I said I’d go before us, and show the way back home

New Year’s resolutions are for shit, and this one is no exception: I will become a more regular blogger in 2017. I’m not saying every damn day or anything, but I didn’t mean to let this go for so long. There’s no good reason, except that things got crazy and I got distracted and this wasn’t a priority. I’d like to make it a priority again. It helps me focus. Kind of. For lack of a better way of putting it.

Let’s see…what’s been up since November 22nd, the last time I posted here?

Pet news is a mixed bag. The ElderCat’s kidney numbers are declining, and her fluid schedule has been upped to twice a week. I don’t honestly know how much longer we can expect her to be with us, but we will keep her here, and keep her happy, as long as she’s interested in remaining. For now, she is feisty and funny, and in command of the entire household – even though she’s lost almost two pounds in the last four months. At present, she is literally half the size she was when we first adopted her in February of 2002. (Back then she was described as being “several” years old, so her precise age is unknown.)

Over Christmas, we took the dogs to my dad’s place in Kentucky and left the cats at home, to be house-sat by my cousin and her boyfriend – as well as our friends/neighbors around the corner. The cats were fine, but the dogs…had issues. Rather, Lucy had issues.

It was all too much for her, being taken to a different place with Big Dogs in Residence…and she got turfy. She got resource-guardy. She got Very Rude, and we ended up having to relegate her to “dog jail” when we couldn’t keep one solid eye on her. She simply couldn’t be trusted. (Dog jail was a 2-story sunroom with all the amenities. She wasn’t exactly locked into Alcatraz.) When we got home, we signed her up for behavior/training classes at a local place that has a good reputation for dealing with these kinds of issues. She had her first class today, and she did very well.

When all is said and done, Lucy will have four weeks of general behavior training, and then four weeks that address her nervous aggression. Actually, we’re hoping that the general training will take the edge off it – and we might just go on to the advance course. The trainer thinks it’s possible. Training will give her some confidence.

Fingers crossed.

Greyson continues to do well, but then, he always does. He’s an easy dog – laid back and lazy, with no interest in oh, say, stealing a bowl full of beef stroganoff and shattering that bowl for funsies and eating some of the contents while slinging the rest around your husband’s office. Or taking a big dump in your office. Hypothetically.

He’s just cool like that.

Quinnie is also doing great. She still gets along well with both dogs – mostly playing with Lucy, mostly cuddling with Greyson. Once in a blue moon, she gets the little old lady cat to play with her a little. But more often than not, she’s napping in an outrageously posh fashion that interrupts my ability to make up the bed in the morning. All in all, it’s a pretty good life.

* * *

I got a new piercing. I had one cartilage hole on my left ear that’s been bugging me for twenty years – it kept trying to close up, and sometimes got infected (even after all this time). Yes, it was done in a mall with a gun, because I used to not know any better. Now I do.

Rather than get it re-done properly, I’ve decided to let it go – and I got the right side pierced instead.

A friend recommended Monarch Body Piercing, and I’m very glad she did. If you’re in the Chattanooga area, trust me – it’s worth the drive to Hixson to have Kelly do the job. She was a total pro, and entirely pleasant. Go check out her shop!

* * *

In writing news, I wrote another 53,000 words on – and finally finished a (truly terrible) Draft Zero of – The Toll, bringing my 2016 fiction word count to approximately 156,500 words. Not my best effort, but not my worst, either. I hope to to better in 2017, but I have a lot of production stuff in the queue – so maybe I won’t be able to.

Rewrites for The Agony House are breathing down my neck, and likewise so is cleanup for a good Draft One of The Toll (which is already decidedly late). After that…perhaps by March?…I’ll start working on something new. I’m not sure what yet.

Or, hell. Maybe I’ll just give up and take a break.

* * *

In publishing news, I only had one novel released in 2016 (The Family Plot) – plus a couple of short stories: “The Knoxville Girl” – in Out of Tune II from JournalStone, and “The Mermaid Aquarium” – in Scary Out There from Simon and Schuster.

2017 is going to be a whole lot busier on the publishing end of things. Depending on how publishing schedules do or do no shake out, I should have at least two books appear on shelves – Brimstone in April (Ace), and The Agony House sometime in the fall (Scholastic). Perhaps three, but I’d be a little surprised to see The Toll squeak in under the wire at this point. Still, you never know.

I’ll also have several other projects hitting the streets – a contribution to the next Wild Cards project (Mississippi Roll, slated for December – via Tor) called “Death on the Water,” as well as another collaborative project with Christopher Golden and others called Indigo (slated for June, from St. Martin’s Press). Throw in another short project (“Good Night Prison Kings”, in Dark Cities from Titan in May)… and that’s a pretty decent showing to come.

* * *

Right. Well. I’ve spent over an hour sitting down to write this, so I’ll just wrap it up. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you’ll tune in again. Stick with me. There’s more to come.

One thought on “I said I’d go before us, and show the way back home

  1. Naamah

    Thank you for the news from Spain, even if it isn’t particularly good news. I think of her strangely often, and wonder how she is doing.

    I have fallen out of touch with all the blogs I follow since I had a bad downswing sometime early last year, only checking in every couple of months at best (and never commenting) so the addition of Quality Doggo no. 2 was a welcome surprise. She is lovely!

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