Stephanie Burgis
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Romantic music, sweet dogs, and procrastination
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Lately I've been finding myself listening obsessively to my opera CDs. And not my 18th-century comic opera favorites, either - no, I've been listening to and melting over all the huge, overblown 19th-century romantic opera arias and duets that I used to primly think (back when I was younger and way, way more uptight in my musical tastes) were just Too Over The Top. Not anymore! There are a couple of Renée Fleming CDs I've had on near constant repeat lately, and right now I'm listening to the Duets album by Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, with duets from La bohéme, Lucia di Lammermoor and many more achingly tragic romances. I'm not sure what all this yen for throbbing romantic music means...but it's definitely not reflected in my current writing project, since (despite the many romantic subplots in her books) Kat is absolutely and unflinchingly skeptical of any and all tragic romance storylines. Hmm. Last year, when I went through a similar period of Romantic Opera Addiction, I wrote a big, tragic, romantic vampiress story set in Revolutionary Paris. Maybe something equally musically appropriate will occur to me soon...and in the meantime, at least I'm hearing a lot of truly gorgeous music.

Today has been half-productive and not. On the plus side, I finally spent forty minutes wrestling with our recalcitrant and creaky old scanner (which can only be operated through our old desktop, which is so ancient itself that it can't be connected to our wireless network and has neither a ZIP drive nor a CD writer, which makes transferring files...tricky, to say the least!) so that I could finally scan in some signed short story contracts that have been waiting for a while. Oh, and I came up with a dinner plan for tonight and made a list of missing ingredients...and spent a lovely half-hour sitting with Maya in the sunshine outside, chatting with a nice local builder who's just taken in a really beautiful and gentle young, stray pitbull who showed up in his yard last week. It was a really cheering conversation, and very redeeming of my faith in humanity.

The dog, D, is drop-dead gorgeous, with a stunning red-and-brown coat, and he absolutely loves people, but he could very easily have been put to sleep when he was found stray, as a lot of shelters won't take pitbulls, and if the man and his wife had just dropped him off at the police station (normal procedure), he would have been put to sleep after seven days of not being claimed. Instead, they alerted the police, took out an advertisement in the paper, did everything they could to spread the news and let the original owners know...and are now planning to adopt him if no one does come forward. We had a really nice chat about dogs, vets, and good places for obedience training in the local area. (The original owners obviously hadn't trained him, making him a nightmare to walk, as a big strong dog with a will of his own...which only reinforces the idea that he may have been intentionally left stray. About 2/3 of dogs who are abandoned at shelters in America and England have never had any training at all, and so the owners, who weren't willing to put in that initial work, call them "impossible to live with" and abandon's one of those statistics that makes me grit my teeth.) It was a really good conversation, and it left me in a great mood. Sadly, the man hasn't had a chance to test D with other dogs in a safe and controlled social situation, so he sensibly decided it was safest not to let him meet Maya, but the two dogs wiggled at each other from a distance and whined with frustration at not being allowed to play.

On the other hand...on the utterly non-productive front, I haven't written a word of Kat by Starlight yet, and it's nearly 5pm. Urk! Time to get down to work, with an apple and a chunk of strong cheddar as energy-givers. I just can't let the music I'm listening to affect the mood of what I'm writing, or else Kat will end up with a serious case of tonal whip-lash...

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