How I Do It, Now That I Am Old

Kage Baker never kept much of a story idea file.

That’s the file where you keep the ideas that might become stories. It’s full of articles of interest, isolated signs or photos of provocatively dubious provenance, and disjointed phrases that somehow made your hair stand on end. Sometimes there are whole written but orphaned scenes – detailed in their brief existence, but with no support or progeny. Sometimes there’s a character description, or a note that you need to write a story about a character with a specific tattoo; or maybe a wooden leg with a whistle carved into it that sounds The Ride of The Valkyries when they run real fast ..

It’s your own private slash pile. Most of the entries will never see the light of day. Kage kept some notes in her file, but it was really only because I nagged her to do it. She rarely went back and resurrected an idea from those halls of preserving amber. I’ve used a couple of them, when writing “Pareidolia” and finishing the second Ladies of Nell Gwynne’s novel: which is where I discovered that Kage had only kept enough records to placate me ..

I might have a few sharp words about that, if I ever got the chance. Probably not, though. I’d be too happy to turn the whole thing back over to her. Once I got done hugging her and crying, anyway.

Myself, I do keep notes; advancing age is poking holes in my memory process, and I have to take larger steps in order to keep up with it all. Of greatest help have been two of the tricks Kage did use, on the winding road between brilliant idea and tortuously-hacked out story.

  1.  She just didn’t wait – when an idea struck Kage, she followed up on it immediately. This sometimes required her to set aside a project already in progress (usually, actually) and write on the new one until the inspiration slowed down enough to let her trade back and forth. But it meant that she was rarely idle, almost always had an idea in the works and 2 more in the wings, and had the smug confidence of the thrifty housewife who has laid in enough flour, salt and butter for the winter.
  2.  While she didn’t keep the damned idea file on her computer (my life would be sooo much easier if she had!) she kept her notes. Her physical notes. Her physical notes on everything – both in topic, and in range of materials. This is why I find old plots, characters, reveals, landscapes and in-jokes all over in the boxed remains of our shared life, preserved on everything from scraps torn from printer jams, to flattened candy boxes, to unwanted pockets ripped off hoodies. (Really. You cannot imagine Kage’s determination to write on something when the fit took her.) As long as you can get used to it, it’s not a bad system. Luckily, as a confirmed bibliophile, I love the perfume of gently aging paper, so wandering through the old manuscripts, piles, envelopes and Baggies of scraps – with Kage’s spike handwriting poking out everywhere – is always a bit of a treat.

Do I keep actual bits of paper? Yep, I do – not as many, but I do. Most of the disjointed bits of writing end up on the envelopes from old medical bills and notices, simply because I have a lot of those stacked up on my desk. It saddens me, though, to have to report that after a few months, my notes make about as much sense to me as Kage’s decades-old   ones … but it does add an element of surprise and adventure to trolling through the stacks.

I also try to write as soon as an idea occurs to me. This means a lot of getting up in the middle of the night, but half the time I am awake anyway. Depending on how comfortable I am, I can fire up the desk top, or write long-hand in a moleskin notebook in lavender  ink: and, Dear Readers, never underestimate the effectiveness of handwriting by candlelight in some romantic, senseless colour – these romantic urges can lend an urgency that quite carries the story forward.

Lately, I have been writing on my Kindle. I use a little Amazon Fire notebook for my Kindle stash, and it has the room and capacity to let me compose online. So I do. Half of this entry was composed while I jeered at Congress at 1 AM this morning. Especially recently, I cannot rest without without catching Rachel Maddow, whose reporting still possesses the rare trick of informing me without enraging me: so as I listen to Mordor’s armies assembling in the East, I write. In the recliner, with my legs up and a pillow in my lap to hold the Kindle, and usually with the ginger Maine Coon cat sticking her huge feathery paws in my ears from where she reclines on the chair-back. Just now, this is a perfect combination of comfort, utility and annoyance, and keeps the creative flow going.

In the end, though, I do what Kage recommended most of all: just wing it. Sit down and write – anything, everything; to be a writer, you must just write. You’ll find a place for it all somewhere. Eventually. As long as you don’t stop.

Never stop. Unless, as some joke says, you can be Batman – but if you’re Batman, you’re an obsessive loonie and can’t stop anyway, right?

