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[personal|family] More medical updates

Without getting into her privacy overmuch, Mother of the Child will be in the hospital at least through the end of the week. A complication from a minor outpatient procedure yesterday has produced a potentially life-threatening infection. spent the night at a friend’s (and is on spring break this week and next), but I need to collect her this morning. She has a very difficult attitude about medical issues since my cancer onset in 2008, so this will be a week of supreme parenting challenges.

I of course was virtually useless last night due to chemo fatigue. My parents handled the vast majority of logistics and the inter-hospital transfer that happened mid-evening, while I came home and collapsed. I still managed to not-sleep, and here prior to 6 am, my scars are already aching, which is generally a Very Bad Sign. Fatigue is also a critical issue for me.

The universe being what it is, yesterday Pinion came out in trade hardback, while I sold a novella to Hayakawa for Japanese translation, and and I sold a new jointly-authored story. My first romance, I believe.

The universe also being what it is, this is the second book release date of mine marred by a major ER admission. My initial expression of colon cancer symptoms led to an ER admit on the day that the Mainspring mass market paperback was released. Yesterday’s release of Pinion coincided with this issue of Mother of the Child’s. Oh, the fricking irony.

It’s going to be a very difficult week for everybody, but especially . I still plan to be at Powell’s Cedar Hills tomorrow for my one-stop book tour. I’ll update if major changes occur.

[cancer] Yesterday sucked

Well, that was the hardest Monday I’ve had yet. The extreme fatigue of the weekend (a whole new order of magnitude of an already existing, severe problem0 translated into a miserable Monday. I wound up taking time off the Day Jobbe despite my best intentions. Spent much of the day sitting or lying down, went to bed quite early armed with Lorazepam. So far I feel ok today, but, wow…

I hope like blazes that the next rounds of infusion don’t follow this pattern. I am giving credence to ‘s theory that last week’s cold wipe me out so that I didn’t have even my minimal reserves to cope with chemo. I just hadn’t realized how much further I could sink.

and had a good weekend. Emotionally, mine wasn’t bad, beyond the hideous fatigue. They got a lot done. Last night presented me with a hilarious gift that I understand and helped her with. You guys get up to a lot down there in San Francisco, don’t you?

I am cancelling all my social plans this week except Thursday’s reading at Powell’s Cedar Hills for Pinion. This means missing ‘s birthday party, the Fireside Writers Group, a couple of lunches and a dinner. But it’s perfectly clear to me that I need to maximize my rest right now. And given that I lost my tax prep weekend to the cold a week and a half ago, I need some mental and physical energy for it this coming weekend.

Still, I’m amazed at how bad yesterday was for me. This stuff keeps reaching new lows. If I were a praying man, I’d be on my knees begging for strength in the next go-round.

Meanwhile, departed yesterday afternoon. leaves today. I will be home alone a while. This is probably good for my resting state, but my heart is always happier in company.

[links] Link salad has a book release

PINION by Jay Lake My new novel Pinion Powell’s | Barnes & Noble | Borders ] is out today. Have you bought yours?

Globish: the worldwide dialect of the third millennium — An interesting article with some serious flaws. For one thing, don’t trust anyone who says something like: “The language they spoke was a highly simplified form of English, without grammar or structure, but perfectly comprehensible, to them and to me.” Every language has grammar. Period. By definition. That statement smacks of 19th century Eurocentric pseudoscience. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

Land Smugglers — Apparently you can steal anything.

Socialism? Not Quite, Say the Socialists — An actual Socialist on HCR. Confidential to GOP in America: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

GOP on recess appointments: Ignore that we used to like them!Although President Bush used the recess appointment a full 179 times in his two terms, that’s not the point, says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who called this “yet another episode of choosing a partisan path despite bipartisan opposition.” Of this kind of move, chips in Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., “It has to be done very sparingly.” Ah, the memory hole, a Republican’s best friend.

The Right: Constantly On The Wrong Side Of HistoryThey were wrong about Social Security. They were wrong on integrating the military forces under President Truman. They were wrong about McCarthyism in the early 1950’s. They were wrong about passing civil rights legislation in the 1960’s. They were wrong on Medicare. They were wrong about women rights. They were wrong about ‘trickle down economics.’ They were wrong about tax breaks for the rich. They were wrong about the war in Iraq. They were wrong about climate change. They were wrong about LGBT rights and they are wrong about healthcare reform. Um, yeah.

