Back to Reading

Spent yesterday doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work–you know, the type of effort that’s necessary to prepare for forward movement, yet at the end of the day leaves one feeling rather like nothing’s moved at all. As a result, I went to bed feeling rather tetchy.

But it’s a new day, and I have exciting things to report. People seem to like Reading with Lili, and I’ve received a lot of requests–mostly polite, thank goodness–for more straightforward readings without the commentary and footnotes as well. The commentary seems to attract one set of viewers/listeners, but there are those who like a more truncated experience, or who would like to hear some of the text en clair, so to speak. So! I’ve started a Great Chapters playlist, where I’ll take the text I’ve dissected in a Reading with Lili session (or something else from the same book/work) and just…read it, straight through. I’ve started with the first chapter of Moby-Dick.

I did a lot of narration and video editing yesterday, so between now and Samhain there’ll be a new Great Chapters video daily to bring us up to speed. Then I’ll shift to doing a Reading with Lili stream at the usual time and shortly thereafter both the livestream and the “just-the-text-ma’am” will go up on YouTube. This feels like a good way to handle things for the foreseeable future.

This week’s Reading with Lili will be an examination of Robert Chambers’s The King in Yellow, which is a fascinating collection, and I might even read a whole short story from it for the Great Chapters segment in honor of this year’s spoopytimes. (I also need to get out to the store and grab a few bags of candy for home consumption, hurrah.)

I only got about two hundred words apiece on both current writing projects, alas, but with everything else out of the way I can spend a little time with Hell’s Acre today, and a whole lot of time with The Fall of Waterstone, which may end up being titled The Elder Jewel. Not so sure about how it’ll eventually be named, which is usual at this point in the process. Getting my Viking elementalist to the throne room, where she will be called upon to give a message to an elvish king and might even pass out from despair, is the name of today’s game.

I’m also able to give more braincycles to just-plain-reading, which is a blessing. I finished Wilson’s The Thirty Years War, which felt like it took almost as long as the hostilities lasted to read, just last week. Last night I knocked off the final bit of Katharine Gerbner’s Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, which was absolutely illuminating. The connections between Protestantism and white supremacy are deep, especially once the former crossed the Atlantic. One of the points Gerbner relentlessly makes and bolsters with fact is that originally, the term for “free” in the sugar islands (and on the American continents) was “Christian”; once a few transported and enslaved Africans converted and also gained legal manumission the process of creating whiteness as the category meaning “free” instead was kick-started. She also explains, patiently and in detail, how literacy was used by the enslaved to claw back some measure of freedom–with predictably violent responses from planters and enslavers, not to mention a complete abdication of responsibility by European missionaries. All in all, it was a fascinating read and answered a lot of questions about just why current white supremacy finds such a congenial home in evangelical (and even bog-standard) Christianity.

Next on my TBR pile is an ancient paperback of Dick Gregory’s No More Lies, which I’m really looking forward to. You’d think the pandemic would have given me more time to read, but the associated stress simply meant I couldn’t concentrate worth a damn and had to save all my resources for work. The plague isn’t over yet–far from–but I seem to have adjusted, to some degree. (Probably as a function of giving up any hope that people as a whole will Do the Right Thing, ever, unless and until they are forced by a lack of other options.) So I’m getting back into reading a few chapters of something not work-related before turning off the light, and it’s such a huge bloody relief.

I plan on getting Boxnoggin out for early walkies. The timing and the change in weather means we’ll probably miss any other dog walkers (thank the gods) though I’m sure plenty of cats, rabbits, and other prey animals will be out in force, which will mean dropping my center of gravity when the fool dog lunges. I have been half thinking of taking him on easy, gentle runs now that there’s absolutely no danger of him being too young for that sort of exercise, but I can’t trust him the way I did Bailey. He’s simply too reactive, still. Maybe another six months’ worth of patient training during walkies will ameliorate, I don’t know. And certainly the long rambles to wear him out are good for my health as well.

