Because it’s Monday, and I love you all, here’s a much-needed pick-me-up: a gratuitous sloth post, because sloths chase all my blues away, and because I haven’t posted a single sloth picture since February 17, 2013 (!!!!!). That’s a long, long, long time to go without sight of the cutest little monsters in the western hemisphere–and, perhaps, the world.
Happy Sunday, friends! Before I get to my weekly ROW80 check-in, I’ve gotta say: I have the most amazing friends in the universe. Why? Not only are they supportive, caring, and a little crazy, they also fill my inbox with pictures and videos of baby animals and other silliness. Yesterday my Ultimate Best Friend Ever sent me this. Because I love you all, I am sharing it with you.
(I rather imagine that this is what #teamsprinty looks like after the end of an intense writing sprint…)
Not much to report here. I skipped the archives for a second week in a row so I could recover from the flu. I’ll be back at it on Tuesday, which means my focus will shift back to the dissertation. I’d like to do the following:
Sketch out a timeline to have my revised dissertation proposal finished by mid-March.
Finish ACROSS GOD’S FRONTIERS.
Figure out the best way to start annotating, coding, and organizing my notes from the archive.
WRITING: I’ve made some progress here, and I think breaking down my writing tasks in last week’s check-in was really helpful. I wrote a few thousand words towards TELL ME NO LIES, spent a few hours brainstorming, and took some time to go through previous drafts to salvage bits and pieces that I’d like to integrate into the final draft. I also wrote a couple thousand words of silly flash fiction pieces starring Pierce. They may end up becoming fodder for a romance novel one day, but for the moment, they’re just a fun exercise. For the week to come, I’d like to:
Take my list of settings and locations and continue to flesh out their descriptions.
Continue to explore supporting characters, like the Chinese crime lord who made an appearance in my brainstorming session last week (squee!).
Jot down any ideas that pop up for my other WIPs, but keep the focus on TMNL, for the moment, at least.
Okay, people, I wrote three blog posts this week. I know, let’s count ’em: 3. Even better, I made my goal for commenting/sharing blog posts. Success!
Here’s what happened on Flights of Fancy this week:
A knock-down, drag-’em-out fight between the baby platypus and the baby otter over my brand new Cute As a Sloth Award. There was a poll and everything, which is still open, FYI. Last I checked, the baby otter was winning by a landslide.
“The Old Ways,” a mid-week poem sparked by Ash Wednesday, which is apparently going to become a new feature on the blog. I say “apparently” because I hadn’t intended to do it, but then my muse was like, “Hey, you should make this a thing,” and I sort of shrugged and said, “Okay”… and that is more than you needed to know about my inner dialogue. 😛
My long-promised book review post, with a list of my 5 favorite books (so far) from 2013.
Not only do I have a ton of ideas for future posts boiling around in my head, I actually have drafts written for the upcoming week. Yay!
SELF-CARE: I’ve been working on being calm and relaxed for the last week, with mixed results. I’m mostly recovered from the flu, in that I am no longer feverish and dying, but I still get tired quickly. The last couple of days have been an exercise in not over-taxing myself.
I am partway through Natalie Goldberg’s WILD MIND, a wonderful book about writing and the writer’s life that I highly recommend. And because it’s Presidents’ Day weekend here in the US, I am rewatching the HBO miniseries John Adams, based on the biography written by David McCullough. For those of you who like history, I highly recommend it.
So yay! Lots of good things are happening, I am feeling creative, and there are many more good things to come. As a reminder, one of those wonderful things is WANACon, which will be held next weekend. Pop over to WANAMama Kristen Lamb’s blog for more info about the conferenceand the recently announced PAJAMACON, the bonus 3rd day of the conference. Yes, it really is as epic as it sounds.
My brand spankin’ new Cute As A Sloth award. (Photo adapted and used under Creative Commons from Asirap)
One of my not-so-guilty pleasures in life is collecting pictures of cute baby animals. I hoard them up, saving them for mopey days when I need something squee-worthy to boost my spirits.
As much as I love kittens and puppies, the sloth has spoiled me for most other animals.
Just look at it: the strange face and beady eyes, the too-long arms, the penchant for cuddling with stuffed animals and soft blankets. How can anyone deny that this is one of the cutest creatures in the world?
But that was until last week, when a couple of contenders for the prize of Cute As a Baby Sloth emerged: the baby otter and the baby platypus.
The trouble, friends, is that I can’t choose between them, so this is where you come in. Read on, then tell me which one you think should win my awesome award by voting in the poll.
The Baby Otter Baby otters are fuzzy. They squeak. They apparently cover their eyes and swim about, like this little otter pup below (doesn’t she look like she’s playing Marco Polo? Swoon.).
While they aren’t considered fully social creatures (they are pretty independent–hunting and foraging on their own, and not in packs), they spend a lot of time in groups known as “rafts,” and do extra-precious things like hold hands while they sleep.
The sea otter population is estimated to have once been as large as 150,000-200,000. Sadly, almost two centuries of being killed for their fur has dramatically reduced their numbers. While conservation efforts have restored the sea otter population up to 75% in some areas, they are still classified as an endangered species, and are at risk from pollution and oil spills.
But just look at those precious faces! Soooo teeny and cute!
The platypus is distinctive for a number of reasons. They are one of the few mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth. They’re poisonous–the male apparently has a spur on his hind foot that secretes venom. And with their flat duck-like bills, beaver-like tails, and strange feet, adult platypuses are really, really odd looking. Even better, they waddle when they walk, as we can see in the video below.
But what seems odd (and a little dangerous) in an adult platypus is precious in a baby. I mean, really, just look at how plump and squishy they are. Don’t you just want to cuddle it?
Last week, I think we more or less came to the agreement that baby sloths are among the most adorable creatures in the animal kingdom. However, my sleepy sloth-in-a-box is nothing compared to this clip from Animal Planet, showing the orphaned of baby sloths of Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary having a bath.
Yes, that’s right: teeny, tiny, squeaky little sloths in the midst of bath time, and curling up to nom on a few hibiscus flowers afterwards (did you know that hibiscus flowers are “like sloth chocolate”? No? Now you do).
The only question that remains is whether or not I can find a way to jet off to Costa Rica to volunteer at the Sloth Sanctuary. I somehow feel like my life won’t be complete till I can cradle a baby sloth in my hands. *melts a little inside*
As always, I am deeply indebted to Jezebel for rounding up some of the best animal videos that can be found on youtube. If you’re ever in need of a dose of cute, be sure to visit their #squee stream.
There has been an unfortunate dearth of fuzzy creatures at Flights of Fancy of late, but I aim to change that. It’s Monday, and if anyone is feeling as blah, crabby, and stressed as I am (or heartsore from yesterday’s football losses — my poor 49ers!), you need a bit of a pick-me-up.
That’s where the precious sloth-in-a-box comes in: 1 minutes and 17 seconds of unbelievable cuteness. How can your heart not melt like butter at the sight of its round, blinking eyes or its smiling eyes? The adult sloth pictured below is adorable, but there’s something about the baby that is even harder to ignore.
How can anyone say no to a face like that? Image by Praziquantel via Flickr
On this rainy Monday morning, I feel a bit of kinship with the little creature, beset with a case of the sleepies as it tries to crawl out of its little box. There are so many things to accomplish on my to-do list… but — yawn — my bed is looking mighty inviting…
Lena Corazon writes steampunk and fantasy novels, drinks far too much tea, and has an unhealthy obsession with Byronic heroes. She blogs about books, sparkly things, her masochistic relationship with academia, and anything else that tickles her fancy.