lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Happy American Independence Day to my friends celebrating it! Today always makes me think of my favorite story from our trip abroad. My folks took Shawn and I to London in the 1990s, and I arranged for us to get ticket to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. (It was so long ago, I actually had to write a letter.) At any rate, while we were standing in line to get in, an English couple heard our accents and exclaimed, "Why are you here? This isn't _your_ history!" My dear papa, without missing a beat, said, "Yes it is. We just rebelled."

I swear an Irish family behind us nodded quietly. :-)

Perhaps today, I can get Mason to watch School House Rock with me again, and we can all sing along to the Preamble and "Lovely Lady Liberty, with her book of recipes, and the finest one of all... the great American Melting Pot!"

But, okay, enough of such red, white and blue talk. This weekend is also the beginning of CONvergence, whose theme this year is, perhaps ironically, "The British Invasion." Last night, I went to the pre-party that's open to guests of honor and former guests of honor, like myself. I brought along Eleanor Arnason, partly because I had a feeling that if I didn't offer to give her a ride, she wouldn't go, but also because I knew she wouldn't want to stay terribly long (being somewhat crowd shy) and, if left to my own devices, I might stay out all night.

Anyway, it was a nice gathering. I was happy to be able to introduce Eleanor to Christopher Jones (my Marvel/DC comic book artist friend) and one of the Guests of Honor, Charlie Jane Anders (of io9, whom I know from early WisCON days.) Eleanor couldn't take the crowded room, so she headed off to the hotel bar. I hung around a little and chatted with some other friends like Anton Petersen and Dave Hoffman-Dachelete (and his all-grown-up daughter Sari!) and then found Eleanor talking to Peg Kerr in the bar.

All and all a good start to my con, I think.

My schedule is nothing like last years (wherein I attempted to break the record for most panels at a con):

Thursday, July 4
Books Everyone Else Loves But I Hate
Don't be ashamed to share your true feelings. It's OK to have your own sense of style and which books you prefer. Come vent with us. Panelists: David Schwartz, William Alexander, Jason D. Wittman, Lyda Morehouse, Laura Thurston

Friday, July 5
They Came From Fandom!
Professional writers who started out as fans before becoming pros spill their "secrets". How did fandom influence your writing? What fandoms were/are you a part of? Did your relationship with fandom changed when you got published? How did you do it? Panelists: Catherine Lundoff, Joan Marie Verba, Emma Bull, Lyda Morehouse, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Sunday, July 7
Neil Gaiman's Sandman
For many people, this is when graphic novels started. They were certainly groundbreaking. Let's discuss. Panelists: Jamie Cleven, Lyda Morehouse, Roy Cook, Mark Goldberg

Christopher Jones also invited me to crash his Avengers panel:
Friday, July 5
Marvel Universe Phase 2
We know they're coming. And Joss Whedon is in charge. What can we expect from the next phase of marvel films and what have we seen so far? Panelists: Daniel Wallace, Christopher Jones, Matt Gamble (mod), Michael Lee, Charlie Jane Anders

But, we'll see what the moderator says when I get there. Regardless, I may try to be in the audience for that one.

So, there's not a lot today, but I was thinking that tomorrow will be my big day to spend at the con.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I'm pretty sure my dad has a secret identity--as Leonard Nemoy. The older Leonard Nemoy gets the more he looks like my father. Seperated at birth? Maybe, but I can tell you this for a fact: I've never seen my dad and Leonard Nemoy in the same room at the same time.

At any rate, since Mason was still away at Audubon overnight camp last night, Shawn and I hit a matinee showing of Star Trek: Into Darkness.

As I said on Facebook, my first impression was: WHEEEEEEEEE! and then, afterwards, Shawn and I sat down with the io9 spoiler FAQ , which we'd bookmarked just for this moment, and laughed our asses off. Because, as I told my friend [ profile] empty_mirrors, ST:ID the kind of movie that really only works with your brain turned fully off, and you just sit back and enjoy the show.

Because it is quite the show. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It had been so long since Shawn was in a movie theatre, she couldn't get over the concession prices. She asked me during the previews, "Are you sure this is the right size popcorn?? For TEN DOLLARS??" Since, at matinee prices, that meant we paid more for popcorn than we did to see the movie.

It was interesting to see the movie with other people. Some people clearly didn't know the big spoiler of who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing that's been around the Internet for ages, and there were audible gasps when he revealed it. I found several laugh-out-loud moments no one else in the theatre seemed to find funny, but then I'm easily amused. (I will admit to laughing at a serious moment, and I apologize to my fellow theatre goers, but COME ON!)

A couple of other things I can talk about outside of the spoiler cut, is that I left the theatre asking Shawn what happened to the warp drive in this alternate universe. (BTW, I kind of love that ST movies have become their own fanfic, as the reboots can clearly be labeled: AU.) It used to be in OT (Old Trek, for the fandom newbies,) there were degrees of warp. "Drop us down to warp 2, Mr. Sulu." Now the warp engines are either on or off. Frankly, that makes slightly more sense than imagining a space ship hurtling through... well, time at that point, really, at NINE TIMES the speed of light. But, it's one of those things I missed, though I will say that the special effects of warp is COOL.

So, okay, building on what io9 says about the cheap shots of using old Star Trek tropes, I will say one thing that is starting to not work for me is seeing the Enterprise (nearly) destroyed. The first time it happened, I balled like a baby. Because this was OUR Enterprise that we'd been with through nearly a hundred episodes and several movies. But, AU Enterprise is nothing to me. I don't know these people yet, not really. They have the names of beloved characters, but entirely different back-stories. The same is true for this Enterprise. But seeing NCC-1701 in flames still hits me where it hurts, because LOYALTY, you know?

As io9 also points out Kirk seems to have to go though the same character arc. What would have been a good moment to prove that AU-Kirk is becoming OT-Kirk might have been after, during the year time skip, if there had been a montage of funeral after funeral after funeral until we get to Pike's. Just a close-up on Kirk's concerned face, as he hands out YET ANOTHER folded up UN flag. Because OT-Kirk was always telling his enemies, "There's 423 [or however many] souls aboard that ship" and he always knew the EXACT number, and you got the feeling that, even though it became its own trope, he gave a shit every time a red shirt bit it. And to see the captain of the ship going to petty officer Jo/Jane-schmoo's funeral is a powerful thing. I SAYS something about the character of the man. Something we instinctively ASSUME about AU-Kirk, but never get to really see.

