Tag Archives: Wisp

The text of the book is done

Today comes the proofing and footnoting. Then everything goes off.

Proofing is important. I was reading over a quote from The Book of Revelation (including in Tribulation 99, which I’ll be reviewing soon) and realized that contrary to what I had written, that book of the Bible does not say ” “When the thousand years are ended, Stan will be loosed from his prison” (though I now want to write about Stan and what he was doing in prison that long).

For your visual pleasure, he’s Plushie frowning on me for letting Wisp get the lap.#SFWApro.

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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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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.

#SFWApro.

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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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Disruptions come on little cat feet

So last weekend, TYG noticed that Wisp’s back left foot looked as if it had some sort of bite or cut. We sprayed it a couple of times without noticeable effect, other than stressing Wisp out — she really didn’t like it and tried to avoid it. But I got photos, which we showed to the vet, and they said to bring her in. So the next morning we tried various tricks, unsuccessfully, to lure Wisp into a cage. Finally TYG just picked her up and bunged her in.

We covered it with a blanket to calm her down but it didn’t help. Piteous meowing followed. When that didn’t get her out, Wisp began clawing at the sheet under the cage, pulling it in. I’m not sure what good she thought that would do.

The vet told us the foot had been bitten or scratched, and become infected. They gave her a big shot of antibiotics and we brought her home. Since then, she hasn’t slept inside the house once. I’m not sure how much it’s Snowdrop’s influence and how much she’s lost trust that we’re a safe space. I hope she’ll be back in soon.

That made Tuesday pretty chaotic, but overall the week went well.  I got work done on several chapters of Alien Visitors and finished proofing the harassment chapter of Undead Sexist Cliches. Did my Leaf articles. Accomplished some film viewing and research reading for Alien Visitors too.

I also asked my editor for an extension so that I can catch Eternals and add it to the Gods From Outer Space chapter. They’re good with it. I shall use the added time to add some depth to the chapters. I admit I’m a little disappointed not to have everything wrapped up at the end of this month, it’s also a relief not to have to wrap everything up.

Oh, and for the second time since I started paying state sales tax on copies of my books sold, the state processing fee was less than the money I made off the books. Achievement unlocked!

#SFWApro.

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Snowdrop has forgiven us for trapping him

He’s back to showing up regularly for his breakfast and dinner. TYG thinks he’s eager to come inside. I’m not sure how well that will work with the dogs, or what he’d be like inside. He’s much more of a climber than Wisp —— so I can see him doing all the things Wisp doesn’t, like climbing on counters, knocking things off them, etc. However the adoption scenario isn’t good even for a nice cat right now (adoptions down, euthanasia up at the shelter) so we’re probably going to end up keeping him.

Wisp and he seem reasonably comfortable together, but I’m annoyed she’s spending nights out with her new friend instead of inside with me. I want my snuggly kitty back! But however this plays out, we’re in it to win it, whatever winning is in this context.

#SFWApro.

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Slow-going work, plus cats

Cats first. Snowdrop seems to be settling in and showing up for food. Wisp seems to be tolerating him, and not trying to steal his food. It’s high protein, which is supposed to decrease the hunting urge. Wisp and I seem to have lost the rhythm we’d developed now that Snowdrop’s out there. Sometimes rather than come in, she goes off and looks for him or guards against him, I’m not sure which. Last night neither of them showed, which worried me a little. Wisp was back this morning though; hopefully Snowdrop will be here tonight.

Wisp has also started coming in at random times during the day, which she hasn’t done in months. Here she is sitting in the spare bedroom — it’s her sleepytime place — while I stepped out for a minute.As to work, let’s see. I met with  the cover designer for Undead Sexist Cliches, who came well recommended. He says he’ll try to get something done and back to me by next week. I also proofed more of it.

I got 16 Leaf articles done.

I did a lot of work on Alien Visitors, which is good, and the chapter drafts (intro, Invasions, Bodysnatchers) are good, but it’s going too damn slow. There’s only so much focus before my mind sludges unless I remember to take breaks. And taking breaks costs time. It’s doable … I think. But will it be done? I don’t know, even given how much extra time I’m putting in. It doesn’t help that TYG’s schedule hasn’t let her take the dogs quite as much as she’d hoped, but I don’t think that’s the primary problem.

Oh, and I got Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which I sent out to another market, back with a no. I’ll be sending it out again in November, when things calm down.

#SFWApro.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

The gentleman’s name is … Snowdrop

So last weekend we set out the trap for the white cat. I put the food in, walked away and he was caught barely thirty seconds after. He was not happy about it; like Wisp the first time we trapped her, he kept ramming at the wire with his face. Didn’t go well (the photo below is from earlier).

Happily when we put him in the bathroom he quieted down. I took him to the animal rescue the next morning, picked him up in the afternoon and got confirmation the cat’s a he. Up until then we’d figured female — but we’re sticking with the name I picked, Snowdrop (one of the kitten’s in Lewis Carroll’s Alice books). It was a little unsettling because removing his balls left far more bloodstains than tying Wisp’s tubes.

Next morning we let him out and didn’t see him again for a couple of days. But he came back Wednesday night, though he’s way more wary around us. Still, if he’s returned, he’ll probably forgive us. And TYG is relieved — she was convinced he’d wound up in the belly of a coyote or on the wheels of an SUV. But no. Where we go from here … well, I’ll let you know.

