Pink Blackberry

Peekaboo.

The blackberries are having a wonderful time, between the rainy June and then the heatwave. We’re back to cool mornings and warm afternoons, which they also like.

This morning was taken up with a plumber’s visit, which went off so well I am now a bundle of nerves waiting for Something Else To Go Wrong. I am not used to things going smoothly. You’d think I’d be able to relax, but noooooo.

Ah well. Time for some breakfast. And Boxnoggin has behaved very well despite New Things Happening, so he might get a treat after walkies. I am trying desperately to rise from a morass of despair; maybe some toast will help.

Here’s hoping the weekend is quiet and safe, my beloveds. At least the blackberries know what they’re about…

Gin, Saviour?

Of course it brings forth juniper berries, it’s a juniper bush!

I really do have to watch Life of Brian again sometime soon. (Follow the gourd, the Holy Gourd!) Every time I see a juniper, I have to at least smile. And since I’m turning my attention to Hell’s Acre next, and that’s in an alt-Victorian setting, I’m thinking about gin. A lot.

I could also be thinking about gin because a little intoxication might be nice on my shattered nerves. It’s a bloody joke on the universe’s part that I’ve started breaking out in hives whenever I drink. Of course, edibles are legal in my state, so at least there’s that–a door closes and a window opens, so to speak.

I finished the line edits for The Dead God’s Heart yesterday, sent them off, and spent the rest of the day doing other work here and there, not to mention hopping out for bread and milk. At least some people are still wearing masks; the proportion seems to be ticking up a bit. I will admit I was unprepared to see how many of my fellow humans are selfish gits who won’t cover up their disease-holes to help keep others alive and safe. It is a great shock, and I’m still–still–reeling from it.

But the junipers are fruiting, my peonies are still blooming, the foxglove is still lovely, and I’ve a run today after I walk Boxnoggin, who has found out he somewhat enjoys being the only canine in the house but is still unnerved because to a dog, Even a Good Change is Change, and Any Change is Bad, Bad, Bad. There’s also Tea with Lili to consider today before I can turn to the task of rewrapping my nerves and maybe getting a little rest.

Maybe.

We’re almost to the weekend, my beloveds. I hope it’s pleasant and calm for you, in whatever proportion of both you desire. And now I’ve got to finish absorbing this coffee…

Flower Foam

Not pictured: Several drunken bees.

We’re getting waves of rainy and sunny days, which the flowers love. And what the flowers love, the bees love too.

I took this picture immediately following a punishing run the day after Bailey left. Standing on a sidewalk and crying might have garnered me some attention (maybe, ours is a very live-and-let-live neighborhood) but I took a picture as cover while whispering to the bees that she was gone. They had to be told, after all, and I didn’t have the breath while running.

Fortunately they were so busy with the azaleas, most of them merely nodded and went about their business. But after that they stopped trying to crawl into my mouth and nose. (Maybe they’re just giving me some time off.) And while I was weeding yesterday, they behaved as usual–riding on my hair, investigating my arms, tapping my cheeks. It’s disconcerting to have them bumble right into one’s face, but I suspect it’s doubly so for them.

There will be a Tea with Lili today, but it might be a short one. We’ll see if I can get through without breaking down. And I wish you all a very pleasant, hopeful, and peaceful weekend. Heaven knows we could all use a break…

Dogwoods, Irreversible

Rust, or blood?

The dogwoods are in full, exuberant flower–there’s a legend that they were used for the cross bearing the Christian Jesus, and that their flowers bear nail-marks in sympathy. Lilacs are beginning their dramatic show, the white violets have returned to simple green growing but the purple ones are a creeping mat of flowers. Lithadora and vinca still putting on a good show, as is the alyssum.

By the time the dogwoods bloom spring is irreversible, and I let myself believe winter is over despite all my armor of coping. (If I expect the worst, I cannot be disappointed, only wearily unsurprised or happily wrong.) Plus, it’s getting warm enough for the bees, so I have to be ready for them to attempt nesting in my hair during walks, or crawling into my mouth or ears during a run.

Miss B is holding steady. Though it won’t be long, this is not the week she’ll leave me. I am…grateful, for that. Give me another week, a few more days, a few more hours. I will use them well.

Have a lovely weekend, my dears. Be gentle with yourselves, and each other. And since it’s Friday the 13th, remember our vow: Do no harm–and take no shit.

Over and out.

