I see Autumn has come to the clavicle of Texas
Today has been drizzly and hovering around 59°F, which is a huge improvement over the inches of snow other parts of the country have gotten this weekend so I am not complaining.
What it means, however, is that I get to break out the sweatpants and meals like zuppa toscana, shepherd’s pie, and other cold weather delights get put back on the menu. Soup is currently simmering on the stove and I’m waiting for Ramón to finish doing whatever it is he’s doing in his office and come collect his bowl. I have a cat (JJ) currently sitting on the Chesterfield staying warm, while another (Jasmine) is sitting on my footstool, I already finished my bowl of soup so I’m quite replete, and I’m going to watch the latest episode of GBBO once I get this uploaded.
Also, as you may already know, King of Blades comes out on Tuesday. That being said, I have made a slight booboo when it came to the file I uploaded to Amazon on Friday for those fourteen lovely people who pre-ordered it.
See, I was hurrying to get it spell-checked and formatted before the uploading deadline on Friday. At the same time, I was aware that I also had to try and get a soft fabric cone on Jasmine, who has an open wound behind one ear that she keeps re-opening by scraping it against things. So I finished the formatting, uploaded what I thought was the correct file to Amazon, then set off to try and cone the cat.
Oh. My. God. You would have thought that all the devils in hell were after her. She’s skitty under normal conditions but with the cone on she had a total and complete meltdown. After she ran in a blind panic all over the downstairs, she shot upstairs and hid under the bed. I went up to try and coax her out, but she was terrified. I finally took the cone off — I’m calling the vet tomorrow to see her (she needs her shots anyway), and I’m looking into a less stressful covering for that area so that she doesn’t actually have a heart attack while it heals.
After I took the cone off, however, a little voice in the back of my mind said, “Um … did you upload the final, corrected file to Amazon, or the uncorrected ARC (Advance Reading Copy) file? Because the ARC’s in the novel folder, but the corrected final version is in your Calibre library folder.” With a sloshing dread growing in my belly, I came downstairs to check.
Yup, I sent the wrong file. *bangs head on desk*
By that point I was past the deadline and locked out of KDP, so I’m going to have to wait until it’s just past midnight on Tuesday and upload the actual, genuine, FINAL file, then put the word out to everyone who pre-ordered it and ask them to delete the version Amazon sent and re-download it. It’s not that big of a deal, but there are a handful of spelling and grammar mistakes in the ARC (which is common as it’s compiled earlier in the editing process) and I don’t want those folks who pre-ordered KoB to think, “Whoa, she’s really slipping on the spelling.”
After that, I thought I would take this weekend off and relax. Ho ho ho. I spent yesterday updating the Other Works pages and the formatting on all the Two Thrones books so that everything was consistent across the series, then today I got stuck into Cross Current (Olympic Cove 4). That’s scheduled to come out on 11/24, so I have about 20 days to complete 72,000 words. Totally doable, especially if I crank out 3K today and cut down the remaining words to 69K.
In other news I’ve now finished three rounds of PT on ShitKnee. As of last Thursday it was able to bend to 110 degrees. My left knee can bend to 125 degrees, and 125-130 degrees is considered a normal range. As I started out on the first visit with 88 degrees of bending in ShitKnee, 110 is a significant improvement.
Now, straightening the knee is another matter. That hasn’t improved as much, but I now have a floor exercise where I lay on my back, put a prop under my right ankle, and let gravity pull ShitKnee down for ten minutes. I’m supposed to do that 2-4 times a day. The cats, unsurprisingly, have loved this.
I also spoke to the head therapist who said that my wandering kneecap wouldn’t cause stiffness in the joint itself––that’s probably due to scar tissue or adhesions (since I never had PT after the surgery back in 1984). I know damn well I broke an adhesion a couple of years ago when I was still able to jog because I felt it pop on the treadmill. Looks like I’ll be trying to break more of the damn things over the next couple of months.
But I have to say, walking is definitely easier. The pain has eased up, I’m not limping nearly as badly as I had been, and I now have a Theraband roller for rolling out tight fascia and muscles. It feels like this is actually going to work for me.
Running around like the proverbial decapitated avian
Sorry about not posting anything entertaining and/or useful yesterday, but I have been one very, very busy writer for the last day and a half. Unfortunately, my busyness has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with paying bills, filing all my receipts and paid bills (I know how anal that sounds, but it helps when I have to prep the tax paperwork for the accountant), packaging stuff up and mailing it out to people, doing a big food stock-up for humans and J Crew which requires hitting three different stores, attending my writers’ group meeting over Zoom last night and critiquing some chapters from a member, plus all of the usual cooking/cleaning/household chores on top of that.
