lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
Our most promising sighting, the one about a mile away, has a wildlife camera. They showed me pictures today. It's hard to be sure, because the picture quality's not great, but I don't think the cat they've been feeding is Mallory. It looks too small, and I'm not seeing the big black spots on the side.

I feel like my... well, everything, has been kicked out from under me. And there wasn't that much there to start with.

We still have the tracking dogs' confirmation that Mallory was there at some time. But there's no guarantee it's since he went missing.
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
Still no kitten.

Today we had the tracking dogs in. That was actually pretty cool. One human with four dogs (and a fifth dog who isn't a tracker, but don't tell her that), so that they could rotate out for rests, and so that if one picked up a scent trail, another could confirm it.

They found plenty of sign of Mallory. At the location of our most promising sighting (some folks on the other side of the "block", i.e., about a mile away), they did confirm that Mallory has been there, with a good strong scent trail. So we are at least looking in the right area.

None of this guarantees that we're going to get him back; we are still desperately worried. But we know he was alive and okay as of three days ago, and for a cat that's been missing for a week and a half, that's non-trivial.

We have live traps out. We have lots of nice helpful folks who are leaving out food, keeping an eye out, etc. We are holding on by our fingernails, but we're holding on.
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
Hey, folks - it occurs to me that I'm not leveraging social media properly.

Our vet's office has a copy of the "lost" flyer on their Facebook page. I can't seem to figure out how to link to an individual Facebook post, but if you go here and scroll down to December 8, you'll see Mallory.

If you're on Facebook, or Twitter or anything else for that matter, can you help spread the word? Even if you're in another part of the country; if he was lost close to home and could make it back on his own, he'd have done it by now.

(I know I'm grasping at straws here, but I don't have my kitten to hold, so I'll reach for any chance there is.)

And give whatever pets are in your life an extra pat, just because you can.

The Last Good Day

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 01:10 pm
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
The kicker is, I was having a really good day on Saturday. I wrote first thing (700 words!), and let the kitten out and in a couple times, and got some other tasks done (can't remember what now, but they were things that needed doing). Then we put Cat3 out and went off to do some errands. Which took longer than expected, so we cut the list short to pop home and let Cat3 in (she can't be around the other cats), and let the kitten out one more time in the lovely sunshine.

He was so happy. His little face just lit right up when he realized he got to go out some more.

He went out, then came right back in for a snack. Then went out again, and nattered around with the other two cats while we unloaded the car. Then he wandered off into the neighbor's yard; I half-heartedly reminded him that he has a perfectly good yard of his own, but he goes over there a lot. He looked back over his shoulder at me as if to say, "It's fine, mom! I know what I'm doing!", then turned and headed off again. And we nipped out to finish the rest of the errands, planning to return in plenty of time to get him in before dark.

I haven't seen him since.

Understand, my cats mean the world to me. I'd be wrecked if anything happened to any of them. But the kitten is... special. Not that I love him more; it doesn't work like that, and I love them all equally. But the kitten.... When we first found him four and a half years ago, I was in a pretty dark place emotionally. He is a lot of what convinced me that the world could have brightness and joy and colors in it again. I have treasured every moment with him -- I know people always say that, but in this case it's true. I've always been able to find the energy to dangle a string or follow him to see if that squeak meant "food" or "out", even when I was sitting like a lump. And it's always been clear that he loves me.

He's never been a cuddler; he likes a pet well enough, but won't stay on a lap unless he's being pinned there. Lately, though, he's been increasingly willing to ask for cheek- and neck-scritches, and he's taken to leading one of us into the housemate's room, jumping up on her bed, and settling down for us to sit beside him and pet him. The last couple times, he held still for me to pet him like that for an hour or more.

A few days ago, I went for a walk in the woods with him, his most favorite thing ever. This cat who's dubious about being handled indoors becomes extremely demonstrative when his human is outside with him: he repeatedly came over for petting, and rubbed my ankles, and purred, and asked to be picked up; at one point he clambered over my shoulder and down my back, and I bent over to make a "table" for him, and he sat, ensconced in what felt like the meatloaf position (I couldn't quite turn to see), on my lower back for what had to be a good twenty minutes.

