Back in the World

Have returned from the 2023 edition of the JoCo Cruise, which was in many ways one of my favorites of the several I’ve been on. A longer report later, until then enjoy this photo from Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas (the young lady you see in the photo is my niece, who came with us on the cruise and attests to having had a wonderful time).

And yes, I know you’ve all been having an exciting time whilst I have been away, what with bank failures and other wacky events. Don’t feel you need to catch me up in the comments. Tell me about your cats and other happy personal news instead. That would be nice, honestly.

— JS

37 Comments on “Back in the World”

  1. Not to be pedantic, but weren’t we in Half Moon Cay? Because I’m about to be very confused if this cruise took somewhere I didn’t think I went. Bad enough that I spent over twelve hours in the Fort Lauderdale airport today. :)

  2. Nothing too exciting here, just home and school and child care and cooking and jogging in the mornings. But I just learned I was accepted into the Banff Centre writer’s residency— two week Comics and Visual Narratives edition this spring! I’m so excited to hang out with other artists and work on my graphic novel in the Rocky Mountains!

  3. Monroe, the superkitten, decided that beating up the bath mat and riding on the seat of my walker isn’t enough for him. His new prey that he carries around so proudly is a neck brace. He’s barely big enough to carry it.

    This is the same cat who slurps ramen noodles.

    Achilles thinks it’s too cold, so he’s spending less time on the catio and more in the hammock on the cat tree. He disappears in the dark due to his patent leather black coat. Yes, he is a shiny black panther (Wakanda forever!).

    You wanted to hear about our cats.

  4. My dog Timmi has gotten better! Yay! He had a really rough time with tooth extractions and being tortured by me, upside down, (him, not me, upside down) to take his medicines and have water squirted into his mouth. But now he is smiling, eating, and drinking. Love!

  5. My dog Timmi has gotten better! Yay! He had a really rough time with tooth extractions and being tortured by me, upside down, (him, not me, upside down) to take his medicines and have water squirted into his mouth. But now he is smiling, eating, and drinking. Love!

  6. I put a photo of my tuxedo cat in the URL link…. she’s curled up with a red-and-white fish a colleague knitted for her. It’s been cold, so my cat has been spending most of her time napping on her pet warming pads.

  7. Ruth Carter won her second Oscar for her costume design work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It crowns her the first Black woman to win two Oscars.

    (She originally hails from Springfield Mass. so big ‘local’ news hereabout.)

  8. My samoyedhusky is currently curled up sleeping on a green couch on a sofa in our balcony, overlooking the narrow stretch of sea between mainland and a largish island. There are some ice fishermen on the ice, patiently waiting for a fish to bite. Sun is shining, sky is blue, a few centigrades below freezing. We just returned from a vacation trip to eastern part of the country, visiting old relatives and spending some time in a log house my parents built for our family’s summer cottage. Skiing and snowshoeing and the dog pulling us, sometimes to the direction we wanted to ski, sometimes suddenly to the side. Snow and forests and lakes and peace and quiet and saunas and staring at the fireplace and reading – and watching South Korean drama :D Now back to work.

  9. Glad you had such a good time!

    Peanut McDammitcat and Smudgely McDammitcat, littermates known collectively as the Cuddlebeasts, have had a great week as well, featuring many episodes of thundering through the house, galloping over cat-trees, under chairs and around humans along the way. These perambulations were interspersed with naps on my work laptop (while it was in use) and sleeping on top of me all night long, which makes rolling over close to impossible. They are currently staring intently at me, clearly wondering why I keep tapping at that thing on my desk instead of getting them breakfast.

    I wish you the joy of critter cuddles and the comfort of your own bed – we are glad you are safely back!

  10. My claim to fame: I swam within 10 feet of THE John Scalzi at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas! I’ll never wash my bathing suit again.

  11. My tripod cat Paprika called Peppy has always been a bit standoffish. Some sorryass excuse for a human left her in a parking lot because she needed medical attention to her forepaw. A lovely woman brought her to a vet but they were too late to save her leg.
    I adopted her early in 2020. Just in the last week or so she has started jumping up into my lap for a treat. Even though it requires bribery, I feel it’s a major breakthrough for her.

  12. Glad to hear that you had a good time. The puppy (Apollo) is getting big – he’ll be nine months on the 23rd. He’s in the middle of adolescence & driving me & his older brother crazy. We have a few more months of this to endure before intelligence returns. We shall overcome (I hope!). Looking forward to your cruise report.

  13. Welcome back! While you were off cruising, I finished and handed in the second draft of my MA thesis. It’s starting to come together and it’s been a real joy to work on!

  14. Although I was a little miffed at not having a goodbye post, I’m glad you’re back. Good news: my sister’s Covid is mild, no loss of taste/smell, so she’ll probably recover well. My internet said it wasn’t connecting, but then it did! Went to a lovely early music concert yesterday. Welcome home!

  15. My exciting (to me) personal news is that I’m only 100 pages from The End of my personal proofreading of my manuscript.