Now, to defend ST:IN for a moment. The biggest caveat should be a reminder that all my comments/criticisms are post-high let down. I really enjoyed the hell out of this movie. io9 went on at great length about 'teh stupid' of the opening sequence. I LOVED THAT PART BEST. Why? Because it's such a beautiful homage to OT. All teh stupid was AT LEAST as ridiculous as some of the crap OT-Kirk pulled for THREE SEASONS and I loved those old shows to pieces. The irony of Spock worrying about the Prime Directive when he apparently (I'm thinking, drunkenly,) signed on to the plan that involved Kirk and McCoy stealing a sacred relic is CLASSIC FUCKING TREK. So, bite me, io9. That was the best damn part of the movie, IMHO. It does not bear nit-picking, but a person could make a career out of tearing apart all the stupid, non-science, poor planning of every single episode of OT.

Shawn was saying in the car ride into work this morning that the first scene was like the entire crew of the AU-Enterprise was like a floating frat house from the Academy. Their 'plan' seemed totally hatched after too many beers and bongs, you know? "Dude, I know, I know--let's get everyone away from the earth-killing volacano by running. Cuz, you know, no one will stay behind, and we can totally get far enough if we really haul ass. And I see NO FLAWS in this, do you?"

Makes more sense if you imagine that's how it went.

Shawn also thinks I'll start Cumberbatch-Fail if I say this, but, while I ADORE him in Sherlock, I thought Cumberbatch over-emoted every single line he had as Khan. What was up with his lips? Why so many close-ups on them? Not attractive. He actually often works for me as Sherlock, but maybe that's because with better writing and directing, Cumberbatch gives Sherlock some lovable vulnerablity. And, invulnerable Khan was a bad fit, IMHO.

Okay, YET no one has made much of the other fact that among the twist-ups of this AU is the fact that Star Fleet is now canonly evil. Khan is attempting, thoughout the whole thing, to STOP STAR FLEET FROM PROVOKING WAR WITH THE KLINGONS. Maybe we're suppose to think that turns out to be a front for him trying to rescue his crew, but he does seem to be acting the role of a peace-maker. He saves Kirk when he doesn't need to (during the blast through space.) He could have taken the Dreadnaught (btw, fan sqee! I remember the Dreadnaught in my Technical Manual,) on his own. Presumably, he was thinking "hostage," but he still would have had Scotty and Carol what's-her-name.)

Also, the time-skip kind of glossed over the fall-out from the fact that Kirk was complicit in treason against the commander of Star Fleet, but that's par for the course.

One last ramble-y thought: when I first heard the spoiler that Cumberbatch was playing Khan, I thought that maybe we'd finally see the Eugenics War. The Eugenics War is one of several OT throw-away 'historical' moments that has been fodder for my plot bunnies since I was in high school. Like, before we got the animated show, what the mysterious references to The Clone War were in the original triology of Star Wars. I was kind of disappointed that JJ Abrams missed the opportunity to start that war. What's fun about AUs is that you can mess with time lines and play 'what-ifs.' What if the Eugenics War starts later? What if Kirk and crew are a live to fight in it?

But, as usual, they didn't ask me. I could have helped. Clearly.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
As you know, I went down to LaCrosse on Tuesday night to sit with my mom while my dad had sugery to have his right kidney removed. (First, before anyone worries, all went well. My dad sometimes has post-op complications because of blood clot issues, but the doctors seem well on top of that. I left last night, so I'm back home, and quite hopeful that things will continue to go well for him.)

But, ever since that fateful WorldCON trip where I showed up in an East Coast city with no underwear or toothbrush, Shawn has taken over packing for me. Because, left to my own devices, things like this happen... I was happily ensconced in the pre-op waiting room Wednesday morning. My mom and dad had gone back to do that thing where they ask you all the questions that they should already know the answers to and make you lay around in an uncomfortably breezy hospital gown until they finally get around to giving you the happy juice that makes you sleep. For whatever reason, the nurse this time only wanted one family member back there, and so I stayed behind. (I eventually decided screw this, and went back to at least give my dad a kiss goodluck and make a few jokes so he could go under with a smile on his face.) But, at any rate, I'm working away on my various writing projects, figured out how to log-in to the hospital's wifi, and then I realized... oh, crap. I'm the one who packed the computer bag. Sure enough, NO POWERCORD.

Now the one thing I will say for my Toshiba (whom I usually refer to as "Pooh Bear, the Computer of Very Little Brain") is that the battery is absolutely phenomenal. I can go for HOURS. And I did. I managed to keep the computer up and running the whole time we waited for my dad to go into ER. I even had a few moments on-line while we were moved up to the family waiting room.

Then, just at the very end of reading a [ profile] empty_mirrors's latest online, my battery winked out. But, I was able to comment using the waiting room's public terminal.

The other humorous part of my inability to pack my own technology bag is that my cell phone was also very slowly running out of battery (that, at least I knew about and had a charger in the car.) HOWEVER, it was also running out of minutes. And, just as I was finally leaving LaCrosse for the three hour drive back home, it completely died. I had to use my mom's cell to have Shawn send minutes while I charged it in the car.

I'm such a doofus.

I also managed to lose my .mp3 player somewhere in one of the waiting rooms. I kind of wondered if, because my dad's surgery went remarkably well (fingers crossed), the gods demanded I sacrifice some electronic battery-energy or something. But honestly, that's a fine trade. My dad woke up in recovery making jokes and harrassing the nurses in his usual, pleasant way, and we argued philosophy. My dad, for those just tuning in is a college professor (emertius, now, though of course he's still teaching,) and so while he drifted in and out of sleep I read to him from the book he'd brought. It was some philosophy for children book that was making the case for picture books as helpful for young children to learn about emotions. Being who I am, as I read, I editoralized, and my father would perk up and argue Plato and the other sorts of usual professorial things he does... I love my dad.

So, yeah, it was techno-fail, but papa-for-the-win.


