A Few Welcome Clouds

I finished revisions late Saturday, scheduled them to go out, and spent the rest of the weekend in a haze of cleaning and attempting to recover. We’re having the first heatwave of the summer–yes, I know it’s not technically summer until next month, but when it’s 90F it’s summer enough for me, thanks. I am a pale mushroom with moss between her toes, and this sort of thing isn’t good for me.

In any case, the second epic fantasy is off to editor and agent. Now I just have to write the third, including a literal Ragnarok. The fun part will be the valkyries riding winged horses, the shieldmaid seeing them and going, “Oh, HELL YEAH, I NEED ONE.” I have everything set up for the crowning book, including the Ringmaker. Who has already been stirring the pot, though readers won’t realize it until said third book for lo, I am an evil writer.

Anyway, I wrote (and decorated) a whole new master to-do list as well. Oh, and last week’s Reading with Lili is up on YouTube–it’s about Charles Bukowski. The next thing upon it is a top-to-bottom revise of Hell’s Acre before the first season is sent to the agent. We’ll see what happens there. There’s also the next serial to get off the ground; I want at least six chapters in the can before I announce it.

I have the skeleton of the book, sure, but I want some flesh attached before I start singing its name.

The morning is not as bafflingly, awfully bright as yesterday’s, thank goodness. There’s a few welcome clouds and intimations of storming later, which would be welcome save for the wear and terror on poor Boxnoggin’s nerves. I also have to get out before the heat mounts so I don’t drop dead on the morning run.

And I should probably tell you guys about Boxnoggin, Rip Van Rodent, and the (Not Tony) Hawk because though I was not shoeless during that episode, I definitely screamed like a girl. (No surprise–I am, after all, a girl.) But that’s–say it with me–another blog post, and I don’t have time this fine dawning.

See you around…

Free Shenanigans

Imagine the possibilities…

Me: “You want this? I’ll drag it home if you do.”
Daughter: “What on earth would we do with it?”
Me: “Train grapevines over? Or the hop vine? Hang the bones of our enemies inside? Teach Boxnoggin to climb?”
Daughter: “OMG imagine if he learned to climb. The shenanigans.”
Me: “He’s all shenanigan anyway.”
Daughter: “I think we can let this one pass.”
Me: “Just as well. I’d have to carry it like a hat, Box can’t drag it.”
Daughter: “…walk away, Mum. Just walk away.”

I love how she doesn’t quibble at hanging the bones of our enemies inside, Blair Witch windchime style, but teaching the dog to climb is a Step Too Far. Of course, if it’s still there this morning I may have to nab it anyway, because that will be a sign it’s meant to come home with me, right? RIGHT?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Preference, Edged Laughter

The backyard crows–Carl and Sandra, with occasional visits from poor Jerry and a few more kin–have been very vocal the past few days, mostly because there’s a hawk in the vicinity. I’ve seen their acrobatics as they attempt to drive the other predator off; both the hawk’s wings have a bright spot in the middle. I’m sure it dives for the feral rabbits who have been working their way up from the river over the past decade. The widening of the freeway has gotten rid of vast banks of blackberry tangle where the bunnies used to hide, which just accelerates the process. The hawk will find good hunting at the school field, not to mention one or two parks with open grass, but why pass up other chances?

Except the crows are having none of this business. Which I wouldn’t mind letting them sort out on their own, except for the corvids’ uneasiness spilling over into constant alerts and warnings when Boxnoggin and I are out. I know they like to torment the dog, partly because he’s always willing to play and partly because he’s in-harness whenever he’s outside now, but this is a little ridiculous. Even Jerry gets in on the ruckus, which isn’t usual at all; I think he still remembers getting caught in the fence. Maybe they’re even attempting to warn me to stay inside, as if the hawk represents a danger to me or to sixty-odd pounds of fuzzy destruction on a leash.

Revisions on Riversinger and Minnowsharp continue apace. I made it through the sack of the elvish city last night after dinner, but had to stop because I suspected I was becoming ineffective. For a zero draft, speed near the end may not be essential but is, according to my experience, a given; rare is the zero that I have not finished in a breathless scrabble. But in revision, especially near the finish line, more haste makes less progress. I need to take care, even if I am itching to have this done.

Fortunately I have found I like this book, and think it serves its purpose well. It’s frustrating to be the only one in the room who believes in the work, and swimming against others’ dismissiveness or dislike makes the whole process much harder than it has to be. It’s also hard to keep my frustrations under decorous wrap. Bitching to one’s writing partner only goes so far, and I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

Ah well. One book left after this one is put to bed, I can endure. I’ve done harder things in publishing.

I should do some more memes on Canva. ‘Tis marvelous therapeutic, especially if I get swear-y. There’s just something about stringing a necklace of blue words I find wonderfully life-affirming.

