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Archive for September, 2013

October 2nd is a hard day for me. Made easier this year, and last, by a slobbering, speckled, mess of a dog. Lily is her name, but it’s also Gator, Dobby-Girl, and Dammit when she won’t stop obsessing over her toys and come inside. Last night, she was either barking at a possum in a tree, or the moon. Who knows? She’s nuts.
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When people found out I kept fish on a large scale, both inside and out, I ended up with a lot of orphan fish. Thank gods, I have the room. When it got around that I had a “pit,” people started coming out of the woodwork with dogs they wanted me to take, or help rehome. At this very moment, I have a picture on my cell phone of a tiny baby boy pit that really, really needs a home. I looked at the picture, then looked over at my clueless husband, and had to respond that I could not take him. We already have three dogs, two cats, a bird, and all those fish.

It broke my heart.

Who would take him? Would he be safe? Would his new family understand that this breed can be a high energy, house-eating, hard-headed, and yet loyal-to-the-end-of-their-days dog and love him, anyway? Would he end up in a shelter somewhere, confused, afraid, and alone… or worse? The latter could be avoided if I’d only said YES. And now I can’t get him out of my head.

My daughter has been asking for another pit, and I keep shaking my head. She’s mentioned a shelter, with which I’m peripherally associated, where she was considering volunteering. She said, “If I can’t have my own pit, I figure I can give that love to all of them there.” I don’t need to say I was proud of her. Discouraging her was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did. I know her; she’s too much like me.  Neither of us could take the heartbreak of working there, so we donate to the shelter as often as we can.

lilytiaraOctober is National Pit Bull Awareness month, with October 11th being National Pit Bull Awareness Day. (Coincidentally, my daughter’s birthday, so I’m sure I’ll be asked about a dog again.)

Yes, I’m that person–the one who posts too many pit bull articles on Facebook; the one who forwards pits in need of rescue; the one who uses her blog to ask that anyone looking for a dog to please give a “pit bull” a chance–and not just the puppies, the older ones need homes, too; the one who could probably end up on a show about pet hoarders because, given the chance, she would take them all.

But in reality, she’s one who has far too many pets to take another one in, so she’s going to ask you click that link up there, find a pit in your area and adopt them because she can’t. They need you.

Lily changed my life. I guarantee you, it would be the same for you.

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Penguins

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Sigmond

My fascination with penguins began with the crack of a paperback.

In Laurell K. Hamilton’s early Anita Blake books, Anita had stuffed penguins all over her bedroom. I think her favorite one was called Sigmond. Now, whether Laurell originally had penguins in mind when she wrote the first book, or she made them penguins when she signed with Ace, I don’t know, but I did the math. Then a friend sent me a stuffed Linux penguin as a tribute to those books and the goals I have for my writing, and I’ve had him ever since. He’s like my writing totem, and he watches from the shelf of books behind me–a symbol of success.

When I took my daughter to the theater to see March of the Penguins, it became a shared fascination.  We have necklaces, statues, and whatnot, everywhere. She has a habit of giving me just what I need to hear or see to keep me going. The other day she gave me this penguin. It’s a USB. You have to rip his head off to use it, and yes, I laugh about that. He’s now the primary home of all my backups, going everywhere with me. Yanno, in case the house burns down and I lose my computers.

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Squirt

Thanks, kiddo, for the reminder of how important all of this is to me, by giving me a penguin to keep it safe.

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Writing On The Walls

Faulkner wrote on his walls, too. I feel vindicated. 

I really should be working, but food sounds so much more interesting.

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Oh, what a week.

Elbows. I have red marks on my elbows and pain with numbness that’s developed over the last few months. It was finally figured out that it’s because my desk chair at work that I bought a few months ago is too short, and where my computer sits is awkward. Hmm. The same thing with my desk at home, which I’ve only been using on a regular basis for a few months now. Doc says I lean my elbows on my desks and I’m inflaming the ulnar nerves which could lead to bursitis. “STOP THAT.”

“Doc, I’m a writer with a day job. I can’t not sit at my desks.”

Prednisone in hand (again, because I also take that for recurring sciatica), I’ve been ordered to make adjustments. I still haven’t at work, but I’m back at my kitchen table now so at least I won’t do it at home. In case you didn’t know, Prednisone does not let you sleep very well, and that was Monday. Just sayin.

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Thomas also eats mini-blinds.

Lilly and Thomas decided the chapters hanging on the wall in the war room were in the wrong order and proceeded to pull them down. Shoot me in the head, please?

Having my picture taken is the last thing I want to do, but it seems I need an official headshot for the antho this December. And I need it like asap. My daughter got in contact with a mutual photog-friend and a really great deal was struck, I just needed to inform the hubs of my disappearing act for a few hours. When I speak I tend to tell stories of a sort and not just get to the bloody point, so when I began to tell my husband this fact he cut me off and said, “Go get the camera and I’ll take it. How hard can it be?” I reminded him that I hate-hate-hate to have my picture taken, especially so since I’ve been too lazy to go get my fang replaced. It took him about two seconds to admit that he can’t even get me to pose for pics while on vacation.

I had to remind him of something else. “And I get argumentative.”

“No, you get bitchy.”

Exactly. Do you want to deal with that, or should I just finish and tell you I have a shoot lined up?”

Perfect. You can pay someone to deal with you.”

I had to snicker. Now I have to figure out what to wear.

