Release The Kittens!

Gods help us all, the Goblin Boys were finally given a clean bill of health from the vet earlier this week, and are now free to roam about the house during the day. They’re sweet, and adorable, and Oisín loves them, and wow they are A Lot. They’re also still not allowed to have free run without supervision, due to the things that we can’t kitten-proof and their total lack of good manners or sense, which means I still don’t really have access to my studio until we can get them settled fully (there is absolutely no way to even remotely kitten proof it…Oisín himself isn’t allowed in here unattended). Trying to work from the kitchen table is not ideal, and there’s a lot that I just can’t do at all, so I’m trying to do what I can in between kitten-related disasters. Slow going, to say the least.

In the meantime, it’s giving me a chance to focus on figuring out how to make a couple of my side projects go, like the bantam izbushka farm (it has a name! and lore! and several newsletter-type articles already sketched out!), which may, in turn, help me get the larger plans for “Auntie Yaga’s Home For Wayward Monsters” worked out. There are physical items that I need to make for them before I can fully launch, but I can do a lot of the prep while we’re working on the Goblin Boys training. These projects may end up requiring a website format change in order to give them their own sections, or they may end up getting their own Ko-fi pages instead. Still working on figuring out that part.

Also working on a small Hallows ghost story as I can, which my Ko-fi and Patreon subscribers got to read a snippet of. Like everything else, it’s frustratingly slow going, but it is going, at least, which is an improvement over a couple of weeks ago, so I’m taking the win.

They’re so cute when they’re not dismantling the house

(As ever, if you want to help support your mostly-friendly wordwitch and help keep the little monsters fed, tossing a few coins in the tip jar is always wildly appreciated.)

Catawampuses, Moths, and Moonroads

image via The Carterhaugh School

But if there is to be no modus vivendi, if the battle between the crocodile of Realism and the catawampus of Romance is to be fought out to the bitter end–why, in that Ragnaruk, I am on the side of the catawampus.” ~Andrew Lang

I have been out of sorts, to say the least, lately. Adventures in Prehistoric Epidemiology is an ongoing battle to clear Bodach and Púca of giardia, and then Oisín developed an eye issue (it’s been cleared, he’s fine), and we had to change vet practices in the middle of everything, and it’s just been marrow-deep exhausting. 0/10, do not recommend.

Trying to find time, energy, and maybe half a spoon to work with while dealing with 6 solid weeks (and counting) of feline medical drama has been challenging, to say the least. I figured out a portable set up for working outside the studio, but dredging up an idea of any kind has felt like trying to pull a mammoth out of a tar pit with broken chopsticks and a piece of thread.

To be honest, everything has felt like that, lately, not just creatively. Yesterday I hit the point where I was so tired, in pain, and just plain miserable from wrestling with the crocodile of reality (yes, I’m taking liberties with Lang’s quote) that I wanted to cry. So, I pulled out my tarot deck and asked for some directions.

It told me to go take a drive and clear my head and I’d feel better, for the love of little orange pumpkins. Yes, I listened. It was right, too. I got a good 50 miles of sun and wind and movement, and I saw an old house that was growing pumpkins along its white picket fence and there was a big, beautiful, bright orange pumpkin right there next to the road, and it was exactly what I needed to scrape some of the sludge off my brain.

While driving, I started thinking about a post from The Carterhaugh School I’d read a while back, and when I got home I dug it out. I got thinking about catawampuses, and cheshire cats, and roads made of moonlight, and moths, and pumpkins, and the way that the smells of caramel apples, fried dough, sun-baked midway dust, and autumn leaves combine into one of the best smells in the world, and….

and then I remembered why I am, and will always be, Team Catawampus. Reality (and Realism) is so often harsh and exhausting and leaves one drowning in tar. Give me the catawampus, and it’s grinning tabby cousin, any day.