* Thanks to everyone who has shared their pet stories. I REALLY appreciate it. We’re still not ready to rush into anything, but I’m feeling better and better about the prospect of finding Winston a sibling. It seems like the consensus is that it may take a little while, but he WILL adjust and probably will be happier for it.

*My body has finally succumbed to the millions of germs surrounding me. For the past two weeks, every single person I come into regular contact with has been sick with the cold from hell. I was holding up pretty well at first, but eventually it was too much to bear and now I sound like a dying freight train: wheezing, hacking and sniffing incessantly. I am zapped of all energy and spend my days fantasizing about sleep and my nights — unfortunately — wheezing and hacking. It is only Wednesday, and I am dying for the weekend.

* Yesterday I actually opened up the dusty old file on my hard drive containing my novel. It’s almost exactly half done, and I haven’t touched it in at least six months because I had edited and edited and edited the first half so much that it was all a blur. I was at the point where everything seemed wrong and it seemed impossible to fix. Amazingly, when I read it yesterday, I loved it. There were a few structural issues that were easy enough to fix, and a few snippets of dialog or narration that needed tweaking. But overall, it was fine. Apparently I just needed a little perspective. Now that all of that is handled, I’m ready to get to work on the second half. I know what is going to happen. I just need to buckle down and write it.