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Rubicon - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
Tonight I hit a cockroach with my bare hand.

And I didn't die.

It did.

I suspect that this most recent intruder has something to do with the 5'x2' hole that the workmen have left in our closet wall. I can see light through the hole, and I think it's a light in the storeroom area that I surmise is beneath our apartment -- a storeroom area, moreover, near the wall where the first scout of the latest campaign met its own demise at my hands. I will bring this up with the landlady at the next opportunity, probably Saturday unless "other events" drive me to call her before then.

I wouldn't say that I'm getting used to the little bastards, and I hope I never do become blasé about them, but after the initial gut-twisting shock of the sighting and the panic of "shit, get it before it gets into my knitting!", I made the decision to whomp it barehanded rather than risk it getting away, and then I wiped it up with a tissue, went to drop the tissue in the toilet and scrub my hands, and proceeded with relative calm to fetch out the tube of Combat gel that we hadn't yet had an opportunity to put around after the most recent sightings. (It was meant for our storeroom downstairs but neither of us has had the time/energy to tackle the project.) Applied gel liberally around the area of the sighting (perilously close to my bed, ew) and into crevices in the open wall where it can be wallboarded up onto the inside, with the last bit reinforcing the undersink applications in the kitchen. And then retreated into the bathroom to spend the next two hours evacuating my churning colon. (Yes, Mister or Miss Roach, I shit upon your flattened carcass. Deal.)

Surprisingly okay now considering previous reactions to wildlife outbreaks, maybe because now I have LJ providing a support network of people posting things to the effect that "yeah, they're gross, but they're a manageable issue of urban life, not ravaging poisonous plague-bearing carnivores or a horrible reflection upon your moral character". I'll probably keep every light in the house on all night for the rest of the summer (not that that's been deterring them but at least I can see to aim), but I seem to have arrived at a turning point regarding my ability to kill the one I see, put poison out to ward off the ones I don't (if any, knock wood), and then move on with my day.

I still want them gone, though. If a genie appeared and offered me three wishes, they'd be "world peace", "to always have the wherewithal to do whatever I might be wanting to do", and "make every last species of cockroach suddenly undergo a permanent change of heart about their chosen form of living arrangements and go back to the wild where they belong". (I'd say "make them all die" but genies are notoriously tricky and I'd probably be left hip-deep in dead bugs.)

With any luck, this intruder was a stray stirred up from elsewhere by all the banging of pipes and destruction of walls, and once the excitement subsides I'll have peace from them again. The workmen are coming back tomorrow at 8AM to muck about with the pipes some more, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be able to finish up and reseal their hole by the end of the workday. Will put out yet more baits once some can be obtained, a different sort this time in case the local population is becoming resistant to what's already in use. (Probably tracy_rowan's recommendation of the "kills eggs too" Raid sort if I can find them, I think I saw them at the Village Crossing Jewel once.) Must redouble efforts to pick up around the house, though.

But roaches are, in the end, just bugs. Bugs with habits incompatible with my preferences, but bugs.

And bugs squish real good.

As to what passes for the normal part of my life, word-count on the prequel is up to 22075 because I decided to spend Tuesday writing instead of picking up the place for the workmen when the narrator abruptly decided to make a visit home and wouldn't let me alone about working on it. Nothing resembling this sequence was in the original plans, so I have to find him a pretext now, but it makes sense in the general context and solves a couple of other issues I had been batting around, so once the workmen definitively clear off I'll see where else he's going with it.

Still wrestling with revamping Query Letter and synopsis for the finished Manuscript. Workshopping has pointed me towards a general sense of where the current versions are going wrong in my attempt to capture the sense of the piece; now it's a matter of trying to cram these fresh insights into a single eloquent page of business-speak. The underlying difficulty seems to have been that while I'm telling the story in fantasy dress, under the clothes it has a more "modern" worldview than the ordinary wizards-and-battles epic, in the sense that the Bad Guy is more from a "mad scientist" archetype than a true fantasy "dark lord" (which I think I've mentioned here before), and the query as currently written is failing to reflect that distinction. How do I get beyond "this happens and then that happens" and into "...and this is what that means" in the space allotted, and without devolving into psychobabble...? {sigh} I'll see about sitting down with that copy of Frankenstein I picked up at the Brandeis sale, since I think what I'm meaning by "necromancy" comes a lot closer at times to the accusations hurled at early-modern physicians than the pale and sickly weirdo of most fantasy fic...

Must stop now because Snip is sitting over my keyboard licking my hand as I try to type!

Tags: , ,
feeling: smashy smashy!
now playing on Radio Earworm: "Eye of the Tiger" from forgotten tv now showing Rocky 3

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robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 30th, 2004 11:11 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I'm not by and large one to have an Issue with bugs (witness that I tolerate the centipedes) -- mostly it's some psychological thing with roaches having deeper implications to me about What Will The Neighbors Say And How Many More Of These Damn Things Are Hiding In My Walls?

Plus roaches are known to get into electronics stuff like computers. And nobody touches my babies... :)
chorus From: chorus Date: July 1st, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I'm working on a synopsis right now myself (I feel vaguely as if I ought to switch over to shinkan to comment on this, oddly), so I sympathize. What I have written sounds to me like a grammar school book report, although I'm sure some of that is just "ohmygodthey'llhateit" nerves.

But what might work in terms of describing this is something that encapsulates 'why' as well as 'what', a la, "Driven by his need to determine the last digit of pi, Villain X destroys the Sacred Fargle, too focussed on his goal to care that ArgleBargle village will be destroyed as well."
robling_t From: robling_t Date: July 2nd, 2004 11:28 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Driven by his need to determine the last digit of pi

Ooh, yeah, I see what you mean there, and it is the "feeling-words" that are currently lacking from the synopsis. As soon as I can get rid of the blasted workmen I'll have to have a look at it with that sort of phrasing in mind...
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