Phoo. I’m tired just reading that.
And yes, I know, minions would help. One time someone very kindly offered to act as my PA and I had to pass on it because I simply couldn’t afford them. Well, also because the actual writing business doesn’t take up a huge chunk of my time just yet — it’s everything else that has me running around and swearing under my breath. I swear, if the cats had opposable thumbs they would be VERY surprised at the chores they’d be assigned (I already know damn well that they understand English to a certain degree).
Speaking of the little darlings, Ramón and I have agreed that it’s time to address the weight problem that Jessie (above) and Jemma (at left) (and to a lesser degree Jeremy) are having. The two ladies are now 9 and 8 years old, respectively, and they’re putting weight on to the point where Jessie lumbers down the stairs (although she was still able to jump up to the stove top, then to the top of the refrigerator, and onto the top of the cabinets a couple of days ago) and Jemma, bless her heart, looks like a brown bowling ball. Our problem is our 18-year-old gentleman who wants to nibble constantly (and needs to, to be honest) and yowls at a genuinely shocking volume if he can see the bottom of a food bowl. We need to keep him fed and his weight up, but that turns into a buffet for the other cats and isn’t good for them. So we’re addressing this with weight management kibble and additional playtime for the younger cats (I wish I could get Jemma and Jasmine to eat wet food, but they simply won’t do it. Jems will sometimes eat tuna, but Jaz won’t touch anything but kibble). I’ll keep feeding JJ extra food and treats as necessary, but I’ll have to do it where the other cats can’t see.
And with that, it’s now time to get back to work on Shadow of the Swan, tra la.
Marvelous Monday Reads: Embrace the Passion (Pets in Space™ 3) #PetsInSpace
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, darlings! Today, we’re featuring one awesome SF romance anthology that benefits pets, Embrace the Passion (Pets in Space™ 3), and it releases tomorrow! Pre-order your copy while you still can!
Overview of Stories
HEART OF THE CAT: Sarafin Warriors Series
By S.E. Smith
Can love bridge the gap between a wounded alien warrior and the reclusive human woman who holds the future of his species inside her?
DESERT HUNTER: Galactic Gladiators Series
By Anna Hackett
Among the desert sands of an alien world, a man with secrets to hide finds himself face to face with the one woman who can bring him to his knees.
QUASHI: Mandrake Company Series
By Ruby Lionsdrake
Alien fur balls, a handsome doctor, and a little white lie create havoc for a young woman who only wanted a job.
STAR CRUISE: MYSTERY DANCER: The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott
A long-lost princess and her three-eyed cat seek refuge on the Nebula Zephyr only to catch the attention of an inquisitive Security Officer.
OPERATION ARK: Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones
A not quite routine mission to return rescued prisoners to their home worlds turns deadly for unlikely allies, a USMC Sergeant and a raised-by-robots pirate. Is the Sergeant’s unusual pet the wild card that will save or doom them?
CATS OF WAR: A Central Galactic Concordance Novella
by Carol Van Natta
A disgraced military Sub-Captain, a repair technician with secrets, and two special cats must save the day when trouble erupts at an important factory.
HUNTER OF THE TIDE: The Kraken #3
By Tiffany Roberts
Nearly broke by betrayal, a human discovers solace—and a chance for love—among the creatures he once hunted, but he must overcome prejudice and inhibition to claim the female he desires.
By Alexis Glynn Latner
A lonely interstellar pilot and a passenger’s mistreated consort find each other in an interstellar hotel that offers everything to satisfy its guests’ desires—even desires they didn’t know they had.
THE BAJO CATS OF ANTEROS XII
By E D Walker
Two ex-lovers, stranded in space, have to save a pair of kittens with hazardous powers before the local drug cartel catches up to them.
SHADOW OF THE PAST
By JC Hay
On a world of perpetual night, an aging ranger and a widowed veterinarian need to put aside their past to protect a pack of wolves… and their future.
AFTER THE FALL
By Kyndra Hatch
The Invaders took everything worth living for. Could an Invader show him how to live again?
Pets in Space™ is back! Join us as we unveil eleven original, never-before-published action-filled romances that will heat your blood and warm your heart!
