Monthly Archives: May 2011

Friday Photos!

With an art theme.

This morning’s book report (in kindergarten, they draw their favourite part of the book; it’s a comprehension thing):

This week’s letter sound was Q. “Mama, I want to draw a quail for the letter Q!” he announced. What? A what? Where did you see/hear/encounter a quail? Whatever. Let me tell you, I have plenty of reference material, having just finished writing a book on birds. We looked at the photos and sketches I have of quails, and he did it from memory at school. While the general shape is, um, odd for a quail, which usually looks kind of like a softball with a tail, you can totally tell this is a quail because of the comma-shaped feather on the top of the head. Also, I love the look on this bird’s face. This is one cheerful quail.

And finally, these are a few of his favourite things: trees, owls, and bunnies:

Picking Up

The first couple of days after driving toward a major book deadline are always odd. There’s a simultaneous sense of complete freedom after a number of months, but also of fatigue and the inability to focus on much at all. And then there’s the weirdness of trying to settle back into a regular life again after being deadline-focused and working overtime for a while.

Yesterday I handled e-mail and stuff, and let the copyediting team know I was available again after delivering the long-term project that had taken me off the roster. I cleaned up my desk and shelved the stack of bird books that I’d had next to me for reference throughout the writing of the book. I made bread. I read some more of the new Charles Todd book, A Lonely Death. I napped out of necessity. I spun some more of the Wensleydale I got in my three-month subscription to Northbound Knitting’s fibre club last fall. (I think I’m making a heavy laceweight single, because it’s very pretty as-is and I don’t want to halve its yardage by plying it with itself.) I’m glad I have a fibre stash, because I’m certainly not buying anything new for a long time what with finances being very, very tight for the next six to eight weeks as we are a single-income household now until I receive my cheque for delivering the book. (I am seriously glad the welcome tax finally landed, because the huge chunk of money I had set aside for it was starting to get impatient, but my presently-empty bank account is sad and lonely now.)

I was supposed to go in to the blood lab at the hospital today for my second round of blood tests and the oh-so-exciting-sounding-but-actually-boring glucose challenge test, but I came home early from orchestra last night after experiencing a couple of dizzy spells. I figure fasting and then driving through rush hour morning traffic for a blood draw after a set of dizzy spells might not be the best thing right now, so I’ve pushed that to Monday. (Huh. I just checked the website, and apparently the blood lab is open till 3:00 now instead of 11:00, and I could have sworn it was only open Monday through Thursday but the site says nothing about that.) It was also up in the air because the boy woke up with an asthma attack yesterday and a nasty cold announcing its presence, and by dinner last night he had no appetite and a fever of 100.5, so he might have been staying home today. He woke up with just the cold, though, and was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed so I sent him off to school after a dose of decongestant.

Today, gentle readers, is tax stuff. Yes, we are late, for only the second time ever (ironically, the last time was also when we were expecting a baby) because I had so much work to do in the past two months that I couldn’t spare any to sort out all my freelancer stuff and make lists. Today I pull out my folder of receipts etcetera and make piles of different categories to add up, check up on much we paid in utilities, and make that list of questions to ask our most excellent tax guy. There are a tonne of unknowns this year, you see. We bought a house, and I have no idea what that does to my freelancer claims (do I claim part of the mortgage payments the way I claimed part of our rent? what about city taxes?), or what proof we need to claim first-time homebuyer stuff, or even what we can write off or what tax rebates are available to new homeowners. This year is really complicated. And no, despite the Canada Action Plan ads, there’s not a hell of a lot of info available online either federally or provincially regarding it; this is why we have a Most Excellent Tax Guy who knows all this stuff and can tell us about it. To each his or her own area of expertise!

So there you have it. I have said it on the Internet, and so it must be true: Today is devoted to tax stuff. There’s other stuff I have to do, like update my pro site with info about the upcoming book and the Gaia Gathering conference I’m speaking at this month, but I’m going to let that slide till tomorrow because I’m really tired. If I can accomplish one major thing a day for the next few days, I think I’m good. In the last week before deadline I borrowed energy from future days, something fibro folk do out of necessity sometimes, but the penalty is always a long recovery.

I think I shall sort the receipts and bills, then nap, then add them up. Doing both in a row without a rest is just asking for horrendous errors. And I ought to eat lunch in there, too.

Bird Book Done: Check

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.