September 14, 2020

Today is a quiet day...

Oh, and I got a new nip banana!
I've spent most of today either in my room or in the closet, and a bit of it tucked into a space near the Man's computer chair. I wandered out for food and water earlier in the day, but by morning snack I wasn't feeling like it, so the Woman has been bringing food to me. I'm eating, so she's not worried; it's just one of those days.

She says she was pretty sure that I'd be kind of quiet today. I spent a lot of time in the living room yesterday, and I lounged on her lap for a while. I would have spent more time there watching Enterprise with her, but I got something in my eye and was rubbing my face, which prompted her to try to wash eye boogers off the side of my nose, and, well, I wasn't having any of that.

If she'd left it alone for five minutes, I would have gotten it myself.

There's a lot of smoke and ash in the air here. The fires (and there are a lot of them) are far enough away that we're not in danger from them, but the People have to keep the windows closed and the a/c on, but every time they have to go out, something gets in, so it's no surprise to get a fleck of something stuck where I don't want it to be. It could be worse...some of the Woman's friends have dogs who have to go outside, and they're having issues with coughing and irritation, and there's no real way to avoid it.

Then again, they don't have to deal with the Woman's whining about not being able to play outside. She's halfway through a charity bicycle thingy, and because of the smoke she's had to do a lot of it inside on her bike that goes nowhere, and she's starting to hate it. Well, lady, so am I, because that bike is loud and you're no fun when you're on it.

On the plus side, she raised over $2600 for childhood cancer research and treatment. But that also makes her more determined to get the miles in, and she said she'd do 300. Outside it would be a bit of a stretch as it is; inside, she says it feels like torture.

Suck it up, sunshine. It's just pedaling.

Oh, and those of you waiting for a print copy of Interview With A Pest...Amazon has it, which means other stores will soon. It's even got its first review on Amazon, and it's 5 star! Oh yeah, reviewer, you know who you are. Thank you. I got warm fuzzies from it.

September 11, 2020

Look! The Book Y'all Helped Write With All Your Questions


Last year, Buddah and I sat down and had a nice talk. It started as an interview--with most of the questions supplied by y'all--but after a while it turned into a conversation, and we just...talked.

This is it, the book where Buddah gets a say, and where the King of the Run-On Sentence maybe, just maybe, starts to listen.

Oh, and he wrote the afterword.

Like, he wrote it yesterday, the Woman jetted it off to the editor, and it made it into the book before it was took late.

The digital version is available now on Amazon for the Kindle and Kindle apps, and will start to propagate to other digital retailers soon. The print version might start showing up this weekend, but sometimes it's slower to work its way through the distribution system.

This is a little more than a conversation. There's also some writing advice for Buddah that extends to anyone who needs it, but most of all, some peace for us both.

August 21, 2020

The Woman Just Posted This on Facebook:

"The State of Max: All this week, he's eaten reasonably well. There were a few days when he didn't want to come out of the closet or his bedroom, but food was welcomed and he seemed pleased to see me bring it...though I was not allowed to remain while he ate. That's fine. I think he feels safest eating in the closet because he can take his time and Buddah doesn't bother him.

Yesterday and today he's been wandering out to the kitchen and the living room, and has been taking his meals in the kitchen. He's napped in the living room, yelled at the window by the front door, and forced me to put down my computer for lap time. Definitely a couple of good days in a row.

Switching his meds from oral to the ear gel has been a major factor, I think. Lowering the dose was huge. Right now, he's just acting like a very old man, and I don't have that feeling of impending doom. Really, the only worry in the last few days has been a what-if worry if we needed to take him out of the house for any reason, because of the smoke from all the fires nearby.

As long as he eats--even if he wants to hide in the closet--and seems happy to see someone bring food to him, I'm calling it a win. And I'm not overly optimistic, BUT...he's having some good days and the days that aren't good aren't horrible. So. Just an old, old man right now. And that's amazing."

Yep, I'm definitely having some good days, and today I even graced her with my patented GLARE because she interrupted a nap by announcing she was going to the store to buy more cat food. Now, I didn't need the announcement because I had ordered her to do just that half an hour earlier, so I would have known where she was if I'd woken up and she was gone. I mean...really.