Sep. 29th, 2011 11:35 am
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Okay, lots to report. First of all, for those of you following along on the "all that crap" keyword, (aka, my father's lingering struggle with a number of health issues), there is FINALLY good news to report. He is at the recovery wing of the nursing home again, having been given a clean bill of health from the doctors at the hospital. Though they're still not entirely sure what what caused his mini-strokes (TIA), they think it has to do with heart arthythmia that he developed after the hip replacement surgery. Also, I need to post a correction: apparently, he (thankfully!) only suffered TWO mini-strokes, the first one that had everyone worried because it lasted several hours, and a second that lasted no more than a minute or so. At any rate, the good news is the docs sent him on for recovery and now he only has to focus on re-learning how to walk after six months of near-inactivity (though they always worked to keep his leg strength up during his previous nursing home stays.)

Secondly, I attended a "breaking" workshop at KSW. I failed to break my board. I was one of only two adults unable to do it. I suspect, considering the bruises that have developed and where they are on my hand, my technique was off. (Also, huge mental block: I kept thinking -- I have no health insurance; if I do this wrong and break a knuckle, no only have I messed up my writing career, I have bankrupted my family.) This experience has made me convinced that I was a T-Rex in a past life: I'm viscious, but have _zero_ upper body strength. ;-)

I should also say, I had no problem breaking the practice boards. Just confronted with a solid piece of wood freaked me out.

Everyone was so very sweet and concerned for my ego at the workshop. Though my hand is bruised, my ego is not, my friends. Master Barry Harmon (Kwan Jang Nim) made a point of pulling me aside and telling me that a) I had a lot to work on, and b) that he was proud that I never gave up. I said something self-depricating at the time, but I wish I'd told him what I said to Nicki (Jo Kyo Nim) when she asked me to consider why I do Kuk Sool Wan, and that is, "I do this because it's fun, Master, and giving up *isn't* fun."

The other news is that my psuedonym continues to be successful as all get out. Tate can report that you can now not only pre-order the mass-market paperback edition of Tall, Dark & Dead via, but also the third, and final novel in the vampire princess of St. Paul series, Almost Everything.

So, I guess that's all I got for now. I have to run off to volunteer because it's Thursday!

Dad Update

Sep. 27th, 2011 09:37 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
My mom reported this morning that my dad had his third mini-stroke (TIA). The doctors are still trying to figure out what's causing these, but Gunderson Hospital has an excellent stroke clinic so he's in the best hands possible. Both he and my mom have been very positive still. He asked her to go check his mailbox at Viterbo University and they've been making plans for when he's out. I guess one of the things that has really helped his mood is that his hip feels so much better. He can really finally use his leg after all this time.

As I said on Facebook, I'm weirdly proud that I'm related genetically to ol' "Bullet." He's been through a lot physically and emotionally and he keeps coming up fighting.

I would like now, however, for all his positive energy to be rewarded. It would be all right if the universe wanted to stop throwing curve balls at him, and he could have a nice long period of good health!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
You know the Jewish tradition where, when someone is gravely ill, you give them a new name, so that the Angel of Death will walk by when he comes looking for them? Well, my dad has always gone by a nickname, "Mort." I'm really starting to believe that the angel of death keeps showing up asking for "Richard Morehouse" and, only finding this "Mort" guy, leaves.

I got a call yesterday morning that my dad had a stroke.

Yes, this after successfully surviving sepsis, c-def, and months in the recovery wing of the nursing home while waiting for a hip replacement. My mom had been worried, starting Saturday, because my dad was having a really difficult time recovering from the surgery. It went into overtime by several hours, and, while my dad is clearly a really tough bird, it really seemed to have knocked him back. She said he was confused at one point and thought he was still getting ready to go into surgery. This freaked me out, but all the other signs seemed okay, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

Then, on Sunday, after I took Shawn to the airport (she's off on a work trip to a conference in Washington, D.C.), I got home to the message. I'd left my cell charging because it had run out of battery unexpectedly the night before. (For some reason it's stopped giving me the warning beeps when it's low.) Anyway, there were three fairly frantic messages from my mom. I finally was able to call her back and find out what was going on.

He'd had a stroke. The doctors said they think it was a kind of stroke called a transient ischemic attack. They'd know more in 48 hours. (Now having read the wikipedia article, I know why. Apparently the effects are reversable if they last as long as 24 hours, but fewer than 72.)

I'm still not entirely clear WHY this happened to my dad. The surgery he underwent was pretty routine, even if it did go into overtime. He's been through a LOT in the last six months, but he was in fairly good shape when they checked him in before the procedure. Though, he has had problems with blood clots in the past, it's not clear that's what caused this. The multitude of theories my mom has heard from various doctors include the absorption rate of the anesthesia during the long procedure to something messed up in his brain stem... none of which are very clear to me or make a whole lot of sense.

The important thing is that he's regained his speech as of this morning, and strength has returned to his right side. Right now, as long as things continue to be stable, the doctors are predicting a full recovery.

I tell you though, this has been a serious emotional ride for me (as I'm sure it has been ten times that for my mom and my dad's sister, Mary Ann, who has been a trouper by showing up every day during this entire saga.) Last night, I had the craziest nightmare that I know is related. I had one of those dreams where someone is trying to get into the house. I'm trying to avoid being see by this shadowy figure -- ducking down before reaching up to lock windows, avoiding answering the door. I'm in the upstairs bathroom with Shawn and I'm telling her, "for god's sake, don't tell anyone it's okay to come in," when I realize it's too late. The shadowy figure is at the landing of the stairs. I'm completely impotent against it. I try to throw a recipie book I'm holding at it, but it bounces of (or passes through, at any rate, it's useless). I'm trying to tell it that I can see it and it should go away, but my mouth won't work, I've got something stuck in my throat. I can't breathe. That moment freaks me out so much that I wake up. My heart is pounding.

I actually go up to make sure no one was on the landing, of course. And I took my asthma medicine in case I really WAS having trouble breathing, but as I laid in bed thinking about that dream. I knew it was the angel of death. I was trying, subconsciously, to keep the "wolves" from the door.

Maybe it worked. Fingers crossed.
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Okay, well, that was quite the trip, and, alas, my poor father's saga is not yet complete! Last things first: his surgery went overtime yesterday by about two hours. I ended up having to leave for the train station before hearing from the doctor, but my mom called. From what I understand the surgery was complicated by the fact that the surgeon accidentally broke my dad's femur while fixing his hip. This apparently happens more often than you might expect. It may also mean that, depending on how severe the break is, he may still have to stay off that leg for a while...

...which would mean back to the nursing home for more physical therapy!


