Prep

It’s 2:00. I’ve managed, in the six hours, I’ve been up, to do everything that I had to do today, so in theory I should be ready to write.

I’m packed for Readercon, although I need new tennis shoes, and we’ll take care of that soon. I’ve balanced the checkbook, paid the bills, ordered a boat load of BBQ goodies for the family reunion, tried (and failed) to make Norwegian food reservations for Nordic Fest, eaten lunch, worked out with the Wii (I can walk any freakin’ Wii tight rope flavor you got!)

VERY pumped about this trip. VP Dinner on Friday. Woot.

***

VP Reading Sunday at 11 am!! Here are the details:

VT Viable Paradise Group Reading. Tiffani Angus, George Galuschak, Claire Humphrey, Jennifer Pelland, Julia Rios, Catherine Schaff-Stump (+host),. Viable Paradise alumni read from their speculative works. (60 min.)

Additionally, Chang Terhune is reading. Three of us are from VP XIII, three from the VP XII, and Jennifer Pelland is queen of VP alums. Come hear us.

All righty, then. Writing. See some of you soon.

Catherine

Guest Cat

Karma, that was plain cruel.

I have to relate background. Several years ago, we had a cat that was our outdoor cat, Toby. Toby was a stray that the across-the-street neighbors threw out. Toby lived in our garage for a couple of years. He had UTI, and couldn’t live indoors, because he leaked urine. We gave Toby the best life we could. He died, ultimately, because of complications due to UTI after he was injured and his leg was broken. We mourned, Bryon especially. They were exceptionally close.

A few months later, a stray cat wandered again onto our porch. We have two indoor cats, and I didn’t want Bryon going through anything like he’d been through with Toby. While I cooked for company that day, Bryon spent the day getting to know this cat. We weren’t really impressed with the lateness or professionalism of our rural county’s shelter. However, when the animal shelter folks arrived, Bryon made a critical mistake. He grabbed the cat, and was bitten. Reflexively, he grabbed the cat again, and was bitten again. The cat ran away, and Bryon had the rabies series. We don’t know what happened to that poor cat.

Guest Cat began showing up about two weeks ago. He was a lanky gray and white cat, a kitten really, we guessed only a few months old. He was friendly and trusted people. We still had our indoor cats, but our plan for guest cat was to feed him, keep him outside, and when we thought he was trusting enough, to load him up, take him to the vet, and then to the animal shelter in the city. Guest Cat was an adorable boy, and I know that Bryon was being reminded of Toby, even though they looked nothing alike.

The problem with taking Guest Cat away right away was that we didn’t know if he had owners. He didn’t seem painfully thin. He was interested in our breakfast, but some mornings he didn’t come by for it. We had new people in the neighborhood. We were planning on asking around before taking him away, and thought we had time.

Guest Cat stopped showing up last Thursday. This morning, someone left Guest Cat’s body near our house, thinking that he belonged to us. He had obviously been hit by a car. Bryon buried him today while I was away.

I am furious, people! This was a pointless death. This was a wonderful cat, friendly and trusting, and someone let him wander around outside, unattended to be hit by a car. Or, worse, he was dumped. I’m also furious at myself, for not forcing the issue of taking him to the shelter sooner because of the history with the rabies shots. All Bryon did here was try to be kind and compassionate, and yet again, he has to watch another stray die because there are people irresponsible enough in the world to believe animals can fend for themselves.

Take care of your pets. DON’T let them run outside unsupervised. Outdoors is not a good place for your cat, okay? I don’t care how friendly your neighborhood is or how small your town is.

Just fucking argh.

Catherine

Reunions

I’m at work for a couple of hours this morning, trying to get a few things out of the way before I’m out of the office UNTIL THE 19TH OF JULY!!! Yeah, baybee!

A-hem. This is the time of year that two very important reunions are on my radar screen.

1. Readercon. It’s my first reader con, but I’m going to see, lessee, Miranda, Kat, George, Julia, and Lisa. There will be SIX VP XIII’ers there. That’s damned close to a quorum. There will be MUCH cavorting, I assure you.

Add to the mix several author friends, a chance to meet more VP alums, the VP reading on Sunday, some of the Codex Writers, and a programming schedule that looks really relevant. Also, I get to see one of my oldest costuming friends and my best friend from school in Japan on Thursday night.

The only thing that will be lacking is the husband.

2. Cath’s Family Reunion. I am concerned about our park being flooded, given the constant rain, but we’ll be watching that carefully. If all else fails, it’ll be at our home.

About 40 “relatives” will join us Saturday, July 17th, in a celebration of all things that a family should be. All of these wonderful people, and I get to spend an afternoon feeding them and hanging out.

Everyone should look this forward to their reunions.

So. Tomorrow I may not get here. I have packing, and some advanced writing to do. If I don’t, I will happily see you on the other side, with some Readercon reporting.

Catherine

An In-Between Moment

Hey there.

I’m back from Convergence, where both Bryon and I usually have a great time. This time was no exception. I enjoyed myself immensely, if not always because of the convention, then certainly because of what Minneapolis has available.

We saw Voltaire sing, I had a great visit with Caroline, the Broad Universe Rapid Fire reading went smoothly, and I saw Labyrinth and part of Wrath of Khan in Cinema Rex.

A couple of the more interesting panels I saw were an anthropological examination of Steampunk, and a Dr. Who writer’s stories about working for Russell T. Davies.

Went to see Last Airbender Sucked all the joy right out of it, and sort of missed the point of the original. I hypothesize that if you haven’t seen the original cartoon, you’ll be scratching your head a lot.

All ready signed up for next year’s Convergence, and took the time to register for North American Disc World in Madison next year as well.

Yes, I am still writing for the Clarion Write-a-Thon. This is the week of chapter six. Why don’t you send in some money? To any of us? Even me, if you like…

Catherine