Pagan Pregnancy has finally been released. It is an e-book, and there are no plans to publish it in hard copy. But I am so incredibly thankful that it’s at least been made available in any format after four years of waiting! It’s currently out for the Kindle, and it should be appearing on other platforms very soon. (The rest of my backlist is also available in e-book format.) Heartfelt thanks go out to my editor, Andrea, who fought long and hard to get this released after the initial publication was cancelled four years ago.
The bird book (it does have a name… Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide) is also now available, and is a real live book. I’d post photos of my box of author’s copies of the bird book, like I always do when I announce a book’s release, but as I said yesterday the USB ports are dead and I can’t get anything off the camera. Just use your imagination to visualise a box full of books with this gorgeous cover:
Imbolc, a festival of new life and creativity, seems a fitting time to announce these pieces of news, yes?
I’m never going to catch up, not with everyone home from school and work. I’m going to try to finish the draft post I’ve had dragging on for two weeks this afternoon, but we’ll see how successful that is. I just don’t want it dragging over into the new calendar year.
I haven’t had time to tell you that the boy lost his other upper front tooth, so was a gleeful personification of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” or that Christmas was an absolutely lovely day with all the family here, that I cooked a knock-down brilliant turkey, or that this is the Plague House because everyone has the flu or horrible colds and so everything social we’d planned or planned to plan this week has been cancelled. I haven’t been able to sit down long enough to say that both the boy’s goldfish, (known as Goldie One and Goldie Two) died this past week, or that he has discovered Angry Birds, or that he adored the Star Wars Lego advent calendar that Ceri and Scott gave him, or that Owlet’s first solid food was a piece of homemade pancake, snatched off my plate then blissfully sucked and gummed into a soggy mess yesterday morning.
I haven’t been able to sit down and rail at you about how I discovered that my washing machine, my year-old washing machine, “saves energy” by substituting half of the water in a hot wash with cold water and how that was the underlying problem with washing the cloth diapers (that is NOT A HOT WASH and I don’t know in whose mind it possibly could be). I haven’t even mentioned the Christmas recital and how well it went (music-wise, that is; I did mention that Owlet had been prepared for the cello playing, but not the first crash of applause that freaked her out, and so HRH spent the recital in the church basement walking her so she wouldn’t wail after every piece). I haven’t been able to crow that I got my box of author copies of the bird book, and rhapsodize about how gorgeous it is (I knew it would be pretty, having seen the full-colour galleys, but it’s stunningly beautiful and I love holding it).
I have photos to post, too. Maybe I’ll just kind of throw a series of mini-posts up this afternoon while Owlet naps. If she naps for more than twenty minutes, that is.
I am swamped with work and countdown to this weekend’s recital, so I haven’t been here and won’t really be for the next week, either. I’m late on my Books Read in May roundup, and that has to wait, too. Short form:
- Lovely weather, but as is expected the humidity rising, so there are good days and bad days.
- The boy turns six on Saturday, and has a school field trip to a local national park for frog and butterfly exploration on Friday. They had caterpillars in class to observe in the latter half of May, and the kids saw them make chrysalises and hatch into beautiful Painted Lady butterflies, which the class released last week. Very exciting.
- The boy finally realised what playing in a recital meant at his lesson last Saturday, and there were some tears because it would be different from his usual environments of lessons and home practice. His teacher worked with him sensitively and they changed his piece to a duet with her; we also scheduled him to be second, so he isn’t playing first and alone.
- Owlet is doing fine, and passed her brother’s gestational record of 31w2d this past weekend. Go Owlet! I am exhausted and in pain a lot of the time, which isn’t a surprise considering the stupid amount of growth that was accomplished in a very short time on top of my pre-existing fibro and scoliosis issues.
- Also this weekend, there were suddenly a half-flight of stairs, a landing, and a big hole in the ceiling to the attic. Next up: Plywood floor, framing walls, vapour barrier and ventilation layer, lifting insulation, plasterboard. Windows have to be installed in there somewhere, and wiring run to be certified by an electrician.
- Did I mention I am swamped with work? I handed in the copyediting gig, but now it is all bird book rewrites all the time, and I am having panic attacks at the amount of work that needs to be done by Friday night. Technically I have to hand it in on Monday morning at 8 or 9 AM, but I won’t be able to work on it all weekend because of dress rehearsal, guests, birthday party, and recital, so Friday’s the deadline.
- We have a lead on a secondhand 1/8 cello for the boy at an insanely low price. It’s in Ottawa, so we’ll trundle down there for a day trip the last week of June and check it out, as well as visiting the redone Museum of Nature and walking through the Parliament buildings. Even if it needs new strings and a bow rehair (both of which I fully expect) it will still be less expensive than the other secondhand one listed here in Montreal.
Right; back into the fray. Wish me sanity and an even head.
1. I have a new copyediting assignment due 9 June. It’s the companion book to the one I edited two weeks ago, which drove me moderately mad because there was no bibliography or sources listed and I had to track copyright info down. Why do people think it’s okay to not cite sources, even if what they’re using is public domain? It still came from somewhere.
2. The edits for the bird book I wrote came back, due 10 June. And they’re extensive. I expected this — told them, in fact, to expect it themselves what with all the major changes in direction on their end throughout the project — but apparently the timeline is tight (when is it ever not tight?) and I have to turn it around in two weeks. I have the official cover as well, and I’ll get around to sharing it at one point, when I’m not handling six trillion other work things.
