Progress report, plus puppies slow everything down

Finished! Maybe.

I think I might be finished revising No Foreign Sky. Not completely sure. This is the stage where it’s actually quite difficult to be sure. Stuff got cut. Stuff got added (not as much stuff). A lot of items in my bulleted “things to do” list have been crossed off. A smaller bulleted list got created and items in that have also been crossed off.

I think I will set this manuscript aside for today and tomorrow, look it over, maybe do a little detail work on Sunday, and send it back (again) to my agent on Monday. Having said that, I hope I don’t realize on Sunday that I missed something big I meant to change or add or delete or whatever.

I’ll be glad to put a period on this manuscript, again, for a while. It’s the sort of manuscript I can fiddle with endlessly. I want to send it off and put it out of my mind and work on something else. Of course I’m not sure exactly what I should work on next.

a) Write another Black Dog novella. Or two. Or three. Do you realize there are only four and a half months before Halloween? I need to write the other novellas for the upcoming collection in time for some of you to read them and comment. Luckily, as I mentioned early this year, I have about, what, seven decent ideas for stories. None of those have helpfully suggested full scenes, but I haven’t been thinking about them either. If I start to write one of them, it should hopefully unfold pretty easily.

b) Write another scene or two for TASMAKAT.

c) Finish KERAUNANI.

d) Finish the SF novel that is still sitting here at 80,000 words.

Well, I will take the rest of the day off, probably. Maybe read something off my TBR pile.

Meanwhile:

Grandmother Kimmie with three-week-old puppies

Morgan never goes in with her puppies unless I tell her to. She is not a fond mother. This is probably partly because she developed a rash on her underside. I started trimming all the puppies’ claws every three days and rinsing Morgan’s tummy after she nurses, and the rash has mostly cleared up and she no longer objects to nursing, but still — not fond. I get up in the middle of the night and tell her to go nurse her puppies and supervise to make sure she stays with them long enough for them to get full.

Meanwhile, Kimmie has been begging to go see the puppies since they were born. She’s actually seen them briefly several times — I trust her completely to be gentle and maternal — but this is the first time she had a change to settle down with them. Which she did at once. If she could nurse them, I’d let Morgan retire from motherhood.

The b/t boy is no longer a concern. (Knock on wood.) He’s gaining properly now without any support and is no longer the smallest puppy (quite). He has surpassed the tricolor boy (barely). The tri boy was one of the biggest and is now the smallest. I’m giving him eight to ten cc’s of formula, very slowly and carefully, by syringe, about three times a day. That helps him nurse vigorously and gain. This is a lot like Leda and her sister, his full aunts; they had very much the same kind of minor problem. I fully expect that, like them, he will be perfectly fine as soon as he starts eating real food. I suggest food to the puppies every day, but so far they are unimpressed.

Puppies develop A LOT every week from this point on. They are all up on their feet — in another week, they’ll be sorta kinda steady. They are all playing a little — in another week, they’ll be playing a lot. They are all licking formula off my fingertip — in another week, I HOPE they will all be willing to eat very small, very mushy bits of kibble.

They are also just about cute enough to be distracting. In two weeks, they will be ULTIMATELY cute.

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