It all works out. No one knows how. It’s a miracle …

 

 

 

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The Moon In Wine

Kage Baker would have loved last night’s Super Blue Blood Moon. Once I got her out of bed, that is, and she had forced her eyes into focus. Then, the lunar fire balloon in the West would have had her clapping her hands in glee.

(I am assuming, of course, that had Kage still been living, she and I would still have been happily in our aerie apartment in Pismo Beach. The moon would have been visible out our living room windows, a red opal sinking into the black, 5:30 AM waves.)

Still, it was amazing and wonderful from my front porch here in L.A. Kimberly and I tottered out to view together, after Kimberly had scouted to see precisely where it could be seen, before she let me go dot-and-carry picking my way out with my cane. She seems to feel gravity will pounce like a velociraptor and drag me to the ground … in which she is probably not far off. In any event, I did not fall down and we saw the moon and it was marvellous.

It’s funny how much easier it is to get up early, now that I am old. It’s still easiest to simply not go to sleep at, and thus be ready to spring up for whatever middle-of-the-night revel is at hand. That’s been my technique for years, assisted by making sure I never know precisely what time it is … it works fine. Kimberly, too, was ready and willing to sally forth in the dark to view horological wonders. But we never even tried to wake up Michael, and this morning he assured us we did the right thing. He’s in his twenties, and not a night person yet.

Kage was so totally a solar, diurnal life form that it was almost deadly to wake or keep her up late. You could see the flames beginning to gutter in her eyes … but seeing the moon last night would have been worth it, though she’d have clung to her pillow and pulled the coverlet over her head.

But for such a sight! I hope you saw it, Dear Readers. The moon truly looked like an alien world, transformed by the red penumbral tide. It was scarlet, crimson, ruby red: no mere copper shadowing, but the whole broad silver face of the moon drowned in burgundy. The mares and impact craters stood out in an even deeper carmine, as if the shadow of the eclipse were a literal fluid that had flooded the cold lunar plain.

It was like the negative image of a green rose.

It was like tasting the sun in a glass of Merlot.

It was like the Red Queen dancing in a ballroom of black glass.

Caveat: I wrote all the foregoing about 14 hours ago, firmly in February the 1st but also in the wee o’dark thirty hours. I was sitting up watching the late rerun of The Rachel Maddow Show, which might account for the generally hallucinatory air of the entry. The world in which we presently live is weird as hell – which it may, in fact, be: unless we have just fallen through a warp in time-space to an alternate dimension of evil and stupidity … and I cannot avoid the suspicion that this is an even worse version of the normal alternate dimension of evil and stupidity, since none of the villains have had the courtesy to sport identifying beards.

Nonetheless, I was in a transport of delight remembering the moon: as well as a rage of despair, listening to the madness and ills of our nation. The combination of hope and despair is somehow symbolized by the extraordinary sight of that beautiful, improbable moon. It’s the only time in my lifetime it will have been seen, and I did not miss it.

And, who knows? It may yet be a hopeful omen. The ancients took just about every weird thing in the sky to mean the imminent fall of a king, which is something that America needs right now. It’s been a good move for us before.

Also, it was just plain gorgeous. I’ll tell you what is was a sign of, Dear Readers: Beauty. Beauty remains, is wild, comes as it wills, and cannot be prevented.

And so, there am I happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 31, 2018

Kage Baker had been tucked into her big feather bed for the last night, this time eight years ago.

She was sleepy but lucid as the sun set; she sat up against her pillows and saw the sun down into the sea, as she could from her bedroom. I remember it set into a broad band of carmine, and that the road of the sun seemed to run straight across the water to her window. The wall behind her head was gold and amber. She said she was much more comfortable, and lay down with her hands on her breast, like a still life of herself.

That wasn’t unusual at all. Kage usually slept like a figure on a catafalque, flat on her back with her hands clasped on the edge of the covers, pale and still. We used to sometimes put odd things in her hands, like a lily in a folk song, so she lay there with, say, a wooden spoon or a bottle of rum or a stuffed mechanical rabbit … camping jokes, you know; sleepover pranks.

In the mornings she always looked like a lady in a tragic ballad, all her hot bright life dimmed to a porcelain quiet. I, on the other hand, usually arose looking like I’d slept upside down in my bed, hair sticking out sideways and my nightgown on inside-out … then we’d get up and Kage would open those black eyes full of fantastic worlds, while I found my glasses to see anything at all.

There’s a moral there, I am sure.

