Okay! So, the kittens, still a dilemma.
I don’t have to make a decision until I’m actually loading the car to drive to Chicago, so that means not till Sept 1 or at the earliest Aug 31. I’m excellent at putting off decisions, so I’m not thinking about this yet. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying having these babies around. They’ve had a vet visit — no point putting that off — so now they’ve had their first car ride (not counting whatever car ride brought them out to the woods and dumped them), and their first vaccinations, and they’ve been wormed (roundworms, ubiquitous in neglected kittens and puppies, one pill and you’re done, so that’s easy). They’ve gained about a pound, maybe more, which means they’ve about doubled their weight, mostly because they were so damn thin when they turned up. They’ve filled out beautifully and no longer look like there’s nothing to them but leg and ribcage.
The colors are certainly unique! I like color genetics, but I’m still baffled about how to describe them, except colorpoint. I guess I’d call the boy a blue point tabby? But the stripes are less obvious now than two weeks ago. He may look extremely Siamese-y when he’s an adult. That streaky look on his face is in fact the stripes. The little girl is colorpoint dilute tortoiseshell with white, but I’m not sure if she’s genetically dilute or whether there’s some odd interaction between the colorpoint genes and the tortie genes that’s making the tortoiseshell markings look dilute.
Meanwhile! Tasmakat update:
A) We are in Avaras! Yay! Wow, it took forever to get here, but here we are at last! We have had the first meeting with the king. I must say, Soretes is, what with one thing and another, irate. He’s going to be even more upset shortly. We’re about to have an important conversation that will lead into the final third of the book.
B) I had sort of thought I might put one or two important-ish scenes between Avaras and the country of sand, but now I think probably not. This book is going to be long enough. I think this is probably an excellent time to say briskly, “Two weeks later, we arrived at the border,” and move on.
The southern border is called the Break, at least at the moment. It’s a chasm filled with fire from which poisonous gases rise. You don’t want to trip and fall in. Bridges arch high above the Break to avoid the poisonous gas.
C) 210,000 words and counting. That means a bit over 600 pp, for those of you who may count in pages. This is actually pretty much where I expected to be at this point. I suppose this is a good time to mention that the first draft of Tarashana went to 260,000 words; the final version is 210,000 words. Going long with Tasmakat is fine! I still think October is a generous estimate for the completion date, barring sudden disasters getting in the way.
If Naamah is pregnant, puppies will be due in early October. That would be a great time to have finished a draft so I can send it off to various first readers while I lose sleep hovering over the whelping box. We’ll see how that works out.