Welcome to May!
That’s the Vanhoutte spirea at my mother’s house, the waterfall of shrubs that came from cuttings of a plant my grandfather planted for my grandmother lo these many years ago. I always admire these tough, dependable shrubs very much. This year, they’re late because we’ve had such a cold spring.
You know what, I used to get up at 4:30 AM, give Keya a pill, begin my day, and often settle down and open my laptop by six in the morning. I could get so much done before I went to work!
Now, I get up at 5:00 AM, which is still early, but at least doesn’t start with a four. I mean, this time of year, 5:00 is practically dawn! It’s morning, almost anybody would agree. (Would almost everyone agree? Anyway, it seems solidly like morning to me.)
Then I do stuff with the puppies. I carry the big two puppies outside, deposit them in the semi-puppy-secure spot under the deck, go in to clean up the puppy room — not much cleanup, yay, they are trying hard to be housetrained, pretty impressive at six weeks of age. Then I put softened kibble down for Leda’s puppies and transfer them from the playpen to the puppy room, where they can have so much more space and learn to move away from the den to do their business. Then I bring the big puppies in and put softened kibble down for them, which the blenheim puppy is MORE THAN HAPPY TO EAT. I watch for a minute and then hand-feed the tricolor puppy some of the soft kibble. Then I take them out again. Then I bring them in again. Then I feed the adult dogs, including Elli, who is staying with me again for a month. Then I take the two big puppies out AGAIN and then let them loose to run around in the living room, making a firm mental note to look down before I take a step.
This takes about an hour, what with one thing and another.
Finally the big puppies are ready to fall asleep and I put them in the playpen and THEN I can go on with my normal morning.
At least they still sleep for a good long time before they wake up. And nothing bothers them. Lights on or off, they don’t care. Electric mixer, they don’t care. Food processor, they don’t care. This is the plus of raising puppies right adjacent to real life: they get totally blasé about all sorts of normal life things.
Anyway, this puppy thing does not help get work done in the morning.
“Getting work done,” for a lot of last week, did not involve getting out my laptop. Because I sent the most correct, updated version of NO FOREIGN SKY to my phone and I have been reading it in that format, and it is INSANE how many little tweaks I am making. Like about one every other page, something like that. I am not finding many actual typos, but I have found eight, so that alone makes re-reading it worthwhile. But I’m just stunned at how different it is to read the same book on my computer screen vs in paper vs on my phone. I now really believe that some authors find it helpful to read a book out loud when proofing. I’m not going to do that, but I certainly believe it’s got to be effective.
Anyway, finished that this morning. Correct the tiny handful of typos, make the huge number of tweaks, and I will re-load the corrected version tomorrow, probably. I can make changes for the rest of this week. I think next Wednesday is the cut-off date. The final version must be loaded by then.
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you ought to get that today — not sure when Mailchimp sends out a mailing — so you should have a chance to read chapter one and a bit of chapter two if you wish. I hope you like it! Preorder for the next two weeks and then, as you know, the book will appear magically on your Kindle on May 15th. It’s in KU, so we’ll see how it does there. I may or may not take it wide depending on pages read. I may run a promotion for it using the tools available in KU before I make that decision. In fact, it would probably be sensible to leave it in KU until INVICTUS drops and then decide, as I may be able to cross-promote them. Not sure. They’re so different, even though they’re both SF and involve space ships and things.
Anyway, NO FOREIGN SKY ate my week, but I will be moving on shortly. Not sure what I will pick up. I was really into INVICTUS and found it difficult to put down last week. But I would like to finish the draft of the (apparently pretty long) story that will go in the Tuyo World Companion. It would probably be more sensible to pick up the latter. We shall see!
Meanwhile, here is Morgan, who really (REALLY) likes to mother Leda’s puppies. She will probably decide they are big enough that they do not need her sometime this coming week. But they are just under half the size of her puppies, and she just loves little ones, so she is much more interested in these puppies right now than her own.