I'm going to call my mom in a little while, actually, and see what news. They weren't happy with the x-rays they were able to get in the operating room, so today they will get more, clearer pictures and hopefully know whether or not the break will be able to withstand pressure or not. If it can, they'll patch it up and send him home. If it can't... see above.

My poor pa. It's like a Series of Unfortunate Events, only without the bestselling novel and the funny bits.

The trip down and back were both, uh, "interesting."

Down was much as I expected. The shuttle bus is tiny, cramped and frought with polka (at least the second half of the journey always is). The first shuttle down to Rochester had me cheek (as in butt) to cheek with two other women the entire way. On my left was a woman who currently lives in Iowa but was clearly Not-From-Around-Here because she really, REALLY wanted to tell me all about her trip to Atlanta. I managed to avoid much of that by "meditating" (aka turning on my meditation mp3s and napping) for a good solid chunk of the trip, but when we got into Rochester, she was fit to burst and needed to talk my ear off until we got to the main hotel. Luckily, that was only a few minutes, and she was actually quite pleasant, if non-stop.

The second bus driver is the guy who loves polka. There's ALWAYS smelly food ingested by someone, BUT, twice so far, at least, I've gotten to have a seat to myself to stretch out in. The people behind me this time: two old ladies and an older gentleman were probably the funniest part. You know how some people can just talk about nothing, but not in a funny Seinfield sort of way, really NOTHING? Well, these were those ladies. They were also weridly noisy. They asked me about my laptop's wallpaper (a villa in Italy) and I think they were reading my novel over my shoulder as I was writing which was... awkward to say the least. I ended up giving up trying to write after only a few paragraphs. The bus was bumpy anyway, and I kept accidently sliding my arm across the touch pad and launching functions I wasn't intending.

I did get a lot of writing done on the train ride home, but, this time, instead of pleasant Amish folks, I got on the car with the drunk, party people. There were even Australians for god's sake!

Plus, I noticed as the train pulled in that its engine number was 13. Cue dramatic music!!! Yes, and we were randomly delayed four or five times along the route. The first time it was freight train traffic. The second... MARINE traffic! (Seriously, the railroad bridge had opened for a barge and we had to wait for it to swing closed and be locked down.) Then, we had to wait for some other Amtrack to pass us, and the most maddening of all? We were delayed just outside of the Amtrack station itself... which meant I could SEE MY HOUSE from the car, but I couldn't get off!!!!!


I ended up walking home around 11 pm, feeling wholly dissatisfied. I would at least feel as though it was a good thing that I was there to keep my mom company, but I think her worry about my travel arrangements may have actually added to her stress rather than relieving any of it.

So, a pretty crazy couple of days, honestly.

At least I got a ton written.


Sep. 20th, 2011 09:34 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I need to stay focused on writing the WiP, but I wanted to take a few moments to update the blog a bit.

Tonight I head down to LaCrosse again. My father has been FINALLY been dubbed infection free, so, with any luck, they will be scheduling his hip replacement surgery. Regardless, I will be down on Wedendsday to help my mom get furniture moved around in anticipation of the long awaited home coming. Hooray!

While I'm NOT looking forward to the shuttle bus ride down (see previous blog regarding this experience,) I can't wait for the train ride home. I really love taking the train, and last time, thanks to the fact that there's no WiFi on the train, I got a LOT of writing done. Watch: this time I'll fall asleep or something and not get a single word down.

I'm currently hanging out at a new downtown coffee shop called Claddaugh. It's LOVELY. If you are on 7th Avenue (near the Day By Day Cafe,) you should totally check it out. They make an awesome meil, which they call a Black and Tan -- which, if you know me, you understand that I have some trouble ordering by name because of their history in Ireland. I also have to resist singing "Come out ye, Black and Tans" under my breath. But, the coffee is AWESOME as is the decor. You should see this place! Exposed brick, chadeliers, hard wood floors! And, you know, I'll take Irish in whatever form it comes.

I need to pack up soon, alas, because I told Shawn I'd give her a ride to a meeting. Of course, it's absolutely gorgeous out now, but it was raining when I agreed to this. :-)

In other news, I continue to enjoy my WiP, which probably spells its utter doom. Thanks to advice given by my mom one of the last times I was down in LaCrosse, I'm writing like I'm 15 again. That is to say, I'm just letting whatever cool idea occurs to me find a place in the book. Why not, eh?

I'm also recoverding VERY SLOWLY from a nasty cold -- mostly chest congestion, which has been particularly brutal because of my asthma. Normally, I don't suffer unless I excercise, but the congestion has caused me to rely on my inhaler much more than I normally would. I did kuk sool wan last night, and, weirdly, I think that actually cleared me up for a bit. However, this morning I woke up nearly choking on all the phlegm. Gross! I can't wait for this to pass.

Hope you all are well. If I get a chance, I'll write from LaCrosse.
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I'm beginning to believe in fate a bit. I mean, I lost all those words, right? Well, I've been going over the novel as I decide what needs to be re-keyed from paper drafts or rewritten entirely and I discovered several places where I can make the story make MORE SENSE! (and/or be more dramatic, etc.) To be fair, I tend to do this sort of massive revision at some point during my novel writing process, but I think that there are times when I think, "Oh, well, I'll change this little thing here rather than completely scrap the scene," you know? Now, since I have no scene to scrap -- well, I think it's all for the better.

Plus, I have this fancy new Toshiba. It was a super-cheap computer, because, well, I drop computers, but what I really, really like about it? The keys click. When I write it SOUNDS like I'm writing, you know?

That's almost as cool as getting a new pen and notebook. (Some of you know what I'm talkin' about.)

In other news, we're back from our trip to LaCrosse. We happened to be down at the same time as the Great River Folk Festival and River Pride (LaCrosse's GLBT Pride festival.) We attended neither, but, instead hung out with "the old guy," aka my dad. He's doing so much better. He's still in the recovery wing of the nursing home waiting for hip surgery, but every time I see him he's more and more like his old self. I don't think I quite realized how profoundly sick he was until I saw how vastly he improved.

At any rate, we have our fingers crossed that the hip surgery will happen in mid-September. Then he'll be singing, "Free at last, free at least. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."

