Gimli and other fur balls 3.20.19-3.26.19


Did you know that today is the First Day of Spring?

            I didn’t. I’ve been plugging along my merry way, without even the tiniest notion that summer is creeping ever nearer. When I finally did realize it, I was wrapped in two coats because it’s barely above freezing today. But with the sunshine full on my face, I can well and truly feel the change.

            It’s a strange thing. The weather might not be an iota different, but I can sense when spring has come around the bend. There’s a difference in the light, a freshness in my soul, and an overwhelming desire to clean literally everything. I want to throw all of my furniture outside and give my walls and floors a bath. I want to give the porches a fresh coat of paint, browse flower catalogs, buy random outdoor accessories from Menards. That is spring, for me.

            And I’m happy. There is a jubilance that comes with the changing of the seasons, a kind of anticipation that sneaks up on you. Yes, I’ve whined about winter quite a lot on here. But honestly, this winter was so long, I forgot to expect spring. And now, I look out my window and see only patches of snow. There is bare ground (BARE FREAKIN GROUND, YOU GUYS) and if I breathe deeply, I can smell the Earth. And about five months of melting dog poo. So, tread lightly.

            All in all, this is why spring is my favorite month. It’s not a prequel to cold and dark—it’s a fresh start, a new beginning, and it inspires me to be a better person. Even if that’s just taking care of my cottage. Even if it’s just going for a run with my dog. It’s change, and it’s change for the better.

            And, of course, spring is when I publish my books.


How’s Olympus coming?

            My beautiful beta readers keep asking that, and it’s a fair question. Originally, I had planned to give them Olympus at the end of February. I figured I’d write the majority of it in November for National Novel Writing Month, then take December off, and have January to write and February to edit.

            Well, you know what they say about the best-made plans.

            It’s almost the end of March, and I’m still not done. Granted, I’ve given myself a few nights off this month. I’ve gone home and watched television or had a drink with friends. I’ve thought about writing, sure. And I’ve come up with some fantastic ideas for how my characters interact. The book is written, it is done, but it could be better.

            And, to be fair, a writer always thinks their work could be better. Every time I read Firebird, I realize how something could have been tweaked, or see a GODDAMNED TYPO. Seriously, they’re a plague unto the authors of the galaxy. I find typos in traditionally published works by big name authors, and I think Oh my god, there is no hope.

            What was I talking about? Oh yes. Olympus is done. But there is something not quite done about it. I was thinking about it yesterday, and I realized how an interaction could be better, how the character would be more colorful and therefor the scene more engaging, and I literally ran to the computer to put the changes in. I can’t do that after I’ve published (at least, not without having another round of 2nd and 3rd editions…something that I’ve sworn never to do again).

            So, for those of you who read my books, Olympus is done. I’m not dinking around. I’m working on it every day. I promise you’ll have it sooner than later. And I promise that it will be the best book possible.


Oh hey Friday, ‘sup?

            I’ve always felt like the day before a day off is almost more relieving than the actual day off. It’s the potential of a day wherein you can do whatever you want, as opposed to the day wherein you have to decide what to do. This Friday, I planned my entire weekend with my dear old buddy bud bud Arthur.

            Now, I’ve talked about Arthur quite a lot on here. You may not realize that, because poor Arthur has never had the same alias twice. I think he was Jake or Jack once…but I can never remember what I call him, and I now find it amusing to assign whatever name to this dear old friend that I so please.

            Also, this Friday is the day I realized that Arthur actually reads this blog (since he never comments, likes, or shares, who would guess?). So now, I have an evil incentive to come up with a fresh name every time.

            How exhausting.

            Anyway, Arthur came up this Friday and we spent our evening ripping through RDR2, drinking whiskey (thanks for the classy Makers Mark, dear Arthur), and burgers. Unfortunately, with my belly full and whiskey in my brain, I passed out on the couch extra early that night. Something about listening to video game background noise makes me fall asleep. I don’t know what it is. But Arthur is kind enough to ignore my drooling quietly on the other side of the couch while he endeavors to save whatever fantasy world he’s in that day.


I need a HIKE.

            You know when your body just feels particularly lazy and potato-like? Well, that was me when I woke up this morning. I’m all squishy from a winter that mostly consisted of red wine and video games/writing/work—all of which require my butt in the chair. I’m an active person, particularly in the summer, and there’s a point when my waning muscles just need to get up, get out, and do some work.

            So today, after a quiet morning of Arthur killing literally everything in RDR2, I grabbed my Gimmer, my Arthur, and my car. My favorite trail up here is called Secret Blackstone. Not only does it have a bit of mystery inherent in its name, but it lives up to its promise. There’s creeks and cliffs and little mossy valleys with massive cedar trees. It’s the perfect hike, ripe for exploring and rock climbing, and it’s always my first spring hike of the year.

            To my surprise, Gimmer did better than I did at keeping up with Arthur’s lanky stride (he’s a tall kid, and every two of my steps are just shy of one of his). Gimmer is a Cairn Terrier, with all of the implied feistiness, and this year will be his 11th birthday. I worry about him getting older, so I’ve started hiking and running with him, cleaning up his garbage diet, and altogether, squeezing him at every opportunity.

            It was a great day, in the 50s for the first time in a long time, and the creeks were just starting to break through their icy cages. Gimmer found something disgusting to eat/roll in and Arthur scrambled about like the spider he is on the cliffs. We finished it off with a night of games (the Legend of Andor, which is my FAVORITE board game…a bit of D&D, a bit of co-op, a bit of magic) and far, far too many Moscow Mules.


