Next Treatment Steps
Monday I start Regorafenib
. I am frankly rather afraid of this drug. It can have dreadful side effects. And at best, we have a 50/50 chance of seeing useful results. To that end, I have pushed for a baseline CT scan which I will be undergoing on Tuesday. This is out of sequence, as the normal minimum spacing between CT scans is 2 months, while my previous scan was three weeks ago. However, I felt it was important to have an accurate measurement of tumor size and distribution at the start of the Regorafenib series, to compare two months down the road. The hoped-for positive result is a halt in tumor growth. Also, this 3-week scan will give us a decent notion of how fast the tumors are growing.Current side effects
I've been having a lot of problems with my feet this week. This has led to me being minimally mobile. Not good for exercise. On the other hand, simply existing at my current altitude is practically aerobic exercise. That in turn confuses the issue, as I sleep poorly up here anyway, so I cannot tell if I'm having sleep problems. Likewise, my skin continues troublesome, though it is slowly recovering. We discontinued the Vectibix
five weeks ago, which removed the primary driver of my skin issues. And fatigue, lots of fatigue, but difficult again to disentangle that from altitude sickness.JayWake
Planning for the JayWake
continues. July 27th, 2013, in Portland. The link above has time and venue details, and hotel information. A rather substantial group of people have been making some rather substantial contributions to make this happen. I will be making public thanks in due time, and in accordance with the wishes of various donors. This is an open event, so if you can be in the Pacific Northwest that weekend, please do so.Generosity
Both in the matter of the JayWake and otherwise, generosity continues to flow. To the point of overwhelming me sometime. Thank you all for being part of this journey I'm on. I feel slower and more tired every day, it seems, but I am sustained by your love.The Unbearable Lightness of Satori
Speaking of overwhelming, yesterday on my social media footprint, I said, "Almost any book can make me cry now. The closer I grow to death, the more emotionally fragile I become." It's true. Even light, funny books bring tears to my eyes when I reach the point of closure. It's a very strange mental space to be in. I don't reject the reaction. It's genuine, it's coming from inside me. Rather, this is a different way for me to consume narrative. Another part of the journey.
Every step is a revelation.
'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative
— Kameron Hurley on non-furry cannibalistic llamas. And much more. (Via rekre8
.)Remembering The Long Lost Germans Of Texas
— More than a century ago, German settlers found a pocket of Texas to call home between Austin and San Antonio. And once the local lingo merged with their own language, it proved to be an interesting dialect.The Princess
— How old is 2? (Via willyumtx
.)Defining My Dyslexia2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
— Wow. (Via tillyjane
, a/k/a my mom.)Lunar Corona over Cochem Castle
— A gorgeous photo.Measuring light in the universe since the Big BangCosmic latte
— Cosmic Latte is a name assigned to the average color of the universe, given by a team of astronomers from Johns Hopkins University.
(Via Daily Idioms, Annotated
.)No Bail for Pa. Parents in Faith-Healing Death
— Faith healing isn't religion, it's child abuse. Pure and simple. Adults are free to go to hell in their own way, but they are not free to take children along for the ride. In our Christianist-dominated cultural climate, I am nonetheless surprised to see prosecution.When Politicians promise ‘Lower Taxes’ they are promising Collapsed Bridges
— Infrastructure decay is the inevitable result of conservative tax policy. Unless you believe in the fairy tale of supply side economics, but that has neither theoretical support from objective economists who aren't already committed conservatives, nor any track record of success whatsoever in the real world. Me, I like civil society and public infrastructure, and it takes taxes to keep those things going. Hell, even Republicans drive over bridges.Three reasons Congress is broken
— Only three? There are 233 House Republicans and 45 Senate Republicans. That's 278 more reasons Congress is broken.
QotD?: What is your least favorite joke?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA, otherwise on workshop time)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: Monstrous Regiment
by Terry Pratchett
We're planning on doing some database maintenance tomorrow and LiveJournal could be down for some users during this maintenance. It is scheduled to begin at 15:55 PDT on May 25 (click to see other timezones), will be happening over a two hour period and you might see occasional delays in connecting to some journals, pages or logging in. The delays will only be temporary and you should soon see a recovery in the site. We do not expect this work to cause wider site issues.
You can keep an eye on the LiveJournal Status Page to see when we're back, but we'll also be posting to LiveJournal's Facebook page and LiveJournal's Twitter account to let you know when we're back and to provide any additional updates if we go beyond our planned maintenance window.
Amazon is currently selling Love is the Law
for 35 percent off. This is a guaranteed price. If you have Amazon Prime and get free shipping, amazon will depending on where you live, either barely break even and perhaps even lose money on every sale.
STARVE THE GLUTTON
DESTROY THE BEAST
When I spoke about Historical Research at the DFW Writer's Conference earlier this month, one of the things I mentioned was using Wikipedia.
Now I always suggest taking any Wiki with a grain of salt. As a user, you don't know who's posting the info there. But I wanted to mention one way in which Wiki became invaluable to me in researching 1902 Portugal.I used it extensively as a portal to Portuguese Wikipedia.
Let me give you an example:
Here's the English Wiki Page for Matosinhos, a town where part of The Golden City
As you can see, there's hardly anything there. Apparently English speakers don't care much about this town.
But if you look down the left sidebar, you can see several other languages available.
When I click on Portuguese, I get this version of the page:
You can see that there's a LOT more information on this version of the page. There are also dozens of links on the Portuguese version that I can follow, both of other pages in Portuguese Wikipedia, and to external sites. Each of those might have links to dozens of other sites...and on it goes.
So I've used Wiki this way to help me slip into Portuguese research. If I tried to do research via a search engine in Portuguese, I would be overwhelmed. I wouldn't know where to start or which sites had any validity. With Wiki's help, though, I have a starting place.But I don't speak Portuguese!
, you complain.
I speak very little, and that I had to learn for writing these books, but there are always machine translators out there that can give you a leg up. I mostly use the Bing Tranlsator
, but Google has one as well. (Keep in mind that these are machine translations, and are only 'better than nothing'.) Between my poor Portuguese and the machine, I do a decent job.
In addition, if you hop to another Wiki page, you can double check to see whether there's an English version. That page may have similar information.
To research for Book 3, The Shores of Spain
, I'm now having to hop over to Spanish Wiki a lot. Since my Spanish is better than my Portugese, this is easier for me.
It's still proving a very useful research trick.
I’ve never been one for big cities. In some ways, I think of it as an extension of my introversion. Big cities = too many people, too much going on, and I get twitchy just thinking about it.
But I’ve watched my fellow authors do the occasional New York trip to visit with editors and agents, and it’s been strongly advised by a number of folks that I do the same, especially with the relative success of Libriomancer.
So when I received an invitation to moderate the Adult Book Bloggers Panel at Book Expo of America in New York, I was happy to say yes. I’m even happier now that I’ve been chatting with my panelists, including Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books — the woman responsible for making me do this — along with Mandi from Smexy Books and Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog.
My BEA schedule, excluding meetings and such, looks like so:
- 5/29, 11:15 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. — Book Blogging Panel.
- 5/31, 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. — Signing at the SFWA table.
- 6/1, 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. — “Meet the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,” with myself, Jeri Smith-Ready, and Leanna Renee Hieber.
I am both excited and a bit intimidated. I’ve been to NYC once in my life, helping a friend move, and that was more than a decade ago. On the other hand, I’ll be spending time with a lot of great people, and attending an event devoted to the awesomeness of books. How can you not love that?
So blogging will be light to nonexistent next week. This will be my first time at BEA, and my second time in NYC (the first was more than a decade ago, helping a friend move, and I didn’t see that much of the city). My plan is to try to have fun, hopefully collect some books, and shamelessly gawk at everything.
Wish me luck, and if you’re going to be at BEA, then I hope to see you there!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
ETA: We will be having my living wake, the JayWake on Saturday, July 27th. This will be a celebration of my life and a giant flip of the bird to my death. Including both a wake and a roast. Watch this space for more details.Every year, some people tell me that I need to announce JayCon early so they can get it in on their calendars. Every year, some people tell me I need to announce JayCon later, because they don't plan that far ahead. Sometimes, these are the same people. So starting now, and going on through the spring, I will be reposting this announcement with occasional edits or updates as needed.
