Personality tests propagate indefinitely online... but here's a fun one I picked up off of Holly's blog:

If I were a James Bond villain, I would be Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

I enjoy fluffy white cats, dropping people in piranha pools, and initiating World War III.

I am played by Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice.

Who would you be? James Bond Villain Personality Test

Kind of figures, doesn't it? But hey, every time I look into his innocent blue eyes I keep getting reminded of the unsavory diplomat with a Siamese cat on his shoulder in the Stones' "Can't Always Get What You Want" song... he is a sweetie! And he's practiced that Innocent Look so well.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
Oh Boy... World Building...

First it was Ziriavan, for a five to seven book series that I'm serious about. Now there's the week's Exercises on http://hollylisle.com Forward Motion for Writers where moderator Justin Stanchfield posted a seed that's rapidly becoming a viable Shared Worlds shared colonial history! I posted a Concordance, because I don't want to have to reread all the other entries every single time I put something into it. Hopefully others posting in it will keep that up, just copying and pasting it into a next Concordance post with their additions reduced to a line or two for reference and their title and initials for detail reference.

No one's done a map yet, but since I keep putting locations and large animals on the northern continent, I might have to draw up the northern continent. There's a wicked side of me that wants to do so mostly in terms of animal and bird migrations, ocean currants... hehehee...

Robert and Ari {Do they have lots of birds for cats to chase, Robert? Birds?} >^..^<
Well, I thought I was going to bed. Still up letting the Cherry NyQuil work to knock me out. Still gloating on a particularly successful day and a few small bits of good news that came in. I finally reviewed Shockball on Amazon. I took care of printing out the photo reference for "The Land that Time Forgot" and will be doing that as an ink drawing warming up to more illustration. I might draw tomorrow. I found the illustration boards and those are particularly cool for drawing... onward!

Robert and Ari >^..^< {shh, the kitten is sleeping so sweet}
Hi, blog. What a day. I think I put in a good working day today. Yesterday. Right, this is another day and I zeroed out the running word count in my tagline in the chat room that I practically live in... {drumroll} after pulling a 6,500 word massacre! Well, a nonfiction article and a rather decent action packed spooky story that started with a gunshot and ended on a burning building. It's a good story. It will take a little market searching to place it, but at 5,021 words it is Print Sized, not E-Sized and therefore it gets shot to at least one paying print market before tumbling into one of my horror collections.

The article wasn't half bad either, a good day's work. I promised myself sometime earlier in the evening that I'd try to finish up the article and then relax and draw The Land That Time Forgot. I've got a perfect reference photo for it, aa jungly New Guinea or Australian bay with lots of tropical greenery dangling lush into the water and smooth reflective water that's screaming for one or two Elasmosaurs to swim rippling across it with their long necks drawn back in graceful S-curves like swans. Don't know if I'll finish the art or not, but it would be a very neat piece to do and I do not think anyone's got copyright to 'gorgeous extinct marine animals swimming in the tropics' ... and with this week's cold-blighted Low Word Count Quota, I've just wiped out the week's work in one night. It's a good feeling. It'll be a better one if I do it again to some extent before the week's out...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Good morning, Writing!

Oh, who cares if it's afternoon? I live on Pellucidar time. I had a Sleep, so it's another day and time to write. This is a bit of a warmup. I did a hefty LiveJournal entry that their software ate. It had some good ideas in it, ideas that I may want to develop into a SelfHelp article. Oddly it's a bit of a continuation of the last entry here. Theme is Escape. Recognition is that I have Escaped and my life, regardless of a few dramatic elements, does not overall stink. My life looks pretty good to me today.

I have a good relationship with my Writing. We get along and I can do it whenever I feel like. That would be now. I get better at it all the time, skill is a cumulative thing. I do have a lot of rewriting to catch up on and I might tackle the Chores today and try to knock out a few Chores to get ahead. I have an enormous amount of freedom with it today. I have a sound common sense awareness from what Holly Lisle is going through and what S. L. Viehl is going through that there will come a time when I've got deadlines that are not self-set motivators but serious work. I know what strategy works for me and deadlines. Get so far ahead that I do not worry about them and breeze on as if nothing mattered. That gets a lot done. That's what I can do today and if I get caught in a crunch later on, I'll have the knowledge that I got that far to push me to crack through that particular wall when I get there.

Onward. Think I'll do that SelfHelp article as a SelfHelp article.

Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

Aristophenes Mr. Robert's Cat Sloan >^..^<
the vital, integral furry heart of love in the site and most of what I do...
Why do I write?

I posted an essay answering this to a survey on http://hollylisle.com - great site if any of you readers are writers, or even just readers who like seeing the weird interiors of writers' minds. My answer off the top of my head is probably the truest. I write to escape.

I write to escape bad situations I'm in, and when life hands me good situations I write to escape boredom. Real life just isn't paced like a good novel - thank all the gods it's not! The times mine's been paced like that were usually the worst! But it's fun.

I had to list "other" to put that up. The top answer so far is "to tell stories" and that's true too. There wasn't an answer on the survey for "all of the above" either. One reason for writing was "a neurotic need to be loved." I ranted on that a bit earlier. Reflecting on it this morning, it is an element of my motivation. I do want to be famous. I do want broad publication and fame, and I want to be understood. I want my ideas to be associated with my name, that's one for the books.

But beyond that, because achieving fame is a matter of marketing and professional attitude and creating a public image, it isn't why I write so much as why I sell writing that I want applause. Two different things. I want to sell writing so that I do not have to do anything else for a living.

Ah, but when I am alone "a neurotic need to be loved" sometimes comes into it in a new and different way. I have a healthy, not the least neurotic need to be loved by me. I have a passion for my own writing that makes me a fan of it and when I reached a point where I could write in a way that I found that meaningful, a deep old hole in my soul got filled up for the most part. It's almost a cliche of mental health thinking that a healthy human being loves himself. It's worse than cliche that most of the past screams to everyone to hate themselves, and to take the opinions of others in place of their own. Especially critical outside opinions. Not technical critique of writing, but personal criticism of everything from food tastes to what movies you like to what you do for a living to what you wear and what you think about politics.

This makes it impossible for anyone to be that loved, that accepted, that approved by the society they're in. No matter who you are, someone hates you. Categorically - your skin or your religion or your job or your nationality, just to pick up the broad themes. Specifically - your table manners, your body type, your choice of clothes, ugh what you eat, your customs in detail. What you like and don't. Judging others is what's social common ground in more venues than I can count, but, mental health thinkers have been quietly trying to undermine that for years. Unfortunately the result of educating the public about 'self esteem' has been that now it's okay to insult someone by saying 'he has low self esteem' or 'he's judgmental.'


Basically other people can't give me what I need from myself. Love can't. Looking for that validation of self from the lover is handing over the leash to someone who can then use you and jerk you around and make you do anything just to get the magic words that for a little while, you're loved, you're doing okay. A healthy lover wouldn't give that like a drug and withhold it to blackmail. I would not, if I were in a relationship now. Health is rare. Sanity is weird. Balance inconceivable because everyone also has a social self and a social life - begin acting on the mental health ethics and all of a sudden it's out of step with everyone around.

I wanted to be a science fiction writer. I became a science fiction writer. I am being a science fiction writer every day that I write good speculative fiction - and oh yes, as a kid when I said that I didn't just mean Clarke and Asimov. There were Lovecraft and Tolkein out there calling me into realms of horror and fantasy too, it all subsumes to 'science fiction' for the shorthand version. But that means that every day I gain word count, I reaffirm my chosen identity. That's between me and my writing. I am being. That is very zen. That is health in a zen way, it's striving without striving. My best writing comes out of it when I'm just being, enjoying it and possibly striving for some fun little technique that I enjoyed when another writer used it. I liked all of Stephen King's books with writer protagonists, eventually I wrote Thrice on a Blue Moon so that I could do one.

I write to please myself and I hope I have common tastes. When I have to get up and market it, that's work and that's dangerous work. I can lose sight of why I'm doing it. I can fall into bad old habits of worrying about what other people think of me. I can try to please the market - but it will start being fake if I push it that far. It won't have the veracity that it does if I'm just writing what I want to read tonight and I'm a fan just like all the rest of the fans.

I also have a feeling that something I did to a character is going to happen to me in real life, when I become successful with this. The ideas that I think are the central important core ideas in my writing are good ones, but they're also the ideas of the times. Some small thing that I throw in because it's just a secondary part of my ideas, some twist or knack, some memorable character will hit deeper and truer because it is just as true but I didn't focus as much attention on it... and that will be what I wind up remembered for. In my Piarra series, Emperor Kynan made immense, massive reforms to the Piarran Empire. Some were real and profound, others later turned out to be cosmetic and the conservatives that opposed them kept trying to tell him that he was flogging a dead horse and a return to tradition would bring the real purpose of his reforms to be. But he made a permanent lasting change to the Empire and it wasn't one of his grand issues. It was a change in kinship structures with the adoption of parallel world time twins as relatives, which increased the complexity and depth of family interactions and gave families to some people who didn't have any and glued the already family-heavy society a bit tighter and more warmly that went from something new in his reign to 'custom, taken for granted.'

