[conventions|photos] My day one of the Nebula Awards Weekend
Yesterday, Jersey Girl in Portland flew down to San Jose. We ran into Richard Lovett on the plane, and shared a cab to the convention hotel. Once there, the afternoon became a blur of old friends and new that I couldn’t possibly do a sane job of listing. At the author signing, I was seated between John Scalzi and Joe Haldeman, with Connie Willis and Stephen Gould on the far end, safely out of range from me. Signing was busy and a lot of fun
DNA transfer between myself and John Scalzi
After the signing, Jersey Girl and I went to dinner with C.E. Petit, Catherine Shaffer, and the Locus crew, led by the indomitable Liza Trombi, along with Francesca Myman, Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw.
DNA transfer between myself and Francesca Myman of Locus while Catherine Shaffer looks on approvingly in the background
Post-dinner, we hit the reception at which the Nebula nominee certificates and pins are handed out, along with drinks and photography. It was fun to stand with Aliette de Bodard, Ken Liu and Lawrence Schoen. We were only missing Nancy Kress. And I am in awe of both Aliette and Ken for their across the board strength on the award ballots this year.
(Most of) the Best Novella ballot lining up to be photographed for the later restraining order
Eventually I retired early for a crappy night’s sleep.
Today my parents show up, as does my aunt and uncle, as does the_child. My profound thanks to Crystal Black for making her trip possible. Plus a ton more friends.
Tomorrow, I am off to Rio Hondo at the crack of doom.
Photos © 2013 N. Schaadt. All rights reserved, reproduced with permission. As usual, more at the Flickr set.
Posted: 6:33 am Sat May 18 2013 | Comments(41) |
[writing|travel] Off to the Nebs, then Rio Hondo
Yesterday Lisa Costello departed for New Mexico, where she is attending a conference in Santa Fe. This morning, Jersey Girl in Portland and I skedaddle to San Jose for SFWA’s Nebula Awards Weekend. My Dad and (step)Mom will be there tomorrow, as will my Aunt B— and Uncle L— from Texas. the_child also flies down to San Jose tomorrow to attend the Nebula Awards banquet and ceremony with the able assistance of Crystal Black.
I’ll do some socializing and maybe some business whilst in San Jose, then I’ll have the fun of watching myself lose the Nebula. Let’s put it this way: I don’t even have an acceptance speech prepared. In the extremely unlikely event that I win, I’ll wing it. Luckily for both me and my potential audience, I am ferociously good at winging it.
Crack of Sunday, I light out for New Mexico my own self. This trip is completely unrelated to Lisa’s, as I am heading for Rio Hondo, but our automobile will pause whilst passing through Santa Fe on the way from Albuquerque to Taos for us to have a snack and visit with Lisa, who by amusing coincidence will still be there. After that, I’m for a week at Rio Hondo. (I’m not sure about the connectivity at Rio Hondo, so blogging may be erratic next week.)
All in all, a very good ten days or so coming up.
Posted: 4:50 am Fri May 17 2013 | Comments(19) |
[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, heading out of town tomorrow edition
Generosity of Spirit
More generosity flows my way. @howardtayler has done some amazing things for me this week, with an able assist from his colorist Travis Walton. Howard teases his work here. Suffice to say this will be public soon, and you can all marvel at Howard’s skill and wit, and understand how impressed and humbled I am by his support.
Yesterday’s airline mileage appeal was a bit of a fiasco. I’d not checked into the airline policies for a while, and they have both monetized and restricted mileage transfers between private individual. Thank you so much to everyone who made the effort. Another reader found points.com, which I will be investigating today or tomorrow in hopes of arriving at a more useful solution. In the mean time, the original Big Project has proceeded down another path. I have several other Worthy Projects in mind, so if I can get this straightened out, the appeal will continue, albeit on slightly different terms.
I’ve been told that my prescription for Regorafenib has been approved. This drug is a specialty pharmacy item, which means it falls outside the usual infrastructure of pharmaceutical benefits. This includes pre-approval letters and me dealing with a designated mail order pharmacy for my medication supply. It also potentially included a whopping co-pay, but it turns out my carrier’s pharmacy plan treated this as simply being at the high end of the formulary. Which is modestly annoying, but that’s same $50 co-pay I have for Celebrex, Levitra, et cetera.