In celebration of my natal anniversary, JayCon XIII, my 13th annual 37th birthday party, is Saturday, June 15th, 2013 from 2 to 5 pm at the Flying Pie in SE Portland. We're partying because I was born, and because
I have beat cancer again and again and again
we may not ever get to do this again.
If you can read this, you're invited. Prior JayCon experience not required.
Also, if you're coming from out of town, and you think I might not be aware of that, please contact me. There are some limited capacity extended festivities from Friday to Sunday.
Flying Pie Pizzeria
7804 SE Stark Street
[ Google Maps
]As is traditional for JayCon, Paul M. Carpentier is specifically not invited.
I awoke this morning from dreams of loss, conflict and Walter Jon Williams. This may have something to do with the excellent gumbo he cooked last night, followed by bananas Foster.
Donnie Reynolds (@dratz
of Waterloo Productions
) left yesterday. He was kind enough to finish cooking my momos Wednesday night when my feet gave out, but more importantly, interviewed me yesterday morning, then filmed the critique session for "Rock of Ages". It was good critique, a combination of solid criticism and some important story points, along with validation that the story was doing enough of what I wanted it to do.
My two regrets here at Rio Hondo are that my feet continue to be troublesome, and that my trailing sun sensitivity issues courtesy of my friend Vectibix
have not only prevented me from hiking (which given the state of my feet is probably a bad idea anyway) but even from going outdoors at all. I continue to wrestle with the emotional fallout from the recent diagnosis, but being here at the world's greatest Writer Camp is allowing me to parse it in small bits while immensely enjoying my days.
Oddly, I'm not getting much writing or WRPA done. This done not bother me. I am on vacation, after all. I'm spending hours each day immersed in manuscripts and critique, and hours more in fascinating conversations about everything from Age of Sail combat to social media personae for authors. Not to mention publishing gossip, convention horror stories, plotting sessions and all the other things writers get to talking about when you cram us alone together in a few small rooms for a week.
Meanwhile, a few more photos of the faces of Rio Hondo:The marmot what hangs out in the lower parking lot — I did not have my 300mm lens on the camera body at the time, unfortunatelyDonnie Reynolds prepping the critique shootDavid Levine, of whom I finally got several good shotsRick Wilbur pretending he doesn't notice the cameraKim Zimring, readingDaniel Abraham, readingDiana Rowland and her Girl Power t-shirtJim Kelly going for the high angle shotOz Drummond, thoughtfulThe entire Rio Hondo crew, thanks to Donnie Reynolds piloting the camera
Photos © 2013 Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Donnie Reynolds
by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Donnie Reynolds
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
The first Apple, fetching prices that may crash the systemAcoustic Levitation
— This is seriously cool. (Via threeoutside
.)Marketing to the Big Data Inside Us
— In your DNA are clues to your health, your ancestry, and maybe even your purchasing preferences.A molecular window on itch
— Researchers discover chemical puppet master behind the need to scratch
.An Interplanetary GPS Using Pulsar Signals
— Spacecraft could determine their position anywhere in the solar system to within five kilometres using signals from x-ray pulsars, say astronomers.New Technique Could Probe Rocky Alien Planet SurfacesScientists: Arctic bacteria discovered on Earth may prove life could thrive on MarsGlow-in-the-dark cockroach among top 10 new species of 2012White tiger's coat down to one change in a geneRace, Intelligence, and Genetics For Curious DummiesThe Iraq War Wasn’t Inevitable
— Nope. It was a trillion dollar war of choice based on knowingly false premises brought to you by leading conservatives. I wish more Republican voters understood those simple facts. But they watch FOX News and listen to Rush Limbaugh, so they never will.C.I.A. to Focus More on Spying, a Difficult Shift
— Hmm...Ignorance loves company: Four examples
— Ignorance loves company. The truly stupid resent those who are not and won’t be satisfied until they’ve burned all the books, torn down the libraries, closed the universities, and made it impossible for anyone else not to share their own proud ignorance.