We had a terribly dry autumn, but that seems to be washed away now. About damn time; I hope the rain is reaching the local forest fires. I’m just glad not to be breathing smoke anymore. Of course next summer will probably be dreadful, but I’ve enough to worry about here-and-now without adding that anticipation to my poor frayed nerves. Suppose I’ll just deal with it when the time comes, like everything else.

And that’s my Thursday, beloveds. It’s time for some toast, and for getting the day moving in some approximation of the right direction.

I wish us both the very best of luck…

Zero to Rings

Well, I finished the zero of Sons of Ymre #2 late Friday night, so the weekend was a bunch of piecework I’d put off until that was done. The zero is awful, full of holes and bracketed notes, but at least it’s not awful and unfinished. Future Me is going to hate me for leaving the amount of plot gaps, notes, and the like, but it couldn’t be helped.

Which means I can turn all my attention to the copyedits for Ghost Squad #2 now. Once that’s done it’ll be juggling new text on Hell’s Acre and revisions on Cold North, and once the latter is done I can move to the second in the Tolkien Viking werewolves trilogy. So all my spooky season work is cut out for me. By the time Samhain hits I should be caught up.

Should be. Gods willing, the creek don’t rise, and the news cycle stops chewing at my ankles.

Oh, and in a week, That Damn Werelion Book releases in e-format. I did have serious thoughts about not releasing it in ebook at all, due to massive ongoing piracy; I was argued out of it. But before that, there’s a new Reading with Lili to prep for–buckle up, bitches, because we’re reading Carmilla this Wednesday. I haven’t decided whether we’ll read the whole thing to kick off pumpkin-spice-and-skull season, or just enough of it to give you the experience. Either way, it’ll be fun. I also have plans to read a bit of Dracula to you right afterward, since Stoker was partly in conversation with le Fanu, and then maybe some Varney to finish the trifecta of Victorian Vampire Vichyssoise. (Because it’s cold as the grave, get it? GET IT?)

Look, I amuse myself mightily; some days, I’m the only one who will. At least the weather is cooperating. It does get warm in the late afternoon, but the wind kicks up in the evening and it cools enough that sleep isn’t an impossibility.

Oh! And I watched not only the Wind season of Seven Souls in the Skull Castle, which was great, but also the first two episodes of The Rings of Power this past weekend. My inner nerd was deeply delighted–I’m all in for Galadriel’s “you do not know who you are fucking with” 20s. She was born in Valinor and by the time the First Age ended she was an adult, but still young for an Elf (even if she was tutored by Melian in Doriath) and I can 100% see the scion of two high kings whose mother-name was “Nerwen” deciding that Finrod’s killer (who was indeed Sauron, as Gorthaur the Cruel who held the island of Tol Sirion during Morgoth’s time) needed a dose of the same medicine. Now, Finrod was part of the quest for the Silmarils, so in canon he wasn’t “hunting” Sauron but instead keeping that dumbass Beren alive–but for the purposes of storytelling I’m down with this because it means the television series about the Second Age doesn’t have to drag in Feanor and his bullshit more than glancingly. (I noticed the difference in how Elrond and Celebrimbor treated Feanor’s hammer, which was a nice touch.)

Still would like to see a whole series about That Bitch, Feanor, and His Stupid LEDs. But problems of interpretation would make it super difficult. Anyway, Galadriel choosing to spend her “clubbing 20s” out clubbing orcs is 110% on brand for the Man-maiden. And I love her actress, whose eyelid twitch when confronted with stupid men is a work of art.

I do have one quibble, though. When an attendant comes to tell Elrond that Galadriel’s returned, she says there’s a meeting Gil-galad won’t have him in. “Elf-lords only.” We’re supposed to believe that Gil-galad–let alone any elf-lord who survived the Wars of Wrath–would get snitty with Earandil the Mariner’s son, a descendant of Beren and Luthien through Elwing his mother, and kin to a Maiar (because Luthien’s mother was Melian herself)? That shit simply does not fly. Even if Elrond was young for an Elf (practically a baby compared to even Galadriel) he was still of that lineage, and nobody but nobody would dare suggest he wasn’t of the Eldar, and ELDAR ROYALTY at that. That’s the only thing that jolted me out of the story, frankly.