Anyway, Kage looked utterly composed and calm when she lay back against her pillows for that last night. She was so calm and motionless, it was hours until we watchers figured out she wouldn’t wake up again. It took her breathing changing to clue us in, as it slowed and began to rasp and halt for seconds at a time. And that was how she stayed, breathing but with less and less interest, until 1:15 AM. And then she died.

The moon was in its last quarter that night. It rose late, in the far east over the hills that hid the inland from the beach; I didn’t see it until I went out on the porch hours later to watch Kage’s body borne down the stairs. It was dead and cold and gave no light.

Tonight, though … tonight is a Super Blue Blood Moon. A Blue Moon means it is the second full moon in a month, and a Super Moon means it’s at the closest point to the earth in its orbit. It also is a night of lunar eclipse, which brings in the Blood factor: although we will not see the full eclipse here in California, we can see the reddened shadow it casts on the disc of the moon. Thus the Super Blue Blood Moon.

This is a concatenation of events that has not occurred in 150 years or so, and it won’t happen again in my lifetime. Not unless there is some ghastly advance in geriatrics, anyway, that condemns me to another century of life in this increasingly uncomfortable world. It would doubtless be of the ironic Tithonus* variety, too, wherein I did not die but also was not returned to youth – eternity as a withered apple, out of breath and aching in every joint. I most sincerely hope no such advancement in medicine is visited upon me, as I am now maintaining a cheerful point of view by believing in a better life to come.

The cyst behind my knee makes me walk like a combination of Igor and the Little Mermaid: every step a crooked lurch, that feels like walking on knives.  This also tweaks my back, and so I sleep very little – I have to move every hour or so, shifting between lying down and sitting up, to get any physical ease of the constant discomfort. Ever see a cow or horse or dog, walking in endless circles in an attempt to escape some pain? That’s me, but with a cane. And I don’t see the orthopedist for 3 weeks.

Don’t even suggest your favourite painkillers, Dear Readers. My doctor will prescribe nothing stronger than acetaminophen with codeine: there’s an opioid epidemic, you know, and God forbid I should become addicted. Where is this epidemic happening? I’d love to know. All I can figure is, someone in Arkansas or Nebraska is taking all my drugs. I am profoundly angry and depressed. Also, just plain cranky, as well as usually too tired and aching to sit and write.

But Kage always said – if things get too horrible to bear, then kick it all  over and start again. Go back to some beginning place, make a new start, pretend you are trying it for the first time. Throw away the habits that hurt and find some new ones.  I can never sleep on the anniversary of Kage’s death until the time rolls round and past on the clock. So I’m making lists of thing to try, as I sit waiting for 1:15 to roll around.

I have resumed knitting, a soothing activity I had laid aside some time ago in the chaos of trying to write. My agent just sent me ALL the contracts and analyses of Kage’s books, so I can lay them all out and see where to make some enormous new step. Finally, I summoned the courage to suggest that my agent try to sell some of MY work as well as Kage’s older stuff: and she said yes, mirabile dictu! I have stopped reading in bed, and am counting grams of carbohydrates.

Tonight, around 5 AM, I shall totter out on the front porch and look at the astounding Moon. I don’t take it for an omen – it’s only a lovely hiccough in the endless orrery of the night sky – but it will be a better moon than the pallid wretched thing I watched rise 8 years ago. I’m anticipating it with some genuine expectation of joy.

Maybe I’ll take up vaping. Maybe I’ll get a tattoo. Maybe I’ll finally try to see if I can live on the appealing diet of bacon and oranges. Certainly, I will try to write; and some of the time I will succeed.

Kage would understand.

 

 

*Tithonus was a young handsome prince with whom the air-headed goddess of dawn, Eos, fell in love. She made him immortal but forgot to give him eternal youth; he eventually withered into a tiny, bent, grey, creaking little creature: a grasshopper. At which point, his absent-minded inamorata kicked him out, and now he wanders the world annoying ants and Mormons.

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Revelations On Saturday the 13th

Kage Baker loved the cartoon work of Walt Kelly. She loved the way he drew things, and she loved his peculiar sense of humour, and she loved his particular fierce and loving philosophy.

