Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’m a bit drained after my chemo session yesterday–tired and a little queasy, but generally handling it better than my first round. It’s going to be a be fairly low-key holiday for us, with simple fare to accommodate my sensitive stomach. Just Matthew, Baku, and me at home.

But Thanksgiving is not about the food or even the celebrating; it’s about counting one’s blessings and being thankful for all the myriad things one has to be thankful for. And I do indeed have much to be thankful for:

  • First and foremost, I am thankful for Matthew who has been my rock through all this. I wouldn’t be able to cope at all without him at my side, propping me up and caring for me when I just have to slump over for a bit.
  • I’m thankful for all my beloved family and dear friends who let me know every day they’re thinking of me about sending me their hope and support and love.
  • And I’m thankful for my team of doctors and medical personnel at Emory who are taking such good care of me. This is a frightening journey I’ve embarked on, but they’ve done much to assuage my fears, answer my questions, and tender compassionate, expert care.
  • I’m also thankful for my readers and fans who cheer me on with their kind words and reassurance that they really do enjoy reading my work.
  • I’m thankful as well for supportive colleagues who rally me on, lending me their strength and experience and patience when mine flags.
  • And last but hardly least, I’m so very thankful for the gracious kindness and generosity of strangers.

Thank you, each and every one of you. You mean the world to me.

T-day Weekend in Review

Hope all who celebrate it had a fabu Thanksgiving!

Not much accomplished over the four-day holiday at Chez Foster. fosteronfilm had a cold/sinus malaise and Hobkin had an upset tummy, which resulted in me not doing much in general aside from comforting and playing nurse to both.

Whenever Hobkin’s sick or scared, he demands to be cuddled against my chest, with his head wedged beneath my chin, rather than just curling up at my side or in my lap. I think he finds the sound of my heartbeat soothing, and skunks in general (or perhaps it’s only Hobkin), seem to find being pressed between/against something comforting. Maybe since they live in borrows underground in the wild, pressed in hole=safe.

So I spent a good portion of the last four days propped on the couch with eight pounds of snoring fuzziness flopped on my chest, trying to balance my laptop on my stomach so I could get some work done. And those were the times when Hobkin was snoozing flat instead of lolling to one side, requiring me to use an arm to balance him in place—else he’d roll right off in his sleep and blame me for it (yes, that’s happened before)—and thereby forcing me to type one-handed. It’s hard enough typing using both hands with a skunk lying on me; I can’t see over him, so if I lose the home keys, if I can’t find them again by touch, I’m pretty much plum out of luck.

A couple of times, Hobkin flopped on Matthew instead of me, and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my two ailing boys (with my grainy, less-than-one-pixel-lame cell phone camera, alas):

I feel sort of remiss that I didn’t post a “Things I am Thankful For” Thanksgiving day post, as has been my tradition, but the day itself sort of slipped by me. Like last year, health issues conspired to make the holiday low key—although this year they weren’t mine but Matthew and Hobkin’s. But I think it’s good to remind myself that I have much to be thankful for. So herein my belated “Things I am Thankful For” list; it’s essentially a reprise of my 2006 list, but I am no less thankful two years later:

1. For my husband, Matthew, my best friend, love of my life, and soul mate. He cherishes me as I am, even with all my flaws and foibles. I am stronger because of his support and better because of his example.
2. For Hobkin, for making our house a home and reminding me that dignity is overrated, especially compared to laughter.
3. For family and friends: near, far, offline, and on.
4. For my health. Even as crappy as it is, it could be and has been much worse. And despite all the rips and worn spots in my human suit, it works well enough to keep me going—which is more than many people are able to say.
5. That I have the freedom and ability to chase my bliss and tell the stories that fill my days with magic.
6. For my beautiful home—my whimsy-filled sanctuary where unseen fey folk mysteriously turn on and off the lights and occasionally swipe and hide inexplicable items.
7. That I am not hungry or cold.
8. That I believe in and love myself.
9. For my day job, because it is an incredible blessing that I love what I do and not only don’t begrudge the hours I spend at the office but am glad of them.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words:
• 300 on The Stupid Novel.

Post-Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving was lower key than I planned. For most of the weekend, I slumped on the couch, alternating between pitiful whimpers and pained moans. Between the little men hammering inside my skull, the sundry aches and soreness of the rest of me, and a queasy tummy from popping Tramadols*, I only managed to venture forth from the house once.

Hobkin and fosteronfilm took turns sitting with me and being comforting, of which I am verily thankful for.