Today, I have nothing to do but sit in the house staring at the door, in the forlorn hope of seeing a little pink nose on the other side of it.

I've often told him, "Every day is a good day, because you're in it." Not many good days, ahead.
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
The kitten* didn't come home Saturday evening. Worried sick. I could use some supportive words, o internets.

*Four years old, thirteen pounds. Still "kitten". Once you've bottle-fed 'em....

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
One agent crossed off, one agent queried. On schedule so far.

Yeah. Like that.

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 10:06 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
My process is weird. I get that. (Okay, no, I don't; why wouldn't everybody write in this obviously superior way? ;-) But I acknowledge it.) Which means when I run across any other writer talking about their process, it's pretty well guaranteed to sound like a foreign language to me.

So I was all the more pleased to run across this post on Make Mine Mystery today. Which sounds so much like my process that I can just point and say "That! There! Like that!"

(Okay, not so much with the outlining. I don't outline, but that's not why.

And I don't usually have four projects on the burner at one time. Three, however, is not unheard of.)

But the bits where she's talking about characters, and about keeping the story straight -- yes, that. Exactly. How else would one do it?
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Adrian Blissfield = 204
Falling From Ground = 802
Green Ring = 4398
Total new words in November = 5404

...about a third of which was in the last three days, which is not the way it's supposed to work. But it's still words, so, win.

And what, you might ask, is Adrian Blissfield? Well, I came up with a new series idea on the DC trip. It's a short-story series, which if it goes well will make a nice concurrent project alongside the novels. AB is a spy, in the flashier James-Bond mold; the series focuses on his long-suffering support team, who do most of the actual work. ;-)

Queries: Sent 1, crossed off two agents as not being good fits, sent 1, crossed off 1, sent 1. (Total: 3 sent, 3 crossed off.) Not exactly on the 7th-day schedule (more like the 6th, the 24th, the 29th, and, um, today (which I'm giving a one-day grace period, because it came down to getting either the words or the queries by deadline, and the words have to come first)), but they got done, so there.

All quotas met.

For December, more of the same: 5000 words, query (or two cross-offs) every 7 days.

lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I just checked; I need to come up with 2000 new words in the next three days to make quota. Which is not good, but is a lot better than I thought it was going to be.
lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
Rejection yesterday. Back out today.


Friday, November 21st, 2014 09:08 am
lizvogel: Earth gate symbol: Mostly Harmless (Earth: Mostly Harmless)
The trees in back are frosted, and the sun is out. Beautiful.
lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
Stopped in at a branch of my favorite local bookstore today; not my favorite branch, but I was in the area and needed a card. I noticed something I'd never seen there before: a sign in the window, tucked in amongst all the other window displays, declaring it a "Weapon Free Zone".

Let's take a moment and look at everything that's wrong with that, shall we?

- Note that it doesn't say "Illegal-use-of-weapon Free Zone" or even "Dangerous-Stupid-or-Inappropriate-use-of-weapon Free Zone". (Which things are illegal anyway.) Nope, this isn't about keeping anyone safe; it's about an individual exercising their Constitutional rights in a safe and sensible manner nonetheless being placed under an additional restriction.

- Any even remotely accurate interpretation of that sign means that I can't enter the store at all. I have enough training that compliance would require me to leave my hands, feet, elbows, knees, skull, and teeth outside. And that's just for starters.

- Also, I have some training in improvised weapons... and it's a bookstore. With tchotchke. If you think that's a weapon-free environment, you lack imagination.

- The kind of person who causes mass violence and public mayhem isn't going to be deterred by a small, discreet sign. The only people who that sign will put off are those who are rule-following and observant -- in short, the very people you want around if something bad does happen. Neither the punk looking for trouble nor the whack-job looking for headlines is even going to slow down in the face of that sign. There is, however, room on the sign for a sticker explaining its actual function: Victims please form an orderly line.