Shawn and I did drive by the Pride festival because Shawn spotted the gathering out of the corner of her eye. Let's just say I'm happy that I live in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There were a bunch of idiots with the hateful protest signs outside the entrance, so you had to walk past them to get into the fair grounds. Not very good planning on the pride people's part. I did my duty, however, and flipped off some yahoo holding a sign about the sin of sodomy. If Mason hadn't been in the car I would have yelled to him, "If you don't approve, don't engage in it!" (Since it does seem that, in the case of a lot of Republican congress critters those that protest the loudest seem to have the most to hide.)

Ah well.

The other fun thing we did was that we spent some unexpected royality moneys that came via the Germans. (I actually made a profit for them on Tall, Dark & Dead.) We bought ourselves an iPad. The best thing we've done with it so far is buy the Scrabble app. Now all three of us play a game on the iPad after diner. Nice.

I didn't end up going to kuk sool wan last night because I got hit by an awful allergy attack. I've been told it's ragweed season, and I have to believe it. I suffered the entire day, even though we had plans to hang out at Como Zoo with my friend Eric Heideman. We still managed to have a good time checking out the grizzlies and the polar bears, but I noticed the woman who sold us the snow cones was also suffering.

Today seems better, perhaps because of the impending rain?

Anyway, I should go write. Clickity-clack! Clickity-clack!
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This weekend was Mason's birthday. He turned eight, which I can hardly believe. For some reason, this birthday, Shawn and I were very much reminded of all the things that happened on his very FIRST birthday... which made him seem that much older.

We'd planned a party for the kids through a place in Edina called Adventure Peak. For the people who'd never been, I described it as "a McDonald's Playland without the McDonald's and a LOT bigger." There's also, though, an attached "Great Hall," which is a big gym with places to play basketball, scoot scooters around, and jump in a castle bouncey-house. Mason invited a bunch of kids this time from all his various activities, including some kids from the Montessouri side of his school who are in his advanced readers' group. Also, some of our friends from kuk sool wan. We tried to encourage Mason to pick a number of people from each "non-classmate" group so that no one would show up not knowing anyone besides Mason, and that actually turned out well. The one kid that ended up coming from KSW made friends pretty easily because he'd brought along his DS and there are a number of game-enthusists among Mason's buddies.

I think it was a success for the kids, certainly. Even though we had the party at noon, we didn't end up serving lunch. I let the parents know that they should bring their kids pre-fed, but we did serve lots of cake, fruit and juice. We also brought along a bunch of water bottles that got consumed very readily. In fact, if we do this again, we've determined to bring MORE water, and possibly colored rubber bands or a Sharpie so that kids can mark their water bottles as to whose was whose.

But we were very laisez fair about the whole thing once we were set up. We let kids run off and play right away, gathered them briefly for treats, and then sent them off again with the understanding that they could come back for cake or fruit or juice or water at any time. Shawn staffed the tables to make sure food and drink stayed at the table. We also decided not to do one of those (IMHO) awkward present-opening moments, if only because it seemed a shame to make kids sit still to watch Mason, when slides and bouncey-houses awaited.

Plus, those things can be awkward because some presents delight more than others, and then you have to spend time making sure no feelings get hurt and Mason behaves with decorum.... (which he SHOULD, but it much easier to do in private rather than public, you know?)

Anyway, it was very fun. I think we may even do it again next year.

We came home an Skyped grandma and grandpa Morehouse (which we got to work. I used Shawn's iTouch and Gramma and Gramps called the test center and did a bit of adjusting too.) It was a bit hard to focus the tiny screen on Mason as he moved around, but I think that went pretty well too. Mason still has very little patience for phone conversations, especially when presents were opened and there were LEGOs and whatnot to put together, but I think he did pretty well given all the distractions.

Today... today I'm coming down from all that. I'm feeling a bit old, prickly, and tenacously grumpy. I guess it's Monday for me. I'm looking forward to getting back to KSW tonight. We missed all last week due to the extreme heat, so my muscles are tight and creaky. In fact, last night I had a very strange dream involving KSW that was a play on a reoccuring dream I have about being an understudy who gets called to perfrom, only somehow I never learned the play, etc., etc. In this one, I turned up at KSW to discover I was supposed to be part of a complicated demo...

...also I had another Neil Gaiman dream. Only this time, it involved his house. Except, of course, it wasn't his real house, but the one I imagine in my dreams. I dreamed that Shawn and I were driving by his house, which was situated on a hill, and discovered that the city was cutting down all the trees that had blocked it from view. We were scandalized to discover that it was completely falling apart!

Mr. Gaiman is often a stand-in for "fame" in my dreams, so if I were to play Dr. Freud with myself, I would say that some part of me is afraid that, if the things that shield me in my public life were stripped away, everyone would discover a broken shell underneath.

Not surprisingly, I'm feeling a bit paranoid about my career today. ;-)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
From talking to my folks last night, it sounds like my dad got moved back into the nursing home without any hitches. He even got his old room back. I guess, too, the PT schedule has been really pushed up, because, with the new/temp hip, he can really start working on getting up and walking again.

So that's all good news.

As you know, Bob, it's been hot as hell here. Our house is going to be 100 years old next year, and doesn't have central air. We do have a window unit that we struggled into the master bedroom earlier this year. The entire family, including, at times, all four cats and both gerbils, have been crammed into this room at night to sleep. This has not made for the most restful evenings, alas. Especially since the cats, being cat-like, insist on going in and out all night, and I'm the one person in my family who sleeps light enough to hear their scratching and meowing. And the only one foolhearty and soft-touch-y to actually pull myself upright and stumble over every time they want to go in or out.

Also Mason is a bed hog.

Anytime I got up to let a cat in or out, Mason would instantly take six more inches of my space. I could, ocassionally, shove him back over in the direction of mom, but as soon as I settled back down, he'd wrap himself, octopus-like, all over me.

I can't WAIT for the heat to break. We've got to get that kid back into his own bed!!

Anyway, I guess Captain America opens this weekend. I need to call my Marvel dates and see when they want to go. I'm still very nervous about this one, because I love a particular Cap and it's not actually the silver age one. I did watch the bootlegged Avengers trailer that Gizmodo had posted, and that got me all happy.

A gentleman at kuk sool wan who was wearing an Avengers tee-shirt tried to tell me that the original line-up for the Avengers included Black Panther and Storm. I, however, insisted that it was: Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant Man and the Wasp. With Captain America joining in an early issue. (I thought #2, but Wikipedia tells me #4). I'm glad to see that I'm vindicated. After all, I REMEMBER reading Storm's introduction in an X-title during the 1980s, during the time of the great gathering (which brought us Colossus and Nightcrawler and Wolverine.) Again, Wikipedia corrects me that it was 1979 Claremont, but I DO remember this.

