The Invictus Curse

I swear, this book. Honestly.

I started writing Invictus, I don’t know, three or four years ago, something like that. As you may know from previous posts, I got stuck, so I now have about 7 earlier versions sitting here, plus the optimistically named InvictusFinal draft.

For versions 1 through 5, I got stuck because I didn’t know enough about everyone’s secret plans and therefore kept running into roadblocks of one kind or another.

For versions 6 and 7, I finally knew enough to move forward and therefore just accumulated new versions as I revised heavily and decided it was time to save a new version. I didn’t get stuck, exactly, but I had to pause to work on other things.

Last week I thought, great, here’s spring break, 9 days in which I can whip through the remaining revision and finally start moving forward! Yay!

Well, no.

This time I got derailed by dog stuff, some happy, but alas, some much less happy.

Here’s Fox — Closeburn Red Fox to the Front — a stunning young ruby boy owned by another breeder, who happened to mention him to me when I commented that I was keeping an eye out for a nice ruby boy for my Morgan. He’s just gorgeous. He looks nice enough in pictures, but whoa, see him in person and he’s an absolute knockout. I swear, this is a dude who would be competitive in any show ring anywhere, no matter what other dogs are present. He hasn’t been shown — like Morgan, he’s a Covid puppy, who was just beginning to show in puppy classes when Covid shut down showing. But his head is lovely, his body is great, wonderful structure, beautiful movement, seriously, this is a really, really nice dog.

Fox flirting with Morgan

Fox lives with his breeder, Linda, in Paducah, almost three hours away from my house. Morgan quite unexpectedly came into season two months before I thought she would. Because Linda and I both had complicated schedules last week, and because Morgan’s progesterone numbers pegged the right days to breed as truly inconvenient, I wound up driving to Paducah, picking up Fox, bringing him home with me, picking up Morgan, and taking them both to St Louis — another hour and a half each way — for an artificial insemination. Most non-breeders would consider details to fall into the category of TMI, so I’ll stop there.

Anyway, I kept Fox for several days, during which I did two artificial inseminations, took four dogs to St. L on a different day for eye clearances, then drove back to Paducah to return him. That was Friday. In the process, I racked up 22 hours of driving in four days. I highly recommend AKH’s And All the Stars as an audiobook, by the way.

Fine, I thought, I still have two days, this is easily enough to finish revising the last forty pages of this manuscript and then at least I will be in position to start moving forward with Invictus.

No.

On Saturday morning, my now-oldest dog, Keya, who is a little over twelve years old, had a classic grand mal seizure.

Keya as a svelte youngster

She had eight seizures in the next 30 hours, finally moving into a predictable seizure every three hours. It turned out that Phenobarb didn’t stop the seizures, so I took her to VSS in St. Louis — again, an hour and a half each way — where they wanted to keep her for 48 hours. No, I said. Plan B, as an outpatient, would be what? So they gave me two more medications and I took her home and she is now practically in a coma from the various meds. But she hasn’t had a seizure since yesterday at 5:00 PM. I think. If she did, it was really quiet because I slept through it.

So … she’s only twelve, and I’m pretty upset. She was supposed to be young for another two years or so! She wasn’t showing any signs of age at all! And now, boom, here we are. I expect it’s a brain tumor — again — same as for Pippa, although the presentation is so different. That’s by far the most common cause of sudden onset geriatric seizures, especially as it’s very (very) unlikely she’s been poisoned and I don’t see how she can have a serious inflammatory disease when she shows no other symptoms at all. Brain tumor, almost for sure.

So, this is having a serious impact on how much emotional energy I have for other things. I’ll get back to Invictus … pretty soon, I guess … but maybe not this week.

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4 thoughts on “The Invictus Curse”

  1. I hope you get some great puppies out of Morgan and Fox. So sorry for the news about Keya. I’ll be thinking of you in coming days and hoping you find a good resolution for her.

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