Sit still and write. This is actually the best way for me to get over the tail end of the cold. Sit still and work on something interesting whether it's important writing or not, because writing is really getting something done. My house is tangibly improved. That dresser is sitting over there taking much less room than the stack of bags and boxes did and a lot of things that were in boxes can go in the drawers of that dresser.

I slept again, slept a little too long and missed part of S. L. Viehl's class on Native American mythology. Fortunately, James transcribed so I was able to catch the stuff I missed. This has given me wonderful, radical, wild ideas for worldbuilding. Not so much the idea of mistreating the stories or using characters from them, as the underlying types of stories shaped by the ways people lived. The differences between the stories of farmers and buffalo hunters and raiders were striking. The general idea of defining cultures in my world building for the world Ziriavan is on - a world I do have to name - has a fun side of it. The side that's getting under the skin of the caravaner culture and finding out who they are by the stories they tell. The side that's getting under the skin of some other people in the world and finding out who they are in their folktales. Meeting the gods by their stories.

If I write them well enough, the fairy tales and folklore and so forth may stand as real stories, suitable for sending out as fantasy stories in their own right, out of context. Or collecting into a volume that sits by the side of the series as a fun book of short stories that all share a 'fables' basis. I am getting excited about that.

My birthday is on Monday. I keep asking myself, what can I get for me for my birthday? This may seem petty but it's all the difference between being alone, living alone as this single 47 year old man in the modern world where being 47 means you have to be a grownup, afraid of birthdays, where birthday cards have black borders and carry cruel jokes about how you'll lose your hair and teeth and die soon. Or I can take it the way I do. 47 is sickeningly young for an elf or a vampire or any unaging race. I'm a boy, not even a century yet. Therefore my birthday should be like the one for age seven - fun, with toys, something to look forward to, an achievement, a time set aside just for me and making me happy. It is the day for celebrating the self. It is an achievement.

Hey, world, I survived another year and you didn't manage to get me dead! Hey, world, I wrote more novels than I did and I don't have to go to school any more! Nyah, nyah! Hey, world, I am not even alone this year! I have a big shaggy cat and we love each other and we're going to have FUN on Monday!

Okay, that suggests some ideas. Spending some quality kitten time with Ari is having someone at my home birthday party. We can share a dish of yogurt. He really likes that and I love him so much and I did get some yogurt. That's something special. Everyone's talking about Lord of the Rings, the movie, which reminds me of when I was a little kid reading Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. I was seriously impressed by the hobbitish birthday custom of giving presents to other people on your birthday. I thought that sounded like a whole lot of fun. With a kid's natural greed, it left me recognizing that hey, I'd get a whole lot of neat presents if I lived in Hobbiton and with a kid's blissful disregard for cost of same and status of consumer goods, the fact that most of those would be mathoms, ie tag sale stuff, really didn't matter since my favorite shopping sprees were at yard sales!

So I can honor the memory of J. R. R. Tolkein by taking some time and making my cat a new toy. If I cut up that pair of jeans that doesn't fit, I will finally stop trying to put them on because they're darker and less worn than all the pairs that do and just have some cool sturdy denim to make kitty dangle thingies out of. He doesn't have a fishing pole thingie yet, something I can just pick up and dangle on a stick from the desk and get him chasing. So the bottom has to be a big poof of just chunks of it, but that has to hang on something that's a sturdy enough cord that if he runs off with it he won't chew through it.

In terms of toy engineering, one thing immediately suggests itself. Jeans have those double rolled seams industrially sewn, that if you're trying to do patchwork or even cut them off to make shorts take something like tin snips to get through. What resists scissors on up through tin snips would resist kitten teeth and claws pretty well - but leaving a little ragged edge on either side of the rolled seam would fray out as he battered it and just make a neat little fringe. This also really reduces the amount of cutting and sewing on denim, a fabric that tends to be a lot like working leather for leaving blisters on my hands. So... the last foot and a half or so, leave a wider flap on either side of the seam and look for something like a dowel or chunk of PVC pipe or something lightweight for a handle. Or maybe just roll it - I could do that, taper it down and just roll the cloth on itself around the seam thing and stitch by hand hard with some moccasin sinew.

