Life updates and gratitude

You may remember that we bought a house recently, which was pretty awesome and all, and now I have a house and I must mow the lawn. Mowing the lawn is actually pretty nice because it’s an achievable goal that you finish, for better or worse, within about an hour usually. It’s also a great workout for your back. Pushing a mower is hard, especially when it is grumpy about making turns.

I feel like half my blog posts this year have been about life updates, which is not really surprising because there have been so many of them. This past month was the Equinox, and as a good pagan girl I was supposed to light candles and say thanks and contemplate the things that I’ve been gifted with this year, the labor and the fruits of it, the balance of one to the other. I didn’t really do that – instead I went out for drinks with friends and took a long walk under the stars. I can’t say that I was particularly introspective, but I blew off some steam, which was a good start.

So now here we are, a few weeks late, almost to Samhain, and here I am, thinking about gratitude.

I’ve let a lot of things go fallow this year. Each accomplished thing is counterbalanced by things that are not accomplished, the tradeoff of forward motion. There is a lot I feel that I have not accomplished this year, and it’s easy to get caught up in that and feel it eat away at you. I could count the things that I have lost, but I don’t know that that would be productive for a post that is supposed to be about gratitude. Suffice to say that the desire to be more and do more is a steady pressure in my chest that I’m learning to accommodate and live with instead of try to push away. I’d like to accept it for what it is – a drive and a passion that keeps me alive and innovative and always reaching. I want to be grateful for that pressure, to build on it and turn it into bedrock that I can plant my feet on.

One of the ways to do that is to recognize my accomplishments. This year, I have organized a wedding, and I’ve got to recognize that was a monumental thing that people actually get paid to do as a full-time job. I have seen places and things I’ve never experienced before, been exposed to new ideas. I bought a house, which is not even something I ever really thought I’d be able to do this early in my life, and which took a lot of coordination and concerted pressure on my part. I’ve reached what feels like a new level of ability in my writing, and gained the courage to take rejection without pain (most of the time!) And I get to fulfill one of my dreams by moderating a panel at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio this year, The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings.

I couldn’t have done any of those things without supportive networks, and I’ve done my best to learn to maintain those networks more thoughtfully and with greater compassion. I’ve tried to learn to forgive people for their foibles, and to forgive myself for mine. That’s been really hard, honestly, and it’s something I’m still working on. And I’ve survived the nonstop bombardment of everything going on in our nation and our world, giving myself permission to take a step away from the things I cannot change and to throw my shoulder in to move the things I can.

It’s been a long and glorious year, and a challenging one, and it’s not done yet. We have two more months of 2017, two writing events coming up, holidays to get through – there’s a lot going on. But I’m ready for it, the good and the bad. I’m ready to keep chipping away at my career, and enjoying this thing we call life.



Blade Runner 2049

I went and saw Blade Runner last weekend and it was really, really good. Very loud, very bleak, but good. I definitely recommend watching the bridging shortfilms, though, for greater appreciation of some of the plot points.

This movie gave me a lot of thoughts. I debated on what to focus on in my analysis of it – the fancy way they sloughed off the old setting, for example, was impressive to me as a writer and moviegoer, and there’s a lot to unpack here about what is “real” and constructed memories. There’s also something to be said about the pacing, which was slow, ethereal, and felt like a horror movie at points (in a good way). There’s also some bad bits, like POC representation in the film, which I felt was not as solid as it could have been, and LGBTQ representation as well (alternate sexualities apparently don’t exist in Blade Runner). But, since mostly I write about women, I thought I’d go with that for this post, though I may come back to those things later.


Continue reading “Blade Runner 2049”

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Verily, cats are weird

My life has been on hold this week following a drastic and explosive vomiting episode on the part of my cat, Fidel, which led to him not eating or drinking for almost two days. I am using this as an excuse to postpone blogging about writerly stuff, since I honestly haven’t had a moment to think straight.

Cats are weird. My poor baby boy, who is really more of a dog than a cat in a lot of ways, is a cuddlemuffin of epic proportions, infinitely curious, and sometimes a jerk. He really, really loves ribbons, and anything stringy looking, and I can see you cat lovers wincing because you know how this story goes right? Cat loves ribbon. Cat finds ribbon in the chaos of the house post-move. Cat eats ribbon.

So Saturday night, as I lay dead to the world, I was awoken by the most terrible hurking. There is no other word for that sound. Hurk. Hurk. I shot up, to realize that my husband was gone and I was the only person in bed. The lights were all on. The hurking continued.

“What is happening?” I said groggily.

“Cat boy threw up,” said the S.O. That was…an understatement.

I didn’t take pictures, and you don’t want them, but what my poor baby threw up was nothing that should have come out of anyone’s throat. It was a hairball the size of Texas, and it had accreted around a ribbon that I recognized instantly as a wide, green ribbon I had been wondering about the past few days. Mystery solved, because this semi-digested, colorless thing was, in fact, the missing ribbon. That hairball smelled terrible, let me tell you, and my stomach is always the least stable around 3 am. I nearly brought up my dinner myself.

Anyway, gory details aside, baby boy was so traumatized that he refused to eat or drink or let anyone touch him. I can only hypothesize that he was in pain from the violent exodus of the foreign object that had been taking up most of his stomach. We had been having problems with him vomiting a little earlier in the week, and so we knew he hadn’t been eating as much as he probably should – I’d chalked it up to stress, because of the move and all, but it was now apparent that it had been his body trying to deal with the ribbon situation. Anyway, he also wasn’t grooming, and so I did what any good cat mom does and insisted we take him to the vet. The only one open on a Sunday was the emergency vet, of course, so that was buckets of fun.

Four hours and a few hundred dollars later, I had a dopey, still-not-great cat who still wouldn’t eat or drink and had a giant lump of subcutaneous fluid on his shoulder. We took him back to the vet yesterday, where they gave him antibiotics, more fluids, took more Xrays, and set him up with an appetite stimulant. He ate this morning (yay!) and is back at the vet for one more go with the Xray machine, just to make sure he doesn’t have any issues internally that could cause complications in a few days. After that it’s just feeding him and making sure he drinks.

Poor guy smells like death, and his sister is NOT having it. She keeps hissing and growling at him. Hasn’t taken a swing at him yet, at least. Between the two of them I haven’t slept much.

Anyway, here is a picture of my sweet boy looking way more awake last night, if still a bit peckish and with a terrible shave job. He followed me around the house, meowed some (though still doesn’t sound like himself) and played with his toys even! But no more ribbons for him, let me tell you what.

fidel sick