I finally got around to watching The Umbrella Academy on Netflix, after hearing lots of mostly-positive comments and reviews. Naturally, I must now share ALL OF MY OWN COMMENTS AND REVIEWS. Such is the nature of the internet…

I mostly enjoyed it, though the ending felt empty and unsatisfying.

Details behind the spoiler cut…

Read the rest of this entry » )
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We have a slightly more concrete plan for the coming weeks, with the understanding that plans can change from day to day based on test results, scheduling issues, the whims of the insurance companies, and more.

Amy’s currently going through her third round of R-EPOCH chemotherapy (her fifth or sixth total round of chemo, depending on how you count them.) The goal is to do one more round the first full week in May, then do another CT scan. If she looks cancer-free at that time, we’ll move on to the bone marrow transplant step.

I got choked up the first time the phrase “cancer-free” came up. There’s so much hope and fear wrapped up in those two words, and in the results of that scan a month or so from now. We know she’s responded well to treatment so far, but there’s so much unknown…

We got to spend some good family time together for my birthday weekend, which was nice. I ate way too much, which was also nice 🙂

I’d like to believe the end is in sight, and we’re starting to move toward the next steps of her recovery and rebuilding our new normal. The whole family is pretty damn tired of cancer and chemo and all the rest. This crap gets old pretty quick.

We learned something exciting this week, though. Amy’s been using an infusion pump that delivers her chemo cocktail over the course of 3-4 days. But the tubing has sprung a leak at least three different times, all in the same spot. It looks like the chemotherapy meds are actually eating through the air filter in the line. These are the chemicals they’re pumping into my wife’s body…

Well, if they eat through filters, hopefully they’ll gobble up cancer cells even better.

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Let me preface this post by saying, thanks to a clause in the ACA and a significant amount of luck, we’re all right.

The default in the United States is that you’re supposed to get insurance through your employer. The employer picks up some/most/all of the cost, and that coverage is considered one of the benefits of employment.

As you may recall, back in December, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 lymphoma. She spent about six weeks in the hospital, and if everything goes well and the chemo and bone marrow transplant both work, she might be able to go back to work at the end of the summer.

Fortunately, we have relatively good health insurance coverage. According to the benefit statements, her treatment has cost somewhere between half a million and a million dollars so far. We’ve only been responsible for a very tiny fraction of that cost.

Jump to last week, when we got a letter from a benefits management company. Because my wife hadn’t been working since late November, her benefits were being cancelled. The official reason was “reduced work hours.” Our options were to either pay for COBRA coverage to continue on the plan we had, or we could go to the Health Exchange to find a new plan. Either way, we were now responsible for the full cost of our health insurance. In addition, if we chose a new plan, we’d be responsible for any new deductibles.

Here’s where the luck kicks in. Back when I tried to quit my day job a few years back, they created a part-time position for me, one I could do mostly from home. And as a result, I could continue to receive health insurance (but not vision or dental) through that job.

The benefits management letter was telling us our family’s dental and vision insurance were no longer covered by my wife’s company. But we still have health insurance.

COBRA costs to continue dental and vision are about $150 a month for our family. We can handle that. What would have been a lot harder would be paying probably $1000-$2000 per month so we could continue getting health insurance through COBRA.

Cobra Commander

Think about it.

  1. You get health insurance through your employer, just like you’re supposed to.
  2. You get really sick. Fortunately, you have health insurance! Well done, you!
  3. Because you’re sick, you can’t go to work. A few months later, you lose your health insurance.
  4. Surprise! Not only are you on reduced income from not working, you’ve got to cover a couple thousand dollars of new expenses every month!

We’ve designed a system that abandons people when they need it the most. Is it any wonder we see hundreds of thousands of families declaring bankruptcy every year because of medical expenses?

Ackbar: It's a trap!

If my employer hadn’t really wanted to keep me on – so much that they created a new position for me,  and if the ACA hadn’t allowed me to continue receiving health insurance through them, I would currently be A) panicking like a cat in a cucumber field, and B) looking into GoFundMe and other ways of making sure we can continue to afford to keep my wife alive.

That we put people in this position when they’ve done everything “right” in terms of finding a job and working for years for their benefits – hell, the fact that we put anyone in this kind of position, period – is obscene. The whole for-profit approach to health care in this country is literally killing people.

