October 21st, 2011

a-links

[links] Link salad reaches the end of a tiring week

A reader reacts to Green — Somewhat with the liking.

Anthologizing: The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities — A review with kind words about my story therein.

Subterranean Chronicles — A cool new Web comic.

IQ changes in teens as brain changes, study finds — Heh. Anybody with a teen in the house could have told you this.

Old American theory is ‘speared’An ancient bone with a projectile point lodged within it appears to up-end – once and for all – a long-held idea of how the Americas were first populated. I don’t pretend to understand the politics of Clovis vs pre-Clovis North American anthropology, but I know they’ve been weird for years.

Worm Offspring Inherit Longevity Even without the GenesWorms given life-span-enhancing mutations produce offspring that lack the responsible genes but live longer anyway. Welcome to epigenetics.

A skeptical physicist ends up confirming climate data — Oops. A Koch-sponsored study seeking to overturn climate change data confirms it. Darn those facts biased against the conservative position. (Via [info]danjite.)

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world — The real Illuminati. (Via [info]danjite.)

Misportraying the Occupy Wall Street Protesters — Some Democratic political idiocy for a change. Tools.

Occupy Wall Street Demographic Survey Results Will Surprise You

Cain: ‘If You Don’t Have A Job And You Are Not Rich, Blame Yourself!’ — Ah, compassionate conservatism. It’s views like this that ensure I’ll never be a conservative. I believe in compassion and opportunity, unlike citizen Cain and the millions in the GOP base who applaud sentiments like this. Are you proud of your Republican party?

The orange standard — Sheer political lunacy of a delightful sort. Paging Herman “9-9-9″ Cain to the produce section. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

‘They’ve turned the world inside out’ — Some sobering analysis of Republican obstructionism on the president’s jobs bill. The saddest part is how routine this insanity has become.

?otD: What’s on your Friday plate?


10/21/2011
Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (some WRPA despite chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 216.2
Currently reading: Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

sanguine-truck

[personal] Dreaming of transformation, and transitions

I had a series of linked dreams last night involving transformative magic. There was a lot of mind-of-Jay metaphor with old pickup trucks in the woods, and open bags of Oreos, as well as search-and-rescue teams in New Mexico, but I knew what it meant. Which is amusing, given my own hard-headed empiricism when it comes to New Age topics and such like. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say someone out there was performing a Working for me.

At any rate, I woke feeling a bit better about things than I have the past few days. It seems odd to take comfort from something I don’t believe in to start with, especially through the fragmented lens of dreaming, but there you have it.

Back in the waking world, [info]the_child turns fourteen tomorrow. Her kid party is tonight, including a trip to Fright Town for her and some of her friends. She’s got a Halloween party to go to tomorrow on her actual birthday. Sunday is her family party.

So I dream of pickup trucks while my daughter turns her personal odometer. Life does go on.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

cancer-do-not-want

[cancer|writing] And inexorably, ever more is stolen from me

I spent much of yesterday being angry and depressed. A whole host of frustrations are simply my daily lot here in cancerland, but this week’s been a bit extra cruel.

A couple of days ago, I posted about hitting the wall [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. That’s a transition point I’ve been expecting for a while, and in fact I got some extra time that I didn’t expect, to be productive on Little Dog and some other, smaller projects.

Still, hitting the wall means Sunspin is definitely sidelined until early 2012. This in turn has implications for when I can go to market, when the book might be contracted, whether I’ll have a trade book out in 2013 (2012 will see Kalimpura in print), whether I’ll have the money for an active con schedule in 2012 (probably not). In other words, I will stumble over a whole basket of career and financial consequences for not being able to get the book trimmed up and out the door this fall as originally planned. That’s been in the wind for a while, so it’s not exactly a shock, but I’m definitely disappointed, frustrated and daunted.

Then yesterday Viable Paradise and I came to a regretful parting of the ways. The workshop needs to confirm instructor availability about ten months in advance, for planning purposes. There’s at least even odds I’ll be in treatment again next year. Given my four month scan-and-hold cycle, even if I end this chemo cycle clear, I can’t firmly commit anything to anyone more than four months out. So having missed being an instructor this year due to this metastasis, I’m now out for the indefinite future. Even if I stay clean for the time being, it will be five years before I can commit to long range plans without the ever-present caveat about me possibly going back into treatment.

I am bitterly disappointed about this. Not at the VP folks, they need to run the workshop with some stability, and I’m completely on board with their reasoning. But I am disappointed with myself. Just as cancer has stolen so much from me emotionally and socially, just as cancer has stolen almost half my writing time these past two years, just as cancer has stolen my Sunspin deadlines, now cancer has stolen an instructing gig I was very excited about and highly committed to. Maybe in five years I can try again if I’m still alive, but I wanted to do it now, at this time in my life, at this point in my career.

I’ve realized that my most basic problem is that I still think of myself as a healthy person. My self-image is that of someone whose life permits him to make long-range plans and keep commitments. That hasn’t been true for over three and a half years now, but I have not internalized myself as the sick man that I very demonstrably am. That the world keeps forcefully reminding me I am by stripping me of opportunities.

In it’s way, that’s an odd form of privilege. The fact that I can even hold the illusion of being normal and healthy is a function of the way cancer works. If I had any number of other major diseases, I wouldn’t have the hope of respite to keep touching back on.

On top of that (or perhaps underneath), I’ve really lost my optimism this year. I made it through the first two cancers convinced everything was going to turn out fine. I don’t believe that any more. Not down in my bones. These days I’m pretty sure I’m going to die of this in the next few years. The things I aspire to, the things I’ve worked hard for, the things I’ve wanted to do — they’re being taken away, piece by piece.

Cancer is a fucking thief. It starts and ends with stealing the heart out of me. Along the way it steals my love life, my writing career, my daughter’s childhood and everything else it can get its bloody hands on.

Take care of yourselves. Do the preventative things you can do for your lifestyle, your genetic history, your age cohort. Trust me, you never want to go down this road.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.