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February 2016



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Alexia in Shock

My Problem With Racoons

We call them coons in this neck of the woods. And where I grew up, yes it was actually woods, coons were (and still are) a problem. Sure they look like cute little banditos, but they are big fat mean angry smelly pests. They get into the garbage, they have sex under the porch, they climb all over the roofs, they wash food in the pond, they go up against the cats, and the dogs, and the occasional small child.

I remember one particularly funny coon incident. I was out visiting my mother and I had purchased some new beauty products on my way. I have a bit of a "smelling like food" addiction. There was some cinnamon bun shampoo, vanilla perfume, that kind of thing which I left in the car. Anyway, that night the racoons, hilariously, climbed into my car looking for the food. They upended the whole darn vehicle, got inside everything and left muddy paw marks everywhere. No food. To this day I am amused by the very idea of how frustrated they must have been.

"Where is it? I can smell the cinnamon! And the vanilla! I can smell it, Joe, I swear! It's taunting me!"

So, this Sunday I was out on the bike and dumped her at low speed because of, you guessed it, a raccoon. This one was dead in the road and I braked too hard, didn't want to put my foot down on the dead coon, and just went right over. Stupid in someone who's been riding for 18 years. Nothing major wrong except that 500 lbs of bike landed on my left ankle. (Poor Carmen lost her gear shift and a bit off the clutch, some scrapes here and there but otherwise fine.)

So I'm laid up this week with a sprain, which turns out to be a good thing. Nothing to do but edit. Well, and winch on at you lot about coons.

Speaking of which, back to the editing mill for me.

Pip pip, and watch out for those racoons!


Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Tiny Tech

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Four Types of Dramatic Tension

Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Second draft read through.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Working promo schemes.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) First chapter reviewed, drops on YenPlus April 12th. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.
Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last. Out now!
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date Fall 2013.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Not yet Released

Book News:
Interviewed over on Sirens of Suspense.

Quote of the Day:
"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."
~ August Strindberg (1849 - 1912), A Madman's Diary, 1895

Daisypath Wedding tickers


We're getting those here now, too. Escapees from zoos and the like. They really love the local wildlife. I do hope they finally allow wolves to return, we have a few, but they're not welcome everywhere (duh).

Hope your ankle and poor Carmen will be alright soon again, and thumbs up for editing!

PS: [...], they have sex under the porch, [...] <- *LOL*
Dear God, I'm glad you escaped with only a sprain! O_o
hope your ankle gets better soon
Sending you virtual icepacks for your ankle...

Our rural neighborhood is infested with raccoons. They are the Mission Impossible agents of breaking into trash cans. Anything edible and not locked down, they will get into. When we put up bird netting to protect our ripening grapes, they reached through the netting and gobbled down the entire harvest. Needless to say, they are not our favorite critters. At all.

In their favor, they do not sweep through the neighborhood, snacking on the entire population of outdoor cats, which coyotes do periodically.
Having done the Renaissance Fair in Lake Tahoe for a number of years, let me just say that "raccoons > bears".

Fortunately I can learn from the mistakes of others.
They sound a little like the North American equivalent of the possum, although possums are much smaller and more timid. For something that can balance on a telephone wire they sound awfully clumsy when they jumps from roof or tree to carport roof, though, and of course there is that lovely sound they emit to either make them seem more threatening or to simply annoy anyone nearby trying to sleep. I suspect it is the latter. They're contrary critters.
I have never had a raccoon experience. I mean, where I live there is some hungry stray cats(feeded by the nebourhood and me), making huge eyes at you like Shreck's Puss in Boots and hoping to get food all the time but no raccons. But the cats are having affairs here and there, too.
I send my wishes for a speed recovering of your ankle,I hope you will get better soon.
Hope you ankle gets better soon! Good luck with the copy edits!
The raccoons who lived in the abandoned lot behind my house would harass and beat up my large-boned 16lb cat to the extent that we had to start feeding him in the garage. Never really been a huge fan of the species, although their tiny hand-like paws are kinda cool.

Hope you recover quickly!
Sending wishes for a speedy recovery!
My only knowledge of racoons comes from having a puppet of a racoon in a garbage can, and sitting next to a friend that made a necklace inspired by them.
Hope you ankle gets better soon! Which kind of bike do you ride?
mmmm, let's see. I kind of picture you on a vintage Moto Guzzi V7, but I don't know if you have them in the US :)
A Triumph Bonneville?
I wish, a Triumph is my dream motorcycle but I haven't time time to maintain it. So I ride and SV650, suzi, named Carmen.

Smelling like sweets

I have the strawberry shortcake version of that shampoo/body wash/bubble bath... haven't tried it as shampoo though.
When I went camping with my friend, she made me leave my scented lip gloss in the bear locker. Just in case.

Just a Randome Someone Liking Your Oeuvre

Hullooo there!

Well, if ever there was an annoying salutation, there you have it!

So, I normally keep my own council, but hey, now's a chance to pester some utterly unknown person with how much I like their work.

Just recently bought "Soulless", without really knowing much about it, the entire series or the author. Just have to say
1) I liked steampunk more than I thought I previously did. Allot actually. Or perhaps it was the frequent tea breaks that I fancied… Haven't worked that out yet. Love your way with words and imagery. You DO know how to work them!
2) The fact that you're a degree-junkie turned archaeologist, err turned writer of fiction… Oh… you don't know what a big ole' inspo-kick that was! I'm a couple of chapters away from coming out of the shameful writer-of-fiction-closet, after ridiculous amount of time spent at uni collecting purdy degrees. What the devil for?! (Well, I know what the devil for, but we don't need to spell it out.)

Right, rant (thankfully) over. :) All the best (and hope you've had a 'coon-free recovery)…

Kind regards,

Re: Just a Randome Someone Liking Your Oeuvre

Well hi there! And thank you for the random bomb! Love them.~ Gail