Month: August 2012

I only came here to talk

Here’s recent progress on my 19th century D.C. spy caper about a powerful Difference Engine that will end the Civil War – now with warhawk conspiracies, clockwork assassins, two presidents with more in common than they know, two spies with less in common than they think, a conflicted U.S. Marshal, and Bonus! not-at-all mad scientist who can save the world if someone will just give him a chance:

    Project: Fiddlehead
    Deadline: October 1, 2012
    New words written: 5552 (barely respectable – only a little better than 1k/day)
    Present total word count: 61,841 words

    Things accomplished in fiction: Shit: It has hit the fan.

    Things accomplished in real life: Daily jogs with the dog before breakfast; found yet another fucking kitten and nearly had a nervous breakdown; canvassed the neighborhood to see if anyone was missing him (no); found some friends who were willing to foster/adopt him, on the off chance anyone *does* come forward looking for him; God bless those friends, I tell you what; cleaned up three batches of mysterious dog puke but the dog seems to be fine; light housework; 2 loads of laundry including bedding, which always seems to take forever; ran to bank and Walgreens twice; struggled to keep the peace between a dog who JUST WANTS TO BE FRENDZ WITH THE NEW PUPPY THING and a 4-pound kitten who would LIKE TO BE FRENDZ with the dog but is intimidated by those giant heavy ham-paws and a 13-year-old cat who is pretty damn sure that we’ve lost our MINDS bringing another damn animal in here and why is that DOG still here, anyway?; so the kitten occupies the guest room until my pals can retrieve him tomorrow afternoon; sent off proposal for Schrodinger’s Project; exchanged what is probably the final round of edits re: INEXPLICABLES with my editor.

    Other: People keep asking, so no, I won’t be at DragonCon or WorldCon this weekend. WorldCon because it’s very far away and expensive, and I didn’t get my guest app in on time, and anyway I have MEGA DEADLINE staring me in the face. DragonCon is a little more complicated, yet also less so: You see, several years ago they decided that I wasn’t destined to be a guest anymore. I don’t know why. No one ever told me. That having been said, it’s a great event – but it’s not one that’s very practical for me if I’m not attending as a pro. It’s very expensive, even without having my badge comped,* and now that I’m in the southeast again it’s not my sole opportunity to see my friends in the region. Basically, if I’m not working the convention as a pro, then it’s really just a very costly 4-day party … which I frankly cannot justify at this time.

    Other, Redux: If you want to see me at future DragonCons, you’re welcome to tell them so, and if they’ll ever reinstate my pro status, I’ll be happy to return. Here’s their contact form. But please don’t contact or harass the track directors, if you know who they are and/or have their email. It isn’t up to them, I’m afraid.

    * When I was a guest, that was my only concession. I paid all my other expenses.

Bereft of song lyrics

I am just not allowed to have a normal day. On my way out of the house to see the doctor this morning, I encountered a kitten wailing under the bushes beside the house. Took him to the vet. He’s about 4 months old, male, unneutered, uncollared, unchipped, flea-bitten, and a bit thin – but very, very sweet. Doesn’t behave like a feral at all.

I’ve put out the call on the neighborhood email list, asking if we’ve cat-napped someone’s escaped kitten – and for now he’s holed up in the guest room. Spainy wants to kill him. Greyson wants to lick him to death … but is simultaneously jealous as can be that there’s another animal in the mix; he’s gone on a rampage, eating all of Spainy’s food and destroying any of her toys which are within reach.

If no one claims this kitten, I have no idea what we will do with him. He’s four pounds of lovable havoc, and I’m at a loss. I already have enough havoc with a cat and dog that don’t get along, and a huge deadline, and an awful bacterial infection in my throat/ears.

Oh yeah.

I did finally get to the doc about that. He recognized my name, which was a hoot. Apparently his daughter’s a fan. Gave me a laugh, it did. A sore-throated laugh, but a laugh all the same. Came away with a steroid shot in the ass and a ‘scrip for antibiotics, so we’ll see if that helps.

And yeah. We have another fucking kitten.

There’s a very off chance he belongs to someone in the neighborhood, but when I put out the call on the email list, all I got were a bunch of responses to the tune of, “Yeah, this spring there have been a lot of black-and-white kittens. They don’t belong to anyone, though. Congrats on your new kitten!”

This is that kind of neighborhood, with a ridiculous number of off-leash animals, and a lot of strays. But it’s also a neighborhood with a handful of very busy streets, and I cannot in good conscience just turn this little guy loose. He’s a lover from the word “go” and he very much needs/wants a family of his own, assuming he doesn’t have one. I want to keep him around for a few days to make sure nobody’s looking for him, but in just an hour there’s been so much DRAMA that the prospect makes me want to go right back to bed and stay there. Alone. In the dark.

Please, if you’re in the greater Chattanooga area, and you’re in a position to take him off our hands – drop me a message and let me know. I realize this is asking a lot, saying, “Hey, could you watch this adorable animal and love it and squeeze it and maybe, in a few days, give it back to its proper owner?”

But I don’t think that’s likely to be in the cards, to be honest, and the fact is … I’m at the end of my rope, here. Contact me via –

[UPDATE: Some local friends of mine are stepping up to take the little guy in, even knowing there’s a chance someone might claim him. We’re keeping him here until Friday, to give any owners time to notice that he’s missing and raise a stink about it – but if you knew our neighborhood, you’d know how unlikely that really is. This is almost certainly a friendly stray who’s survived this long by being adorable and willing to beg. Before we took him to the doc he was unvetted, un-neutered (and should’ve been weeks ago), flea-bitten, wormy, skinny, and un-collared/unchipped … so unless he made a dash for the door and escaped on somebody, I strongly doubt anyone gives a shit about him. And even then, he’s been out on his own for days, at least [we saw him near the v. busy road yesterday and failed to catch him at that time]; and we’ve seen no indication around the neighborhood that anyone’s concerned. No flyers, no one asking after him, and everyone on the district email list pretty much laughed at me for thinking this guy ever had an owner in the first place. So…yeah. Odds are pretty low.]

And every day my confusion grows

By some fair miracle, the dog let us sleep in until a quarter to ten this morning. I, for one, greatly appreciated it – for I am definitely sick. Tomorrow I’ll hit up a doc-in-a-box and get some freaking pills or something; the old standbys of vitamin C and “lots of fluids”* aren’t helping, and I have so much work to do that I can’t sit around and just be gross. (Much as the prospect appeals to me.)

So. Yeah.

Today the car had a little bit of work done – nothing major, but necessary – and it was particularly annoying because we’ve been without transportation since yesterday. This is also the #1 reason I didn’t go to the doc-in-a-box sooner; we didn’t have our vehicle again until late enough this afternoon that my cocktail of cabinet-found meds had kicked in, and for awhile I was feeling nearly all right.

During this window of Almost Okayness I revised/reworked and sent off the proposal for Schrodinger’s Project, and now I can forget about it for a few weeks – I think – and return all my creative attention to Fiddlehead. Speaking of, I do have a few thousand words to report, but I didn’t get as far as I meant to, and I still have catching up to do.

I say that as if I have more than five weeks to finish this draft, and like every day isn’t a hamster wheel hurricane of being behind on my progress. Hah.

Anyway, we have some friends coming over to meet the dog in a few minutes – and that’ll be nice. He’s hitting his early evening crazypants puppytime, and I’m happy to foist him off on other people for a little bit.

But I’ll be back tomorrow with metrics. Doc-in-the-box or no.

* Most of which were not alcohol-related. No, really. Even water feels like swallowing lava.