My family is very fortunate in many ways, and we’re all right for now. But as a country, we have got to do better.

Over on Goodreads, someone asked me for advice for people who want to be authors. That’s a pretty broad question, and comes up in one form or another pretty routinely. So I’m gonna break it down into bite-sized chunks and post stuff as I have time and inspiration.

1. Why are you asking me?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask me for advice, but why are you? Do you know anything about my career or what I write, or are you taking a shotgun approach and asking anyone and everyone you can find? My advice will be based on my experiences and my goals, which won’t be the same as yours. Recognizing those differences can help you know when to follow — or not follow — my advice.

2. Ask around, but avoid the “Preachers.”

Every author’s career path is different, so it’s good to ask around. Follow other authors online, read their blogs and learn about their experiences. Lots of us are very open about this stuff. But be very careful about anyone who insists they know the One True Path to publishing success. There isn’t one. If someone sounds like they’re on a Crusade, just smile and nod and back away.

3. It’s okay to write crap.

In the early part of my career, perfectionism was killing my productivity. Very few authors can produce publishable first drafts. I had to shut off the editor brain and just write. Once I had something on the page, I could go back and make it better, but you can’t revise a blank page. And if you spend all your time trying to make the first page perfect, you’ll never write page two.

4. Stock up on patience.

One way or another, writing and publishing tend to be slow. DAW published Goblin Quest more than five years after I’d finished writing it. Finding an agent was a multi-year endeavor. And the writing itself…some of these books take me more than a year to write. Being a writer is a long-term thing, not an overnight transformation.

5. What are your goals?

Do you want to see your book in bookstores? Do you want to write one book or many? Do you want to make a living at this? Do you want to write fanfiction or tie-in fiction or original stuff or all of the above? What’s driving you to write in the first place? Figuring out exactly what you want will help you figure out how to get there.

6. Read in your genre.

Read older stuff so you know what’s been done and how the genre has changed. Equally or more important: read new stuff so you know what’s being done today. Hint: publishers aren’t buying the same stuff they were buying fifty years ago, or even ten years ago.

7. Read outside of your genre.

I’ve found this to be a great way of learning new techniques and tricks for compelling storytelling. Read poetry to learn about word choice and imagery and rhythm. Read romance to learn about writing engaging relationship conflicts and resolution. Read comedy to learn humor. Read scripts to study dialogue.

8. Write.

This is the big one. If you want to be a writer, write. Get some words on the page, good or bad, and then write some more. Write what excites you. Write what makes you laugh or cry. Write what knots your guts up with fear. Write gorgeously. Write crap. Write your stories.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Mar. 29th, 2019 09:30 am)

Friday will be DMing “The Lost City” for his son’s slumber party tonight.

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I got to meet and hang out with author Fonda Lee at the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop a few years back. Recently, Lee was at Barnes and Noble and observed:

“This is what modern fantasy writers are up against. In my local B&N, most authors are lucky to find a copy of their book, super lucky if it’s face out. There are 3.5 shelves for Tolkien. 1.5 for Jordan. Here’s who we compete against for shelf space: not each other, but dead guys.” (Source)

Her Tweets got a lot of attention, leading to an article by John Trent at Bounding Into Comics that derides Lee and accuses her, among other things, of criticizing Tolkien. Not that Lee ever did this. Her second Tweet in that thread said, “Before you @ me about the importance of classics, I love LOTR too, okay?” One might almost suspect Trent’s comment, “Lee isn’t the first person to criticize Tolkien,” of being an attempt to stir up shit.

An effective attempt, it seems. Lee has been barraged by Tolkien Defenders over on Twitter.

Trent opens his article with the claim, “Science Fiction and Fantasy author Fonda Lee, the writer of the Green Bone Saga, decried Barnes & Noble for stocking popular fantasy authors J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan.”

Nowhere does Lee say B&N shouldn’t stock Tolkien and Jordan. She’s complaining that these two authors get 4-6 shelves in the B&N SF/F section, which means other authors are left with little or no space at all.

Back to Trent:

“Fonda then explains the business that Barnes & Noble is in. She describes it as as ‘a place of discovery.'”

Lee’s actual Tweet:

“If you think a bookstore should be a place of discovery, who goes into B&N and ‘discovers’ Tolkien? Do they figure people want another 5 copies of LOTR and aren’t interested in all the other work out there?”

