Contortionist Headache

After being utterly convinced all day yesterday that it was Friday, I am now in the middle of a Friday that feels like a Monday. Well, more like I’m in the first third of a Friday that feels like a Monday. My weekend is going to be full of research reading, and I’m fighting the urge to get started early, especially since more rain has moved in. Curling up on the couch with some tea and oodles of research sounds way more fun than writing a zombie attack or a vampire trapped at a boring orgy.

…yeah, maybe I’m getting sick or something, because the last sentence isn’t really like me at all. I mean, research is great, zombie attacks are too, and the hilarity of the vampire story pleases me immensely, but I’m just not feeling like myself. My dreams were full of strange hybrid beasts and stories, simmering in an unholy broth. While that’s fairly usual, the headache that resulted upon awakening is not. I can blame the headache on the Mad Tortie, who slept in my hair last night.

I’m glad my hair is long enough (Finally!) but the strain on my neck is pretty unbearable. When you add Miss B snuggling as close as she can every time I turn over, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall out of my own damn bed. Fortunately, it’s built pretty low to the ground, and I’m still pretty chewy and bendy at my age, but still.

So I’m pouring down as much water as I can drink, as well as contemplating bowing to the inevitable and taking some ibuprofen. I’ve got to work today, no matter how hard my head is throbbing or my neck feels like tangled wire. There’s just not enough coffee in the world this morning, either.

I wish I had something other than this cavalcade of complaints. Afterwar’s zero draft is set aside to marinate, I have two erotic novelettes I might test in Kindle Unlimited to achieve daily wordcount on, Roadtrip Z needs a zombie attack to move things along, and the Sekrit Projekt has just had its first big batch of murders and will go straight into vengeance. I’m already feeling the nerves from She Wolf’s upcoming release day, too.

Maybe, instead of retreating to the couch, I should just crawl back into bed. Except Odd Trundles decide, after sniffing his breakfast and discerning it was merely kibble (the horror! the horror!), to mutter fuck this shit and make himself comfortable on said bed. Shoveling him aside so I can get back in is more trouble than it’s worth, especially since between the 60lb bulldog and the wriggling Australian Shepherd there’s a space only a contortionist could sleep in.

I guess it’s work after all.

*wanders off to find ibuprofen*

Eight-Ring Circus

Busy-bee morning, though it is freezing still outside and we won’t get above the temperature of ice for a few days. It was so cold this morning I rolled out of bed and into my running togs and the Jedi bathrobe, and I am pondering the advisability of wearing said bathrobe for a 5K. (I mean, that qualifies as training, right? You can’t ever know when you might have to flee dressed as a Jedi.)

These are the things I think about.

I’ve put up the book page for Roadtrip Z. The first couple chapters go up on Thursday, or before if I get my act together. (Hint: probably the former.) I am SO EXCITED about this, guys. I like doing serials, I like the challenge and the weekly check-in with readers. I also like the idea of doing something new (for me). Since last year was so awful with the Steelflower debacle making the mortgage chancy, I’m happy to be trying something new. Publishing is kind of like being a shark–you stop swimming, you suffocate.

(It’s not shark-infested waters. That’s their home. They LIVE there.)

The only bad thing is the usual nerves (nobody will like this, they’ll hate it, it will suck, they’ll hate me, THE SUN WILL GO OUT AND WE’LL ALL STARVE) are magnified, and on a weekly basis, too. But really, that anxiety is never going to go away. Best just to realize it’s normal, plan for it, and move on.

(And every once in a while sit on one’s bed and scream into a pillow. Ever tried that? It’s liberating.)

It’s a busy morning partly because of work, and partly because Odd Trundles has been attempting to, erm, well, either mate with the Mad Tortie or dominance-hump her. She has variously taken refuge near the office heater (he keeps knocking over), my bedroom (where he follows, barking), or my lap, which means he gets, ahem, excited over my ankle since it’s the closest he can get. (You ever tried to write a sex scene while a bulldog attempts sweet sweet nookie to your ankle? It’s…exotic.)

