Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

When I was a baby and small child, Mom had a Minox camera, which took closeups better than almost anything else. There are therefore lots of closeups of me, including this one.

Definitely a peevish week: caught a cold which delayed everything; caught conjunctivitis in both eyes plus a middle-ear infection; started taking Sudafed to keep the Eustachian tubes draining, which means I haven’t actually slept in three days; destroyed my four-month old phone, losing four months of photographs and texts and notes to self and coughing up obscene amounts of money for a new one; caught a sore throat. I postponed a lot of meetings with grad students and cancelled seeing a friend who was in town, and was not able to work on the 7×7 story or the next original project. So, grrr.

That said, there have been some lovely moments. I am getting more excited about attending the World Fantasy Convention next week, where I find myself with the posh-life problem of needing not one, but two evening/cocktail dresses (current number owned: 0). I will get to see a lot of friends I don’t often see, plus being invited to a black-tie dinner (which I never get to do).

I also am looking forward to catching everything up, because I can see that it’s still feasible; the times I want to hide in the leaves until everything goes away is what I can’t see how I will ever dig out.

And fall is here at last: not a fancy one, all crimson and cherry, but a discreet one of dusty golds and sienna browns. On Monday afternoon, the air was suddenly loud with the sounds of hundreds of grackles in the trees overhead, and then, delightfully, a pattering like rain on the roof and deck, as they in their hundreds dropped the hard little black berries they had found somewhere and carried into my trees to taste. On Tuesday night, I heard a family of coyotes just past my deck yipping and chortling at one another. On Thursday I had to honk to get a young doe to stop staring at me and get off my driveway. The squirrels and rabbits are coming now: one squirrel is so small that she squeezes through the tiny gaps between my patio’s rails to grab a single seed, then squeezes back outside to sit on the narrow edge of a plank and eat without being harassed by the others. This is worth everything.