There were many other lovely, thoughtful gifts (which I refuse to laundry list on the grounds that it's not interesting for anyone but me) (I am very lucky in my friends and family), two lovely dinners with N&C & the kids (teenagers now), plus xmas day antipasto, and some precious time off to live more at my own pace, doing those things I love most, writing, meditating, reading, hanging with my cats, seeing movies, and going for walks. Back to the dayjob tomorrow, for two days, then another four off. Yay!
The cats all say hello, or zzzzzzzz:
( More pics thisaway... )
Still under warranty, so replacement was free. Paid $100 for them to try basic recovery (serious recovery efforts cost a minimum of $800, up to $3,000, if you want it done without voiding warranty); nada zilch--"hard drive just makes a clicking sound."
Now, the writing was pretty well backed up. I managed the iTunes recovery from the last backup and a cloud download of everything since then. I did lose some things, and it's a big honking pain in the ass, and that cat has switched from trying to kill me to just fucking with me. He figured those angles and the timing to the nth degree. He did. I could see it in his eyes.
Cupcakes (I have Delish groupon!)? Cocktails? Invite people to join in or just wing it? Go see Attack the Block? Stay in bed? Go swimming?
Feel some gratitude, that's the only thing I know I want to do. Plus, I'd kind of like to have a gin bramble at Peche.
Progress on the ending of Deep Terrain was somewhat derailed Monday and Tuesday, Monday by forgetting to bring my flash drive to dayjob, Tuesday by a short story whose beginning, voice, and world just kind of gushed up, would I or wouldn't I. Which, you know, is always kind of exciting and fun.
But back to finishing this damn novel now. In between dayjob demands, of course.
Tinker has figured out how to open the snap lock container holding the dry kibble. Doomed, I tell you, doomed. I could have called him Tailor, Soldier or Spy, but no, I had to go with Tinker.
Last week I scheduled another test for Aristotle with the vet, an ultrasound, which is expensive, and for which they have to arrange for a special tech to come in with his equipment (meaning it's not an appointment you cancel). Then I realized a couple days later, that it was scheduled for the anniversary of the death of Tavi, the cat I had before Aristotle and Sula. Tavi traveled all the way from Downeast Maine to Austin with me, watched over the writing of my first published novel, and was, of course, a much loved dear companion. Then, I had a sitcom on last night and a character talked about how she had a dog when she was a kid and it went to the vet for a routine procedure and never came back.
And, then, for jeezub sake, when I brought Aristotle to the vet to drop him off this morning, the assistant greeted me by saying, "Is that Sula?"--my cat who also went to this vet who died a while back. Oh random coincidence and subconscious primed to hear certain things!
I don't have a conclusion to draw, other than, yes, I am awaiting a call from the vet somewhat nervously. (eta--just got it, he's fine; we suspect mild pancreatitis and some IBD).
So here's a conlusion, if you're going to read things into stuff like this, you may as well read that this means Aristotle, in contrast, is going to live until he's well old, 20 or so, a long and happy life.
In other news, the lofts water main sprang a bad leak late in the afternoon on Superbowl Sunday. So, water shut off. The city is turning it back on for us, theoretically, evenings 5:30-7, mornings 7-8:30. In practice, this is more like 5:50-7pm and 7:45-8am...but I still managed to get the hot water heater on and glory in a hot shower last night (by obssessively checking the faucet every few minutes to see when the water was on so I could get the heater on asap). Hot water, water in general--it's good to be reminded not to take it for granted.
Dear GOP and libertarians, maybe you should think about that. Infrastructure costs money.
Last week was...rocky. So over the weekend I bought myself some expensive salt caramel dark chocolates. One of those with a London Fog--decaf Earl Grey w/a shot of vanilla and steamed soy creamer--of an evening is a nice way of being kind to oneself. Or meself, anyway. Tea and chocolate, tea anc cake, tea and fruit & cheese. Tea.
Lessee; younger cats had vet date this morning. Tinker has asthma/mild bronchitis and the chest xrays were 'spensive. Scaramouche threw up everything, and I mean everything, upon returning home from getting shots.
For three months this one finger has alternately ached and been sore and tender, and then itched so badly I've had to restrain myself lest I scratch it bloody. I've been using the nitro patches, keeping it warm and clean, putting on bacitracin and lotion...krikey fuck jeezub, finger, get better already.
