because rolling out of bed was…well, let’s just say I may have to poison myself with caffeine a la Balzac (however apocryphal) in order to get anything done today at all.

At least I’ve managed to get some piano practice in. Running through a few minuets right after breakfast seems to clear some cobwebs, but I suspect it will take a week or two before I see real progress in my evening practices as well. I just keep plugging away at the instruction book, and the First Lessons in Bach book. I’m on #8 in the latter, and this is the year I think I’ll finish it. My goal, of course, is to be able to stagger through the Goldberg Variations by the time I’m fifty. I have a decade to do that, and I think it’ll be a close race. My ability to keep making incremental progress through sheer dogged stubbornness is not my most winning feature, but it’s certainly useful.

Miss B’s leg is healing up just fine. She’s able to go on Odd Trundles’s daily constitutionals (half a block to the top of the street, maybe a few steps more, and back) and is a complete and total bossy little menace during them. Which makes Odd a menace too, since he just wants to trundle but she keeps Getting In His Way, not to mention Bossing Him Thoroughly and Barking At Cars. Odd keeps looking at me like do you really have to bring her too, Mum? And I keep grimly holding the leash and repeating, she will get better soon, this is just a phase, please God it’s just a phase.

That’s about it, except for the mounting frustration of waiting for other people to make decisions so I can move on. I’m getting to the point of not caring what goddamn decision an editor makes as long as they make it in a timely fashion. Of course, I’m in the wrong business for timely decisions, since everyone on salary with a publisher goes on vacation/to conventions multiple months a year–I am additionally, I suspect, in the wrong specialization for my field–and you can imagine what that does to my stomach lining.

So today will be spent pursuing people until I get the answers I need, or a deadline for the answers I need. And by the time I finish my daily writing work, I will be set to…work all through the Memorial Day weekend. Then I’ll need a day or two to recover from the weekend, but I won’t get it…

…yeah, it’s a good thing I’m rolling 20s on trip-saves. The amount of ass-kicking I’m doing requires a lot of agility. Time to get out my small objects, charge them with kinetic energy, and grin like the charming bitch I am.

Over and out.

Yes, Something’s Afoot

I stepped out on the back porch with my coffee this morning, and a crow landed on the deck railing. She looked at me sidelong, I straightened under the inspection, Miss B for once did not decide to go scrambling after something new and quite probably chase-able…

…and Odd Trundles, wriggling between my ankles, threw himself at the railing. Which held up, thank goodness. The crow rode out the shuddering, cawed sharply three times, and flew away with a wingsnap and something suspiciously like laughter.

After the bees the other day and every cat in the neighborhood coming out to greet me on my 5K yesterday, I’m beginning to suspect Something Is Afoot.

Yesterday I tried cooking eggplant for the second time, and the results were…unsatisfying. I think when I eventually get a grill, I’m going to have to just grill the snot out of some eggplant and hope for the best. So far, though,it’s like okra–I never want to put that in my mouth again, world without end, amen.

This morning I tried the new habit of sitting down at the piano just after breakfast. Hava Nagilah is still difficult, but it’s not making me cry now. I can limp along through it, so not it’s just a question of brute practice. I’m up to the seventh piece in my Bach book, too, and either they’re getting a little easier or he’s just trying to fake me out before dropping something full of sixteenth notes on me.

At least it’s not Mozart. I get the sense that Bach really wants you to succeed and is pulling for you, where Mozart is sort of a bro who really loves adversarial music, deliberately trying to trip you up. I hate rigged contests, so I don’t think I’ll ever like playing Mozart.

In the “really good news” department, B was allowed to accompany Odd Trundles on his daily constitutional yesterday. A very slow, very gentle, very short walk did wonders for her nervous twitches, and stretched out her injured leg. Consensus is it was a simple sprain, and the only thing to do is keep her activity level down until it heals, and watch her carefully for a long while before she can be my running buddy again.

In short, it will be torture for her, but Odd Trundles’s slow ambling is the only speed available for her silly furry butt right now. Every time she gets snitty with me about not going on a run I just tell her, as Hyperbole and a Half so memorably said, “DOG, YOU DO NOT MAKE GOOD DECISIONS.”

That’s all the news from this side of the fence, I think. Now I go back to work revising Cormorant Run and knocking down my List of Things To Do Today, which has grown to truly massive Wednesday proportions. I’m sure whatever the crows, bees, and cats have been warning me of will hit soon.