Meet Sheldon, the guy formerly known as “EEEK BIG SCARY LIZARD – RUN AWAYYY!!!” Turns out he’s just a sweet fellow looking for friends, if a little needy.
His favourite things to eat turn out to be tomatoes, and not me. When I first arrived he would be there, outside, when I opened the door. I wasn’t a fan until my friend Leana, who owns this magical farm, told me that they’re harmless even though large. So now he heads over for munchies regularly and I think he’s pretty cool. Sheldon – needy – hangs around at doors – see what I did there? Always been a fan of most lizards.
Not this guy so much! He fell THROUGH the thatch roof. Luckily he didn’t land on anyone. He’s just a constrictor – not venomous, but snakes are best avoided in general I reckon.
It’s taken me ages to settle down. This year has been pretty crazy, and all my attempts so far at getting back to regular blogging have failed dismally. It’s been busy lately too, but in good ways, and finally slowing down to mild panic rather than insane terror, so I’m hopeful. I’ve started writing fiction again after almost a year of not being able to tackle anything other than non-fiction. I’m going to wait till December/January before I publish anything, even though I do have a couple of things ready to go. The next few months is just going to be about remembering to breathe again, and catching up. Or rather looking ahead, because everything is new now.
The feathered horde have made it through unscathed, if a little ruffled at times. They really didn’t like the big move at all, but are happy little bunnies again. Lots of new places to get into and hang upside down on.
I’ve been flat out catching up with work, so I haven’t been able to explore outside at all yet, but I’ve got a couple of pics of things happening around and about directly outside my window – shot through the window panes so don’t expect fabulous photography with these ones. I’m looking forward to slowing down now, and taking it all in after the wild ride that this year has been. Where I live now is about as close to paradise for me can get. Lots of horizon to look at, and filled with fabulous critters again.
The little fellow above is called a Dassie. There are loads of them zooming around the rocks all day long. Apparently their closest relative is the elephant. More to come on them though – I reckon they have agendas.
Back – again. Finding equilibrium comes in stages I think. Happily, I seem to be finding mine now, and getting used to this new life I’m finding my way to. The Horde are also just settling down properly too, and I’m only now seeing how much their poor little feathers must have been ruffled with it all. Jelly’s exploring properly for the first time, and they’re all getting back to their old crazy selves. The seed ball that I got for them that I thought I’d get major kudos for instantly became the Birdy Horde Destroying Scary Thing of DOOM. Talk about alarums and excursions. So that terrifying thing is going outside to scare the wildlife away instead.
Finally, every day isn’t always a bad hair day anymore, and happy has slunk back up from the basement, supplying laughter and joy once again. I thought that my writing would have changed somehow, but I think it’s still the same old scribbling, from the same places. I see now that we can’t ever say what will happen. No matter what we do, or what our intentions on, our lives will take the courses that they have to, so we may as well enjoy the ride regardless.
My intentions were to be zooming around blogland a lot more than I have been, and that’s still what they are. So let zooming commence. I’m going to take baby steps getting back up to speed with the zooming though. I’m going to aim for three posts a week, and my Epic Comment Catch Up of All Time trip in between. Now that I’m around and about the town a whole lot more, I reckon I’ll take a pile of photos to share of interesting things and people around here. So, with a bit of luck – and elbow grease, I shall see you all in the land of blog all the time again.
There are mulberries all over the place now, and every time you look up you get to see lots of birds munching them.
Mainly you get to see feathery little bums zooming away from the scary lady pointing a box at them.
This little guy would have scored a direct hit on the box lady if she hadn’t retreated smartly.
I think he thought I was some kind of birdie bottom perv.
Totally put off his lunch now.
I’m going to have to resort to camo if I want to take pics of birds maybe. This fellow REALLY didn’t like the look of me.
I’m editing, painting, catching up, being epic superwoman scribbler/editor type thing, and trying to figure out my new phone’s camera. Either I’m a bit wobbly or I’m missing out some blur setting somewhere.
Cute even with substandard camerawoman.
Have you seen the time, you daft old bat? Attention please!
Who said it was crap? Show me. I’ll peck their eyes out!
Oy! thirsty here!
Yargh – crap! I mean that in a very literal sense. I have over 8 000 email notifications built up from my absence still left to open, and strangely, rather than being a massive chore it’s been more like opening pressies every time. I love what I do, and I love the friends I have now, and I love the new books, and reviews, and meltdowns, and celebrations, and every little thing you all share. Love all of you. Apart from the trolls of course – nobody thinks that you rotten, vicious little asses are cool. Anyway.
So, back to the crap. Getting Bella the puppy was a really big deal for me. Because I spend so much time on my own I wanted to get a dog. The feathered horde head off to bed at sundown, and apart from anything else there have been some really nasty housebreaking attacks around here, so a dog is really a must – and maybe a tazer now that I’ve sold my 9mm Browning. Or maybe I’ll just get another. I’m not into violence, but after what I’ve seen in the papers about what’s been done to innocent grannies and little girls, I’ll be more than comfortable taking a vicious murderer down.