I still want to do a culture that spins and weaves hair from longhair cats as their main fiber production. Yoda the Himalayan produced two or three big handfuls of very soft wool every single day when he was brushed. I think it's historical accident that sheep wound up being the longhaired animals kept for wool. South America it's soft vicunas and other camel relatives. Humans looking to make cloth can use long soft fuzzy hair from any source - which means that it's path dependent. Long haired cats weren't thought of that way except by a few spinning hobbyists who've also considered poodles and the like, simply because they weren't. They are small and predatory, unlike sheep or vicunas not doubling for food animals. But the unseen advantage of raising Persian type cats for wool production is that it's not seasonal. It's consistent, constant fluff production. It would require stuff - places for people to live where they'd be comfortable with dozens of cats. It would require an area where there was copious inexpensive cat food. Sheep graze on grass.

Hello, Ziriavan is a fishing village and it's conceivable that fish guts are a continuous supply of cheap copious cat food, a food byproduct of what humans eat. It's got a temperate climate and people wear sweaters. But if the cat hair wool is a luxury item, it was introduced as such a long time ago and whoever had that first pair of cats probably had white ones. White cat hair takes dyes so beautifully. I speak from experience. Vila had white paws. I was a painter in New Orleans while I had Vila. I remember his beautiful bright pink and sky blue feet that lasted for weeks after he ran across the palette. Yep, white cat hair dyes beautifully.

Long haired rabbits were kept in some areas for their wool. I remember reading about that - and many breeds of rabbits also get raised for their fur. Hm. If I want the clever thing of cats kept for wool, there's got to be some advantage they've got over the fur producers that are edible. They're very affectionate and sit still for the combing. This in itself is a biggie. The work's easier. And of course maybe the local food rabbits aren't big domesticated white or black or spotted varieties with good pelts, maybe they're ordinary tawny wild hunting type rabbits that get kept sometimes for that but aren't seen as much other than a source of leather and food. There may be other small prey animals locally that the Ziriavans think of as fur and food. Chinchillas were kept for fur.

I think it's plausible by historical accident - one breeding pair of rare expensive pets brought through by caravaners from some far distant bazaar or the loot of a war that wound up at a bazaar and one canny villager getting a good handful out of petting the spoiled creature and thinking of how often the ordinary local cats have kittens. White fluffy longhairs, rapidly bred into a local Ziriavan breed with its own points of breed. Now to place that in its history - was that before the great walled city, when Ziriavan was a lot like it is now and before it was that wealthy?

I like this part of it and I'm going to have fun. Once I've had enough of this kind of fun I'll go back and start roughing out the series - and not overwork it. I am still asking myself why I'm this prolific and that's why - when I have that much fun with it that long that's what makes it work.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
Cough, hack, wheeze, choke.

Overexertion is not the way to deal with just getting over a lousy cold. Yet that's the day. Theme of the day today. At last the stack of empty boxes and odd fabric sacks over where the dresser's supposed to go has been replaced by the dresser, that's something. Grrr.

The movers broke it. The mirror, normally attached to the dresser by two long boards, has only one and only one screw and some big holes in the back from where it was ripped free. The drawers were put in out of order in peculiar ways that don't close all the way. When I've caught my breath I'll try to pull them and rearrange them till they all actually fit. The bookcase never made it in here. That could be worse, that bookcase was a $5 extravagant find at a tag sale but my tent, which did make it in here, cost me $50 and is housing of last resort.

The bentwood coatrack wound up in a surprising place. I stuck it in the bathroom just to get it out of the way and then recognized it wouldn't be a bad place to hang my robe - or put three canvas sacks for things like linens that keeps them up out of the way where Ari won't chew on them and I won't trip on them. I tossed the two last loose floor pillows in there for when the cat wants to lounge comfortably in what used to be his room. He should be cosy and we should get some use out of those. The dresser makes a big difference.

There is now a lot more floor space than there was.

I've made a start on cleaning up and the most attractive thing I can do with that surface is also one of the most useful. I put the great giant dictionary on its reading stand up there and I put the lamp on it by the mirror instead of on the back of the desk where it messes up my shots of Ari. While I could stand to get another lamp for this end of the house, I'd do better with a small wall sconce or torchiere. There simply isn't that much room.

