Skunk flights of fancy

fosteronfilm and I have odd chats. Mostly, I think my husband humors me, but he also has a delightfully whimsical streak which I love. Yesterday, I took it into my head to teach Hobkin how to “sit.” Erm. I’ve had better ideas. Anyway, in the ensuing discussion I had with my hubby, I then suggested I might try teaching Hobkin how to trot and canter. That obviously led to the subject of Hobkin as a mount . . . for a very, very small rider, like say a pixie or a sprite. Consequently, I spent some time watching Hobkin trundling about the house. He’s got short, stumpy legs, which results in a pronounced rolling gait. I can’t imagine that would be a very comfortable ride. Probably a lot of dizzying rocking back and forth and bumpiting, but on the other hand, he’d be very very soft to sit on. I went so far as to suggest out loud that I tie a stuffed animal or paper doll onto Hobkin’s back to see how they would ride. Wiser minds (fosteronfilm‘s) stepped in and nixed that idea. But he did go on to say that a sprite would probably be the best rider for Hobkin because their wings could serve as sort of a stabilizer against the worst of Hobkin’s trundling–assuming, of course, that they could avoid being eaten by their erstwhile mount. At that point, I dissolved into giggles.

Not a riding animal:


Writing Stuff

14-day rejection from Fictitious Force after making the second round of readings.
129-day “I have held onto this tale based upon the strength of your writing. However . . . ” from Shadowed Realms with invite to submit again.


In better news, I published a Tangent review written by sartorias for Paradox #7 and she had lovely things to say about my “The Tiger Fortune Princess”:

“Foster writes with a graceful, easy touch, with just the right images, making the story into a tapestry.  We’ve already seen the whole from the beginning, but that in no way takes away from the pleasure of going over it bit by bit in order to savor the details.”
–Sherwood Smith, Tangent

All black again. And skunk feet.

The Great Highlighting Debacle has come to its predestined conclusion. I dyed my hair back to black. And yes, I have learned my lesson. The color of my hair is black, and black it shall be. Never again will I muck with the natural order of the blackness. So mote it be.

Hobkin is in full winter skunk mode. His coat is getting soft and thick, and all he wants to do is cuddle with me on the couch. It’s adorable except he’s been wanting a full half of the space. He keeps nudging me over until he’s taking up as much room as he possibly can. I guess he thinks if there’s two of us, we should split the chaise 50/50. And if I try to scootch him over, he tenses up his muscles and digs in–even in his sleep!–and makes it really hard to nudge him over. I could just lift him up and plop him down again, but that seems rude somehow. Well, he’s cute, so can get away with it.

I love it when he sleeps on his back with all four paws in the air.

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Parental Visit and Skunk Annoying

Got an email from my mother. She and my step-dad are coming to visit in October from China. They’re doing a tour of the U.S.–part business and part pleasure. He’s got a conference in Chicago to attend, and they’re visiting family and friends en route between California and New York. My step-dad has gotten me a three-volume set of Journey to the West, the mythological fantasy of the Monkey King! Isn’t that the coolest? It’s amazing how fond I’ve become of my stepfather in such a short amount of time. We’ve hit it off quite nicely, and I’m not unaware of the irony that he knows my proclivities and tastes better than my mother does. Gimme books over pink dresses any day.

Hobkin is slowly metamorphosing from a bratty summer skunk into a couch potato autumn one. I followed him around with the camera as he contemplated getting into mischief. He was less-than-pleased by my attention. Or perhaps it was the flash.

Digging at the hardwood floor. I’m not exactly sure what he thought he was going to accomplish doing that.

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Skunk-human trauma-drama

Have you ever noticed how similar “trauma” and “drama” sound? Skunk drama. Human trauma. In short, the vet visit was traumatic for all. Hobkin has not forgotten nor forgiven the last time he was in there. Fortunately, the vet hasn’t forgotten the last time either. He didn’t suggest that they take him out of the room, and they even had me put him on the scale to weigh him, although in the past they have had a vet assistant scoop him up to put on the scale. However, even though I was in the room, along with his godmother and another skunk-savvy vet tech, all of us holding him, he put up a huge fuss, shrieking and struggling when they went to get a blood sample. He was very loud. So loud the nice couple in the next room with the bunny commented on it when we encountered them in the waiting room for check out. (The bunny looked rather put out as well.) And Hobkin slashed up my hand pretty good. That was somewhat on purpose on my part. I wanted to make sure that if anyone got bit, it’d be me, so I was prone to sticking my hand and fingers in his face when I saw he was getting ready to lose it.