I loved the Harfoots’ pop-up village–if ever something Tolkien was meant for a Disney ride, that would be it–and I am firmly Team Poppy.

Plus, I’m calling it–the comet was Olorin’s grand entrance, because Curumo would never be caught dead in rags, much less dependent on the kindness of smaller beings. Plus, the dude can’t be Annatar, who would have shown up nice and handsome and in any case was still swanning around Middle-Earth with Orcs, not coming straight from Valinor. (I love the falling-star motif, since basically Manwe and Varda forced Curumo to accept Olorin as part of the deal.) Now, technically and canonically the Istari arrived at the Grey Havens near the beginning of the Second Age, but this is certainly more dramatic and brings in a nice sense of bookmarking–the ancestors of hobbits were kind to an Istari upon arrival, and he remembers that pity (because he was, after all, a disciple of Nienna) for his entire time on Middle-Earth during the Second Age. (There are some suggestions he was there during the First and we definitely know he was there in the Third, but the hints of him during the Silmarillion are just that–mere hints.)

If that preceding paragraph made no sense to you, it’s okay. You don’t have to know any of that shit to appreciate folks playing in Tolkien’s legendarium as he so desperately wanted them to during his lifetime, I promise. It’s great television and fans of the Jackson screen treatments will enjoy the show. Plus the bigots are super mad that it doesn’t prioritize their bigoted little selves, so that’s a powerful inducement to watching it over and over again.

Also, if anything happens to Arondil, we riot. Dude’s a cinnamon roll with a bow, and we all know how I love that dynamic. I am Team Go Bronwyn Go, too. Anyone who says their romance is uncanonical just hasn’t read deeply enough in the Unfinished Tales and other materials, so we can discount their opinion.

Boxnoggin is trotting up and down the hall, and I suppose I’d best get a run in today, too. Back to the word mines; I am told this round of copyedits is light but there still might be a problem or two in there. If I manage to get these turned around in reasonable fashion this week I might not be so behind at all, and that is a glorious thought. Unfortunately I have to hop to and get breakfast down the hatch before anything else is possible. It feels like a Monday since I took Labor Day mostly off.

At least I feel somewhat rested. That’s a lovely change…

Attend to Stitching

Yesterday I freshened up the ol’ eyeliner, got the new microphone situated, and did what I’ve been threatening–a reading of My Immortal. I lasted seven chapters, and though they are very short chapters, the fic absolutely broke me. To be fair it was one of the author’s notes that did me in, and I ended up somewhat helpless with laughter. So now I can say I’ve done it, just like I can say I managed all the way through Eye of Argon.

The next Reading with Lili session will be the first chapter of Moby Dick1, with commentary. I really want other people to know what an absolute BANGER the book is, and offer some commentary. It probably won’t be as popular as the first two reads, but that’s okay. I’m really only doing this to please myself. it might have to be broken up into two sessions, because while it’s only three-four pages in my Norton Critical edition, the type is pretty small and there’s a lot going on.2

The only danger in the reading is that I’ll have to drop the history I’m working my way through and go through Moby Dick again. My headcanon is that Queequeg survived, and reached his own island where he was a king again, dreaming of his lost love. Because he did love Ishmael.3

Ahem. I have strong feelings about the book, which is strange. I’d attempted Billy Budd and Moby Dick in high school, but bounced hard off both. Years later, after coming across a certain Twitter bot, I attempted the latter again and was pleasantly surprised, not to mention somewhat overwhelmed. It’s a wild ride; I can’t wait to enthuse over it with you.

