some things I am afraid of

October 7, 2016

I’m not talking about fears like paying the bills or what will happen if Trump wins the election (no no no no no no no no no). I’m talking irrational, gut-roiling, never-leave-you fears.  Stupid primal lizard fears.  Here are some of mine.

Falling.  This only started a few years ago, and it’s really sporadic. I have no problems with natural drops, ladders, driving on mountain roads — anything where I’m in control.  But give me a sharp edge and a long drop, and I get really uncomfortable. Like the interior balconies at various DragonCon hotels.  I think, “I could just go over the edge. I could just do it.”  And then I kind of want to.  No no no no.  I stay away from sharp edges and long drops.

Accidental guillotining.  Strangely enough, I’ve encountered this in a couple of movies/TV shows now, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and The Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec.  And I can’t get it out of my head.  How awful.  How truly horrible.  I mean, how does that even happen?  And that sound. The swish and thunk. Just no. I will be staying away from guillotines forever.

Mount Everest.  Ah.  This one.  This really is Death Mountain.  The Everest movie that came out last year was on TV a couple weeks ago and I tried watching it, and there’s a long expository lump where the cute doctor tells everyone all the horrible physiological things that can happen to them, against a backdrop of climbers hacking up gouts of blood because of pulmonary edema, and I had to turn it off.  I just didn’t want to see that.  Frozen bodies used as landmarks, extremities lost to skin-blackening frostbite, avalanches, horrorshow all around.  The thing is, there’s really no reason for people to be there, putting themselves through that, but ambition and hubris.  Seriously, no reason at all to be hacking up gouts of blood.  But there you go.  Hundreds of people do it every year.

Of all my irrational fears, this is the one I’m drawn to rather than repelled by. I keep reading about Everest. I watch shows about it. The horror of it — climbers at the edge of death making satellite phone calls to loved ones because they know they’re not going to make it, yikes — is fascinating.  And you know what else?  I kind of want to go.  Not to climb the mountain, god no, I’m not a mountain climber and I would so so die.  But I kind of want to go to Base Camp.  Just to see.  Just to encounter up close some of that crazy death-facing energy.

I could do it. Plenty of trekking expeditions go to Base Camp and no further.  It would still be rough — Base Camp is at 17,000 ft elevation.  But Colorado is an ideal location for training. I’m functional and comfortable at 10,000 ft (my average mountain trip around here).  I have hiking opportunities at 12,000 feet, and can get to 14,000 feet with preparation and planning.  Spend a year doing that, get my red blood cell count up, my stamina up.

I could do it.  I kind of want to.  Just to see that mountain for myself.



I spent the weekend camping (SCA event), and so am spending another Monday catching up on sleep, doing laundry, and staving off a cold.  All this traveling, and I’ve managed to not come down with con crud or camping crud or anything.  Let’s see if I can keep healthy!

Things that happened:

  • Saw the biggest spider that wasn’t a tarantula I’ve ever seen, and I would have been fascinated — if it had not been in my tent, inches from my bed.  I managed to get it outside without killing either of us.
  • I learned to make lampworked beads.  Not sure this is something I’ll add to my list of hobbies, but it’s nice to work on getting over my fear of Crafts Involving Fire. (Long story, there.)

In other news:

  • The September issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction has my story “The Mind is Its Own Place.” This story has a lot of history to it — I wrote the first version maybe 12 years ago?  15?  I sent it out and it never sold.  Well, last year I pulled it out again — and knew how to fix it.  So I did.  I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to have proof that I’m clearly a better writer than I was 15 years ago.
  • Hex Publishers’ online zine WORDS has reprinted my story “Letter From Nancy.”

And now, I think I need to get some groceries so I can actually eat.  Until the next trip, in just two week.  Yikes!


I wrote a play!

August 29, 2016

I wrote a play.  A short play, about 15 minutes or so, called “Simulation.”  The theater department at Linfield College in McMinneville, OR, where my brother works as TD will be staging it in a few weeks, Sept 22-24.

It’s so exciting because Rob and I did a bunch of theater together in high school (I have a picture of us somewhere in South Pacific — he was a singing dancing sailor and I was a singing dancing nurse), and we’ve talked for years about working on a show together that I would write.  And now it’s happening, at least on a small scale.  Maybe the start of something bigger?  Hmmm….

I’m planning on being there for the performances.  If you’re in the area — you’re invited, too!  For more information check out the Linfield Theater Dept. website.

linfield 2016 season

catching up

August 12, 2016

That’s a lie.  I will never catch up.  Those last few emails will never get answered.

On the plus side, my Ghostbusters review went live on Lightspeed.  I went the historical context route this time.

My travels to Pennsic were good.  Driving across the midwest on I-80 is challenging.  I have a five day turn around before I leave for Worldcon, and too much to do.  So of course revision notes on Bannerless and galley corrections for Martian Abroad landed this week.  Huzzah!

I’ll post my schedule next week.  It’s gonna be hella busy.

Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite things from Pennsic:

nine days wonder

I danced with them for two of the days.



August 10, 2016

I got my first ever pedicure last week.  AREN’T MY TOES PRETTY?!



August 8, 2016

Every now and then I find a really cool present for a friend or family member and I want to post to show off how awesome this thing that I found is.

But then the person I want to give it to will see it and it will no longer be a surprise.

It’s these kinds of thing about technology that no one predicted.

(And happy birthday to my brother Rob!)



sometimes I do all right

August 5, 2016

steak dinner

Sometimes I manage to put together a pretty good dinner.  I was really happy with this one:  London broil, steamed asparagus, and curried potatoes.  All with a nice pinot noir.  Ahhh…