My poor lil guy!

The vet couldn’t do a proper check-up because Hobkin wouldn’t tolerate him touching him except when he was restrained, and restraining him was too stressful for everyone to do for longer than it took to get the blood sample. So the vet didn’t charge us for the office visit . . . which is nice. We ended up only paying for the blood test and his shots. Although at the same time, I would have liked Hobkin to have received a thorough, hands on examination.

The general consensus on his teeth (the vet got a few chances to look into his mouth, and once Hobkin had settled down I was able to show his godmother and the vet tech the state of his gums) was that he can probably stand to go as is for another year, but to try to do what brushing and crunchy food feeding we can. Next year they’ll knock him out to do his exam and blood draw, and while he’s out, give his teeth a good cleaning.

Back home, Hobkin was groggy from the shot, and Matthew and I were exhausted from the experience. There was much napping all around.

How can someone so angelic-looking turn so completely into a demon beastie?

As we knew already, Hobkin’s pudgy and could stand to lose a half pound or so.

Writing Stuff

6 more crits this morning from Critters. So far, the tale has been very well received. Have started doing rewrite tweaks. Pair of editing passes completed.

Club 100 For Writers

Pie v4.0

Baked what I suspect is the final blackberry pie of the season. fosteronfilm holds out hopes that there might be enough of a harvest for one last pie, but the bushes are fading fast. It’s a race between whether the berries die or finish ripening. We shall see.

I’m getting pretty adept at the pie thing. I’ve started getting creative:

I decorated it with shapes and stuff!

Hobkin’s been a royal brat these last couple days. Yesterday afternoon, it was way too early for his lunch, but he was pacing in the kitchen and trying to herd me there, obviously wanting to be fed. I sat down on the floor in the living room to try to distract him with play time. What did he do? He goes behind me and tries to push me into the kitchen. When that doesn’t work, he digs at me, apparently trying to loosen me from my spot, and when that doesn’t work, he nips my rear. Impudent fuzz beast! After I finished laughing and berating him, I got up and he got an early lunch. Yep, I’m a wuss.

This morning he woke me up at an ungodly hour (gah, it’s before 6AM!) by first kicking me as we were snoozing together, and then walking over me on his way to his hutch. He’s lucky he’s so damn cute.

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Allergies lead to napping

Something in the air is triggering my allergies. My skin feels like it needs to crawl off my body. I took a Benadryl and it knocked me totally for a loop. I have the choice of being out for the count or itchy. Blah. Spent a good chunk of yesterday in an antihistamine haze, and the rest of it trying to recover with a Sudafed and coffee cocktail. As such, not much was accomplished. So, here’s a couple skunk pictures:

Us napping on the couch.

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Lovely Midsummer Night

The Midsummer moon was gorgeous last night. We have an east-facing picture window set above our front door that is perfectly placed to frame the moon in the night sky.

Here’s a shot of it during the day. I should have taken a picture of the moon yesterday, but I didn’t think of it.

I made a vegetable pot pie filled with summer vegetables (and tofu) for dinner, and we opened up all the windows to let in the cool air. I think Hobkin might not have been overjoyed at the relative humidity that created:

He flopped on the naked floor in his area to sleep.

Poor lil guy. When the house cooled down a bit more, he climbed up beside me on the couch to cuddle. I hope he’s not too uncomfortable in summer with his fur coat. I know dog owners sometimes shear them, but I don’t think Hobkin would stand for that.

Writing Stuff

The crits continue to pour in. Yesterday it was all about the editing. Several passes on the short story up for crit, and now I’m second-guessing whether I want to put back in the flashback sequence. Feh.

Club 100 For Writers

Lizard watching: Anolis carolinensis

God, I love stormy mornings. The air is so soft and cool, and the dark skies are beautiful. I know it’d be crap to drive in, but sitting at home, gazing outside, it’s lovely.

I was making dinner last night when fosteronfilm called me over to the window with much excitement. I dropped what I was doing to discover we had a gorgeous little green lizard perched on one of the branches right outside the window overlooking our backyard. So I grabbed the camera and started clicking. Isn’t he fantastic?

After the camera-clicking frenzy (and dinner), I Googled him. He’s a Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis. He’s welcome to stick around and make our backyard his home, and so are any of his lizard friends.
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