Dogs Barking

For the record, Loki is just fine now. He lost all of his baby fat from being so sick and has turned into a lanky pup with long legs for his size. He’s not going to be a very big dog, being half terrier. But he’s certainly a lot happier dog now and has stopped begging to be in the bathtub.

Loki Feels Better

I have a statement regarding my email address and how people tend to assume things on it based on their finite beliefs and experience. I’ve been putting up with it for years and even though this has more to do with my actual job the email address is attached to this place.

I get a lot of emails from people who want me to do their covers for them, or format their books. And for some reason my current work address has never been properly attached to my work listing with Smashwords, so these people more often than not end up emailing the death@ address. And some of these people are very rude about it.

Like today for example. “After reviewing the Smashword list I liked your descriptions best.  In the future please use a different email address as I don’t allow negative things around me.”

So, they love my work. They love my professionalism. But they don’t like my email address and because my email has the word “death” in it, it must be bad and they want me to change my email address just for their convenience.

Ironically, 100% of these self-serving demands have by people who have written some spiritualist book about white-lighterhood, loving one another, world peace, women’s power, and anything else new age regarding acceptance you can think of.

My email is I also have a second, personal email, which is (Ends changed to avoid spambots.) And they are both very POSITIVE things.

As many pups know, I’m “Death” because of the team of four – the Writers of the Apocalypse – that was my title.  What do you think the others were called? Think about it. War, who ended up joining the army; Conquest, who still does things with me on rare occasion, Pestilence, et al. Our titles are a pun, our work was based on comedy, and we had a lot of positive energy. And a lot of fun.

upload“Death” stands for how I picked myself up out of a workless rut and figured my own way in the world. It is a symbol of how I formed a team of creative minds, kept things going for years until I was the last woman standing, and despite the moniker “death” my work in the comics field is still alive and kicking. They are my badge: I’m a leader. I’m a fighter: I didn’t let being blackballed in the work world stop me.

The day I took up that title was the first day of a very moving chapter in my life.Things changed for the better for me. I found true love, I rediscovered myself as an author and an artist, and on some levels I have even achieved fame.

That email address is a very, very positive thing. All you have to do to see the goodness in it is to look past the letters and find the story within. In other words, you gotta stop being so damn shallow.

When I had less of a backbone, just a couple of years ago, I’d grind my teeth and explain it was my only email address and tell this story. Sometimes that worked. At least one time I got an “interesting” and then stoic silence from the individual who liked my work oh-so-much.

And when I did end up working with these people, I always regretted it. Can we say nit-picker? We are talking major nit-pickers – people who can’t decide what they like so they go to all of their friends to get twenty conflicting opinions on your hard work so they can come back to you, ask for changes, and then ask you to change things back when the opinions fluctuate. They have been people who go so far as to put a ruler on their computer monitor to measure where you’ve put the book title and demand you move things over by a fraction of a millimeter. (I exaggerate not.) So I’ve learned that “I don’t like your email address” is a red flag for “I’m not going to like anything.” Even if that next client isn’t going to be that picky when they decide they don’t like my email address, I would rather not take the chance.

These days I have two email address, but I also am tired of being judged so quickly. So my responses, like today’s, normally go along the lines of:

I’m sorry but I cannot take any more work on right now.

Mind you, I wasn’t lying today. But even if I had the time, I wouldn’t have taken that job. I am my own employer – the best part of the story behind that email address – and can pick and choose my work at my own discretion. And my own discretion says I don’t have to put up with it anymore. My own discretion says money ain’t worth it. My own discretion says that professional response was a hell of a lot less than what I really wanted to say.

The moral to this story can go to either side. If you’re a hopeful client you should stop and consider the person on the other end of that email is a real, live individual with a real life and real stories to tell. Otherwise you may just be shooting yourself in the face.

And if you’re the wouldbe business, you don’t have to put up with the crap. I’m not saying you should definitely have an email address with something spooky like “death” in the line, but if you just happen to like I do then rest assured it’s better to stand by yourself than to grovel at the undeserving.

That’s enough of a rant for one day.

Sick Puppy

Today my dog decided he wanted to spend time in the bathtub. We’re not sure why. He knows the word “bath” and doesn’t seem to like or dislike them. He’s squeamish of the rain. And he’s very sick with parvo at the moment – my second animal this year with parvo.

Parvo: the extremely dangerous, couldbe fatal dog and cat version of influenza. Vomiting, diarrhea, the works.

Do some research on parvo and you come across a lot of panicked websites talking about iv drops, near 100% fatality rates, and bereaved pet owners who sat by their animal day and night in a hopeless battle. Most of these posts, I admit, were found in response to a natural aide (not cure) for parvo. All seemed ready to panic at the mere mention of the word.

When my other dog, Bullet, got sick with parvo we scraped our money together and off he went to the vet. I was thinking he wasn’t going to live. But the vet was a good man. He gave Bullet a shot to stop the vomiting and prescribed antibiotics, nutrition paste, and calorie water. By day two (of me noticing he was ill) he was drinking water and looking for food. By day three he was pissing me off again. Good old Bullet.

Loki, the current dog in question, had been given the first in the puppy shot series. Not exactly loaded with money, we couldn’t afford to get him his second. I noticed something was a little off last week when the greedy little sucker stopped eating as much and his hip bones started to show. I was convinced on Sunday when he started to vomit and stopped fighting me on the little things – like going potty in the rain. We had to beg borrow and steal this time to raise the money – all of $214. Monday as quickly as we could he went to the same vet (who had retired in November but fortunately had come in that day as a favor to the vet who had bought his practice) and got the same treatment as before: paste, antibiotics, shot, anti-vomit meds, etc.

Now, Loki isn’t fighting back as hard as Bullet did. He’s what they call a “soft pup” where Bullet was a dominant megalomaniac little pain in the rear. It’s day two and he finally wanted some water on his own, but he turned up his nose at chicken broth and soft food. My sagging hopes were lifted a little when I called him and he pranced – just for a moment – to come to me. But I can tell he’s not out of the woods just yet.

And he has decided he’s going to be strange about it. He asked several times to be in the bathtub. We obliged, but that wasn’t good enough. He wanted the water running. We obliged. He lay down in the water.

He went outside in the pouring rain when denied the bathtub and… lay down in the mud.

And he keeps wanting to be in the bathtub. We can’t figure out why.

I think he’s been bathed 3 times today.

I hope this infatuation with being in water is a good thing. But he’s 1/2 terrier. Who knows what’s going on in that wicked little mind.

loki hanging in the tub