Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer|writing] Matters literary about which I have been thinking

As mentioned before, I'm not terminal now, and nobody expects to see me go terminal in the next 12 months. However, both my regular OHSU team and the specialists at Johns Hopkins whom I saw for a second opinion are confident (without certainty) that the disease will probably recur repeatedly until we reach a point where our treatment options run out. In other words, my assessment of a lifespan of two to four years continues to hold up, though with considerable wriggle room to be wrong by a year or two or more.

One of the reasonably possible paths forward is for the metastatic pattern to become more persistent. That is to say, I may present new tumors while on the forthcoming chemotherapy course, or in a fairly short time window after this chemotherapy course. Should that be the case, it's conceivable I'll never be of fully sound mind and energetic health again in my life.

To that end, I've been working through a number of issues on estate planning, literary executorship and so forth with respect to the progress of my cancer. Mother of the Child and I are meeting with our attorney today to revise and update my will, making some estate planning changes around my intellectual property assets. Chiefly copyright, but I am in fact a patent holder (through work-for-hire) and there are a few other angles. There are also some asset disposition issues with respect to [info]the_child as primary heir to my copyrights.

I spent two hours in flight yesterday reviewing among other things my letter to my literary executors, which is to say, instructions for how to proceed with my literary estate upon the occasion of my death. At some point, I'll post that here online for those interested in understanding the sorts of questions that emerge in a process like this. This was in response to a number of issues raised by my agent Jennifer Jackson during our discussions at Worldcon in Chicago.

In that same block of time I also reviewed the Deed of Gift Agreement with the Special Collections holdings of the library at Northern Illinois University. Hugo Award winning author and podcaster Lynne M. Thomas at that institution has been spearheading a program to gather the literary archives of younger and mid list genre writers with the goal of establishing a long term resource for criticism and scholarship. I verbally committed my archives to Lynne some years ago, but have been dilatory about actually signing off the required documents and arranging for the transfer of material I am currently prepared to part with. Likewise this was in response to meeting with her at Worldcon, where she told me that my own estate planning was being viewed as something of a test case due to my heavy reliance on electronic media for archival material, correspondence, etc. This has led to a number of questions and issues which needed to be addressed in the Agreement between our parties, and also flowed back into my letter to my literary executors.. I won't be posting this online, as it is a contract to which I am only one party, but I may at some point be able secure permission to post key excerpts.

This is neither dire nor morbid work, merely me thinking through some key issues now, while I am of indisputably sound mind, so that if and when end of life and posthumous planning becomes important, I will not have to deal with it at that time.

Of course, in parallel, I am looking at treatment options, disability options, financial planning with respect to my ongoing, ordinary financial life, and so forth. I will be commenting on these and much more as time goes by.

If you have questions, general or specific, please feel free to ask.

Tags: cancer, child, family, health, publishing, writing

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