Eugie Foster (eugie) wrote,
Eugie Foster

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On the Nature of Skunk Tummies

Hobkin seems to be on the mend. I hand fed him small pieces of high-liquid veggies, watermelon, and bits of bread at regular intervals last night. Even managed to coax him to lap up a bit of Pepto Bismol. He sicked up some of his food, and a lot of it passed through his system far too quickly for any sort of decent nutrient absorption. But I think enough got into him to do some good. And he maintained an appetite.

He was very clingy, and very prone to startling. Well, he is a small animal with a wee brain, after all. His tummy is upset and he doesn't understand what's happening, so he's scared and easily frightened. That translated to him wanting to curl up all night with me, and keeping me pinned on the couch. My night was pretty sedentary, but I got a lot of writing done.

I keep checking his scruff to see if he's dehydrated, and although his fur is a little dry, he seems okay on the hydration front, which is my biggest concern. I've had to force fluids orally and administer them subcutaneously to small animals before. They don't like it; I don't like it; there's much unhappiness all around. I'd like not to have to go through that again.

This morning, Hobkin ate a meal of veggies and watermelon without me having to hand feed him. And had his normal (if slightly smaller) lunch of cottage cheese and more veggies. So we're holding off on making a decision whether to take him to the vet's for another day to see if he'll be able to get over this bout of upset tummy without medical intervention.

I wish the little fuzzwit could tell us how he's feeling.

In related news, Matthew had a few disturbed stomach pangs last night, and today I felt a bit unsettled myself in the GI department. Not sure if it's us being sympathetic to Hobkin, or we're all three of us sharing a bug. I know ferrets and humans are susceptible to the same colds and flus, but haven't been able to ascertain whether that's true for humans and skunks. If we humans worsen, I suspect I will have my answer.

Writing stuff:

I think I've made a conceptual breakthrough via my non-chronological writing approach. I've done it before. I wrote the beginning and ending first of "A Little Soul Music" (published in the In the Outposts of Beyond anthology) and then filled in the middle. But that was like writing two separate, but related, stories. One sort of wrapped around the other. This time, I actually jumped scenes in the same story. And by writing the later scene before the earlier, I realized a few things:

1. I was having problems with the earlier scene because I wasn't sure where to take it.
2. If I'm bored or unfocused while writing a scene, I can't expect someone to be riveted reading it, so should put it aside until I can do it right.
3. Writing a scene that happens after the one I'm blocked on can be the inspiration I need to figure out where I want to do with the stuck scene.

I'm not sure if I would have finished the fantasy/VR fusion piece if I'd let myself stew and mull over the bit I got jammed on. But by skipping ahead and writing the part I did have swirling about, I knocked lose a few ideas that I then incorporated into the skipped scene, thereby letting me complete the story.

And after making these fairly no-brainer type deductions, I realized how I should apply it: novel-length works. Most of my efforts at novels have been very structured, to the point of having each chapter outlined beforehand. I progressed through the novel chapter by chapter, stopping when I got stuck mid-chapter. I think I need to write what I can when I can, and if that means skipping chunks and coming back, I should do that.

The theory sounds good. Whether I can make on it will be the test.

Polished up the zero draft of the fantasy/VR fusion piece. Going to have Matthew first reader it and then send it up to Critters.

Got the MPC issue straightened out with Andrew. My Japanese Horror story is slated to go up tonight, bumped by my MPC.

'Course I haven't completed the re-write of my Suzanne Vega-inspired fantasy piece yet. Debating whether I should totally overhaul it, as most critters seemed to think it didn't work, or trunk it. Snogwart.

3000-word started on something which I think will actually turn into a novella before I’m done. I'm thinking this is okay. Perhaps I need to take small steps from short story to novel length. A novella is a good halfway point. Theoretically.
Tags: hobkin

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