In the faces of Tea Party shouters, images of hate and historyThe mobs of yesteryear were on the wrong side of history. Tea Party supporters and their right-wing fellow travelers are on the wrong side now. It shows up in their faces.

Irrational Tribalism — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on the Palinites, asking many of the same questions I do. Mostly summed as “Wha…?”

GOP: Before the Mandate Before They Were Against It — Just another baldface Republican lie about HCR. Once again, the memory hole is a Republican’s best friend.

?otD: Have you ordered Pinion yet?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo)
Body movement: 30 second stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.5 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 7/10 (extreme fatigue)
Currently reading: [between books]

[cancer] Chemotherapy, day one of session six

Friday’s chemo infusion went well. There were no problems with the port, with the lab equipment, or with the scheduling. As a result, we were out relatively early, before 2:00 pm.

A few photos…

Me, donating books to the reading shelf in the infusion center.

This sessions collections of spoons and whatnot, including lovely hat and curious spoon from , a Star Trek spork from and a collection of spoons from .

models the hat made by .

smiles her sweet smile.

© 2010, Shelly Rae Clift, Joseph E. Lake, Jr., and Shannon Page.

Creative Commons License

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

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

[links] Link salad sails the seas of fatigue

reacts to Pinion — I think she liked it.

The History of White People — A somewhat strange book review of a curious book.

Mind Control — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on groupthink and the memory hole required of modern conservatism. Much of what I’ve been saying for years, and what my conservative friends deny pretty much to an extreme.

With No Job, Plenty of Time for Tea PartyThe Tea Party vehemently wants less [government intervention] — though a number of its members acknowledge that they are relying on government programs for help. Ah, that much vaunted conservative principled consistency at work again.

The Rage Is Not About Health Care The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded. It’s all about the demographics, and a sadly dated, racially-tinged view of “Real America.” Also see this: Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too.

?otD: How far to the point of know return?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo)
Body movement: Brief suburban walk later
Hours slept: 8.5 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 5/10 (extreme fatigue)
Currently reading: [between books]

[links] Link salad has never been to Spain

Powell’s Book at Cedar Hills is advertising my Pinion signing this coming Thursday — Note the sale listing for “Jay Tobias Lake”. This is a database error from last year, which helped mess up the Green launch because the book couldn’t be ordered through the Indie booksellers without a lot of special effort. Unfortunately, this can damage a book’s P&L, and publishers have a “no excuses” attitude toward bad P&Ls. So through no fault of the me, the book or my fans, I’m going to look bad on the accounting because of someone else’s database error which is now over a year old. No, publishing is not all rainbows and lollipops.

Carrie Vaughn on why she left her publisher

RNA-Loaded Nanoparticles Fight Cancer

The Somali pirate’s business model — Fascinating. (Via Scrivener’s Error.)

Obey, Servants — This story about a police tasering in Seattle has some odd echoes to the Peter Watts case. Apparently, simply failing to comply with any statement by a law enforcement official is now a taser-able or arrestable offense, regardless of the situation. Thank you USA-PATRIOT Act, among other things. Do you feel safer from terrorism now that pregnant women can be tased while sitting their cars and marine biologists can be arrested for asking why they’re being punched in the head?

Linguistics; political language; Frank Luntz… is wise on conservative framing techniques. See also Newt Gingrinch’s infamous GOPAC memo.

Ideological Brain FreezeBut here’s where David and I agree: we both grew up when conservatism was intellectually sharp and interesting. Its current brutal anti-intellectualism, its open hostility to moderation in any form; its substitution of purer and purer ideology for actual, pragmatic ideas: these are trends that have left a lot of us on the center right marooned.

Whose Country Is It? The New York Times on demographics, conservative and the future. Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.

Victim of road rage sparked by Obama sticker pleads for civility — Yeah, I remember all the vehicular assaults on people with “W” bumper stickers. Liberals do it too, right? And certainly giving everyone the means to see a doctor when they’re sick is a valid excuse for conservative rage. (Thanks to my Aunt M.)

Bachmann: ‘100% Of Our Economy Was Private’ Before September 2008“It is really quite sobering what has happened. From 100% of our economy was private prior to September of 2008, but as of Tuesday, the federal government has now taken ownership or control of 51% of the private economy.” So apparently she’s never heard of Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, defense spending, public works spending, SBA loans, student loans, public universities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc. ad nauseum. Must be nice to be a Republican and believe any stupid bullshit that comes into your head regardless of those pesky facts.