Skype is an amazing thing.

            Well, actually, FaceTime is an amazing thing. Skype is an outdated thing that hates me and everything that I do. I have literally never logged into Skype and been able to talk to someone on the first try. There’s always an issue with an update, or maybe it deleted a contact, or maybe it just wants to run in the background of my dinosaur of a laptop like some kind of lurking, blood-sucking baby.

            Anyway. The ability to trick our brains into believing that people are there, when they aren’t there, is awesome. Better still, those people can actually interact with us—they’re actually the people, not imaginary friends. So we’re not crazy. And we get to see our friends and family, even when they’re a thousand miles away.

            Point and case, in my current D&D campaign, my sister Beatrice (also an alias, sorry if it sucks ;D) and her wonderful fiancé Joshua (hah! I don’t know why I didn’t assign people their own names years ago) can call in and sit there at the table with us, even though they’re a thousand miles away. And it’s weird. At the end of our sessions, I actually believe that they’re with us. I think, hey! We should all go out and get a cocktail. And I almost ask them if they want to (which just ends up being sad all the way around).

            I don’t have much else to say about this Sunday, I suppose. My godmother (also part of our D&D campaign) made brunch for us, I whipped up some bloodies and some mimosas, and we had a long day of games before Arthur left for Duluth. These wonderful people, Beatrice and Arthur, are my oldest, dearest friends. My life is better for having them in it (and the people they bring with them, Joshua). More than better, my life is whole.


Monday Mondayyy, the whole day throughhhh.

            Are those even the lyrics? Do y’all even know what I’m talking about? Sometimes I feel a tad older than I actually am. I blame my grey hair. Of which I have a stripe. Right in front. Very dramatic.

            Show of hands, how many of my fellow Americans spell “grey” instead of “gray”? I know that as an American, I should use the ‘a’ version. And I don’t give a f*ck. Grey is better. It’s wetter, it’s darker, it’s grey. Gray is like a ray of sunshine, and it can piss off.

            Yes, this is a sensitive subject for me. Unless I’m consciously stopping myself, I also say privacy as “prihvacy”, like a Brit. I don’t do it to be all fancy. I do it because it’s better. I like it. It’s my mouth, and I’ll say the things I prefer and damn the consequences.

            What consequences could there possibly be, you ask. Well, I was once reprimanded at a workplace for typing ‘grey’ instead of ‘gray’. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except I also got a lecture on why/where/who uses gray and how I was stupid for not knowing that. Dude, I know that. It’s a choice. Bite me.

            Just thinking about it, I’m getting all worked up again. Granted, it was a poor work environment at that time anyway, and I was overly sensitive about it. But still. Some peoples’ kids.

            Anyway, I decided to write ‘gray’ instead of ‘grey’ in Olympus. I believe that Firebird has the ‘e’ spelling. But damnit, I think that ‘a’ is important in that regard. And you’ll know why later. For now, just know that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

            And then, there are the gre/ay areas.


I went for a run today.

            If you would have known me a couple of years ago, you might have thought I’d been hit on the head or something. I used to say that the only times I run are when I’m being chased, or am chasing an ice cream truck (of which, I’ve only ever seen one…and yes, I chased it). But last year, TayTay talked me in to training with her. And you know what?

            I hated it.

            For a while. It takes time to get your body used to jogging. It’s a new set of muscles, a new way to breathe. And it takes longer than you want it to.

            But there’s a point where something shifts, you get it, and you can run. Miles. You can run for miles and it’s as easy as breathing. I started to enjoy it. I started to look forward to my runs, to the time that is just me, to the music/podcast/booktape that I was enjoying that day.

            Then winter came, and I got couchy and squishy. So now, we’re starting over. Well, not completely over. I’m starting at week 3 of my training program instead of week 1, and I didn’t die. I even took Gimmer (he’s on a diet/exercise regime, you know) and he did pretty well for an old boy. I almost sent him flying when he stopped in front of me to take an emergency shit, but who can blame him. That’s hard work.

            Then I bought a box of pink wine and took it home, where I ate questionably aged Monstrosity and watched The Good Fight.

            Ah, to be young now that Spring is here.





  • Hi Laura,

    I couldn’t agree more. If the British variation is better, then by the sun and stars, that’s what I’m going to write. :)

    I also blame the British books I read as a kid (mainly the Redwall Series). I go out of my way to get the British editions, now. The Name of the Wind, for instance, has a much more kristeny cover. BTW, if you haven’t read that, it’s my favo(u)rite fantasy novel of all time.

    Kristen Williams
  • Whoops, I also spell it “grey” but didn’t remember it was the British version. It just happens to look more “right” to me. Gray with an “a” looks to cheery for me, the “e” adds to the melancholy. I blame all the British fantasy novels I read when I was younger. I often accidentally spell certain words with an “s” instead of a “z” for the same reason. All these variations are confusing because I’m dyslexic and it all gets jumbled up in my head.

    My author friend just realized in her 3rd book in a series that she was spelling scepter the British way (sceptre) in her novels, but decided to keep it that way as consistency is more important. As her editor I never caught it because it looks completely right to my brain. There’s nothing wrong with using British variations, if it’s in the dictionary, it’s valid!


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