After that, the week got back to normal. No Leaf articles so it was all either Undead Sexist Cliches or Alien Visitors. On the first, I’m now proofed through the end of Chapter Six and I’ve started drafting the back cover/blurbs (next week I should start studying blurbs for similar books and see how I compare). On the movie book I got a lot done: good drafts of several chapters and several films watched or rewatched.

Unfortunately I fell short of my goals for the week. Sure, they were optimistic, and yes, I have some wriggle room in my schedule but still, I’d been happier to pull it off. I’m not sleeping well, which happened when I was on tight deadline near the finish of Screen Enemies of the American Way. I’ll be zonked by the end of October.

No going back now, though, so wish me luck.

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders.

 

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

White dogs on dope!

So Sunday I was applying the hot water bottle to Plushie’s hips (they get very stiff otherwise) and he began wriggling out of my arms as if uncomfortable. I resisted, he tried climbing up over my arms and then he gave the pain whimper. Once we confirmed that yes, he was in pain, we took him to the emergency vet. This time he managed something new, pulling one of the long muscles in his side. So back on cage rest just a couple of months after last time. I’d be worried it would be non-stop but this is a separate problem from last time.

The painkillers and muscle relaxants he’s on make Plushie dopey, so he spends most of the day dozing in there. Still he gets miserable and demanding enough to distract me from work. And as TYG sleeps downstairs to be near him, just in case he has a pain attack or something, our schedule is a mess. Usually I start writing when I wake up, come down when TYG wakes, write some more (mixed in with dog care) and do my stretching, yoga and exercise later.

Happily, Plushie is improving fast so it couldn’t have been too bad an injury. This makes him needier and more demanding for Freedom!! but we’re happy about it just the same.

Wisp has been a surprisingly good trooper for all this. I have to sleep in the main bedroom with Trixie (Trixie would freak out if we left her alone) so Wisp spends her nights alone in the spare bedroom. Didn’t faze her as much as I thought. Last night she didn’t come in but that’s more because White Cat was hanging around. They seem to get along — no catfights so far — but last night Wisp seemed to be hissing and asserting her dominance a lot.

Despite all that, it was a productive week. I redid the introduction, which I’ll be reading to the writers’ group next week, plus the Invasion chapter and got several other chapters rough drafted. I watched some X-Files and did some research reading.

I finally read my editor’s critique of the golem article. There’s a couple of books she wants me to add to the piece, and a little more commentary in spots (how well did the different stories work?). It’ll be easier to deliver by deadline (end of next month) than I feared.

I also got a couple of chapters final-rpoofed on Undead Sexist Cliches; happily it’s still requiring only light copy-editing. I hope that keeps up. I have an appointment for early October to talk to a cover designer a friend recommended. I’ve also begun work on the book blurb.

There were, surprisingly, no new Leafs this week. I’m guessing it’s the end of the fiscal year and things’ll be back to normal next month. While this is a hit to my bottom line, the timing is great for extra work on Alien Visitors. I’ll be putting in more of that tomorrow, while TYG’s free to sit downstairs with Plush and Trixie.

One more month and I’ll have both books and the golem story done, barring disasters. I like that thought. Oh, and one of my Philosophy and Fairytales collections sold on Smashwords. I like that too! Thanks, whoever you were!

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

TYG and I weren’t planning to become a two-cat family

But we’ve had “White Cat” (placeholder name) irregularly sniffing around our house for a couple of months now. More recently she’s been sniffing and mewing plaintively for food, so we fed her. Happily she likes a brand of soft food I bought for Wisp much more than Wisp does.

Wisp, surprisingly, is quite chill with her. None of the aggressive territorial defense I’ve seen with other cats. I don’t know what the difference is. She’s nowhere near as skittish as Wisp. She runs away from us if we get too close, but it took Wisp a year before she’d let me come as close as White Cat does here.She’s definitely been a house pet, probably more recently than Wisp was when we met her. White Cat also seems a lot less comfortable surviving on her own. Did someone just decide to dump her? We’ll never know.

We have an appointment at the feral/stray cat clinic Sept. 26  for spay/neuter and general checkup. Hopefully our new acquaintance will show up the night before and get trapped (we have the trap cage already). Where we go from there, who knows? We aren’t looking for more pets, but as the saying goes, you cannot leave the work unfinished.

Speaking of work, I did get some of that done too. I squeezed in seven Leaf articles at the start of the week, then for whatever reason the flow stopped. The timing is convenient as that meant more work on Alien Visitors; that said, it probably means lower than usual income for the month. I did sell another copy of Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast and made $24 in royalties on my film books for the past six months, but that won’t pay the bills. Which isn’t to say I’m unhappy — it’s a real kick that 20 years after it came out, Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan still sells a few copies a year.

Work on Alien Visitors is going well but it takes much more time than I anticipate. Given my looming deadline, that makes me a little uneasy, but if I keep my nose to the grindstone, it’s doable. I did some scheduling today to make sure of that. I want to make sure I write some of it every day — not that this is more efficient but I noticed at the start of the week, when I’d done nothing but watch movies and write Leafs, I slept very poorly. Stress does that.

I also proofed the introduction and first two chapters of Undead Sexist Cliches and I’m pleased. My previous editing was good enough I only had one section where I needed to make major changes. So I think I’m still on track for an end of October release.

All in all, not a bad week.

#SFWApro. All rights to cover illustration remain with current holder.

 

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Filed under Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing