Here’s today’s progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents’ deaths – now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:
Deadline: October 1, 2014
New words written: 3459 (good)
Present total word count: 108,057
Things accomplished in fiction: Well, some of us have escaped the castle. Sort of.
Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; visit from the pest-control guys that took all day; found cool old thing buried in the yard; some business email-type-stuff.
Pest Control Other: So this is apparently a banner year for “Norway Rats.” The whole neighborhood seems overrun with them, and Mr. Stubbs is hard-pressed to keep up with them. Mind you, I have zero interest in trapping/poisoning them; I just don’t want them trying to chew their way through my walls. Wall-chewing violates the spirit of our original agreement, to wit: “You stay out of the house, and I’ll pretend you don’t exist.” So today we had a team of pest-control folks seal out our cellar/crawlspace (to the best of human ability), and treat the attic with a special insulation that will persuade them (and their squirrelly friends) to hang out elsewhere. Or so it is to be hoped.*
Four-Footed Other: Greyson was bereft because I wouldn’t let him go hang out with the pest-control guys while they were working, so we had to temporarily deploy the baby gate. It’s a tiny baby gate; he could step over it without even stretching his legs. But bless his heart, he’s almost comically respectful of boundaries. And later on, the guys played chase with him in the yard, so all was forgiven.
Assorted Other: While wandering the house’s exterior and getting general updates on the “exclusion” treatment … I spotted something tangled in the roots of a tree. This something was a 2-oz. bottle with a glass rod (and its rubber stopper) stuck inside. The maker’s mark on the bottom suggests that it was produced by the Obear-Nestor Glass Company – perhaps as early as 1915 or 1920.** It very likely held medicine (like iodine), or perfume.
(Small coffee mug for scale.)
Number of fiction words so far this year: 141,150
* I will only trap them as a matter of last resort, but I won’t poison them, period. There are too many other things that feed on them – not least of all Mr. Stubbs and Miss Kitty, some foxes, hawks, snakes, and so forth. Also, I don’t want dead rats in the walls any more than I want live rats in the walls. So there’s that.
** For the new readers: Our house was built sometime between 1895-1904. No, we don’t know any more precisely than that. Thanks, southern record-keeping [:: eyeroll ::].