Yesterday was rather warm and today promises to be the same, but–thankfully–not so bad that I’ll have to close up the house and turn the AC on. Boxnoggin loves this weather; the rest of us are waiting (with varying degrees of desperation) for autumn. I’m a pumpkin spice bitch all the way to my core, and I need the rains. It’ll be another month before we have a good soaking, and I’m already fidgety with anticipation.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this morning, beloveds. There’s walkies to get through and a run to accomplish, the weekly subscription stuff to load, and I was disturbed by rendering aid late yesterday afternoon so I have to spend correspondingly longer today with Sons of Ymre 2. The CEs for the second Ghost Squad book have dropped, and a little bird told me The Dead God’s Heart is now up for preorder. Once I have actual cover art I’ll do up book pages for that duology. My work is cut out on a Thursday; now I must attend to stitching.

See you around.

Up to Us, Drop by Drop

Well, it’s Monday again. My nerves are somewhat re-wrapped, due to a weekend’s worth of reading Anaïs Nin and just generally being a bump on a log otherwise. I have rarely in my life been this low-energy; normally, while I’m awake I’m working, and that’s that.

But several years of ongoing, relentless crisis will wear on anyone, I think. I keep saying “I am full of the world’s pain”; my empathy is battered daily, even when I don’t doomscroll. It’s at the point where I’m numb, which is a great relief from the tearing pain of loss but interferes with work. Having to press through the layers of emotional scar tissue keeping me sane at this point is…suboptimal.

Consequently I’ve retracted, a bruised anemone. I am, after all, only human, possessed of finite time and energy.

I’m on Volume 6 of Nin’s Diary, and while it’s been an awesome ride, I’m glad there’s only about a volume and a half left. (It was surprisingly hard to get my hot little hands on #7, but I triumphed.) Some of her homophobia is jarring, and the terminology of anti-bigotry has changed out of all recognition since her time as well. Her constant willingness to let others, like Henry Miller, take advantage of her also jolts me. I already didn’t like him (despite reading Henry & June several times since my early 20s and still enjoying it thoroughly) but now my distaste for him (not to mention some others) is at white-hot intensity. Naturally my dislike is a matter of seeing myself revealed; I am somewhat known for being a bit of a doormat if I like someone. For me, it’s a holdover from mu boundaries being repeatedly and regularly violated as a child; I had to learn, painstakingly and in therapy, how to enforce them and how to let toxic, abusive people go.

Thankfully, in my mid-forties, I have learned to take a little more care of myself, and have scrawled many an “ANAÏS HONEY NO” in the margins. Getting to this age as a woman is wonderful; learning to give zero fucks and protect one’s space is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s also why our society prizes malleable teenage girls so much and works so hard to make older women feel invisible and unwanted.

But there’s power in invisibility, my friends. Superpower.

One of the interesting things about reading Nin’s diaries is seeing how little publishing has changed. The things she bemoans in dealing with publishers are the things we’re struggling with now, just with jet fuel poured on the bonfire. Even some of the names are the same. They still treat writers as disposable serfs; I think Nin would have bemoaned several parts of the internet but absolutely loved the explosion of self-publishing made possible by its technological advance.

…I could write a whole article about that, but who has the time?

I was also able to settle and watch a movie or two, including 1956’s Forbidden Planet. Seeing a very young Leslie Nielsen was a trip and a half, and the misogyny in the movie was…not a treat, let’s put it that way. It is fully an heir to Shakespeare in woman-hating, especially as a retelling of The Tempest. On the bright side, it makes me want to rewrite the whole thing and do it right, which is a sign that I’m taking in creative nourishment. Filling the well, drop by drop.

Which is good, because I’m parched.

In any case, I should get my brekkie–so Boxnoggin will consume his; he is a very social eater–and take said Boxnoggin on his walkies so I can run. The rest of the day is for a top to bottom reread of Hell’s Acre; that has moved to first on my docket. I’m in the second season now, and as usual, by this point I have an idea of what the next serial will be but have to get this one sorted beforehand. I had such dreams for this serial, but the pandemic really made working on it into acid-test conditions. It’s sad; I wanted to do so much more.

