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Gone Feral. Staying Feral.

Feral isn’t a trendy word anymore, but I don’t care. The truth is, it suits me, so I’m keeping it. When we entered Pandemic Times, lo, these 3+ years ago, I sowed my fucks in a barren field where they have gone to compost.

I have always been “too” intense. Too forceful. Too prone to spouting off massive amounts of knowledge no one asked to receive. It bugs people, it distresses people, it makes people uncomfortable. So I always did the emotional work to tame myself in the company of others.

Not saying I succeeded, only that I tried.

These days I’ve not only stopped working so hard to throttle back to socially acceptable levels of muchness, I am getting assertive about Not Caring if the resulting Too Muchness bothers other people.

Even friends. Because if I can’t be myself around people, are those people really friends?

Feral is fine. I’ve always been feral.

I dislike parties for many reasons. Instant regrets and days of kicking myself for opening my mouth an speaking up about anything top the list. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria means often feeling like I’ve done wrong even when the hypothetical “objective observer” wouldn’t agree.

Do I go off on the regular? Hell, yes, of course my slips show if I feel I am among friends. But I always used to regret cutting loose in group environments. I always heavily moderated myself around others. Even friends.

So it’s quite likely that even if you know me “well,” you don’t know me at my full-on feral mostness.

The only people who know the full me are the ones who grew up with me, are married to me, or worked a bookstore opening with me & spent an overnight lying on the carpet in the kid’s section wondering how the FUCK we were ever going to get done in time.

That’s what I used to say, anyway.

Since 2021, I’ve added another category: folk who shared hotel room meals at cons with me despite being required to demonstrate proof of vaccination and a clean rapid test before I would share unmasked airspace.

Anyway, if you think I am Rather a Lot already, if you have ever thought I am Too Much, you may want to shift your interaction parameters to limit exposure from now on.

I’m only going to get wilder.


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Capybaras & other fun things

Because I have been reminded of the existence of capybaras today, I now have to recommend a book I love.

If you also love capybaras or pirates or just rollicking good fiction, I present for your consideration: The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A. J. Fitzwater.
https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781732583382
(link leads to a review w/lotsa nice buy links)

The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by http://www.publishersweekly.com

That’s it. That’s all there is to the post.

Me stuff follows. I know the same 5 to 10 people, but it’s basically my online diary & it’s now super-easy & quick to add stuff in blocks so I am trying to care less about sticking ads onto every post. ANYway.


The Sharp Edge of Yesterday

A mother on the run from her criminal past can’t escape the dangerous superpower developing inside her own body.

Grace Reed just wants to be left alone with her daughters, her small business and her quiet suburban life.

Fate has something bigger planned for all of them.

A contemporary fantasy novel about coming of age in middle age, The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday is in bookstores & libraries now.

Amazon (ebook & print)

Bookshop.org (print)

a selection of non-Amazon ebook vendors

More info here on my website

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Website & posting “improvements”

Updating links & images on my website is a royal nitpicky PITA. That’s why I didn’t redo book covers ages ago.

I figured, why not add proper alt-text to my images as long as I was I fussing with pages & images, right? It would ease my conscience AND make the little sidebar full of Website Advice much happier.

First thought was, “It’ll be a double win!” Followed by, “UGH. My media library for my blog is a mess.”

It was seriously tempting to nuke it all & start over with a new blog rather than try to clean up duplicate images & old images etc.

But I have done that enough times now to know it’s actually more time consuming. It only feels easier.

Guess what! Clever people create tools for cleaning up & organizing website image libraries!

Lucky, lucky me. (Once I thought to go looking for them, that is. My unfortunate default is muttering imprecations at the technology & attempting to reinvent the wheel from a chunk of internet stone. D’oh.)

2 plugins, a tutorial, many hours of puttering, & much swearing later, I’ve cleaned up most of my duplicate images, deleted tons more that were no longer in use, AND put all my images into folders so I can find ones to reuse over & over instead of creating a mess of duplicates. (ANOTHER mess of duplicates, that is.)

I’ve probably also created “image not found” boxes in older blog posts, but I can’t work myself up to caring. Anyone who reads 5 to 10 yr old posts about writing, gardening & cats can probably handle a few missing images.

