Update: And suddenly there is just one puppy

Bo, which is to say Anara Quintessential Bodhisattva, with his New Person at his New Home. May he have a wonderful life!

Wow, it is always something of a shock to let all the puppies go, especially when they go so fast, one after another. I sent Morgan’s tri boy off first, then her Blen boy — that’s him above, as you may realize — then a short pause. Then Leda’s Girl 2 left me this past Saturday, Boy 2 Sunday, and Boy 1 this morning. Ouch, seriously.

I’m glad I’m keeping one. Even if I decide to place her later, I definitely prefer to have a puppy underfoot for awhile. Here she is, my personal puppy, nibbling my toes. Luckily I am not ticklish.

Her name, by the way, is Anara Rhapsody in Lavender. Her mother’s name is Anara Lavender Rose, you see, and Rhapsody is a nice R word. I named her sister Anara Rhapsody in Blue, which turned out to please her new person, as he is a Gershwin fan.

But it’s rather difficult to turn Rhapsody into a call name. Rap? No. Soda? No. Happy? No. Lavey? No no no.

Right now I’m calling her DeeDee. If you squint, you can see the “dee” in “Rhapsody.” Dee is too short for a puppy name, but DeeDee is okay. I might change it later, but for now, DeeDee. Which also sounds quite a bit like PuppyPuppy, which is what I start off calling nearly all of them, so she’s already learned to come to me when she hears her name.

She is a very sweet puppy, but — I think I said this in a previous post — not the most confident. So this week, many short drives to nice friendly places that are not too overwhelming. With treats. Treats are always good.

Meanwhile! Gosh, look, this is a rough draft after all!

I sort of remembered this as finished.

I skimmed through the first book quickly and was pleased. Then I started this book, the second half of the story. It was fine, fine, fine, then boom! I hit chapter ten and suddenly realized that yep, this is indeed a rough draft. I had known that, in sort of vague terms, but it has been a year since I wrote this draft and now, ouch, this looks pretty rough. The first part of the revision will be very easy: I just need to pick up elements that appear in the second book and foreshadow them properly in the first book. The second part of the revision will be MUCH MORE DIFFICULT, as I smooth out chapters ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. And fifteen. Hey, at least the last part of the book is in much better shape! But yes, I can now guarantee this project will not be finished by June 1. I’m definitely aiming for June 15th. That is probably fairly realistic.

One thing I’ve noted to myself — I leave BOLDED notes scattered through the text — is that I have two sections where I sum up what has been happening. I think I will replace both of those with the action rather than a summary. That will make this book longer. That is fine. Once I decided to cut the story in half, suddenly there was room to expand either or both books. That’s feeling like something of a luxury after tightening tightening tightening TASMAKAT. Which will still be substantially longer than this complete duology, but I am resigned to TASMAKAT being a total monster.

Anyway, this revision is what I worked on last week and what I will be working on this week, with little side quests around the edges. For example, I’m putting together my next newsletter. I think I will be running some unusual sales of books I don’t normally put on sale; I’ll put information about that in there. And I think I’ll include the current table of contents for the Tuyo World Companion. That way if anybody wants to suggest something else that might go in that book, they can. I’m still working on that, of course. That’s why it will be the “current” ToC. That’s another of the side quests.

I am including recipes, by the way. A couple Ugaro, a couple Lau, a couple Lakasha. I had to order barley flour from Amazon in order to test the Ugaro recipes properly, as the Ugaro have limited wheat flour and use more barley flour. Can you believe I couldn’t find barley flour either at the local health food store OR at Global Foods? Well, Amazon had it.

I love Global Foods, which is in a suburb of St. Louis. I haven’t been there for a long time, probably not since before Covid. I bought lots of cool stuff, many treats I do not usually have handy. But I thought you might enjoy a picture of the single weirdest item I spotted at Global Foods. Here you go:

I think I have a pretty decent imagination, but I could not have come up with that. On the off chance that any of you have tried this, what did you think? In the more probable case that you haven’t, would you have bought this just to see what it was like? I don’t like alcohol, so I didn’t. I wasn’t sure this would contain alcohol, but “fermented” suggested it might. Apparently it doesn’t. The link goes to an article. Here is part of the abstract. The conclusion may not be entirely unbiased.

Shalgam is a traditional Turkish beverage produced by lactic acid fermentation. … In shalgam production, bulgur flour salt, water, purple carrot, turnip, and sometimes red beet is used… Shalgam is a probiotic food and a good source of nutrients. It helps regulate the pH of the digestive system. It contains β-carotene, group B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron. People also use it as a medicine because of its antiseptic agents. Shalgam consumption should be increased and become worldwide.

It would be easier to get people to try it if you called it “shalgam” rather than “fermented hot black carrot juice,” probably. I do try to get something I have never heard of every time I’m at Global Foods. This time I got mulberry molasses. I was quite disappointed. Pomegranate molasses is concentrated pomegranate juice and it’s great. This mulberry molasses just tastes like molasses. I like gingerbread fine, but I can get ordinary molasses to make that. When I found out that the mulberry molasses doesn’t taste like mulberries at all, I looked on Amazon for mulberry preserves. Wow. That exists, but it is VERY PRICEY. However, it is not as pricey as it could be! There are hilariously wrong prices at Amazon. The link goes to a jar that is 16 oz for $28. You know what it says? It says the jar costs $28 OR $28 PER GRAM. That’s what it says! ($28.23 / gram)! There are 454 grams in 16 ounces, so at $28.23 per gram, that would be $12,816 for a 1 lb jar! Ha ha ha, whoops, that is funny! If mulberries were actually worth that much, I would climb my mulberry tree and pick the mulberries! Anyway, I guess I will live without mulberry preserves for the moment, even the jars that are advertised at a more sensible $21 for 2 1-lb jars.

Anyway! That was last week, and this week should be calm, relatively speaking, and pleasant, and since it will be blazingly, unendurably hot, no doubt I will stay inside and not take dogs to the park and that means I will get a lot done. Welcome to summer, and happy Memorial Day!

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6 thoughts on “Update: And suddenly there is just one puppy”

  1. I know about shalgam because our local Turkish groceries sometimes have it, and like it but haven’t had it for a while (thanks for the reminder). It’s sort of hot-tasting, like radishes, and I prefer it half-and-half with fizzy water. One of the very few cold nonalcoholic drinks that aren’t (a) water, (b) cold tea, or (c) sweet.

    (Every time I ask for recommendations I get lots of people suggesting artificially sweetened sodas, but it’s not the calories, it’s the TASTE. Not only are those usually even sweeter than sugary drinks, but I can taste all artificial sweeteners and dislike them all equally. Except aspartame, which I hate with a fierce hate.)

  2. Ah notes. I use square brackets because otherwise I forget to track them down. . .

  3. Huh. I did not realize mulberry preserves were that expensive. I made 40 pints last year of mixed berry preserves and jams, mainly mulberry because we have a giant mulberry tree. I might try making mulberry syrup this year, since we have enough jam for several years.

  4. EC, there are recipes for mulberry sherbet and mulberry ice cream online. Just saying.

    Mary Catelli, me too! As you say, [ ] are great because they are never used for anything else and thus very findable.

    Maybe I’ll try shalgam next time, though radishes are not my favorite.

  5. When hackers are looking for problems in other folks’ code, a classic strategy is to search for “FIX ME” in the comments.

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