Anyway, I should make plans for this weekend. I hope Cap doesn't suck.


Jul. 18th, 2011 02:47 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I just noticed that I have failed to update my blog since my dad went into surgery last Wednesday. The trip home on the train that night was absolutely lovely. The train was on time, and, thanks to the flooding in the Dakotas, St. Paul is its terminal stop. I walked home from the Amtrack station, which is six (LONG) blocks from my house. It's a bit of a hike, but it was a lovely night and I had traveled lightly (one backpack). It's always so strange to walk alone at night and I enjoyed the hushed, almost voyeristic sensation of dark streets and bright indoor lights.

My dad seems to be doing well. Today will be his first day out of the hospital, and he's returning to the Bethany Riverside nursing home to continue his recovery. He had hoped to finally be going home, but they need to continue an IV drip of antibiotics to fight off this tenacious infection. If they get this thing beat (and the doctor, the last I heard at any rate, seemed confident they would,) they'll be able to schedule his real-and-for-true hip replacement. That should be some time in September if everything stays positive. If not, my understanding is that they will just have to pospone things until the infection *is* finally cleared up.

My life, meanwhile, continues apace. On the train ride home last Wednesday, I had a kind of breakthrough moment with the newest novel and I like it a lot better. When I like a novel, it writes faster, so that's a very good thing. In fact, just today, while Shawn hung out with a fellow laid-off state employee, I managed to write nearly a thousand words in about an hour. That's my usual pace for a deadline novel.

I also FINALLY had the ceremony in which I received my yellow belt. (I'd tested earlier, but they've moved the ceremony to a later time now.) Turns out, the ceremony is now: "promotion and demo." I didn't know about that last part, so I was taken aback when asked to perform the white belt form in front of an audience. I think I did pretty well, and I was glad I wasn't all alone (an instructor and the blue belt candidate did it with me). Still, the whole time I was thinking, "ah, crap. I didn't take my inhaler because I thought I'd just be standing around" and it was like 103 and humid in the building.) But I didn't need it, even though later I also had to do a cartwheel AND a roll. I was pleased that I was able to do a "flying roll" (really, just a roll from a dead run onto a mat,) because, in all honesty, I like those better than having to start from kneeling or a crouch.

Mason, alas, was in charge of the camera, so, while he took a LOT of pictures, the quality on many of them is dubious. It's a really big shame that Shawn wasn't there with her telephoto lens skillz, because I would have LOVED to have seen myself "in action," as it were. Given how round I am in the one pretty good picture he got, I suspect I look a LOT like Kung Fu Panda.


Jul. 13th, 2011 10:39 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
My dad is currently in the OR. My mom and I are waiting in the waiting room at Gunderson in LaCrosse.

Weirdly, it's been a fun morning. We met my dad at the hospital at 7:00 am, and fell right into chatting about life, the universe, and everything. We got the nurses telling funny stories in pre-op and generally having a lot of what my dad calls, "talking smart."

The procedure is that they're going to replace my dad's hip with a "spacer," which is a custom built bone that's been saturated with antibotics. He'll keep that in until they can make him a cyborg with a mechanical replacement six months or so down the line. This will give him back the mobility he's been missing. He'll have to use a walker or a cane for a while because the spacer isn't built to last (think: temporary crown for the hip.)

With any luck, if things go well today, he can actually do his recovery at home. If not, he can go back to the recovery wing of the nursing home and do all the PT and whatnot there.

Probably the funniest part of this trip so far was the shuttle down to LaCrosse. [ profile] naomikritzer turned us on to this option. It's basically a long-distance hotel shuttle bus. They pick up at the St.Paul/Minneapolis airport and drop people off in Rochester, Winona and LaCrosse. Given the distance, I sort of expected more of a "bus," you know, with bathroom facilities. Nope. We were in an oversized minivan, knee-to-back, and the promised WiFi was quite spotty. I did manage to write a little on the way to Rochester, but when we changed buses the fun really began. The bus drive played polka music on the stereo and one of the other passangers ate stinky food in the front seat. The only good thing was that there were a lot fewer of us going the distance to Winona/LaCrosse, so I had a bench seat all to myself. I also had a long a very cheesy military SF novel called PRISON SHIP (these are all-male, man's men, doing manly things in space with other men). This added an extra level of surreal to the trip, especially with the polka music as background.

The other thing that kept me going was that the trip just isn't that long -- even with all the various stops at hotels.

So now my job for the day is to keep my mom company and be there when my dad comes out of it.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
... and realizes there's a government shutdown.

Shawn was terribly sick last week, so that, even though the MN State government was shutdown last week, she didn't really notice. She mostly just slept, coughed and blew her nose a lot. It was more like being out sick than being laid-off.

This morning, she's finally feeling better... and she remembered.

After the storm woke us up, she was awake much of the night worrying about everything. Shawn is a natural worrier, but, well, this situation is particularly worrisome.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for a trip down to LaCrosse. I'm going to hang out with my mom on Wednesday while my dad has the first of his hip replacement surgeries. The doctors did find more infection, so this is step one of a two step process. Since Mason is back at school, I've made plans to take a shuttle down to LaCrosse and the AMTRACK back. It should be quite the adventure. I'm most looking forward to the train ride, honestly, because trains are fun. The shuttle is a bus ride, so that should just be the usual yuckiness of a long bus ride. At least the bus offers WiFi.

I hope to get some writing on the stupid novel done. Wish me luck.

Shut Down

Jul. 1st, 2011 10:44 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Last night, at 12:01 am, the state of Minnesota shut down. My partner is out of work.

Yet, despite the financial hardship this is going to cause us, I don't want Governor Dayton to cave to the filthy Republicans. I would apologize for the adjective to any of my Republican friends, but these days I'm finding it harder and harder to keep friends who vote for people who are seriously willing to protect the rich at the expense of the poor.

Jesus wept.