Now the Tortie, somewhat shell-shocked, is clinging to my shoulder as I type this, and Odd has retreated to his bed in my office, licking his paws and making longing noises. The Tortie’s tail makes it somewhat difficult to see the screen, so I’m going to go put her somewhere out of Odd’s reach and head out for my run.

(Maybe with the bathrobe. I haven’t decided yet.)

This concludes the peek inside the eight-ring circus that is my head, and the accompanying circus of Chez Saintcrow. Thank you, and have a nice day.

(Hope you kept all your fingers and toes inside the carriage…)

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day! I am celebrating by getting out and running again, since there are not huge…tracts of ice covering everything in sight. Miss B is extremely grateful for this. Partly because we haven’t run in a week and a half (due to illness and said icy wonderland) and partly because the decorating for the holiday is CHANGE, and while her tolerance for CHANGE is much larger than Odd Trundles’s, it was still overwhelmed by the DECORATING and the COOKING and the LATE MORNINGS and on and on. You get the idea.

Odd Trundles did not try to eat any ornaments this year, nor did he chew any stockings. Those tasks were left to Madame A, spending her first Yule with us by batting ornaments off the tree and all over the living room. I believe she got a little too into the spirit of decorating, but her enthusiasm has so far only led to merriment and not shattered glass underfoot, so all is well. She is growing braver by the day, coming upstairs to touch noses with Miss B regularly, but her tolerance of Odd’s large, noisy, schnorgling self is still…very low. As in, almost nonexistent. However, I have hope that she will soon grasp that the way to deal with him is with one swift retributive strike, which will teach him respect of her person and afterwards they may be the best of friends, for he is large and friendly and very warm to snuggle with.

There is other news. Fred and George have moved inside, along with Poor Batman and his Nurse Wendy Poppins. There was a…well, their apartment…uh, it’s complicated. Be sure to check back in the New Year, because I don’t think I can adequately explain without a little distance from the, erm, events. (I’ll give you hints: they involve a crossbow, Miranda losing her temper, Poor Batman screaming “BAAAAAAANE!” and a quite unsolicited offer of aid.)

Also coming in the New Year is a brand new serial for my Patreon peeps! I am changing my Patreon to a monthly subscription, and to make it worth your cash will be bringing out a chapter a week of a all-new book.

So I’m going to take the week off blogging until said New Year. 2016 has been a dumpster fire, but I am hoping it has seen the birth of new heroes too. I’ll be around intermittently on other social media, but I think we could all use a break. When I come back, I’ll tell you about Fred and George, and the Flat of Doom…

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.

Badonkadonkus Felinum

My backpack’s got jets.

I had occasion to take this picture of Madame A yesterday. She bears little resemblance to the scrawny baby her rescuers found. Now she is a queen, and baby, well.

Baby got back.

I half suspect she was a dog in a past life, because her furry belly is not a trap. Despite having pitons for claws, she does not take blood after you give her tummy rubs. In fact, she throws herself on her back and demands Miss B give her belly-nosings every time we go downstairs. She would be on my heels, like Miss B, all damn day–if not for the fact that Odd Trundles is also at my heels all day, and he is far too Loud and Obnoxious for her taste.

One of these days, she’s just going to smack Odd in the face when he wiggles up demanding at top volume that she play with him, and from then she will rule him unmercifully. (At least, that’s what the Mad Tortie does.) Until that day, though, she heads for the stairs whenever she suspects he’s awake.

Anyway, here is our calico wonder. If you listen closely you can hear her purring.

Mad Tortie Nap

I'm still using it!
I’m still using it!

If you look carefully, you can find a Mad Tortie under the lavender. No, she’s not dead. She’s just resting. Basking in the sunshine is heavy work, after all. Emphysema Joe is to the left, offscreen, humming a little Dead to keep her company while he tends the green. She doesn’t even twitch when Norbert yells at Moxie for digging in the compost. (“GET OUT OF THERE, YOU’LL CATCH A COLD!” “I AM THE SQUIWWEH WHO HAUNTH THE NIGHT, I HAVE ANTIBODIETH!” You can imagine.)

I may have, after taking this picture, crept up to make sure she was still breathing.

She was. She blinked at me, breathed a small kitty “leeme loooooone, Mum,” and went back to sleep.

I almost envy her.