Mar 25 2014

And here’s another bit of good news…

That's right.

That’s right.

It’s the ebook version of The Outskirter’s Secret, now available on Amazon.

Oh, and also:


TLS cover small

That’s right. I said, that’s right.


Also available on Amazon…


And in celebration — what the heck, let’s drop the price of Book One:


Now only $2.99

Now only $2.99

A good time for new people to give this a try!

Also on Amazon only, so far.

And what about book 4, The Language of Power?  Well, I’ve just finished getting these two out, and now I’m due for a serious post-chemo steroid crash.   I expect to be largely asleep for the rest of this week; I got these done just under the wire.

But with the experience behind me I am absolutely certain that The Language of Power will be in Kindle form in the month of April.  I’m shooting for the first week, but if I miss that, I’ll have another down-week to deal with, and I’ll only have the energy back by the third week.  So, one of those.

For non-kindle ebook readers — I beg your indulgence.  We really are working on solving that, and we’ll probably go through Smashwords, which will send the books out through all the non-Kindle outlets.   I can’t yet provide a timeline, sorry to say…

But there it is, for now.

Really must get some sleep now — it’s 4AM on Tuesday, but it feels pretty good to get these out in the world!

More later.



Mar 24 2014

Use it when you’ve got it


Last week was Herceptin-only, which made it a much easier week, physically speaking. No massive doses of steroids, no Taxol.  A walk in the park, comparatively, although I do get wiped out, now and then.

But having some time during which I’m fairly energetic, I had to put that time on the most urgent things.   About which I’m sure you can guess…

Meanwhile, today back in the chemo suite for the big guns.   With the Taxol, I’ll be okay today, winding down tomorrow, more so on Wednesday and the mostly asleep until Sunday.

I don’t mind the chemo infusions themselves… as you know, I use the stuck-in-one-place time to good effect.

Today, while writing various things, I was listening to Pandora on my earphones  — but pulled ’em out when this gentleman came in:

John P Shannon Jr, soothing the weary chemo patients

JP Shannon Jr, soothing the weary chemo patients


It’s lovely to have some non-TV sounds in the Chemo Suite, and JP has some nice chops.   Instrumental only, and just acoustic, which is pretty much what I’d want while getting chems dumped into my port. I’ve also caught him playing in the more public areas of the hospital, when he uses a very nice amplifier that really makes the tone on that Taylor guitar shine.

As well as the usual instrumental suspects, JP has some unusual choices — for instance,  a version of Paul Simon’s Scarborough Fair/ Canticle that not only uses Simon’s accompaniment (which I always loved playing, because of the interesting fingering that makes the left hand go into this gentle rocking motion between positions), but also includes every sung note of the melody, AND every sung note of the Canticle  descant.   All on one guitar.  This definitely made me sit up and listen!

JP tells me he gets a lot of work at hospitals, nursing homes, recreation centers and the like. Which is what many of my folkie pals from New York did, and still do, to augment the non-existent remuneration of the hot folk music scene.

(And here’s his contact info, should you need to hire an instrumental diversionist in Southern New England:

If pure guitar is not your thing, here’s what Pandora fed me, literally just before John showed up:

One of my Pandora channels is called “Arrogant Worms” because that group served as the seed for the station.   And what did Pandora think was similar to The Arrogant Worms?  Barenaked Ladies, of course, and They Might Be Giants, but also Moxy Fruvous — who Sabine and I first heard at Newport Folk Festival, ages ago.

What is it about those wacky Canadians?




Mar 12 2014

Still here…


Yikes, I just realized that it’s been two weeks since I blogged!

This is not due to me being completely under the weather, do not fear. It’s due to me being partially under the weather, and then trying to use my up-times to get some work done on the ebooks. I would love to get the rest of the Kindle versions out by the end of this month. The epubs are in process, as well, but less speedily…

Meanwhile, I had TH chemo on Monday again. It’s a lot of stuff that goes in.

premeds 03-10-14

And this is just the stuff they use to prep me before  the Taxol and Herceptin, the big guns.


I don’t actually feel bad during the infusion… I just chill out and read and surf the internet, write a bit,  make notes, listen to music.   Thank goodness this hospital has free wifi!    They have TV’s at each infusion station, too, but bleagh.  Daytime TV?  No way.

Sabine’s going to be taking a week’s vacation from me, hooray for her!   She’s had to do a lot.  Our pal Brian is coming on Sunday do fill in for her and be my minion, and Sabine will be basking in sunshine by the sea.   About which I’m jealous, of course.   At least the  weather around here, while still swinging wildly, is hitting some nicer numbers on the upswing.  I try to take a walk for about half an hour, on days when I can.

Meanwhile, hey, I’ve got radioactive blood!  Yesterday they did a MUGA scan (Multi-Gated Acquisition Scan, also known as radionuclide angiography), to test my heart-valve functioning.   They do this every three months in order to track a not-common but possible side-effect of my treatments.  They want to stay on top of it.  I’ll know the results on Monday next.

Naturally, many jokes with the radiology tech person.   I was leaning toward Spider-man, she tending toward the Hulk.   The student in attendance, a young foreign gentleman, was a bit puzzled at us.

The new chemo has a huge dose of steroids to accompany it, but for a shorter period than previously, meaning that I’m moving into a crash-mode right now.  Last time, Wednesday was the hard day for the crash, with other attendant annoyances and pains — so, more to come shortly,  I suppose.  Fortunately, I’m off work, so my calendar is clear…

Minor but annoying side-effects:  I cannot play the guitar!  This because the AC portion of my chemo had a cumulative side-effect of dehydrating my skin so much that no amount of lotion prevented my fingertips from being crazily-sensitive to any kind of friction, and actually sometimes cracking.  I  believe this was exacerbated by all the paper-handling in my day-job, which I was still working at that point.  Also, as a finger-style guitarist, I use my nails to play… and the other common side-effect is that your nails start growing in weird.   And freakishly painful.  Like having a tiny, tight vise on each finger.

That’s starting to diminish now, although the fingernail thing, while hurting less, remains peculiar.   And kind of creepy, with multiple subsurface colorations.

When I signed up for Worldcon in London, I told them I was interested in doing a 20-minute musical performance… I’m hoping I’m back in the musical groove by then, but if I have to back out of that part, it’s not the end of the world.  Heck, I don’t even know yet if they’re going to give me a slot at all.

Meanwhile, my oncologist is still pleased with my progress,  the surgeon’s happy, and I’m just movin’ on down that track toward getting this thing to be gone.

In other news: yes of course I watched Cosmos!   Love Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I thought it was delightful and moving.  And I agree with most reviews I’ve read, that the animated bit about Giordano Bruno ran a bit long… but it did serve as a reminder that there were times in history when disagreeing with religion could get you killed!

Wait, that’s still today, isn’t it?  Depending on where you live, that is.