It's cold in here now, with all the moving in and out. I should be glad it's down to just one oversight, though it's annoying that it's not all over and done with and in the two hours they had to do the job they did not get the sofa and bed and old carpet into the storage area in the basement here. Keep on playing those mind games... I have a pretty good idea that TJ set an unrealistic standard for it. Do you people who have jobs and actually pay your movers have that problem with them not understanding your priorities and breaking your furniture?

But with this there's some dim hope of getting this apartment organized. I'm still more comfortable in a place this small, because there's some hope of actually getting it clean without wiping myself out trying to do it. That may have something to do with how depressed I was a day or two ago - because if I can't find anything and I'm tripping over filth and there's more cleaning to do than I'm capable of doing, it leaves me loathing my life. A physically fit, healthy person could get this place clean in an hour, maybe two, completely clean. For me it will be a full day's work because I have to do a little, stop, rest, let my back stop spasming and catch breath, then do another small step toward it.

I answered the burning, real, important question "Why do you write" today with "I write to escape." All of the reasons to write that Holly listed on the survey on http://hollylisle.com Main Discussion Board were true and relevant. I write to change the world. I know this functions, I've seen this happen and seen other writers do it. I write to tell stories. I write to sort things out for myself and find my life's answers - and this is one that I could not actually go into depth on in an essay titled "I write to escape." Because that's very much standing back looking at the problem from another angle and breaking it down into the different types of problems it is. I can do something about the mess in this apartment through slow erosion and always picking up a little more mess than I leave, get it comfortable for myself. I can't do anything about the mind games from other people involved. I can figure out what's in reach and not and prioritize. Not the kinds of 'answering life's questions' that people might normally think of, but most problems do break down to that and I have made up my own philosophical answers to the more abstract ones a long time ago. I dared, like a prince, to make those decisions for myself and recognize that crown weighs heavy even when it's only on one independent fellow in a republic instead of the government head responsible for a lot of other people's decisions. As for desiring approval or feeling a 'neurotic need to be loved' - I still take exception to the idea that it's neurotic.

It's a real need and life in these times is what it is. Advertisers make a bloody fortune off that need and writers are not the only ones who have it. I watch television to try to put myself into the mood to do artwork and within one hour I've suffered more intimate personal criticism than I'd put up with from any roommate or romantic relationship. Hello! Maybe if there's a screaming need there's something causing the screaming need! Maybe what causes the terrible need for consoling, warm, loving approval and appreciation is that it's completely appropriate in America in 2001 to pick on anyone about anything personal and cut them down all the time for everything from their clothing choices to their occupation and their emotions and their being. Oh and let's not forget looks. Let's not forget that a neurotic need to be loved kills thousands of young women who starve themselves literally sometimes to death in the name of beauty - an ephemeral sort of beauty that comes if they happen to have a French genotype and are still teenagers. The scrawny waif look is sexy. But so is the broad-hipped, lush hourglass figure of a healthy endomorphic woman, especially if she dresses to that instead of trying to dress to scrawny waif. Hint to the ladies: corsets are probably the ultimate in sexy garment and when accompanied by low necklines most men will not question whether you're Twiggy. Their brains will dive into rut. Antlers will grow and we'll start rattling them.

People, male or female, look good if they're happy, being themselves and wearing things they like. Wearing things they like is something that I fought hard for in high school. All these years later, I started to recognize it all as heraldry. I wear black in a particular set of styles that tells everyone from the cop on the street to the little old lady with the great-grandkids in a baby carriage "I am an artist. I will be poetically critical about society and have an artistic license for that. See my license. I'm in uniform here as much as the cop." I've often joked about printing up an Artistic License but now I'm thinking of making it up as a laminated clip-badge.

The messages coming in from culture are immensely contradictory. Life is changing and that's happening at a pace that people think of as terrifyingly fast. To me, it's not that fast. It would be fast if some of my neighbors were slaves within my lifetime. It would be fast if they'd burned people of my religion for holding that religion within my lifetime. Changes that are a real benefit may in some ways be easier to adapt to. But some aren't.

There's a false perception of immense greed in the midst of plenty, caused by industrial production of consumer goods. They really are cheap and machines, robots really do work for nothing. We have ethical slave labor to rest a civilization on. We even have Isaac Asimov to remind us that if it becomes sapient and self directed it's no longer ethical, but that doesn't negate the ethics of running a brainless macro that bolts car doors on and is just a recording of a person's best job at bolting car doors on. Or your own personal copy of my book, made up just for you when you order it from www.iUniverse.com - that's sophisticated modern production technology and NOT the same thing as whipping the serfs till they bleed and taking everything they earn.