For all I know, some little humane thing that I put in the stories routinely when I do sympathetic characters will have that effect on people's lives and become a custom that's picked up quietly as a good idea, put into practice and forgotten as always having been there.

The truest magic is the deep silent kind that you don't know you're doing till it's done.

I think the way to get that is to live well, and that it's just a happier philosophy for me to count my points of good karma to try to become a better man, than flog myself for my bad karma or 'sins' to feel guilty. There is something joyous about taking the 'Brownie Points' approach to ethics and morality. The sinmongers may make fun of that as Feel Good Philosophy, but is there something wrong with feeling good? Or is it true that people who feel good are less likely to be mean? These things sometimes seem so simple and they're not - because when I try to hold those attitudes I do it in the face of a weight of tradition that just kept people down for so long.

I need to get back to writing today, and write something fun for me to read.

Robert & Ari >^..^<
Slept again and still fighting off the lingering ruddy cold. It's breaking but not really broken yet, so it's still a regimen of vitamins, medicine, dietary supplements and most of all keeping the apartment warm and not overdoing it. Cherry Nyquil actually tastes better than the old blue stuff, but, I wasn't able to sleep the full six hours with it. So I'll probably be in and out still doing short naps punctuated with active writing and work. I have a lot of emotional energy and real enthusiasm. I have hazy nebulous ideas for what I'd like to write - and this is one of those times when I feel as if I'm standing by the frying pan holding a new large egg in my hands and haven't quite cracked it yet - but know that it's going to come out right this time.

Weird metaphor but it's a type of fantasy story that I would like to pull off that doesn't quite compare with anything specific that I've read. I have a gut feeling there's a type of prose, a 'voice' if you like, that's just right for doing high fantasy in short bits. I can't quite categorize it. Except that it is fantasy, should be magical, should draw the reader right out of where they are into where I'm writing about immersively and tell a story in a way that is both easy reading and vividly gripping, magical prose. I'm describing juxtapositions here. It's more nebulous than getting a particular idea for a story. It's an idea for a breakthrough in rendering stories and all I can really compare it to is -- like the way that I thought through doing Reserved White on watercolor paintings and eventually made the snap to being able to see it before getting it down and paint Shadows First till the painting was done. My first efforts in it are likely to be crude, but may even at the crude stage come out better than what went before.

I've had a slump in word count since I finished Thrice on a Blue Moon. I've got a screaming need to get words down on screen. I don't even think in paper any more, dangerous - but then I think of paper as Final Draft when it's sold and/or published and not changeable any more. I've got money I need to earn in order to pay for my anthology, which I've only really begun to get going - and bother the delays - better it be late than never! Better it be good than fast! It's the doorbuster and the other ones will go a lot smoother with everything in place. I've got ebook story collections to produce and that's going to take a Rewrite Blitz.

But I'm not satisfied with all the stories I've done in the great spate of short story writing that I did between novel projects. Some are in genres that I don't normally read, they came out fairly well for what they were but they're going to be hard to place because they're not the sort of thing I read. I'll send them out here and there, but I may have to do a Miscellaneous collection with them or sort them by type. Basically at some point this month I need to just sit down with what I've done and look at it and decide how to organize it. Sift for the pieces that would fit the pro markets I'm familiar with and bash those up and mail at least two a month - a good steady goal that Zette suggested. Hit the small press and e-markets too, especially the e-markets, trusting that the shorter e-fiction is all Byline Material that will move copies of Raven Dance and copies of the new e-books that I need to put together when I treat myself the way I treated Greta Hogan.

I now have the equivalent of Greta's Great Box of Stories handy on my hard drive. That's the upshot of my short story blitz. This gives me plenty to work with and takes the ego pain out of deciding which stories are better than others and which, whether better or not, are more marketable than others. When I just played and ran with the Exercises, I got lots and lots to work with. The experiments that didn't lead to good fantasy, SF and horror stories by my lights, are still useful because they let me try things that may work in other types of stories!

