Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

Internet at my mother’s house is a hot, hot mess. So is AT&T connectivity. So is finding a coffee shop that is open after three. So is trying to focus my thinking enough to write, post, plan, or dream. Here are some things, which may add up to five:

I sprained my ankle, pretty severely. This is the same ankle I sprained badly in 2007, which means it’s pretty much rubber bands by now. I tripped on a stair and it folded entirely under me (ew ew ew) and now it is eighty shades of purple and black and swollen. It is not broken. By now I am off painkillers except at night, and able to walk on it, even if I am somewhat gingerly. It was depressing because I am in Rice Lake, and I love to take long walks here, which are now no longer a thing.

Whenever I am here, I end up running a lot of errands for my mom: A/C repair folks, router problems, cat nail-trims. Yesterday it was the cat, who is an uncanny clone of my own Jurat; while I was at the vet’s, a pretty little country place, I saw a glorious, gigantic cherry. It was humming with bees, and so sweet-smelling I wanted to roll in the fallen petals. A lot of years ago, I was in Japan and saw Miharu takizakura, one of the venerable cherry trees of Japan. It was an unforgettable experience. This lovely tree was hardly that size, but it had vast grace and dignity.

It’s always a mixed bag being in Rice Lake. I love the town: the Old Bookshop, Badger Brew, the lake itself and the rambling park that edges it; the trees and little yards. But on the other hand, there’s no internet (as mentioned), so I feel lonely whenever I am here. And my mother is getting older, and the things that made her a challenge for me to be around when we were both younger are not necessarily easier now. It’s…mixed. I’m glad I’m here, but I’ll be happy to leave, too.

I just got a bunch of galleys for things: two flash pieces in North American Review, coming up soon, and a short essay in Asimov’s Magazine, about Jim. I have two stories to do, pronto: wish me well!

I guess it’s just four. Like I said: hard to concentrate!