January 23rd, 2011

Mouse King's Face

Blog Silence Breaks, Like the Dawn...

There are lots of reasons one might be silent for a time. It's not that my life moved on. It's not that I don't value LJ anymore. I have been here most of the time, still reading what everyone had to say. It's more that I was on two panels this fall where we discussed what one can and can't say on a blog, thank you Tee Morris. And that one's blog mustn't substitute for one's writing, thank you Jeff VanderMeer. It's in addition to one's writing work. That's very much how I've always seen this blog. That it's something different from my stories. I didn't know what I was going to do with it when I started, but it's become a way of talking about life here on Walkabout Farm.

The birdhouse blog isn't about word counts, though I'll discuss writing and sudden insights and various frustrations. It isn't about submitting stories to markets or collecting rejections. But I'll recommend Taos Toolbox and the Worldcon Writing Workshops until I"m blue in the face, you know I will.

And the blog isn't really about Miss E, but I'll mention that she's still undergoing tests and we have no answers yet. In so many ways she's thriving and I continue to pursue her physicality under doctor's orders, looking for an answer to her small stature and light appetite.

Weatherdude is traveling again after battling rats in the barn, something we never had until the county built the new high school a half mile away and tore down the old barn and farmhouse on the property. He's whacked one with a shovel and yesterday stunned one by stomping on it and missed a third that ran away. See, he throws these nasty gas bombs down their holes and then the theory is they run out and...well, I guess you're supposed to stomp on them. Or whack them with a shovel. The rats seem to think this small annoyance is worth all the free chicken feed they can consume. The cats, of course, are useless. Nine of them and they haven't brought us one body yet. OTOH, we have no rats in the house. Yet.

Mornings have been glorious. I drive Miss E to school and then let the chickens out just as the sun is breaking the horizon here. The clouds have been splashes of light in all sorts of colors and one day there was a sun pillar. One afternoon, there was a spectacular sun dog to one side of the sun. It was like a small sun, the brightest sundog I've ever seen.

We're doing more bamboo floors, photos to follow. More paint jobs. My contribution to the local economy, via G-Dude. The rugs are being pulled up, room by room, though Miss E says we can't do her room, which she had repainted in shades of green and blue. We'll see. Light bounces off the bamboo in a way it never bounced off the beige rugs. My office remains a pit and it can't go that way much longer. Tax season looms.

But why have I broken silence? Other than to show you all what a marvelous cat Goliath is, that is. (Go back two entries to see the quick video.) Because, at long last, I have reached the end of my rewrite of The Mouse King's Tail. It's not done, it's not ready to go. But I have finally wrestled with all the critiques and figured out a way to tell Blossom's story (thank you frostokovich) all the way to the end. All the scenes that people loved (you know who you are, TT07) are still in there. It's still the same story. And no, don't ask why it took so long. I've done a few other stories too, you know. I haven't spent the entire 3 years since it was critiqued at Taos Toolbox 2007 working on it. No, the rewrite has really been the effort of the past six or seven months, since Taos Toolbox 2010, when I finally started to see (thank you Nancy Kress) how to look at the scenes and prioritize the ones that moved things forward.

Thus, my blog silence has also been a personal mandate not to blog instead of working on the Mouse King. But as some of you know, my restriction on non-MK verbage didn't extend to emails and phone calls.

So, now I must continue on to The Mouse King's Revenge, subtitled for those in the know (rstefoff) as Cumin's Story. I drafted this in NaNo a year ago. I already went through it last summer and selected the key scenes (Nancy Kress again). And now I have to wrestle it into shape to submit to a workshop in late February, thank you klingonguy, gwyndolin and amysun for organizing it. So if I go silent again, that's why. It's because MKR is kicking my butt.

But for now, just this minute, I'm doing a happy dance about story #1, The Mouse King's Tail.

Frog Out

PS: Here are two photos for the visual among you. This one is the hallway, redone in bamboo flooring. That led to the realization that the walls were too gray. So now the walls are a slight yellow to match the trim, which is the same color as the dining room walls. Please note that Miss E's room at the end of the hall, is still pink in this photo.


And friend Wendy safewrite has blogged today about living in the South. Well, this is living in the country. Foyers don't get much use and the living room was, well, unusable this year (photos later). So here is our xmas tree in the newly repainted foyer. Because no one in the country uses their front door except to get an xmas tree in and out. Because, duh, the windows aren't big enough.