Who could he be talking about? What segment of American culture and politics? I really cannot imagine, can you?How Van Halen explains Obamacare, salmon regulation and scientific grants
— This is why it's important to do nuance. Too bad Republicans have elected political vandals who proudly don't do nuance to dominate the House and derail the Senate. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark
.)Toomey's candor sheds light on post-policy party
— "There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it."
Speaking of the GOP as political vandals. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark
.)President Obama and Counter-Terrorism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
QotD?: How was your dinner last night?
Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA editing, otherwise on workshop time)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: The Wee, Free Men
by Terry Pratchett
Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.
It’s the XXX part that’s going to get me all the spambots shortly ;).
Bloodshifted is done! This is the fastest I’ve ever written a first draft I think — four months? But there were some serious diversions into other projects there for a bit, which really dipped into writing time. This is also the fewest drafts I’ve ever done of anything ever in my life ever. Usually my books get up to 7-15 revs, which I retitle the word.doc after each major change, but this time there’s only 2. That’s right, just twooooo versions.
How on earth did I do that? Well, I let go of a lot more stuff this time around. I felt much more free to put my place-holder XXX in where ever I knew I’d need to go back and choose a character’s name, fix geography, flesh out a scene, or indeed even put a scene in, there’s a ton of “xxx emotional beat” placeholders in the current text.
There’s 224 of XXX’s to be replaced, in fact. Which is why I’m pretty confident that going into the second draft, and rev 3, will add 15k of text to the book, no problem. And I’m fine with that :D. What counts is that the bones are down right now and the plot flows — the action parts are so actiony, and the emotional stuff is super emotional — I almost wish I could keep rolling on and write the next book!
But I’ve got a long weekend at work coming up (complete with holiday pay, yo) so I’ll be taking a short break, and then restarting in from the beginning, now knowing everything I need to juggle for the end. I was melancholy about finishing this whole evening, but now I’m really excited about going back and starting in again :D.
And oh, yeah, Shapeshifted is coming out less than two weeks from now! *facepalm* I almost forgot, ha! Deep calming breaths, Cassie, it’ll all get done! ;)
You know where it's almost a holiday weekend already?
The trip home to see family was nice. First get together of all my siblings and their SOs in several years. Got to meet my Bro's new girlfriend, who is certainly a keeper. Of course, somehow seeing family is never as relaxing as it should be, and as no one cooks anymore not the healthiest either.
Then we did the car ride north a day after arriving back in Japan. Somehow despite jet lag we made it. It wasn't a horrible drive and would have been nice had it not rained the whole time. The oddest event was one of the circle expressways through Tokyo was underground. We spiraled down for several stories, then were in a large underground highway. Very bizarre.
Dog and cat did fine. Then, especially cat, charmed everyone at the kennel in Misawa.
Housing was more of a pain then I thought. The choices were bad or bad. We picked the 2 bedroom upstairs townhouse style over the 3 bedroom on the 5th floor of a tower apartment building. I hate that everything is more linked to how much you've procreated verses how much your housing allowance off base would be. If we had 3 kids (or 2 older ones) we'd have gotten a fenced yard.
In general living with the Air Force is going to take some getting used to. There's lots they do slightly different and ways they shift their money around differently. There is Navy on the base, but it seems a rather small amount.
Our stuff is coming next week. Meaning I can stop living out of suitcases and start setting it up. The stuff is here, but this is the busy move time for the Air Force so movers weren't available right away.
Plans this weekend are to finally see a bit more of off base and farther away sights. Does seems like there's a lot to do here, even if it takes more work to find, is more nature than city, and involves snow for half the year.
Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.
So if you remember a few weeks ago I was peeved about someone complaining about having to work a job because their poetry career was thus far unsuccessful. I was on ambien at the time, but even in retrospect, my peeve still holds. Poets don’t make much (if any) money, and…yeah. The most depressing conversation I’ve ever had in my writing life was with someone who was getting their masters in poetry. I love poems! But they’re not a viable paying health-insurance providing career path, no matter how thoroughly one dedicates oneself to the artform.
So I decided to approach the Billfold after that and offered to write some articles about what it’s like to be a working writer, and the first one went live today — The Jobs I Had Before Getting My Novel Published — which sort of makes it sound like I’m not working anymore, but as you all know, I most certainly am, ha.