Oh, and apropos to nothing... Buddah barfed on the top of every single one of those bookcases the other day. It was AWESOME. 

August 15, 2020

Doing ok today

Today was a stay-in-my-room kinda day...but I did eat really well. It's nice having my minions bring food to me.

Now, I get checked on a lot, and when a person comes in I always say hello (unless I'm deeply asleep) so they know I'm okay, just feeling antisocial, so no one was worried about me today. I really just like my room a lot. It's all mine, and Buddah tends to be respectful of that most of the time. Not ALL the time--he comes in once in a while mostly to see if there's any food--but he knows it's my room and is okay with that.

I did go out into the living room a couple times. Once, I went out, sat and stared at the Woman for a few seconds, and then went back to take a nap, because she always feels judged when I do that and I think it's funny. Later I went out to see if there was any steak for me, and there was. She heated it up for me and then stood and watched because apparently watching me eat is fun, but also to make sure Buddah didn't come in and chase me off.

The little freak doesn't even like steak, so I'm not sure what she was worried about, but I appreciate the effort.

Oh, yeah. I did this the other day, snuggled up to the Woman. She seemed to need it. I think my reputation can take the hit. Yes, I was affectionate. It happens.

August 12, 2020

Ok. Where Have I Been?

 Seriously did not intend to go so long between posts. Right after the last one I had an idea of something to write about, but then...well...I wasn't feeling too hot. In fact, I was feeling not so hot that the Woman took over my Ask Max Monday column to explain why I hadn't done one (go read it if you haven't; it has details) but the short version is that about a month ago, she was pretty sure I was about to die.

Since then, my life has been a roller coaster. I've had some really good days and some really bad days, and we all suspect this is how it's going to be from now on. I'm struggling with my thyroid medication--I can't live comfortably without it, but it's beginning to upset my system and it squashes my appetite, so the stabby person changed it from a pill to a gel that gets smeared on my ear.

They thought that would solve things, but it hasn't. It makes me feel just as bad when it's on my ear, so now they're looking into things to soothe an upset kitty tummy yet also wondering if I'm actually nauseated or what. I don't have the words to tell them what bothers me.

But mostly, I'm just an old guy. Sometimes I'm hungry, sometimes I'm not. Some days I want to go into the living room to see people and ask for food, but more and more I'm staying in my bedroom and waiting for them to bring food to me. And on days I just don't feel well, I go hide in the bedroom closet. They bring food to me but on those days all I really want is water.

Still...the Woman says we're not near the day where That Decision has to be made. I perk up when someone comes in to see me, even if all they have for me is water. I talk to them. And usually when they sit on my bedroom sofa, I grunt and then go into another room because I am still mostly antisocial.

Today was a good day.

I woke the Woman up at 6:30 in the morning by howling outside her bedroom door. She jumped out of bed just in case there was something wrong, and when there wasn't, she happily went to the kitchen to get breakfast for me (ok, she said she was happy to get it, but she kinda looked like hell...) and afterward I sat in her lap for a while. I've eaten decently throughout the day.

Tomorrow who knows? The people are very aware that just because I ate today, that means nothing for tomorrow, but they'll bring me things to drink and cans of stinky goodness and bites of steak and shrimp, and I might nom a bit.

I'm not sick, I'm really not.

I'm having issues with my meds, but mostly...I'm just old.

Last night, I got comfy and snoozed...

And there's nothing wrong with being old. It changes things a bit; people have expectations of the younger you and they want you to be as spry as you were, but sometimes a guy has to just sit back and snooze, and let everyone cater to (and guess) his whims. When you hit 90-100--and I hope you do--you'll probably sit around a lot, too. By then, you deserve it.

Now, before I had the really horrible awful weekend, we finished the final draft of the second Wick Shorts book, and it's in the final edit stage. The cover work is done. The publisher is, thankfully, rushing it to print, so it should be available next week. Maybe even this weekend.