Lee isn’t booksplaining the business Barnes & Noble is in. She’s talking about one aspect of bookstores — discoverability. Nowhere does she say that’s the sole purpose of B&N.

And she’s not wrong. For readers looking to discover new books and new authors, 4-6 shelves of two dead fantasy authors is a hindrance. It also makes things harder for other authors trying to get their own work out there.

All in all, Trent’s article seems less about accurate reporting and more about distorting someone’s comments to sic the trolls on her and stir up a game of, “Let’s you and her fight.”

Numerous commenters are happy to take his bait, attacking Lee as an author, claiming she doesn’t write well and she should try “not to suck.”

Let’s see here… Fonda Lee won the World Fantasy Award, the Aurora Award (twice), had her work named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, SyFy Wire, and — oh yes — Barnes & Noble. She’s been a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, the Nebula Award, and the Oregon Book Award. She won the Oregon Spirit Book Award, and was a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers.

Reader, I wish my writing could “suck” as well as Lee’s!

Now, there is a valid point buried in the article and comments. Bookstores are a business, just like publishers and all the rest. Their goal is to make money, and that means stocking books they believe will sell the best. Tolkien and Jordan sell a lot of books.

But there’s also some chicken-and-egg logic to untangle here. All other factors being equal, an author with a three-shelf display is going to sell a hell of a lot better than an author with one or two books squeezed spine-out on the shelf. Bookstores and publishers choose which books to promote, which books to put face-out, which books to put on table or end cap displays, and so on. All those things help to sell books.

Writing a good book helps a lot too, but let’s not pretend that’s the only factor in a book’s commercial success.

The emphasis on these books also sends a message about what kind of customer B&N is targeting. Lee notes that her store had:

  • 18 copies of Lord of the Rings
  • Only 1 copy of the Nebula- and Hugo-award winning The Fifth Season
  • Only 1 copy of Lee’s own World Fantasy Award-winning Jade City

Three titles isn’t enough to make any statistically sound conclusions. But this doesn’t suggest that B&N is interested in a broader, more diverse range of customers, or that they want customers who are looking to discover newer, exciting authors. It feels like “more of the same” marketing. “If you liked this dead white guy’s fiction, you might also like this other dead white guy’s fiction.”

Barnes & Noble knows books by Tolkien and Jordan are reliable sellers. They’re safe.

It’s a choice. B&N has the right to make whatever choice they want about who to feature and how to fill their shelves. Lee’s comments simply point out that this choice hurts discoverability for both authors and readers. She also thanks independent bookstores, which are often more willing to take risks, to customize their selection for their local readers, and to focus on more than just the safe same-old.

I wonder if that’s one of the reasons for the resurgence in independent bookstores

In the meantime, Lee’s book Jade City has been sitting in my TBR pile for a while. I may need to bump it to the top.

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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Mar. 21st, 2019 02:56 pm)

Not too much to report, actually. Which in some ways is probably a good thing.

The Storytime idea I brought up last week is still evolving into its final form. I have an idea for it that I really like, but I need to clear a couple of things with my agent first. This may or may not work out, but I’ll keep folks informed one way or another.

Over in Cancerland, my wife completed another round of chemo. She’s got a minimum of 2-3 more to come, and possibly as many as 5, before we head back to Detroit for the bone marrow transplant. This last round came with the traditional nausea and weakness, but after a week and a half of recovery, she’s doing pretty well again. (Just in time to go back in on Monday to start it all over again.)

In the midst of all this fear and uncertainty and wishing cancer would just go back to hell, I’ve also noticed how much closer Amy and I have been these past few months. No relationship is perfect, and ours has had its speed bumps and potholes. Cancer has a way of shaking everything up and recalibrating your priorities. There’s a lot more appreciation and gratitude and tenderness.

There’s also the simple fact that we get to spend more time together. Take yesterday – I took her in for a blood transfusion, which was supposed to start at 9 in the morning. Thanks to the lab mislabeling one of her blood tests, it didn’t actually start until past noon, and we didn’t get out of there until about 5 or so.

Which meant, essentially, we got to spend a day together just hanging out. A hospital room isn’t much fun, but we watched a bit of TV, read some of A Wind in the Door, went for a couple of walks around the unit, and just got to be together. I can’t remember the last time we were able to do something like that back when we were both working and running all over trying to keep up with everything.

