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Hahahaha well it's been another month, almost, and I'm only just now getting around to posting again. I feel like I say this a lot, but "In my defense"... it's been a crazy month. Between wrapping up my Wild Cards project, setting up interviews/filling out interviews/lining up the launch for The Family Plot, adopting a sick dog, and the week-long mayhem of DragonCon...we've really had our hands full over here.

Wait. Lemme explain.
Um, okay. In that order (because why not):

1. I have finished up a novella for one of the upcoming Wild Cards projects, and GRRM is happy with it, and it only took one massive rewrite and a small clean-up pass. I'm relieved and chuffed and proud, and when the release details and final line-up are public information, you can safely bet that I'll post all of that information here.

2. The Family Plot officially drops on the 20th of this month, so it's been all ghost stories, all the time over at Chez Cherie. Fortunately, with (more than a little) wrangling from Wonder-Editor Liz and the good folks at The Missing Volume, we were able to sneak an early box to DragonCon - so if you were there, you might have gotten an advance copy like this nice fellow did. Go you! I hope you will be kind enough to post and cross-post reviews to all the usual places. It's terribly helpful to authors, I swear, and we appreciate it more than we can ever adequately express.

Speaking of, early reviews for The Family Plot have been very good. As previously noted, Publishers Weekly gave it a fancy red starred review and added the shiny red box to the print edition, so they must have really, really liked it.

Other people are digging it, too. Booklist likewise gave it a starred review, declaring (in part) that it's "Highly recommended for fans of contemporary ghost stories."

Here, let me give you a short secondary link roundup:
3. We adopted another dog. You know this, if you follow me on Twitter. There have been....many dog pictures. It's kind of a long story, but to sum up: We'd been idly in the market for a second dog for awhile now, sort of waiting for the right pooch to fall into our laps. Then two weeks ago, we went to Petsmart for cat supplies during an adopt-a-thon. My husband lost his shit over this sweet little lady, and she came home with us.

Her name is Lucy. We were told that she was about 3 years old, fully vetted and spayed, housebroken, crate-trained, good with cats, and good with all other dogs/people, too. And hey, some of that was true.

I'm not mad at the rescue; they pulled Lucy with 9(?) newborn puppies (her second litter) from a kill shelter before they could be put down in all in a batch. This rescue operates on a shoestring, and they're doing the best work they can. I am not complaining about them. I absolutely appreciate that their mission is an underfunded and overwhelming one.

However...this rescue was, shall we say, not 100% correct on all those points.

My vet thinks Lucy might not be much more than a year old, perhaps a year and a half - if she did in fact have two litters. Lucy was tested for heartworms and spayed, and that's it. Never dewormed, given shots, etc. She was not housebroken. She was not crate-trained, though it's apparent that she's familiar with crates and - generally speaking - doesn't mind them.

She was also quite sick. She had a UTI and a bowel infection that made housebreaking her tricky as hell. We couldn't in good conscience crate a dog who legit had to pee/explode with poop every twenty minutes - even at night. That's just mean. So the housebreaking has been an exercise in patience and puppy pads and vinegar spray and enzyme cleaners and throwing away a very nice rug that simply could not be salvaged. And so forth.

That said, she really is good with everything and everybody - and her cat manners are superb. The ElderCat accepted her more or less immediately(!!!) except for a brief stand-off re: whether or not cat food was an acceptable snack for dogs. Quinnie was more dubious, but has warmed up fast. Greyson is a little jelly sometimes, but overall seems quite happy to have a baby sister.

She's definitely jacked up his activity level, which is good because he's become a total fatty. They love to play chase and wrestle, and sometimes play tug with a toy. They're good together on walks, and the neighborhood kids have already figured out that our yard is a two-for when it comes to dog kisses at the gate.

Before anyone asks, Lucy's puppies were weaned, spayed/neutered, and put up for adoption. I think they're all gone off to new homes now. (At least, I know most of them are.) As the story went, someone bought Lucy as a puppy thinking (for whatever dumbass reason) that she was a purebred husky - and tried to breed her (too young) and sell her (not pure) puppies. By the second litter, her original owner realized they'd been taken for a ride ... and surrendered her with the babies because they "didn't need that many dogs."

I don't know what the hell is wrong with people.

