Blog Archives

Commander Kitty Is Unsure…

…as to whether or not he digs his new digs. We humans, though, ARE sure. This is a definite improvement!

I’ve been silent here for a while. We’ve been moving. Goodbye 1968 sub-single-wide trailer home with slowly collapsing floors and significant amounts of black mold.

Hello 2nd floor apartment with balconies in a 100+ year old brick building that has been remodeled enough to (hallelujah!) have a modern amount of electrical sockets.

And there’s a real stove. For SEVEN FRICKIN YEARS I have cooked with electric skillets and hotplates because the trailer had a propane stove and it turns out it’s EXPENSIVE AF to cook (or heat!) with propane.

Finances, as always, remain tight. We’re just happy to be able to juuuuuuust afford to upgrade from substandard housing that would likely be condemned if anyone looked closely, to something decent.

If you’re not already, consider giving my family and writing a boost by checking out my Patreon page.Early blog posts and sometimes exclusive looks at rough drafts, even free ebooks.

Commander Kitty says thanks for reading.


Invisible Backstory

The rolling pin slammed into the right wall, the left wall, the right, punching holes in the drywall as I backpedaled.  I had to attack.  She was going to kick my ass.  She knew how to fight for real and I didn’t.  She followed me, crouching, hands ready, gauging my back and forth swings.  Timing them, calculating the perfect moment to spring.

A little bitty excerpt from Down on the Farm, one of the stories in my upcoming Isolation and Other Stories collection.

It’s there because I’m reading through, doing some editing and proofreading.  I finally have an ending for it I think.  It’s been very stubborn, this story, resisting being finished.

When I wrote the passage, he was punching holes in plaster, not drywall.  I read it, it sounded wrong, I changed it to drywall.  Nobody would ever have noticed, except for this blog post.  Nobody would have known it changed, known why it changed, or known why it was important that it be drywall instead of plaster.  Nobody but me.

But it still matters.

Mood and setting are composed of the little assumptions, images, and associations that spring into peoples’ heads as they read (or write).  I have a picture of this house in my head.  I don’t share most of that picture with you in the story, because most of it isn’t that important and if I break the narrative to describe it to you I’ll bore the socks off of you.

But it’s a newer and cheaper house, not an older or expensive one.  Drywall says newer and cheaper, plaster says older and more expensive.  Drywall is common, and this house is common.  Plaster is a bit more extraordinary these days, and this house isn’t extraordianry.

I don’t want you thinking there’s something special about this house, so it just has to be drywall.  I mean, just look at it.  It’s clearly a drywall kind of house.  There’s no plaster in there.

Can’t you see it?  You can’t?  Ah, well.  You’ll just have to buy the collection and read about it.  Then you’ll see what I mean.

Bleuuuuurg for the Whole Family!

So, for the last 3 days we’ve been a plague house.

First, the baby spent an entire night waking up every half an hour to puke.  And it’s particularly pitiful when someone not-quite-two gets sick to his stomach.  He kept assuring us “I’m a good boy!” and “no want nummies” during bouts of vomiting.  And everyone out there who has raised a baby is just nodding their heads because the 😦 factor of a little sick kid is universal to the raising a little kid experience.

A day went by.  The rest of us thought we were safe.  Then the 15 year old got sick  and spent most of the day in the same state.  At night, my wife took her turn, which alarmed her doctors to no end since she’s got about 6  weeks to go until New Baby arrives.

This morning, just when I thought my Rasputinlike constitution had spared me, boom.  Technicolor yawn alarm clock.  Just how I like to wake up.  I’ve just spent most of my afternoon consuming about three cups of rice gruel (1 cup rice, 6 cups water, let the rice cooker work on it until it’s the consistency of loose oatmeal) with egg in little tiny batches.  At this rate, I might be able to eat serious food by tomorrow morning.

Why am I telling you this?  It doesn’t have much to do with writing, or creativity, or my books, or someone interviewing me, or…

…you get the point.

I’m telling you because the name of the place is “Seriously Eclectic” and I feel like telling someone.  I still feel like crap, I’m not driving anywhere and nobody else in the family is interested in going anywhere, and everyone locked in this blighted house already knows the horrors—horrors, I say—of the Puke Plague.


(Editor’s note: WordPress wants me to link ‘Technicolor yawn’ to graphic videos of people vomiting.  I’ll spare you.  Bad, WordPress.  Bad.)