I think a weather-related pressure change is the culprit. I’m better now, although my sinuses are still giving off threatening twinges, and my shoulder is one shrug away from becoming (once again) a knotwork of “ow.”


*How in the name of anything holy could anyone even consider using Tramadol recreationally? I took two 50mg pills, twice a day—less than the maximum dose specified on the bottle, let me add—and even the thought of food made me turn green(er).

   


Writing Stuff

Less writing got done than I’d hoped over the holiday weekend, but then, I usually accomplish less than I plan to over holidays. Good intentions, foo.

Received:
• Contract from Llewellyn Press for “A Nose for Magic.”
• 253-day cordial pass from Aberrant Dreams.
• Invite from squirrel_monkey to submit to a Russian themed anthology she’s editing. It’s the next (I assume) in an anthology series, forthcoming by Prime Books, each drawn from a different world mythology (the first being Japanese Dreams which includes my story, “The Tears of My Mother, the Shell of My Father”—due out this monthish). Of course I said “yes.” I love world folklore/mythology/fairy tales, and this will give me an opportunity to explore in greater depth Russian fairy tales, which I’ve always adored.

New Words/Editing:
• 1000 words on my last (*sniffle*) Writing for Young Readers column: “Happily Ever After.” I thought it fitting that the topic for the final one be “endings.” Did several clean-up passes and sent it off to the editor.

And thus, I set down another hamster and bid it a teary farewell.

Published:
• “The Raven’s Brocade” in the December issue of Cricket:

I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again. I really love seeing my stories in Cricket. The artwork which accompanies them is always so wonderful.


Illustrations for “The Raven’s Brocade” by Nicole Wong

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keeping this blog gives me an opportunity to see my life as captured snapshots–where I am and what I’m doing from year-to-year. Again, my life’s changed a lot since last Thanksgiving, when I was day-jobless and scrambling to pay the bills on the meager and unreliable income of a freelance writer, which was a huge change from Thanksgiving 2004, where I was languishing at a soul-sucking job that I hated.

This year, my “Things I Am Thankful For” list remains unchanged–something in itself to be thankful for–save for one new, fabu addition:

1. My husband, Matthew. He is my best friend, the love of my life, and my soul mate. He can make me laugh, a gift I cherish more and more in this scary world, and he holds me when I cry. His sense of whimsy delights me, and his intellect thrills me. He completes me in every way. He is my shelter, my harbor, and my sanctuary.
2. Hobkin, for all the love and trust the little fuzzwit warms my life with every day. And the cuteness. Mustn’t forget the cuteness.
3. Family. Something I have not been able to be thankful for for a very large chunk of my existence–so long I’d almost forgotten how comforting it is to be able to have people who love me as a daughter and sister. I’m thankful for the reminder and the reality.
4. My friends: near, far, offline and on.
5. That my health, as crappy as it is, isn’t worse, as it could so easily be. I can dance, hear the music which is my husband’s laughter, see the adorable fuzzy beastie frisking at my feet, and hold them both close. Not everyone is that fortunate. And I am thankful that I can afford the medicines that keep me (mostly) well.
6. That I have the ability to compose creations of prose that I believe in and that others believe in (and that they want to pay me for). While my storytelling and literary skills are far below many people’s whose work I admire, I am improving year by year.
7. My beautiful home where I may run around in panda slippers and nothing else, and it’s all good.
8. That I am not hungry or cold.
9. That I believe in and love myself, a state hard won.
10. That I have the freedom to chase my bliss, even if I don’t exercise that freedom all the time.
and
11. That I have become one of the lucky few who loves their make-a -living gig. My new day job is everything I could ask for and never thought I’d have. I work with amazing people, folks who I can be myself around and not be ostracized or misunderstood (and who share my punctuation- and grammar-related idiosyncrasies), doing something I enjoy and that’s worthwhile, in a place that makes me smile because it’s just that beautiful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Much has changed in the time between today and last year’s Thanksgiving, but y’know, I find that I’m still thankful for the same things, and I consider myself extremely lucky to still have them to be thankful about.

Therefore, I’m going to repeat my Thanksgiving post from last year. If I never have to change this list in the years to come, I will consider my life blessed.

