December 31st, 2010


[links] Link salad looks back

The Portal with a review of "From the Countries of Her Dreams" — By me and calendula_witch, in the Green continuity.

Perceptions — A fascinating, difficult blog about being nonneurotypical. (Via SL.)

A Pioneering Interstellar Text — Early, serious thought about interstellar flight, Yesterday's tomorrows, mmmm.

English Version Manchukuo Temporary Government Official Website — Ah, the things one finds doing research. East Asian monarchical revanchism.

Shocker: Obama to give America back to IndiansA secret U.N. plot revealed: First, they'll take Manhattan. More intellectual leadership from the American Right. Though the article does make a terrific point about strict Constitutionalism. Also why don't Scalia-style Constitutional originalists ever insist that America honor its various broken treaties with all the Indians whose lands we stole as we systematically removed and massacred them? I know that would entail giving them back the entirety of Oklahoma, among lots of other amusing things, but the supremacy of treaties is in the damn Constitution! Although I guess Article Six, with its federal supremacy clause and its no religious test talk, has always been the article that right-wingers are not particularly enthusiastic about. Being a Constitutional fundamentalist is a lot like being a Biblical fundamentalist. You justify whatever you want by appeal to the inviolate Revealed Word, and ignore the parts you don't like. That very inconsistency defeats the philosophical basis of their own position, every single time. (Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars.)

?otD: What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (Sunspin outline development)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 248.8
Currently reading: Between books


[personal|cancer] The cost of living, or at least not dying

I want to say a few words about the recent ending of the relationship between me and calendula_witch. We have parted ways for reasons that are highly appropriate to her life needs, and which I understand, regardless of my own feelings on the matter. Our bridges are not burned, and in time as I process my reactions, I fully expect to find a way back to the strong friendship that has always characterized our connection. Anything more than that is not mine to publicly discuss.

What is mine to publicly discuss is how my cancer journey has inflected this process. calendula_witch stood by me steadfastly through every minute of the journey of diagnosis, surgery, chemo and more surgery that consumed us between May of 2009 and my emergence from recovery in October of 2010. Her love and support were profoundly sustaining.

But another cost of the cancer, to me, was that I was largely checked out mentally, emotionally and socially from the relationship between November of 2009 (the lung surgery) and October of 2010 (recovery from the liver surgery), and most especially from February to August of 2010 (as the chemo side effects grew, peaked, then tapered off). There were eleven months of her emotional and life transitions that I was essentially not present for.

I don't think for a moment that the cancer caused her to break up with me. Her reasons for leaving me aren't about cancer, or even very much about me at the root. What I do believe, with a sad and enveloping passion, is that had I been mentally and emotionally available over the past year, our relationship might have survived this passage. It might just as well not have, but thanks to cancer and its treatments, we never got the chance to even try to cope or make adjustments until far too late.

In my heart, I will probably always believe that cancer cost me the opportunity to keep this relationship intact. After a year of incredibly high prices paid, deep pain and suffering, losing my connection with calendula_witch is the highest price of all. This is the metastasis of the heart.

Just another damned cost of cancer. I'm still alive, but this outcome is so far from anything I would ever have chosen.

[comments on but moderated for privacy]


[writing] SUNSPIN outline, version one

Well, the first version of the Sunspin outline is done. 95 pages, 20,900 words, and it's the first outline I've ever written that required a table of contents.

Weird. Very weird.

There's some notable issues, including the fact that I know I whiffed the ending of the cycle, but it's here, and I think it's solid. About to inflict this on some first readers. I know it's a lot to ask.

I'm solid enough on the opening that I may begin drafting even before I've revised the outline. We'll see. For now, I'm not going to worry about that.



[memes] Ten Things I've Done That You (Probably) Haven't

Pace John Scalzi and Mary Robinette Kowal, here are ten things I've done that you (probably) haven't.

  • Been thrashed by Amy Carter in croquet

  • Climbed down inside a classical Greek tomb through a hole in the ground

  • Held a lion cub in my arms

  • Flown deep into the Gobi Desert aboard an Antonov-17 (not the most frightening flight of my life, amazingly enough)

  • Flooded a moving car with raw sewage

  • Wrote a hot check to a recently-paroled murderer

  • Asked a truckload of heavily armed men in a Third World country for directions, well after midnight on a very lonely road, and not woken up later in a shallow grave

  • Been bitten by a pig

  • Eaten live eel soup

  • Walked on the Arctic ice

  • Fought a fatal porn fire

  • Been sent home from the hospital with a piece of my own colon in formaldehyde

Ok, so that was twelve. I couldn't figure out which one of my favorites to cut...

What are some of the weirdest or most unusual things you've done?


[personal|writing] My 2010 Year in Review

2010 has been a very difficult year for me, but it's also been a very accomplished year. The ironies of this are not lost upon me. And frankly, the leading indicators for 2011 are not much improved. We shall see.


Pinion from Tor Books
The Specific Gravity of Grief from Fairwood Press
The Baby Killers from PS Publishing
The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press

Short Fiction

In short fiction, I had about twenty-five appearances, one jointly authored with Ken Scholes, several more with Shannon Page.

Other Activities

I was nominated for an Airship Award for the Mainspring cycle, sold French and German rights to various of my books, and edited METAtropolis: Cascadia,'s followup to the highly successful METAtropolis audiobook.

I attended Rainforest Writers' Village, Cascade Writers, New Zealand's National Convention, Worldcon in Australia, Orycon and Steamcon.

Submissions and Sales

43 new fiction submissions in total
    22 sales, several with Shannon Page
    12 rejections

19 reprint submissions in total
    11 reprint sales
    18 reprint rejections

Writing Statistics

226,200 words of first draft (Kalimpura, twelve short stories, outlines to Kalimpura and Sunspin, several nonfiction items)

Revisions to Endurance

Approximately 1,000 blog posts

Personal Life

All of this while recovering from lung surgery, undergoing six months of chemotherapy, experiencing and recovering from liver surgery, holding down a full-time job, parenting, and spending the last three months of the year watching my primary relationship erode and vanish. So while the writing held up remarkably well (I accomplished more in 2010 than in 2009), the rest of the year sucked rocks and is totally fired.

Also, don't ever talk to me about not finding the time to write.