A Long Weekend

sixstringsamuraiicon It’s Friday again. I would have a Friday photo for you, but things are a little topsy-turvy here right at the moment. I am having to carry a fifty-pound dog down the stairs for loo breaks. It’s a grand workout, and this is the dog with sense enough to stay still during the entire operation, but still.

What happened? Well, yesterday I had to answer the door.

Perhaps I should explain.

Neither dog can be trusted when I have to do so, but Odd Trundles can’t make it down the inside stairs. (This gives the cats someplace to go to escape his exuberance. If he ever finds out they’re perfectly navigable there will be FURRY HELL TO PAY OMG.) So the thing to do has become to put both dogs in my bedroom, which smells like me (and like them, let’s be honest, because that T-shirt that says “Sleeps With Dogs”? That’s me.) and does not hold anything that can harm them.

Unfortunately, Miss B was Very Excited at the prospect of SOMEONE AT THE DOOR. She dealt with this excitement by throwing herself at the bedroom door.

What I think happened next was that Odd, who had been napping on my bed (look, just don’t ask) got excited by all Miss B’s excitement, and made a beeline at whatever she was trying to get at. He relies on her to tell him what to do almost every minute of the day, including when to breathe and where to pee.

SO. I think Miss B landed on Odd. As a cushion, he leaves a little to be desired. He’s built like a brick shithouse, really, and not much can damage him, but brick shithouses are not pillows.

I closed the front door and heard a yelp. It activated the Mother Circuit in my head–you know, the one that flips when you realize your child has been Too Quiet For Too Long, or when you hear an “I’m hurt” noise, which is totally different than “I’m having a meltdown over not riding in the grocery cart” or “I am too tired for this shit” or even “MOM HE’S BREATHING ON ME!” noises. I all but teleported up the stairs, and the first Wrong Thing I encountered was Odd Trundles on the other side of my bedroom door, wiggling and pleased with himself but very baffled, since he is rarely allowed to be the first to greet me.

Miss B was holding one of her back paws up, and looking at me with a similar baffled expression. Then she put it down, picked it back up, and hopped three-legged towards me.

“Oh, fuck,” I said.

As far as I can tell nothing is broken. She is putting some weight on the leg and the bones are all in the right place; the entire leg moves as a whole with no floppiness and she has regular range of motion in all the joints. Her paw is a bit swollen but she lets me palpate each toe, so I think there’s nothing broken in there, she just landed wrong and sprained something. If she’s still limping tomorrow, it will be time for a vet visit I probably won’t be able to afford right now.

But today, I am carrying her up and down the stairs out back when she needs to pee. There will be no running for her, for the foreseeable future. Which is just going to be all sorts of fun if she can’t work off her nerves. And Odd Trundles, trying to be helpful, is chewing up the coir mat at the entrance of my office, because he has no clue what to do when Miss B isn’t bossing him, and this is the best he can come up with.

I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again.

It’s gonna be a loooooong weekend.

Inefficiency Bothers Me

sixstringsamuraiicon You don’t change the location of a potluck two hours before the damn thing starts, especially on a work day. Apparently, though, one of the American teachers involved in the exchange program thought that was an appropriate thing to do. This is the same teacher that’s consistently twenty minutes late to every event, and whose indifferent organizing meant that at least three times several of the students were unable to contact their host parents when pickup times changed. *eyeroll* The inefficiency bothers me.

As I’m sure you can tell.

Most of all, though, I’m embarrassed by her. We’re supposed to be putting our best foot forward for the exchange program.

ANYWAY. All of this meant that instead of being able to attend two events for two different sets of kids, I could attend neither because I was busy driving everyone to where they needed to be. In any case, it’s over now, and I am hoping I don’t ever have to deal with this particular teacher ever again.

Revisions on She Wolf and Cub proceed apace. I’m doing a pass for formatting and basic things, since all my italics seem to have been stripped out. (You know how much I love my italics.) When that’s done, I’ll make another pass for details. The setting is so very clear in my head, but that needs to hit the page as well. If there ever was a book where I need to luxuriate in the background, it’s this one. The stacks of towering stone, the endlessness of the sand, the silver and indigo of the dunes at night, they all need to be brought forward.