    My next equally exciting news is my fat, breathing-compromised, arthritic pitbull cross rescue is now, after nearly four years with me, able to run short distances and trot fast enough to keep up with my brisk walk for hundreds of feet. It makes me so happy to watch her move!

  16. We found a cat in the middle of our subdivision road! I thought she had likely been hit. My hubby stopped the car and went to see. No obvious injuries, she started purring immediately, no meat on her bones at all. A classmate who’s now a veterinarian said she’s older, at least 10 but perhaps as old as mid teens. So I named her skinny Minnie and she’s on my bed purring away. The other three (Mylie, Maggie, and Sam) are equally horrified and intrigued.

  17. LIf Strand,


    Finally finished a 63 page novella and am trying to decide whether to put it out on Amazon or write more, shorter stories in the same vein to market as a combined packet. Whatever I do, it’s the longest piece of fiction I’ve ever written and I rewarded myself with ice cream.

  18. Besides enjoying a chilly St. Patrick’s Day parade with 5 bagpipe bands and watching my cat meow at the snow this morning, my exciting news is that I am reading a digital review copy of Scalzi’s Starter Villain, and am having a hard time putting it down. I promise to reveal nothing of the plot!

  19. My twin nephews are graduating from college next month, and they already have jobs lined up! I am so proud of them and happy for their family.

  20. Me: Seeing that “the adult has come home.” I run away from the bank failure and pointing to the dog, “he did it! I walked in and saw the mess…”


    This last week in my relaxing moments continued reading, enjoying my current computer game (Grounded, I’m addicted to this darn world…) and enjoying my nights with shows.

    Do you watch Picard? Last week’s episode was, for me, one of the BEST episodes ever for STTNG/Picard. Action, character moments, laughter, and darn it, who’s cutting onions in here?!

    Welcome back. Glad you had a nice time.

  21. I read a really good book while you were away – though the bit when Kiva mused that she wasn’t some fictional character might have been a lampshade too large…

  22. I escaped the world this weekend, attending our local renaissance faire, which was awesome. My cats evidently missed me, as I was not allowed to sleep unattended last night.

  23. On Friday, my cat Meri, who has lived in this house for 12 years, wandered behind the curtains that front a bedroom closet. It took her more than a minute to figure out how to get back out from behind them. I kept seeing her tiny paw appear from underneath and just watched, laughing all the time. She finally did figure it out, and then licked her shoulder as if to say, “I meant to do that.” Uh-huh.

  24. Today’s Tuxedo Report:

    Thurston Howl III, the elder resident tuxedo cat, has been found today in bed next to his human, on the shoulder of his human, on the lap of his human and on the chest of his human. He has been seen being carried about the house by one human or the other. Thurston’s goal seems to be spending as little time as possible on the floor, except to eat. Reports are circulating that eating while in his human’s lap has not only occurred to Thurston, but is actively in the planning stages.

    Sterling Archer, the younger resident tuxedo cat, will not dignify Thurston’s laziness with a response. He continues to go from sleeping in the window to zooming full speed up the wall, doing a back-flip with full launch off of the wall and then zooming about the house, bounding from both horizontal and vertical surfaces, before returning to slumbering in the window while his systems recharge. He has taken to calling these acrobatic feats Purrkour!

    And that’s the tuxedo report for Monday, March 13th.

  25. A tiny bit jealous here. We were just on a Caribbean cruise on Wonder of the Seas and one of the stops was to be Coco Cay, but we couldn’t dock because the seas were a bit rough. I had been looking forward to a snorkeling day. But we instead spent more time in St. Thomas, so it’s not a huge complaint. And what can you do about the weather?

  26. Dear John,

    Well… just this evening, Sandy Stone and I finished up with the dictation for her autobiography (she’s telling and I’m writing). We are stoked!

    I’ve still gotta whole lotta writing to do, but as I told her, “NOW you can get hit by a bus!”

    Then we cuddled and took a nap.

    It’s a gooooood day.

    pax / Ctein

  27. The Texas Thunderbeasts had a split weekend. The Seniors had a relatively quite weekend (I am resigned to my fate as a heated cat mattress) while The Destructors, a subset of The Juniors, lived up to their name. I am still finding pieces of the broken plate. Meanwhile, over in Breaking Cat News (, there are new rooms to explore in the Big Pink House.

  28. Had a cleaning person in, they accidentally left the sliding door open a few inches and our escape artist cat Zak got out again. I’m starting to think we may have to either build a large catio or let him be indoor-outdoor.

    He’s a silver tabby and a very adventurous boy, just over a year old.

  29. My happy personal news was going on my first JoCo! It was deeply, deeply satisfying: the socializing started refilling something in me that ran dry during 2020-2021.

    Two thumbs up for the Thursday evening dance party; I hadn’t been dancing in far, far too long.

  30. With your experience as a film reviewer, I would think you’d want to note the passing of Bert I. Gordon, who was responsible for at least a half-dozen MST3K episodes.

    Not to mention Ricou Browning of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” fame and its also-MSTied sequel.