In any case, there’s my marching orders. Oh, and happy Juneteenth Observed! It’s high time for this holiday to be given attention; it should be even bigger than Fourth of July. (And if you have a problem with me saying that, tough. It’s still true.)

Happy First Weekday, my beloveds; be gentle with yourselves and each other. The rest of the world will not, so it’s up to us.

Flood Stage, Numb

Woke up to find out some Reply Guys had found my massive thread1 on watching the Netflix documentary about Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. I really shouldn’t check social media before coffee; my patience for mansplainers, sealions, and red herrings is at an all-time low before caffeine works through my tissues.

Of course, it’s never really high to begin with, so…yeah. I used to respond patiently when I responded at all, but to hell with that. If you’re going to ask me for emotional labor or try to roll a barrel of bad-faith bullshit, you’re going to get ignored OR get the unfiltered response you deserve.

The rain has slacked off a bit, and the river is at flood stage. I think the numbness of grief has passed, and now I’m tetchy. The fact that I have to get back to bloody work doesn’t help. I mean, work is the only thing that’s going to save me, and it’s the only thing making me feel better now…and yet.

And yet.

I have those bloody line edits to get underway–I’m glad I asked for the extra time, good job, Past Lili–and Hell’s Acre needs a great deal of attention, loving or otherwise. The board is set and the pieces are moving there, and today I have to write Rexton (the overt antagonist) visiting the Greatfather of Taurrock. Neither of them are going to be happy with the result of that visit, I think. Of course I could not care less what Rexton feels, but the Greatfather is a tragic case.

Before that, though, there’s walkies and a run to get through, not to mention finishing the damn coffee. On the bright side, my cinnamon tea should arrive today, and depending on when it does I might be able to have a cuppa and see if I like it. And I spent most of yesterday doing housework and reading Way of the House Husband. It’s rare that I like an anime as much as I like a manga, or vice versa, but in this case I find both utterly charming. I can’t wait for Volume 8.

Oh, and Friday’s Tea with Lili is up on YouTube; it’s about hating your heroes and the duty to escape. I’m getting a flood of questions about the Valentine series lately, so I might answer some of those in the next tea. We’ll see.

…I suppose I should bloody well get on with it. The line edits won’t do themselves, more’s the pity, and I need to work ahead on the serial a bit in order to be comfortable. I would like to do a bit more in the Space Werewolves story, but at this point it’s procrastination instead of actual work and I’ve got to Be Responsible. (Bother.) Which means I shall bring this to a close, bolt the last remaining swallow of coffee, and get some bread in the toaster since running on an empty stomach isn’t allowed any more.

As it gets older, the body takes its vengeance. Poor thing, it’s had enough of my hijinks.

Happy Monday, everyone. May we all get through intact. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for…

From Cold Blood to Hope

Monday again? I would demand a recount, but I know it’s useless. One can’t argue with time. Well, I suppose one could, but being incarnated in flesh makes it a losing proposition, and I already have enough of those.

I spent a quiet, rainy weekend cleaning the house, taking walks with Boxnoggin, and generally just trying to adjust. And writing space werewolves, for some reason.

Intellectually I know I’m distracting myself from grief. It might be a mistake to use the werewolves to do it, since when the pain fades I might not be able to open up the story’s file again without being reminded of the hurt. On the other hand, pouring the agony of missing my shadow, the fuzzy little queen of my heart–because that’s what she was–into a meant-to-be-fluffy story is far from the worst way to handle something like this. At least it’s a manner of creation, and if the story distracts me, it might distract a Reader or two from the current trashfire in the news or even a more personal tragedy. Who knows?

