The State of The Writer

The State of the writer — I thought you needed an update, so you don’t get alarmed at late posts the next week — is frazzled, her nerves shot, and her time totally fried.

Sorry, I’m trying to finish a book and do final edits on another 2, while moving in what promises to be the first of two moves in three months.

Lest I sound insane(r), here how we got to this point in the plot.

Last January we rented this house and put our house in downtown colorado springs for sale.  We don’t think houses sell very well while living in them, so we thought this was the best thing to do.  In our naive estimation, we could have the house ready for sale by April/May, sell in June and be out of here by 7 or eight months of lease.

We packed the living space, unpacked about half the things, enough to allow me to work and settled in.

This is when the fates decided it was time to start the fun times. You see, my doctor had told me some tests were perfectly fine.  Turns out that wasn’t… precisely the truth, which led to surgery and recovery, as the house was only half empty and nowhere near to go up for sale.  By the time we finished emptying the house was June.

There wasn’t a lot of deferred maintenance, because the house was where our money went for 13 years, but there is always some in a Victorian.  Mostly what we needed to do was paint, clean and refinish the floors (well, some of them.  The living room was its own mess and we more or less left it like that.)

As soon as I could and earlier than I should, I enlisted the boys to help because at that point we had run out of reserves, from paying rent/mortgage the whole time.  But Robert was working an almost full time job while waiting to hear from medschools and Marsh was taking summer classes so he can finish the degrees in another two years.

So, it was slow, and by the time the house went up was September.  We did have an approved offer within a month, but we were already on the ragged edge of what we could afford.  It closed just in time, in November.

The lease ran out in January, so we started exhaustive house search, but our needs are a little odd, what with two and maybe three offices, so we had no luck.  We tried for a foreclosure but we underestimated what they’d take.

On new year’s day we put an offer on what was coincidentally a short sale.  (Though not cheaper for that, which is stupid.)  We went month by month on our lease and I settled in to finish books, as well as I could as my office is full of boxes and dismantled shelves, and I don’t work well in confusion.

In February our landlord decided he wants to sell the house we’re living in, and told us to be out by the end of March.  Since at best the short sale would come through in May, and we have four cats which very few people allow in a rental, we were thrown into a panic.

But thank heavens we’ve found a place that fits us all and will take month by month.  (Yes, it IS one of you.  How did you know?)

So we’re right now in the middle of the first move.  Due to shortness of time, we’re having professional packers, though I still need to do a lot of it.  So for the last week I’ve worked in snatches of five to ten minutes, and usually answered comments here while in the car between the two houses.

Meanwhile short sale came back demanding more money, which the house won’t even appraise at.  I’ve heard enough horror stories to be sure the bank is stringing us along and wants to foreclose.

So this last weekend we did a blitzkrieg house search.  We found one we want and have put an offer on (fingers crossed, because we really loved it) and one we can live with, but would take a second look at before offering for, if the first one doesn’t work.

I still have my current work and my bedroom to pack.

This weekend was enlivened by Greebo who, freaked out with having strangers in the house (He was feral and still loves only me, and tolerates younger son) decided it was time to hide.  We though he’d got out and spent three hideous hours searching for him.  Then we realized we’d need to trap him, as movers are coming Wednesday.

We had now corralled him and put him in a carrier and are taking him and his companions to the vet to board.

We hope to be moved in and the essentials (like my office, the bedroom and the kitchen) unpacked enough by Friday.  If the offers we have extant is accepted, we won’t even unpack anything else, as the move would be in May. And then I’ll hire someone to unpack us, because I MUST get settled and work.

On the work front Darkship Revenge WANTS to be finished, but I’m stuck because dragon isn’t trained enough for it.  Also it freaks the packers out when I dictate about mass death. 😀

I really need about three days on it, so G-d willing next week.

I’m entering copyedits into Through Fire (as in from Copy editor.  I REALLY wish Baen would do these electronic.  It’s much faster.)

I’m editing, in car while looking at houses, Sword and Blood which has reverted.  (Historical, vampires, Musketeers.)

As soon as work for Baen is delivered, I’ll enter the changes and bring S & B out, same with the British Empire trilogy, one a month, more or less.