I may at some point throw together a volume of mainstream stories. I'm considering picking out the few mainstream pieces in the lineup and shooting them at The New Yorker again, if only to collect more of the pretty cream colored offset printed rejection slip cards. Those are neat and if I score with one there, it's not only major byline recognition but it's serious money!

"Grim" is floating in the region of "I know what I want to do with it and it's not quite in reach yet." There's something to be said for setting Goals Lite on weeks when I'm fighting off something like the cold. I have the opportunity for massive Extra Points or extra word count every day, any hour that I'm feeling better and getting more done starts getting cumulative. I deliberately let myself get completely self indulgent yesterday. Sure, I did the same things I do every day - wrote, blogged, played on the boards, posted and stuff - but I was doing it from a perspective of 'do what I want' and that brought in so much new energy!

I'm proud of the little White Orchid ink sketch and now thinking that as soon as the scanner comes, I'm going to put the best of the Blue Wildflower Drawings out through CafePress as tote bags or white tee shirts - blue on white is a striking combination and works, as some other things do not work that well on white. A thumbnail of it will appear as illustration for one of the next http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com articles and I think today my goal is just "Do a lot. Whatever it is, jump in with some enthusiasm and see how much I can get done in one day."

Ari liked the two floor pillows I stacked in the bathroom for his kitty bed and has taken to sleeping on them. Hilariously when I went in there he stretched, still sleeping, and slid half off with his head and shoulders on the floor with his middle and rear still on the pillows! If only the tethered camera reached in there - he's a sweet silly kitty and I love him lots.

Robert and Ari >^..^<


919 words on "The House" which is its present working title. Started as just "Grim" and I got 500 some words into it before I decided I was telling, not showing. So I left that file behind, retitled it and started off blowing up the house in paragraph one.

Leaving what happened to lead up to the house blowing up as something to come out bit by bit in the story!

I am in a happy mood. Almost a thousand words into some real writing today puts me deeper into a happy mood. Even if the story's sort of grim. I had a nightmare of sorts - not really a nightmare, just the story maker in my brain working overtime. There were these two prosperous old gay men, old-marrieds who'd been through everything together, and one of them was about to poison them both in a suicide pact since he had a terminal disease and was *not* going to let go. This will either turn into just a tragic human story, or, since the one who didn't want to die did live even if he lost everything, a haunting story since the dead one really won't want to let go!

I will probably want to retitle it again, it isn't about the house but their relationship -- and I don't know where I'd market this to tell you the truth. It's not PC, or maybe it is. I don't know if gay markets would want it. Obviously that wasn't a very healthy relationship and it's about people in long term very tied up codependent relationships, about the emotional dependence of the guy that was almost a victim and that the worst day of his life also freed him. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but these guys showed up in my dream and it wants to be told. I'm a bit closer to understanding it now, and how their neighbors come into it too.

I will try for 5,000 on this thing.

Robert and Ari >^..^<

The proof is posted! Yes, I just updated http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com successfully and so posted the photographic documentation of my Floor Space! Along with a thousand word article on birthdays, aging and Lord of the Rings. Would you send Gandalf a black bordered birthday card that said "Over the Hill"?

And cleaning up did clear my mind obviously, I think I bought myself a day of writing! Whoohoo!

Robert and Ari >^..^< {so when is he opening the yogurt anyway? Mew?}
I am now working on fixing the Comments to make this Blog look as clean and beautiful as my Floor Space with Fuzzy Cat. That will be visible later tonight on http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com as I'll use the concept of floor space and cleaning house for clearing mind for good writing for an article. I'll make up some concept anyway that uses floor space as an excuse for an article to post the picture!

But that's sort of how getting ideas for articles or stories goes anyway. Anything can be a starting point. Cross your fingers and wish me luck, or laugh because this latest 'copy and cut and paste and move the line of code' worked.

Robert and Ari (the cat is better at coding than the man... hehehe 757a9082h9080909090)
Oh boy! Ooh purr! I'm up and purring and happy. It's a wonderful day! Yes, it's not that long after midnight!

Thank you! Thank you, Holly, for taking the ad off my Blog!
Thank you, Zette, for the birthday card with cats on it! They're wonderful!
Thank you, all of my online friends, for being real friends and fun and I wish I could just do the transporter thing at the moment, because I'd jump on the LOTR craze and be beaming Very Cool Mathoms into everyone's house right this moment. Someone would get my silly extra copy of Clan of the Cave Bear. (There's mathoms and there's mathoms). Brass candlesticks. Parchment archery awards for the archery contest that never happened.