?otD: Have you ever been to heaven?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo)
Body movement: Brief suburban walk later
Hours slept: 7.5 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: 234.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 5/10
Currently reading: [between books]

[repost|books] My one and only public appearance between now and September

I will be reading and signing Pinion on Thursday, April 1st, at 7 pm at Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing. This is immediately after its March 30th release date. Thanks to chemo and its discontents, this is my sole promotional event for the book. It’s a one-stop book tour!

Except for JayCon X on July 3rd, this will also be my one and only public appearance here in the US prior to the Seattle-area convention Foolscap in the fall.

So if you’d like to get my latest novel hot off the press, listen to me read, or have anything signed, mark your calendars now for April 1st. If you just want to show up and support me in my cancer battle, that would be a delight, too. It would please me to no end to fill the place. I look forward to seeing some, all or none of you there.

[cancer|personal] More sick, more writing

Odd day yesterday. The tail of the cold hung on. (Still here today, too.) Spent the day in a foul mood that eventually degraded to grumpiness, as everyone around me was kind. I probably still owe apologies to both and .

brought me some chicken noodle soup to make it better, and I had lunch with , a/k/a my sister. They were both most pleasant and supportive. Wound up working an hour on “The Stars Do Not Lie” (and another hour this morning when I woke up Very Early), as well as 45 minutes on a project with . Both of those things improved my mood.

And of course, I got my contrib copies of Pinion yesterday! The book lays down next Tuesday, and I’m having my reading/signing at the Beaverton Powell’s next Thursday. Yay!

Took a Lorazepam last night to try to get the sleep situation righted. Chemo infusion six is Friday, and I can’t go into it exhausted. I can’t go into the infusion center at all if I haven’t shaken this cold. Slept shorter than I intended, thanks to various urgent communiques from my lower GI, but I got good, solid sleep when I did. Physical therapy this morning for my left rotator cuff (nothing to do with the cancer), and then Day Jobbery, with hopefully more writing to come this afternoon.

[links] Link salad under the mossy giants

Pinion has been Klausnered!

The Google Books Settlement as a flow chart — Hey, Sergei and Larry. How’s that whole “Don’t be evil” thing working out? Not so much, is it? At least evil pays well, right boys?

Nuclear Cannon: A Descendent of Orion — Somehow we always come back to Jules Verne.

Is it okay to ignore results from people you don’t trust? — Wow, this was thought provoking…

Humans must be to blame for climate change, say scientistsNo possible natural phenomenon could have caused the huge rise in temperatures experienced in last half-century In other news, reality continues its strong bias against conservative beliefs, strong opinions still not freely substitutable for either data or facts.

Back to the crash: The American economy has just had its worst decade since the 1930s — Golly, who was leading the nation during the past decade? Al Gore? Bill Clinton? Clearly this is all Obama’s doing.

The Republicans’ big lie about reconciliation — Huh. The GOP lies about policy to advance their politics. Also, this just in: sun sets in west.

Senator Bunning’s Universe — Speaking of banal evil, more Republican fun and games. Now, the House has already passed a bill that, by exempting the assets of couples up to $7 million, would leave 99.75 percent of estates tax-free. But that doesn’t seem to be enough for Mr. Kyl; he’s willing to hold up desperately needed aid to the unemployed on behalf of the remaining 0.25 percent. That’s a very clear statement of priorities.

?otD: Have you ever seen the rain forest?

Writing time yesterday: 1 hour
Body movement: 45 minute trail hike
Hours slept: 7.25 (slept well)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 2/10
Currently reading: [between books]

[books] My one and only public appearance between now and September

I will be reading and signing Pinion immediately after its March 30th release date at Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing on Thursday, April 1st, at 7 pm. Thanks to chemo and its discontents, this is my sole promotional event for the book. It’s a one-stop book tour!

This will also be my one and only public appearance this year until and I go to Au Contraire in New Zealand and AussieCon 4 in Australia at the end of the summer. My next public appearance here in the US will be the Seattle-area convention Foolscap in the fall.

So if you’d like to get my latest novel hot off the press, listen to me read, or have anything signed, mark your calendars now for April 1st. If you just want to show up and support me in my cancer battle, that would be a delight, too. It would please me to no end to fill the place. I look forward to seeing some, all or none of you there.

