July 12th, 2005

ista baby pic

Season of Fur and Presents

I had forgotten what it's like to have a brand-new puppy. When we got our last puppy, I was 8, and I was distinctly Not In Charge. This time I'm the puppymom. She smelled dishwasher soap for the first time last night, and put her ears back and sneezed in disgust. (I had almost forgotten how expressively dogs can sneeze.) I just about fell over laughing when I stopped at a gas station on the drive home: when you're in the car with a trained dog, and you put her leash on and let her in the grass at a gas station, she generally knows what the first order of business is. With an untrained baby pup, the message is quite unclear. Look! she thought, it's playtime! And the human even brought the toes! Yay! So she was jumping around and play-bowing and generally having a grand time, with no thought whatever of actually excreting in the said grass.

She has a thing for toes.

I was The Meanest Mrissa In The World last night: I put her in her crate to sleep all by herself. She'd never had to sleep by herself before, and she cried piteously. It didn't last long, though: between the trip home and playing in the backyard with markgritter, she was a pretty zonked puppy and did not wake up when I got up this morning.

(Edited to add: timprov has posted the first puppy picture since we brought her home. More to follow. I'm also in the picture.)

In non-puppy news, I have the curious sensation of having entered the Season Of Birthday too soon. My family is very holiday-oriented (one friend once described us to someone who hadn't met us by saying, "They have Arbor Day traditions"), so usually there's some observance of Fourth of July. This year we were in London. We passed around a bag of red, white, and blue peanut M&Ms on the bus, and my mom wore a star-spangled scarf, and that was the extent of that. I'm glad it was: it would have been obnoxious to wander around London singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" or some such, since we picked a specific week to be there. But still, it feels like the record player has skipped here. I have my first birthday present of the year already, and that's not even counting the "surprise" markgritter got me in the gift shop at Kew Gardens. And I'm starting to think of what to serve for my birthday party (and hey, please come to that, local people! and tell me if you are, if you know in advance!), and it's just a bit confusing. The Season Of Birthday is a fairly big thing in Mrissaland. I need to schedule ice cream with one set of people who can't make the party (you know who you are), because, hey, birthday! Not for another fortnight, but still: one fortnight to my birthday! That's right on top of us, almost.
writing everywhere

literary chicken again

(You know, book book book.)

I said before I left that I was going to try not to start a new book while in England. In fact, I succeeded -- and we didn't make a dash across the Welsh border so I could cheat, even. No new books in my absence. No fiction work at all, in fact.

I am starting to go nuts with it.

If I was a sensible person -- so many of my best intentions start this way, you just wouldn't believe. Right. Anyway, if I was a sensible person, I would not start another book. I would work quietly and steadily on short stories and wait for beta reader responses to Thermionic Night to trickle in, and I would maybe implement some of the suggestions that have already arrived. And then I could work on it most efficiently and send it out immediately upon the last set of beta remarks, and fame and fortune and splendor could be mine etc. etc.

If I was still a total fruitbat but a sensible fruitbat -- oh, and there's the rest of my best intentions -- I would start revising Sampo, on the theory that a lot of stuff it needs is apparent even without the beta comments on TN. And on the theory that having unfinished manuscripts hanging around in large quantities is not perhaps the most productive thing for a writer to do, particularly when the said manuscripts are in series the said writer intends to be submitting.

Right. But under the actual circumstances, I just wrote the first paragraph and a half of The Winter Wars and, upon closing it, opened the manuscript for The Mark of the Sea Serpent and wrote several paragraphs.

Stupid writerbrain.