Finished! For real this time. Also, puppies are getting cuter and cuter

Okay, in one way this weekend was not that much fun, as I developed a mild cold. However, it was (and is still) mild enough that it isn’t really distracting or enervating, so that’s good. It also provided a solid excuse to stay home ALL WEEKEND and go NOWHERE AT ALL, which I always appreciate, though it means I’ll have to run errands after work sometime this week. But it was worth it! Because I ripped through the rest of the primary revision for RIHASI and will now be sending it to the first set of early readers.

Naturally this means I added words. That’s why I wanted to cut first, so that looking at the wordcount going up wouldn’t drive me berserk. It’s really really long, however. If I add more during secondary revision, I’ll be trying to trim at the same time, but it’s definitely going to wind up at least 170,000 words.

My feeling is that it’s great and doesn’t need any revision! However, this never proves to be quite true, and sometimes it turns out to be VERY not true, but we shall see.

And, once we DO see, then I will be able to put the book up for preorder. I do not want to be scrambling desperately to get it ready to go, and of course the puppies are distracting, so I want to set the drop date far enough in the future that I can safely meet it without stressing myself out too much. That will actually be a month (or so) after RIHASI drops at my Patreon, so I have to remember to add a minimum of three weeks to the necessary lead time. It will certainly be great to be able to put this cover on view at Amazon.

And the audio version will go into production about the same time it drops, probably. I’m looking forward to that too.

I’m happy with the 7 completed audio chapters I have for MARAG so far. That audiobook probably won’t be available this month, but I expect it will be next month. Oh, and also, if you’ve left a review for MARAG, thank you! It’s up to 83 ratings, I see, which is pretty good for less than a month. Top notch star rating too. That’s going to be really helpful for promotion later this year. Not to mention that it’s personally satisfying!

Whoever suggested I write a story about Sinowa and Marag getting together, I sure appreciate the suggestion. I wouldn’t have thought of writing MARAG if you hadn’t suggested it. Anybody here or anybody at my Patreon should feel free to make suggestions.

Meanwhile, I’d like feedback on this, so if you’re so inclined, please vote —

Do you want a character list at the end of every book for the foreseeable future? Was that a good thing to put at the end of MARAG?

Do you want to have the names of familiar characters included in a character list at the back of every book?

Meanwhile! The puppies have started exploring the outdoor world. This rock here is where I sit to keep an eye on them, which may be why four of them gathered here when they decided they were ready for a break.

Look closely — do you see Magdalene inspecting the new puppies? She has decided they are basically harmless. One of these rubies went up to her in the living room and wanted to pull her tail. I distracted the puppy with a toy, but Magdalen didn’t swat the puppy, only withdrew to the back of the couch. I’m *almost* relaxed about the potential for accidents involving cat claws and puppies.

One more, because the b/ts are hard to photograph, but this one sat up and looked cute at the right time. I’m not sure which this is. I can’t tell the difference without looking at the white spot on the chest. I can tell the rubies apart by picking them both up — Little Ruby is definitely smaller than Big Ruby — or by looking at the hind feet. Big Ruby has rear dew claws, not desirable, but whatever, at least I can tell them apart.

Awww

Puppy names: I haven’t totally decided for all of them, and I’m trying to stick to a 25 character rule so I don’t wind up paying an extra fee. But I’m not that concerned about the extra fee, so I’m thinking of:

Black and Tan #1 — Anara Sestina Starlight Way — I really like this name for a black puppy, even though Swinburne is pretty depressing as poets go. “Starlight Way” isn’t the name of the poem or the first line, or for that matter the last line, so I’m not totally committed to this name, but I do like it a lot.

Black and Tan #2 — Anara Serenade A Little Night Music — a little over the length, but I really like the name. Although it doesn’t suggest an easy call name, unless you pull something out of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Ruby #1 — Anara Suite B Clair De Lune, and yes, I might change my mind and add the full “bergamasque” and pay the extra fee again. Also, I’m not sure about this name because “Clair De Lune” is a peaceful piece of music and this ruby puppy is not quite as much a hellion as the other one, but she shows definite tendencies in that direction.

Ruby #2 — Anara Symphony Ode To Joy — this is the puppy I plan to keep. She has a couple basically cosmetic issues; eg, the extra dew claws on the rear feet and a (very small, unimportant) umbilical hernia. But I don’t plan to breed her, so I don’t care. I really like her hellion nature. And she should be beautiful.

Blenheim — Anara Another Summer’s Day. Here’s the full poem, below. This is Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets. You can see the line I picked is the last line. This isn’t nearly as familiar as “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” but on the other hand, it’s Emily Dickenson, so I mean, there’s that. And I like it. She’s a much more uplifting poet than Swinburne, that’s for sure. And I do think “Day” is a cute name.

A Something in a Summer’s Day

A something in a summer’s Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon—
A depth—an Azure—a perfume—
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see—

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle—shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me—

The wizard fingers never rest—
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed—

Still rears the East her amber Flag—
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red—

So looking on—the night—the morn
Conclude the wonder gay—
And I meet, coming thro’ the dews
Another summer’s Day!

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3 thoughts on “Finished! For real this time. Also, puppies are getting cuter and cuter”

  1. Yay Rihasi!

    I’m neutral on the presence of character lists, but if a list is there, I would strongly prefer it to include familiar characters. I almost never refer to character lists while reading, but if I find one at the end of a book, then I like to read it over like a high school yearbook and see all my friends (this may not be a typical enough use case to cater to though).

    I like all the puppy names! I always wonder how you manage so many dogs, two already feels like a lot to me.

  2. Well, it does matter that the dogs are Cavaliers rather than, say, Jack Russells. They aren’t perpetual motion machines. They enjoy going for walks very much, but if the weather is bad or whatever, they don’t have to have walks. They like chew toys very much, but if they don’t have one, they won’t chew up the coffee table. Really, they’re very easy, for dogs.

    BUT, one major reason I wanted puppies is so that Haydee would have a playmate. She and Naamah do play, but not as much as Haydee would like. She plays with Maximilian, but not as much as she would like there either. The new puppies will totally play as much as she wants. Morgan and Naamah will join in, and the boys took though not as much. In that sense, having multiple dogs roughly the same age is good.

  3. The puppies really ARE as cute as can be! I really admire your discipline and dedication to writing that you get any work done while they’re in the house. I’m really grateful for your discipline, of course, because that means more lovely books to read!

    No strong opinion on the list of characters. If the list is there, I will review it—and I can see how such a thing might be useful as you grow this universe and add characters—especially for secondary characters.

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