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[personal] My year in review

I don’t really have the heart or the energy to do a full year in review. So here’s how 2012 feels to me in retrospect:

cancer cancer cancer
writing cancer birthday
lisa cancer jersery girl
cancer ace jordyn writing
cancer cancer lisa
cancer writing cancer
cancer child cancer
cancer cancer cancer

As far as it goes, I’ve got two different 2012 novellas coming out in two different forthcoming Year’s Best volumes, and I won an Audie this past year, and some other good stuff. Especially the sharp improvements in my personal life. So 2012 was not a wipe out, just very hard and frustrating.

Unfortunately, 2013 will almost certainly be a much worse and harder year than 2012, for cancer and related reasons.

So cancer cancer cancer redux.

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[personal] What I am thankful for

I am thankful to still be alive after four and half years of Stage 4 colon cancer with multiple metastases.

I am also thankful to still be relatively healthy even with these challenges.

I am thankful that I live in a time, place and milieu of social and economic privilege where that survival has even been possible.

I am thankful that I continue to see my daughter grow into a smart, capable, competent young woman.

I am thankful for her recent personal and academic growth, which has show her she can be successful no matter what.

I am thankful for the love of my family, for Lisa Costello and Ace Jordyn and Jersey Girl in Portland, and all my friends and loved ones from here to the far side of the world.

I am thankful for my writing career, for the opportunity to have written and be read, and for whatever lies ahead, regardless of its trajectory.

I am thankful for my job, and the supportive employer, manager and co-workers who have helped me stay economically stable and under full health insurance coverage all this time. They have often gone beyond the bounds of either duty or responsibility in the name of friendship and support.

I am thankful for all of you reading here, both those who remain silent and those who engage me in comments, via email or in person. Apparently I need an audience, and I am thankful that I seem to be entertaining and interesting enough to build and keep that audience.

Most of all, I am thankful for long and wonderful life I’ve already led. Regardless of where cancer and time’s relentless decay may take me in the future, that past and present belong to me, and they are a gift I will cherish always.

What are you thankful for? (Feel free to post a link if you’ve answered that question elsewhere.)

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[books] Shanghai Steam

There’s a book being released at World Fantasy Convention this year called Shanghai Steam. Basically, these stories are a fusion of steampunk and wuxia (Chinese historical epics with a heavy emphasis on martial arts). It’s from Absolute X Press, edited by Ace Jordyn, Calvin Jim and RenĂ©e Bennett, with stories from a whole range of writers including my friends Camille Alexa and Amanda Clark. I mention this here because I wrote the introduction for the project.

If you’re going to be at World Fantasy, they’re having a release party, and they’ll be at the EDGE Press booth. Check it out.


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[travel] Going home

Leaving Omaha today. Heading back to Portland. I’ll see [info]the_child this afternoon, and Lisa Costello. Ace Jordyn has gone back to her home as well, so I shan’t see her for a while.

But home.

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[cancer] Chemo session three, day three

Yesterday was mostly taken up by my family having the October babies birthday party at Nuevo Rancho Lake while I was on the pump. Pretty much everybody was here. The birthday kids were [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister), Dad and [info]the_child. Also in attendance were me, Mother of the Child, the Niece, [info]tillyjane a/k/a my Mom, my (step)Mom, my brother via Skype, [info]mlerules, Lisa Costello and Ace Jordyn. Team E— also put in an appearance.

Today, I get off the needle.

And the photos… Read the rest of this entry »

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[cancer] Chemo session three, days one and two

Yesterday was day one of chemo session three.

[info]mlerules took this photo of me and Lisa Costello.

Jay and Lisa at chemo

Lisa Costello and [info] mlerules as seen from my chair.

Ace Jordyn was there as well. So were my dad and (step)mom and [info]tillyjane a/k/a my mom. People came and went, brought food, offered logistical support and rides.

Today I am low and slow, on the pump. Lisa Costello and [info] mlerules are off scoring me a new dryer as I write this. The family birthday party for all the October babies is at my house this afternoon. Tomorrow I am off the pump. Monday, off to Omaha.

Life, as always, goes on. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Photos © 2012 E. Siskin and Joseph E. Lake, Jr. Used with permission.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[personal] Lisa arrives today

My sweetie Lisa Costello arrives in Portland today, thanks to the good offices of my best buddy [info]kenscholes helping her haul herself across the country.

Here’s their trip, in three and a half days:


I am so terribly pleased. Ace Jordyn likewise. And pretty much everyone else around here as well.

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[food|personal] Doing stuff with the people who love me

To celebrate the return of Jersey Girl in Portland from her German sojourn, we had an eggs Benedict brunch yesterday at Nuevo Rancho Lake.

Jersey Girl her own sweet self

Ace Jordyn made a Miracle Whip chocolate cake (no, I’m not sure why, either). I roasted Yukon gold potatoes in peanut oil and bacon grease with loads of coarse salt, paprika and black pepper. [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my mom) made a fabulous Hollandaise sauce, with tons and tons of lemon juice therein.

Ace and Tillyjane cooking

[info]mlerules brought a marvelous fruit salad. Team E— and the [info]the_child helped cook and prep. Ace Jordyn poached the eggs in a water-filled skillet (a talent that baffles me). Canadian bacon and English muffins were pan fried. Mother of the Child joined us for some eggs Florentine. We ate like happy, happy pigs.

A partial gallery of rogues

Good god, it was good.

In other news, I put [info]kenscholes on a plane yesterday morning to fly east and meet Lisa Costello. She has successfully retrieved him and they are on their way west for her big move to our fair PDX. They should be here sometime late Thursday. Just in time for another chemotherapy session, whoo!

Also, Lisa Costello and Jersey Girl in Portland will be house hunting soon. Life is slowly setting in to whatever its pattern will be for a while n this chemo series. I am lucky in my friends.

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos] Watching the Vaux’s Swifts at Chapman School

Yesterday, [info]the_child, Ace Jordyn and I met Team E— at the Chapman School to watch the Vaux’s Swifts come home to their chimney.

It was fun to see. Hundreds of people turned out to watch. Our show was abetted by a hunting merlin that made an appearance near the end of the evening looking for dinner on the wing.

Ace Jordyn and [info]the_child

The female half of team E‐

The male half of team E‐

Me, after dozing on the blanket

Vaux’s Swifts circling the chimney — you cannot tell from this photo, but there were thousands

Full moon rising

A short video of the swifts

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and B. Lake.

The current photo series is from my ‘favorites’ file, hence the dates jumping about

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and B. Lake is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos|cancer] Sewing more bells

Ace Jordyn and [info]the_child sew more bells last night.

Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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