Hey, it beats actually working. ;)
My shoulder feels less bad than it did! At least one ergonomically unfortunate writing position is actually possible for me to sit in again, hooray(?)
I haven't put a word in on the latest fic project of doom (the Elsa/Hans faerie contract fic) in quite some time, which is unfortunate. I've also got Yuletide coming up, which I have to construct some kind of requests for, I suppose? It feels like aaaages since I've done any kind of challenge, which is probably because I "skipped" YT last year, haha.
Anyway, in other news, I still think this is accurate. Someone not me should write that.
Hey everybody! Happy International Don't Fucking Upgrade Your Goddamn Mac Day!
There's a new Mac OS out today, and if you're a writer, illustrator, cartoonist, musician, attorney, baker, real estate agent, or literally any other form of creative professional, uncreative professional, gifted amateur, or student, you have one job until sometime early next year: DON'T FUCKING UPGRADE YOUR GODDAMN MAC.
Yes, I know: you want the new features. You thirst for the new emoji. The updater keeps asking you, and you secretly love feeling wanted. But listen to me: every year I watch someone walk straight into that banana peel, and I really want this year's statistic to not be you.
Because in the mild scenario, the update breaks something you rely on, and the first patch release fixes someone else's problem instead of yours, so you limp along in a half-functional state for multiple months. (This is twice as likely if you use any kind of add-on hardware like a scanner, and practically guaranteed if you're on a deadline.)
In the spicy scenario, you get fucked in ways heretofore totally unimaginable. Because guess what: this year's release has
🚨🚨☄💀🌋 A COMPLETELY NEW FILESYSTEM 🌋💀☄🚨🚨
(I've decorated that to approximate what computer people hear when that phrase is spoken.)
Real talk, don't upgrade til March.
(Yes, yes, fine: if your job is making software for Macs or doing IT support for Macs, go ahead and upgrade some, but not all, of your way-too-many computers. All the rest of you, cool your jets and wait out the first two or three patch releases.)
He did write a few, though, and a highly characteristic one is the Charterhouse Suite for strings. This has an unusual origin. VW wrote it for piano, an instrument he was not often drawn to. It was arranged for strings by another hand, but it still sounds a lot like VW, in part because the arranger was good, he worked under VW's supervision, and also because much of the music is modal, typical of his work.
The six movements are Prelude (0.01), Slow dance (1.44), Quick dance (3.40), Slow air (5.57), Rondo (9.40), and Pezzo ostinato (11.43). Enjoy the attractive views of the English countryside on the visual side of this file, too. Since RVW was pre-eminently the composer who caught the spirit of the land ("cowpat music," those who didn't like it called it), that's appropriate.
Feeding Mr. Whiskers, by Dawn Bonanno (Fireside)
Dire Wolf, by Michael J. DeLuca (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Man-Size, by Gwynne Garfinkle (The Sockdolager)
The Last Cheng Beng Gift, by Jaymee Goh (Lightspeed)
We Came Here to Make Friends, by Martha Hood (The Sockdolager)
If a Bird Can Be a Ghost, by Allison Mills (Apex)
And Sneer of Cold Command, by Premee Mohamed (The Sockdolager)
Plain Jane Learns to Knit Wormholes, by Wendy Nikel (Flash Fiction Online)
Birth, Place, by Brandon O'Brien (Uncanny)
Stories We Carry on the Back of the Night, by Jasper Sanchez (Mithila Review)
Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)
You Can Adapt to Anything, by John Wiswell (Daily Science Fiction)
It was a six-day drive back to the West Coast. We took two cars, and we each took two animals - I drove with Greyson in the back seat, and Quinnie in the front seat. (Both secured, yes.) My husband brought the eldercat and Lucy in a similar configuration. Using a AAA travel agent, we booked all our hotel rooms in advance - making sure that we could bring our furry family members along without any difficulty. All but two of those nights were screwed up by the aforementioned travel agent; but when all was said and done, nobody had to sleep in the car and everything was fine.
My husband and I each traveled with a small suitcase. For the animals, we packed the largest suitcase we own - and at first we could barely close it, for it contained pre-measured meals for all four of them, plus bowls, medicine (for all four), fluids kit (for the eldercat), cannibis oil treats for the canine nervous nellies, flea/tick preventatives, and five disposable litter boxes stacked together. And I guess now I know how to manage a good "bug-out bag" for the whole family, so there's that.
Eventually we arrived at a house I've named "Rockford Place" - a late mid-century modern with an angular seventies vibe and a massive fireplace surrounded by natural stone. There's also an enormous backyard that's mostly rocks and trees, terraformed into paths and a nice landing area.
Besides, I like James Garner. So yeah, it's called Rockford Place.