The next in the vampire musketeers, Royal Blood, is almost finished, and I hope to bring it out in June or July.  the last one, Eternal Blood, is only plotted, so maybe August or September, depending on the move dates/visit to Portugal (which I must do.  It’s been 5 years) etc.

So if I’m occasionally late, forgive me.  As you can tell life is complete and utter chaos right now.  Even for a chaos dancer, it’s hard to keep my footing.

I know I never sent out stuff I owe subscribers, and I have a surprise for some of the older/most faithful supporters of this blog (not just money, but comments and encouragement) and that too will have to wait.  All I can say is I am so sorry.  I haven’t been able to stop long enough between crisis to catch my breath.  Keep fingers crossed this stops soon.  (2016 is making me miss 2015, except not on MY health or money front.)

Be patient with me.  We’ll get ‘er done.  Maybe someone/something wants me so busy I don’t think about politics.  (There’s a hope.)

And now I go pack.

 

187 responses to “The State of The Writer

  1. Life has long seemed to me a series of dealing with contingencies with which one had no desire to cope. I fervently hope this current series of contingencies is coped with in time for the next series, and that you are able to sufficiently husband your health and stamina to deal with many more contingencies down the line.

    As for posts here: Books Before Posts, always and forever. Don’t sweat it, we’ll just amuse ourselves.

    Does anyone else agree that this wall should come out and we could then install the Olympic-sized pool for the mermaid garden?

    • No, don’t remove that one, it is a supporting wall.

      • Not even if we fly some buttresses and install an anti-grav jack at the center?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Too late as the ceiling crashes onto RES’s head. 😈

        • Great. Now we have to replace the ceiling that broke on RES’s head. Because you know that skull is harder than hundred year old plaster-lathe (which itself is about as hard as tough bronze- seriously, last time I had to “remove” some, , I just took the wall with it and framed in new). *grin*

          • You too? Had to deal with horsehair plaster that had wicked water from a flood, oh, over a hundred years before, and was now reaching the point where leaning on it produced . . . interesting . . . results. Happily (for the owner) the joists above the section were sound and the load-bearing beams were OK. Alas for the helpers, the plaster and lathe had to go. 8″ thick.

            • TX Red: Interesting? As in “smells like a stable, but not the Augean one?”

              • No, apparently that had faded. It was more like “why is my hand sinking into the wall?” The smell was more chalk-n-dust scent than anything bad, but we were wearing masks so I might have missed the more delicate undertones of the bouquet. 😉

          • The Other Sean

            Is it tougher than plaster over chicken wire? I’ve had experience with that, and it is far more trouble than drywall or plaster over drywall. If plaster and lathe is even tougher, that’s actually rather scary.

            • Depends. Some is easy, some not. It all makes a mess though.

              • The Other Sean

                Thanks. Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that anything plaster-related is messy.

                • I’ve seen old plaster come off really easy. They looked to have coated the lathe in lime mortar first, and it didn’t really go through and mushroom like some so it pealed off easily and in large chunks, then the lather came out easier than some as the nails were short.
                  Then again I’ve seen it with wood lather covered in expanded metal lathe screen and that was hiding a bank vault so there was no getting behind it to pull it out.
                  Some normal stuff but in a room with 18 foot tall walls was no fun. All we had was a 12 foot folding ladder that needed replacing about 4 years before I ever used it.

            • Ooof! Husband and I have dealt with the plaster over wire situation. Nasty stuff!

        • To my knowledge that would make for the third ceiling to do so. It is becoming old hat.

          Not that it improves that hat any…

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Nor does it seem to improve his head. 😈

            • My head is so near to perfect that improvement is inconceivable. Sure, the sinuses could use clearing and the processor might benefit from a reboot and the audio output probably needs re-tuning …

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Yep, your processor needs some work (not as bad as some however). 😉

          • Free-range Oyster

            Any plan vere you lose you hat iz a bad plan!

    • I thought the idea was to install one of those one-way glass walls like aquaria use at one end of the sea-monster’s pool, then excavate the mermaid grotto and garden on the other side, using the dimensional bypass from where the old secondary reading HAD BEEN until someone opened THAT book without washing their hands first. That way the garden has access to the main heated exterior garden (within the climate energy field, the one that draws on the heat Dr. Tenbrith is still looking for) and won’t bother the sea monster. Who, I should add, has been whining to Fluffy again about missing gold.