If all goes well, we’ll be going out as a family for a belated birthday dinner for my son, and maybe even sneaking away again to see Captain Marvel before Amy starts back up with chemo. It’ll be nice to have a couple days of relative normalcy.

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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Mar. 9th, 2019 11:09 am)

Earlier this week, I caught a news story about a principal who read bedtime stories on Facebook Live for her students (and anyone else who wanted to listen.) It got me thinking about maybe doing something similar with my own stuff.

So, who might be interested in the occasional live reading of some of my stuff? I’m currently thinking about doing it via Facebook, but there are plenty of other platforms, and I’m not entirely sure what’s easiest for everyone.

I’d probably start with doing maybe one a month and see how things go.

Because of audio rights and contract stuff, I don’t think I’d leave a public archive of the readings. Maybe keep them up for 24 hours for anyone who missed them?

I’m still at the beginning of thinking all this through. What do you think?

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Mar. 1st, 2019 09:30 am)

Friday is derived from the word “fried,” meaning “tired and exhausted.” Therefore, we should all be allowed to sleep in today.

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The Nebula and Hugo awards are generally considered to be two of the most prestigious and well-known awards for science fiction and fantasy literature. As a result, lots of authors would really like to win them.

Hugo AwardI won a Hugo in 2012 for my fan writing about SF/F, and I was on the Nebula preliminary ballot once — back when the Nebula awards had a preliminary and a final ballot. I have brilliant writer (and editor) friends who have shelves full of Hugos and/or Nebulas. I have equally brilliant writer/editor friends who’ve never even been nominated.

So how does an author go about getting on the ballot? There isn’t one Right Answer to that question, but I’d suggest the first step would be to understand how the awards work. Authors do not submit their work for consideration for either the Hugo or the Nebula. Instead, works are nominated and voted upon by members of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in the case of the Nebula, and members of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) for the Hugos.

In theory, members nominate what they believe are the best works in each category. From those nominations is born a final ballot. Members vote for the best, and a handful of writers get to figure out how to transport a hefty trophy home. (Taking a Hugo — shaped like a rocket — through airport security can be an adventure…)

All right, if authors can’t submit their work for consideration, what can they do?

Do Nothing.

This is certainly the easiest approach, in many ways. Just write your best work, and trust readers to find it and nominate it for consideration. In an ideal world, this would result in the best stuff being nominated and winning each year.

This is not an ideal world. Some works receive much more publicity and promotion than others. A brilliant book by an unknown author might be seen by far fewer people than a mediocre book by a bestselling author. A story in a popular magazine or anthology will receive more attention than a story in a smaller or more niche market.

Some would argue that doing nothing is the professional and classy approach to awards. I can understand where they’re coming from, and if all else was equal, I’d probably advocate the same thing. But as we’ve seen again and again, all things are not equal…

Post a Roundup of Your Eligible Works

Nebula AwardAs awards season approaches, more and more authors are posting a list of their award-eligible work from the previous year. Here’s mine from 2017, as one example. This works in two ways.

  1. It reminds your readers about stuff they may have read but forgotten about. I had a new book out a few weeks ago, but by the time awards season rolls around next year, people might not remember the continuing adventures of Jim’s space janitors. A roundup post can jog folks’ memories.
  2. It lets people know about work they might have missed. I self-published a Magic ex Libris sequel last January, but because it wasn’t through my big publisher, fewer people heard about the story. Someone who’s a fan of your work might discover something that slipped past them, and decide to check it out and see if it’s nom-worthy.

There will be people who say eligibility lists are tacky and unprofessional. I’m not one of those people (obviously). I see nothing wrong with reminding people what you’ve had published. As a writer and often-nominator, I appreciate the reminders and the chance to check out things I missed.

Amal el-Mohtar has a good post from 2014 on this topic: Of Awards Eligibility Lists and Unbearable Smugness.

Share Copies of Your Eligible Works

Unsolicited: When I first joined SFWA, I’d get a handful of books in the mail each year from authors asking me to consider nominating their books for the Nebula. These days, I’ll get the occasional email linking to a story or offering to send me an e-book for consideration.

I don’t know that I’ve ever nominated something based on this kind of cold-call from a stranger. And in 2019, it gets really easy to cross the line into spam. At least when people were sending me books, they had to look up my individual address in the SFWA directory and pack up the book with a cover letter and pay postage to get it to me.

