Category Archives: Personal

Cat’s cradle

So this week Snowdrop has been coming in more, often in company with Wisp.But Snowdrop’s come in much further than that and even begun exploring the house cautiously. He still won’t let us pet him, but he’ll come close enough to sniff our hands. And he seems to anticipate food being read for him in the living room when he shows up. This is good. Hopefully he’ll come to spend more time indoors and become amenable to petting (TYG really wants to pet him). And won’t turn out to be more troublesome than Wisp (we’ve been very lucky with how easy she is to deal with).

Wisp has been in a lot and she’s getting along well with the dogs. Most of the time at least. Snowdrop sometimes walks up to Plushie and sniffs or rubs him the way Wisp used to in the early days.

One morning this week, I tried closing the door out to the deck while Snowdrop was further inside. When he returned and saw there was no exit he began circling the nearest chair in obvious confusion and distress. I opened the door quickly.

He came back in shortly afterwards.

Little baby steps.


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Giving Thanks

We have two wonderful dogs and modern medicine helps keep them both in good health.

Alien Visitors is done.

TYG is still my wonderful angel.

I was at the doctor last week, convinced that after a month of bad sleep, less than usual exercise and maybe a little bit of stress eating, my stats would look terrible. Nope: weight down, blood pressure good. Cholesterol sucks, but that’s normal.

And I’m really enjoying having the free time to just chill this week.

I still freak out that Republicans are committed to making the United States a one-party banana republic dictatorship and could potentially succeed. But you know what? A lot of them think making liberals miserable is a win, so screw ’em. Happiness in dark times isn’t folly, it’s defiance. I deny them the victory. I hope you do too, at least for today.

As it’s appropriate to show sympathy for the less fortunate at this time of year, I shall conclude with sympathy for this chap from Halloween. I’ve no doubt he hoped to make it to Thanksgiving, but …#SFWApro.

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Alien exhaustion

So Sunday I started proofreading Alien Visitors. I finished at 3 AM Monday morning.

I haven’t done anything like that in years. I’m amazed I still can. It got very, very, very exhausting near the end (go figure) but it felt soooo good waking up Monday and not having anything left to do.

Okay, technically I have two things to do: actually send the manuscript once they set up the server and mail off the posters (probably later today). Driving to the post office or a UPS store today didn’t seen like such a smart idea. And yeah, until it’s actually out of here I’ll keep tinkering. But I was able to spend yesterday doing nothing but watching TV that was not about alien visitors, petting dogs and taking naps.

The day went fast. There was quite a bit of sleeping. I won’t be working until December — the first staycation (or any sort of vacation) I’ve taken since the pandemic started. I intend to enjoy it.

In the meantime, here’s Plushie’s Before and After shots from our visit to the groomer last week. The change with Trixie is never as dramatic#SFWApro.

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The endgame is on, the finish line in sight.

But there’s still a lot of fighting to do! Not for the first time, this Billy Graham cover sums up the way I feel.But come Monday, it will be done other than the mechanics of mailing off the illustrations.

I was mildly surprised that when I went for my regular checkup Thursday neither my blood pressure nor my weight has exploded despite stress and a lack of time to exercise. I’ll take the win.


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Totally random tea pot photo

Like I said yesterday, time is against me so no reviews today. Instead, here’s a photo of my tea pot. For most of the past few years the walls have been black with tannin stains. Earlier this month our housekeepers went to work on it and wow.TYG being able to afford housekeepers is priceless.


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Plushie on guard, Wisp on the couch

First, let’s look at Plushie in one of his more regal poses.Now, as to my week, it went well. Non-stop work on Alien Visitors and it’s freaky to realize how close it is to deadline but it’s coming along well. It’s less a question of finishing on time than how good I can make it before I send it in. I definitely won’t have time to catch all the movies and TV I’d like to take a look at but honestly, I don’t think it’ll hurt the book.

When it’s done, I really need to think about my schedule. My time in the morning seems to keep getting smaller; my time in the evening is getting increasingly hard to concentrate (reading, writing, whatever) as we have both Wisp and Snowdrop showing up. I have to break to put food out for them, and there’s also insane barking from the dogs at THE CATS DADDY THE CATS!!!! Impairs focus.

Further impairing focus, I had some legal paperwork that suddenly had to be done. All taken care of except for the mailing.

Oh, and I reworked one of my old columns into a new column on Dr. Fate for Atomic Junkshop.

Wisp, as she did last winter, is starting to come in a lot more. This was very disruptive Thursday — she was in my lap (I can’t bring myself to say no) and the dogs were not happy. But this morning she came in and went to sleep on the couch. Much simpler — she didn’t even look up when I moved away.Snowdrop is much warier. I set down some food right inside the back door one morning and he stepped inside, licked at the food, then ran out. That’s progress, a little, but I had to put the food back out so he would eat. We’ll see how it goes. At least we have our shelter on the back deck so they both have somewhere to huddle when it’s below freezing.

Oh, I did get Southern Discomfort back from another publisher. I’ll blog more about that sometime soon.

#SFWApro. Cover by Murphy Anderson, all rights to images remain with current holders.

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Filed under Personal, Time management and goals, Writing

Got my booster vax!

Happily I didn’t suffer any ill effects other than a sore arm so I gained some extra work time (I’d planned for a couple of dies lying inert. As I’ll be going to the movies to catch Eternals next week, I figure it’s just as well to be extra vaccinated.

I don’t have a good image for my vaccination so here’s a photo of Wips and Snowdrop waiting on the front steps to be fed.If I have the energy I’ll post this afternoon. If not, this will serve as my week in review post.



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Spousal shelfies

A couple more shelfies, this time mostly TYG’s books.By my standards they’re insufferably disorganized but when I tried putting them in alphabetical order she couldn’t find anything. We put them back the way she likes them.


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I may be running slightly out of steam …

Which may be due to lack of sleep — okay, it’s definitely partly lack of sleep — or that to get Alien Visitors done, I’m not taking any complete days off.

Either way, I realized this morning that I needed to take a break from the book. I did a Leaf, worked on Undead Sexist Cliches and finished the Golem article. That  required rereading Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem as my editor wanted to include it (fair enough — it was a critically acclaimed novel that sold a lot). I can’t say I liked it more than my first reading, but I can appreciate why it’s strangeness found an audience.

I still have to give the article a final proofread, but I think I’m done.

Earlier in the week, though, things went great. I have a solid draft of every chapter in Alien Visitors except the comedy and Men in Black chapters. The other chapters still need rewriting, but I think they’re at the point where it’ll go smoother, and hopefully faster, than these first drafts have.

I also got lots of movies and TV watched, including more X-Files, a British show called Undermind (doesn’t quite qualify) and a couple of episodes of Ben 10.

Wisp has resumed coming in overnight so apparently she’s over the trauma of being bunged in a cage last week. Snowdrop has been showing up regularly, though she doesn’t come in yet. She and Wisp seem on good enough terms Wisp doesn’t steal her food; then again, she’s quite happy to snarf Wisp’s if she can get away with it.

We had a minor alarm with Trixie midweek, when she moped around as she does with a bad stomach upset, except she was happy to eat. We made an appointment for her but the next day she was fine. We canceled, though we both worried that once it was too late, the symptoms would recur. They didn’t. That’s a relief — I love my little terrier/chihuahua.

Come on, who couldn’t love that face?

#SFWapro. Cover by Ernie Chan, all rights to images remain with current holders.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

Spider webs

I very rarely manage to capture webs when I try to photograph them, but these turned out pretty well.#SFWApro.

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Filed under Miscellanea, Personal