Busy Raven, DMARC Nonsense, & New TikTok Energy

and of course The Archie Report!

OK, to be honest, I really love doing this newsletter. It gives me an excuse to take some time for a little nonfiction writing every other week (this newsletter really is like a journal, for me as a writer and indie publisher, recording all the little triumphs and the hard work of the learning process, the fight to make it as a writer in a world already full of writers and very few people willing to give a hand to those on the way up.)

I’ve done a metric fuckton in the last two weeks. Some of which I can’t tell you about just yet, but other bits, like getting the DMARC nonsense for this newsletter sorted out (along with a huge bunch of web-related stuff), with help from my amazing Web Guru. (You do NOT want to know about the DMARC nonsense, but if you really think you do)

Heh. So, I went to send this newsletter in its normal Tuesday time…and even after all that work, the DMARC wasn’t playing nicely with me. THAT’S how complicated and annoying it all is. You all are lucky I love writing this, or I would use the DMARC nonsense as an excuse to give up doing it. 🙄 Anyway, my wonderful Web Guru went in and forced it to behave, so now you actually have a newsletter in your device of choice, and I never have to do a “first time DMARC setup” ever again!

My name’s Raven Belasco, and I’m a dark fantasy writer. These newsletters are about my work and that #authorlife. Updates out bimonthly to subscribers. Feel free to send your friends to my Beehiiv, where they can read the most recent letters and subscribe.

If you don’t want these getting lost in the spam filter, please add [email protected] to your email system’s address book or contacts.


I’ve been forcing myself to actually start taking TikTok seriously. I’m putting out more videos up there, with little snippets about the books. And I mean little —that whole thing where TikTok recommends the clips be no longer than 30 seconds? Yeah, if you follow that, turns out a lot more people see your videos.

This is of course painful for me, because I’m a long-form person, in any media. Call me a size queen, but I like things loooooong. Or at least, longer than 30 damn seconds. But I’m finding my groove with that length, I think. What do you think?

 Now for the part of the email you're actually here for:

🐺The Archie Report🐺

“Duck weather” is not terrier weather!

To add to the chaos of the past few weeks, I had to have a lot of ends tied up before last Friday, because Cairngorm's trainer-and now Archie's trainer as well - was coming out that day for a weekend intensive. Her name is Al Werger, by the by, and you should absolutely follow her 

Al had taught me so much with Cairngorm that, with just the occasional phone support, I've been able to get him through the first three weeks pretty well. But Arch has some issues that Cairngorm never had, and I don't know what to do for those, not having gone through them the hard way - yet 🙄

Archie was out on the streets, and of all the ways to survive, he chose "fawning" (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn). It was absolutely the right choice for him, as a cute little dog. But now it needs to be gotten under control.

It was a very educational weekend. The best part was it being very clear what a good job I had managed to do with him in those formative first three months. And that was wonderful. But when we took him for his first "in town" walkies, I was more than proved right that I couldn't have dealt with it properly on my own. Arch had even more anxiety than we anticipated, and a great deal more work is going to need to be put into helping him become a dog who can happily trot at my heel through a public area, unfazed by people or noise or other dogs.

That happy future is a lot of work, for both him and me, ahead of us. But we’ll get there!

Before I could get this newsletter out, we were “overcome by events.” and Arch and I spent the day in the emergency vet. He now has a tentative diagnosis of IBD, and he and I will be back there next week for a gastroenterologist appointment. But for those of you who have been worrying, he’s doing a lot better!

For music recs this week, I have a video of the song Damn Gloves by the amazing serpentwithfeet. Get ready for some gorgeous homoerotic hiphop

If that’s not your speed, how about a sweet French chanteuse?

Also, I’m late to this party, and I never thought I’d like anything to do with Michael Connelly in any way, shape, or form, but The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix is so entirely bingeable, and I’ve had to mostly be resting since Al left, and this show has absolutely distracted me from how exhausted I am. The acting is fantastic, the characters are so real, the cast is diverse, and it’s just a damn fine show. Also, one of those actors is Neve Campbell, and she is always a true pleasure to watch.

OK I’m off to do some research for the next story in the Blood & Ancient Scrolls series. I hope you all are being good, or being good at it!


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