The house is really rather neat - lots of cool angles and funky architectural features (without going overboard, I mean.) But the bathrooms are an embarrassment, and when we got here, the kitchen was stocked with appliances that only halfway worked. We've decided to live with the bathrooms for now, but the kitchen...well. We scraped up the money to replace the appliances, which turned into a massive shit-show courtesy of HomeDepot.com... but that's another story. Frankly, I'm so fed up with the experience that I'm not likely to relate it here. Suffice it to say, don't buy appliances from HomeDepot.com. Home Depot's own employees (at a local store) told me the in-house joke is that online orders are "job security" because one way or another, they're fucked up literally 100% of the time.
Anyway, we do have working appliances now. Thank God.
We also have a new veterinarian, which is good because the eldercat ran out of fluids, Lucy came down with (what seemed like) a UTI, and Quinnie has had a couple bad bouts of diarrhea - one bad enough that I took her to the kitty ER. Still not sure what's wrong with her, but she's wrapping up another round of medication at present, and she seems to be 100% fine and dandy. Cats, man.
All four of the critters really seem to like the new house. The cats love the stairs, and the dogs love the yard - which is fenced all the way around to the front patio, so they can really get a good loop of "chase" going on. Both dog-fatties have even lost a little weight, which is good.
As a side note: If you're mostly following me (on any platform) because of the household animal population - or if you'd like to, going forward - you can catch me on Twitter or (more recently) Instagram. Twitter is sometimes LadyRage, but often pet pictures. Instagram is almost exclusively pet pictures. In case this matters.
Hm. What else?
I guess you might also be reading this because I write books. By way of What's Up Next, I can offer the following:
- In December, a new installment in the Wild Cards franchise hits the streets - including a story from yours truly. The book is called Mississippi Roll, and my contribution is a somewhat wacky romp called "Death on the Water" that features my (now retired) Fort Freak cop Leo and his new wife, Wanda, on board a haunted riverboat. They share the stage with a trio of ghost hunters who, um, are entirely fictitious and not all mocking re: any given TV show that my husband and I might jokingly call "Brost hunters." Ahem.
- Speaking of Wild Cards - I've just handed in a draft of my next piece, but I can't tell you about that yet. If all goes according to plan, it will be inserted into one of the old volumes, as part of a future re-release. But that's another year or two down the pike, I assume.
- Production is finally getting underway on my next young adult project for Scholastic - a book called The Agony House. We don't have a pub date yet; things have been delayed on this one, largely because my original editor left the house for another job (which happens, such is life). But my new editor is on the case, and I should have more information on that for you before terribly long. The Agony House is not related to I Am Princess X, but it *does* feature a comic/illustrated element in a similar fashion. More details to come!
And that's all the writing news that's fit to type, for the moment. To be honest, writing updates are probably going to be few and far between for a bit, as I'm taking a little breathing room this year - breathing room that will give me time to get some work done on the house, and take on a day job, perhaps. I could use a steadier paycheck for a bit, and some room for my brain to cool off a bit.
I've been in fifth gear for the last few years, and I'm looking forward to just...doing production work on the Wild Cards projects, and The Agony House, and another adult horror project from Tor called The Toll (pub date TBD). So it's not like I'm quitting the industry and flouncing into darkness or anything. I'm just giving myself a break. Kind of.
More news as it develops.
Okay folks, that's all I can think of, at the moment - but I *will* try to update more regularly over here, now that we're more or less settled in. (We've been here about two months.) So as always, thanks for reading, and thanks for visiting this page. One way or another, I'll see you around...
I called out of work and went back to bed, and spent the day reading fic. And, oh yeah, got my period for the first time since May. Coincidence? I think not.
Sigh. Time to restart the menopause clock.
*as opposed to the normal level of existential dread that I've been feeling every morning since last November, which is bad, but doesn't usually prevent me from getting out of bed most days
kalloway: Well, I mentioned trying to make a little bingo card out of things I want/need/should write, etc.?
kalloway: And I found a sticky for [Fandom], which just says 'for [friend]', but that's literally all I've got
kalloway: Except I did find a comment where I mentioned having a bit of fluff for her pairing in a notebook.
kalloway: in a notebook
kalloway: IN A NOTEBOOK
kalloway: I think the safer route is going to be the two cakes route in which I ignore this detail, write something new, and then if the aforementioned bit turns up while going through notebooks later, yay bonus.
Signal-boosting much appreciated!
Do jellyfish dream of gelatinous sheep?
Ephrat Livni @ Quartz: Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses
Gloomy octopus males seem to spend a great deal of time chasing each other out of dens.
Ed Yong @ the Atlantic: Octopuses Do Something Really Strange to Their Genes
It’s impossible to say if their prolific use of RNA editing is responsible for their alien intellect, but “that would definitely be my guess”
Greta Keenan @ New Scientist: Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds
Nocturnal predatory fish use calls to stay together to hunt, while fish that are active during the day use sound to defend their territory.
Summary: After the kidnapping of a Force Sensitive Poe Dameron, Ben is sent to Jakku for his safety. Years later, their paths collide and shape the future of the galaxy.
Prompt: Altered Past
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Notes: No, I don't know how this got into some food-centric content. I am so sorry.
( Fic under cut. )