      • But where will you put Nessie?

        • The Nessie Visiting Pool is in sub-basement 3 in the Northish Annex, with a gate to the Loch which also provides natural lighting.

        • I think we still have the hydrologic plans around here. Keeping this much fresh water and mild brine circulating without having the State of Colorado trying to siphon it off is a bit of a challenge. Although after that water lawyer accidentally opened the door to Fluffy’s lair when Fluffy was indisposed, the certified letters have stopped coming as often.

        • well, don’t try the minion pool . the Sea Serpent keeps that one salt. Plus, of course, there’s the gold.

      • TX, you are thge first I’ve come across who seems likely to know: Do mermaids wear seashell bras like in the Disney movies? Or seastars (to lift and separate)? Or nothing?

        • Today’s mermaids wear non-water-absorbent racing swimsuit tops. (They sell the bottoms on Amazon, since Nature has streamlined them down there.)

        • Dam, the ones I’ve crossed paths are slightly less friendly than kelpies, so I didn’t hang around to check on their sartorial selections.

          • OK, that was a funny slip. It was supposed to start, “Sam, the ones . . .”

            Long week already and two more school days to go.

      • That’s all fine and dandy, but an underground labyrinth would be nice in addition. Get away from the world.. and done right, it’d be a right good fallout shelter, just in case.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Res is correct. Real Life, then Books and only finally posts here. 🙂

  3. William O. B'Livion

    > This weekend was enlivened by Greebo who, freaked out with having
    > strangers in the house (He was feral and still loves only me, and
    > tolerates younger son) decided it was time to hide. We though he’d
    > got out and spent three hideous hours searching for him.

    In 2008 I got a job in Baghdad, and we decided it would be best to deposit the Wife and Child nearer the grandparents for the duration. So we arranged to rent a house and on the appointed date packed up the stuff and headed east.

    When we got there the house wasn’t *quite* done, which was a real problem as I only had 3-4 days before I had to get on a plane for another continent, and we couldn’t keep the cats at my MiLs house because (a) tiny and (b) Dogs.

    So we arranged to leave the cats in the house. Pixel freaked, and for the last 3 days I was there we couldn’t find her. She had found a tiny little space where some cabinetry didn’t quite fit flush and just hid there the whole time. We thought she’d gotten out and was gone for good.

    • Our best cat evah was named Pixel, a marmelade tabby. Havelock is almost as nice.
      Greebo is now safely packed.

      • Cats are totally against change.

        • Very conservative beasties, cats. Also anti-climate change: my cats never did greet winter with anything more welcoming than indignation!

        • Sara the Red

          I just moved houses in the same town–barely three blocks–and my cat has spent the last two days freaking the freak out. (As much as a super-lazy, twenty-pound ginger tabby *can* freak, anyway.) Mostly that translated to a.) hiding under the new-to-me-bed (though he would emerge if called, b.) being super clingy (which was sweet, except for the head-butting me in the face ALL NIGHT the first night there), and c.) becoming constipated. (Which sucked. But apparently, milk really does work in unclogging a clogged fuzzy, so yay, no vet trip.)

          Last night, he finally seemed to accept that nothing in the new house was going to eat him…and spent all night stomping around and demanding to know where everyone else (the other people, cats, and dogs) were.

          I anticipate getting home from work today to either find a mightily pissed off kitty, a clingy kitty, or a kitty who has realized that being the Only Kitty in the House is actually pretty awesome. I just hope he hasn’t decided to make his displeasure known by peeing on something not easily washed. Like the carpet. Or my grandmother’s bed…

          (I can’t believe he fits under that bed, though. It’s *maybe* four inches off the ground, and he is the precise opposite of ‘small’. Cats really DO flatten out…)

          • SheSellsSeashells

            We moved house when my daughter was a toddler, and our flabby and unflappable Maine Coon was…flapped. He hid in the closet for four days running, and I had to inform Daughter that petting the cat would not, in this case, make him feel better. She stayed away, reluctantly. Mostly. After the cat emerged, I found my kid’s very favorite Dr. Seuss book, open to her very favorite story, placed precisely in front of where the cat’s forepaws had been. Cue turning into a giant mommy-puddle…

          • Feather Blade

            But apparently, milk really does work in unclogging a clogged fuzzy, so yay, no vet trip.

