I really wanted this update to be all about how good Mena’s doing but, while her stitches seem to be healing well (she was supposed to get them out tomorrow), she’s started vomiting in the last couple of days and wouldn’t accept treats today. Yesterday and today it looked like she tried to eat her kibble but couldn’t keep it down. Thus, a call to the vet. Thus, a request to bring her in immediately. *sigh*
Doc quizzed me on medicine and such. It could be anything: she needs more antibiotics or she ate something bad or something’s going on with her ear that’s making her nauseated. No one knows right now. I’m going to call later in the day. I know she’s going to be kept overnight and probably x-rayed.
My poor fur baby. She just can’t catch a break.
The full story of Mena is here.
The Genre Underground is sponsoring a "Tell a Story" roundtable. This is my second time at bat. It's a fabulously kooky story. Start at the beginning here.
As soon as Dr. Glockenspiel’s hands stopped waving, the bright glow faded, leaving both the doctor and Burbleglax blinking away the tears. It was Burbleglax who saw Princess Zyx’s new face… and new form. “Princess…?”
The small lady elf with chubby cheeks, big blue eyes, and a generous smile, nodded. “How do I look?’
Burbleglax shook his head. “Not like you.”
Sitting up in alarm, the Princess touched her face and looked at her tiny, delicate hands. “I’m not ugly, am I?”
Dr. Glockenspiel smiled as he presented her with a mirror. “My spell was to make you the perfect match for your true love—in image only. You, my dear princess, are already perfect.”
Princess Zyx took the mirror and looked at herself for a long time. She turned her face this way and that. She practiced smiling. She practiced puppy dog eyes. She practiced a stern, regal look… that didn’t quite work with her new face. Then, she just stared… a single tear coursing down her apple cheek.
“Princess?” Burbleglax turned from her and glared at the doctor. “Oh, you’ve done it, Mister. You upset my princess. I’ll have your license, your practice, your wives, even your yappy little dogs before I’m done with you. I don’t forgive and I’m her highness’ best chief practitioner of minutiamancy.” The little imp was beginning to froth.
All the while, having the doctor never seen an imp in a full on rage before, backed away slowly, his hands raised in supplication. “But… but… the spell.”
“When I’m done with you, you would be able to clean toilets, much less—”
“Burbleglax. I need you.” Princess Zyx’s voice was higher pitched but still the same imperious tone.
The imp gave the doctor one last glare and hurried to Princess Zyx’s side. “Yes, your highness?” He bowed low.
Still looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled. “It’s perfect! It’s absolutely perfect! That cranky old Claus can’t deny me my love for Tinselton… or his love for me. We’re going to the North Pole to rescue Tinselton from Claus—even if it’s the last thing you do. And we’ve got to do it before the android gets free.”
Francis Pauli is up next here.
I have a new interview up at Roleplayers Chronicle. Lots about Colonial Gothic and Shanghai Vampocalypse.
There is a SFWA Reading on Tuesday, the 23rd, in Kirkland.
I will be reading at Soul Food Books in Redmond on Wednesday, the 24th with Brenda Cooper, Keffy Kehrli, Cat Rambo, K.C. Ball, and Caren Gussoff. It starts at 7pm.
I sold "A Card Given" to the What Fates Impose anthology, edited by Nayad Monroe.
Here's the cover image of CHILDREN OF ANU. The character on the cover is a version Vicki. I love it! Cover photography by Amber Clark.
Mena is home now, in her blue cape. She keeps trying to groom but fails. This is good and bad. Right now, all of the cats are randomly hissy at each other. First it was Mena. It’s the drugs. Now, it’s mostly Isis and she’s hissing at everyone. I’m pretty sure it is a dominance thing. Plus, Mena’s cape makes her look bigger than she is.
Thank you everyone who helped raise money for Mena’s surgery. You all helped raise about $400. Between that, my extra hours, and my patron, we’re squeaking through. We’re still hoping to sell the bar to cover the rest and the follow up visit.
We’ve decided to keep the Apocalypse Ink Productions book sale going through the middle of May. Partly as a “thank you!” and partly in prep of the release of CHILDREN OF ANU. I’m really-really glad she’s home.
I'm participating in Genre Underground's Tell a Story Day story. This is my first dip into the ongoing storyline.
The android tilted his head, its auditory sensors cranked up to detect the disturbance that certainly followed the elf to Assembly. As the sounds of roars, terrified metallic squees, and metal smashing against metal reached it, the android nodded. “I believe I have the trajectory of our quarry.”
“One moment.” The lawyer shuffled through his case again. “I need to make sure I have the correct contracts on hand. I’m biological but I’ve negotiated the right to traverse Assembly as needed in the pursuit of a case.”
“Logically, we are in pursuit of an elf with a troll who might have information on our case.”
“Yes. It all counts. Remember, I’m a master at the fine print.” The lawyer tapped his chin. “Which begs the question of how the elf was able to open a portal at all. I did remove his free will.”
As the disturbance in the distance gained volume, the android shrugged. “A thought experiment for another time. Our lead is getting away.” It turned from the lawyer and set off in the direction of the troll versus droid melee.