My Next Scan
I have been corresponding with my oncologist about my next CT scan. Those are supposed to be eight weeks apart right now. That’s the minimum spacing recommended for clinical benefit. I also believe there are significant radiation exposure concerns with excessive scanning. In my case, I won’t live long enough to experience that set of problems, but nonetheless the health and safety guidelines exist. The problem is, they want me to have the next CT scan eight weeks after I start taking the Regorafenib. As I am going out of town tomorrow for eleven days — the Nebulas in San Jose, then Rio Hondo in northern New Mexico — I won’t be able to start taking the Regorafenib prior to May 27th at the earliest. And even that date assumes the specialty pharmacy comes through in a timely manner. Which puts me to eleven weeks or longer between CT scans. And creates the situation that we have 3+ weeks of tumor growth prior to the beginning of any hoped-for effects from the Regorafenib. I think we’d have both a growth rate assessment and a clean baseline for evaluation the new medication if we did a scan shortly after May 27th, but that is far too soon per the generic clinical guidelines. No answer yet, but it’s one of the things I’m worrying about.
Tasking All the Things
Remember that big list of mine, of things that need doing before I die? [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] Well, it’s grown. And we’re doing them. So an enormous amount of administratrivia is happening around Nuevo Rancho Lake. So far, most of the customer service reps, managers and whatnot we’ve dealt with have been very gracious. I feel like Robert DeNiro’s Harry Tuttle in Brazil [ imdb ] being consumed by paper. Still, progress is being made.
I’ve had several people note that I’m pretty cheerful lately. The not very hidden subtext is them wondering why I’m not wailing and rending my garments. Honestly, I’m not sure why I’m not wailing and rending my garments. I suppose because there’s no time for that sort of thing. I don’t have much life left to live, especially in something like normal health, and I have too much to do. Love my child, write my stories, be good to Lisa Costello and Jersey Girl in Portland and mother of the child and my family and my friends and my fans and my co-workers and and and. It is true that my current good nature is a very thin veneer, subject to cracking at even a glancing blow. Beneath that is a bubbling stew of anger, grief and terror, spiced with a catalog of other negative emotions. Nonetheless, here I am. And forward is the only direction for me.
Thank you all for reading, for caring, for reaching out.
Posted: 5:48 am Thu May 16 2013 | Comments(17) |
[cancer|travel] Something you can do for me
ETA: There may be a fee for sharing or donating miles. If your airline tells you this is true, please ignore this request. My apologies for faulty research.
A lot of people have asked what they can do for me. Unless you’re physically and socially close to me, my answer to that has generally been an appreciation for good will and best wishes. Cancer is a journey that I ultimately must walk alone, no matter how many people are prepared to walk beside me. No one but me goes under the needle or the knife, and it’s my personal extinction out on the table now.
That being said, you have been profoundly supportive. The Sequence A Science Fiction Writer fundraiser was a runaway success. (And watch this space for some details about how I am planning to do some giving back with that.) Likewise the letters and comments I receive via email and social media and the US postal service. All that love and support means a great deal to me.
However, there is something else you can do for me. I’m trying to plan something pretty amazing for the_child (and hopefully Lisa Costello) this summer, and I need some more frequent flyer miles to make it work.
If you’re fortunate enough to have mileage in either American Aadvantage or United Mileage Plus, or allied programs within the OneWorld and Star Alliance networks, I am soliciting mileage donations for my plans. Can’t spill the beans quite yet, though I will provide full disclosure as soon as circumstances permit. If I am donated excess mileage beyond my needs, that mileage will eventually be donated in turn to charity.
Should you be interested, please contact me directly for my account number and related information. And thank you so much for even considering this.
Posted: 5:29 am Tue May 14 2013 | Comments(38) |
[photos] Cancerversary party
Yesterday afternoon I had a cancerversary party with family and friends. We ate good food and spent time just hanging and talking and celebrating my continued survival after five years of Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. It was fun to be together.
Some photos of some of the folks who were there…
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Posted: 8:10 am Sun May 12 2013 | Comments(27) |
[cancer] More details on yesterday’s diagnosis and treatment plan
Per my post of yesterday afternoon [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], I have received my terminal diagnosis. Here’s the promised expanded narrative.
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Posted: 5:18 am Thu May 09 2013 | Comments(49) |
[movies] Iron Man 3 and Oblivion (spoiler free)
Yesterday was a tough day for Being Productive, what with the cancer stress and all, so Lisa Costello and I bailed out for the movies. First we saw Oblivion [ imdb ], then we went and picked up the_child, to hit Iron Man 3 [ imdb ].
