Sunday, December 31, 2006

Kim Harrison's "For a Few Demons More"

I got an unexpected present yesterday when a package that had been sent to me as an RWA Chapter President showed up -- an ARC of Kim Harrison's "For a Few Demons More". Of course I started to read it immediately, and didn't stop until 2 am. Not good for my writing schedule today, but otherwise great fun.

I'm quite a fan of the Hollows series, and this one didn't disappoint at all. She effortlessly held my attention with non-stop action and relationship developments. Trent's character took another twist. Rachel and Ivy tested more boundaries. And, true to the title, there were definitely a "few demons more". We saw Al, Newt, and a new demon, Midias, complicating Rachel's life to the max. There was some loss in the final chapters of the book, but it was handled well. After all, if everything's completely safe, you would lose that edge, wouldn't you?

So I give this book a strong recommendation.

I'm also a fan of the fantasies of Dawn Cook, and quite enjoyed "The Decoy Princess" and "Princess at Sea", also recommended--though they are NOT urban/dark/whatever fantasy.

It's New Year's eve. Time to get my writing pages in so I can relax and enjoy the end of 2006, a momentous year for me. It's so much easier to fasten on the negative, and I always feel like I should have done more, better. But this has been a good year in many ways. I finished my first work of fiction, contracted it, saw it published, and got my first royalty check. Not bad for one year (I keep telling myself :-) )


Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Cat had a stroke...

Our cat has a name--Misty--but somehow we always end up calling her "The Cat". Last week one night she squawked and fell over. After that she could hardly walk. She'd take a few steps and tip over, sometimes sideways, sometimes backward.

We took her to the Veterinary Hospital (we're lucky enough to have a world-famous veterinary school in our small city) and they told us that she definitely had something wrong with her brain, but they couldn't be sure without further testing. I'm afraid that I drew the line at paying for an MRI. If she did indeed have a stroke, knowing that for sure would make no difference to treatment. So we took her home with steroids and antibiotics, not at all sure whether she would live.

About twenty-four hours after the stroke I became concerned because she hadn't had anything to eat, and wouldn't eat from a spoon. But after leaving a plate of chopped up pork roast near her, she did eat. Now, almost a week later, she's walking around and is clearly going to make it. She's slow and awkward, and doesn't have total control over her body, but she's getting to the litter box and the food bowl, and has even gone back to her insanely picky eating style, sticking up her nose at various food offerings for inscrutable and random reasons.

The vet told us that if she didn't get better, call them to discuss "quality of life issues". A curious sort of euphemism for euthanasia... But it does make you think about what it is that makes life worth living. Even though she's no longer in danger of dying, she basically moves from one soft, warm spot to another, with the occasional trip to eat or eliminate. Is this enough "quality of life"? Would it be different if she were human?

What will life be like for me, when I get toward the end?