Jan 28 2014

Three down, five to go


Well, I thought I’d be able to do more of my own stuff last week, since it was the between-chemos week. Alas, I just ended up doing stupid amounts of extra hours at the day-job! Because I felt strong, and I could do it! And stuff was piling up. And I didn’t want to face the deadlines on urgent things hitting this week, with tons of stuff still left over from the previous weeks.

The main thing I want to be doing at the moment is getting the next ebooks out!

And of course, actual writing.

Interestingly, I seem to be able to think about writing, and intermittently do some, while they pump in my chemo. I’m there, I can’t go anywhere else. I’m pretty much stuck. It’s actually rather liberating. If people don’t interact with me a lot, my brain has a chance to go to that writing place, and do some reviewing and planning, revising and writing — to a degree. If it’s noisy, I plug in Pandora.

Of course, I can do this because I still feel pretty good. Some of the people around me in the chemo suite are visibly more unhappy than I; and I do know that things will become more difficult further down the line. I have no illusions about that.

Still, three down, five to go!

In other news: The Con or Bust auction will be starting up on February 10, and as usual I’ll have something in the auction. Possibly another hand-bound blank book; that’s what I’d like best to do. If I’m not up to that, at least some signed paperbacks.

And if you like auctions of SF/F related material, the Endicott West/Terri Windling clear-out is still going on, this time with a collection of pre-Rafaelite-related items. INCLUDING a hand-painted motorcycle jacket executed by artist Cortney Skinnner! He’s going to touch it up a bit before its next owner receives it. I saw it when it was new, and it was pretty impressive! Check out the photos.

Well, I’m off work today, being a bit shakier after this chemo session than I was after the previous. A trend, but not a steep one yet. I’m somewhat overloaded with being around people, too. When you have cancer, people look at you! All the time! And monitor things and test other things, and ask you to report on general other things. For a natural introvert, it can get a bit wearying.

However, we just had a couple of visits from two sets of dear friends, which was time well spent, I say.

But I’m glad not to have to be in the office today…

Jan 23 2014

Just a note….

the view from the front porch

the view from the front porch

Endicott West, the artist’s retreat in Tucson where I spent Thanksgiving of 2012 hidden away from the world (for the most part), and about which I silently blogged every day, has been shut down and, alas, sold.

Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman are there right now with Deb and Mike Manning, closing it up.

But should you want a piece of history, they are also auctioning off some of the books that have been residing there.   Check out the details at Ellen’s website.

Jan 19 2014

As I feared, no Boskone for me.


It happens that Boskone is falling right after my fourth chemo, and projecting ahead, I can see that I probably won’t be up for dashing about and panelizing, and holding forth on esoteric literary issues, etc.

So, I let them know today that they should remove me from the program.

I might try to come by just as a rank-and-file attendee, possibly just for a day. The panels that they wanted me on sounded really fascinating, and I’d actually love to see what the other panelists might have to say.

Other news: Predictably, Chemo 2 was a bit harder than Chemo 1, and my day-job week was thus a bit tougher to get through. I had oh-so-many plans for my time in the evening, but discovered that the actual most urgent task was sleeping. I did manage to take a half-hour walk each day, however, and that’s something I want to keep up.

Next week’s a no-chemo week, so I’m predicting that more things that I actually want to do will get the attention they warrant.

I’m trying to be realistic, and not allow my enthusiasm to make me overextend myself — but dang, I gotta do something!

Other than rockin’ the turban, that is.

With scarf by Darlene!

With scarf by Darlene!

Jan 13 2014

Abandon ship!


Well, I thought my hair would start to go after the second chemo session, as that seems to be the general experience.

But last night:

Not exactly unexpected.

Not exactly unexpected.

I’d been checking every single day by brushing and experimentally tugging slightly, to no result whatsoever.  Business as usual, my hair said to me, don’t worry about us.  In fact, we could use a trim!

Then around ten PM last night it was:



And there they went!

My response: hilarity.   I  found it funny as hell.   I’m not entirely sure why.

Sure, I knew it was gonna go.  But now?  10PM?  The night before my second chemo?    And not 6PM, because I checked,  nope.  10PM.  Not a gradual thinning, but an apparently  unanimous decision.  Not that it dropped off all at once, but any time I gave a slight tug,  I got a bunch.  Each and every time.  If I’d kept tugging, I’m pretty sure could have plucked myself bald, right then and there!


When I collect enough, I'm going to knit myself a kitten.

When I collect enough, I’m going to knit myself a kitten.

I think it was the spontaneity and the unanimity that got to me.   It’s like they held a referendum.

So, I’m pretty sure that sometime today or tomorrow I’ll  do the pre-emptive strike.    But first: find a hat!

