Every now and then, you start painting and it works and it flows and you find yourself going "I AM A GODDAMN MAGICIAN."

Unfortunately, in order to get to this point, you generally have to spend about six hours earlier (in my case, last night) going "This is horrible. This is not working. This is awful. I am a terrible artist. This painting is terrible. This painting is an utter failure. The planet is going to be destroyed by an asteroid any day now and that’s fine and I deserve it because this painting is terrible."

I have been doing this for thirteen years now, and there may be a better way to ration out one’s creativity, but I have yet to discover it.

Painting when it’s finished…

Cracked my head on the towel bar in the bathroom, in one of those blindingly idiotic moves to which most of us are prone. Kevin winced. I held my stinging scalp and said "I’m an adult. Really. I can do my own paperwork and everything."

"That’s what I say whenever I hit my head on that thing, too," said Kevin. "I are good! I make server go! Ow…"

I plodded into the studio, hand on my head, muttering "They gave me a driver’s license. I can vote and everything…"

Really, it’s probably a wonder any of us can dress ourselves in the morning.

I found myself today in the unenviable position of assembling an Easter basket for a small child.

This is not in my usual repertoire, but I was the one going out, and Kevin’s youngest really wanted an Easter basket this year (I suspect it is the last year of such things) so I swung by the drug store to assess the available swag.

I gazed at the selection and found myself pondering that question that afflicts adults everywhere at various points in the year–"Has this always sucked, and I only realize it now, or has the quality plummeted since *I* was a kid?"

I called Kevin up and said "Do you want the crappy Hannah Montana frisbee, the crappy plastic toolkit, or the crappy plastic laser sword with a NASCAR action figure?"

"You’re kidding," he said.

"The toolkit is Black and Decker. I have no idea who the NASCAR guy is."

"There’s nothing else?"

"Somehow I doubt Jake will appreciate the pink princess tea set."

"Isn’t there anything with just…candy?"

"No. I could make one. You will owe me."

"I owe you so much. I’m so sorry. The commercialization of Easter–"

"The commercialization of Easter is a good thing!" I snapped. "If we had to celebrate the real meaning of the holiday, it’d be really damn depressing!"

The nice pharmacist shopping for candy next to me doubled over and gasped out an apology for eavesdropping once she could speak again. I waved it off. It’d be a shame to waste my good one liners on one person, particularly when he’s Lutheran.

So I shoved a stuffed purple bunny and some assorted candy together in a pastel basket, arranged it carefully in a kind of high-fructose corn syrup topiary, and strode to the check-out. No plastic Easter grass here. Too many cats in the house, and anyway, the disappointment of discovering that it is not chocolate all the way down is always crushing.

The cashier gazed at it in mild astonishment and apologized for having to dismantle it to scan the bar codes, so apparently I have succeeded on some small scale.

Also, some of the toys make noise. This child is due to go to his mother’s house immediately after opening the basket, for a lengthy car journey.

I am a bad human being, but I find that I’ve made my peace with that.

It was nearly ninety here today. Good lord. It seems that spring was about a week long this year, and now it has decided to be summer.

A lovely pine warbler was on the suet feeder, (the first of the season!) mourning doves prowling through the garden and sitting sullenly in the birdbath, the big bumblebees starting to come out and buzz about…not at all a bad day out there, just hot. The flowers on my poor creeping woodland phlox came out a day or two ago and were a deep, lovely pink and today’s heat caused them to wilt and die. Sigh.

On the bright side, while I’m still drinking Theraflu in the morning to clear the stuffiness and bleariness, I feel much better.

Spent most of the day working on the Great Blog Migration. Expect updates on that front soon…the gardening blog is nearly up and running, but migrating the LJ content will take days and Kevin’s expertise, so the main blog’s still a skeleton. (I’m going with a main blog and a gardening specific blog, since the latter gets so much of my attention for very specific parts of the year. Both will cross-post here, so you’re not missing anything, and I’ll include links once it’s all good to go.)

The great blog migration commences!

Hi, guys!

If you’re here–probably from Red Wombat, maybe from LJ–you’ve caught me in the middle of migrating my blog. It’s taking awhile–there’s what, eight years worth?–and at the moment there’s nothing much to look at, except the snazzy header with everybody’s favorite squash god.

However, check back and hopefully we’ll have more to look at.

In the meantime, look at the pear. Happy, happy pear.

I know you only love me for the pear.
I know you only love me for the pear.

Other than being mildly ill–the Theraflu helps–today continued to be pure awesome. I went in to town to mail stuff, swung by Borders and Barnes & Noble to sign books, and found myself holding, in my hot little hand, a sixth edition of Dragonbreath.*

Good lord!  I just found that they’d gone to fifth a month ago! Apparently Ninjabreath sales are kicking the first volume along as well–I have no idea what the initial print run of Ninjabreath was, but every copy I’ve seen has been first edition, so presumably they printed a fair number. (The marketing department claims that when you get a whole trilogy together, sales get even more dramatic, and that Wurstbreath will mean the series starts getting some signficant shelf presence–I have no idea if this is true, or if it’ll work out like they hope, but I guess we’ll know in September.)

This is on top of the fact that last week, during my reading at Flyleaf Books (who are awesome, awesome people) I discovered that Nurk has FINALLY gone back to press.** Who knows, in a few years it might actually earn out…

Kevin’s off with his kids at a church thing, so I treated myself to sushi at Domo for dinner. The owner sent me out some complimentary sake. Heavens.

At this point, the day had almost been too good–I mean, I got in Spectrum, my book is in the sixth printing, the weather is glorious AND I got free sake?–and I was kinda expecting to hit a rare Carolina moose on the way home, or find that the house was on fire, Kevin had sudden-onset leprosy and the beagle had eaten one of the cats. You expect, particularly on April Fools Day, that the universe is gonna smack you down for too much good fortune. However, most of the cats seem intact, the house is resolutely not on fire, and Kevin has not reported any unexplained limbs falling off, so perhaps I did just get a fabulous day out of it after all.

*Note for prospective authors: The best way to find out what printing your book is in is to go to the bookstore and look at the publishing info. In something like Dragonbreath, you’ll see a row of numbers in descending order, usually 10 through 1. If the lowest number is 1, it’s a first printing. If the 1 is missing, and the last number is 2, it’s a second printing, if the last number is 3, it’s a third, etc. Get through ten printings and they’ll change the line to 20 through 11, and so forth.

Theoretically, your editor knows what printing the book is in. In actuality, your editor is very busy and the left hand sometimes doesn’t know what the right has been printing, so just go to the book store and surreptitiously check the publishing info page already. Then e-mail your agent and say "Dude! Did you know we were in the sixth printing?"

**They did not, however, remove the "first edition" line on the information page. It took the bookstore owner and I poring over a copy to figure out that it really was a second edition.

The End of Futility Quest

…I got into the Spectrum Annual.


(No, I have no idea which pieces it was–my guess is that it’s probably the Steampunk Butterfly–and I won’t know until they send me the stuff, but my name is on the list on the website!)

Now I just have to own my own home and go to Bali, and I’ve covered my life goals. I may need to get some new goals….

ETA: Oh, crap–no, this is not an April Fool’s joke, that was the tapeworm thing. It’s actually on their website!