But the next best thing would be for me to NOT put a chapter long Birthday Speech into this post! Even if I liked Bilbo's.

Robert and Ari, purring and happy! (It's documented in the photo "Floor Space and Fuzzy Cat" - there is floor!)


I have a cold and it is cold. I felt better yesterday and got some things done and the apartment was a bit improved and I felt optimistic. I went to bed. I got up and I'm freezing, because the heat isn't working again. I'm filled with an immense rage, pent-up, against a whole lot of things starting with this cold. Yes. Point at the enemy that is the enemy, this rotten cold, those invading viruses.

It snowed last night. I do not feel good enough to take that as something fun and go running outside and make snowballs of it. Instead, like most of the years of my literal childhood, I'm inside coughing and having a hard time breathing and dreading it. I wanted to shift gears to do more art. I checked the TV listings. Nothing but pro football. I am not a fan of sports. I loathe sports. I can't play them. I don't like games I can't win, games I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of even managing to be the worst on the team. Football at the level of Special Olympics might actually be fun on a day I wasn't so sick with a cold that I didn't feel like picking up my cane and hobbling out to play. And even with that, I'd have to have a few other intelligent weirdos out on the team picking up the intellectual SF jokes that would make it fun to play. I had fun playing football once, just once in my life and it was in college with other intellectual weenies and a team captain who sensibly decided that if I couldn't run and I couldn't throw and I wouldn't quit and had that stocky short warrior attitude, he ought to put me in a position to stand still and guard. This worked, spectacularly. It was fun. He had a brain.

The TV whinge is fairly relevant to the cold because when I get sick to a certain point, I think I wind up looking for brainless entertainment. Which classical radio is definitely not. I actually want something brainless and vegetative, but, it has to have plot and story. Basically I''m whinging at that box to tell me a story and all it's doing is showing pro footballers.

It takes more patience than I've got to sit still till I manage to catch my breath, just from the exertion of going out to check the mail. And pick up after the things the cat knocked over while I was sleeping. The apartment looks so much better that it's screaming to be done. There isn't anyone here to take care of me but me. And the lousy rotten annoying thing about this disability is that I get this exhausted just doing the normal things. I can do them. It's not so blazingly obvious as, well, look, he's in a wheelchair and couldn't do it at all. No, just, tired and short of breath and exhausted and can't keep up. Tries to do this and that and can't keep up.

Oh but it is so satisfying to do what comes easily.

Oh, but there is so much reward to just pounding away and getting something done, racking up wordcount, now it's doing a story at the drop of a plot tag. I drive myself along at a wild speed when I'm writing. I think I'm making up for lost time. I think I'm making up for lost years when I was stupid and tried to do other things in life that were supposed to matter more. I busted my ass at that print shop in Chicago and I was sick literally almost all the time. I felt like this most days that I went to work. I don't know how I survived it. I do know why I did it. I did it because I had a screaming sick need to be loved, not by the world but by one person who knew that I needed it and played me like a fish on a hook with that need.

I haven't been this sick that often since I started doing this.

I do have to ask myself if I drove myself into the ground. If I focused too hard and worked too hard and pushed to the point that my body reacted, immune system shut down and said "Robert's not going to take a rest till we make him, let in a cold." It's possible. If it has anything to do with that, it's stress and disappointment and attitude. And the move. Let's not forget just what the stressors are. I have just wasted a lot of physical effort and time dealing with other people's mistakes, petty cheating and mind games.

I am tired of being broke. I sometimes get cabin fever being shut in. I get very frustrated if I feel as if there's no way out and I don't have choices. I get enraged at the mind games and have no tolerance for them and don't think that's anything I need to condone or accept or have anything to do with at all. I would like all that out of my life for good and to find, create a way of life and immediate social situation where that's just not done and that's not how anyone in the group that I'm part of takes anything in life. I feel as if I'm swimming in sewerage when I've got to deal with it - the alcoholic aftermath, the alanon phenomenon, the way the poisonous social patterns dig so deep that no one's responsible for a damn thing and no one can possibly think that anything that goes wrong could be just - something went wrong, things do, let's do something about it.

