Heuristic Rotating Header Image

Now live: Genius Loci Kickstarter

That’s right, the long-awaited Kickstarter to fund the Genius Loci anthology is here!

So many fabulous authors, including Seanan McGuire, Chaz Brenchley, Cat Rambo, Ken Liu, (stopping here before I list EVERYONE), and ME. I am utterly utterly utterly thrilled to be part of such an amazing table of contents.

So please take a look, and if it sounds like your kind of thing then consider sponsoring the Kickstarter.

If it’s not your kind of thing, that’s okay too. I don’t actually expect my friends to either all like the same kind of genre stories that I do, or to support something just because I’m in it. (Well, maybe a little…)

#SFWApro

Failure

I bombed a test today. Specifically, my blood test: I haven’t enough platelets or white blood cells, and they sent me home without my poison. I have to go back next week instead, and I’m going to be on a three-week cycle instead of every two weeks.

On the one hand, I get some extra time to recover, and may feel a bit less lousy, and I get today as a holiday. But now I’ll be doing chemo thru mid-May instead of the end of March. Bah.

Tamie pointed out that I’d screwed up last time: I had not completed 4/6 treatments, I had 4/6 left*. I’m not even halfway done yet, and this stretches it out further.

I mean, I appreciate that my doctors would like their cure to not kill me, and I do rather need both platelets and white blood cells for routine life. With my liver still growing back, my body is not processing the chemo drugs as efficiently as it did last year, so I need longer to recover and they’re making me sicker. Just no fun. But if all goes according to plan, then I will never have to do it again.

* Chemo brain: it’s a real thing.

VICTORY

I have submitted five stories today. FIVE. I think that beats my previous monthly total. Not only that, I think I’m caught up: the two still languishing were written in 2011 and aren’t up to my current standards. I either need to completely rewrite them or trunk them.

I am now completely braindead and exhausted.

I was checking out at the grocery store. The undergrad-looking clerk told the guy ahead of me that he was doing a project for class on classic movies. The two of them discussed The Princess Bride and a few other things.

When my turn came, the clerk asked me my favorite movie? I asked if he wanted classic, and he said sure.

Casablanca, no contest.”

“Yeah? What’s that about?”

I looked at him blankly for a moment. “You need to just watch it.”

“That’s pretty old, isn’t it? What about something newer?”

“It’s in black and white, even. But it’s an excellent movie: Humphrey Bogard, Ingrid Bergman.” This time the blank look was his.

I proposed The Usual Suspects as a “newer classic.” He’d at least heard of Kevin Spacey. We discussed The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me, apparently both more his idea of classics, though he hadn’t seen either.

I left him with a parting admonition to watch Casablanca. I wonder if he will.

I came away feeling old, and sincerely hoping that this guy isn’t a film major.

Inbound email

From the Middle District Court, received Monday:

We have received the letter from your doctor and you have been excused. I apologize for the delay in granting this excuse as you are going through alot already.

So there’s that.

Chemo continues to suck. A lot. But I’m 4/6 done!

And I’m making plans to do all the things this summer: planning for Sasquan AND World Fantasy, and some other wonderful things: I hope a trip to Portland for work (I love Portland, and have an excellent friend there), some time at Pennsic, and such.

Just have to get through the next two months, and there will be so many self-rewards.

Even though I haven’t been able to eat, I’ve been interested in food during the latter half of chemo week in the abstract sense. Last time I bought a stack of foodie books on baking, pickling, making bitters (new project!), and such. This time I’ve been ordering spices and garden plants. I’ve been wanting dwarf potted citrus for a few years, and they’re research material for novels even. (No, not going to try to deduct them on my taxes.) A nursery sent me a coupon, and voila! Dwarf citrus will be arriving when it’s warm enough to ship them.

Also a dwarf pomegranate, because it was cute and I’m a sucker.

Nick’s out for the evening, so I’m going to go attempt some more toast. Or maybe miso soup? More liquid is definitely a good idea. If I had gyoza in the freezer I’d throw a couple in. Is tortellini cheating?

Carrying Butterflies

Out today, “Carrying Butterflies,” a short story for your weekend entertainment.

I hope you enjoy it!

#SFWApro

Ta-dah!