So that’s my day. After, of course, I get out the door for my long run to sweat out the irritation from yesterday. I can even taste it, thin metal at the very back of my tongue. I never thought, when I started running, that it would be a mood regulator. Just one more benefit, I suppose, along with tiring out Miss B and working plot tangles loose.

Over and out.

On Steelflower, Redux

steelflower I get mail. Recently it was a scolding message sent to me through Patreon. This particular patron was only interested in Steelflower 2, and since that book is dead on the vine they wanted to cancel their pledge. Fair enough, except I can’t alter a patron’s pledges. That’s kind of the whole point of Patreon, but a second and a half spent with Google turned up some helpful information. (WHO KNEW?)

ANYWAY, the “scolding” bit was that I was “punishing” my readers for the “actions of one asshole.” I think I should post my entire reply here.

Dear *redacted*,

I received your message and wrote you one in return yesterday. Since it seems that didn’t go through, let’s try again!

I do not have the ability to alter my patrons’ pledges in any way, shape, or form. A quick Google, however, found this:

Link to Patreon FAQ on deleting pledges

One of the things I remember from your message yesterday was that you felt I was “punishing” readers for the actions of one person. I do not see it quite that way. In face, I would contend that, having suffered the loss of a significant amount of paid working time to write the 70K words I did get done on the sequel, and then feeling utterly violated when that one person (yes, I know who it was) uploaded Patreon bits to a torrent site, is a punishment far greater than any my readers may suffer. The subsequent financial “hit” and the fact that I cannot even open up the Steelflower 2 file on my word processor without feeling violently ill definitely qualify as punishments. It seems to me that however much readers may miss the exploits of Kaia and her crew, I miss them more. They are parts of me that have been completely, well, violated. I keep using that word because it is the one that applies.

Fortunately, readers who pledged through Patreon saw considerable chunks of that book, and they were the only people in the world (other than the e-pirates) who saw them. Even my agent didn’t get to read those.

Thank you very much for your communication. I hope this clarifies my stance on the entire sad matter.

Best,

Lilith Saintcrow

There is yet another twist to the Steelflower story–Samhain Publishing, the press that was kind enough to take a chance on the first book, had contracted for the second. Unfortunately, they are in they process of shutting their doors and have released me from the Steelflower 2 contract. So I am back where I was before I thought I could write the last two books of Kaia’s series–no publisher, and people taking time out of their busy lives to yell at me over things I have no control over. Only this time, there’s a significant financial hit from the loss of paid working time and BONUS e-piracy!

In short, I am right about here:

give_a_damn_icon

It will take a while for the rights to the first Kaia book to revert to me. When they do, I am having longing thoughts of just letting the book go quietly out of print. At least then, when people yell at me over the whole thing, I can just tip the e-mails into the “Entitled Prats” bin in my inbox and let them vanish forever into the screaming electronic wastes.

I’m done.

Over and out.

Ground Control Is Silent Now

SisterGaia Want to know something awful and funny at the same time? Yesterday, thinking about writing Monday’s blog post, I was going to title it “Ch-ch-ch-changes.”

I woke up to find out David Bowie has died. I’d like to claim it as a psychic tickle, but the truth is, Bowie has so saturated so many creative worlds, of course I would think of him for a post title.

He’s gone back to his home planet, I suppose, one of the stars we gaze at when the night is bleakest and blackest. Our very own Earendil.

We were lucky to have him for as long as we did.

Boo and Hooray

give_a_damn_icon I survived the holidays with only a few days’ worth of crushing black depression and nauseating anxiety! I can now get out of bed and do not have to force myself to shower or eat. Hooray!

I found out someone had taken the Patreon bits of Steelflower 2 and put them up for torrenting. (This is why we can’t have nice things, people.) Yes, I know who it was. No, I’m not telling. Yes, I am reconsidering writing the damn book. BOO.

I did, however, get a payout from Patreon today. Hooray?

It does not soothe the sting of someone else stealing my work, especially since that’s what killed the first Steelflower. Boo.

The kids are back in school today. I have the house to myself. Hooray!

I miss them. It’s too quiet in here. Boo.

I can go for a run now that everything is thawing! Hooray!

There are still icy patches and Miss B will no doubt try to kill me. Boo.

…I could go on, but you get the idea. Every silver lining has a cloud today. I’ll be in the corner catching up on revisions and muttering to myself, thanks.

Over and out.