            I am intrigued by your information. I’ve been giving mine weekly subcutaneous fluids to keep her from getting blocked up, but if this works…

            Any particular kind of milk?

            • I can tell you that over-application of half and half makes… me very glad I have clumping litter in the box.

              (We switched to half & half due to lower lactose, which is goof for HFLC diets and the lactose-intolerant-under-stress. The cat wasted no time in determining that 9 pounds of fuzzball can browbeat mumble-mumble pounds of human into sharing when making the first cuppa of the day. And that headbutting the carton as it pours results in a much larger portion.)

              • I thought she was getting rather up close and personal with the carton . . .

              • Sara the Red

                LOL. Actually, I’m thinking I’ll try half-and-half. I noticed this morning he was still having a few straining issues, and since I happen to have a carton of the stuff on hand for a particular recipe, it wouldn’t hurt.

                I actually have started using, believe it or not, those little wood pellets that you use in pellet stoves. Sure, they don’t clump–but they absorb the smell waaaaay better, and are so, so much cheaper than the bloody cat litter. My cat initially gave me a ‘WTF is this nonsense’ but soon shrugged and got on with business.

                Makes less of a mess when they fling the pellets out, too–MUCH easier to sweep up than little bitty litter granules…

                • I use Feline Pine brand littler pellets. I add a little baking soda to the box before I put the littler in, but there’s really no smell even without the soda.

            • Sara the Red

              I just used a bit of the 2% I had in the fridge (usually it would have been whole milk, but I wasn’t paying attention at the store). I’ve got a carton of half and half as well, and I think I’ll try that, see if it does even better.

              I’ve only tried it the once, though, so I’m not 100% certain it was actually the milk, or just the timing (ie, he relaxed enough to finally agree that there was nothing in the bathroom that was going to eat him, and went and used the box). He does need a bit loosened up, though, so I’ll keep trying the dairy and–now that there aren’t two other cats in the to go to war with over who gets it–I’ll be giving him a bit of wet food more regularly as well.

          • *starts sweating bullets about hauling the cats to the far side of the country*

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Just be worried if the cats grow fingers. 😈

              • You mean the end of the world?

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  That, but also thinking about how much trouble cats with fingers could cause. 😈

                  • they call those “Raccoons”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Imagine the “fun” if Raccoons had true thumbs. 😈

                    • they’re bad enough as it is. Last place I rented, one of the houses had one get in the house, then couldn’t seem to remember how it came in, and decided to make its own exit . . . after trying to dig up the entry point.
                      The place was trashed.

                  • Think what dogs could do with fingers. There are dog neighborhoods and cat neighborhoods. If they both had hands all kinds of turmoil might happen. What I’d like is human understandable speech.

                    • But everything your cat said would end with “NOW”

                    • I’m a dog person. So what would my puppy say? Knowing Nemo it would be: Feed me Seymour!” I want more people food. Why are you getting up and taking away my comfy chair? I want to go with you. Why the frack do I need a leash? I’m wearing a collar already! You walk too slowly and and not for long enough. Why isn’t Daddy here? He understands me much better than you.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Lilly, my Beagle, didn’t say anything but showed Mom that she was my Dog.

                      Lilly was officially Mom’s dog but Lilly paid more attention to me.

                      I suspect that it was partly because I walked Lilly more.

                      Now Lilly slept more with Mom. 🙂

                  • The story is called Created He Them and I THINK it’s in my second collection, Wings.

              • Patrick Chester

                Opposable thumbs would be worse.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Well, when I was thinking cats with fingers I was including Opposable thumbs. 😉

                  Of course, Raccoons with Opposable thumbs would also be “interesting”. 😈

              • Sara the Red

                My cat’s twin brother (skinnier, more agile, insanely smart) is very, very close to figuring out how to use his paws as hands. Seriously, if he were a little bit bigger, and if his ‘thumb’ toe were just a little bit longer…

                This is a cat who will catch a thrown toy ball, manipulate it with his paws, and/or stick it in his mouth before he ever hits the ground. I’ve watched him studying the lever handles on the doors and the toilet handle with great interest. Pretty sure he knows how they work, but he hasn’t quite got the weight to do anything about it…

                • I have known of cats who opened screen doors by setting their claws in the mesh.

