Stephanie Burgis
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Brain Meltage
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Well, my new full-time occupation is: Staring At My Article. That's it. Just staring, while feeling bits of my brain melt off and slip oozily away, down the back of my neck.

Oh, and I mutter, too. As in: "I hate this, I hate this, I hate this so much."


Nothing makes me as crazy as this. Even when I'm completely stuck on a piece of fiction, I don't go into a deer-in-the-headlights Death Freeze like this. Maybe part of it is the inescapable "SO MUCH IS RIDING ON THIS!" message blaring on my internal speakers. As in---if I can't rewrite this article in an imaginative, brilliantly clarifying, insightful way, I WILL NEVER GET A JOB! And SOMEONE WILL TAKE AWAY MY SCHOLARSHIPS! And--and--and-----!!!!!

So I sit and mutter to myself and wipe bits of my brain off the chair when they fall onto it.


In better news, I wrote three and a half more pages of my novel this morning, mostly while sitting at the cafe at 7:30 a.m. It was pretty touch-and-go this morning when it came to whether or not we were going to make it up out of bed, or just shut the alarm clock off and fall back to sleep. I think I ended up slumped--ah, resting!--face-down across the bed in the middle of trying to pull myself up and into a standing position. I don't remember it very clearly.

But we made it, mostly because we were both doing it--either one of us on our own would probably have given up and re-set the alarm clock. And it was a Very Good Thing.

When I got back home, at around 10:30, I found Nika's crate door hanging wide-open.

"Patrick?" I called, thinking--did he come home for some reason? No luck.

"Nika!" I yelled.

Sudden panic seized my chest. Just like Nika worries terribly about burglars stealing her dental chews and kibble (and thus spends hours hiding them!), I have a secret burglar fear myself, and it's not about the computers.

I was just about to search the house for clues (WHY would a burglar steal Nika, and leave the computers behind???) when I heard the unmistakable thumping sound of a skinny border collie flinging herself at our bedroom door, trying to get it open from the wrong direction.

I guess we didn't close her crate well enough, because she had obviously gotten out, trundled upstairs and spent the whole morning sleeping comfortably in our bed. No rooting through the trash, no minor or major destruction--we were amazingly lucky, all in all. Thank God Nika's not a morning dog any more than we are morning people! And my lord, I haven't seen such a smug look on a doggy face for a very, very long time.

We may not be able to keep pretending that we are the heads of this household for much longer.

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