15 January, 2015


So Idris, master of eating things, horked up a pair of detritus-balls on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, actually. About 2 AM. I hear these things, having a finely tuned sense for cat-vomit sounds (and he's a sneaky, quiet horker). Anyway, the detritus-balls were their usual dubious composition of toy-stuffing, niblets of varying blankets (and a coin-sized bite of Louhi's pillowcase, because it is hers), and Idris's hair (in a quantity sufficient only to add black to the otherwise mixed bag of colors).

Anyway, this is not unusual. Once every 2-3 months, Idris produces a pair of detritus-balls approximately the size and shape of a fresh cat turd. I am forever impressed that he can keep them in the same belly into which he sucks as much food as he can manage. And he was cheerful on Wednesday AM, ate his breakfast, galloped around--and threw up. And continued to do so, every time he attempted to eat. Okay, this has happened before, too, and he rights himself within 24 hours, a steady improvement as his stomach settles down. He was perking up some by last night, and I was hopeful.

Then he threw up this morning, at 4AM, with nothing inside. This is his usual 'let me bury something in the box and scratch so loudly that Cin wakes up.' Instead, I woke up to cat vomit. And I knew that was a bad thing, which was only confirmed by a day of Sad Cat Loaf, with a lone trip to the water bowl. No more puking, but obvious discomfort. No purring. No interest, even in the cheeky birds hopping around on the deck.

Tonight, he is at the vet's being shot up with anti-nausea meds and plied with babyfood. The X-rays indicate 'something' in his small intestine, of sufficient mass to cause him pain, but not a total block. They will try and see if it moves along. If it does not, they will determine where and what it is through more exact means, and then they will unzip my cat and remove the problem.

I am trying to be cool about this. Really. I just keep checking that spot right behind my feet where he likes to lay, and where, if I don't look, I could step on him. And he's not there.

It's amazing how quiet a house is when a cat who never meows is absent. I may even sleep through the night without someone's wet nose under my chin at 4:15, shortly followed by someone's sharp little love bites on my chin. And that will suck.

On a slightly brighter note, the cat hospital has American Bobtail kittens up for adoption. They're kittens, so of course they are cute. The 5 month old is easily Idris's size. The 3.5 month olds are Louhi's size. These are gonna be big cats.

22 December, 2014

the stars aligned

Got a literary agent. Contract is signed. I feel like... I don't even know. Like one part I did it! and two parts omg, luck because while I think I'm pretty damned good, I know a lot of other people are, too, and some of those folks might be even better and they don't have an agent. I don't feel like a fraud or anything, but I also don't feel like I magically deserved to be here because I worked hard.

Which is not to undercut that I did work hard, because I did, in writing and revising (and revising some more) and the collecting of rejections (or resounding silence, taken to mean rejection). And without that work, no agent.

Now the work is hers, to convince someone to buy this manuscript. And my work is to keep writing, revising, and sacrificing chickens to the eldritch gods otherwise carry on.

But I gotta tell ya, one of the things I am most psyched about: I won't have to write another query letter.

23 November, 2014

it's not a blog if you don't write in it

And by that extension, I ain't a writer if I don't, you know, write.

It's that point in the quarter where things are letting up a little. I have 57 students and I read 2-3 things from them every week, with 2-3 of those things requiring (sometimes) comments and feedback. It's a little like a puppy mill, only with words. Sometimes the feedback is conferences, which is both less and more exhausting, but does not mean working nights and weekends. But they don't need me as much right now, and so my brain (which wants nothing more taxing than my knitting and something on Netflix) can consider its own wordish obligations.

We shall not speak of fiction. Not right now. Ideas are percolating, slowly. I am reading, actual research. I should probably be taking notes, but since the book is hardcopy and we own it, I will probably just rifle through it when I need a detail.

That's a downside to the e-book. You can mark the pages, yeah, and even annotate, but it's not as conducive to indexing for me, who learned to index with the cards that bear that moniker, and a pen, and all that. O technology, how you have freed us! But also, how I have learned to prefer pens for some purposes.

Especially since my pen is a pink aluminum Smith and Wesson (SERIOUSLY) with a glass-breaker on one end and a stylus tip on the other. How can you not write with a pen like that? The iPad stares on, jealous.

Anyway, major project may begin in spring quarter, when I am down to 38 students. And maybe also done with Dragon Age 3 because, well, that needs playin'. The sad part is that I've had that game sitting on the kitchen table since release day, and I haven't even popped it into the Xbox yet. No time, I tell myself, and I am being good and responsible and refusing to embark on a 60+ hour investment of my energy before I am done with all the knitting for the holidays, and also my classes.

But really, I suspect I'm a little chemically flat right now (because depression is far more serious and crippling than this, because I can overcome this, to some extent, with raw will) and I don't have the emotional energy to invest in the story.

Okay, maybe that does count as depression. I can point to Reasons(tm) and I know it's cyclical (although it's getting worse, as I age), and I also know that means the end is drawing nigh-ish. So fuck you, biochemistry. I can wait you out. I didn't wanna start DA:I until Thursday, anyway.

It's super warm and super dry today--that watery sun that's hot when you're in it directly and abruptly not the moment you hit shade or a good blast of wind, of which there is no shortage--and Idris is being more of an idiot than usual. He's attacking my hand, as I type, because if I am standing here I could just as well be over there playing with him. And because my cat plays fetch better than any dog I've ever had, I am going to go do that. It makes us both happy.