The future is one that is unthinkable - it's all chiefs and no serfs. That idea has been tossed around a lot, pretty much since the beginning of agriculture put some guys with armies and chariots and good swords in charge of everyone else's production to go conquer other people's cities and take all their stuff, with often a nice culture excuse like their religion or icky customs to justify it and make most of the spearmen want to go whip butt. The fictional prince or princess is or reflects the person free of someone else's whip who's making their own decisions in life. And that physical luxury including the time to read the books and hear the songs and involve themselves in the cultural life of the times, used to just be for the nobles.

The old ways of thought sometimes had value too and the rapacious greed most aristocrats had in the past was flamed in a whole lot of old stories. Robin Hood endures because too many modern people start playing Sheriff of Nottingham if they get into any position of power. Because that's still admired and associated with gentility or nobility or whatever. There's a massive cognitive dissonance about power and how people who have it should behave and a lot of mind games going on. People who are insecure, off balance and craving approval because they are constantly insulted are easier for the bullies to push around.

So the need to me isn't neurotic. It's just a need, like hunger, to weigh against all the other needs I have at the moment and strategize about how to deal with. Earned applause, such as compliments on good writing, is a fair decent way to satisfy that emotional need. Something like the difference between eating a solid well balanced meal or stuffing on candy - because I could get a lot of 'fluff' applause doing a lot of things I don't care about in front of the right audience and be luuuuved in a way that left me rolling over the morning after like a two-bit prostitute wondering how come they got rolled on top of it.

So much for the neurotic need to be loved by everyone all of the time. Perhaps it's more the healthy need to close the door on my enemies and not have to listen to their insults, while enjoying the purr of the someone who does love me.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
I have now installed SnorComments on my blog.

It should work. The cold is barely, finally beginning to lighten up somewhat and most of all I am starting to lighten up on myself. I did not do that bad for a week of feeling like a small bit of slime, even if I wound up emotionally feeling like a small patch of slime on the wall toward the end of it. I beat myself a lot, in ways that I will automatically think to stop my friends if they start sounding like that. I did over 7,000 words this week even half dead and not really breathing but 'not real writing' even if some were posted articles and some good worldbuilding and still more good worldbuilding notes didn't even get counted? Just because it wasn't all finished stories or chapters???

Worse. I got my latest Raven Dance royalty statement without check. I spent a lot of time writing and not much selling or marketing and sales dropped. Yeah. That happens. I know what would boost them too. More titles in print or ebook with a link and plug at the end like they do in real paperbacks 'if you want more by this author read these blurbs' type of thing. I have done two marathon novel challenges and gotten two new novels done. Sure, they need a rewrite but S. L. Viehl is my role model and she manages marathon rewriting and sheeze, if I rewrite Rites of Chavateykar I could actually pad the poor thing up past the SFWA definition of novel when I start getting ready to sell it. Was I whining for a while that I didn't have any agent bait?

I need a Cunning Plan, just like Black Adder would come up with and it came up tonight in chat with Zette. I am writing more short stories than there are markets to bear them. Nuh uh. Not if I'm in the market for my short stuff I'm not. I need to plow into that pile and try to get the short story days to a rhythm of do one and rewrite one, do one and rewrite them and start organizing the piles of done ones into submissions and stuff to start setting up in .pdf files to ship out as ebooks. If the shorter 'e-length' short stories are so copious now that there honestly aren't enough markets for em - well hey, means any market there is, I've got this neat personal slush pile of 'what comes closest to what they got' and hang the rest in collections. And I don't have to have POD right away on those. I can get those suckers out the way they are with one, just one decent artwork or graphic to subsume the whole.

At least I do have a plan and I have so much done that any given rejection on any given book or story is not, not a big deal. It's turned inside out. Zette mentioned she tries to pop two submissions a month into the mail and that hit me as yeah, that's a nice baseline type of figure. The steady pace that will get me out there again and again and again. I still mean to make Pro in 2002 even if I don't get paid for it till 2003 or so, sigh. But the ebooks can pay sooner and we'll see what happens with the other POD things.

Oh and today they were supposed to actually get the rest of my stuff out of the old apartment. Yeah right. I'll believe it if I see it.

