Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Just a general update

First, Puppy H:

So, yeah, I got about 2 hours of sleep last night, in bits here and there — all very normal for the first night. Puppy H was a loud little creature, which means of course that she wasn’t getting enough milk. The angry cry of a puppy that is nursing but not getting enough milk is completely distinct from the much more desperate cry of a puppy that is cold. For a newborn, cold is a huge threat. They cry immediately and loudly when their mom stands up and leaves them exposed to the chilly air. (For a newborn, anything under ninety degrees counts as chilly, but obviously the mother would be waaay too hot if you put the temp up that high.)

Interesting tidbit: I’ve never seen a Cavalier mother actually respond to the “I’m cold” cry of a puppy. The possible reason for this: in fact I always step in so fast they probably never have a chance to.

Anyway, I tube-fed the baby 3 cc of formula at midnight and another 3 cc at six this morning. That’s less then half what I would feed an actual orphan, so I’m assuming she’s getting a some milk. She’s down to 7.6 oz, which means she’s lost about 9% of her body weight, certainly not a crisis, but I wouild like to see her stabilize her weight today and start to gain a bit. Once they start to gain, they usually do fine.

The mother: Kenya is eating and drinking well and doesn’t appear to be in pain. She’s moving well on walks and wants to go down the three front steps by herself. I lifted her up, though, on the way back. How much pain the mother suffers after a section varies so much, even with the same girl in different litters, but even a tougher recovery makes human women look like absolute wimps. It’s just amazing to see how unaffected Kenya is by the surgery. Not that she is voluntarily doing anything right now but lying in the whelping box with her puppy.

The other dogs: Pippa knows all about this kind of thing, so she’s blase. Adora ought to have been having her puppies in a week, but of course lost them a month ago, making this year an even worse disaster than last year. Her hormones are still whispering about motherhood to her, though, and she has made it clear that if Kenya doesn’t want her puppy, she wouldn’t mind stepping in. Poor Adora! I *really* wish she was still scheduled to have some of her own!

The youngsters, Folly and Giedre? They have NO IDEA what this little squeaking thing is in here, or why I’m ignoring them. Poor girls! They will just have to be patient since they won’t be meeting the new arrival for weeks. Hopefully I will be able to pay more attention to them in a few days.

The cat? This isn’t HIS first rodeo, not by a long shot; he was already on the scene when I bred my very first litter. I would NEVER let him in the room with tiny puppies, because he is a hunter, but in fact he has never shown the SLIGHTEST inclination to attack a puppy. He even plays with them gently when they are older, and he never puts his claws out. An amazingly tolerant animal. I mean, with puppies. I don’t suggest anybody but me try to stroke him.

The revision I’ve been working on: actually, I had *just* finished the first run through the ms before the section. So it’s in a good stopping point. Which is good, because I definitely won’t want to touch it again until at least tomorrow. What I’ve done so far is simply go from chapter to chapter making suggested changes. The next and last step will be to read through the whole thing from front to back, checking for flow and tweaking things here and there and trying to decide if both protagonists have the clear character arcs they’re supposed to.

Current reading: Since trying to get work done is hopeless right now, I’m reading PANTOMIME by Laura Lam. There are LOTS of bloggers talking about this book, but my advice is, don’t go looking for reviews unless you’re okay with major spoilers. In a day or so I will post some non-spoilery thoughts, because this is indeed a very interesting book, marketed in a very interesting way.

I’m also reading ROSE’S HEAVENLY CAKES, which had been on my wishlist for ages and which my twin brother gave me for our birthday. Which is actually not till Friday, but I opened it early because, hey, I needed a lift. Isn’t that funny: a book as a birthday present, that lets you bake your own special birthday cake? I have no idea which cake I will make first, but I know I love the “cake science” that’s all through this book. My plan now is never again to bake a non-perfect cake.

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2 Comments Just a general update

  1. Elaine T

    Glad the puppy is doing well!

    We have THE CAKE BIBLE, which is full of yummy goodness and baking knowledge. Is the HEAVENLY CAKE an update, or just another cake book by the author?

    And right now I really need to get off the ‘net and go start the promised tunnel of fudge for the resident teenager.

  2. Rachel

    It’s a different book, not just an updated version of THE CAKE BIBLE. Beranbaum says she has discovered the advantages of oil over butter, something which is reflected in this book, though there are lots of recipes for butter cakes, too, of course. (She says oil cakes stay fresh-tasting longer and are just as good chilled as room temperature, which isn’t true of butter cakes.)

    So far my favorite is a lovely four-layer white cake with a strawberry filling and chocolate icing — a “chocolate-covered strawberry cake,” you see! It looks amazing. As soon as Kenya lets me leave the puppy room for more than a few minutes at a time, I want to try it!

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