Rot, Ikon

Like a Byzantine mosaic…

This is one of the trees downed by the freak snowstorm…last week? The week before? (Tommyknockers, tommyknockers, knocking at my door…) It made me think of a mosaic sun–do you see it, with the branches as the rays? Those branches, though dead and brittle, speared deep into soft wet dirt, holding the trunk up like a magician’s trick. If the tree isn’t hauled off it will keep rotting, providing nourishment to the grass, homes for nesting things, a purchase for mycelium that undergirds the existence of more complex life on earth.

I stood and looked at it for a while, thinking of Byzantine mosaic ikons, with their vivid colors and eerie depth. Those feed one, too. Any art, even that of rot and disgust, is a banquet. And it teaches us to glimpse the world through another’s eyes, if only for a moment.

I’m taking a sanity break from social media, and the news at large. I simply can’t handle one more piece of bad news. Especially when it might be some rancid piece of fuckery I predicted years ago and was told “oh, you’re overreacting, oh, you’re overemotional, oh, you’re so liberal.” If being possessed of a respect for reality, a working brain, and the usual portion of human decency and empathy is “liberal”, then yes, I’m one, and if you’re calling that a bad thing it says more about you than it does about me.

Be kind to yourselves and each other this weekend, my beloveds. If you’re struggling with All This, you’re absolutely not alone.

See you in a bit.

A Hood and Wonder May

HOOD

May has begun, and I thought I’d run another sale. Or two!

The first season of HOOD–my Robin Hood in space serial–is now $2.99USD in ebook until June 1.

Season One

The Great Migration was centuries ago; two generation ships reached the Anglene galaxy with its clutch of terraform-suitable planets and performed their work.

Anglene is smoldering. The galactic insurrection is supposed to be crushed. Robbhan Locke, a Second Echelon soldier, has returned to his birth planet along with other veterans, finding Sharl Notheim holding all of Sagittarius in his mailed fist for Parl Jun the Regent. 

There’s no redemption in homecoming. Even Marah Madán and Ged Gizabón, Robb’s childhood friends, have been forced into accommodation. The Sharl won’t stop squeezing until he’s made maximum profit for his royal patron–and covered up all his wartime indiscretions.

Heroes aren’t needed here, but even a damaged man can fight…

On sale direct, or through Barnes and Noble, Apple, Amazon, and Kobo.


And because that’s not enough, my surrealist novella (20k words) is pay-what-you-want through Payhip until June 1. This deal won’t be available anywhere else, it’s Payhip only, though you can find the ebook elsewhere for a set price.

Beast of Wonder

She wakes up in an airport, staring at a baggage carousel.

She remembers nothing, not even her name.

And then, the danger begins…

Again, the pay-what-you-want is only available through my Payhip store. If you like it, and want it in paperback, that’s here–but the paperback has a set price.


And if you like HOOD, you can use the code “MAY40” to get 40% off the ebook box set over at Kobo until May 23rd. (US, UK, CA, AUS, & NZ, I think.) Just put the code in at checkout! ETA: This sale is now over.

HOOD: The Complete Serial

Anglene is smoldering. The galactic insurrection is supposed to be crushed. Robbhan Locke, a Second Echelon soldier, has returned to his birth planet along with other veterans, finding Sharl Notheim holding all of Sagittarius in his mailed fist for Parl Jun the Regent.

There’s no redemption in homecoming. Even Marah Madán and Ged Gizabón, Robb’s childhood friends, have been forced into accommodation. The Sharl won’t stop squeezing until he’s made maximum profit for his royal patron–and covered up all their wartime indiscretions.

If the Gran Parl Riccar can be found, he could save all of Anglene. In the meantime, Robb, Marah, and their friends are going to have to do it themselves–if they survive.

The war is over, but “peace” is a relative term…


I think that’ll keep us warm until June. Enjoy!

Bright Pop

So bright, after a greygreen winter.

The rhododendrons are having a tough time. Last summer’s heat domes messed up the formation of flower buds, so they’re just green this year. Maybe some will bloom later, but I’m not holding my breath.

Some of the azaleas have decided to pick up the slack, though. After a long wet winter, in all shades of grey, dusty olive, and wet fir, the first pops of plant pizazz are even more vivid. The cherries and plums are nice, certainly, but pink and white only go so far. Daffodils and jonquils are likewise glimmers of sunshine, but really it’s the azaleas and rhodies the color-starved wait for.

And this particular bush didn’t disappoint. I literally stopped in my tracks on my way home, staring at the flowers with my mouth a little open–both because I’d been running, and because I hadn’t realized just how much I longed for a few naturally bright daubs.

Happy Friday, my beloveds. I’m still trying to recover from the damn werelion thing and the new office chair requires an adjustment or two. But all the plants in my office are happy, and there are buds on the lilacs; this may well the the weekend they burst into exuberant bloom.

I can’t wait.