It's not the last Wick book, but it is a nice capstone to this part of the Blackshear's tale. After this, after a break, the Woman will move forward with it, jumping forward in time. The original plan was to leave my name on the next series, but we're not sure if that will upset people if I'm not still around.

Oh, and if you read the first one...please leave a review at Amazon. There are, like, zero reviews and thousands of people downloaded it. No reviews can kill a book. 

I'll try to keep up with this blog, but you can usually get updates on my "official" Facebook Page (not so much my personal got hard to juggle everything.)

July 04, 2020

Two points for Buddah

At precisely snack o'clock, the Woman opened a can, split it between two plates, and set one in front of me. Since I was tummy-rumbling hungry, I took a bite before sniffing, but then sat back and informed her it wasn't any good.

Well. She just walked away, as if she hadn't heard me.

Now Buddah was sound asleep and didn't hear the can open. But an hour later he woke up and stretched, then asked when snack time was. She heard this, picked him up and plopped him down on the counter in front of his plate, and then walked off to answer the call of nature, which happens at least 29.57 times a day.

It's worth reminding everyone that Buddah is not as polite as I, and after one bite he ran down the hall, and as she exited the bathroom he yelled at her, "Bitch, that chit is WRONG and we need something else."

Well. He could have used better words but he made his point. And she grasped his intention, and finally opened another can.

This one was acceptable.

And Buddah now has a potty mouth, and I couldn't be prouder.

June 20, 2020

Happy Birthday To Me

I've been celebrating all month because when you get this old, you get the entire 30 days, but doods...I made it another year.


Now, I might have actually turned 19 a couple weeks ago; we're not really sure what my actual birth date is but the people picked the 20th, so here we are.

And tonight I get fresh steak! Fresh steak night is my favorite night of all. Except maybe for the start of a new Doctor Who season, and who knows when that will be.

All in all...I'm doing pretty well. I look a little rough sometimes and the Woman calls me her Raggedy Man, and I have days where I don't feel like eating much but I make up for it the next day. My back end is getting weak and I stumble a bit now and then. But doods, I am happy, I get a ton of attention, and I still really dig life.

That's not to say I'm sure I'll make it to 20. And I don't want anyone to tell me I will, and they hope I will, because if life stops being awesome, well, 20 isn't worth it.

But today is good. And today is what I have. And I freaking love it.

May 21, 2020

I was as unhappy as I look

Look at this. Look closely.

Can't see it?


That's how small the bite of chicken I was offered was. TOO SMALL TO SEE.

I was not amused.

Also, the Woman needs to mop that floor because it's gross and I don't want to eat off it.

In other news, she's threatening to wash my tail because there's something on the top, but I've been devious and cunning and have managed to thwart her attempts so far. Tonight there was a fresh real live fresh dead steak for me and I suspect she was going to try when I was happy and full of meaty bites, but as soon as I was done eating it I hid in a closet, so here we are at 10:30 at night and she still hasn't done it, so I think I'm safe until tomorrow.

Cripes, she needs a hobby.

May 12, 2020


The people have joined the Quarantine Baking Club and have made bread a couple of times. The Younger Human has also brought them bread a couple of times. Now, they enjoy fresh bread like this nice and warm, with lots of butter on it.

I quite enjoy fresh, warm bread with lots of butter on it. I don't eat the bread, but I lick the everloving FORK out of that bread. So tonight after the Woman enjoyed some fresh, warm bread, she set the plate on the floor for me. And DOODS! It was amazing!


Buddah didn't get a plate, but he got to lick the butter knife, which is just as good.

Where has Quarantine Baking been all my life???

May 01, 2020


Do I look smug? The Woman says I look smug.
Ok, so I made sure the people had a little adventure today. And it was a spendy one, I heard the Man say, "well over four hundred" when the Woman asked him how much it had cost (they were not really complaining.)

Here's the thing. They took a bike ride this afternoon, and when the Woman got back (she was first, which tells me she's speedier) she came looking for me to offer to get lunch, and found me in my bedroom, on the floor (which is unusual because I prefer my sofas.) I was also drooling and panting. So she yelled at her phone I NEED YOU TO GET HOME and then the Man was there, and next thing I know I'm off to the stabby place.