One of the things she loved was the way his character Churchy La Femme (a natural-born turtle, BTW) would exclaim whenever he noticed that the date had reached the 13th of any given month: “Oh, Friday the 13th come on a Monday this month!” Or a Sunday, or whatever. And this month, of course, it comes on a Saturday. Whenever Kage noticed, she would join Churchy in his plangent cry, and proclaim the day a loss. Until she got bored with it, of course, and went back to writing.*

As today is the13th of a month, and my leg hurts like hell, I have written today off. As I cannot walk well due to the cyst – lest it burst, as my doctor kindly told me – I’ve been wandering from space to space looking for somewhere comfortable to rest my burdensome limb while I wait for the referral to the orthopedic surgeon who will eventually drain off the bad humours in my knee. In the meantime, I’ve been exploring the aether aimlessly, another thing Kage used to do when she was obsessed with horological rituals. And I think it might be nice to share some of the gems I’ve gathered with you, Dear Readers.

A new fossil species of thylacine (inaccurately called a marsupial lion) has been discovered. This kind has enormous fangs.  The surviving species, of course, is being bred in hiding by the Company in the Australia Base, though sightings have increased so much in modern times that they may be re-discovered very soon. I have hopes; they are the school mascot of the Australia Base soccer team – Go, Thylacines! https://theconversation.com/a-new-species-of-marsupial-lion-tells-us-about-australias-past-88633. 

Have you heard of the maned wolf? It is a lovely and peculiar canid from South America. It’s not exactly a wolf; even less is it what it most resembles, which is a red fox on stilts. To make it even more interesting, the first melanistic specimen has been found on a night-time game cam: i.e., a completely black maned wolf!  The black pelt and the looong legs give it a goblin charm that is entrancing:

http://www.canids.org/CBC/20/Black_maned_wolf.pdf

The article won’t let me copy the photos, though, so make sure you follow the link and scroll down to see the pictures. They are worth it.

In  news near and dear to my heart, it has been proven that good beer will be just about inevitable on Mars: hops grow beautifully in simulated Martian soil. I already knew that barley will grow in it (barley will grown damned well anywhere) and now we know hops will do well also. Thus, there will be beer! And yet another bit of science in Empress of Mars turns out to be a correct prophecy. Read and rejoice:

https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2018/01/12/if-we-ever-get-to-mars-the-beer-might-not-be-bad/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

For the visually-oriented, I also include a lovely artist’s conception of a tour through the Orion Nebula. The Orion Nebula is, like all nebulae, thick with cosmic dust, and is an active stellar nursery – stars are born there, amid the glowing clouds and misty mountains of creation. They are here for no other reason but that they are beautiful, and we need beauty right now. It will enthrall the heart:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/12/577614861/video-take-a-trip-through-the-orion-nebula-a-baby-star-nursery?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And now, I am off to rest my stupid leg on a pillow. It is not gout, so I don’t have to refrain from beef – and I think it’s hamburger night. One cannot indulge too much when Friday the 13th falls on a Saturday.

Churchy is the one on the right …

 

 

*For those of you unfamiliar with Pogo, the main work of the immortal Walt Kelly, here is a link to the cogent strips:  http://www.batesline.com/archives/2012/01/churchy-lafemmes-friday-the-13th.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Have A Weird Diagnosis!

Kage Baker used to complain when I got sick. Not the mere fact of my getting sick – I was healthier than she was by a long shot, until she contracted something fatal.  Kage was actually pretty sympathetic to my ailments. She had a lot more ordinary maladies than I ever did.

That was the source of her complaint. When I did get ill, it was often something weird. It was bizarre in this information age of modern medicine, out of proportion to the number of times I fell victim. She said she was so very tired of my coming home with bizarre diagnoses.

It was a fair complaint, and one made both then and since by other friends: usually the ones who have had to support me off Faire sites, or take me to the hospital. I’ve had two monographs written up about me. I don’t think I am as bad as some folks, but I have defied odds, norms and medical opinions several times.

As I’ve mentioned, I was born with a tumour over one eye: but it wasn’t my fault, I was exposed to fallout in utero from an atomic test. (What, is that not normal?) I managed to develop gall stones at age 30 – much too young, according to the literature – as a side effect of dysentery. I caught a weird skin disease from a mulberry tree, and another from contact with titanium tetra chloride. My late right kidney raised repetitive hell for half a century before it was finally evicted, without ever quite failing.

I developed a rare cancer a year after Kage died of an even rarer one. I was diagnosed with a bizarre blood infection called klebsiella – which has since become an iatrogenic plague in hospitals, but that no one at Cedars Sinai had heard when when I caught it. Through all this, my immune system – which I appear to have inherited from ancient Celtic heroes – has functioned to defeat most normal infections. It has to be coshed over the head and shanghaied, apparently, before a doctor can figure out what is wrong with me.