                  • In fact, I still do know of such cats.

                    Sigh – perils of editing on the fly and a proclivity for needlessly ornate speech.

                • When she was younger Miranda used to hold up ornaments for me when I was decorating the Christmas tree.
                  The boys did it (I let them pick which ornament I would up up next and when) so she did it too. Wish we’d filmed it. She also, despite being declawed, (yes, reasons, but hard to explain here.) can grab my sleeve and PULL.

            • O moved with two from NOLA, to DFW and they were fine. The three I have now … travel is the issue, I think once I get them to the place they will be fine.
              Now all I need is the place.
              and a time line.

              • I remember driving from Boise to Los Angeles with a kitten on my shoulder. She needed contact for security and the shoulder height for the view. I drove very smoothly. Kittens have extremely sharp claws.

                • But excellent traction

                • My cat spent the drive from Nashville to Texas under the seat, except when I hauled her out and plopped her in the carrier to take into the hotel room overnight.

                  I worried a bit about dehydration, as she wouldn’t touch her food and scarcely touched her water, but she was pretty fine. Then again, for all her hiding in the car, she was all tail-high, ears pricked, intensely curious about the new overnight places. Seems “As long as my people are both here, there’s nothing to worry about!”

                • Petronius the Arbiter, our first cat (actually Dan’s cat, of course) got very distressed riding in a carrier, but was fine across Dan’s shoulders. So we would drive around North Carolina with him wearing the cat as a stole.

                • I once took a kitten to my sister, who had offered it a home. She started out in a box on the passenger seat, but decided that my lap was a better place to be.

                  Until the semi in the next lane hit its brakes. Then behind the gas pedal became the desirable location.

          • Sara must have a little Martian Flat in her (him?).

      • Reality Observer

        Trying to imagine a packed cat – something like a herded cat…

        Figured that a Hun within arm’s reach would find something for keeping the rains off of your heads. Although I know that everyone here was dead serious about taking you in at the extreme need.

        But – ANYTHING to lessen the insanity that can be done at long distance – speak up, please.

        Otherwise, as noted – kith, then kin, then work, and only then entertaining us for free. We are the “core” audience for the blog – and we’ll still be here no matter how long of a hiatus you must take.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        My problem is that the skiffy names I want most come in trios. Either Miles, Ivan and Ellie or Oggie, Maxim and Dimo. Sigh…

        • I used to have a Keeshond – a breed formerly known as the Dutch Barge Dog – with the AKC-registered name Nicholas van Rijn II (apparently, someone got to the name before me).

      • (Our) Best cat evah was Imp, the first born of Clytemnestra. (Clyde was possibly the orneriest cat evah, but that is another story.)

        The name originated in a line in the preface poem from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: ‘Imperious Prima flashes forth her edict to begin it…’ The kitten had been named before certain things became obvious, and the name therefore was later morphed into Imperious Primo.

        He looked just like a silver tabby Maine Coon, and had a cry that resembled a miniature roar. He was most loving to his people, even adopting The Daughter as a sibling. We did not realize he had been a working cat until the year after his death, when the squirrels kept us from getting any ripe tomatoes out of our garden.

    • Catticus Finch

      When we helped move my husband’s grandmother into assisted living, her cat couldn’t go and we had to give the cat to a relative. However, in all of the moving, we thought that the cat had run off because she went completely missing (she was a spoiled tyrant who loved only my husband’s grandmother and looked upon the rest of us as harbingers of the Antichrist).

      Turns out, she had gotten into the grandmother’s couch and become stuck. We discovered this when we moved the couch to a neighbor’s house and the neighbor called my MIL saying that the couch was meowing and hissing. We had to come and cut the cat out of the couch. And pay back the $20 the neighbor had paid for the couch.