It was so sudden I didn't even have the chance to tell them what had happened, and since they were too rude to ask, I decided I wasn't telling.


Next thing I know, someone that is NOT the Man or the Woman grabbed my PTU and rushed me inside--and they made the People wait OUTSIDE--and then it was all poking and prodding and "Well, he's not doing it now" and they discussed what to do. Someone left for a few minutes and when she came back she announced that the Woman had actually taken video of me while I was panting and drooling, and she'd seen it and yes I was, so the stabby lady went outside to look at it, and apparently agreed that yep, they weren't exaggerating. And then I heard her say that the Woman was all, I don't care what the tests and x-rays cost, do it.

So they did it.


And then they held me down and took a picture of my insides.

When all was said and blood looked pretty good for a 19 year old guy with thyroid and kidney issues, and my chest showed no heart issues or fluid or anything. The stabby lady thought perhaps it was which the People looked at each other and growled Buddah.


I got to come home and now I'm acting fine, and the Woman changed all the Feliway containers just in case. And there's talk about separating us when they're not home, because Buddah really is a jerk sometimes.

The important thing is that the stabby lady said that for a guy may age with my issues, I look pretty damned good. She was even surprised that I am only just now at stage 2 kidney disease with my thyroid problems. And even that hasn't changed much, that hadn't changed since my last checkup. I have lost more weight, but not as much as the Woman thought, only 1.5 pounds since last year.

Still. I'm 10.3 pounds now and I used to be almost 19. She kinda wonders if I would even be here if I hadn't been so heavy.

We'll never know.

BUT I'M OKAY. I'm not sure the People are because I heard the Woman say that she honestly thought I would not make it to the vet and I'm pretty sure she was making peace with the idea of what had to happen if I did...but why would I make it that easy on them?

It's like they don't even know me.


...but we have some Fancy Feast dry food and the Woman has been sneaking it to me when he's sleeping.

(She's not trying to be makes him throw up but it's one thing she knows I'll happily eat and I'm down to 10.3 pounds, so I get what I want.)

Huh. What? Did someone say FOOD???

April 29, 2020


Oh, look. It's a bouncing baby book! Now that most of y'all got it for free LOL it's starting to pop up at online retailers. Amazon has it I think Kobo has it. B&N, Apple, and others should follow soon. The print edition *should* have made an appearance, I'm not sure why not, but that part of things is in someone else's hands. But it should be soon, I think.

We're hard at work on book two of Wick Shorts...and there will probably only be two. And that's a good thing--and don't worry, it's not the end of Wick, but will lead into a new beginning later in the year.

In other news, today I managed to hock up a small hairball, small enough to be easily overlooked, and placed just where the Woman was sure to step in it. And doods, she totally did, it squished between her toes, and she was about 3 kinds of skwicked out by it. My day is made.

April 24, 2020

He was all kinda of awesome...

Bear in mind this is a heard from a friend of a friend kinda thing, but I was told today that Anthony Bourdain was a fan of my blog and even used my X levels/kind of Y thing on occasion. It makes me kinda sad that I didn't know that when he was alive. It also makes me happy...but I wish I'd known.

April 22, 2020

Sheesh. Weenie.

Ok, so I was in the front room, just got a drink of water and was thinking about bugging the Woman for something to eat, when the neighbor's yellow lab came up to the screen door. Now, I'm nothing if not polite and I headed over to say hello...dood took one look at me and then turned around and RAN AWAY.

I mean, I am an overwhelming amount of awesome, but sure he understood there was a security screen door between us, and I wasn't going to eat him.

April 17, 2020

Mine. All Mine.

One of the good things to come out of all the people isolating themselves is the serious limiting of shopping trips. When the people do venture out to get groceries, they're getting enough for at least a week, and this week they braved Costco to get meat.

They came home with two packs of ribeyes. Four steaks per pack. Now, the Woman is not a fan of having steak at home because she doesn't enjoy the smell and gags a little when she has to slice it up for me. The Man likes it, but out of those 8 steaks, he'll probably eat two, maybe three.