After these contacts with the Middle District Court:
one letter mailed from my oncologist;
3 emails from me, detailing progressively more disgusting chemo side effects and progressively stronger ADA requests for reasonable accommodation;
one phone message from me;
(no reply to any of the above)

one phone message from my oncologist;
one fax from my oncologist;
one phone call to my oncologist;

accompanied by assorted voice and email messages between me and oncologist, and a whole lot of complaining on twitter (and it’s really too bad the court doesn’t have a twitter account, or they’d have been SWAMPED with appalled people):

Status: Excused
You are not required to report for jury duty at this time.

WHY WAS THAT SO HARD?

Morning email

Re: Federal jury medical waiver request

As per my oncologist’s letter submitted last week, I am undergoing intravenous chemotherapy for stage IV colon cancer. Since this was not considered sufficient grounds for a medical waiver, I would  appreciate your assistance in making arrangements for the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the courthouse should I be required for jury service, for the provision of the home nurse necessary to monitor the 46-hour continuous infusion of these cytotoxic drugs, and for ready access to bathroom facilities due to the nausea and diarrhea caused by these drugs.

Alternatively, you could inform me of the channels necessary to follow to have the decision on my request for a medical waiver reconsidered.

Thank you,
Sarah Goslee

 

Sorry for the radio silence; the first round of chemo last week was rough, and I spent as much of it asleep as humanly possible. Back to normal this week. Not that “normal” has very many posts in it either.

Onward

A year ago today* I got That Phonecall. You know, the one that nobody wants to get, and that those who have gotten it will never forget, the one that uses words like “malignant.”

It’s been quite a year: nine rounds of chemo, six weeks of radiation, removal of liver and colon and three weeks in the hospital.

I still don’t know how I feel about it.

And how do you celebrate such an anniversary? By meeting with your oncologist, of course.

The year of horrors was very effective. I have no cancer that is detectable by CT scan or blood test. But we’d like to make sure that I have no cancer at all, and the way to do that is more chemo. After running through various options, we decided to repeat what has already worked and do six rounds of FOLFOX, the IV chemo I spent last spring on. There are two other drugs that are used on metastatic colon cancer, avastin and irinotecan, but those are going to be held in reserve just in case. No sense in using all the drugs up front and developing resistance. It’s possible that I have a reservoir of FOLFOX-resistant cancer cells hidden away, but I responded so well to these drugs before that after the surgery and radiation it’s unlikely. And, well, if I do then there are the other drugs available.

I can do this. I did nine rounds already, and know how it works. There’s no longer the frantic air and the panic of last winter. Everything is as under control as it can possibly be. This is prophylactic, not immediately life-saving but a long-term investment. We’re being aggressive now, because I’m determined to have a long term. And chemo isn’t even the hardest thing I did in 2014. Besides, we’d talked once about six months of chemo; three months is considerably less awful.

My oncologist put the orders in while I was there; we’re starting as soon as possible, maybe even next week. I’m healthy enough to get going. Aggressive, remember? And I’d like to get it done and over with so I can spend the summer doing good things.

But it does offer me a dilemma, and one I need to solve quickly. I’m signed up for the Rainforest Writers Retreat in early March. My oncologist has no problem with shuffling dates so that I can go. This is not urgent like last year; moving a week won’t hurt anything. But three rounds in, will I want to travel that much?

I missed so much in 2014, and had so little time to devote to things nonmedical, I’m really longing for this brief escape. But if I’m sick and miserable, it won’t be much of an escape. I will probably cancel for this year, but I’m REALLY REALLY unhappy about it.

I’ve been called for federal jury duty for the entire month of February. I was actually looking forward to seeing how it works, but I think I’d better submit a medical waiver. It seems like “receiving intravenous chemotherapy” is probably an acceptable excuse.

How else does one celebrate such an anniversary? Pillow fort? Dinner out while food is appealing? Drinking heavily? (I haven’t been drinking while my liver grows back, except Christmas, but I’m willing to make an exception here.)

* It was Monday, January 13, 2014. The 13th is tomorrow, but I believe marking this on a Monday is just more appropriate.

Winding down

How to begin the end of 2014:

  • Yoga
  • A few pages of a Guy Gavriel Kay novel
  • Coffee
  • Pie
  • Selling a story

I am pleased that as rough as this year was I could still write something someone wanted to read, and even to pay money for. (Who am I kidding: good year, bad year – always thrilled that someone wants my fiction!)

Details to follow.

Holiday cheer

It’s in the 40s and raining here this Christmas week, which makes it a perfect time for these climate change carols.

But here, have one of my favorite holiday carols to cheer you up:

You’re cheered, right?

Wishing you a lovely holiday of whatever sort, with as few fishmen as possible.