I walked in, but it felt distasteful enough that I soon turned around and walked out, and went and spent my little bit of money somewhere else. Ironically, this bookstore has been very outspoken against the Patriot Act and similar shenanigans. They're very keen on the First Amendment, and creatively contentious against anything that has a chilling or diminishing effect upon it. (I guess only select parts of the Constitution are relevant to their interests.)

I'll have to check my preferred branch for a similar sign next time I'm there. If there is one, a tart letter to the management may be called for.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
I wrote 1105 words this morning! Yes, if I'm not entirely consumed with tearing the house apart, I can still do this. Good to know.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
old-mission stories = 1296
Falling From Ground = 466
The Green Ring = 2689
Total new words in October = 4451

Okay, now I feel really bad that I didn't make myself write on the 31st. I wasn't that tired, but it had been one of those days where you'd wish you hadn't gotten out of bed, except even bed wasn't working out right. (I'd had such good plans....)

Oh well.

Shortfall is entirely due to not sitting down and doing it regularly; output was generally quite high on the days I did write. There just weren't very many of those. Which I can't blame on the trip, since that only ate four days; I can blame a little bit of it on the surprise house repair which has been leaving me tired, sore, and cranky for much of the month. But still, I could have made a little more time for writing. And had better do so, going forward.

Query stats: Queried three, crossed off three. Quota met.

For November: 5000 words; query one/cross off two every seven days. And get the bloody house put back together so I can concentrate.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Apropos for Halloween, here's some more chocolate.

Newman's Own Organics Signature Series Espresso Dark 54%

Where bought: Foods For Living

Entrancing aroma, which wafted up the instant I opened the wrapper.

Smooth, creamy texture, with just a little, pleasing grit of ground coffee bean.

Rich, creamy taste. Yes, that's "creamy" twice, but that's what this chocolate makes me think of. Like a good, well-blended mocha in bar form. Lovely, deep flavor that just gets better with additional nibbles.

Overall: Yum. Would definitely buy again.
lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
Got back late Saturday from our jaunt to Washington, D.C., which was mainly a pilgrimage to the International Spy Museum.

Which is awesome.

tl;dr: if you can possibly go, do )
lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
So far this month, I've crossed off one agent, queried one, crossed off two more, and I just snail-queried another two. That's quota for the month! So any additional queries I may manage to do are gravy.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Green & Black's Organic 85%

Where bought: Foods For Living

Aroma is a little... light? Not bad, just not as deep as one might like.

Texture is very smooth, I'll give them that.

Taste is, well, bad -- slightly sour, and the chocolateyness is so mild that it's almost not there. The sourness becomes more encompassing the more I eat.

Overall: Not very good at all - in fact, it's terrible. Would not buy again; in fact, I'm tempted to throw out the rest of the bar.

(Later note: Yep, toss it. That's just nasty.)
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
We finally managed to see Guardians of the Galaxy last night.

spoilery request for merchandising )

September Word Count

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 08:24 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Falling From Ground = 3783
The Green Ring = 2318
Total new words in September = 6101

Well, whattaya know? That's quota, and then some! After what I figured out about chapter 2 of Falling From Ground, I was prepared to let myself off, and maybe go to a half-quota, 2500 or 3000 words, for the next month or two. But thanks to Green Ring, I don't have to.

Yay to that!

Querying... didn't happen. Oops.

For next month:

What the hell, 5000 words. Let's see if the magic continues.

I need to get back on the querying wagon. Being casual with myself isn't working. Given how fast September slipped away from me, I'm not sure anything calendar-based is a good idea, but I'm going to try the every-seven-days thing again (query one or cross off two).

I also need to get back to sending out short stories; I have things that were waiting on various markets re-opening, but now they're just waiting on me. (Well, and waiting on critique, but, well.) A quick glance at the subs log tells me I've got at least three stories sitting around here; let's get at least two of them out this month.




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