I had to take an IQ test as an adult as part of testing for dyslexia (to check, in point of fact, that I *had* an actual problem and wasn't just a moron. For the record, I passed the test.) At any rate, one of the questions was: "Why do we pay taxes?" We pay taxes so we can have roads and schools and public services of all kinds. The Republicans in office right now don't seem to understand this basic concept. By protecting their rich friends and, presumably themselves, they are bankrupting the state (and the country.) I would (and do) pay my fair share; Dayton would. Why won't they, who have SO much more than the rest of us? The tax rate on the rich is lower now than it was under Reagan, and we all thought we should "Eat the Rich" then!

Christ on a crutch.

In the rest of my life, things continue to suck. Shawn is sick, Mason barfed last night, and I'm still making a very slow recovery from the flu. I actually blame myself for Mason's relapse last night. I thought he was well enough to treat to a Dairy Queen diner after our little trip to the beach yesterday. I was rewarded with the smell of regurgitated French fries all over the bed and floor at about 10:00 pm. o_O

My dad, too, has had a setback. The test for infection came back positive with E. coli. We don't quite know what this means yet, except that the doctors say "this complicates matters." He's in for more tests today, including an MRI. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the doctors will have a plan. Perhaps that's foolish, but hope is the last and greatest affliction that Pandora's box unleashed on us, isn't it?

At any rate, I spent part of last night, after the barfing incident, weeping. I think it's quite obviously because I really want my dad to get better (he's got things to do, places to go!), but weirdly the thing my mind focused on was my yellow belt test. I don't feel ready -- mentally or physically. And, they've changed the rules now so I _can_ fail, and, frankly, I don't need failure in my life at this juncture. I'm waffling this morning about e-mailing KSW and telling them that I need to wait again. It depresses me no end to delay, but it depresses me more to think about going and failing.

Also, they've changed the promotion ceremony too. It's no longer at the end of the test (because its no longer guaranteed,) so going won't even get me the belt. I have to go back on a different weekend for that, IF I pass.

So, I don't know. I once told JKN during a private lesson that the reason I joined KSW was very simple: to have fun. This is really all I want. And, frankly, every class is still fun -- even the ones where I come home exhausted, sweaty and bruised; or the ones where I completely botch an obstacle course at the second station; or when my "high" kick knocks over a chair... actually, those are my favorites. Which is to say, I have NEVER not enjoyed class.

I'm worried that I'm going to start to dread/hate tests.

I wish I could ask not to be promoted.


Jun. 29th, 2011 09:51 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Since I was feeling so sick yesterday, I took the day off as a day of rest. I may do the same today because sleeping seems to have done wonders. My nose is still drippy, but I feel quite a bit recovered. Mason is still low energy, which is very disconcerting for a boy who usually talks a mile a minute while dancing the entire time. He's in the other room streaming episodes of "Shaun the Sheep" from Netflix, and he seems to be giggling a bit more like normal, thank goodness.

One thing I managed to do yesterday is talk to the CONvergence folks. I had thought I was going to be out of town this weekend, so I cancelled all my appearances some time ago. I emailed them asking about day passes, and, they very kindly (as I am a confirmed guest for next year) offered to print out a badge for me to pick up at registration any time. They also, quite AMAZINGLY, even said they could find programming for me, if I'd like, but I declined. I mean, CONvergence is seriously imminent and that seemed a bit too demanding diva, even for me. Besides, I'd like the freedom to just come and go as I please. I can't remember the last time I just attended a con, so it might make a nice change.

So maybe I'll see some of you there?

With any luck, I will be a yellow belt when next you see me -- although the test is later in the evening on Saturday, so maybe not.

In other news, the saga of my father's illness continues. He's been making slow and steady progress conquering the c-def and getting rid of the edema. But he was still have so much trouble with his hip that my folks finally requested a doctor's visit for an x-ray. Guess what? My dad's hip wasn't arthritic at all; it was BROKEN. Probably, the doctors figure it was broken some time ago before all this started, though the physical therapy did NOT do it any good.

Irony anyone?

At any rate, he's going to be scheduled for a hip replacement surgery at some point in the near future (fingers crossed, next week.) But first they have to take a culture of his hip to make sure that there's no sepis virus lingering there. That, unfortunately, takes a week to grow (or not.)

So my poor dad is stuck at the nursing home for at least another week. To say that my parents are getting sick of that place is probably the understatement of the year. Plus, without the physical therapy, there's just not a lot for my dad to _do_. They're working his upper body and one good leg, but this has really become a waiting for the hip replacement game. I'm going to be sending white light in their direction hoping that the sepis virus is not lurking anywhere and that this operation can happen ASAP. The silver lining is that there's a really good indication that my dad will be able to have a "weight-bearing" deal, which means that he can do his remaining recovery at HOME.

That would be awesome.

Anyway, if you have spare "positive energy" or inclined to pray, send thoughts, etc., I'd sure appreciate some of them winging in the direction of my dad. This has been one seriously LONG recovery.
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
I love this summer so far. I managed to miss the 103 degree day, and have been shamelessly enjoying the cool breeze which, for me at least, makes for a good night's sleep. Last night, I opened the window and snuggled under a comforter. It was awesome. Of course, I also dreamed I was Ron Weasley, so that might have contributed to the joy.

I think, btw, that my subconscious is trying to tell me to stop ignoring the truth: I'm probably a Gryffindor, deep in my heart. I'll deny it, you know. Slytherin House needs someone like me. Someone gregarious and likable, heroic, yet deeply ambitious and a little dark. As my astrological chart says of my Mercury in Scorpio, "Your mind is deep, but rarely charitable."

Anyway, today is the day that, hopefully, I finish the revisions on Ana #3 (aka ALMOST EVERYTHING). Once I got over my inital reaction of, "Gah! My editor hates me! She's gutted the book!" (which, I should try to remember, happens to me every time, it's sort of like how I feel every time I get a rejection for a short story,) I discovered that the revisions aren't nearly as major as I feared. Luckily, my family was a bunch of duds last night and went to bed at 8:30 pm, which left me several hours to plow through pages. I got to about 175 or so, which is half way or nearly so. There is going to be more to do the closer I get to "THE END," but I'm hopeful the next several chapters will be as smooth saling as the previous ones.