New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner, E D Walker, JC Hay, and Kyndra Hatch combine their love for Science Fiction Romance and pets to bring readers sexy, action-packed romances while helping our favorite charity.
Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space™ authors have donated over $4,400 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space™ 3 today!
Where to Buy
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads
About the Authors
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/S.-E.-Smith/e/B007Y85YQG/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Hackett/e/B008XDTW64/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Lionsdrake/e/B00P2NEY6G/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/
Pauline Baird Jones
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Pauline-Baird-Jones/e/B000APFS0M/
Carol Van Natta
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Van-Natta/e/B002F4UN24/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tiffany-Roberts/e/B018WU1IQ4/
Alexis Glynn Latner
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Alexis-Glynn-Latner/e/B001JP4UK6/
E D Walker
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/E.D.-Walker/e/B0045TAK4S/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.C.-Hay/e/B003N9TL0A/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kyndra-Hatch/e/B01210BWL2/
My cat has turned into Grandpa Simpson
So JJ, the 16-year-old black cat with kidney insufficiency, has gotten more and more cranky over the past year, to the point where he yells at me if his food bowl isn’t filled to the brim, yells at me if the other cats’ food bowls aren’t likewise filled, yells at me, when he wants to be petted, yells at me when he wants to be let down, and generally yells at me.
But since I know his kidneys are slowly failing I don’t want to ignore his yelling because I don’t know if it’s because he’s in pain or he’s just being grumpy. So, yeah, I’ve pretty much become his body servant. Cut to a few minutes ago, when he was yelling loudly from the living room. Like the good servant I am, I dropped what I was doing and went in there to see what was up.
Some background: JJ likes sleeping on the futon in the living room. I will occasionally bring him his wet food or water there so that he can have dinner in bed, so to speak. I’d left the spare water bowl on the end table, and because our orange tabby Jeremy is a huge resource hog who will shoulder JJ out of the way to get at any food or water I’d put another bowl of water next to it so that Jer-bear could drink out of that one while JJ drank out of the other bowl.
I go into the living room and see JJ staring at the now-empty water bowls. He then gives me an accusing look as if to say, “How dare you let these run dry?” Please note that we have two bowls of water with the regular food bowls and a big bowl of water on the breakfast nook table, all of which are washed and refreshed multiple times a day. But no, Grandpa wanted his water bowl on the end table, and he wanted it now.
I sighed and refilled them both. After a few minutes he yelled for cuddles, and has just now demanded to be let down. Once I did that he strolled off to the living room again, most likely to snooze until he decides to start yelling about something yet again.
My life, you know you want it.
Just in case you thought a writer’s life was a never-ending cycle of literary glamor
So I’m drenched in sweat from having to clean up a puddle of cat pee on the bay window ledge in the kitchen (which requires me to climb up ON THE COUNTER to reach it as it’s a deep window that is directly behind the sink. At this point I am still in my jammies, haven’t taken my meds or eaten breakfast yet, just so you get the full picture). Once I’m up there, I have to wipe everything down with enzyme cleaner and then water, climb back down, add more dirt to the large pot that Jemma mistakenly used as a litterbox (decorative stones will be added to the top so that none of them can dig in it) and two other pots because what the hell, might as well fill all of them while I have the potting soil out, clean all the excess dirt from the original digging and my own work off the sink and counters, sweep the floor, clean the litterboxes, spritz the food bowls and water bowls, and mediate Jemma and Jessie growling and chasing each other all over the kitchen and living room With Intent.
If that wasn’t enough, I then hear a knock at the door. While I’m still in my jammies. Whee. I open it a crack to see the landscaping guy whom I’d called on Tuesday, apologizing for not calling first but he was in the neighborhood so… One quick-change into yoga pants and a t-shirt later, I’m giving him a tour of Casa Cameron and showing him all the stuff that needs to be done. He promises to call me next week with an estimate, and I see him off.
I then realize it’s 12:40 PM and I have to get off to my Monday writing meet-up with two friends. Still haven’t had my meds or breakfast yet, note. I pop the meds and head off to the meetup, resigning myself to a carb-laden meal because I have to eat SOMETHING and soon or things will get ugly.
Got 1500 words done on Breaker Zone but I have a battle/rescue scene to plot out and have to come back home for that so I can blast the Pacific Rim soundtrack over the headphones while I write. Jessie is sleeping upstairs and Jemma is somewhere around here, I don’t know where. And as long as it stays quiet, I don’t care.
Is the day over with, yet?