Comment if you like, hopefully teh commenter works. Actually please do comment so that I know I installed it right. I had to do scary copy paste into code and the code was incomprehensible to read...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


blog... blog... I keep picturing fat bubbles rising through deep marine blue waters. This also reflects that drowning feeling I've got in my lungs on day five of the blech nasty cold, but, I got some writing done. Whoohoo, we have wordcount and another character sketch and bit of worldbuilding for Ziriavan.

Symptoms of the day, nasty sore throat and a headache that's half stress and half possibly hunger. I'm sort of hungry at the moment and reheating the leftovers Andrew thoughtfully packed yesterday from dinner. We had a roast and they're good leftovers. I didn't realize I was hungry till I ate some toast and got a craving for those leftovers - but haven't been eating much all week. Fed Ari too, his little bowl was almost empty and I try to keep it from ever being completely empty. I love that little cat.

What else is on the agenda is Launchpad. I've made final decisions on two stories and actually set the money aside for them, realized all I have to do is compose acceptance letters and contracts because in the time it takes those writers to get back to me, I'll have another Thursday to get a stop-by the post office for money orders. I think about the webwork and my headache gets worse. I really have to try AOL press offline and see what I can come up with for it. Ah, some parts of this job harder than others and at least I'm getting at the parts that have to be done. Got to count what I get done more than how short time is - and reward myself for tasks completed with fooling around on stuff like Christmas crafts or I will wind up sitting in a bare house on the holiday looking like Scrooge and feeling as if I work for him...

Robert and Ari >^..^<
cough, cough, hack, wheeze, whinge, wheeze, plop.

A moment's kitten sweetness though. Ari's mother Snow sent him a round transparent plastic red ball with a little light inside that flashes when you swat it. I love mushy Christmas sentiment anyway, seeing him get a special toy from his mum really made my day. She's a sweet cat too. Tiny little thin lynx point colorpoint - that's tabby stripes and a shaggy coat, very fluffy tail, big blue eyes. And half the boy's size. She's utterly lovable too and though they're separated by distance, they're still very loving.

Got my iUniverse.com quarterly statement and no check this time, which does mean I'm slobbing off not promoting the book I've got in print and I've gone back to writing more books. Blech. The best promotion I can probably do at this point is to rewrite those other new books and get some of those out and mention Raven Dance on the back page so that readers can backtrack it.

Well, it's one of my resolutions - at least mention Raven Dance once in a while. Just because I'm done writing it and more excited about what I'm writing now doesn't make it a bad book. It's just a book behind instead of a book ahead. It's a lot of fun. It was the one I rewrote more than I rewrote anything else before or after, the one I learned on. The one I managed to get good enough to let myself finish it. Best of all, you can read it for free at http://www.iUniverse.com if you search on Title and then click on the big black and red book for More Information. Perpetual freebie. I still trust it'll sell to people who genuinely liked it enough to want to own it in hard copy, or, people with spending money who don't want to sit in front of a computer for 568 pages while they can't put it down. Anyone else can buy a pizza.

But if you are one of those people, please, pretty please, post about it once in a while and do mention the free read. And if you're someone who's wanted it and been waiting - I get better royalties on it when you buy it from iU and yet I make more sales on Amazon...

Feh. If I make a pro sale it'll pick up. I need to think queries and illos and anthologies and cool ebooks and more titles in print, heck with trying to be a pushy salesman. I set out to be a writer. That one's a good free sample though of why I'm only just now learning to do short stories, but had already got novel writing down competently.

Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance, available at http://www.iuniverse.com
and ari the cat who really does not understand where his cat food comes from, but who loves his mum and human. >^..^<


Days of this and I still feel this rotten. It's breaking up but I'm still hacking up rubber cement again and getting weird symptoms, like, hard to breathe and light headed and all that. Annoying, annoying, annoying. I hate this.

It's also weird because I work at home. I've actually been lucky and don't get sick all that often, but when I do it's bizarre because if I was working somewhere other than home, this would be a day to stay home whinging and taking care of myself. Only home is where I work so I sort of drive myself to write anyway and get things done, which I do. Staying in bed is immensely boring. I still don't get TV reception except on a couple of the most boring stations but I'm feeling just bored and frustrated enough I might try that. I wrote yesterday. I organized my half finished novel, Witch King of Khazhevir, the one I wanted to pick up and knock out after Thrice and found out it is that good and it's pretty much ready to go and it won't be a hairy long one. What I want is to be feeling fine and fit and pound into it for a couple of wild crazy days - twelve or fifteen hour days that would just finish the rough draft. I'm frustrated that I can't do that.

