Friday, December 10, 2010

Bits 'n' Bobs


I'd intended to post this sooner, but other developments intervened. Two respected online reviewers have started up a site devoted exclusively to reviews of m/m short fiction (20k words and less, I believe; correct me if I'm wrong, Tam or Jen). Click here to check out Brief Encounters. These ladies are devoted and astute readers.

My birthday present to myself arrived today -- a PRINT COPY (ahhhhh) of The Markhat Files by Frank Tuttle. I absolutely adore this man's writing. It isn't m/m, but it isn't really m/f either, so I don't have to endure scenes full of those horrible euphemisms for aroused female genitalia and secondary sex organs. And I don't have to endure that vile "c" word preceded by a host of nauseating adjectives like "dripping" and "gushing." (Be still, my stomach!) The book arrived just in time, too, since a whopping, big-ass blizzard possibly packing 12+ inches of snow is predicted for tomorrow.

I also recently revisited Sleight of Hand by Katrina Strauss. Incredible tale, so beautifully woven. Thank goodness I can read it fairly painlessly at my desktop -- one of the attractions, for me, of novella-length work. This is truly a story to get lost in. Richly detailed yet mysterious (and pretty freakin' hot), it just carries me away. I suspect most of you are already familiar with it, but if you aren't, get a copy. Srsly.

Poor Cody and Luna! Our neutered male mutt, the Code Man, was ill and virtually immobile from Sunday through Wednesday. Limpness in one leg, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy. Then, yesterday and today, he suddenly began to perk up. I had a feeling I knew what the problem was, and a brief Internet search all but confirmed my suspicions.

We took Cody and his spayed female sidekick, Luna (a funny-looking terrier mix, also with one blue eye), to the vet today. The diagnosis? Lyme Disease. Even though it's winter in this part of the world and ticks are no longer active, a bite that took place in spring or fall infested Cody's system. The symptoms didn't manifest until now. A blood test on Luna showed that she, too, carried the germ, although she hadn't yet been laid low by it.

Those of you who have canine companions and live in the country, please be aware of this threat. An annual shot can innoculate your pet against Lyme Disease. Cody and Luna are now on a 21-day antibiotic treatment that should cleanse their bodies of the invader. It's horrible to see a sweet animal suffer so, even for a few days.

19 comments:

Val said...

Oh, the poor dogs! I'm relieved to hear that they'll soon be doing better. I second your impression of Sleight of Hand. I enjoyed it, too. I think she's going to do a sequel!

Lily said...

I love Tam and Jenre's new place. Great reviews and I've already added to my huge TBB. :)

Aww, poor Cody and Luna! I hope they feel better soon.

Happy Print Book Birthday to you!! Enjoy the book and keep warm.

K. Z. Snow said...

The damned ticks around here are ferocious, Val. There aren't many critters on which I'd wish extinction, but mosquitoes, ticks, rats, and cockroaches are definitely candidates. Ugh!

I'm so there if Katrina publishes a sequel to SoH. It's one of the most captivating stories I've read.

wren boudreau said...

It's good to have a book in hand when a blizzard is in session!

Glad the pups are going to be okay. My sweetie dog is 12 yrs old and every time he does something out of character I worry!

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, Lily! Tam and Jen are definitely doing the genre a huge service -- although not readers' wallets! ;-)

I think the dogs will be fine, now that the culprit has been identified. Gah, I HATE ticks! Chickens would help keep their population down, but unfortunately, foxes and raccoons make it hard to keep chickens around here.

I just know I'll be happily hunkered down with the Tuttle book while I'm thinking, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, Wren, do look out for that sweetheart! He's so adorable.

Good books *sigh* -- yeah, they suck the dread right out of bad weather. I firmly believe that if everybody on the planet loved to read good fiction and poetry, there'd be no more war.

wren boudreau said...

Great idea KZ. Let's make it a rule: Before anybody can start a war they must read 5 novels, 3 non-fiction books, and 12 poems. Then they have to write a limerick, a sonnet and haiku.

K. Z. Snow said...

I'll go for it, Wrenboo. Now we just need to become joint Empresses of the World. (You think a vid on YouTube would net us the appointment?)

wren boudreau said...

Sure it would! Especially if we had cookies to share!

K. Z. Snow said...

Live, moving cookies, though. Most def.

wren boudreau said...

Goes without saying.

Jenre said...

Thanks for the kind words, KZ (and Lily) and for the promo :).

Poor doggies! hope they get better soon.

I hope Katrina does do a sequel because I loved Sleight of Hand too.

Tam said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out. Ugh. Sick animals are hard because they can't always tell you what's up, you just know they are miserable. Hope they feel better soon.

Enjoy your birthday present in the snow. We were predicted to get 50 cm (18 inches) on Sunday, now they are saying 10 cm and rain. Ugh. I'm supposed to drive the girls 45 min. into the country for riding lessons, we'll see. if it ends up freezing rain I'm not going.

K. Z. Snow said...

You're very welcome, Jen and Tam. It's a great site!

Poor Cody is hurting again today. Can't even move without yelping. Damn, it just breaks my heart! But apparently that's how this disease operates -- it comes and goes until antibiotics do their thing and eliminate the bug.

Tam, DO NOT drive in freezing rain!

Katrina Strauss said...

Poor puppies! Good that you're attuned to your dog's moods and have both on the road to recovery. That reminds me, my dogs are due this month for vaccines including rabies. We're in town, but on the edge of it and must contend with squirrels, raccoons, and skunks. (A skunk sprayed one of my dog's last winter; what a mess that was!)

And thanks so much for the kind mention! What a nice and encouraging start to my morning. I penned the opening chapter to the sequel 2 years ago but, well, that's as far as I got. I promise to get back to it once I'm in the proper frame of mind for another dark Victorian romp. ;)

As for winter reading, I'm reading more Alice Sebold followed by her husband Glen David Gold. I'm always fascinated by literary couples, since most writers I know rely on a partner with a real job and a better grip on reality. We can't all make like Anais Nin and have both a writer and a banker in our lives. :P

K. Z. Snow said...

I've heard of the Gold-Sebold couple, Kitty, but haven't read any of their stuff. Will have to look them up.

Aren't readers a pain in the ass? :-D (I say that most affectionately.) I can well imagine how you've been hounded to do a SoH sequel. A couple of people on Goodreads were already talking to each other about a sequel to my three-day-old steampunk release. Yikes!

Chris said...

Oh, poor doggies. :( Lyme's is nasty stuff.

Are you getting the snow? We've had 18+ inches and now the cold and bitter winds are going to move in.

K. Z. Snow said...

Chris, how many times have I pleaded with you to keep your damned weather on your side of the rivers? We have the same crap going on, and blizzard warnings are dreadful to hear in the outback. They mean we're stranded until the plow comes through and the wind dies down. (All this, and it's only mid December!)

I feel like one of those little whores on the prairie!

LYME DISEASE SUCKS! I'm emotionally exhausted by seeing Cody's condition repeatedly deteriorate, then improve, then deteriorate again. We try to make him as comfortable as possible, but that fucking disease really wreaks inflammatory havoc with the joints. And now the poor mutt not only has to deal with pain when he does his business, he has to deal with this stinking weather, too.

Chris said...

Poor Cody. :(

Sorry, KZ. It's not actually much better in the city at the moment. Not sure the plows are back out on the roads yet...