odds, ends, bits, pieces

I’ve been quiet, yes. It turns out I remain as stupidly sensitive to inclement weather as ever, even after a transcontinental move and while continuing to take my meds. The weather turned inclement just about the time I installed the cats and myself in our new home. What did I expect? It’s fall, edging into winter, in the PNW. At any rate, my get up and go has been…spotty.

For the record, I define clement weather as merciless sunshine, 75+°F. Yeah, I know, I should have moved to Costa Rica.

the last rose

imageNot the last ever, or at least I hope not. The last of the year from my little deck garden, cut and photographed a few weeks ago before frost could turn it to mush. Because it was cold in Eugene that week, really damn cold. Not like the Midwest, granted, or even New England, but I’m out of practice. Thank merciful and compassionate God I wasn’t so stupid as to discard my gloves, coats, or longjohns when I packed to move west.

The forced paperwhites in the blue pot behind the rose are presently a yard high and blooming ferociously, while the other pots contain tender perennials brought indoors for the winter. Clockwise from top right: so-called French lavender (Lavandula dentata); lemon verbena; the last survivor of my collection of scented geraniums, Lady Plymouth; and Goodwin Creek Grey lavender, a cross between dentata and angustifolia (so-called English lavender, of which I have two varieties still on the deck).

the apartment

My brother and brother-in-law helped me move the last of the furniture from storage just before the end of October. These were pieces I couldn’t handle all by myself—inherited antiques that never made it into the Rhode Island apartment because they wouldn’t go up the narrow, twisty staircase and which I basically hadn’t seen, let alone sat on, for a decade. It’s lovely to have them again.

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Now if I could just get it together to finish organizing kitchen and bedroom….

notices

Jeffers_ThatDoor_hi-rez

That Door Is a Mischief has received a few reviews since pub date in September. I’m particularly grateful to Hilcia at Impressions…of a Reader, who suffered a devastating loss too recently and yet has continued to read and review. She expanded a bit on her mini-review in a November wrap-up. Novelist Ajax Bell published a review on her blog that made me blink and shiver. Discovering one’s work has affected somebody so strongly is sobering. Surprising me, Lambda Literary reviewed That Door only a month and half after publication (they don’t have an especially good history with me, spec fic, or Lethe Press).

Writer N.S. Beranek, whose story followed mine in Best Gay Romance 2014, embarked on a major project back in January, reviewing a short story a day for the entire year. I hadn’t been following her posts regularly but it turns out she’s covered five (!) of my stories so far—a couple nobody’s noticed—with perception and tact.

I am thankful and pleased.

thanksgiving

I ventured back to Roseburg for the holiday. I was thankful my sister chose to cook duck instead of turkey (I’m not fond of turkey), and it was lovely duck with lovely accompaniments, and an all-around lovely visit. Even though it rained the whole time. The Roseburg cats remembered me: Fritz was very happy when I ventured outside to fondle him (well, to smoke), Jüppsche and Cecelia were their usual genial (Jüpp) and skittish (Celia) selves, and beautiful Apollonia deigned to visit me in bed. Didn’t stay long—apparently my hip is too boney to make a comfortable pillow—but I was charmed and honored.

writing?

Ha ha ha. Well. Maybe. The conclusion to a longish story from the Kandadal’s world, begun in September ’12, is nearly solid in my head, but getting the words down is the usual frustration and battle. And there’s some stuff floating around that might cohere into my first science-fiction story since “The Arab’s Prayer” in 2010 (published ’11).

music

Mr Ivri Lider (I do go on about him, don’t I?) has a new studio album due in February. In the last few weeks he’s dropped two tracks onto YouTube and the usual online marketplaces. I like them both. A very great deal.


bittersweet adieu

Since the Event of Late June, my sister and her husband have been incomprehensibly generous—most obviously by providing cheerful, unstinting hospitality to me and my cats for two months. But the day of Jane and Charlotte’s parole has arrived. That is, they will be released from inhumane (to their minds) confinement in a perfectly spacious […]


windows 10.14

New Microsoft operating system? Ha ha, no. I try to live a largely Microsoft-free life. New digs in Eugene, Oregon, for Misses Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen…and yr humble seruant, if they permit such indignity. (They’d better.) The move in will begin this coming Friday. It is likely to be protracted, partly because of a […]


the colour out of space

So. GoodReads. One is aware it’s a thing. One is even aware every self-respecting, promotion-minded writer is very nearly obliged to be an active member, engaging her audience directly and actively. One was, indeed, briefly a member oneself…but then one discovered it was more a social platform than a convenient method of keeping track of […]


That Door Is a Mischief

Oh, hello. After a very long time—or so it seems—my third novel, That Door Is a Mischief, is just about to go to press. As any thoughtful writer will tell you a book is never actually finished but this one’s about as done as I can make it before the announced publication date. Long stretches […]


beginnings

I meant to post something about this before it happened. But events and procrastination got in the way, and then I was driving a rental truck across this very large nation. After not much in the way of adventures but a lot of time on the road and in motels with unhappy cats, Misses Jane […]


heartfelt thanks

To several staff of the ER at Memorial Hospital of Pawtucket who made a game effort at making thirty-six hours on suicide watch less bleak and scary. To Dr G.M. Surti and all the staff of the Kent Unit at Butler Hospital in Providence, for much more than their compassion, good sense, and humor—although all […]


a bleak road through a black waste

I suffered a breakdown, something like a breakdown. Not on account of the traumatic event some people know about (the contrary, doubtless, in some ways), although that was no bloody help whatsoever—some weeks earlier, and then prolonged for nearly three months. Brain chemistry is a tricky thing whether or not mediated by those secretive rulers […]


epigraphs

One wonders how many times the great but very different Anglo-Irish writers Lord Dunsany and Elizabeth Bowen have been quoted on the same page. They were contemporaries (Dunsany twenty years Bowen’s senior): one wonders what they thought of each other and each other’s works. Or if they ever did. This idle speculation being preface to […]


voices in my head

I will confess—nay, glory in—the fact that I nearly always read my own work aloud at some point. It’s the surest method I know to discover clumsy sentences and faulty rhythms, especially after one has stared at the black marks on the screen so long they’ve begun to make sense. However, I am entirely unable […]