Moved!

And boy are my arms tired. Literally. Carrying boxes is not fun.

Besides unpacking and moving furniture, I’ve been working on my new book and getting ready for the release of The Fiend Queen in January. In case you missed it, I was also a guest on Queer Romance Month.

Update on Polly: Some of you may remember that my dog hurt her tail a few weeks ago. Well, we ended up having to get it cropped because the damage was too great. I’ll go into a little more detail because it’s so bizarre, but first:

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING STORY IS KIND OF DISGUSTING, SO IF YOU’RE BOTHERED BY MEDICAL STUFF, SKIP AHEAD TO THE ***

So, Polly keep reopening the wound in her tail because she’s a happy girl, and she banged it into everything, and our house was beginning to look like a crime scene. So, we had the wound sealed , but she still managed to reopen it a little , so every morning we’d check on her, see if she needed a bandage that day. One morning, we find her licking her tail, think it must be hurting her, and bend down for a better look.

And find bone.

She wasn’t in pain, wasn’t bleeding. The last two inches or so of her tail had died, and she had…gotten rid of it the best way she knew how.

So we took her in for surgery, and they removed all the remaining dead tissue, and sewed her up, and she feels much better, even if she lost a bit of length.

Oh, the horrors. I panicked a little at first, I’ll admit, but once we found out she was okay, we did crack quite a few jokes. When the vet asked us to keep a cone of shame on her for the next few days after her surgery, we asked, “Because she’s got a taste for herself now?” We’ve thrown around, “Waste not, want not,” and joked to our older dog that she better move a little faster these days. Auto-cannibal dog hasn’t minded our jokes because she gets petting and a treat. I have to keep wondering, though, what she’s thinking about when she’s eating those treats, if in her secret heart, she thinks, “I don’t want to brag, but I am DELICIOUS.”

Without treats, I will surely perish

Without treats, I will surely perish

***********

TL;DR, dog is fine now.

Back to writing for me! Who’s with me? Who’s busy with Fall projects and pet drama?

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I like to pretend it’s not a regular occurence

But I often don’t have anything to blog about! Still hard at work, still out hustling A Kingdom Lost. I can tell you again where to find me at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.

Saturday, May 17
1 PM
WHEN GENRES COLLIDE: THE PROS AND CONS OF QUEER CATEGORY LABELS
A label like “gay writer” or “LGBT fiction” can be both a blessing and a curse — vital in promoting our work and reaching a core LGBT readership, but also classifying and possibly confining us by our sexuality. Genres and sub-genres like lesbian romance, gay men’s mystery, and LGBT horror can further narrow how our fiction is publicly presented and perceived. In a time of increasing assimilation, audience fragmentation, and expanding publishing formats, are these labels helpful or harmful? Do they damage a queer author trying to tap a broader reader base? Are these niche categories outdated, or more important than ever to our literary survival? And what are the options?
Panelists: Rob Byrnes, Michael Thomas Ford, S. Chris Shirley, and Barbara Ann Wright.
Moderator: John Morgan Wilson.
Hotel Monteleone, Royal Salon B

Sunday, May 18
11:30 AM
SAINTS AND SINNERS READING SERIES: WRITERS READ
Festival authors debut their latest works in our annual reading series. Expect to be entertained, engaged and thrilled by the written word read out loud by authors Mary A. Celeste, Kevin Klehr, Jeff Mann, Ron J. Suresha, Shawn Syms, Jerry Wheeler, and Barbara Ann Wright.
Sponsored by The John Burton Harter Charitable Trust.
Hotel Monteleone, Cabildo Room

I’m looking forward to it in a big way! I’m also looking forward to my birthday, which is on the 19th. I love birthdays…

On a personal note, does anyone have a pet that is losing/has lost their sight? My oldest dog has diabetes, and her cataracts are now so bad she runs into things. It’s really bumming her out. We’re helping all we can to guide her around, but I know she’s kind of depressed no matter how many times we cuddle her. Our vet said she would get used to it and use her other senses to compensate, and she’s doing that a little, but it breaks my heart every time she runs into a wall. Does anyone have any tips?

Daisy, my poor diabetic dog

Daisy, my poor diabetic dog

A fact-free Spain in pictures

Outdoor cafes are very typical Spanish.

