Constant Calculus

happy Yesterday was warm and damp while I was running. I arrived home feeling rather like moss was about to erupt all over me. Fortunately, a hot shower and dry clothes cured that, and I am already seeing the benefits of settling back into the base-building part of my training. Well, that and the almost-gallon of water I’m drinking daily. I’d forgotten what being fully hydrated felt like.

The Princess is determined to grow catnip in her room. I am unconvinced of the wisdom of this plan, but have supplied the necessary instruments for her to embark. She might learn what potting soil on her sheets feels like, if the Mad Tortie has one of her Moments.

I had also forgotten what it felt like to be out from under the mod queue. The sheer volume of nastiness arriving on a daily basis was insidious–I hadn’t thought it was affecting me so badly, but now that I don’t have to deal with it I’m experiencing a sudden flush of energy. (The kitchen floor has never been cleaner, the garden has never been neater, and my God, I will wash those kitchen cabinets soon or there will be TROUBLE.) “Don’t feed the trolls” didn’t work. (It never does, really.) What worked was closing comments down and putting the contact form up–now the IPs are logged and I can set filters to automatically archive evidence of nastiness I don’t have to see unless I make a conscious decision to check. Oddly, once the autoreplies of “Your IP address has been logged and your communications retained as evidence” go out, things get much more civil.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to not have this constant calculus of “where is the next harassment going to come from” going on inside my head. Men do not seem to understand the energy drain of being aware and ready to fend off threats. I saw an ad for an otherwise very cool company that does meditation support, showing a man meditating on a park bench. They didn’t seem to realize that as a female, I can’t afford to do shit like that, and very likely wouldn’t be allowed to just sit in a public place without several people (all male) assuming that their need to invade the space of a total stranger trumps my desire (and, really, perfect right) to sit quietly. Or even walk down the street.

I’m lucky, in that I don’t have to leave the house that much, but that’s no goddamn solution. Being naturally extremely introverted, going out is a double whammy of men assuming I need them to offer their opinions on me and the toll crowds and public spaces naturally take on introverts.

In any case, I’ve reclaimed a large chunk of my energy, and as a result, there is bread dough and soft-pretzel dough rising next to my office heater. There’s projects I am suddenly full steam ahead on, and a feeling of liberation doing marvelous things for the rest of my life.

And, I swear by the gods, I will get those cabinets cleaned.

Over and out.

Back From the Brink

Broken Time Well. I’m back. I hope your holidays, of whatever stripe, were fabulous. Mine were very quiet, just the way I like them. I got a lot of work done–one of the things about publishing is that just before all the salaried (editors etc.) go off on vacation, there’s a massive push to get things out to “freelancers”–authors, copyeditors, and the like. Which means one ends up doing a ton of work while everyone else is celebrating. Fine by me, really. I’ve mentioned before how every “holiday,” growing up, was so inordinately stressful that I am allergic to the very thought of gatherings at certain points of the year, including my own blessed natal day.

Anyway. Revisions were sent back, more revisions were done, and I’m currently in the middle of updating and revising the Society series for re-release. Note that they’re not re-released yet! I have every hope for new covers, though.

Also, someone sent me a very nice gift–a Wheel of the Year clock. So far, the sender has not identified him/herself, and there was no card/indication on the packaging. Please, if you sent it, drop me a line so I may thank you?

Who sent me?
Who sent me?

Later today I’ll be vlogging (or recording) a reading of one of my books for my Patreon patrons. I just have to figure out which book I want to start with…

Skittish Creatures

Silk Road #10 Today, it’s the little things: chimney repair, laundry, copyedits, serial chapter revisions. I am only responsible for the last three; the first is (thankfully) contracted out. We’ll see how successful I am working with the dogs going crazy from PEOPLE ON THE ROOF! DOING THINGS! NOISY THINGS! When it’s over, we’ll have a practically new chimney. Considering that I haven’t lit a fire since I bought this place, this might not be as awesome as it sounds. The awesomeness will all come from the damn thing not leaking.

Of course, the long to-do list going to be made a smidgen more difficult by the fact that my head is full of snot and cottonwool, and I ache all over. I was coughing all yesterday, but that seems to have faded. All of that means no running this morning, which fills me with the sort of antsy dread Miss B shares when she’s not exercised enough. Skittish creatures are we, my Miss B and me. I also missed attending the opera yesterday. It was a comic opera, which really isn’t my thing, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I will tell you who is NOT skittish: Odd Trundles. He is snoring in his accustomed place half-under the table holding the cavy cage, blissfully unaware of any impending change to his serene surroundings. All the schnorgling he did over breakfast and at my ankles while I absorbed morning coffee must have worn him out.

It is gray and cold, and I just had to put the shields over the outside faucets. Winter has truly arrived. Whatever trees aren’t bare are getting there, which makes it, oddly, a little brighter on a daily basis, since the leaves aren’t soaking up what manages to get through the cloud cover. I find myself in a state of low-grade irritation with everything, which probably is not the best state to approach CEs in, but oh well.

*buckles helmet on* Pip pip cheerio, into the breach, devil take the hindmost, and all that. Monday, here I come.

Rain, Season

sleep. I am at my most productive during the rainy season. Something about the gray and the water falling from the sky. However, such a season is not turning out to be good for the Chez’s chimney. As in, there’s a leak somewhere.