Mid-week found a day-job customer leaning across my desk in a drug induced haze who thought it would be a good idea to tell me a few things he had on his mind–none of which were flattering to my co-workers or, eventually, to me. I have never once used my sailor’s mouth on a customer, but this one deserved it. While I was fully prepared to be canned for saying a very bad word (more than once) that started with an “F” and ended with “you,” it didn’t turn out that way.  I am still gainfully-cough-employed, and dude is no longer a customer. I have never had a customer be that obnoxious to me in my entire life. I’m still shaking my head.

Unforeseen events have made me turn from my mountain series back to the Luce series and WB. I’m wondering how that work will pan out when I end up in those same mountains on vacay in a few weeks. I dunno, but I’ll be glad to be sitting at the bottom of a gorge where there’s no cell service for nine whole days. Pardon me if I don’t write while I’m there, maybe I’ll just make lots of notes?

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That dirty window is all her fault and it does me no good to clean it.

This sitting at the kitchen table thing isn’t going to work. Since I was last sitting here, Lily’s gained forty pounds and a foot in height, so she can look in the back window and whine. SO! Moving my stuff again in a few. I had a dream last night that I found a secret “cubbard” in the house–sort of like where Harry Potter slept in the beginning of the series–and I moved all my writing stuff in there. I wish.

There you have a week in the mundane life of a wanna-be. Fun, huh? 🙂

Oh! And I figured out #tags on here. I feel like I did something special.

 

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What’s this?

IMG_9740That is called “a start.”

That is a twenty-six chapter outline of–working title–WORLD BELOW. The same thing I had to do with AN ORDINARY WORLD. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this because it makes the big picture so much easier for me to see.

The more I stare at the thing the more I think WB isn’t the title for this one. And twenty-six chapters is only the beginning. OW had fifty-two-ish.

Here there be plot holes. *sigh*

What’s this?

IMG_9741That is called “what my kitchen table looks like.”

That’s a five subject notebook and a college ruled notebook full of notes on four novels (including WB) and one shared universe still in the planning stages. I also have note cards on the cork board that need to be transferred into the five-sub. I figured, why fight how fast my mind works? Let it run, but keep it organized so I don’t pull my hair out. This is what I’m working on for the rest of the day/night because I’ll need to stare at the War Room wall some more tomorrow.

In short, this is a planning weekend. No actual work count is anticipated, and that’s fine.

Slept in a bit today. Won’t be doing that tomorrow.

Yeah, so. I haz a happy.

 

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I Am Anxiety’s Bitch

The easiest thing about driving to Atlanta yesterday was the directions to the hotel. I-20 to 75N, take so-n-so exit, merge and whoop, there it is.

The words Dragon and Con cannot be uttered by me without a certain amount of hushed wonder. And there it was.

The first costume I recognized when I pulled up was a slave Leia… worn by a dude on the sidewalk at 11:38  in the morning.

My people; I was among youuuuu! 

What sucked? By my own doing, I was among them from a distance.

I met my lovely friend and we ended up at a restaurant right across the street from the hotel. Instead of sitting at one of the outside tables facing the sea of costumes like a normal person, my back was to the street so I could have a short wall behind me. The windows of the restaurant don’t count as a “wall,” so sitting there to face the street was out, and we ended up where we did. Ok, so I led us there. No matter how I try, I cannot sit in public with my back not against a wall because it will drive me bat-shit crazy–I don’t like people being able to walk up behind me. It was suggested that, after lunch, we could go into the hotel and people watch in there. Holy shit, would I have loved to do that. I don’t know how I avoided it, but I did.

So, we talked. Right there, for hours, because I was frozen in a state of semi-fear, also known as a low-level, sustained panic attack.

(I got shit on by a bird, for gods sake, and couldn’t move, so just let it flipping stay there–true story).

At least, she talked. I can only recall myself mumbling. She’s one of the most articulate people I know, and there I was stumbling and fumbling over every word I said until I just said fuck it and let my words trail off. Probably the most coherent thing I think i said the whole time was, “Shit just got real.”

It was a good feeling to actually sit across from someone, face to face, who understood what the hell I was talking about. Not only in context, but because four words can sometimes say it all, and I can manage to speak four words. Thank gods.

It was a different trip back than the one up there. Not that I was perfectly content on the way up, by any means, I was just distracted by my iPod, my husband’s insistence that I could “do this” on my own, and xanax. The two and a half hour trip back was driven in white-knuckled silence, unless you count the sound of me beating my head against the steering wheel as I repeated over and over in my head, Jeebus Christ, you’re a fucking idiot.

Anxiety is not my friend.

When I got home, the hubs asked me how it went. He heard all about slave-Leia-dude, the costumes, the crowd, how much I loved meeting and talking to my friend. All said with a genuine smile, because I meant it. Once I got home and felt safe, I could say I had a great time because I did. But it could have been better if I wasn’t anxiety’s bitch.

The bad thing is, I’m acutely aware of being pwned by anxiety. While writing is a solitary profession, being anxiety-riddled isn’t the best thing to be dealing with when you have to meet a lot of new people in the business, etc. Hmm. Maybe? It worries me, but it doesn’t. Gods forbid, I’m at a book signing and freeze up? Not likely to happen, really, because then I’ll be in my element and talking about my world–they know me in my head, it’s fine–versus the great big, scary one that exists… out there.

So.

To the person I met, whom I adore, who offered to help clean the bird shit off my back:

I’m sorry I’m a goob.

Let’s do it again. Next time, maybe over beignets.

Dressed as Party Elves.

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