Sep 24 2014

News about writers who are not me.

Rosemary

Remember me saying how much I enjoyed the audiobook of Ellen Kushner’s and Delia Sherman’s The Fall of the Kings?  Here’s something cool: Audible has combined all three of the Riverside audiobooks —  Kushner’s Swordspoint and The Privilege of the Sword, and Kushner & Sherman’s The Fall of the Kings — into one big omnibus audiobook called The Swords of Riverside.  

If you already have an Audible account, please notice you can get this omnibus for just one credit.   This is a fantastic bargain.  And if you don’t have an Audible account, they love to tempt you by offering you your first book free when you sign up, and that’s even more of a bargain.  And if you’re not interested in committing to a membership you can always buy the audiobook at the non-member price which is still a bargain, as you’re getting all three for the price of one audiobook.

It’s over 45 hours of pure immersion in the wonderful, mysterious city of Riverside and its denizens.  You can lose yourself in a whole other world for days on end!  If I didn’t already have all three audiobooks, I’d be doing this immediately.

(Please note: The Riverside books contain same-sex romance, so if that puts you off — then heck, why not try something else by Ellen and/or  Delia, like Ellen’s Thomas the Rhymer — sadly, only in print version and not audiobook — or the excellent audiobook of Delia’s YA novel, The Freedom Maze?)

Other news: Jo Walton’s The Just City is available for pre-order at Amazon — and likely also at your favorite non-Amazonian book-buying site, not to mention pre-ordering  from actual bookstores.  Release date is January, but that’s not as far away as it looks, trust me.  And I know she’s finished writing the sequel, The Philosopher Kings, so I can see there won’t be much of a wait between volumes.

I pre-ordered it in the Kindle version, so that when it comes out it will instantly show up on my Kindle.  I love pre-ordering.   I order, then basically forget about it, so it’s like buying a surprise present for myself.  I’m always surprised!

Other other news, being actually about me:  Still worn down, and hauling myself to three days a week of the Day Job.  My boss is deeply happy to have me back. Much has gotten tangled there which now I am laboriously untangling.

And I actually braved New Haven one day, and stopped off  at Hull’s Art Supply to buy a bunch of bookbinding supplies, since I suddenly realized that the supplies I had on hand were Not Right, Not Right At All, and that I wanted a new journal/workbook Immediately If Not Sooner, and that to accomplish this Steps Must Be Taken.  And so I took them.  (Quite soon I must make a trek to Boston to visit the Paper Source in Somerville MA.    Hull’s just doesn’t have the hand-marbled one-of-a-kind papers that the Paper Source carries, although it has everything else I need. )

Simple cover, classy innards.

Simple cover, classy innards.

I also treated myself to a late lunch at the Booktrader Cafe, where once in the misty depths of time, the Fabulous Genrettes used to meet.  The main room at Booktrader seems once to have been some sort of greenhouse or solarium, and so is entirely constructed of glass, including the roof, which fact I love beyond all reason.   I’m always happiest when I can see the sky.


Sep 17 2014

Briefly ….

Rosemary

Just a quick post to stay in touch. I’m still singin’ the radiation fatigue blues, and so haven’t blogged as much as I’d wanted.

Today I had an echocardiogram. Because I’m still on Herceptin infusions every three weeks, they keep a close watch on the state of my heart, as heart trouble is one of the possible (not likely, just possible) side effects. So, every three months they check on things.

Nerd that I am, I endeared myself to the echo tech by being fascinated with the whole process. It’s done with ultrasound (the same technique they use to look at fetuses and babies in the womb), and I was positioned so I could see the monitor.

I was able to look at my own heart in action! Pumping away like anything, valves a-flappin’. It seemed quite enthusiastic in its task. A sight cool beyond belief.

At one point the image was a perfect black-and-white version of the classic anatomy text cross-section, and I said, “Hey, isn’t that upside down?” The tech was impressed, and said that I was the first patient who recognized what they were seeing. But heck — that particular image could not have been clearer! Others were fuzzier, and at odd angles, but that one could not be missed by anyone with the slightest sense of their internal geography. Except for being upside down, due to the angle of the transducer.

Oh, I do love me some science.  Here’s a cool little infographic that has some animation, showing one of the angles I saw on the monitor.

Meanwhile: back to the Day Job for Thursday and Friday.   I expect some serious power-napping when I get home…

 

 


Sep 12 2014

Zzzz.

Rosemary

Predictably, going back to the day job has worn me out big-time.  Even just two five-hour days last week — and I really did not recover by Wednesday this week, when I went back for what will be three five-hour days.