It’s always something. Hopefully the fix won’t be too bad. But at least it’s my chimney. Buying the Chez was a nightmare of stress, one I wouldn’t care to go through again, but it’s lovely to touch the wall, or walk in the side yard I’m turning into a rose garden, and think mine. I know, nobody really owns anything, property taxes are a headache, I’ll complain about the roof and the state of my driveway…but it’s still nice. I never had a place to belong for the first thirty-four years of my life; now I do, and it’s as wonderful as I thought it would be.

More wonderful, even.

Another thing about the rainy season: the radio stations are playing a lot of Pink Floyd. There oughtta be a law, fer Godsake. I mean, listening to them is grand, I love them, don’t get out the pitchforks and torches. But bathing in the Floyd while it’s gray outside for days on end is just a recipe for depression. Today is the last day I’ll listen to any of that until spring. Really, it’s best for all concerned.

Miss B is an all-weather dog, she doesn’t particularly like the rain, but she’ll deal with it, especially if it involves running with me. Odd, well, he forgets, each summer, that rain is a thing–occasional summer drizzles or downpours notwithstanding. So when the first autumn storm really hits, there are a couple days of him needing to be ushered outside with an umbrella, then told several times to “do his business” before he’ll consent to pee al fresco.

Needless to say, taking him on his walks is going to be pretty interesting. I don’t blame him for being cautious–after all, poor thing, with his nose turned to the sky, he’s like a chicken in danger of drowning. There will be much coaxing, and many treats, and lots of ear skritches to get him out the door and around the block.

After that, it’s still more revision on Agent Zero, interleaving the “bad guy” bits with the rest of the story. I’m beginning to take a more distant focus with stories now, instead of the close, claustrophobic two-person view. A more complex juggling act, but one I enjoy and (I think) readers might too.

That’s about all for news. I’m still arranging things and listening to feedback about Possible Steelflower 2, and there are a few sneak peeks left over at Patreon. As soon as I get these revisions done I can turn my engines to finishing Rattlesnake Wind and getting the zero of the second Gallow book horked up. Now that the dust has settled, I can see ever so much more clearly that I’ve chosen wisely, lately. It’s a marvelous feeling.

A Warm Hand

Great Ocean Drive, Esperance On certain summer mornings, sunshine comes in through my office window between nine and ten. It’s a warm hand on my shoulder while I answer emails or think about the day’s upcoming work. Most times I’ve already turned in my morning run, so it’s a reminder of pounding along with the wind in my hair.

Closer to ten, the bar of sunlight moves down my arm. If the window’s open, the birds stop their second round of cascading wake-up and early-morning-snack calls, and traffic is a distant seashore hum. It makes me wonder about the quality of silence in a car-free world. My writing partner and I are reading The Stand right now for our teensy book club, and one of the things King makes a point of is all the background noise of civilisation suddenly gone. It’s enough to make one wonder about the bath of ambient sound we’re all swimming in.

By slightly past ten the sun is gone, but the sensation of a warm, giving hand remains for a while. The dogs sleep, the cavies burble softly, and the work for the day rises up to meet me like a gift.

Back to work.

Window Day!

Windows This week has turned into a mad scramble, with yesterday being the “dear God can the world just stop whirling?” day. Not only was there forgetting of school items in the morning, but I also had to visit my accountant’s office (seriously, they’re awesome) and take a certain someone for a birthday lunch, but there was also the C2C poetry open mic to help with and window treatments to take down and furniture to move in the basement.

This morning there’s furniture to move in the upstairs, because (can you feel the excitement? I CAN!) IT’S NEW WINDOW TIME. The Chez has the original aluminum windowframes–remember when the polar vortex visited here and I was moaning about how there was ICE INSIDE MY HOUSE? (Maybe you don’t. Rest assured the moaning was almost constant.) I decided I’d look into financing for windows because OMG, forty-year-old ones just are NOT cutting it.

So, clearing stuff away from the windows and taking down curtain rods and stuff is the order of the day.

Yesterday evening I was so tired I couldn’t even do basic math at the open mic. (Sorry, nice lady with credit slip. I’m not stupid, I swear, it’s just that the maths, they are complex for my braaaaane, which is wired for Other Things.) It took me concentrated effort to run the register, which hasn’t happened in a dog’s age.

Speaking of dogs, they know something’s happening. Keeping them corralled with a bunch of window guys in the house is going to be fun.

Further bulletins as events warrant…

Small Differences

Changes Do you see it? DO YOU?

Well, if you don’t, that’s okay. Because I will tell you. You couldn’t, in fact, stop me from telling you.

What you’re looking at is a project in progress. The top two drawer pulls are new, the bottom two are the old ones. Which were perfectly serviceable, but they were a little…florid. And in a kitchen full of stainless steel appliances, they kind of…didn’t match.

So I got out the drill and the measuring tape, I read some stuff on the Internet, and I replaced my drawer pulls. It was suprisingly easy–the hardest part was restraining myself from putting contact paper in the drawers. (I don’t like the paper I have. It’s a little…grandmotherish, if you know what I mean.) And now it looks mahvelous. (Well, the kids haven’t noticed, but who cares? I know.)

I know, it’s no Young House Love. (Though they did inspire me to look into chalkboard paint, ZOMG.) But it’s one small step, and now I feel incredibly Handyman-Ish and Useful and Adult and stuff.

*flexes a little*