      • Sara the Red

        The image/audio of a growling, meowing, hissing couch and the expressions on the couch’s new owners’ faces…Oh, man. I needed that laugh today.

    • Years ago I ended with a pregnant cat, then needed to find homes to at least some of the kittens. Well, not much success, I ended up keeping three of them and was a four cat household for over 15 years, but I did find home for the only boy. So, two hours of driving to deliver a kitten to new owner. And then I could not find the kitten anywhere in the car, just an empty opened box. I started back home, and after about an hour of driving heard something, stopped and found one greasy kitten in the trunk. I was never sure where the damn kitten had been hiding, although how he had gotten into the trunk is explainable, it was a hatchback.

      And then back and the new owner got her kitten, a bit worse for wear. (Paid, no, I paid the gas myself too, she was a student and had even less money than me. A friend of a friend though, as far as I know the greasy guy got a good home).

    • Years ago, along the way to selling our townhouse, we had workers in for bathroom repairs, new carpet, paint, packing, staging, and so on. Our two house cats bitterly resented it. Our plan was to cage them whenever workmen would come, but the cats soon became expert at vanishing for the duration. And vanishing but good. We could never find them anywhere. Until finally one day, after the workers had gone, we noticed the cats climbing back down through the damper from the smoke chamber above the fireplace.

    • All the cat stories make me glad we have always had velcro dogs. Mostly labs, so some of them are more rubber band than velcro, but either way, they know the appropriate place for their heads when we’re carrying heavy boxes is right at the back of our knees, especially on stairs. One never wonders where the dog is. What just broke, yes, but never where he is.

    • I used to have a cat named Pixel. My wife and her coworkers had found him caught in their process camera at work, which was one of the reasons he got the name. Another was the fact that he was gray, and almost a solid color (his tail had rings of different shades of gray when he was young).

      She adopted him, and he disappeared the moment she released him in the house. The only evidence we had of him for the first week or so was that the food we put out for him disappeared, and he made use of the litter box we provided. I eventually discovered that he was hiding behind the books on one (or more) of the shelves.

      He ended up as my cat. He insisted that I be the one to get up and feed him in the mornings, and I’d have to pet him until he started eating. He was a mighty hunter (took down a magpie while still a kitten), but a lousy fighter.

  4. Take lots of deep breaths and find a way to, at least, mentally slow down. It is exhausting just reading about your travails and it is bound to be having an effect on your health.

  5. *hugs* We’ll be here, serving tea to dragons and ducking explosions. And raiding your booze. You go worry about other things. By the time you’re done, the still ought to be up to replacing what we raided….

    • Catticus Finch

      We’re not raiding the booze, we’re helping move one bottle at a time.

      PS: Good luck with everything. Moving is one of the most stressful events – I think they’re worse than funerals, but that’s probably because little sandwiches and snacks get served after funerals. 😉

    • Could you make sure nobody spikes Fluffy’s tea this time? Dealing with a drunk dragon is bad enough, dealing with a hungover dragon? Yep, I’ll make sure I’m a thousand miles away when he wakes up.

      • I believe that after the last time it was determined that the appropriate consequence for anyone caught spiking Fluffy’s anything would be to locate and bring home and then to tend to and care for Fluffy until fully recovered. That and to cover for any and all damages.

    • Uh, where did we put the still the last time we helped them pack…?

  6. The Other Sean

    I’m glad to hear you weren’t eaten by a grue, and that you’re not all homeless. Best wishes on good health and getting the new home.

  7. Do what needs doing. Worst case, ‘Open post/thread’ or even the strange unicorn suggestion someone had months ago. Or even, “No real post today. Go have a life. Try again tomorrow.”

    • “Go have a life.”

      Every time I do that, they make me bring it back. People should mean what they say when they say it. *chuckle*

  8. I’m entering copyedits into Through Fire (as in from Copy editor. I REALLY wish Baen would do these electronic. It’s much faster.)

    Do you mean on paper–as in not in Word with “track changes” on?

  9. SJW’s never have these problems. Their parents and the benevolent state pay for their housing and health care with money that magically appears so they can go on living morally superior lives.

