I haven't posted in a few weeks...because I've been finishing a bunch of essays for my next book: Dogs I've Met: And The People They Found. The book will be out in October and is actually listed for preordering on Amazon and elsewhere, although the description they have isn't quite right.
I have to admit, I agreed to do the book because I had to pay my travel bills for doing events for The Dogs Who Found Me. And I agreed to a quick deadline, thinking that a)my teaching schedule would be quite different than it actually is, and b) we could change the date if needed. Ooops. None of those things panned out. But I'm really pleased with the stories and situations that are represented in the book, and I'll likely add a few more sections before it actually is released in the fall.
There's something to be said for writing under a fierce deadline. It makes you go places you might not otherwise reach. So, while I was miserable in the process, I'm pleased with the results. Now I'll be turning my eye back to my Ph.D work and that pile of short stories that have been sitting in a box at the foot of my bed.
I've also been trying to find a house to move into with the dogs. I thought I'd found something in my own neighborhood--with a huge yard and a wooden wall around it--but there were undisclosed foundation failures, so I'm back at the beginning of the hunt again. The problem with looking for things here these days is that you can find really prime, large, nicely restored stuff for 200,000 or more, or you can find small, gutted homes for 100,000 or less. But you can't find anything in between.
My favorite line from a recent real estate listing: "Second floor is in perfect condition." Another favorite: "Gutted to three feet in great condition."
Brando and I have been going for walks in Holy Cross, on the other side of the canal, in the lower ninth. It seems to be the only place we might be able to afford. There is lots of renovation going on over there, but there isn't even a place to get a cup of coffee. Maybe I should move over there and open something. Brando's Coffee and Kibble--a pet food cafe.