Heuristic Rotating Header Image

Guess what?

Still no cancer here!

CEA as of today: 2.3. Less than 5 is normal.

I’m normal!

Stories and panels

Look! It exists!

At long last, an author copy of Genius Loci arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Hooray!

Genius Loci anthology cover

I’m thrilled to be appearing in a ToC with so many great writers.

Speaking of ToCs, I have sold a second story to Fireside Fiction. Unlike the last one, this one is completely fictional. It also contains one of my favorite images to date, but you’ll just have to wait to find out what that is. I will let you know when it will be available when I know.

I have my schedule for Confluence, in Pittsburgh on July 29-31. Saladin Ahmed is Guest of Honor, and I expect it to be a great deal of fun. I’ll be a busy human, with four panels and a Kaffeeklatsch. I’m doing the latter with Chet Gottfried again, because we had fun last year. I expect there will once again be plenty of cookies.

Saturday, July 30
12pm Medicine in Fantasy
1pm Kaffeeklatsch: Favorite fictional catastrophes
4pm Fantasy Costuming
6pm Arabian Fantasy
7pm Mapping the Fantastic

Whew! If you see me, say hi and provide caffeine and snacks, since I won’t have time for meals. Or just say hi: treats not actually required or expected.


I can’t even

This is… surreal.


Critter posts properly go on Stringpage, but that apparently isn’t as fixed as I thought it was, so.

The velocikittenraptors are three today, and thus properly and thoroughly velocicatraptors.

pair of sleeping sister-cats

They still attain a decent velocity, especially at 3am, but not as often as they once did, and they no longer squeak at exactly the Jurassic World velociraptor pitch, but being velocicatraptors suits them.

snuggling Cawti cat

May they have many more years of sunbeams and tummy rubs.

Norathar cat in a sunbeam

Every so often

Let me quote my oncologist:

I reviewed your CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis done on 3/28/2016, it shows no new suspicious findings, no evidence of recurrence of cancer noted and it is quite encouraging good result.

I’m starting to think I might actually pull this off. I’ve had no evidence of disease for 18 months, and have made it to 26 months after diagnosis. The magic number is 60 months: at that point the doctors shrug and admit they have no idea what happens next. I’m well on my way there!

Whatever else happens, I get to do all the things I’m planning for this spring and summer. Can anyone say Hamilton?


Guess what?!? The March issue of Fireside Fiction is out early, and you can read “The Kingfisher Manifesto” right now!

Fireside is a good outfit, and I’d like it if you subscribed, joined their Patreon, or whatever, so they can keep paying writers and artists.


This SMBC nearly illustrates a story of mine.


If you haven’t read Two Kilograms (my least-favorite title but most popular story), it’s available here, or as a podcast, or in Polish.

Sorry I don’t have much else in the way of news, unless you want to hear the gory details of rectangular and non-rectangular hyperbolas with temperature correct. And trust me, you don’t.

My life right now is clearly illustrated by my intent to leave early today to take full advantage of the long weekend. Instead, it’s 7:21 and I’m still at work, waiting on the last bit of computer code to finish running so I can look at my hyperbolas.


I have so many essays half-finished (or, really, rather less than half), but this is too important to wait for me to find my motivation.

As of yesterday, my CEA was 1.8.

That is, NORMAL.

No blood marker for cancer here!!!!



Snow fell in rainbows, braided swirls of red and orange, indigo and violet, tiny colored crystals glinting in the wind. Where each flake hit the street, it drilled a smoking pinprick hole through the pavement. The trees were tattered, branches ragged and splintering. Miniature geysers marked the path of an unshielded water main. Anika had spotted a squirrel outside as the blizzard began, scampering toward safety. She’d watched it dissolve from behind a double thickness of glass; she wasn’t going outside any time soon. She’d never realized squirrels could scream like that.

Anika wrapped her hands around a mug of cocoa, its heat doing little to relieve her chill. A memory of catching snowflakes on her tongue rose in her mind, a relic of times when snow was white and fluffy, and melted only into water. Sledding, forts, snowmen.

Anika clutched her mug and watched the rainbow snow endlessly falling.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written any word-count flash. This one is exactly 150 words according to Scrivener. Maybe it will make you all feel better about the snow you are getting, if you are.


I started this for twitter, but it turned out to be too long. I kept the format, though.

Two years ago this week I was in the midst of all sorts of invasive and terrifying tests, resulting in a diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer.
I was 43. I didn’t think I would have two years.
After chemo, radiation, surgery, and more chemo, I appear to be healthy.
Last spring, my mother died of cancer after a 15-year respite. The last time I saw her was when she helped me post-surgery.
She died while I was hooked to the chemo pump. Her memorial was a week and a half later, when I was recovered enough to manage it.
I drove home on Sunday, and started the next chemo session on Monday.
I already knew this week was going to be complicated. I’m thrilled I got two years, and probably more.
I’m sad my mother can’t celebrate with me, and I with her. “Sad” seems such a short and inadequate word.
I’m angry that I had to endure this at all.
I started the day by checking twitter at 4am and discovering David Bowie had died. He knew he was dying, he’d known for 18 months.
David Bowie chose to spend that time making his last album. He knew what he was doing, and he did it the way he wanted to.
I’ve had six more months than he did.
I don’t know whether to go back to bed, or to work my ass off.