Jan 23 2016

Time. Plus: tea.


I finally got clear of that whatever-it-was.   I cough only occasionally now, and sometimes feel worn out — but basically: better.

I find myself vastly frustrated that I lost an entire week. I had  plans for that time, and I won’t get it back.  And I do feel that clock ticking these days…

It doesn’t help that people still keep passing away.   Sabine and I discussed it and came to the conclusion that it’s a January thing.  People hang on through the holidays… And then: January.

Our latest loss: Editor David Hartwell.   I did not know him well, but he was a presence in our field, and we chatted a couple of times at convention parties, years ago.  Any time he was in a room, you knew he was there!  The ties helped, and the jackets.   He was well-loved by many, well-respected by most, and someone to whom I was certain I’d one day submit a story, or book or something… won’t have the chance, now.

Here’s a poem Jo Walton wrote in his honor.

I’ve decided that, instead of being sad at all this passing-away, I shall be defiant.

In aid of that, here’s Alan Rickman making a cup of tea, in a video that neatly encapsulates my reaction to all of this.

You know, I think I should view that regularly.

Back to work.




Jan 14 2016

More of the same. Plus: meanwhile, back in the real world…


My thanks to all who wished me a get-well-soon for this cough/cold thingie.

Alas — Still got it!  Yow.

My plans for this week went by the wayside.  My big accomplishment: dragging myself to the doc on Tuesday, where I was afforded much sympathy, and a perscription for antibiotics (normally not given for colds or flu, but she’s concerned that I had it last month, and it came back worse, just in case), and one for cough syrup with codeine (use only ONCE a day, only AT NIGHT, she stressed).  Also a suggestion that I pick up some Robitussin DM for the day, since Dayquil/Nyquil has zero effect.

I did manage to water the houseplants and feed the birds, so that’s something.

Also, watched some TV, much of it astonishingly bad — which is not a problem, as I was unable to give it anything like intelligent attention.   And had I any intelligent attention on hand, I would have found  better uses for it.  Like, oh writing.  Or, alternatively, reading!

Short reviews of some things I saw:

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride: Seriously, WTF?  I feel cheated.

Legend of Korra:  Nice to catch up on the ones I missed, and all in order, thank you Amazon Prime membership — wait, season 4 not included?  I HATE YOU.

Final seasons of Falling Skies: Please be good; Please be passable; Please be not horrible, Please be not unwatchable, Please explain why I keep doing this to myself.

Recent seasons of Teen Wolf: I can no longer remember why I once liked this show.

Brit murder mysteries: Place of Execution, Collision, and Amnesia.   Grim, but I seem to remember they were good.  Of course, I dozed through a lot of it. So.  Bonus John Hannah in Amnesia.

Sliding Doors movie:  Heard a lot about it, finally saw it, and quite enjoyed myself.  Plus: bonus John Hannah.   Opposite John Hannah from the one in Amnesia.

Mozart in the Jungle: saved this for today, when I knew that codeine-induced rest would have me feeling somewhat better, because I already knew it was excellent, and I wanted to be able to appreciate it.  Good move.

Enough about me.  In the real world:

I woke up today to learn that Alan Rickman had left us.   Sad about that… I never knew much about him until Harry Potter, but his brilliance as Snape told me I had been missing something. He’ll always have a place in my heart for that…   Sabine and I saw him live in New York in Seminar, and I thought he was wonderful in the role.

And on January 10, it was David Bowie who departed.  This guy had such a huge effect on popular music, and on so many creative people… and I missed most of it, first time around, since I was a died-in-the-wool folkie during the years of his greatest influence.  I knew him by the echoes of what he did, because those echoes were everywhere.  They still continue, and I’m so amazed.

As a former singer/songwriter myself, and one who as a kid wished to be an astronaut, this video hits me in both places:

Bowie himself once said that he thought this was the most poignant version of the song…

Also — was it really a week ago? — we lost poet and illustrator Claudia Carlson.

I never met Claudia.  But when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, the SF grapevine directed me to many comrades-in-arms.  She was one, and I quickly Facebook-friended her.  I was so amazed at her constant creativity, her depth and humor, and astonishing grace.   While I hunkered down to get through my chemo, she got through hers writing poems, drawing endlessly, finishing an illustrated children’s book and yet another book of poetry.  Gone now, and I’m so sad.

Here’s a review of her last book of poetry, My Chocolate Sarcophagus.

Here’s the Amazon link, to pre-order.

All three, lost to cancer, in one week.

Here are three who lived:

Pat Cadigan, SF author, cyberpunker  — first told she had only two years left to live, recently told that they have no idea when she’ll die.  Could be a while; could be years; might be more than a decade.   Her cancer went from something you die from to something you live with.

Mary Anne Mohanraj, author (including SF!), teacher at Clarion and professor at the University of Illinois — finished her chemotherapy on December 21.  The chemo shrunk her tumor, and like me, she ended up with a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.

And there’s me.