Outdoor cafes are very typical Spanish.

Spain is a country of leisure, and it was just what I needed at the time. Smack in the middle of my busy-ass life, it was nice to get away for ten days, even if those ten days did include air travel and navigating three  airports total.

We ate a lot of wonderful food in Madrid, at outdoor cafes and parks. Madrid has a lot of places to loiter. They expect you to take hours to eat. My only quibble there is they don’t do free refills, and all the walking made me quite thirsty. If you order tap water, you only get a tiny glass, and the waiters don’t come around often to fill the glass. I guess they expect everyone to sip.

Inside the Cerralbo

Inside the Cerralbo

 

The Cerralbo Museum and the palace were two of my favorite tourist spots, but then again, I love gold leaf. Pics are not allowed inside the palace, but the inside is quite like this one pic of the Cerralbo.

The palace was immense, though, just like this pic of the outside demonstrates, and because the king and his family still live there, we weren’t able to see the entire thing. We were able to tour the attached cathedral, though, and it was equally as epic as the palace itself. If you’re visiting Madrid and you enjoy grandeur, be certain to visit both of these. The Cerralbo was only 3 euro to get in, and they provided a paper guide which you had to return, but what the hell do you want for 3 euro?

Outside the palace

Outside the palace

We visited a lot more places in Madrid, like the Prado Museum, home to thousands of famous works of art–also no pics inside there–Retiro Park, where I mostly took snaps of statues and fountains, and Plaza Mayor, which is full of cafes and street performers who do odd things for cash.

Toledo

Toledo

We visited the medieval city of Toledo (which is what it says on the brochure). This is a pic from the road outside looking toward it. I remember reading that Toledo was the heart of Spain for a long time, and had a castle and wall, which you can see here, to repel invaders. Someone marched on Toledo from the south, but wound up in Madrid and took that city, thinking it was Toledo. After he took Madrid, he wondered what all the fuss was about because he’d taken it quite easily. When he found out it was only Madrid, he probably felt really stupid. Since I suck at facts unless they’re right in front of me, I don’t remember names. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

IMG_5111

One of my favorite spots to visit was the mountains north of Oviedo and the coast north of that. (I also suck at geography). The mountains were so gorgeous we just started calling them Middle Earth.

Mountain cow

Mountain cow

They were also covered in mountain climbing cattle. There was no designated pasture, so the cows just moved everywhere, and you could hear the bells they wore around their necks clanging in all directions. It wasn’t as annoying a sound as you might think, but quite peaceful, once you could climb above the cow shit to appreciate the view. Seriously, it was everywhere, even on the sides of steep slopes. We climbed as high as we could, and it was there, too. Maybe they’re a cow/goat hybrid.

The northernmost point of Spain

The northernmost point of Spain

This is as far north as you can be in Spain without going in the water. I tried to climb onto one of the little rock fingers going into the sea, but the trail petered out, and I didn’t have any climbing gear with me. I’m not an experienced climber, not even a novice, but I think I could have made the relatively easy climb with even just a rope to help me. It was not to be, however, especially since several of my friends and family are afraid of heights and didn’t want me to go.

Well, I’m sure you don’t want me to post all thousand of my pictures, and this sums up my favorites that I could get a decent shot of. We also saw flamenco dancers whose passion for their art, no shit, almost brought me to tears. There was no filming, or I would share that with you, and the pics we caught are mostly blurry, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations.

I loved being in Spain and hanging out with my friends, and now I’m back with my passion for writing fully restored. Of course, I couldn’t write right away, as I had FenCon X to go to! Since this post is getting long, though, I’ll save that for next week.

What was your favorite vacation destination?

Mooovinnnng

Again. Sigh. It’s for the best, though, really. We’re moving to a part of town we like better (if we can ever find a house to rent there), and I think we’ll be much happier. We spend all of our time over there anyway, and the drive home is getting to be a stretch.

So, for now, I might be a little light on posts. My Barbies are all packed, and I’m writing sporadically. In between packing, sporadic writing, and reading for my awesome writer friends, I’ll be planning my first book tour, either virtual or otherwise! I’ll keep you all up to date on that. Anyone wanna host me, either virtually or in person? Sluuuumber party? ^_^