The novel that is taking forever to write is still taking forever, but moving into climactic scenes, so, er, yeah. My spirits re the writing career in general, kind of sagging, but the writing itself is good. I'm calling it George, too.
Nightshade is having a sale: buy four or more books from among everything in their catalog--which includes two upcoming books, Martha Wells' The Cloud Roads (a fantastic book, guys) and Stina Leicht's Of Blood and Honey (only heard the first chapter, but that rocked). Books!
Via io9.com, I am loving this web comic, Ectopiary, about a little girl, a very weird old mansion, and interesting facts such as white dogs are from the moon. The art, the story so far, and the tone--all wonderful.
Cats needing homes due to owners passing. In Texas: Sunny, "a beautiful long-haired yellow and white cat with sky blue eyes, a sweet disposition, and a purr so loud it sounds like an aquarium." In Northern Mass/New England area: Romy, who just wants a person to love and be loved back by.
Evidentiary example #something or other as to why tiger cats are evil: Yesterday, Tinker cat booby trapped the concrete floor with water from their water dish. Then he perched up on the loft bed railing and watched as I wiped out on the puddle. I managed to save the glass and bowl I was holding--at the expense of a hard slam to one knee and a viscious jarring of every other bone and muscle in my body as I hit the concrete.
The knee, iced immediately, seems fine. The rest of me aches.
This was either 1)retaliation for my clipping his claws (he struggled wildly, Aristotle and Scaramouch just sat in my lap and held their paws out); 2)he wants to kill me and eat me; 3)he was bored.
I'm leaning toward 3.
During the Q&A after Scott Westerfield's talk at the Texas Book Festival--which was a very engaging and interesting talk on the reasons for, and process of working with the artist on the illustrations in the Leviathan series--when he was asked a question about an earlier novel of his, Peeps, he shared some information about which I can't stop thinking: Toxoplasma gondii parasites, which, Scott said, all humans who have lived with cats have, change human behavior. For instance (he said), it's been found that women with the parasite appear to be warmer and more attractive--and also buy more clothes--while men with the parasite are less likely to pay bills on time, among other things.
Having done a little research, there are many grains of salt to be taken with this (though I can see why he ran with it for the novel); the thing is, everytime I've thought about buying clothing since, I've wondered, is the parasite making me want new clothes? I think I may shop less as a result.
Second, today is book day for Beth Bernobich's Passion Play from TOR. She talks about the book here; you can read a preview here, and find a glowing review, here.
Had buckets of hail in the night. Scaramouch and Tinker: Halp! Halp! Fire! Flood! *run around in circles and bang into things* Poor wee-brained teenage kitties. Aristotle was in bed with me, not particularly fussed, though alert and keeping track of all the racket--both atmospheric and catly.
Happily there was some rain with the hail.
Dayjob has been busy, which puts a crimp in my writing progress, but the words continue to accrue...slowly. Maybe it's more of an accretion...
The other day it was missing. Later I found Tinker hugging it to himself in an ecstacy of bunny kicking fury. Head held high and growling, he carries the wolf around. It swings from his mouth, about a third of his size. Everytime I put it back, he makes off with it again.
At night, sometimes, when I'm up in my loftbed falling asleep, there will come a distant "aaaahhhhaaawoooooo" moonhowl, floating up from the wilds of the loft, where cats larger than wolves stalk the shadow trees.
And some pics of the cats...Tinker was briefly determined to become a manicurist:
And my glow in the dark kodama, also from recently visiting friend E:
One of my goals in novel writing, since my first novel, is to bring together my two favorite kinds of novels in one, melding the page turner with the lyrical love of language novel. Since some of the reviews for The Z Radiant called it a page turner while others liked its lyricism, I felt like I was somewhat successful.
( in which I muse on where I failed... )
Got the cats a rolling food dispenser, this thing; preliminary results: it's a good idea. They like it, it keeps them active all together as a little pack batting it around and eating one or two pieces of kibble as they shake them loose. I lessened their morning feed to balance it out.
I haven't watched it yet, but Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man, up on Tor.com, looks interesting.
The seond half of Meghan McCarron's "We Heart Vampires!!!!" is up at Strange Horizons, here.
Apparently, even the OED can be wrong; the dictionary definition of "siphon" has been wrong for 99 years.
This cat is also determined to trip me.
Trying to kill me, yep. Tiger cats. They have the evil.
I have the tired.