The above is Primary Paranormal Research and Editorial Assistant Dog Lou Ann, who is giving me her patented 'Why aren't you writing?' look.
A bout of springtime hay fever reduced my word count by half last week. It's hard to simultaneously generate deathless prose and expel a continual stream of violent sneezes, and sadly the sneezing took precedence.
For any other writers out there struggling with allergies, I can recommend over-the-counter Allegra. It knocked the allergies nearly flat, and only reduced my IQ (via the 'antihistamine haze') by about 10 percent. Seriously, the other stuff I've taken leaves me barely able to babble and grasp soft objects. I don't know why, but old-school Benadryl and the like rendered me so groggy I had no choice but to go to bed and wait until October to roll around.
Now I can muddle along, slower but that's better than nothing.
Hopefully the allergies will fade, and I can get back to full word-slinging mode.
Random Eatery Review
I am currently overwhelmed by an unseemly desire -- no, not an unseemly desire, but an unholy craving -- for fried catfish.
And there is no better source of fried catfish in all the land than Old Taylor Grocery, pictured above a few hours before they open. After they open the place will be surrounded by vehicles.
It is an old grocery store, and yes, it looks it. That's part of the charm. You sit on the porch and wait until your party's name is called, and you watch life on Main Street in Taylor, Mississippi amble past.
Inside, the rough-hewn walls are covered with writing. It's a decades-old tradition that people sign their names on the walls (and the tables, and the ceilings) and leave a word or two of home-spun wisdom. Writer Willie Morris left his name there. Prince Charles left his as well, and we are told he found the fried catfish delicious.
Old Taylor has a website, and a menu is available online. I suggest the Large Fillet Catfish plate, because LARGE + CATFISH.
Alas, I must needs console my aching hunger with, um, let's see -- half a Pop-Tart and what appears to be hummus. Let's hope it's hummus, anyway.
But one day soon, Old Taylor, one day soon...
If you plan to attend MidSouthCon this year, shoot me an email (franktuttle at franktuttle dot com). I'll be there, dressed as an unremarkable middle-aged human male. I'm taking my camera and will post lots of sweet con pics soon after.
This year, under the SCHEDULE tab on the Con website, you can create an account with a scheduling service, pick all the events you want to attend, and then consult your schedule from your phone or mobile device. No more lugging around dog-eared Con schedule books! No more trying to remember where events are held, or when!
I suspect everyone but me has been using this feature all along. But if you're another poor Luddite, check it out -- it's free and quick and easy.
A Link for You to Love
One of my very favorite hangouts on the Web is a place called io9.
Io9 features everything from cutting-edge science news to the latest in affairs of geekdom. You'll find short but brilliant indie films sandwiched between articles about gravitational waves, the latest on SF and fantasy books, and a host of other tidbits too numerous to name. As a source of story ideas, it simply can't be beat.
Do yourself a favor and add this one to your bookmarks.
First, the image I posted in last week's blog (along with the offer to send a free print copy of BROWN RIVER QUEEN to the first person to correctly identify the object) was a brick. A close up of a brick.
I meant to make it really easy, but in retrospect I was so enamored of my new camera's macro function I couldn't have identified the image either, even had I know it was an extreme close-up of something.
So, to make up for that, I'll send a free signed print copy of BROWN RIVER QUEEN to the first person who asks for one in the comment section of this blog.
If you haven't read any Markhat, here's a good place to start!
Time for me to get back to work. Take care all, and remember -- oh. I forgot.