Day: July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010

Didn’t get any writing done today, but my apartment looks awesome, so there’s that. It’d kind of hit critical mass around here – that point at which the sheer distraction of living in a dirty home overwhelms my ability to sit still and ignore it. The obvious solution (allowing me to work) would be to tote the laptop to a public locale and set up camp; and the fact is, that’s just what I’ve been doing.

That’s … um … one reason the home base has gotten so bad. I put off the housework by almost another week by hiking down to a small coffee shop in Cap Hill’s Central District and parking myself quietly in a corner while my husband was working. And what has my husband been doing working a counter in Cap Hill? This ought to clear that up.

Or, if you can’t be bothered to click, the short version is that Fremont Coffee Company has been contracted to operate/manage the shop, and for the moment my husband, his business partner, and another guy are handling the day-to-day operations. So on days when the hubs is the counter-dude, I slink on in and hang out to work. It’s kind of like old times, really.*

Anyway, yes. This has led to one seriously messy abode, and since today my better half was working back over in Fremont (to which I cannot walk, for it is too far away) … I spent the afternoon on housekeeping patrol. I got everything done but the laundry and the litterbox, which must wait for tomorrow.

Such is the glamor of my life.

But speaking of kitty litter, my buddy Andrea is at it again – or rather, still at it. Depends on how you look at it. Andrea lives out in Virginia (in the Piedmont area) on 2-1/2 acres in the middle of nowhere. But she is not alone. Oh no. She has two lovely Dobermans (one of which is “special needs” in a major way), an adopted “German Shedder”, three rescue cats (including one she drove out to Chattanooga to pick up from me, after I nabbed him off a coworker, who found him in a ditch), and a turtle named Swakhammer. Soon, she will also be joined by a fiance.

In addition to this cast of characters, Andrea also does her best to trap, socialize, and home the stray cats who find their way to her small wilderness oasis. Most of these animals were dumped in the woods, or are the offspring of dumpees who have managed to survive the coyotes, foxes, and other assorted predators; and at the moment five such critters – a mother cat and her four kittens – are on deck, ready to get the ever-living crap loved out of them.

So far only two of the kittens have been caught and are learning to play with toys, eat gooshy-foods, and sleep on warm towels in Andrea’s bathroom. Two down, three to go. But I have faith she’ll nab the rest of them in short order – and when she does, it’s “speutering” for the lot of them … and then the scramble to find homes.

But hopefully it won’t be the usual agonizing struggle to place feral cats, as these kittens are still young enough that they are taking to this whole toys-gooshyfoods-snuggling thing quite well; and Andrea has been working on the mother’s trust and friendship for months. They’re beautiful, charming animals – as you can see for yourself if you just click over to the Manor of Mixed Blessings, where their tale is being documented.

For the love of all that’s holy, if you like kittens and very loud purring, click over there and watch the video embedded in her most recent post. It is cute enough to melt the yellow off a dandelion, I shit thee not.

Obviously, if you are in the Piedmont region and/or are willing to drive there**, you should contact Andrea through her website and let her know that there is a kitten-shaped hole in your life and it needs filling in a bad, bad way. These little guys and their mom will need foster-families and forever-families sooner rather than later, and if you are very lucky, perhaps you can convince one of them to come home with you.

* The hubs and I first met about twelve years ago, when he managed the coffee shop where I hung out.
** Though Andrea is willing to drive to meet people who are truly interested and dedicated. I’ve known her to drive up to four hours to hand off small furry things in need of homes.

Bargain Time

So…I just noticed – you can preorder Dreadnought for ten bucks on Of course, if you’d rather preorder from your local chain or independent bookseller of preference, you are heartily encouraged to do so – but if the discount makes all the difference to your wallet, well, there you go. Heads up.

For more info about Dreadnought, check out its listing at Macmillan – where you will find an excerpt free for your reading pleasure, plus links and other goodies – including a handy-dandy widget which I will figure out how to install on my website sometime this afternoon. Also, don’t forget there’s a Facebook page dedicated to the Clockwork Century. Feel free to check it out and give it some clicking love. Or “like,” as the case may be.

Anyway, I do hope you’ll consider buying Dreadnought. I think you’ll like it – particularly if you’re interested in wazzy frontier alternate-history, Civil War espionage, primitive battle mechs, dirigibles, the James gang, and hordes of shambling undead. Perhaps you’ll enjoy reading about a widowed nurse headed west carrying little more than a dead gambler’s guns – and this nurse’s subsequent adventures with a pair of Mexican inspectors, a steampunk Texas Ranger, and a desperate-but-brilliant Union captain who may have to save the world. Heck, maybe you’d just like to know what happened to Briar and Zeke after Boneshaker ended.

Well I am here to tell you that YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL.*
*At the end of September. :-D