So, I have this pain in my leg. No clots, no blocked veins, no aliens hatching in my blood stream (I did consider that …); no torn muscles, no water on the knee: despite the frivolous opinion of my cardiologist’s assistant. No enemy of mine sticking pins in a dolly somewhere.

No, what I have is: a Baker’s Cyst!

What, you may ask – as I certainly did – is a Baker’s Cyst? Well, it’s a cyst, a kind of organic water balloon filled with synovial fluid from behind the knee-cap. It is caused by standing up a lot, so it was initially named after bakers: who do most of their work standing at a work table. Now, I have not stood up a great deal in several years. In fact, I have been markedly sessile; but prior to that, I used to spend quite a lot of time on  my feet behind a bar, serving beer. So maybe in my case it’s a long-delayed Bartender’s Cyst?

I neither know or care. What I have learned is that it’s common, evidently outside the purview of a cardiologist, well-known to my GP, and easy to treat. I might get cortisone. I might have surgery to remove the cyst entire. Or they might just stick a needle in me and drain the nasty thing.

Who cares? It’s easy and treatable, and soon it will be gone. I’m being referred to an orthopedist, because I guess mucking about in a knee joint requires some skeletal expertise. Until then, I just have to stay off my feet a lot and favour the left leg. I can do that, as they say, standing on my head … if I could stand on my head. Which I can’t. But I can sure as hell stay sitting down.

In all events, I am content, with a diagnosis that is simple to handle. Kage would be rolling her eyes again  (“You have a what?”) but she, too, would be pleased it’s something that can be fixed. Kimberly is pleased, especially since she had to bully me into going today – I was sure my complaint would be dismissed out of hand, and it was raining like hell besides.

But no! My pain is real, there is a cause, it’s not that weird, and it will soon be fixed. And there, Dear Readers, am I happy.

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New Year, New Habits

Kage Baker always felt that an annual resolution to do less of a bad thing was every bit as necessary as resolving to do something virtuous and new.

All Kage ever pledged to accomplish was survival, which she reasoned was broad and simple enough to have a chance of success. What she devoted time and detail and will-power to, was eliminating bad habits.

After all, she reasoned, as you grew in years and dignity, just how many new good habits were left for you to commence? Most people start accumulating habits of all moral hues sometime in adolescence; before then, Kage figured, you were still a child and probably innocent. Or at least ignorant enough to get away with a plea bargain on your more loathsome habits.

Nonetheless, she really did try to weed her spiritual garden every year. She perused her habits, determined which ones were detrimental to what else she wanted to do (write, usually) and ruthlessly marked those activities for destruction. The amazing thing was that she so often succeeded – I don’t think most people below the rank of saint or obsessive really win at this game. But by this method, she controlled her intake of television, her bingeing on Monkey Island games, her fondness for a postprandial pitcher of martinis … all of which had committed the inexcusable sin of interfering with her writing.

Mind you, Kage never reduced her intake of chocolate, or addiction to never-ending pairs of white Converse tennis shoes. But she never thought of those as bad habits, anyway. Which is how I ultimately found over a dozen exotic chocolate bars hidden in her desk, and numerous pairs of identical sneakers in her closet. But those items, Kage would have explained, made it easier for her to write.

Anyway, she didn’t put much stock in other people’s opinions of her habits.  This was made easier for her to deal with because  very few people got to know many of her habits, good or ill. Mostly it was friends at Faire. And me. Kage’s family was seldom in the loop – because, really, your family knows too much about your bad habits already – and so tended to inquire solicitously about things Kage had resolved away years ago. Which was fine with her; she believed firmly that a certain level of Need To Know, strictly maintained, enhanced the tranquility of domestic relationships.

This didn’t work with me, of course; but Kage solved that one by including me in her habit-editing program. “You know what you need to do?” she would inquire from time to time, eyes alight with analysis and decision. This usually meant something that I needed to stop doing, and I immediately resolved to do whatever-it-was twice as hard … however, Kage was frequently correct about these little corrective programs; since she died, I’ve actually quit a lot of what she asked me to quit. Smoking. Drinking. (Mostly.) Buying endless crap science fiction books that needed to be stored somewhere – the Kindle has helped that one, not only by supplying better storage, but enabling me to select better books because I now have a wider accessible choice. Or so I tell myself …

(Honestly, can you really claim to have explored all of the Dune universe until you have plunged into the murky pools of Mentats of Dune? Sisterhood of Dune? Sandworms of DuneWhipping Mek? Well, actually, yes – but you see the idea here. It’s not my fault that Frank Herbert’s son Brian inherited his urge to tell a story, but not his ability to do so.)

