I have achieved nothing creatively since getting home, other than plugging away on hamster illos. Handed the Snow Queen book in to my editor, shooting for a February release. My brain isn't sure what to work on next. I have any number of half-done projects I could pick up and work on, but nothing is really grabbing me about the head and shoulders, and I have most of a year anyway.
I've been writing a lot of short stories lately. (Well, a lot for ME.) There will be two (maybe three?) out in November--I'll link when it happens--and another in January and another in short order after that.
Lacking inspiration, I cleaned the closet instead. Read the KonMari book on decluttering, which is very...animist. (Author spent a lot of time working at a Shinto shrine, I hear, which may account for that.) There's a lot written about it and joy and whatnot, but the part I fixated on was that you're supposed to thank the things you get rid of, partly out of respect, partly because this will get you over the weird emotional attachment most of us have to Stuff. Can't get rid of a thing you don't wear because you paid a lot of money for it? Thank it for its help. Then it's easier. (It is, too. Go figure.)
I am amused by the various angsty responses to this I have read, which range from "No way am I talking to my socks!" to some frankly weird radical Christian stuff that thanking your socks is definitely Wrong and possibly Satanic and you should say a prayer to the Holy Spirit instead for giving you socks. (I admit, my Catholicism is pretty lapsed, but I think God is probably a bit more concerned that we not be awful to each other than with briefly anthropomorphizing one's socks as one prepares to send them to Goodwill. Honestly, were I running the universe, I'd be like "Whatever gets you to give the socks to the less fortunate, DO THAT." But there's a reason they don't let me run the universe. Several. Not least that we would be hip-deep in axolotls. Well, anyway, the theology seems a little muddled to me. The important thing is that everybody's got socks going into winter.)
Regardless, whichever way you come at it, the chief source of resistance seems to be in talking to one's sock drawer. Mostly it seems to be that you will look silly doing it.
Then there's me. I read this book and went "Lord, I talk to my socks already! Finally, a book for me!" and spent six hours thanking my excess socks, shoes, light jackets, etc, and dragged four large garbage bags off to the thrift store. I have always been a bit of an animist by nature, and I gave up on not looking silly in private many many years ago. (Who am I trying to impress? I know myself too well to believe in my own dignity. I have tripped on perfectly flat ground and choked on my own saliva too many times.)
There is also a whole lot about the proper way to fold one's clothes so that they will be happy. It is also remarkably space efficient. The closet is cleaner than it has been in eons. I have no idea if I will continue the whole process, but I am surprisingly willing to believe that properly folded socks and underwear can make me happier in some small fashion.
Also, not to bury the lead here, but we met a dog at an adoption event that may be The Dog. Having a home visit after we get back from the con. English Coonhound mix who was dumped, probably for having no hunting instincts whatsoever. Beautiful dog, one of the ones who leeeeeans into you and looks up with a very hopeful expression, good with cats.
"Are you hound people?" asked the rescue people.
"Well," I said. "Better the devil you know."
They laughed. It was rueful laughter, with a slightly hysterical edge, but there it was. (We know all the hound problems and can deal with them. But never another beagle. There are limits.)