Nowadays, an email to “Dear Reader” with my email address in the BCC: field is likely to go straight to the junk mail folder.

Posted Online: Making your work available online, or linking to where it’s been published online, is a less intrusive and obnoxious way of sharing your stuff. This goes well with the eligibility list approach I mentioned before.

My contracts often prevent me from posting things online. As an alternative, I usually note in my eligibility post that I’m happy to email a copy of an eligible story to anyone who’s interested and will be nominating. But I’m not comfortable with sending things out unsolicited.

(The corollary here is that if you’re going to be nominating, it doesn’t hurt to contact an author or publisher if there’s something you’re particularly interested in reading and considering for the award. I mean, the worst they can say is no, right?)

Logrolling/Vote-Swapping

“Psst. Hey, buddy — I’ll nominate your book for the Nebula if you nominate mine!”

It happens. I don’t think it happens as much as it used to, though I don’t have hard data one way or the other.

It’s also, in my opinion, pretty dickish. This approach may get you some extra nominations. It will also quickly get you a reputation as That Author, the one who doesn’t give a damn about whether or not a book is any good, and just wants to cheat their way onto the ballot.

Technically, it may not be cheating — but while this approach might not violate the letter of the rules, it’s pretty blatantly cheating the spirit of the thing. And it’s unlikely to win you an award.

Slates

::Dons helmet and flame-resistant suit::

In simplest terms, I think of slates as attempts to organize a group to vote for the same (or similar) handful of works in an effort to get them onto the ballot. (Often, but not necessarily, for reasons other than the strength and quality of the slated work.)

There are a ton of eligible works every year, and people’s tastes can vary widely. Also, not everyone who’s eligible to nominate does so. For these reasons, a relatively small group of people voting in lockstep can have a disproportionate impact on what makes it onto the final ballot.

We saw this for several years with the Hugo Awards, beginning with Larry Correia’s “Sad Puppy” slate in 2014. Those were some ugly, painful, frustrating years. Slates had varying levels of effectiveness at getting works onto the ballot, but slate-nominated works pretty much universally lost — often coming in behind “No Award” in their categories.

Some authors were very deliberately and strategically trying to game the system to get their own work and/or the work of their friends onto the ballots. Other authors were unaware they’d been added to a slate, and were dragged into the resulting mess against their will.

The issue of slates has come up again this year, reopening old wounds for some of the folks who got caught up in the Hugo slate issues a few years back.

What’s the difference between a Slate and a Recommended Reading List? If someone posts a list of who they’re nominating, is that a Slate?

None of these criteria are absolute, but here are some of the things I look at.

  1. Are people being encouraged, explicitly or implicitly, to vote for the same specific set of works?
  2. Is the list mostly or entirely made up of works by members of the same group being pushed to use that list for nominating/voting?
  3. How much of the focus is on Proving a Point?
  4. Is the creator of the list genuinely, visibly enthusiastic about the works?

Like the logrolling/vote-swapping approach, slates can get things onto a ballot, but they also tend to hurt a lot of people, including the nominated authors (as everyone’s left wondering if their work would have made the ballot on its own merits), and those authors pushed off the ballot by this kind of bloc-voting approach.

Buy Lots of Voting Memberships

This wouldn’t work for the Nebulas, but for the Hugo Award, if you bought enough memberships, you could essentially nominate and vote multiple times. It’s been alleged that this tactic was used in 1987 to get Black Genesis by L. Ron Hubbard onto the ballot.

The book did indeed make it onto the final Hugo ballot. It lost, coming in last place, below “No Award.”

In other words, if this was a vote-buying scheme, it was a very expensive way to lose an award (badly) and tarnish the reputations of those involved.

#

Inclusion of various tactics listed above is not endorsement (duh). And none of these approaches guarantee your work will ever be nominated. That’s not how this works. Awards are nice, but they don’t define success or failure in the field.

Keep in mind that awards have different expectations and histories and cultures. The rules and expectations for the Hugo or Nebula Awards might be very different from other awards.

Ultimately, my best advice would be:

  1. Write the best stuff you can.
  2. Never assume you’re entitled to an award.
  3. Don’t be a dick.

This got really long. I’m sure I’ve still missed some things. Thanks for reading, and feel free to discuss further in the comments.