That leaves 5-6 steaks just for me.

No kidding. I get steak every day, twice a day. It's the first thing I get in the morning--though they're still really bad about getting the seeds out--and I get it again as a snack in the evening, and luckily there's usually only one seed in the 6-7 bites I get.

I'd complain, but...who wants to risk not getting steak because the people get annoyed?

And totally unrelated...a couple people asked when the print versions of Waiting to Inhale will be out. And the answer is...I dunno. We kinda jumped ahead of the publisher in putting out the digital version on Book Funnel when we were doing freebies, so it still hasn't really been "published." I would think it's soon, but I might be the last one to know.

I'll let ya know when I know...

April 04, 2020


Day 5,923 of the quarantine. The Woman is speaking to me as if I were a toddler. Apparently I have a mooshy wooshy cutie face and she wants to kissy wishy it. Fortunately, I also have death breath, which has saved me from several unwanted cuddles. I would complain further, but I am also His Widdle Starving Majesty, and Too Cute To Not Feed On Demand. Bast help us all.

March 29, 2020

Here we go...the last 4 books

Okay, doods, this download link is for the four books in the Return of the Wick Chronicles books.


It expires in one week, so get it now.

With this, if you took advantage of the other links, you'll have every available Wick story. I hope you like them. This is, basically, my life's work after all.

For clarity, the reading order is 1) Wick Chronicles Omnibus, 2) Wick After Dark Duology, 3) Return of the Wick Chronicles Quadrilogy, and 4) Waiting to Inhale.

I'm now going to take a nap, and when I get up, I'm getting back to work on the second of the Wick Shorts books. There are already 3 stories for it (including the last one that will be in it and doods, IT IS GOOD) but they're still first draft stuff, and there are a couple of stories I still want to write.

Oh, and I was asked...Waiting to Inhale is not yet published, not in print or "official" digital form. Consider this one a "leak" LOL. I'm not even sure that the cover I gave y'all with this edition is the final one, though I haven't been given any other artwork so I think it is.

Oh Oh, the cover for this quadrilogy? That was almost the cover for The King of Saint Francis. I really dug it, so I'm glad we got to use it.

I hope y'all are being safe out there! In there. STAY INSIDE. Remember--and I saw this in a meme on Facebook so you know it's true--you're not STUCK inside. You're SAFE inside. I like that. Be safe. You're awesome and I need you to be safe.

March 28, 2020


There was an error with the Wick Shorts download and it expired early. This has been fixed. It should now be good until next Saturday.

March 27, 2020

Is it the weekend?

It's Friday. Close enough.

Okay, here we go. Links to download to download the first 5 Wick books, the Woman's Charybdis series, AND the first volume of Wick Shorts. By the end of today, maybe tomorrow, I should have a digital download for the four books in the Return to the Wick Chronicles set, but I wanted to get the links up for these before diving into that.

For the Wick Chronicles Omnibus (books 1-3) CLICK HERE

For the Wick After Dark books (4 & 5 ... the more adult stories) CLICK HERE

For the Charybdis series, CLICK HERE

For the new WICK SHORTS book, titled WAITING TO INHALE, click here.

All of these links expire on 3 April 2020, so get 'em while you can. If you already have them, feel free to share. And check back for the link to the Return to the Wick Chronicles download. Right now there's no cover art for a single volume, so we need to slap something together (it probably won't be pretty) and digitally sew the four books together.

I hope y'all are doing well! This is what I'm doing when I'm not working:

March 26, 2020

Coming this weekend

Okay, doods... sometime this weekend, this will drop here, for free, before it technically gets published. It's the first of two planned Wick Shorts books, and if you followed the website, you probably read the first 3 already, in 2nd draft form. (well, the first 4, but 2 were combined.) You didn't read the last and longest...and arguably the best--Drew's pulse-pounding, hold-your-breath inaugural trip to Elysium.

Also hopefully sometime this digital download of the Return of the Wick Chronicles books, and we'll put the others up again for a short time, too, in case you missed them last week. This also includes the Woman's Charybdis series.