Wild skunk and Sale to Third Alternative

Matthew told me an amusing story he read on the skunkchat community. Apparently a neighbor of the president of the ADSA (American Domestic Skunk Association) was sitting on his porch when a skunk meandered up and started rubbing against his leg. Knowing that his neighbor kept skunks, he reached down and pet it for a while, and then called her up, letting her know that one of her black and white babies had gotten loose and was on his porch.

Her reply: All of her skunks were accounted for, and besides, she didn’t have any black and whites.

Turns out he’d been petting a wild, fully-loaded skunk for the last ten minutes or so. Hee!

All skunks are lap skunks:



Writing Stuff:

Opened up my email this morning to a wonderful note from Andy Cox, editor of The Third Alternative (as well as Interzone). He thought my novelette “Running on Two Legs” was “superb,” and wants it for TTA!

I’m so very, very pleased. I love “Running on Two Legs.” I think it’s one of my best stories, and I’m emotionally attached to it. I was getting a bit disheartened for a while there, despite Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, and Kathleen O’Malley giving it wonderful comments when I sent it through Ann’s Advanced Workshop at Dragon*Con in ’02. It also won an Honorable Mention in the WotF contest, but still no buyers, although I was racking up some very nice editorial comments.

Then I found out that Andy Cox had taken over Interzone and was reading all subs for both IZ and TTA. I’d already sent “Running” to TTA via their American first reader (cheaper postage) a year or so ago, but had been shot down. Since then, the American reader has been let go. I really thought it was a TTA story and not an IZ one, but since I couldn’t re-sub to TTA (even though I highly suspected Andy had never seen it), I sent it to IZ. And voila, serendipity!

I’m tickled! TTA is a beautiful publication with a fabulous reputation. And Andy said I could send subsequent submissions to him via email, which is extremely considerate of him. Also, it ensures I’ll be sending a lot more subs his way, as I’ve been holding off on overseas submissions of late because of that whole expensive postage thing.

Delighted squeeing to commence.

blackberries, skunk noses, Italian Job, and writing

Yes, it’s the fourth of July, cheers and clapping and all that. But was it really necessary to set off fireworks last night, so close to our house that it sounded like someone was thumping on our front door? Humph.

In better news, we went blackberry picking yesterday. Our first crop of the season:

We had berries and ice cream for dessert, Hobkin had several with his dinner, and we’ve got enough left over for several more desserts and snacking! Amazing quantity, considering we didn’t plant them and aren’t doing anything to encourage them. We just go out and pick. I did get poked something fierce by a set of brambles. The price one pays to the blackberry gods.

Watched The Italian Job–the 1969 version with Michael Caine, not the 2003 remake. I was disappointed. The middle dragged, and the characterization was flimsy. I found it incredibly tedious by the time it ended. I actually liked the remake better than the original, go fig. The remake took very little from the original, actually, which is probably just as well.

Plan to see Fahrenheit 9/11 today. Looking forward to it.

Also snapped a couple pictures of Hobkin under his hutch: Here there be skunk nose close-ups

Hobkin doesn’t like the flash

Took pictures of Hobkin the other day with our shiny, new digital camera. He doesn’t like the flash.

I took a picture of him eating dinner, and he scampered under the hutch, abandoning food even, to peer distrustfully at me until I put the camera away. Then he ventured out and went back to snarfing down his meal.

In the future, I’ll probably turn the flash off and just set the shutter speed slower when I take front-on shots of the poor, wee fuzzwit. I know I get blinded by flashbulbs at conventions, and typically the photographers there are considerate enough to ask (and therefore give me plenty of warning) before they pop them in my eyes. I can only imagine how disconcerting it must be for Hobkin.

More skunk pix:

9th Annual ADSA Supreme Skunk Show!

Dazed, exhausted, elated, and terribly, terribly amused. That’s me. Oh, and a little chagrined tossed in to boot. The skunk show was a blast. We saw a slew of cute and fuzzy skunk noses, and got to gab with great skunk people like puskunk and alijt.

Hobkin was, in turns, a demon pit fiend bent upon destruction, and a darling angel. AND, he’s an award winner! We didn’t expect him to come home with anything but an exciting experience and some new friendships, but he won FOUR ribbons!

He won third place in the Overall Conformation adult division, third place in the Chocolate Chip color class, Best in Show first runner up (2nd place) Chocolate Chip color class, and first place Prettiest Tail adult division!

Although he tanked in the Friendliness category. He totally loved on three of the judges, and, of course, hissed and snapped at the fourth one of them, and then growled and nipped the last one (I mentioned being chagrined, didn’t I?). Sigh. Devil and angel, all wrapped up in a fuzzy package, that’s our Hobkin. One of the judges also commented that he could stand to lose a pound or so, which we knew. Poor Hobkin’s chubby!

Now, I’m totally exhausted, Matthew’s flopped over on the couch, and Hobkin’s napping under his hutch.

So here’s a bunch of skunk show Pictures, lots of ‘em (warning for slow loading connections):

(Edit: After a restful night’s sleep, I updated Hobkin’s pages at Musta-lay-day Grove, click HERE for pix and more skunk show write-up).

Hobkin:

Insomnia leads to bookkeeping and skunk pix on Christmas Eve

So, I planned to sleep in today. Did I? No, of course not.

The rain has been pouring out of the sky like someone with a huge bucket is up there bailing like a maniac. It’s been non-stop for hours. Woke me up, woke Hobkin up. So Hobkin sprawled on my lap while I did a little end-of-year bookkeeping.

In 2002, I spent $190 on postage, marketing my writing. That’s an almost 100% increase from my postage expenses last year. Yikes. Okay, I nearly doubled the number of manuscripts I have in circulation, but also, I’ve been trying to submit more to markets that accept electronic submissions in order to save on postage. Guess that last USPS rate hike in July really hurt. Wow.

Well, it’s all tax deductible.

To cheer myself up, I followed Hobkin around with the digicam.

First off, I bribed him with an “Apple Pupover.”

There’s a business that had a little booth at the mall for the holiday season this year called “Brown Dog Barkery”. We saw them, were curious–being always on the lookout for new treats for Hobkin–and glanced over the ingredients of these folks’ dog biscuits.

Apple Pupover ingredients: whole wheat and white flours, rolled oats, apple, vegetable oil and whole eggs.

Wow. Very wholesome. So we bought a 1/2 lb bag. And Hobkin loves them!

It put him in a better mood for the camera.

Want to see the pix?

I am going straight to Hell.

Yep, I’m going straight to Hell. Not passing go, not collecting $200.

Yesterday, Matthew and I swung by the mall after taking me to a follow-up doctor’s appointment. I was feeling marginally better and I’m annoyed that I haven’t been able to do any Christmas shopping ’cause of being sick. We stopped at a “Build-A-Bear” store–y’know the kind where you chose a stuffed animal, stuff him, and then dress him. I’m a sucker for plush and just wanted to see what they had. Well we saw a Santa Claus outfit and . . . the idea of dressing Hobkin up in it occurred. Matthew says I came up with it, but I distinctly remember him egging me on.

So:

More evidence of my Hell-bound status: