July 13th, 2010


[links] Link salad got feet down below its knees

Historians locate King Arthur's Round TableHistorians claim to have finally located the site of King Arthur’s Round Table – and believe it could have seated 1,000 people. "Number seven Buddha's delight special for 1,000, and make it snappy."

SMBC with more on gay engineers — :: laughing ::

The Amazingness of Instant — Scott Adams with a take on the iPad.

The Detroit 1905 — Look! It's a railroad on a boat! I've always been fascinated by mutlimodal transportation.

A visit to the Real Doll factory — Not work safe, not brain safe. But fricking fascinating. Really. You have been warned. (Via danjite.)

Rocket Propelled Chainsaw — For when the zombies are just too much. (Via David Goldman.)

Antimatter deep underground may be key to predicting quakes — Big science, weird stuff edition, from io9.com.

Why Our Universe Must Have Been Born Inside a Black HoleA small change to the theory of gravity implies that our universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born. Weird science for all you skiffy types.

Conservative Women's Groups Mum On Vitter Scandal — More of that famed principled consistency, I see.

Republicans Just Don't Like the Unemployed, Cont'd — Anybody who thinks people choose to live on unemployment rather than work has no idea what it means to be poor, or how far unemployment compensation (doesn't) go toward meeting even minimal monthly commitments for anyone with a roof over their head. This is conservative idiocy of the rankest order, thinking with their ideology to the absolute exclusion to any, you know, facts.

Mobutu Sese Seko on Terry SavageThis is the great turd in the conservative work-ethic punchbowl—that as much as we like to ignore class in this country, it works with a particularly effective determinism in the vast majority of cases. If you are born middle class, you will likely be middle class. If you are born in poverty, you will likely die there.

?otD: Got toejam football?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (4,200 new words)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (decent)
This morning's weigh-in: 233.0
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 2/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert


[writing] Project updates

4,200 words on the Sekrit Projekt yesterday, to 17,600. Not bad for a week's work. I should wrap it today unless the story wants to be meaningfully longer than the projected wordcount.

Tomorrow or Thursday I will start in on extensive edits to Endurance, which I have about four weeks to complete, before I hie off to New Zealand and Australia. There will be minor interruptions for Sekrit Projekt revisions and a few related WRPA tasks, but essentially I'll be on the novel every day until it is done and turned in.

Also on the burner, post-Endurance:
  • Finalize Kalimpura outline, turn in for editorial review

  • Revisions to "The Stars Do Not Lie" (steampunk lost colony religious novella), get out to market

  • Write short stories which have been bugging me, including the Sunspin short that is a riff on I Am Legend, the zombie-cancer apocalyptic horror story (with shelly_rae) and the cancer-as-a-hobby SF story.

  • First draft of Kalimpura

That should keep me busy through the end of October, at least. After that... Sunspin. And somewhere in the middle of Sunspin, a break for Kalimpura revisions.

All of the above assumes I remain out of the clutches of the medical establishment, of course. I've already lost about three months of this year's writing schedule to cancer and chemotherapy, which in the final analysis is probably what I resent most about the whole process. If I lived to be 112, I wouldn't have time to write everything I want. It would be damned embarrassing to die in my 40s, and I would feel so terribly short-changed.


[cancer] Hand, hand, fingers, thumb

My oncologist had warned me that even as I was recovering, my peripheral neuropathy might get worse. Apparently the nerve damage associated with PN is slow to occur, and slower to heal. As in, something between years and lifetime, for some patients.

My cold sensitivity has mildly improved, which is a related issue. I no longer get the bone-in-throat sense of choking from foods or fluids at refrigerator temperatures. Ice cream and other freezer temperature foods are still very difficult, mostly because my back teeth and lower jaw still retain their painful sensitivity. In other words, I can consume cold foods if I don't have to masticate them with my molars. Thankfully, my overall ability to taste has largely (but not fully) returned, and my mouth sensitivity is receding rapidly.

Likewise, my sense of my core temperature is improving a bit. My body simply doesn't feel as cold, and I'm starting to notice when I'm warm. My feet have not improved, but neither have they worsened. Still cold and numb, still have a bit of trouble balancing and walking.

But my hands. Ah, my hands. They have continued to degrade. The sense of being freezing cold is very nearly constant, unless I have them under running hot water. My fine motor control has gotten fairly poor. I make an incredible number of typos from simply not hitting the key I intended. I have to try two or three times to dial telephone numbers, especially conference calls with entry codes, because my finger doesn't hit the right phone buttons. I click on the wrong icons on both the Mac and the PC, launching unwanted applications because my mouse control is increasingly lousy. Also finger and hand strength has faded, a lot. I can no longer open jars except with significant difficulty, nor can I manage flip-tops on toothpaste and lotion tubes.

I'm still typing, which is the most critical thing, but this loss of hand functionality is starting to make me batty. Everything else is either holding the line or improving, but hands are going to hell in their own private handbasket. And it's damned icy there.


[writing] "The Bull Dancers" wrapped in first draft

Wrapped the Sekrit Projekt (a/k/a "The Bull Dancers") today at 21,600 words. That's 4,000 new words over a couple of hours. Most of that writing took place at the Fireside Writers Group (which meets at Fat Straw on SE Hawthorne since the Fireside went out of business). That's the first time in about two months that I've made it in, so it felt very fun and apropos to finish this first draft. I feel very accomplished.

I'll do some light revisions tomorrow, then send it off to first readers and whatnot. Then either tomorrow or Thursday I'll start digging into change notes on Endurance from casacorona and arcaedia. I've got a little over four weeks to get that done.

Ah, writing. I love being back in the game.