I bounced off a Norman Mailer book recently, and am considering doing the next Reading with Lili on Bukowski as a type of protest. Because if I’m going to read a deeply problematic and misogynistic writer’s work, dammit, I should at least have some fun with the deal, and since Bukowski hated himself so much more than anyone else–including women–it grants his work a deeply mordant hilarity. Mailer on the other hand is deadly serious, the type of obscenely self-satisfied honker who has you cornered at a frat party and isn’t even a funny drunk.

I prefer the laughter, however edged.

Besides, I can just hear the fanboi cries of outrage, how dare someone with ovaries speak about ol’ Hank Chinaski like that! The thought makes me near-snort with glee. I really shouldn’t, it’s not nice to taunt…but one must take one’s fun where one can, in this benighted world.

Boxnoggin’s snores from his early-morning nap have paused. Next will come the jingle of his collar as he stretches luxuriously, then a small thump as he hops off my bed and the familiar noise of him padding down the hall. It is Time for Mum’s Breakfast, according to his internal chrono, and after that comes preparation for walkies. There are things to sniff, crows to bark at, and attempts to crap in oncoming traffic for him to accomplish; he’s busy, busy dog. After that I haul my weary corpse through a run while I cogitate on the last plot problem this book needs solved (Past Me, the bitch, left it for revision), and settle to a day of getting the subscription drop out and the rest of this book handled until it’s fit for the next stage in its parturition.

Off I go.

Ivy Berries

I wish my phone would focus properly, dammit.

Ivy’s both blessing and bane in these parts. On the one hand, it’s a good quick ground cover and can help with erosion; on the other, it chokes one’s trees and turns the soil rather sterile. There’s a huge bank of it on one of our walking routes, and it’s generally alive with bees once the weather warms enough–so put that in the plus column, too. And it’s full of these berry-things. I’m no botanist, so they could be something else taking advantage of the ivy and I wouldn’t know it.

Anyway, watching them through the end of winter has been fascinating. Boxnoggin, on the other hand, knows only that the ivy is good for peeing on. His needs are simple, his observations few and direct. Such is the nature of Dog, just as mine is to mentally chew every circumstance for eternity.

Between us, we’ve got the whole range covered.

Tonight’s another Friday Night Writes. I may be finished with the zero draft of Rook’s Rose (the second and final season of Hell’s Acre) by then. One thing’s for sure, this book is gonna die. But I suppose I’d best get to it if I want any sliver of the weekend to use for recuperation.

See you next week!

Art or Prank

Can’t decide if it was accidental or on purpose, either.

Boxnoggin wasn’t perplexed by the appearance of a giant rootball on a water fountain, because it was well above nose-height for him. I, however, stood and stared for a few moments, trying to imagine the chain of events leading up to…this. The problem wasn’t a lack of possibilities, quite the opposite. There’s a variety of ways this giant chunk of roots and dirt could arrive in this situation, and all are through no fault of its own.

The absurdity only makes a burl more blameless.

It’s been rather an odd week, hasn’t it? I’m still not sure they didn’t fish some kind of small rodent out of a hadron collider, provoking the timeline to start healing itself. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. I plan on a really cool Reading with Lili today, and of course there’s the Friday Night Writes to round everything out. And if all goes well I just might finish a zero draft (or two!) soon.

Weirdness levels noted, fingers crossed, and all that. We’re almost to the weekend, my beloveds. Let’s finish as well as we can.

Lunch With a Prince

He’s a tramp, but they love him…

Reading The Tale of Genji, all I can hear is Peggy Lee crooning about breaking a new heart every day. I mean, I know Genji is the shining one and a paragon, but he’s more a Beowulf paragon than a knight parfait y gentil, if you know what I mean.

All the same, it’s nice to have lunch with him. It’s also nice to lie in bed, rain tapping the roof, and tell Boxnoggin all about what that sonofagun Genji’s doing now. (Lord van der Sploot has no idea what I’m talking about, but he likes being included.) I have zero idea where this book is taking me and the cultural divide means I’m probably missing most of the landmarks, but I wouldn’t miss this journey. Not for anything, no sir and ma’am.

It feels like this week has seen a sea change, doesn’t it? Still…I’m not relaxing yet. Here’s hoping the weekend is tranquil or exciting, in whatever measure you personally prefer. (And don’t forget, tonight is Friday Night Writes.)

See you around, my beloveds.

Knickers, Gnomes, and Flying Low

A little light reading.

I’m still reading LJ Smith YAs, but I’m also reading A History of Underclothes. And my gods, but most of these sound uncomfortable as all get-out. If there are underwear gnomes, they’ve had a much reduced workload in modern times. (I’m sure it hasn’t impacted profits, though.)

There are a couple sales going on, I’ll post them later today–but this morning I am flying low, no stops, no prisoners, and (as movie-Gimli says) no regurgitation. There’s so much to do, not enough time to get it done…and dear gods, I just want to write but that won’t happen until the Friday night session, I’m sure.

I wish you a pleasant weekend, my beloveds. Just gonna keep stabbing until it’s done…