Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interviews in which I reveal many secrets

I did three interviews recently. 
One at USA Today Happily Ever After ...
with Keira Soleore

and one at All About Romance
with Dabney Grinnan.

And another one with Anne Gracie at Word Wenches. That one's at:

I talk about the characters in the Spymaster Fictional Universe and what they're up to when they're not appearing in the books.

I say stuff like:

"He (Lazarus) gave up stealing women in 1812 after My Lord and Spymaster. You could say he’s reformed,"

"... as people of the future we know the British won. My characters don’t know that. The possibility of invasion and defeat is very real."

"When my agent went to publishers with Spymaster’s Lady and couldn’t sell it month after month, I’d take the dog for long walks, seeking out lonely, windswept paths around the suburbs, whimpering, “They were right. You can’t sell a story set in France,” and stuff like that there, rather than planning who should be the protagonist of book six."

so, since they are fascinating interviews, do go check them out.

In other news, 
This is not my turtle. This is someone else's rescue turtle.
I keep using wiki images, not having my own
I stopped this morning and picked up a box turtle that was about halfway across the Blue Ridge Parkway. I parked on the grass verge and picked it up. I carried it a mile or so south to a place that seemed better for its longevity.

Smallish box turtle. I don't know if that's the local breed or if it was a young and stupid turtle. No picture because I didn't think of it. I had not yet had my coffee.

My turtle ... shall we name it Helen ... had totally retreated into its shell and was sitting there in the middle of traffic. I dunnoh. Maybe it was trembling in fear. With turtles, it's hard to tell.

If I had cars whizzing past me I would curl up and do the same, but it is not a successful strategy when dealing with cars. This is a nature observation of wide applicability.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A dog story with, I hope, a happy ending

Very much like me except for the hat
Spent the morning with writer friends, being a good writer, working hard on the WIP. Got more than a thousand, nice, solid, first-draft words laid down. Good for me and back pats.

Boogied out of the cafe in early afternoon, bought groceries, picked up Indian carryout, and headed home in a leisurely manner, pleased with myself and the world because I'd done good work.
Take out food somewhat Like my own

Bout halfway home I looked at the scene ahead. Something was going on. Folks were slowing down. Cars were stopped on both sides of the road.

So I slowed down, came to where the source of the trouble was, pulled over. and stopped.

Ah ... There was a dog in the road, running back and forth across four lanes of traffic, not quite getting killed. Couple of folks were being futile but well-intentioned deploring this. And the dog was very unhappy and scared.

Image may contain: dog
Not the dog, just asimilar dog
So I opened the back door to my car and leaned against it in a relaxed and reassuring manner and called him over. It's all about looking harmless.

Maybe he belonged to a woman. In any case, the dog came, and when I patted the seat and said, "Up," he jumped up, looking relieved, and I closed the door.

I had achieved lost, frightened, huge, many-toothed, put bull. "Yipee," thinks I.

So now I had this dog -- no collar -- in the car. An unhappy & scared dog, but one who would be inclined to trust me since I was making all the right moves. Obviously it was time for me to get in there too, behind the wheel, and concentrate on not smelling frightened.


I have done this before, actually.
A couple few times.
Because I am not quite bright.

So I headed for my go-to ASPCA which is large and no-kill and one that I know how to get to. I had to drive twenty miles back in exactly the way I had come because karma is a bitch.

The dog took this all fairly calmly and scrunched his way around the front seat and back, walking over bags of groceries with which the car was plentifully supplied -- there go the tomatoes -- and obstructing my sight pretty thoroughly but he didn't bite me which I think was generous of him.

The Charlottesville SPCA
At the Shelter I put a collar and lead on the dog -- I don't carry a dog collar around with me -- and got him out of the car. We walked around the building. Slowly. Unthreateningly. The volunteers seemed reluctant to interact with him, but I figured he'd had plenty of chance to maul me if he wanted to.

Four or five of them, milling about in a pack, took him gingerly at the back door, I wasn't allowed to come into that part of the building so I couldn't see him all the way to his cage,

I will assume the volunteers know what they're doing so I did not call helpful advice after them, though perhaps I should have. Really, one calm person on the leash would have been preferable.

I had Indian food for dinner followed by the egg custard I made yesterday. Then I watched Time Team dig in a field.
A good day, especially if the pit bull's owner comes to find him again, or really -- from the pit bull's view of things -- a good day because he didn't get hit by a car.

He looked kinda like this dog above, but this is not him. I was doghandling instead of taking pictures so I don't have his picture.

Monday, August 07, 2017

A rainy day in the country

A very happy plant
A rainy Monday.

It's one of those days when I don't know whether the rain is helping the farmers out or spoiling the standing hay, so I just send general good will to the plant kingdom and hope they are all as happy as my fuchsia.

Fuchsia is one of those words I never spell right the first time and I don't use it often enough to make a mnemonic for it. (I can spell "mnemonic" though, which is one of life's little ironies, isn't it?)
This is whatit'll look like tomorrow

My writing friend showed up with thoroughly wet hair -- drowned-cat-level wet hair -- and I thought she'd parked the car in Timbuktu, (... took me a while to spell that one,) and run into the safety of the cafe.

She said, No, she'd gone running and taken a shower and that was why she was wet.

I associate with people who get up at dawn and go running in the rain. It is no wonder I feel taken aback in most encounters with real life.

Andrea Pickens, Mary Jo Putney and me
In other news, I m hacking away at the WIP and while I do not have just exactly an order of events, I am getting the character voices settled down which is almost as good and maybe even better.

To the side is a picture of Andrea Pickens, Mary Jo Putney and me at RWA National where we talked about "Why History" and generally enlivened an early morning with our observations.

There is also a picture up top of one of the plants on the back porch of the cabin, picture taken in the bright sun of last month but now enjoying the driving rain.