Cover Art: Voyage of the DogsI’ve had a harder time concentrating these past couple of months, and have struggled to get into the books in my TBR pile. So I decided to skip ahead to Greg van Eekhout‘s middle grade SF Voyage of the Dogs. I hoped the voice and the shorter length would work better with my current state of mind.

This was the right choice.

Here’s the publisher’s summary of the book:

Lopside is a Barkonaut, a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet.

When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship.

Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts — and Barkonauts always complete their mission.

SOS. Ship damaged. Human crew missing.
We are the dogs. We are alone.

The best word I can come up with to describe this one is sweet. These are four Very Good Dogs, doing whatever they can to complete their mission. They care about each other, just like they cared about their humans. I’m not sure exactly how van Eekhout did it, but he makes you want to reach into the book and give them all belly scritches and reassure them that yes, they’re good dogs.

There are plenty of dangers – the ship is in bad shape, and the dogs don’t know what happened to the humans. And there are parts where the dogs have to struggle with feeling abandoned, and with fears of what’s going to happen to them. But the book never dwells on the darkness or lets the reader lose that sense of doggie determination.

I particularly loved the moments of dogness, like the way Lopside keeps wishing he could hunt a rat, or Daisy watching the viewscreen because it’s the closest she can get to sticking her head out the window.

It’s obvious van Eekhout loves dogs – it comes through in every bit of dialogue, in the personalities of the four Barkonauts, and in the stories sprinkled throughout the book of other heroic dogs from history. Not to mention his author photo.

This book was fun, hopeful, heartfelt, and just what I needed.

I’ll be passing it on to my son, who’s also a dog-lover. I expect him to completely adore this book.

Read a sample here. Or, you know, just go ahead and buy it.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Feb. 22nd, 2019 09:30 am)

Friday needs to stop stalking the Amazon page for Terminal Uprising, checking for reviews and sales rank…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Feb. 21st, 2019 12:14 pm)

Cancer Stuff

We got back about a week ago from my wife’s latest round of chemo. She had an infusion reaction and a painful (but not life-threatening) side effect from one of the meds, but otherwise things went pretty well. The oncologist says the lymphoma is responding well to treatment.

In better news, it sounds like they’re going to transfer her care from the hospital in Detroit to a more local cancer center, which means no more 90-minute drives back and forth, and no more needing to stay in the hospital apartments for 1-2 weeks at a time. (At least until we get to the bone marrow transplant part of the process.)

People have asked what they could do, which is very kind and much appreciated. I don’t think there’s much we need at the moment, so my suggestion would be to look into donating blood. Amy needed a lot of blood products at the beginning, and will probably need additional transfusions, and it all drove home how important it is to have a well-supplied local blood bank.

Writing Stuff

On the writing front, I actually got a little work done on Terminal Peace earlier this week. Not much, but it was something. I’m hoping as the cancer stuff calms down a bit, I’ll be able to keep making progress there. But helping my wife to get well again and taking care of the kids is still the priority.

Thanks to everyone who boosted about Terminal Uprising coming out last week, and to those of you who’ve commented how much you enjoyed it and/or posted reviews. I haven’t been able to do as much promo this time, for obvious reasons, so I’m even more appreciative.

I’m still hit-or-miss on emails and such, but I’m trying to catch up and stay on top of things.

Depression Stuff

I’ve talked about my depression off and on. I’d expect, given everything that’s happened these past two months, that I’d be drowning in a nasty brain-weasel flare-up. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen too much sign of that yet.

Yet being the key word there. My response to crisis has always been to focus on helping the person in crisis and doing whatever I can do. I’ve been in that mode for two+ months now.

I suspect sooner or later it’s going to catch up and knock me on my ass. So I’m trying to watch my own symptoms, and to do what I can to take care of myself. Things like letting other people around town help out, or even asking for help when I need it. I also scheduled an appointment with my former therapist for next week, just to come in and talk and vent and see what happens. Then there’s stuff like sitting around and watching the second season of Dragon Prince with my son to relax and unwind a little.

I know I’m keeping some things stuffed down for now to help me function. But I don’t feel like I’m hiding from it. So far, this seems to be working.

Random Cancer-Related Observation

I’ve lost about ten pounds since this all started. This diet plan sucks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
( Feb. 15th, 2019 09:30 am)

Friday is trying not to obsessively check email now that Project K is out on submission…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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