On shaving a skunk and Tramadol

And it’s back to the daily grind.

After hearing how much happier yukinooruoni‘s cats are in summer after being sheared, I wondered if Hobkin wouldn’t prefer to carry less fur weight around during the hot months. And then I remembered how much he hates being brushed and having his nails clipped (although, oddly, he doesn’t have a problem with me cleaning his ears), and I’m thinking we’d lose digits if we tried it. Ergo, skunk shall remain fluffy.

Wingstubs giving me some major grief, so I took a Tramadol last night. And not only didn’t it knock me out, but it seems to have given me a bit of a zing. I was up until 4AM, working. Huh.


Writing Stuff

In an effort to continue spring-boarding more paying work off my psych. degree, I went on a guidelines spree. And, of course, I found an ideal market right under my nose. The Cricket folks put out a Parent’s Companion publication as accompaniment to their ‘zine for 2-6 year-olds, Ladybug. They’re looking for articles written with “a thorough, up-to-date understanding of child development.” Bing!

Went through my old grad. papers for inspiration–which were stored in Lotus’s Word Pro, of all applications, and I had to scour the Internet looking for a freeware program that would let me open them before I could read them. So I spent most of last night compiling notes, references, and checking out new research, and I hope to get an article written this weekend. This one’s on spec rather than of the query–>greeen light variety, but I’m thinking the topic matter is such that it should be sellable to other venues if they turn it down. Assuming I don’t totally botch the job and write gibberish, of course.

Also put together a query/pitch for a nonfiction article for the China-themed issue of the kid ‘zine, Faces, and sent it off. They’ve got a pretty formal process for queries that includes a word count, an outline, and a reference list, with the end result being that I’ve all but written the thing by the time I finished putting together my query. It should definitely make writing it a no-brainer, should I get the green light.

Initially I hesitated about querying them because their guidelines specify that they buy all rights, and I’ve been assiduously avoiding selling all rights to my work, but I realized I’m far less possessive about my nonfic stuff. After all, I’ve been ghostwriting routinely since I started picking up more freelance work, and haven’t had any qualms about the “all rights” nature of that. Of course, they’ll probably send me a “thanks but no thanks,” which would make all this waffling moot.

– Contrib. copies of the June issue of Spider with “The Tax Collector’s Cow” in it. I was delighted to see five illustrations (by Jennifer Hewitson) for my story. Very shiny.
– Contract and payment from Best New Fantasy: 2005 for “Returning My Sister’s Face.”
– Payment for my last freelance gig.
– 1-day rejection from Escape Velocity on a reprint; they don’t take reprints. Oops.
– Comment at MySpace from the MechMuse folks that their audio production of “The Storyteller’s Wife” is proceeding apace. Quite looking forward to that, I is. I’ll be sharing a ToC with Kevin J. Anderson!

Club 100 For Writers


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14 Responses to On shaving a skunk and Tramadol

  1. klandaghicat says:

    There’s no way I’d try to shave either of the boys! I did have to clip Artie awhile back. Their pseudo-sex play worked knots into Artie’s fur. It grew out very nicely, but it wasn’t easy! Ever notice how they only shed white hairs? I’m getting drifts of white hair, now that it’s gotten so warm.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Ever notice how they only shed white hairs?

      Yes! What’s with that?? Most of my clothes are dark colored or black too.

      From just this weekend’s heat increase, we’ve got skunk fur tumbleweed rolling through the house.

  2. palmerwriter says:

    I’ve never heard of Escape Velocity. Do they have a website?

  3. gardenwaltz says:

    oooh… good luck with Ladybug. my little girl gets that and having your articles there would make our nightly reading sessions much more enjoyable.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’m actually writing (trying to write) for the Ladybug Parent’s Companion section, not the magazine proper. I think the Parent’s Companion is an online supplement to the ‘zine.

      Although I’d love to sell something to Ladybug too, of course!

  4. dean13 says:

    You might be able to trim a bit of Hobkin’s hair yourself. Quick snips here and there while the beasts are distracted.

    But, I’ve only known one long haired cat who didn’t put up a fight or at least a fuss about getting a hair cut or being shaved. I am sure a skunk would complain. (Or put up a stink [hahaha])

    The current hoard I care for (Pippin, Shewbie, Zooey and Bubba) all complain, some more than others. Zooey is so bad the vet has to sedate him. But we do manage to do some drive by clipping with scissors. I’ve managed to give crude trims to Pippin and Shewbie.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Hobkin lunges at the brush when I try to groom the loose fur off him during shedding season. I’d be afraid of trying to take a scissors to him. He might hurt himself if he attacked the blades.

  5. yukinooruoni says:

    First time around, i’d take them to the vet/groomers. Let THEM deal with the pain and clawing 😛

    After that, the animal usually learns how much more comfortable it is, and doesn’t put up nearly the fight they did before. Only had one long-haired kitty who just DIDN’T like being snipped (despite LOVING being short-haired), and we eventually just tranq’ed her ourselves when snippage time grew near.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      First time around, i’d take them to the vet/groomers. Let THEM deal with the pain and clawing.

      Well, the problem is that I wouldn’t trust most people to groom Hobkin. I can think of only one person I’d feel 100% comfortable about having doing it, and that’s his godmother, who is also a highly skilled pet groomer. But the problem there is that I don’t want him to associate any sort of bad experience with her.

      When Hobkin sheds, I need to give him a comb/brush every few days or the fur on his back becomes all knotted and matted, and he absolutely hates it. He attacks me and the brush indiscriminately. I’d be afraid of trying to take clippers or scissors to him; if he snapped at the blade parts, he could end up hurting himself.

  6. I can’t imagine shaving a cat.

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