Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

Merry Christmas!…

3 days, 10 hours ago, around lunchtime

…If that’s your thing. We’re safely in Kentucky at my Dad’s house, where we’re wrangling eleven people, five dogs, and two cats. A very grand time is being had by all, but I’ll be damned if I could ever get everyone and everything into a single shot – so here’s one of (left to right) Duke, Daisy, and Greyson…semi-patiently awaiting Christmas treats.

Hang around my Twitter feed for more.

Have a good one, folks.
And a Happy New Year, while you’re at it.

Everybody’s gone in the cotton and the corn

1 week ago, in the early afternoon

Posting will be scant for the coming week, as we’re packing up the “kids” and heading up to my dad’s place in Kentucky for the holiday. My poor dear unlucky cousin is a nurse, and she has to work – so she’ll be house-sitting while we’re gone, which always makes me feel better about leaving town. (Even if it makes me feel a little bad for her.)

Of course we can’t leave Greyson and Spainy behind to keep her company; they love the Old Kentucky Home and everyone in it – including the two Great Danes and Mr. Peanut the Cat, of whom you may expect many pictures to appear over on my twitter feed … if you’re in to that kind of thing. So tonight and tomorrow will be eaten up with laundry and packing, and a trip to the groomer for Greyson (who is smelling kind of ripe right now).

We’re heading out first thing Tuesday morning, after Greyson’s walk. As usual, it’ll be an adventure.

* * *

Last night was hard. An old friend of ours has been moved to hospice care – and we got together with a small group of people to go and see him. It was a bit of a reunion; there were folks present who we don’t see often, or haven’t seen in years, and we tried to keep everything as normal as possible for the patient (who mostly knew us, but sometimes didn’t). We all gossiped about the coffeehouse, the folks we knew there, and our pets, and so forth, and so on.

After awhile he faded with exhaustion and morphine, so we all slipped away to let him rest. A few of the old guard ended up collecting at our house until midnight or so for beers and memories. It was good to see everyone, but I can’t say it was easy.

* * *

The cat alternately shows improvement, and shows her stubborn side when it comes to yowling at night. Operation: KittySquish works more or less, except she’s figured out that when I get up to come find her…she’s gonna get stuffed under the covers for some forced cuddle-time. She is a cat, and she objects to this on cat-principle. So she’s started hiding from me.

I got up to “rescue” her three times last night, and the third time she was simply nowhere to be found. She flat refused to be located and I gave up, but she didn’t quit the serenade.

I don’t know. When we get back to town after Christmas, we may have to have a chat with the vet after all, with regard to some anti-anxiety meds or knock-out drops. This has been going on for weeks (months?), and it’s really wearing us down.

* * *

I freely admit that 2014 hasn’t been so very kind – to us, or to a number of dear friends. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, that’s what I would say to 2014. But here it goes, and here comes the longest night – so onward and upward to brighter things in 2015. Or so we do dearly hope.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and cheery solstice. Whatever you celebrate, may you celebrate it warmly, and in the company of those you love.

* * *

Here’s recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a friendly medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a WWI shell-shocked haberdasher who’s receiving love notes from hell … as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Cassadaga
    Deadline: February 1, 2015
    New words written: 1746
    Present total word count: 5192

    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Considered some very strange possibilities; introduced a very sweet young fortune teller from Georgia, who has recently moved to a spiritualist community in Florida.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [:: weekend edition ::] Neighborhood jaunt with dog; stuff around the house; some important emails; phone calls; trip to Walgreens; lunch with husband; the aforementioned trip to go visit Karl, who won’t be with us much longer.

    Other: Slow progress, yes. I’ve been distracted. I also need to sit down and work out how this one’s going to progress, in a general sense. I’m usually more of an architect than a gardener when it comes to writing – but some stories need more planning than others, and this is one of them.

    Other Other: I’ll probably end up renaming this project. I don’t have any good ideas yet, but I’m working on it.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 259,404


Here’s the little monster just DARING me to make up the bed.

Lay me down tonight in my diamonds and pearls

1 week, 3 days ago, mid-afternoon

Here’s today’s progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a friendly medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a WWI shell-shocked haberdasher who’s receiving love notes from hell … as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Cassadaga
    Deadline: February 1, 2015
    New words written: 1735 (better; still meh)
    Present total word count: 3446

    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Met the neighbors; accepted some gentle flattery; took a lantern outside to check out the damage from the most recent fire.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; went to the hardware store; went to the liquor store; went and got lunch; went to the grocery store (because I don’t dare do that while I’m hungry); did a couple loads of laundry, but I still need to fold it all and put it away.

    Other: Once again, I started from the beginning and tweaked the starter content into submission. Beginnings are hard (for me, anyway), but they need to be right. So I realize it looks like progress is hella-slow-going, but it’ll probably pick up from here … at least until the holidays land in earnest, at which point all bets are off.

    Cat Other: We have a new tactic in the little old lady cat war, and I have dubbed it Operation: KittySquish. [Spoiler: No kitties are harmed in Operation: KittySquish – only temporarily inconvenienced.] Basically, when she started yowling her head off (around 3:00 a.m.) I tracked her down, picked her up, and stuffed her under the covers with me. Then I tucked her under my arm, looped my pinkie under her collar, and refused to let her leave. She struggled and fussed for a few minutes, then conked out and forgot about the whole thing. Given her cognitive state these days, I assume she was like, “Oh yeah, it’s really awesome to sleep under the covers like this. Glad I thought of it.” [:: cat snores ::]

    Bonus Other: It wasn’t exactly an uninterrupted nighttime of slumber, but at this point ONLY one round of “WHERE THE HELL IS THE CAT?” played in the wee hours of the morning feels like a freaking vacation. And it’s not like she holds Operation:KittySquish against me; she’s been lounging in my lap all day as usual, no hard feelings. Let’s hope this continues to work.

    Depressing Other: Elderly pets, man. [:: sigh ::]

    Happier Other: But dig that word count for the year, would you? (See next lines down.) I’ve still got a couple of weeks, Christmas notwithstanding … I’ll see how high I can push it, so I know what bar I’m trying to beat NEXT year.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 257,658


This-here is a cat who gives exactly zero craps how well you sleep through the night. It’s a good thing she’s so cute.