It’s the little things that hurt most. Cleaning off her brushes–she was a long-haired pooch with a lovely undercoat–for the last time. Getting two bedtime treats out of the bag, and having to return one because there’s only a single dog waiting for the usual nighttime snack. Tucking my feet under my chair at the table, since she liked to lie right in front, both for closeness and for the occasional scrap. I’m unable to move the pillows on the couch because she never liked them on “her” end, and would toss fat decorative things onto the floor with a sideways glance if we dared to rest any there. Getting down two dog bowls in the morning, and having to put one back while my throat closes up and my eyes prickle.

I do want to thank you–all of you–for your kind words and condolences. Thankfully, not a single person has said, “but it’s just a dog.” They are never just dogs, or cats, or fish, or birds. To have a pet is to share the most intimate moments of one’s life with another creature, to be responsible for them in all ways, to have a companion in every sense. We share our hearts, our homes, and the deepest bits of ourselves, and when they’re gone it hurts dreadfully.

And that’s all I want to say about that right now.


I finished reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood this weekend. I thought I’d read it before, but apparently I haven’t–at least, not since I started keeping a reading log. (I actually keep two, one in Airtable and one in my book cataloguing software, since the latter doesn’t list ebooks.) It’s a fascinating time capsule, and also interesting to see how he took the conventions of true-detective magazines and married them to a few journalistic ones, plus a literary device or two, creating standards for an essentially new genre. I’ve read a lot of true crime, and it’s fascinating to see one of the seminal works. Capote also took the chance to write about aspects of the crime that, while sensational, are also important–both Smith and Hickcock showed signs of sociopathy; Capote almost instinctively zeroed in on them–while he pushed the boundaries of “acceptable” language at the time.

I can see why Capote was famous, and can also see how he could have been bloody insufferable. I wonder about the effect Harper Lee had on his work, and indeed if she wrote some things for him, content to shy away from the spotlight but still keep producing work. I freely admit that last bit could just be projection on my part; I can’t imagine not writing once one has gotten into the habit.

With that finished, I turned back to Anaïs Nin’s diaries. I might as well finish the stack, and there’s a great deal in there that speaks to my current situation, both on a meta and a micro-level. She felt it was her job to love, to bring life back into the world, to resurrect what was murdered. She certainly lived in the right timeframe for it, and her unquestioning faith that such things are possible both pains me and fills me with longing. I wish I could believe half as hard as she did.


All that aside, though, it’s the drop-dead date for starting the line edits on The Dead God’s Heart. Long-time Readers will recognize the story–I’ve talked about the two books as “American Gods meets John Wick“, and subscribers have seen bits and pieces of them. They’ll be out next year, I think? When I have preorder links, believe me, I’ll let you guys know.

Work goes on, even through heartbreak. My first quad-shot of the day is almost absorbed, then it will be time for toast and maybe a few paragraphs of Nin before walkies. Boxnoggin likes the longer rambles, and we’re slowly working up to a different route, about twice the distance Bailey could comfortably handle near the end. He’s a sensitive fellow, and I don’t want to overwork him. So it’s slight changes, one by one, with a lot of rests in-between. Then I run my own tired corpse, putting together the day’s work inside my head while I do so. I might be able to sneak away a bit, perhaps after dinner, and work on space werewolves.

That’s the thing I’m looking forward to most, other than bedtime. Crawling back into bed and never coming out is a seductive thought, but as always there’s work to be done. No rest for the weary or the wicked, and today I’m both.

May our Monday be as pleasant as possible, my beloveds. Even though it’s, well, a Monday, we can view it as a fresh start to some extent. And there’s a bit of hope in that. Not much–I do not have the capacity for much at the moment–but a little.

Which will have to suffice, and gods grant it’s enough.

Over and out.

New Chair and Basic Division

The dogs are somewhere between excited and unnerved this morning, since there have been ch-ch-ch-changes at the Chez. For one thing, we had the insurance adjustors out on Tuesday, and that meant an hour of poor, unhappy dogs barking excitedly from my bedroom (Boxnoggin) or my office (Miss B)–separated because if they’re put in Durance Vile together they start wrestling, and I didn’t want our visitors to think we had a pack of wolves hidden down the hall. I needn’t have bothered; they made just as much noise separately as they would have in the same room. At least there wasn’t any further damage.

