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Week in review

It’s been quite a week.

Monday, I found out that I sold a story to Fireside! I adore Fireside, and they seem to be fond of me as well: this is my third sale to them. It’s my tenth sale, and my fifth pro sale. Eventually I will qualify as a full member of SFWA, though at this rate it will take another decade.

There is a word count requirement, not just number of stories. One longer short story would do it, but I write mostly flash.

Wednesday, when I went in for a port flush, the every-six-weeks giant needle project, the nurse said, “Oh, while I’m doing this I can just draw your quarterly blood samples.”

“Um, sure.” Instant panic: I was planning on doing them later in the month. That gives me more time to fret, but also more time to prepare. Getting bloodwork done is very stressful. But there was no actual reason not to, and it would save me a trip in a couple weeks.

My oncologist is both great and overworked, and released the results to me at 9pm that night. I continue to be healthy, putting me at the four-year mark, or close enough. “Quite encouraging,” as he put it. Waiting for the results is hugely stressful, but at least it’s fast.

On top of this, I am swamped at work. Not end of year stuff, because my year ends in September, but I am buried under not one but two five-year project plans, and various other overdue projects. I’ve worked most of the weekend, barring breaks for long, cold, dog walks.

Me now:

Covered in cats



Oh yeah, I'm at WorldCon. I guess that might be of interest.

I'm on two panels on climate change in fiction, one Thursday and one Saturday. I'm still trying to come up with insightful things to say that don't conflict with my day job (don't ask). Nonetheless, it will be fun. Or depressing. But interesting!

The panels are super-crowded, but the people are great. It's amazing how many people I know in Finland, this week at least. I made it to one panel, but was turned away from another because it was full. I think I've given up on programming that I'm not part of, which is sad.

I'm enjoying Helsinki, now that I'm slightly recovered from travel exhaustion. I did have the interesting experience of grocery shopping in a country where I know exactly one word, while jetlagged and exhausted. (My lodging has a kitchen, which is the best.) I found the smoked salmon readily, but I ended up standing in the dairy section googling Finnish names for dairy products trying to figure out which was which. I managed to buy lactose-free cheese, because I selected it solely based on appearance, but it tastes yummy so no harm.

It is unlikely to surprise _anyone_ that I went to the botanical garden before even visiting the con. Lovely!

If you are at the con, please say hi! Ping me on twitter or just say hello if you see me.


The bus may be backing up

Waiting on a more official outlet, but this statement on the World Fantasy Convention 2015 Facebook group looks promising.


(Screenshot taken just now.)

Carrying Butterflies

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

I hope you enjoy it!



So, NOTHING DEFINITE, but, from the iPad of the Sarah:

“Rumors of possibilities of hints that perhaps it might not be impossible to go home today, or perhaps tomorrow, unless the tantalizing bits and bobs really refer to something else altogether.”



Best-Laid Plans

The surgery went great, they got all the cancer out of me, the incision is pretty well healed, and I’ve even gotten half the staples pulled.

And yet, I’m still in the hospital, festooned with drains and on the kind of floor where they check on you every two hours all night.

First there was the vomiting and the N-G tube. Then there was the utterly miserable experience of having a drain installed by people who didn’t do the drugs correctly. Then there was the other drain, put in by a team who didn’t do so badly with the drugs (though nowhere near what I wanted), but absolutely had to put the drain in thru my right butt cheek, thereby eliminating any possible comfortable position. And that’s completely skipping over the potassium wars, the pain med debates, and so many other fun things.

I have some sort of as-yet-identified infection. It’s small: my white blood cell counts are normal, etc, but I’m running a fever. Me and my cancer-free self will be going home as soon as they finish culturing the sample so they can be certain of having the best antibiotic for the job, and when I no longer have a fever.

My role in this is to sleep a lot, walk around regularly (and I finally have permission to go to the bathroom by myself!), and eat a lot, by which I mean nasty grape protein supplements, nasty vanilla general supplements, and meals that vaguely resemble food (I’ve been eating a lot of mashed potatoes).

I’m incredibly tired of being here. Incredibly. But if i leave too early and end up back here, that would just be so much worse.

And hey, no known cancer. I’ll deal with the rest of it.


Ladies and gentlemen, our girl has gotten up and gone for a walk.


And MORE email!

Sarah is not only emailing me, she has enough energy to grumble about things that annoy her! Yay, grumbly girl!



Stoned Sarah

Sarah has a clicky button for Dilaudid. Sarah is dozing.

We’re with her in the PACU. They’re getting ready to move her into her room. This will be her one-night  room, because the first night after major surgery they want her in the higher care level room, in the, um, SCU, I think.

Then tomorrow they’ll move her to the room where she’ll be for the next week or so, until they discharge her back into the care of her doctor kittens and Nurse Boxer.



And, done with Phase Three

Sarah is still in the operating theatre while they clean her up and get her ready to move to post-op, but all the surgery is done, and very successfully, no complications, and not even any required transfusions.  It will probably be a couple hours, or close to it, before we get to see her, but the day’s heavy lifting is all done.

Both sets of surgeons are very happy with their results, and with her health and her reaction to the procedures.

We don’t know yet EXACTLY how long it will be before she can go home, or when she will hit the various milestones, but everything looks good.

–  Nick