Finally heard from Patrick. He weathered Ivan at a friend's parent's house that's on the west of the Louisiana bay area, above sea level. I checked the storm maps and it looks like the area he's in was downgraded to "tropical storm" from "hurricane." At least he's above sea level.
Hobkin displayed that he has a wee brain last night. Matthew startled him as he was eating his midnight snack. We're not sure what happened next. As best as we can figure it, Hobkin bit his own tongue or his mouth--like people occasionally do and it both hurts like the dickens and makes you feel inordinately stupid. We theorized that he didn't understand or know how to deal with the pain, and blamed the veggies he was eating for the hurt in his mouth. He began to systematically "kill" his midnight snack--pawing and scratching veggies apart, and in the process getting vegetable guts everywhere. After mauling them quiescent, he would try to take a bite of the resultant mush, but apparently his little mouth still hurt, so he would go back to killing them again.
I was concerned he'd cut his mouth or chipped a tooth or something, so I picked him up and tried to peer in. He made to snap at me, but when I touched the side of his mouth, he flinched away, which really worried me at first. I ended up using a piece of bread to lure his mouth open so I could see in. All teeth intact, no blood or visible wounds. Silly beastie.
By morning, of course, he was fine and ate an extra-hearty breakfast. Even begged shamelessly for more. His brain is small. It's a good thing he's so cute.
Ooo! My Ascendancy of Blood eBook is now #5 on the Fantasy bestsellers list at Fictionwise!
And, holy Jeebus! I checked the current bid on my chapbook at the ebay charity auction, and it's at $22.50! This book retails for $3.49. Wow. And the auction doesn't even end until the 18th. Wow.
So far, ten crits from Critters on "The Tanuki-Kettle," and it's going over well. A couple folks have commented that they think it would be appropriate for both a younger audience and an older one, which pleases me. And I actually managed to lop off nearly two hundred words, bringing it under 3K. I'm worried that I may have butchered it, though.
In any case, I have plenty of time to mull it over. When I do get it to "final draft" stage, it'll still have to languish in my "to send to Cricket" queue for a minimum of two months . . . unless the Cricket Group rejects one of the submissions I have with them. Or buys something with uncharacteristic swiftness.