The lawyer jogged to keep up with the android’s long strides. “Troll first, then elf. Based on his actions, I deem the elf part of the case. Bounty hunter or not, he knows more than he’s saying. He knew the troll. He broke our contract. He came here. He may be part of the crime.” The lawyer stopped talking to save his breath for jogging as he searched his memory for how long he could be on Assembly without taking damage from the planet’s industrial tainted air. Not long if he remembered correctly.
As they came upon the scene of destruction, mauled bunny droid parts scattered hither, thither, and yon, their original quarry was locked in combat with one of the largest security droids either the android or lawyer had ever seen.
“Halt this combat immediately.” The lawyer pulled out his contract with Assembly and read. “By Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15, of the Assembly Contract 597, this troll is to be bound and released into our custody.”
“Negative.” The security drone did not release the troll who continued to scream and pound against its metal frame. “In times of crisis, Security Protocol 19 supersedes Assembly Contract 597, Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15.”
The android nodded. “This is a crisis.”
Jay Hartlove is next up.
Just got back from visiting Mena at the vet. They need to keep her another night to make sure her pain is managed and to make sure the surgery wound is healing as expected. Mena is on serious drugs and is feeling no pain. At the same time, she really, really wanted to be with me but also wanted her box (aka the litter box—I can see why they leave so little litter in there and clean it immediately).
She knew me as soon as I came in and was both very meowy and purring. She couldn’t get comfortable but was happy to see me. She insisted on having me hold her from time to time and kept trying to rub her wound on me. This freaked me out. I mean, I’ve been dealing with an open leg wound since February and the idea of rubbing is just… not gonna think about it.
Mena will be on a pain patch for two weeks. I’m glad. That surgery wound looks awful to me. It’s open down the side of her face. The skin is suppose to close and the hair is suppose to camouflage the surgical scar. But, everything is reacting as expected.
How you can help.
This morning I dropped Mena off for the first of two surgeries she needs to fix her ears. She has congenital stenosis of the ear canal in both ears and I wrote about it here. I’m pretty freaked out about it all. My kitty’s in surgery. My pet insurance won’t cover it. The cost of this first surgery with its follow-up appointments is estimated at $2000. It could be more. It could be a little less.
As soon as I found out about this, I went into crisis problem solving mode. I wrangled more hours at my pays-the-bills job and we decided to sell our marble top bar (Seattle area). Then, unexpectedly, a patron stepped forward to help us out financially. I’m so grateful. Things aren’t nearly as dire as they first were and I can focus on Mena.
The Husband and I decided that we were going to do an Apocalypse Ink Productions book sale to supplement our funds, to say thank you to our fans, and to put CALLER UNKNOWN, the first book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles on sale since CHILDREN OF ANU, book two in the series comes out in about two months.
Apocalypse Ink Productions is having a 30% off sale for everything in the AIP store. Just use the code MENA. We also added a choose-your-own-level donation product if you just want to help out. We’ll keep the Mena page updated with pictures and progress.
If nothing else, good vibes and prayers for my broken kitty are appreciated.
I just got back from Gothenburg, Sweden, where I was the Guest of Honor at Sweden’s largest RPG convention, GothCon. What an amazing trip. We got to do a bit of sightseeing—the architecture of the city is spectacular—and hang out with the staff of the convention off and on.
The Husband took lots of pictures. Here’s a FB album of some of them.
Some thoughts about the trip:
* Traveling to Gothenburg is an experience. 22 hours to get there. 35 to get home. Layovers in Amsterdam both times. Thank goodness for Yotel Hotel. It’s like a deluxe coffin motel. The whole room was about 10'x10'. The bed converted into a couch. It was a tiny room. But when all you want to do is sleep, that’s all you need.
* GothCon was a blast. My lectures were well attended. I bought some gorgeous artwork. The staff was fun to hang out with. There were games everywhere. The staff food was really good. (By and large, the food everywhere in Gothenburg was fab!)
* Gothenburg is windy and that wind is cold. Seriously cold. The temperature wasn’t bad overall but I’m glad I had my heavy coat. Spring was finally breaking for them. Everyone mentioned how happy they were that the snow was finally gone.
* Gothenburg is made of hills and stairs. *smile* I spent a lot of time walking. More than usual. There is no surprise that the entire population of Gothenburg is good-looking and fit.
* The people of Sweden are mostly bilingual and very nice. Most of the people I met immediately switched to English as soon as they realized I didn’t know their language. I was grateful for this. It made the travel a lot less stressful. A lot of the signs were in English as well.
* The flora and fauna of Sweden is neat. I was forever pestering people about what that bird was or what kind of tree that was. I got a lot of funny looks. One thing of note—when bird calls are different than you’re used to, you hear every single one.
* We did a bit of wandering around. Pontus (my liaison) walked my feet off the first day to make sure we saw the architecture and the Crown as well as a couple of old churches. Later, we went to the Universeum. Getting to the waterfront was a bit of a challenge and Bella (a staff member) finally decided to take us to a private beach on Volvo company land. It was beautiful.
* Apparently, you can ice skate on the ocean in winter. It boggles the mind. Also, even though Spring finally appeared 90% of all of the lakes were still frozen.
I’m so glad I got to go. There were so many cool things. Thank you Pontus, Bella, Alex, and the rest of GothCon. I loved my visit to your lovely country.