Again – back to the crap. Sorry for the side route. Bella has totally ignored all of her official puppy toys – feet, magazine racks, the couch, and all sorts of other things are much more fun to chew apparently. She is the sweetest, cleverest little soul though – apart from the crapping, as I said. There are bits of you name it all over the house. It’s been raining, so she’s covered in mud – me too – and the carpets. This has the feathered horde behaving incredibly badly though, and I’m really worried that someone is going to get munched.
They reckon that her bed is the place to be. Her food has obviously been stolen from them, and they’ve all been bouncing on her head at every opportunity to reclaim it. Little buggers – I thought that I would have to protect my innocent birds from a possibly marauding dog but it turns out that the dog is the one who needs protection. The feathery little guys are absolute barbarians and bullies! I’m going to have to be totally on the ball all the time to make sure that none of them get accidentally noshed. So.
I’m hoping to get back to my scribbling in a day or two, editing and checking of published scribbles at the top of the list, but more than anything I can’t wait to zone out again and immerse myself in Shadow People two and three. I’m seriously considering ditching marketing totally, and just having fun with my blogger and twitter buddies, and writing – just writing for the love of it.
My parrot’s still not doing very well. At three o’clock yesterday morning, he shot out of his bed into the bathroom, and bled huge amounts down the wall from the wound under one of his wings. Not a sight to see. I packed his side with wound powder to staunch the flow. Birds can bleed to death very quickly, and even if all you have is corn flour to put on an injury or bleeding sore, you have to stop it immediately. I spent the rest of the day making sure he didn’t pick himself open, getting him to eat, and disinfecting his entire sleeping area again. The same thing happened this morning, with less blood, but still deeply terrifying.
I originally thought that this was being caused by some sort of feather mite, but now I’m certain that he has a parasite called Giardia. It’s a really evil thing. I’ve looked at pictures, and researched his symptoms. They’re pretty classic, and he has the full set. He’s been pulling the feathers out from the inside of his legs, and from his back and under his wings because of the itching brought on by this, to the point where he’s now had sores there for a couple weeks – one in each wing pit. The problem is that the vet only had one drug called Flagyl (metronidazole) to treat him with. I’ve got it, but I’m terrified to give it to him. From what I’ve found out, it’s not very effective. The Giardia either comes back or it doesn’t kill the parasite in the first place, and the side effects are horrendous. From the sounds of things, it’s likely to do just as much, if not more harm than this particular bug does. I won’t generally give anything to my animals that I wouldn’t be prepared to take myself, so I’ve been treating him with herbs that are known to be anti-parasitic, and antibiotics to stop infection.
I’ve spent all my online time looking at avian websites for advice, and apart from one drug that I’m trying my best to lay my hands on as quickly as I can (it seems to be only available in Germany), I’m not seeing any other solutions. As this parasite is highly contagious between birds, I’m going to treat all of the horde just as soon as I get it. But everyone’s advising quite strongly against the medicine that I have, and I’m at my wits end. Do I treat him as best as I can, and wait till I get the one medication that’s safe, or do I take the chance of liver failure, not actually curing the bird, and all sorts of other really life-threatening side effects, and give him what I’ve got now? It’s not an easy decision to make when either one of them could be the wrong one.
I must say though, apart from some pictures of birds in conditions that made me wonder how anyone could be so uncaring as to let them get that far, I was really heartened by how much most people love their feathered friends. Our pets worm their way into our hearts with their unconditional love. They’re totally dependent on us, which makes most of us fiercely protective of them, and the thought of losing them not something we want to contemplate, even though at some point it’s inevitable. We just have to make sure that while they’re with us, they get the best care we can give them so they can be, at the very least, as happy as they would be flying free.
Till next time friends.
Thinking that I would just pop my next short story up today, I started the day off transferring more of my scribbles from memory sticks to my new computer. Then I got sidetracked and spent a couple of hours opening links that I’d emailed to myself to bookmark, and reading ALL of them. Then I got the placement for things for one of my covers lobbed into my frontal cortex by my painting muse (she’s a bit rough around the edges that one), so I had to zoom off and sketch it straight away (looks a bit like a deranged lizard gazing out over a field of mushrooms). Then I did a lot more unproductive things, had a mini panic attack because I hadn’t checked out all my emails yet, came up for air, heard a loud bang in the kitchen (feathered horde flinging a tea cup to the floor), jumped up too fast, and ran into a chair. So… All back to normal then.
My problem is that I want to do too much. And I want it all done immediately. So I have three books on the go, as well as five paintings that I want all finished at the same time to use for my covers. My personally inflicted deadline is looming now. It’s probably crazy to think this will all be done when I expect it to be, but then again, you never know. I remember once when I first started driving, I got my car into a spot that it couldn’t get out of without something being horribly scratched, as you do, so I asked four guys I spotted wandering down the road to just pick it up and straighten it out. They looked a bit startled, then each of them grabbed a corner, and did just that. Didn’t look overly hard either. I’ve since been told that this would be absolutely impossible to do, and that I must be stretching the truth by a very long way indeed. The look that accompanied this sentence definitely suggested that I was the biggest talker of crap on the planet also. I’m not though. Could be they were just really strong guys, or maybe the confidence of my expectation left no room for self-doubt. Who knows? I suppose that if you really believe you can do something, you can. That would work both ways too.
