So, the year started out in earnest with me working on a brand-new genre-defying novel that slowly ground to a halt around page 200 and was shelved. Hopefully only temporarily, but, well, some things that die do not return from the dead.
Unlike my latest Cities of the Dead project, "Winters of Discontent," which I bum rushed out the door and through the various digital publishing sources just in time for Christmas. The stories were written in-between attempts at the novel and had been sitting, unedited, on the computer, begging for attention. That attention was given, and I can now brag that for the fourth year going, I have managed to publish fiction for the universe to enjoy. It's only available at Amazon and Smashwords as an eBook, but will be up everywhere, soon, including a 66 page paperback version.
It's four stories. I had meant to do an entire book as a sequel, but it was that kind of year. I think my model going forward will be to something like this, a small number of shorts, released periodically to advance and develop the zombie apocalypse. This one continues the stories of the gyrocopter pilots from the first book, and I'm thinking I may continue to do that as well as maybe with some of the other survivors from the first book. We'll see.
In personal life, I got a dog. We got a dog. After a year of resisting, I relented and we rescued a hound mix (mutt) from the local ASPCA. She's a beauty, and possibly a mix of Jack Russell terrier, beagle, and pointer (but, nobody really knows).
I was surprised to find all the legends of dogs true: they'll eat anything at this stage. Especially anything made of wood or that smells of foot. I'd like to say that two months of constant training have her house trained, but I'm not going to say that quite yet, even though she has developed cues to alert you to her need to head outside. She hasn't gone inside in more than a month, but I don't trust her, yet, for long periods of time (especially overnight), so she's still relegated to the crate from time to time.
We named her Calico after tossing out a few names both pre- and post-adoption. How did we get that, you wonder? Well, the first rule of dog-naming was no common human names. I wanted to name it Amdiranifani from the Vernor Vinge books about the Tines world, but was over-ruled. So, on the drive home from the shelter, I was daydreaming about 1700s pirate "Calico" Jack Rackham, and suddenly blurted out, "How about Calico?"
Everyone agreed. She's Cali most of the time, to the kids.
It's nice to have her around during the day, when I'm alone with the house. Unlike the previous cat, Calico follows me around to see what I'm doing when she's not balled up on the couch dreaming of squirrels.
As usual, I'm looking forward to Christmas. I love this time of year.