There's always got to be someone to blame. I can't, unless I do clear my head with journal like this, ask something like 'Did I make myself sick driving myself too hard?' in a way that's not blame but troubleshooting? I mean, let's face the reality here. If I made myself sick driving myself too hard this time I wasn't doing it to impress anyone. I was doing it like a kid that goes out and plays too hard or eats too many green apples or whatever becuase it felt good at the time and it was fun. Nobody whipped me into it but me and the process itself was so much fun that I"m mostly cranky because I'm not doing it again right now!

I'm with me right now. If I'm that angry at the mind games, the only person in here playing them is me. I'm mad at and trying to rip out the echoes of the past. I do have to be a good boss. I do have to reparent the inner child. I can commiserate with Little Robert that football is ultimately boring, frustrating and Not Fun At All (though Mayan soccer with the heads of decapitated enemies might be a lot of fun especially electronically or in a story). I can stop screaming at me to get things done. The man whose approval I need is Robert. Yes, that's all self involved and self contained, but when I get that right, it makes it so much easier to go back out among others again with the kind of confidence that lets me give more than take. If I'm feeling a terrible screaming emotional need I'm a downer to those around me. If I'm feeling strong and I care and I just respond naturally to others, then I'm like a great big oak in the forest there and I'm putting the right sort of energy into the world.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with feeling a bit crabby and cranky if I've had a cold for a whole week and it hasn't let up for more than a day. I got my tiny little words done for the week at minimal thousand a day level, and some of it was in stories. For what I'm motivating myself to do, I ought to give myself double points for rewriting and world building and chores that take more effort than just 'oh goodie, I get to go back to a neat planet and I don't have to think about the landlord.'

I get a lot done a little at a time. At the moment I've got... two unsorted boxes from the move from the shelter, that got damaged in the flood. There's good stuff in those boxes interspersed with moldy flood-damaged stuff and a lot of papers that will give me allergic reactions. If I did take a trash sack and go through those boxes, I'd suffer for a while but I'd finally get that out of the way - and that means being ruthless with moldy ruined paper no matter what it is. Unless it's my birth certificate or something it gets replaced or thrown out.

Doing that would be permanent cumulative improvement. It is brainless. I'm not quite up to it yet, but if I do it later on it's that final push that might get the 'get this apartment to tolerable' done. I would like to manage to vacuum it in half a dozen stints too. This might reduce the dust a lot once I was actually finished. But if I don't get it today, I'll get at it soon. I've got to tell myself that about all of this no matter how much I want it done and out of the way. Every bit of it seems small and finite and doable but if I let it crash in on me it will get overwhelming and i'll just feel lousy and not get any of it done.

I got the emptied boxes out and boy did that make floor space.

The glass is half full. That is a lot more floor space and a lot easier to get around to any part of this apartment than it was, even if it's not vaccumed or swept, even if there's still two boxes of old stuff to get rid of.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
1,058 words on the catswool industry of Ziriavan. Including the dyes and colors they have locally and that the woman who raised the cats managed to get her husband to reverse engineer a jacquard loom for her, thus bringing a new industry to the town and eventually a custom of giving white cats as wedding gifts to brides. It took me on some odd twists with the ramifications. I didn't realize it would turn the town into one of those 'clean' medieval towns like Germany, but it did since they keep the white cats indoors for the catswool trade and the weaver women hired maids to take care of the fishgutting.

All this will give the place character.

I have to remind myself this is real writing even if it's not even rough draft. This is what will make the place that memorable for the series, and it will be a series. This is what will give it a Dune-like richness without the overpowering explications, because it's more that the description would show fat white cats sitting in the glass windowed cottages of a painfully clean and prosperous village, not the sad gray worn misery of a poorer village.

It's so much of a relief to have that dresser in. Three whole random boxes of stuff unpacked and put away in those drawers and the drawers aren't full yet. I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel about cleaning up. That if I can manage to get it cleaned up at all, it'll stay that way with that many places to put stuff up where it won't get messed up. I didn't realize how much those boxes bugged me, how disrupted I felt with all that stuff in boxes. I still have a lot to do to make the place livable. I haven't hung the curtain yet, though I now have the rod and fittings to do so I haven't felt up to the exertion. But I can start to see what this place will look like once I've got it done. It needs more light. It's very dark in here at night, mostly as the only overhead light is in the kitchen. And it needs bookcases, badly. But there is hope... that I can get it down to a point where when it's cleaned up it looks cleaned up and isn't much trouble to keep that way.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (hee hee he hasn't seen what I will do when he gets it clean, kitten giggle)