So if you ever wondered if you could hold down a job or a bad job or a succession of the two while writing, you can. It sucks — it totally, utterly sucks — but you so can.
I didn’t really examine in that piece how lucky I was to have already done most of the prereqs for nursing school on accident in college part one — or how lucky I am that my determination not to have kids means that I have a lot more free time available to me than most people. (Then again, most people don’t go into life knowing that they’d rather write than parent, ha.)
Anyhow — a lot of those bad jobs made me want to write more. I viewed each next book as the ticket out of that job and into a better one. While that didn’t go exactly as planned, I never got stagnant and bogged down, either — I knew I was working towards something bigger and more important to me. I still am — it’s always called the next book ;).
Brian has yet another customer for his unbricking Kindles and flashing new operating systems into demo Kindles.
We are using my LLC for all this;it's all open and above-board and legal and on the books. Projections show that this side venture will replace our missing income from when I had to quit working for my ex boss, so yay!
We have a date for when my husband's ex will move back to SC to live with her daughter: somewhere around the end of July and the beginning of August. Mid-summer.
We found this out when we noticed she was looking at houses online. Maggie has been at the same company 13 yeas and is considered a good risk for a mortgage. Houses here are cheap, and she is pre-qualified to get a loan on small one. So she's been looking. The financial education involved in her getting her own car and paying her own insurance and slowly paying more and more of her own way has left her an independent adult. Brian thinks his daughter learned a great deal as my "apprentice" and that she has the skills now to run a household and not be taken in by her mother's financially grasping ways.
What's odd and touching is how much Maggie is carefully spending time with me as if she will miss me. I will miss her, too.
Anyone interested in being bitter? To stage a topic or two?
(If you haven't tried it before -- you do it by posting something on a con-panel-like topic -- you can rip off one of Balticon's from here
-- linking back to here, and putting a posting here to point it out. Then you watch the discussion and keep it on topic, or not if you find the digressions more interesting.)
There were spiders dropping down from the ceiling and into my wife’s cleavage. The wall behind her was a huge, stretched expanse of hairy green flesh, breathing slowly in and out. Phantom janitors stole in and out at the edges of my vision, sweeping in places they could not possibly stand and then vanishing when I tried to talk to them.
And my response was, “Oh. That’s interesting, what my brain is doing.”
These ridiculous hallucinations happened during my extremely traumatic 52-hour post-surgery recovery phase, when I was in tremendous pain and could not sleep. And yet, I think about the only other time I hallucinated, having dropped acid on a very hot summer’s night… and I found it disappointing. Yes, my vision was flexing and distorting, and I witnessed all sorts of curious artifacts as my brain’s visual processing center went into overload – but I quietly dissected each illusion, breaking it down into its interesting components, and in such a way I reduced what could have been a wild trip down into a series of interesting quirks.
I don’t really hallucinate, I don’t think. I know what my brain is up to. And today, I realized why:
It’s because I’m a depressive. I don’t trust my brain.
My brain has been a chronic liar for years, telling me how everyone hates me (when they don’t), how I’ve never accomplished anything of any note (I have), and how the world would be better off if I just killed myself (unproven, but I use the other two false conclusions to keep that one in the “bad idea” zone). I live a very strict life of having to double-check every input my brain gives me, for it routinely distorts a mundane “Oh!” into an encoded “You suck, Steinmetz, everything you ever liked was a fraud.” If I don’t, well, I ruin my life.
So when my brain starts providing false visual information, I do the same thing: I question it. I compare it to reality. And if it doesn’t make sense, I ignore it.
This makes me a little sad. I mean, it did protect me from a full-fledged freakout when I was in the hospital… but it means that while others experience an exultant joy with acid and peyote and other crazy drugs, seeing the face of God, I’ll never be able to flow with that illusion. They can trust what their brains give them, accepting most inputs safely and without harm, and so when some external source causes the brain to deliver crazy input, they can just run amuck with it like a kid whirling on a playground.
I’m off to the side. Analyzing. Breaking it down. Questioning relentlessly. Because that’s my survival. That’s what I do.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304609.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.