[books] Pinion receives starred review in Publishers Weekly

Pinion receives starred review in Publishers Weekly

Pinion Jay Lake. Tor, $26.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2186-2

Political conflicts and philosophical arguments find closure at last in this splendidly baroque whirl of geomancy and Victorian clockwork. Young Paolina Barthes, the gear-minded prodigy who became a target for the empire-building ambitions of rival governments in 2009’s Escapement, is on the run, heading south over the Wall that God built to divide the hemispheres and keep the Earth’s gear turning through the heavens. As spies and ancient secret societies scramble to find her, Paolina struggles to learn how to control her world-shaking abilities, while her heart pulls her toward Boaz, a golemlike man of brass. Lake wields big themes—magic and religion versus science, free will, colonialism, and a bit of romance—with surprising elegance, and readers will enjoy cherishing the characters and pondering the concepts of this “clockpunk” world. (Apr.)

[personal] Obligatory year in review post for 2009

Writing and Publishing

(All figures subject to some revision, due to the vagaries of both record-keeping and publishing.)

I wrote twenty pieces of first draft short fiction, totalling 92,100 words. (Some of these were collaborative.) Due to a combination of circumstances, largely involving cancer, I only wrote one complete first draft novel this year, Endurance at 114,500 words — an unusual burst of brevity for me. Extensive revisions or rewrites to Pinion, Heart of the Beast (unfinished collaborative novel with Jeff VanderMeer), The Rockefeller Plot (unfinished collaborative novel with my dad) and Our Lady of the Islands (complete-but-in-revision collaborative novel with .) Also a number of articles, interviews and the usual avalanche of blog postings. Without getting too precise, I probably wrote about 500,000 words this year, which is a very small year from me.

I sold seventeen original short stories. Five of them were written collaboratively with , two more collaboratively with . I also have two forthcoming year’s best appearances for 2009 material, both for “On the Human Plan“, which originally appeared in Lone Star Stories in February of 2009. Those seventeen short fiction acceptances were balanced by twenty-three short fiction rejections. Also had ten reprint sales, including the YB inclusions, most of the rest of audio or foreign rights.

Approximately fifteen short stories of mine were published this year, including a number of the collaborations. I saw exactly three novels published this year: Green (Tor Books; June, 2009), Madness of Flowers (Night Shade Books; October, 2009) and Death of a Starship (MonkeyBrain Books; December, 2009). Contracted two more novels with Tor, Endurance and Kalimpura, which will extend the Green story. Those are my ninth and tenth novel sales. The anthology Other Earths, edited by Nick Gevers and me, also appeared this year, to strong critical reception, as well as the anthology Footprints, edited by Eric Reynolds and me.

Delivered Pinion to Tor (the third Mainspring book), The Sky That Wraps to Subterranean Press and The Specific Gravity of Grief to Fairwood Press. Drafted Endurance (the second Green book) for delivery next spring.

In 2010, I expect to see Pinion published by Tor Books, as well as my collection The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press, and single-title novellas The Specific Gravity of Grief (a cancer tale, from Fairwood Press) and The Baby Killers (high concept steampunk, from PS Publishing).

Attended a number of conventions, the highlights being my Toastmaster gig at World Fantasy in San Jose, and the lovely time we had at WorldCon in Montreal. We do plan to attend WorldCon in Melbourne this coming year, along with the New Zealand national SF convention the weekend prior. Those will be part of my “I survived chemo” celebration.


My relationship with has continued to solidify and blossom. That is a balm to my heart and delight to my life. Many other friendships and relationships have prospered as well, including the discovery (by me) of the delightful , and the ongoing evolution of my long-term friendship with .

Unfortunately, my relationship with cancer has also continued to solidify and blossom. 2008’s colon cancer came back with a lung metastasis, this after significant scares regarding liver and lymph metastates. In November I had a partial thoracectomy to remove a single grape-sized tumor from my left lung, along with a patch of lung tissue the size and shape of a Dorito. In December I had a port implanted in my right chest to facilitate chemotherapy. This coming January, I start a series of twelve infusions of a FOLFOX-Avastin cocktail, a chemotherapy combination with a range of potential side effects that would give anyone pause.

Chemo means my writing life will be pared down through next summer, though by what degree is not obvious. I have only retained two contracted commitments, one a major editing project, the other to revise and deliver Endurance. I’d also like to finish revising Our Lady of the Islands, my collaborate novel project with , so we can go to market with it, as well as make further progress on The Rockefeller Plot, the diplomatic thriller I am writing with my father. Beyond that… With luck, the second half of the year will see me restored to normal production, as I need to draft Kalimpura and I’d like to take a crack at Sunspin.

Hope your year was as happy and productive as mine, and considerably healthier. All the better for the New Year to you and yours.