    Don’t you wish you’d gone proglodyte? /sarc

  10. “Three removes is as bad as a fire.” B. Franklin

  11. You are crazy, you know that, right? ❤

    • For what it is worth I have found our esteemed hostess to be quite sane. (I am not sure my opinion on this matter should carry any weight, but there it is.)

      Much of her problem has been that she was that at birth she was short suited in health for the bridge game of life. Then, of course, there are the effects of the interesting times in which we live.

      • “Life is like Bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you better have a good hand.”

        • Free-range Oyster

          I try to keep my comments family friendly, but boy you guys can make that a challenge!

          • So many comments deleted before posting, so very very many…

            • Before you discuss “family friendly” it is prudent to name the family: the Manson family, the Partridge family, the Giotti family, the Kardashian* family, the Kennedy family, the Duggar family …

              Some families are more friendly than others.

              *Spellcheck didn’t recognize that name; it recommended “Guardianship.”

              • Adams family, perhaps. Instead of scabs, blood, guts, and big hair, its shifters,dragons, cats, and sci-fi…

                And I try not to recognize that name spell-check is ignorant of, but occasional radio news programs have inflicted the knowledge upon me. I don’t read the tawdry magazines in the grocery aisle (not been that desperate in decades now), so there are likely countless things I remain blissfully ignorant of. *grin*

              • *Spellcheck didn’t recognize that name [Kardashian]; it recommended “Guardianship.”

                For once, I agree with a spellchecker. Will wonders never cease?

        • Life is like a low bridge; ya gotta keep your head down. Eyes up, though.

  12. Just when my move looks tone overly insane, I think of our hostess, and know it could be more so.

  13. It’s ALWAYS a question of priorities… Deal with RL first (especially your health), the books, etc. next and worry about us last. We’ll still be here.

  14. Yay, the writer is extant!

  15. Ah, your movers need more fortitude if hearing you dictate mass death is freaking them out.

    • It’s the maniacal laughter, isn’t it?

      That, or the villain monologue. People always start looking at the 15-foot-wingspan flying reptiles and heading for the exits when you start that one…

    • Reality Observer

      Actually, I think that I would be more worried about the one that stops on his way to the door to listen… (Unless it could be determined that he is a secret Hun.)

  16. I read the title as The SLATE of the Writer (WAITAMINIT!!); mine brain, not mine eyes, deceived me hath.

  17. Just live to tell the tale, Sarah. The rest of us just need to be as patient with you as we want others to be with us.

  18. Christopher M. Chupik

    Hopefully life will calm down so you can focus on your writing. Imaginary drama is so much easier to deal with!

  19. My hopes were so high. I thought this was going to be “Slate of the Writer”. Foiled again!

  20. When Deb and I moved to Texas, we rented a van and put two oversize cages in the passenger bed so we could transport our two very bachelor cats comfortably side by side, in the hope they would get used to each other. (Also, our guns hidden in the underseat cargo space because I will NOT let them out of my hands during a move.)

    First night, first motel, we let them out of the cages. Deb’s cat, the sinister black Java, a bit of a bully, walked up to Potluck (a much older orange tabby who had Seen Some Shit) and fluffed up at him. Potluck took one look at him and nailed him with a three paw combo so fast that Java just sat down in place and stared at him. No issues after that.

    Potluck passed away at 21. Java isn’t getting any younger and a bit tetched, but he gets along with the outside cats we’ve rescued since.

    But Deb and I packed three households for the move, mine, hers and some inherited stuff she’s had God knows how long. Fortunately we have a barn, because that is a about a household and a half more stuff (not counting the stuffed animals the previous own left here) than we can fit inside.

  21. “(Historical, vampires, Musketeers.)”

    I read this and thought it said MOUSEketeers, which would have been even more awesome. But I’m sure there’d be intellectual property issues. 🙂

  22. Ma’am, I am unable to fill your order for four cats. Please specify the color and sex you desire.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Well…. I don’t think Sarah wants more cats.

      Of course, what she wants and want she gets can be two different things. 😉

  23. Mrs. Hoyt, I recently bought your short story collection Here Be Dragons. I enjoyed it a great deal. Some of the stories I even read more than once already (very unusual for me)! However, there are many typos in the book, much more than I’m used to in your work. Is there a way for me to send you the ones I found? Thanks again for a great read!