The point, Dear Readers, is that Kage’s system worked. Every year, survive. Can’t get a thing done if you die; not things that other people will notice. Every year, try to eliminate a few nasty little tics of the soul you may have picked up: not to make yourself feel good, but to enable you to do your work. At the very least, look at the balance you’ve set up in your life, and try to make it function better. Losing that last 30 pounds may not make any real difference – registering to vote, contributing to a charity, learning to make stained glass  might. Give some thought to the trade-off.

Hence my recurring vow to survive, which at this point probably fulfills both halves of this balance. I’ve developed a bad habit of being sick, which I mean to beat. My legs veins proved free of clots, so my cardiologist lost interest when it became apparent I was not about to have another heart attack.  But my left leg still won’t support my weight and hurts quite distractingly; tomorrow, I see my regular doctor find out why. I don’t really care why (although blood clots do have more cachet than Housemaid’s Knee) but I really want this to stop. Ignoring your health is a bad habit, right?

It’s even more of a waste of time than Navigators of Dune.

 

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Interregnum (Let’s Go Out To The Lobby!)

Kage Baker had bronchitis or influenza every winter, for years, with a horological accuracy. Some years we couldn’t tell quite what she had – it was over-layered by whatever Plague was making the rounds at Dickens Fair, which she also caught. But, sure as the equinoctial precession, by New Year’s she was hacking and wheezing and cocooned in blankets.

It made our annual New Year’s trips to the sea for her to bathe in inspiration and ice-cold waters all the more miraculous.

She soothed these yearly failures of her respiratory system with a diet of egg creams, wine coolers, hot toddies and won ton soup. The hot toddies – my recipe –  were mostly Irish whiskey, plus sugar and lemons and just enough hot water to hold them all in solution. The fumes alone could empty sinuses. We found out years later that the wine in the coolers made her happy, but was rich with histamines that actually made her sinuses worse. The cream in her egg creams (no culinary euphemisms for Kage) increased her mucus production. I don’t think the won ton soup had any side effects, but … the Chinese restaurant where we bought it for years left a vat of monosodium glutamate as tall as I was on the sidewalk when they moved out. So who knows?

Kage, though, felt that feeling less – which this regimen certainly guaranteed – was just as good as feeling better. So she went on in relatively soggy content through this yearly routine, letting the side effects distract her until the viri ran their courses. None of it killed her. Maybe she was on to something.

Of course, she was a lot younger then than I am now. And while I was immune for decades to this kind of crap, now I catch influenza despite the flu shots – God knows, without the vaccine I’d probably go full Innsmouth and be a gilled, bug-eyed amphibian by 12th Night. However, I also have a weak heart, a tendency to form blood clots, and diabetes. Almost nothing fun, tasty or even distracting is good for me: in fact, my prescription for Plavix (an anti-platelet medication designed to prevent my blood vessels from coagulating solid) warns me (in italicsI that ingestion of any alcohol will stop my heart, convert my liver to beef jerky and condemn me to the cheap seats in Hell.

I am left with heart-safe decongestants; which are almost as safe for the congestion as they are for my heart. None of those wonderful stoplight-red Sudafed we used to toss back in my youth – man, those were like a simoom in your sinuses, you could clear out a whole weekend of Faire dust with ’em! Now, you have to go to the pharmacist, produce three forms of ID plus your first-born novel, and sign some sort of Federal release form just to get 16 measling pills.

Luckily, there is still absinthe, I mean, NyQuil. And chicken soup. And warm blankets. And my Kindle, on which I am currently writing this blog, snug in my furry slippers and with a purring cat beside me … so I may have the flu, but there is still some comfort in this cold, drippy world.

I titled this entry “Interregnum” because I was gonna say I was sick and take five. Instead, I got all caught up in whingeing and whining and carrying on. And, you know what? I feel better.

Thank you, Dear Readers. Go on out to the lobby, and get yourselves some Junior Mints and Bon Bons.

 

 

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