Things I am thankful for:
1. My husband, Matthew. He is my best friend, the love of my life, and my soul mate. He can make me laugh, a gift I cherish more and more in this scary world, and he holds me when I cry. His sense of whimsy delights me, and his intellect thrills me. He completes me in every way. He is my shelter, my harbor, and my sanctuary.
2. Hobkin, for all the love and trust the little fuzzwit warms my life with every day. And the cuteness. Mustn’t forget the cuteness.
3. Family. Something I have not been able to be thankful for for a very large chunk of my existence–so long I’d almost forgotten how comforting it is to be able to have people who love me as a daughter and sister. I’m thankful for the reminder and the reality.
4. My friends: near, far, offline and on.
5. That my health, as crappy as it is, isn’t worse, as it could so easily be. I can dance, hear the music which is my husband’s laughter, see the adorable fuzzy beastie frisking at my feet, and hold them both close. Not everyone is that fortunate. And I am thankful that I can afford the medicines that keep me (mostly) well.
6. That I have the ability to compose creations of prose that I believe in and that others believe in (and that they want to pay me for). While my storytelling and literary skills are far below many people’s whose work I admire, I am improving year by year.
7. My beautiful home where I may run around in panda slippers and nothing else, and it’s all good.
8. That I am not hungry or cold.
9. That I believe in and love myself, a state hard won.
10. That I have the freedom to chase my bliss, even if I don’t exercise that freedom all the time.

   


Writing Stuff

My Carnifex Press interview has been published. The formatting seems a bit off–all of my italics were lost and every time there’s a website URL, a line return follows it, which looks weird–but it’s up. Go read. There was shameless plugging.

New Words: -600 on “Rue and Ruin.” Yes, I’m going backward. My anxiety over the length overcame me, and I spent yesterday doing a rigorous editing pass on the story to-date. Feeling better about it, as I did indeed pare off some bloat, but I still have at least two scenes left, and under 2K to do them in.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,015 / 12,000
(83.5%)

Club 100 For Writers
      51

500/day
      102

Happy Thanksgiving

While I’m not big into turkey, being a vegetarian and all, I have much to be thankful for and it’s good to have a day dedicated to remembering that.

Things I am thankful for:
1. My husband, Matthew. He is my best friend, the love of my life, and my soul mate. He can make me laugh, a gift I cherish more and more in this scary world, and he holds me when I cry. His sense of whimsy delights me, and his intellect thrills me. He completes me in every way. He is my shelter, my harbor, and my sanctuary.
2. Hobkin, for all the love and trust the little fuzzwit warms my life with every day. And the cuteness. Mustn’t forget the cuteness.
3. Family. Something I have not been able to be thankful for for a very large chunk of my existence–so long I’d almost forgotten how comforting it is to be able to have people who love me as a daughter and sister. I’m thankful for the reminder and the reality.
4. My friends: near, far, offline and on.
5. That my health, as crappy as it is, isn’t worse, as it could so easily be. I can dance, hear the music which is my husband’s laughter, see the adorable fuzzy beastie frisking at my feet, and hold them both close. Not everyone is that fortunate. And I am thankful that I can afford the medicines that keep me (mostly) well.
6. That I have the ability to compose creations of prose that I believe in and that others believe in (and that they want to pay me for). While my storytelling and literary skills are far below many people’s whose work I admire, I am improving year by year.
7. My beautiful home where I may run around in panda slippers and nothing else, and it’s all good.
8. That I am not hungry or cold.
9. That I believe in and love myself, a state hard won.
10. That I have the freedom to chase my bliss, even if I don’t exercise that freedom all the time.

Lovely Thanksgiving

Had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. After making (and sampling) bourbon balls and gingerbread to bring (and then having a leetle nap after too many bourbon balls on an empty stomach), Matthew and I went to britzkrieg‘s to have a holiday feast with her and her fiancé, Jaime. FOOD. Much food. Still full thinking about it. There was salad made with lettuce fresh from britzkrieg‘s garden, and vegan UnTurkey with stuffing and veggies and spinach dip and warm dinner rolls and hot apple cider and apple pie (and of course gingerbread and more bourbon balls). Jaime is an excellent cook. Mmmm. Food! Stuffed to the seams, we then proceeded to watch the extended version of Two Towers on DVD–much better than any football game–while their pride of house felines made friendly, and one of them tried to eat our hair. Hee.

Wonderful, wonderful time was had by all. I don’t think I’ll need to eat again for another couple days. Oof.

Debating whether to brave the crowds on the official first day of Christmas shopping to do . . . Christmas shopping. Or maybe we’ll go out to see Love Actually.

Writing stats:

The last straggling crits of my SF piece on Critters have come in, bringing the total to a round thirty. Gleep. Pondering the rewrite, but very little progress made on much of anything. Ah well. It’s a holiday. Maybe I’ll send some more thank you notes out. That’s sort of like being productive . . .