Well, everyone who knows about this stuff (doctors, nurses, other cancer survivors) all say that this is not at all surprising after radiation, and I really ought to expect to stay this tired for, oh, the next month or so…

But damn!  I’m really tired of being tired!  I’ve got stuff to do!

I’m writing at least a little most days, but progress is incremental at best, and occasionally those increments are actually negative, as I identify and then delete crap that has no reason to be in the story.  Well.   Removal of crap counts as progress to me.  The story will be better for it.

I’m also managing to keep walking everyday because, hell, it doesn’t take much mental acuity to put one foot in front of the other.  It’s something I can do no matter how otherwise useless I feel.   So, if all else fails, at least I’ve walked.

One thing about walking around the condo complex every night: the native life.   I have met every dog and dog-owner, seen every cat in every window,  passed all the smokers sitting on the front steps, and observed many, many toads.   The toads like the heat that lingers on the sidewalk.    I counted more than a dozen on one walk.

 

Cutest happy puppy ever.

Cutest happy puppy ever.

 

Truly beautiful cat, to whom I am a continual astonishment

Truly beautiful cat, to whom I am a continual astonishment

 

ranging from Jellybean-sized to english-muffin-sized

Ranging from jellybean-sized to english-muffin-sized

I’ll do a more coherent blog post over the weekend… I just didn’t want to stay away too long!

 

 


Sep 7 2014

Inching my way back into the Day Job

Rosemary

Yep, it’s that time.   Time to start going back to the Day Job.

Back when this whole cancer business started, I managed to stay on the job for the first two months, until the chemo side-effect got the better of me.

Coming out the other side, I’ll be doing about 15 hours a week at first, and we’ll see if I can work my way up to 32.   We have no particular time-line on this, and it’s going to take a while to build up my stamina.   My boss is fine with that.

I worked two days this week, five hours a day, and it pretty much knocked me flat.  But you know: radiation therapy is over, the burns are mostly healed, and need to work on getting stronger.  So, here I am, slowly clambering back into the workforce out there in Mundania.

The really depressing thing is that going back to the job reminds me that this was supposed to be the year I stepped away from it entirely!   I had it all planned out!  I was going to be writing full time!

Then: Boom.   Leaving the Day Job?  No longer an option.

And… here I am, back again.

Well.  As I often say, I’m still on the WIN side of the column.   Because: alive.

I’ll probably feel much better about dealing with this when I get my energy and strength back.   And my mental agility, as well.    Really looking forward to that part.

In aid of this, I’ve been walking almost every day, generally for an hour — and generally when the sun has gone down and this incredible humidity we’ve been having lets up a bit.

All I can say is: Thank goodness for iPods!   (Although, I broke down and got an iPhone, so all my iPod functions now reside on my phone, which is delightfully convenient.)  I generally listen to a bit of music, then some audiobook, then an episode of Welcome to Night Vale.  Although the last month or so, it’s been harder to focus on a good audiobook and harder to get myself moving (probably radiation fatigue), so I just listened to Night Vale for the whole time — it’s actually the only time I allow myself to listen to it.  Thus, my love of Night Vale kept me walking when my weary body and sometimes-fuzzy brain would prefer I just chilled out.

But alas, inevitably, I got to the point where I had heard each of the the fifty-plus available episodes multiple times, so I had to search for something else — and just as inevitably ended up with the Thrilling Adventure Hour.  They’re no comparison, of course, and  I’ll never love them as I love Welcome to Night Vale, but they’re quite jolly and diverting.   And there’s LOTS of back-episodes, as they’ve been doing the show for ten years.  I shouldn’t run out anytime soon.

So, at SOME point, all this walking is going to pay off.  Well, it’s probably paying off right now; I’d certainly be worse off if I hadn’t been doing it.

But meanwhile, yeah: Day Job.  I should be writing full time!  But, not yet.  Day Job.

Meanwhile, despite the heat, looks like Autumn is on its way.   The other day, I saw this:

turkey

Not too soon to plan your Thanksgiving Dinner.

 

Gosh,  I thought, right in the back yard!   I’d better get a photo of that!  No telling when I’ll get a chance like this again!

And then this:

 

I hear there’s a fox around, too, but I haven’t seen him.   I’m sure he’s got his sights on these characters….

Well, more later…  Switch now set to OFF.

 

PS: The latest episode of Welcome to Night Vale?  Wow.

I was wondering how they were going to handle the fact that the actor, Cecil Baldwin, was going to be away for the whole month of August, as part of the Neo-futurists acting troupe, performing their show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.   How, I wondered, could they deal with the possibly limited availability of Cecil?

That’s how.  Brilliantly.