I actually kind of liked Oblivion, but it definitely felt very derivative. (Lisa actively disliked it.) And though the worldbuilding eye candy was beyond gorgeous, much of it was also sufficiently illogical to distract me from the movie. In the end, I suppose this movie is rather like The Fifth Element [ imdb ]: best enjoyed with the sound turned off.
Iron Man 3 was precisely what it said on the tin: the third Iron Man movie. Robert Downey, Jr. played his part, things went boom and ka-blam, and so forth. There were some reasonably interesting plot twists, and a fair nod to continuity within the Marvel Avengers film cycle. Certainly a lot of fun.
So, yeah, good summer movies. Of course, it’s not quite summer yet…
Posted: 5:27 am Wed May 08 2013 | Comments(10) |
[conventions] Gaslight Gathering, day three
Yesterday was fun, if long. (Like a good date.) the_child, Lisa Costello and I breakfasted as usual. I had a late morning autograph session. We caught a quick lunch, then they headed off for the airport to return home while I geared up for the auction.
I was let off the hook of my ethical dilemma by the excellently good offices of steampunk fan and Gaslight Gathering volunteer Dave Rodger, who is among other things a cattle auctioneer. This violated one my cardinal rules of auction running, which is “Never compete for attention with a cattle auctioneer”, but moved bidding along nicely. (Longtime readers will of course recall that my other cardinal rule of auction running is “Never compete for attention with a clown in a straitjacket on a unicycle.” Experience is a bitter teacher.) As yet I do not know what the auction cleared, but some pretty amazing items went up for sale, and at a wide variety of prices ranging from painfully underbid to amazingly run up. Such is the way of auctions.
Post-auction, I hung about for closing ceremonies, then rested a while in my hotel room. In the fullness of time, concom chair Anastasia Hunter and a cast of dozen took me out to Phil’s B.B.Q., apparently a San Diego institution. Which was quite good, as evidenced by these photos:
No, I did not Eat All the Things, tempted as I was. Those are the plates of three different diners, that last being my order of boneless pork shoulder. I do find the extremely wide variation in style, presentation and meat selection of barbecue around the country to be fascinating. This was extremely delicious.
Afterward, we repaired to a suite at the hotel for a hilarious yet moderately distressing game of Cards Against Humanity, which is currently my top candidate for Most Inappropriate Game Ever. When we were done, Anastasia had me edit a couple of cards, then autograph them.
This morning I have breakfast with at least some of the concom, lunch with Greg van Eekhout, then I’m off to Portland, where I’ll reunite with the_child, Lisa Costello. Starting Tuesday, the rest of this week is dedicated to cancer diagnosis and some likely challenging treatment and life decisions.
I’m very glad I got to spend the weekend here at Gaslight Gathering. My thanks to the folks who invited me, to all the conrunners and volunteers that made this event possible, and to everyone who came to the auction. Also, my especial thanks to all my friends as well as some total strangers who made such amazingly generous donations to the auction. I love the community that is genre.
Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Posted: 7:40 am Mon May 06 2013 | Comments(4) |
[conventions|photos] Gaslight Gathering, day two
Yesterday was a lot of fun. I had breakfast with The League of S.T.E.A.M., then a day of programming. This included a reading, a guest spotlight, a panel on writing steampunk, and a hilarious hour of improv moderated by Todd McCaffrey. Plus we dropped into Brian Kesinger‘s birthday party. Today I have an autographing, and then I’m emcee’ing the auction.
Some photos by the the_child:
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Posted: 7:37 am Sun May 05 2013 | Comments(7) |
[conventions] Gaslight Gathering, day one
Yesterday was day one of Gaslight Gathering. We had a darned good time, if I do say so. The morning was more or less our own, except for some time spent with the Guest Liaisons planning Sunday’s auction logistics. There I was given two wonderful new (and very writerly) aloha shirts by conventions chair Anastasia Hunter.
After lunch, the three of us hit Opening Ceremonies, where I was awarded a medal. Literally. We then prowled the Dealer’s Room. There I signed stock for Mysterious Galaxy, and signed books for all comers. That was followed by a rather nice “meet with guests” with fellow Guest of Honor Brian Kesinger. Val and Ron Antell took us out to dinner at D.Z. Akin’s, which was a cultural experience in and of itself. I couldn’t even tell you what I ate, except it was called the “Mini Ethnic Sampler”, and included lots of Jewish carbohydrates from Eastern Europe. We finished off the evening with a concert by Steam Powered Giraffe.
And of course, some photos. Most of them by the_child.
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Posted: 6:14 am Sat May 04 2013 | Comments(12) |
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