I'm trying to clean up all the loose ends that litter my desk -- hoping to have a nice long weekend when I don't have to spend every day tied to this computer. The result so far? Odds and ends taken care of -- but at the expense of a mind-set that keeps jumping from one issue to another. In the hope of taming some of the issues into submission, here are some "Random Bits of C - - - "
* Yesterday I mentioned that I had a "formerly fluffy cat " who was on her way to the vet because she is going bald. Today, after approximately $200.00 worth of tests to draw up a "wellnesss profile on a 12-year old feline", we got the results. She's completely healthy -- perfect on every score. So why is she going bald? The vet's best guess is that she was upset by my absence while I was in the hospital and rehab. Then we had to rearrange the house to accommodate my walker. Both events were distressing enough that she did some psychologically-induced over-grooming. "Psychogenic allopecia" is the formal diagnosis. Fluffy little peach fuzz is growing back in, so she won't remain bald forever. And as long as I can remain upright and don't take any more pratfalls, she'll be fine. Me? I feel guilty for upsetting her!
* Today, I've been doing "art work." I've finished designing new business cards, new address labels, and a two-sided bookmark -- all of which are intended to help publicize my next book, which has finally entered the last stages of publication. What does that mean? Well, Smashwords has accepted the manuscript for its Premium Catalog" and has shipped the files to Apple, B&N, and Kobo, so that they can start offering pre-orders for the electronic editions. And CreateSpace has turned the book over to their design team to do the layout.
* I've celebrated that progress by re-doing my website to announce the pre-orders and start stirring up interest. If you haven't seen it, please drop by the website and, while you are there, leave your e-mail so that I can let you know when more developments occur.
* I "scooped" an interesting article I found on-line, one which gently criticizes the historical flaws in Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos." It's a brilliant explanation, and I'm terribly proud of John Cotts, who wrote the article. Years and years ago, John was a graduate student in medieval history. He read my dissertation and decided to carry my research on a 12th-century bishop into the next generation of episcopal derring-do. I sort of consider him an academic grandchild, and even though he has far-surpassed me academically, I can still take pride in some of his beginnings.
* And speaking of academic children, I've been watching the news on the NYC apartment collapse because for a little while I feared that one of my favorite Rhodes College grads might have been affected by it. (He wasn't, I'm happy to report.)
* What's next? Well, my husband and I are organizing this year's TN State Lions Convention, which will be held here in Memphis. I've set up a website for potential attendees, and I'm now on my way to do a restaurant review for their enlightenment. That doesn't mean I get a meal out, unfortunately. I just have to write a few lines about one of my favorite hamburger joints. Life is never dull around here.