In other news:  Still looking in to getting the ebooks out on other platforms.   It’s a longer process than Amazon Kindle.   But I’m going to try like the dickens to get The Outskirter’s Secret  out at least on Kindle by, say, Sunday.

Well, think I’ll take a nap.  I’m at Chemo at the moment, and loving my iPad with Logitech keyboard allowing me to blog and write and all right here, right now.   Everyone else is either watching skanky daytime TV on the overhead screens, or talking on their phone, or dozing, or generally looking bored and unhappy in various ways.

Hey, Hugo awards nominations are open!  No, I’m not eligible this year, but my pals Delia Sherman and  Ellen Kushner are, in the Dramatic Presentation category for the excellent illuminated audiobook of their THE FALL OF THE KINGS,  about which I have enthused before at length.  So, if you are a WorldCon attendee, please do consider voting for them.


Jan 8 2014

Amazon emails! Plus: here come the loonies


Faithful reader and commenter Sean tells me that he and some others have received the Amazon email that tells how to update their copies of The Steerswoman ebook to the non-erroneous version. Great news! I have not received an email myself about that, and I did buy a copy as a proof-of-concept. But you know, they can tell when it’s the author herself buying her own book, and might treat me differently from you the actual buying public. So — check your email!

Meanwhile… at the Day-job, I sent out an email letting everyone at work know what’s been going on with me, and what to expect going forward and such. The responses have been full of support and encouragement.

But, I must say…. some of these very nice people are not exactly what you and would call logical thinkers.

I received an email from one such, headed “Saw this morning and wanted to share”, attaching a long-winded, super-enthusiastic ad/article, which I quote briefly, because it went on and on and on in the following vein:

“The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo. Why are we not aware of this? Its because some big corporation want to make back their money spent on years of research by trying to make a synthetic version of it for sale.”

Heavens! How evil of them.

“How many people died in vain while this billion-dollar drug maker concealed the secret of the miraculous Graviola tree? This tree is low and is called graviola !”

Wait, what? Low? Low, did you say?


Well, I’m glad they posted this very responsible disclaimer, before I rushed off to treat my alignments.

Actually, I’m kind of fond of my alignments. That’s why I aligned them.

Now, while I do appreciate that the person in question thinks they’re doing me a favor, and being helpful, I really do want to nip this in the bud.  I figure that if I take a tough stand immediately, I won’t be inundated with junk and can focus my energies on the important things.

So my reply was:

Typical internet bullshit.

If one bothers to read this closely, It’s glaringly obvious. Aside from the bogus science, these people can’t even spell! And some of these sentences don’t even make sense on the simple grammatical level!

That’s always BIG clue.

Furthermore, even the slightest bit of research on reputable sites reveals this as baseless.

Here’s a quote from Wikipedia about soursop/graviola:

Alternative cancer treatment
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center list cancer treatment as one of the “purported uses” [you do know what “purported” means, right?] of soursop.   According to Cancer Research UK, “Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as a cancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancer organisations” and “there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer” and consequently they do not support its use as a treatment for cancer.

In 2008 a court case relating to the sale in the UK of Triamazon, a soursop product, resulted in the criminal conviction of a man under the terms of the UK Cancer Act for offering to treat people for cancer. A spokesman for the council that instigated the action stated, “it is as important now as it ever was that people are protected from those peddling unproven products with spurious claims as to their effects.

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States determined that there was “no credible scientific evidence” that the extract of soursop sold by Bioque Technologies “can prevent, cure, or treat cancer of any kind.”

Here’s a little something about organizations like the “Health Sciences Institute” that your article refers to.

I understand that you want to be supportive… but sending things like this does not support me in my fight.

I hope you’ll think twice before doing this again…

Stuff like this just wastes my time.

If you think I sound angry, there, I must tell you that this is the version I sent after I edited out the frothing fury that was originally present.

This is not what I would have sent an actual friend who kindly but unwisely forwarded me that ad/article. This is a co-worker, and not even someone I see every day.

Now, as I see it, there are three possible responses to this:

1. That Rosemary is a real tight-ass bitch! I hate her! I’ll never send her stuff again. Result: person never sends this stuff again. Yay!

2. That Rosemary is totally close-minded and not open to a) the wider, mysterious workings of the universe; or b) the truth about government/pharma conspiracy! It’s pointless to try to reach her. I’ll never send her stuff again! Result: person never sends this stuff again. Yay!

3. That Rosemary has a point. Maybe I should actually read the article next time before hitting SEND. Result: person reads the article next time, and sees that it’s sheer quackery, and does not send it to me. Yay! Plus: possible future friend!

See? Three yays! I win.

In other news: Ironically, I had to get a haircut. I went to Supercuts.

Stylist: Wow, you have really thick hair!

Me: Yep!

Stylist: I bet it grows really fast, too.

Me (trying not to laugh): Generally.

Stylist: Done! What do you think?

Me: Perfect!