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Robin Hobb's Infrequent and Off Topic Blog

The Animal is tired

The animal is aging. Not surprising; I knew it would happen eventually, but I didn't make any provisions to deal with that eventuality.  Somehow the reality crept up on me. And now it must be dealt with, day after day. 


It is restless in the night, moaning about aches, unable to find a comfortable position for sleep.  It awakes me too early, muscles stiff and reluctant to move but unable to return to sleep. And if I let it sit still, it dozes off in the middle of the day.  Finding foods it can eat without upsetting its digestion has become a task as it rejects more and more foods but balks at the monotonous diet it can manage.  And despite restricting its food, it is putting on pounds, its middle thickening as the creature loses strength, loses flexibility.  


When it was young, I drove it hard.  I fed it whatever was to hand, or didn't feed it at all.  It slept only when I no longer needed its labor at the end of a long day. Day after day of steady work, night sleep sacrificed for more work; It didn't seem to mind.  It could run, it could climb, it could carry heavy loads.  It was never the loveliest of its kind, but it had endurance and strength beyond what some others  possessed.  It still does, but it pays more dearly when what I demand exceeds what I should expect of it.  It never had fast reflexes, and now it's even slower to react.  


The animal remembers every harsh thing I've done to it. I kept it too long in the cold, frostbiting its feet, and now every cold floor reminds it of what I did.   I have degenerated its joints to keep to a schedule.  Now its grip is fading.  I risked its eyesight by staring endlessly at a screen, and now the colors are fading out of its day. 


As our time together is winding slowy to a close, I wish I'd taken better care of it.  Better food, more exercise, more relaxation . . . but I also wonder if it would have made any difference.  I tell myself it still has useful years ahead of it, even if it can't do some of the things it once accomplished with ease.  I reflect, sheepishly, that it is the only animal I have ever treated this way.  Would I have fed a beloved dog stimulants to keep it working when it needed sleep? Never.  Would I have dosed a cat with a mild poisoning of alcohol to relax it among strangers?  Of course not. 


But this one animal received no mercy from me. And I regret that now.


And so we enter our 70th year together.  Me, and the animal I live inside. 


Be kind to animals. It's never too late to start. 



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Delays in Books Arriving are My Fault

You ordered a Hobb book from University Book Store and requested that I sign or dedicate it.  The book came out on March 2, and you still haven't received it!!!!  What is going on?


Me.  That is what is going on, or rather, what's not going on.  


The books are at the store, the store has invited me to come up and sign, but my March has been as unpredictable as only March can be.  I am doing my best to find a clear day to get up there, but the fates are conspiring against me.  We are down one vehicle, as our truck has been in the shop for weeks now for a mystery 'service engine soon' light on the dash.  Irregular work hours for my adult offpsring have meant that Fred and I have been scrambling to provide child care while keeping kids and adults within our 'pod' to minimize covid exposure. 


(Especially since neither Fred nor I have managed to schedule a Covid vaccination yet.  The vaccination sites are rather like playing Whack a Mole without a hammer.  The opportunities are announced, but by the time I click, they are gone!)


I did manage a day with Shawn, so if you ordered via The Signed Page or from Grim Oak Press, it's likely that your books are on the way.  Although we did have a nice stack of boxes of books waiting for me to sign!  I will get that day scheduled also.  


For now, if you ordered a signed Lindholm or Hobb book from University Book Store, and it hasn't arrived, please do not blame the store.  They can't ship signed books until I get up there to sign them! 


And if you don't mind a bit of a wait, you can still order signed books from either location.  I greatly appreciate your patience in these uncertain times.  

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Come ZOOM with me!

A blue dragon stirs to wakefulness was it receives a Skill touch
Waking the Dragon by Magali Villeneuve

With many thanks for Shawn Speakman of Grim Oak Press for making this happen!


On Saturday, February 27 at 1 PM (US west coast time) I will be attempting a Zoom session. (Yes, it fills me with dread, too!)  

The best part of this announcement is that I will not be alone.  If all goes well, I will be joined by Magali Villeneuve, the artist of the Illustrated edition of the Farseer Trilogy. (Assassin's Quest available for pre-order now, publication date March 2, 2021.) 


Also joining us will be Tommy Arnold, the illustrator for the Grim Oak edition of Wizard of the Pigeons, Megan Lindholm's urban fantasy.  Set in Seattle, it was first published in 1985.  This is the first time it has appeared in a lovely hardback edition, with illustrations! 


For more information, please visit the Robin Hobb Facebook page.  

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