So they’ve already had one Big Change in the Holy Routine. Then I committed the grave sin of moving some office furnishings around, in preparation for the new chair. That’s right, I finally broke down and bought a Pipersong after months of dithering. Now I can sit cross-legged or squatting while I write, and the difference is phenomenal. Said chair arrived early yesterday morning, and the Princess laid claim to the box as soon as it thumped on our front steps.

She loves putting together furniture, not to mention doing home repairs. “It’s like puzzles,” she says, excitedly. Give her an allen wrench and some Ikea furniture, and she’s a happy camper. So, since I loathe the entire experience of assembling, I left her to it–and left the house to acquire groceries, which the dogs were also upset over. Not only had boxes been rearranged and the monstera plant moved into the office where Mum spends most her time, but there is also a new contraption in here.

Anyway, they were brats all yesterday afternoon, unnerved by even this small amount of change. And this morning they’re clingy and needy, wanting all sorts of reassurance. Any change is bad, according to them, and they want lots of petting and praise and attention to normalize the world again. On the bright side, in a short while they’ll forget things were ever otherwise, and the new chair (not to mention the new office configuration) will be the new normal.

As for the chair itself, it’s marvy. I was going back and forth about the price, but the Princess pointed out that I’ll be using it literally every day, and if it lasts a year that’s basically a dollar’s worth of comfort daily. Not to mention it’ll practically pay for itself with increased productivity. The most productive time in my working life was when I could write sitting cross-legged in my papasan chair, a lapdesk and laptop upon my knees. Now I have an actual desk, but I can sit cross-legged, or squat, or turn the backrest around and lean on it while I sit tailor-fashion. And it’s glorious. It will also mean that I shift position more during the day, which will cut down on the rising back and neck pain.

My wrists are going to feel better too. My previous chair was a big-and-tall version, which I could sit cross-legged in with a bit of work, but I often didn’t. It was also a bit too low, so my wrists got entirely too much stress. They’re a little twinge-y at the moment, because I just finished the serial-revision of the werelion book. It’s now up on a serial platform under a pseudonym (though several of you have already found it, good work, you madcaps) and will remain there until June, when I’ll take it down, possibly put some of the spicier bits back in, and let it out into the wild as a book. That should happen around September-ish.

I wasn’t able to test this particular serial platform fully under my Real Author Name, since they’re just so horrible at author services. I figured finishing the testing under a pseudonym instead was acceptable, and now I know the platform’s back end and will watch how the complete story performs for a couple months. I figured since I was just going to have this book lying around and it was probably unpublishable (at least in trad or even indie) I might as well have a go, as they say. That way I can also add to the knowledge pool of other writers when we get together to swap war stories.

There is a basic division in humanity between “I suffered through the horrifying thing so I want everyone else to suffer as well” and “I tried the horrifying thing so you don’t have to.” This is also clearly shown in the “debate” over canceling student loans. One side says, “I suffered through servicing predatory lenders and I want everyone who desires an education to feel that pain” and the other says, “I suffered through it and I don’t want anyone else to do so ever again, so let’s find something better.” The difference is ontological, and crucial.

Anyway, the dogs are simply beside themselves, though I haven’t even finished my coffee yet. On the bright side, the shooting agony in my neck whenever I spend more than a quarter-hour at my desk have vanished, so there’s that. I don’t have to focus through the discomfort to get anything done. The bloody chair’s already paying for itself, and ahead of schedule too.

Time to grab some toast and get the dogs on track. I suspect they’ll calm right down after a few traditional morning scraps, and even more after walkies. But in order to do that, I’ll have to stop nattering at you, my beloveds.

Off I go then, to give Thursday a new contour. See you around.