The folders are the part that make me happiest. Did I need to spend all that time organizing pics of Pips & my book covers so I could find them next time I want to make a new page or post for the website? Honestly, probably not.

But it was several hours of hyper-focused/meditative physical activity with an immediate visible reward, so it soothed my antsy ADHD brain. That was the real win.

I’ve tackled the worst/most obvious broken links & menu dead ends. The rest…I’ll get to them eventually.


Mister Pips appproves of the following advertisements.

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How it’s going: building a new habit

How’s my new habit going? Great! What’s the habit? Welp, this is week 3ish of my latest attempt at developing a “Fuck online presence advice, post what I want when I want, where I want, or hey, maybe don’t post at all” antisocial media strategy.

How long will it last? WHO KNOWS? Not me, that’s for sure. I love habits. but I love breaking my own habits as much as I love trying out new systems.

Getting back into the habit of writing here on my site is simply the latest example of my eternal internal struggle between an emotional need for structured routines & a deep, biding hatred for routine obligations. (Thaaaaanks, ADHD, I love you not.)

Here’s another habit example, because who doesn’t love me talking about myself? (Don’t answer that.) I call this one “my morning putter-about.”

It isn’t a long routine, about 10 min from wakeup to hitting “stop” on the tea timer, but if it’s interrupted, even by good things, even by happy things, (even by my beloved Spouseman)

—then my ability to focus is shattered for hours afterward.

Which makes me snarly.

Spouseman has been learning the hard way since retiring that any interference in this essential brain-stretching, centering activity is perilous.

SO. PERILOUS.

Look. I didn’t ask for this brain. I work with it. There’s no, “Why not relax & be more flexible?” solution. I can chart my course from the bridge, but the engine crew regularly engages in outright mutiny if I don’t follow the rules.

Spouseman has thankfully figured out a simple, visual signal he could follow: if I’m not yet wearing day clothes & holding a full tea mug, I am not able to process any communication more complex than mumbles & hugs.

Habits are easy. Habit maintenance can be HARD.

I have similar issues with interruptions to my after-breakfast putter. By the time I get up from the table, my body is already swinging into a practiced, no-thought-required physical prep that grounds me for writing–dishes here, brain there, a second cuppa here, brain there. It’s automatic. Habit.

Picture me settling into the cockpit of fragile creativity bubble and running through my pre-flight checklist of ideas.

If I’m in that go-go-go state but there isn’t enough water in the hotpot, or there are unexpected things in the needs-to-be-used countertop spaces, or Spouseman decides that “since I’m not doing anything important” we should have a decision-related discussion of plans for later in the day or week…

BOOM. Prep concentration destroyed. Lotsa little brain pieces all over, leaking grumpy emotions everywhere. SO MUCH GRUMPY. (Sorry, Spouseman.)

I even have a routine for getting past the brain crashes. (Because if it’s worth doing, it’s worth developing a habit for handling failures.)

I walk around, noisily put away things I’ve been ignoring hard for days, clearing clutter & clearing out the sensory debris, then wander around for another half an hour or so doing random small physical activities.

That cleans out the inside of my skull so I can restart the pre-flight process. Lots of tidying gets done, too. Fringe benefits!

Spouseman is justifiably proud of his ability to recognize the different visual cues for for Tedious Task Reset versus me slogging through Ordinary Chores, so he knows when to step in and help, versus keeping the hell out of my way until I have a handle on my internal overload.

There are many reasons we’re still together in love after 37 years. One of them is that we make space for each other’s habits.


And now the things that make the website analyzer happy: outgoing links & images. A book this time.

The Sharp Edge of Yesterday

A mother on the run from her criminal past can’t escape the dangerous superpower developing inside her own body.

Grace Reed just wants to be left alone with her daughters, her small business and her quiet suburban life.

Fate has something bigger planned for all of them.

A contemporary fantasy novel about coming of age in middle age, The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday is in bookstores & libraries now.

Amazon (ebook & print)

Bookshop.org (print)

a selection of non-Amazon ebook vendors

More info here on my website