3. I spent last Friday in the hospital because of unidentified bleeding on Thursday night. To make a long story short, I was admitted to the hospital for five hours of observation and examination to be told that my baby is wow super healthy with a strong heartbeat whoa who is very energetic (I could have told them that), I have zero contractions (I did tell them that), and my body was nowhere physically near demonstrating that premature labour was imminent (that’s what I couldn’t know and was worried about, because this is how it started last time: blood, then two days later wham, sudden labour). The doctor I saw theorizes that a blood vessel in or near the cervix was weakened and finally burst after the physical strain of violent vomiting during the gastro I had last Tuesday/Wednesday. She stressed that I did the absolutely right thing in going in, considering what happened last time. I would say that I at least got a free lunch out of it, but it was awful and I didn’t eat most of it. (Note to self: Pack a box of Twinings’ Lady Grey in the hospital bag, because ugh, their orange pekoe tastes like coffee grounds. Not that I am a fan of orange pekoe to begin with.) The Owlet had great fun kicking the fetal monitor for the hour and a half they had it on. They finally took it off. They told me that if anything untoward happened again to call them, but that otherwise, they’d see me in six to ten weeks.
4. I have been swatching for a lace cap for the Owlet to wear. (No, I have no idea what has happened to me.) The lace pattern was totally defying me until Ceri and I figured out that my understanding of the PSSO abbreviation and its explanations was not the same as what experienced knitters understand it to mean. Also, the pattern had different abbreviations in the intro material than were actually used in the body of the pattern, a copyediting thing that drove me mad. Anyway, I finally mastered the lace pattern with Ceri’s e-mail support, and I am now spinning some dreamy BFL/silk blend in off-white for the light fingering weight two-ply yarn I want to use for it. And because I love the yarn so much, I am further considering a longish coat in a simple lace pattern done on biggish needles out of the same weight of yarn, for a larger lace effect. Obviously, pregnancy has done something very odd to my brain.
5. I finished shoe #2 of the adorable origami garter stitch shoe set, and when I put them side by side I saw that because my tension was so very different between shoe #1 and shoe #2, the first would fit a 3-6 month old and the second would fit a newborn. Obviously the answer is to knit another set of squares to fold, because it will most likely match one or the other.
6. Instead, though, I found a new pattern, and knit this:
It’s another knit-a-shape-and-fold-it shoelet. My cast on, and therefore the upper edge of the shoe, seems a bit loose (I used the two-strand thumb cast on for its tidy edge), so I’ll probably need to tack the upper vamp together about 3/4 of an inch up from the toe. Blocking may help, though. Now I need to knit another one, which shouldn’t take me more than an hour like this one did, but apparently you can suffer from Second Shoe Syndrome the way people suffer from Second Sock Syndrome.
7. I have come to the very sad conclusion that I am not going to be able to weave the Manos Clasica blanket. It’s too much physical activity and standing up and bending over for someone on bed rest. I swatched a double moss stitch/seed stitch on size 15 needles though, to see if I could knit it instead, and while I could, I’m not sold on it. I think I’ll return to the idea of weaving it, but do it after the baby is born. She isn’t going to need a Manos Clasica wool blanket in July and August, after all. And she has handknit blankets coming her way from her Auntie Cate and her Nana anyhow.
8. Speaking of the baby being born, I looked at HRH the other night and said, “We have to start thinking of this baby arriving in about a month instead of two. That way we’ll be mentally prepared whenever it happens.” “Sure,” he said, “but not till it’s a month away from 36 weeks.” “That would be on this coming Thursday,” I said.
9. The boy turns six years old in two weeks. Be very afraid. I somehow have to plan a family birthday for him as well as a friend birthday two weekends after that, as well as prepping two cellists for a recital on his actual birthday weekend. I am kind of tearing my hair out, as bed rest is supposed to be low-stress, and having to juggle all this stuff like two work things in the space of one plus all the planning and prepping isn’t physically taxing, but is still energy-consuming.
10. More stress: If Canada Post goes on strike, then my freelance cheques that are due to arrive in mid to late June will probably be held up. That is bad, so very, very bad, because that money is desperately needed, or the renovations don’t go forward. I am crossing my fingers that the impasse between the (very reasonable plea for better work conditions/against slashing benefits and wages, read up on it) demands of the postal workers union and the corp itself is solved ASAP.
The bird book has been handed in to my editor. I always forget how long checking bibliographies takes.
I wish I had more energy to be enthused. I feel rather run over, partly from contorting myself and the material to deal with the imposed changes and cuts in the last six weeks, partly from dealing with the election. I wish I had a better sense of what this book was like, because it feels very fragmented to me. Not a surprise, perhaps, since three-quarters of it consists of brief reference entries on birds, so my usual sense of flow and evolution doesn’t apply here.
I’m going to break for lunch and possibly a brief nap, then start typing out the introduction for the companion journal. Yesterday afternoon was technically the deadline for both the book and intro, but my editor gave me a couple of days’ leeway due to her workload, bless her.
ETA: And the intro for the companion journal and the edit of the sample record sheet is also done and handed in. Now I get to pass out for half an hour before I go meet the boy’s bus.