If you think that you can’t do something, even subconsciously, then you can rest assured that you won’t get it done. You might not realise that that’s the reason though. You’ll blame it on social networking, cooking for the demanding swine who live in your house and insist on eating all the time, or any number of time-consuming things that keep you from finishing your projects. I have the opposite problem to that. I think I can do anything at all. Then I end up running into walls and chairs, and realising that I actually can’t. Well. I still think I can. Now I just have to figure out a way to manipulate time itself. Probably doable too. I’ll have to see if I can squeeze finding out more about that in-between scribbling and flinging paint around.
Which reminds me – I bought a book on fantasy art techniques, and tried to copy a bit of one of the paintings in there for practice. I’m not using this for anything, calling it my own, or trying to sell it, so I’m hoping it’s not grand theft art! My covers will be 100% original – this is just to figure out how to paint in general. Anyway – it’s coming along so I’ll share it with you here. It’s a nude too! Then you can tell me to to stop buggering about and just buy stuff from Dreamstime instead.
Till next time friends. Xxx
Unusually for me lately, I had a very productive morning. Until a couple of hours ago that is. Here I sat, minding my own business, and contemplating what gem of great knowledge or insight to share with my friends, as I do, when one of the horde scored a direct hit on my right eyeball with a chunk of extra spicy hot chilli beef. I don’t eat beef so I’m not all that keen on having a bit inserted into any sort of facial orifice anyway, but I can assure you that having a bit of Scotch Bonnet chilli adhering to your cornea is no walk in the park either. After much yelling, swearing, and pouring of milk into my by then raisin-like part, I had to hang around on the couch for a bit before I could see straight again. Obviously the solicitous horde stayed with me throughout before heading back to their carnivore lunch. I’m thinking now of having the rest of the evening off from computering today. There’s only so much you can do to an eyeball in one day really. So.
To those people who think that writing isn’t a difficult and hazardous profession I say… Well… Apart from the possible painful calluses to the buttock area, you have all sorts of writing related physical ailments that could come your way. If you don’t do at least twelve minutes (yes – twelve) of vigorous physical exercise every day, you could develop an unsightly protrusion around your naval area. Then you have the thing you get from fiddling with the mouse all day and banging away at your keyboard – where your thumb goes all dead for weeks on end. Then there’s frozen kneecaps, squished lower vertebrae and all sorts of other torments to dodge. There are many more dangers to innocent writers that my one tightly closed eyeball slightly puts me off from having to type right now. All I can say to my fellow scribblers today is – stay safe guys, stay safe.
Till next time friends. xxx
To celebrate the fact that it’s always Spring – somewhere, I’ve decided to put all my tales on Amazon up for free today and tomorrow (12 – 13 April). I’ll pop the links on here if you’d like to download them. I hope you enjoy them! They will go free at around 12 CMT, so in around two hours from now. African Me & Satellite TV will be published next, and then on to the second book in the Shadow People series.
And join us today and tomorrow at the Spring Fever Reads Giveaway, and stand a chance to win more books and a Kindle Fire!
Till next time friends. xxx
Busy week, dodgy internet. The usual bits and pieces. A couple of swarms of bees have invaded the house over the last couple of days. The first lot caught me out in the dressing room with only a tin of air freshener for ammo. It worked though. I came out scathed with only one sting, and that was from standing on a floored bee. Not too bad considering my usual luck. I wonder at the wisdom of using cute bees on children’s cakes and so on. Certainly around here I wouldn’t want any child being under the impression that a bee is in any way cute and wandering over to say Hi to a swarm. I get chills just thinking about it. These little buggers are deadly.
My feathered horde is growing. Angus has been eyeballing a limping baby chicken around and about, and being the macho, uncaring guy that he is, made a point of finding its owner, buying it, and bringing it home. Of course I named him Naka. He’s a sweet little guy, but the rest of the horde bully him, so he hobbles around all on his own all day. They bully the dog too. They’re like a gang of chicken hoods. How to stop chicken bullying – anyone know?
Right now our anthology group is preparing to launch its first book. So that excitement won’t leave me any time to get African Me out there for a little while. I’m not in any hurry any more though. I’m planning brand new covers for existing books anyway, and a re-launch of everything with bells and whistles.
I’m finally figuring out that it’s not necessary to zoom as much as I always feel compelled to do. In fact, I’m learning that speed can be a bad thing as far as establishing yourself as an indie writer is concerned. With my very soul being zoomy, I’m finding slowing down a little hard, but I’m definitely a lot happier with what I’m producing, and learning. I’m loving combining writing with painting too. I’ve started four paintings – one for each cover, but even though that really is slow going, it’s brilliant seeing my own visions for my scribbles coming to life a little.
Till next time friends. xxx