Additional tips from the show —

1. Even a king-sized bed doesn’t mean you have more room yourself. All your dogs want to sleep right next to you, thus squeezing you onto one edge until you’re in danger of falling off the bed in the middle of the night.

2. The food network can be addictive! Good thing I don’t have cable, or I’d spend all my time watching Iron Chef episodes. I wonder if those are available on DVD? But if I bought them, I’d spend all my time watching them . . .

Plus, there was this interesting recipe for Shaker Lemon Pie. Used whole Meyer lemons, sliced ultra-thin, and the cook added vodka to the pie crust. Isn’t that a neat idea? The vodka supposedly cooks off as the pie bakes, so you wind up with an extremely flaky crust. I need to remember to try this.

3. You can get used to walking your dogs on a 45 degree slope amazingly fast, if that’s the only place available to walk them.

4. It is totally crucial to pack along some breakfast bars and good pretzels or whatever you like as snack food, even if the hotel has good food (which it did). This will save you if you need to start showing in performance super early in the morning and then need to touch up ears and feet before you show in the breed ring. No time for breakfast or lunch!

5. Although for the first time EVER I took a look at Adora during the lunch break on Friday and said, “You know what? You’re perfect right now.” And so I didn’t even do her ears or put the drying coat on her to flatten her coat. Nothing. And she went on to win best ruby girl in show, so I was right!

6. It will ALWAYS take a minimum of three hours for the banquet and auction on Saturday night. Probably more. Give your dogs good chew toys and don’t even try to keep them calm when you (finally!) get back to your room way past their normal bedtime. They are going to bark hysterically. Just let it go.

7. It’s probably okay if you forget to give your nervous dog dramamine for the trip home. After three days of showing, she’ll just fall into a coma the moment you get onto the highway and barely twitch till you pull into your driveway.

8. It is way, way more pleasant to have a hour and a half drive home than a six hour drive. Too bad the July show isn’t in St Louis every year!

Other news:

Yes, I’m starting the revision of Black Dog. I’m switching the first couple of scenes into Natividad’s point of view and adding a bit to the first chapter . . . I have that partly done now . . . probably I’ll break the chapter up and start Alejandro’s point of view in Chapter 2. I should have that done by the end of tomorrow, I hope.

As I go, I’ll be revising the ages of some of the characters (downward, because the idea is to drop this story more firmly onto the YA side of the line) and making various revisions to the plot. Don’t want to actually provide spoilers as such, so can’t say too much about that. Not that anything would make sense if you haven’t read the story, I guess, but still.

I’m feeling pretty good about this revision right now. Hope I still feel that way in a few weeks!

Meanwhile, the heat’s supposed to break in the next few days! Can’t wait for that!

Now, gotta go make the eggplant fries from my latest issue of Saveur — they sound great!

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