Anyway, Lucy is feeling much better now, after almost 2 weeks of antibiotics and other assorted meds. She hasn't had any daytime accidents since Tuesday, but she's been surprising us with some magnificent gift of excrement or mayhem every single morning since her arrival ... except for last night, when we finally felt she was well enough to handle a crating. She took it like a champ and even let us sleep in until 8:30 (beating the hell out of her usual 5:30-6:00 a.m.). This means it's been a full day (and change) since there's been any inappropriate pottying in the house! ::throws confetti::

Did I mention mayhem above? Somewhere in that paragraph? Yes, I think so.

That's because Lucy is - in no uncertain terms - very, very smart. Much smarter than Greyson. Much more ambitious. Far less food-secure. Considerably more mischievous. When she thinks no one's looking, she likes to bounce on the couch and fling the cushions around the room. When we put the cat food out of her reach, she waits until we're gone and counter-surfs. One night she dragged out a full bin of kibble at 3:00 a.m., hauled it into the foyer, dumped it all out, and helped herself.

She is a character (and sometimes a challenge), but we wouldn't have her any other way :)

Look, I don't want to break anybody's heart, but she's got a real tough life here.

Right, so. That's Lucy.

4. I went to DragonCon, three days after we adopted Lucy. So my husband was left behind for a week with three rounds of meds at different times every day, plus a geriatric cat who needs medicine every night, and Greyson and Quinnie, to boot. He did good! At least, when I got back home everyone was still alive, and that's the important bit.

In a nutshell, DragonCon was magnificent, as always. There were SO MANY PICTURES. I can't even. But what I can do is excerpt a few of my favorites. (For many more, see the media tab at my Twitter Account and scroll around. Also check out Kevin Hearne's feed and Fran Wilde's, too because I bet/know they also have jillions...)

Fran Wilde and I may have done some drinking.

We also have killer kind-of-matchy tattoos.

With all-around amazing human being Kevin Hearne.

With Tiffany Trent! Who I hadn't seen in ages!

With Delilah S. Dawson, who was definitely not possessed or anything.

With Leanna Renee Hieber, having Serious Opinions re: the Penny Dreadful finale.

One more with Kevin, and the inimitable Myke Cole.

With Lynn and Caleb Beatty, my roomies for Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

Look, Kevin is awesome, okay? And so is Micheal J. Martinez, too.

And Eugene Meyers! Who I also hadn't seen in ages!

With the always-handsome and awesome Tony Ballard-Smoot!

And one last shot of me with Derek Tatum, the horror track director who I've known about 20 years :)

Now, for item #5. Okay, so there's no item #5 in my initial thesis statement at the top ... but that's only because I forgot. You see, I came back from DragonCon with the most ferocious con-crud of my life. The doc said he'd write down "pneumonia of the face-holes" if there was any such thing, if that gives you any idea.

On the upshot, it doesn't appear to be strep throat. On the downside, I've had cases of strep throat before that weren't this bad. But I have antibiotics and STEROIDS now and the STEROIDS kicked in this morning, so I've been a busy (if hoarse and drippy) lady today. To wit: I've done the dishes, made the beds (been sleeping in my office to prevent spousal contamination), walked/fed/medicated the dogs, watered the yard, paid some bills, filled out an interview, sent some emails, and spent about 90 minutes typing up this blog post.

Steroids are GREAT. This is the most work I've gotten done in a day since I left DragonCon.

At any rate, thanks for reading, and thanks for being patient with me. I'll post again soon, because I have a couple of local events for The Family Plot's release, but I don't want to post them right now - lest they get lost in the shuffle. Besides, this has gone on long enough, don't you think?

I do. Let's wrap this up with a critter picture.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2016 10:13 pm (UTC)

Sorry about the mischievous mayhem. Glad Lucy has found a happy home and that the oldest took to her and is doing well. Thanks for the fun Dragon Con pics. It's good to see you.

Sep. 11th, 2016 04:33 am (UTC)
Dear god, those eyes! That face! I could not have resisted, either. Welcome to the clan, Lucy!
Sep. 11th, 2016 07:25 am (UTC)
Lucy's wonderful! Congratulations on adding a new family member!
Sep. 12th, 2016 01:31 am (UTC)
From the first picture, Lucy looks like she might have some border collie in her?
Sep. 12th, 2016 02:07 am (UTC)
That would explain the intelligence and initiative. The terrible, incessant ingenious initiative.
Sep. 12th, 2016 08:29 am (UTC)
Those eyes!
Sep. 12th, 2016 08:42 pm (UTC)
OMG Lucy's eyes! What a beautiful girl! Congrats!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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