Speaking of short stories, I've been continuing my podcast kick. I've listened to almost everything Lightspeed currently has on offer that seemed even remotely up my alley, and have moved into Fantasy (though I really prefer SF) as well, as checking out what's on offer over at PodCastle and EscapePod. I think I could listen a story a day for a thousand years, which is kind of nice. That's a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but I *am* seriously pleased how much stuff seems to be out there. Next time you see me at a convention, I'll be full of it. I mean I'll be full of knowledge of the short story field... yeah, that's it. ;-)

Speaking of science fiction, I just tried to Skype my dad. Any of you technically savvy people out there know why it is that my computer isn't transmitting sound?? I can see and hear my dad just great. He can see me, but not hear me. What's really, REALLY weird is that it doesn't seem to matter which computer I use. We have Skype set up on my computer and Shawn's and neither one wants to work, despite the fact that we've used it successfully in the past (I even talked to a friend who is in Korea!) I wonder if it isn't our 4G network. We've had to move it around to try to get a good signal, and maybe it no longer has the juice to connect us... anyway, if any of you folks know what might be up, I'd love a tutorial. It's so much fun to see my dad when I talk. It solves a problem I've always had with the phone, which is I'm not much of a chatter when I don't get visual cues.

Anyway, I should get back to work. I really want to finish up the revisions, because I've been kicking around a short story idea in my head. I've told myself, however, that I can't work on the short story unless I do some novel work first.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm having one of those days when I just want to eat cookies and spend all day surfing sites like this one.

Instead, I have a ton of stuff on my "to do" list. I did get a couple of things ta-done. I went to PetCo this morning and invested in some stuff recommended by our vet to help our cat, Inky, overcome his recent litter box issues. He's a young(ish) cat, and the doctor tested for infections, etc. And not finding anything conclusive -- there was a bit of blood in the urine, but that could have been from the procedure -- she suggested a couple of medical options (a one time asprin for any possible inflammation and some cosquine which, in addition to being good for old cat joints, apparently helps rebuild the bladder's lining) as well as the usual things like the Felaway aromatherapy, but also some new, softer litter and a "bubbler." Apparently one issue that Inky most certainly has is concentrated urine. She really wants him to drink more, and since he loves running faucets, I found a electric water fountain on sale. He went right to it the instant it was plugged in and running, so that's a hit. He also made a bee-line for the new litter, so apparently softer IS his preferrence.

Fingers crossed that this will be a solution.

Otherwise, if he continues to have problems, the doc suggested kitty prozac, which seems a bit drastic, don't you think? Though if the other option is putting him up for adoption, no, not so much.

Also, we are hiring Friendly Face Pet Services to watch over the cats while we are off to Indiana to visit Grandma Rounds in Indiana. So Katherine, the owner, stopped by the place and I introduced her to all the various pets (including the fish and gerbils), and showed her all the sneaky places we stash cat food, cat medicine, paper towel tubes for the gerbils, etc.

But I need to take off in a little bit to take Shawn to the doctor and then I'm off to "folder" again at Mason's school. At some point, I need to change the fish tanks so we are ready to leave them behind in Katherine's capable hands. The car, too, is in desperate need of an oil change, especially after all this driving back and forth to LaCrosse.

Speaking of LaCrosse, my father continues to improve. I've been checking in every day and it sounds like they're working him quite hard with the physical therapy, which is good. No time for lazing about! I told him that once the edema weight comes off, he's going to be like the character in Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron and FLY!

As an aside - The cool part of the above story is that my dad actually introduced me to that story when he gave me a copy of the Junior Great Books. In that same collection was Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt." I feel like there was a lot of other science ficiton in that sampler too, but those two stories really stuck in my head, regardless.

I may still have my original copy of that in the basement. I should dig it out and see if it's something Mason might some time.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
As y'all know, I couldn't go to WisCON this year, but I got to hear all about it starting last night when [ profile] seanmmurphy stopped by to tell me all about the Wyrdsmiths' party and the various panels he was on. Then, this morning, I went almost directly over to [ profile] naomikritzer's house to "debreif" about everything until sometime after lunch.

It was the next best thing to being there.

Tomorrow I get to hang out with Eleanor and get her take.

I love my friends.

Oh, and my dad continues to improve -- slow and steady. He still has a lot of edema caused, in his case, by earlier problems with plasma protein. The good news is that the swelling is going down on its own, if incrementally. He's going to get to talk to a doctor tomorrow who will probably proscribe medication that will help reduce it, plus continued physical therapy (and general recovery.)

What's been weirdly fun about my father's illness is that we've had this wonderful time to reconnect on a very deep level. We've always been a fairly close family, but, of course, I usually come to visit with Mason and Shawn. A lot of my folk's energy is focused on hanging out with the grandkid, so we really haven't had long, extended periods in which to hang out. I've found out/remembered how cool my dad is/has always been. I realized this time, too, that I really do share his eccelctic interest in nearly everything. My dad talks very disparagingly about times in which he's been too snooty to recognize the value in somethings, but I have to say that I don't see very much of that. He's one of those people who can get excited about almost any subject, which goes a long way to explaining my rather BROAD taste in "intellectual" persuits. (I put that in quotes because of the usual connotation of that word, which is, well, those snooty things, and what I really mean to imply is a general interest in ideas of all kinds regardless of where they originate.)

Plus, I got some very good one-on-one time with my mom, too. We had some really good, deeply personal discussion *and* I got to introduce her to the AWESOME that is "Kung Fu Panda." So, despite all the heartache and worry, it was actually sort of... well, fun... to get to be with my folks this weekend, DESPITE the circumstances.

Hopefully, come July when I head back there, we can have all the same without all the worry!


May. 27th, 2011 12:59 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I not only submitted a short story for a friend of mine (for whom I act as a sort-of-not-for-real short story agent,) BUT I also sent a story of my own off to the MinnSpec Anthology contest for Northern Lights II.

I was VERY submissive today.

Do I get a cookie?

The only other thing I have to report, really, is that [ profile] naomikritzer loaned me her copy of GIVE US A KING! by Everett Fox. It's a translation of the books of Samuel (I and II) in a way that is meant to convey what early listeners to the oral tradition of the Bible might have heard. There's a lot of attention given to the sound of words, puns, repetition and rhymes. It's actually pretty interesting so far, though I have to report an unintentional giggle when the "Isrealites were smitten in the field..." because I imagined a bunch of dudes suddenly smitten with one another! I suppose this is why most translators use "smited," which may be less correct but at least makes me think of devestation instead of smooching.


Otherwise, I am off to LaCrosse tonight to hang out with my dad as he continues his convelescence. I expect full WisCON reports from all y'all since I can't be there myself!

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