And that I can't breathe right and feel so sick to my stomach.

Robert and Ari, who's playing with his ball and utterly beautiful...


Oh, forgot to mention one very cool thing that came out of S. L. Viehl's novel submissions class. She gave a couple of good examples of 'hook' lines to use in queries. Off the top of my head I came up with a hook for an old WIP. I had the idea for it years ago while living in New Orleans and did a lot of street research, wandered up and down, got to know people, kept it on the back burner. Got online in April and hit Forward Motion and puttered with it for about a thousand words worth during my first Word Count War.

That and it became a running gag because I'm cat people and usually greet people with a purr rather than a smile, will do feline body language on occasion, definitely cat people. I have had other cat people meet and fall in love in my living room and purr at each other in Wal Mart, not to mention purring at their wedding. So there was this thing of 'is Robert really human?' and my thing of "My protagonist is six weeks old.' Which of course he was. I based the MC on a cat I had in New Orleans who eventually moved out and went feral because he was getting good success as a hunter. Unlike a lot of my novels it's fairly well plotted out in advance.

But there she was talking about hooks and so I tried one and came up with "What if the black cats in New Orleans had a magical tradition of their own older than voudoun - and had to use it to protect the city from evil spirits?" Whoohoo, there it goes. In one longish sentence the core of my book. And within the session it titled itself the next time I referred to it. Magic in the Streets. That cat's name is Magic. When he's just a little kitten he goes off on walkabout to get a familiar, picks up a human naturally. Humans make the best familiars, they come with cat food and a nice place to stay and they're very trainable. He got named Magic in the rough that I had in April and the book got titled that quick and all of a sudden I was thinking I could just do this.

Got a bit overexcited and thought of doing up a full proposal package for Magic in the Streets but quickly recognized that I should definitely do the novel before sending it out. But. If I did do a full proposal package and got it that fine, I'm also sending that proposal to me. Telling myself "Work on Magic in the Streets. Get it done so that you can send this one out." It's urban fantasy. It's a type of urban fantasy that has that sense that it could be going on behind your back and you wouldn't notice it and you don't know what your cat's up to when you're not there. It's a good book and I'll write it sometime in a month or two and when I do sit down to it again just -- do it and keep going till I hit The End and rewrite and have it ready when that proposal package is.

That's the one that gets the S. L. Viehl Professional Treatment and I even know what market would actually love something with that twist. Llewellyn Press does a line of Psi Fi that's pagan fantasy, preferably pagan urban fantasy, what pagans with a little spending money want. This would be approximately comparable to a Christian writer doing a Christian allegory for a Christian press -- and one thing I've noticed is that most of the other pagans I know are into cats as much as I am, so that's another hook. I would not be surprised if the Llewellyn Press editor had a cat reading over her or his shoulder.

But it's a thought and a market I wanted to break into a few years ago, will have to see what they're up to these days... when I get it written.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
blech. meowbleah. it's not right to go off and get some sleep and wake up feeling worse. now it's the great combo of previous symptoms together at the same time. runny drippy plus rubber cement plus sore throat blech.

Ari is contentedly chewing my sleeve and making bread on my leg. This is love, Siamese style. He's big and fuzzy and comforting. He let me sleep and walked under my hand a couple of times when I went to sleep just to let me know he was there watching out for me.

I have no energy and don't know where to begin on all the things I need to do in December. A friend told me in email that I had pretty much burned the candle on both ends doing the Nano, but I don't feel as if I did. That was easy. If I had a novel going right now and was up in the middle chapters I'd be lost in it and it would distract me from this. I don't, it's harder getting going on shorter stuff or artworks than just continuing a novel that's got momentum. But I have yesterday's discovery that editing is possible if I'm in a grumpy mood and don't feel good. I might try digging up a couple of the stories I did for the dare and savagely rewrite them and be very critical.

Or I could try the current Exercise, vaguely had an idea from a Beatles song about it. First Impressions... would you believe in a love at first sight?

Cruel story if it ended the way it did for me and proved first impressions can be that dead wrong.

Robert and Ari
drip... drip... drip...

I'm still sick and you're glad you're not hearing my voice with the inevitable accent that a head cold provides. Ari has been completely supportive during this cold. He's been a sweetheart. He no longer has to be locked into the other room while I'm sleeping. He actually stays off me while I'm wheezing and trying to sleep, which is unparalleled consideration. I ate chicken soup today.

I am continuing the 'echinacea and goldenseal' capsules, the mega doses of Vitamin C, some advil for the pain and little red wussname sinus pills to try to dry it up. I am no longer coughing up great blobs of rubber cement, more just dripping constantly and itching. Yet there are other signs of recovery. I wrote 218 words in an exercise today on http://hollylisle.com and after that, feeling in a grouchy mood - went rewriting. Chopped a good 350 words off the article "Grime and Punishment" to create a fairly decent overview of Filth in the Middle Ages, which will become one in ten topical reports within a special report on life in the middle ages for writers. I'd been meaning to do one of those special reports for some time, but now I'm starting to get some meat together for one. Food, weapons, housing, religion - I can come up with ten subtopics overall pretty easily and research them too.

And I'm blogging again which is better than just laying around feeling sorry for myself. Glub. Wheeze. Whinge. I'll get over it.

Oh, and they fixed my roof today, it actually makes a huge difference to how I feel to look up and see a nicely patched ceiling instead of a big hole with insulation and flaps of plaster dangling. Things are looking up...

Robert and Ari... >^..^<


Ari is very healthy and fluffy and sweet. He's sacked out on the desk being extremely handsome. Earlier, he raced across the room, jumped and just tagged me with two soft paws, claws in. Because he could, because he's a kitten. I love this young cat.

Me, I'm sick and dosing myself with echinacea and Vitamin C, not having any Nyquil in the house to just sleep it off. Drinking green tea instead of coffee and taking Advil to try to bring the fever down a bit. It's actually hot in here, 78 degrees, most of my friends would say it was too hot. To me it's freezing. I have a painful cough that's like coughing up chunks of rubber cement - not really a drippy sneezy sort of cold but a rubber cement in your chest kind of cold. I don't want this getting worse. I don't want to have to go to a doctor for it. I fear doctors. I fear hospitals more. It is the ugly type of thing that has in the past turned into pneumonia and forced me to go to an ER, but I'm not going this time.

I have caught doctors in hospitals making fatal mistakes like trying to give me penicillin. I tend to have extreme and sometimes weird side effects to a lot of prescription medication and every time in my life that I've been in a hospital someone's made a mistake on what I was taking v. what I was supposed to be taking. If I am conscious, I can watch what they're doing and ask what it is when anyone approaches me with a needle. I think if I ever wound up unconscious I'd be at a heavy risk of just winding up dead from a doctor using penicillin or something else that would help most people and send me into shock.

Worst of it is of course that I haven't really got there yet and at the moment I have no resources. No medical insurance, though when I was a kid and my fairly middle-class grandparents had insurance the hospitals weren't any better about it. But I don't have ties beyond my friends - all but one of them out of state - and this cat who'd probably get killed if I died. I am getting very tired of this state. I am sick of being poor and sick of being always a little short of the smallest simplest necessary things and juggling necessity against necessity and not even having lousy over the counter drugs that work routinely in my house. I am tired of bad weather and haven't had a date in four years, five, a long time because I just didn't get to anything where the sort of women who'd actually enjoy a date with me hang out. In the local SCA group there weren't any singles really, not that were interested in me.

At times like this if I weren't single, someone would love me and someone would actually stand up and fix the condensed chicken soup that's sitting on the stove waiting for me to rest long enough to get up and fix it. That's the ideal, the dream. But in the past in bad relationships that would be someone pestering me and bothering me with fighting and putting me under stress through sniffing the weakness.

"You're just saying that to make me shut up and stop picking on you." -- quote from a bad relationship, from several, it was a common thing to say at the wearied point the circular fight had gone so long I was just staggering and gave up whatever it was.

There were those out there who wouldn't take surrender.

Perhaps I'm better off fixing my own soup and giving up on intimate relationships. Other than with this cat who has a very sensible set of priorities, if I've got his food out and clean his box and spend time with him he's happy.

Robert and Ari >^..^<