Entering A Sunspot Phase

Kage Baker treasured the periods in her life when things would be … quiet. She liked the subdued times, when she could plan a daily routine and actually stick to it. Rise mid-morning to hand-ground coffee and a bowl of Wheaties; write for exactly so long, inventory the cupboards, plan a dinner and cook it and eat it and watch something on BBC. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, and sleep the sleep of those undisturbed by interesting times and the attention of the mighty.

Until she got bored, anyway. Sooner or later, either Kage herself or life in general would enter a period of sunspots and solar prominences, and we’d be dancing madly between the flaming bombs again. Luckily, our life produced these alternating states pretty naturally. Kage was seldom provoked into artificially initiating either serenity or excitement, but could enjoy them as they ripened naturally and fell on our heads.

My own life has tended more toward the active phase since her death. It seems domestic tranquility arose from her influence. Maybe the fire in Kage’s brain outshone the sunspot cycle. For me, though, it’s still a case of unexpected incoming.  When I’m not active, I seem to be comatose … On the other hand, I don’t get bored. Just tired.

But my somnolence is now doomed to end! My doctor was delighted to inform me that I do indeed have actual apnea – severe apnea, no less. I wondered why this seemed to please him so; then I realized that it was because he knows how to treat apnea, and when it’s severe like this, the ameliorating results seem all the more miraculous. So I am told to expect great things, when I get fitted for my very own sleep mask next week. I’m beginning to get rather pleased myself …

It appears that the frequency with which I stop breathing in my sleep is so frequent that I am not really sleeping: it’s more like I faint and revive at short intervals all night. My blood oxygen falls to half normal then, too. No wonder I go through the day like a zombie! I’m spending time when I should be refreshingly asleep soddenly unconscious, instead. Hell, I could do that myself with a pint of Darlmore if it was needed … But soon I will sleep well, rise rejuvenated and – so I am assured – lose weight, acquire more energy and develop random superpowers.

I can hardly wait. Especially since normal use of the CPAP will not include Silly Putty in my hair all night. I am also wondering what the cats in my bed will make of this, and how I could capitalize on the outrush of air through my mouth with some carefully placed bubble solution. Maybe I could rig something like one of those Pustefix automaton bubble-blowing bears:

pustefix bearOne of these used to sit above the door to a toy shop in the Encanto Mercado in Avalon on Catalina Island. Kage and I would sit in the courtyard (where there was also an excellent restaurant) sipping endless margaritas and watching the little furry arm move up and down and blow bubbles out into the summer air. Kage would make up stories about what the bear saw, and thought, and what it was doing nailed up there over the door blowing bubbles night and day. Some of them were pretty weird …

Anyway, I seem to be entering an active phase now, and so my brain is coming up with peculiar speculations like rigging my CPAP to blow bubbles.

Linn the agent is entering into negotiations with someone who might then want to enter into negotiations to market Kage’s Company story arc to television or movie studios. In support of this effort, she needed a comprehensive precis of that story arc. Since it covers eight formal novels and two semi-attached story collections and covers more than half a million words, it took me several hours yestreday to get it all in order. I did it, though, and at a manageable length, I think: meaning the precis wasn’t quite as long as the originals.

And I just got the hitherto-unpublished J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf. This was apparently never quite finished, and so is being published with the caveat that it is a snapshot of a work in progress: but even so, I’m eager to see how Professor Tolkien dealt with this, the non plus ultra of Northern European hero tales. The jacket has a charmingly whimsical dragon tying itself into a lovely skaldic knot and smiling demurely – it’s unmistakeably Tolkien’s work, and is all the colours of a beryl.

I’ll take this with me to while away the spare time (on the off chance I have any!) this weekend: when I shall be at BayCon in Santa Clara, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I seem to be on the program most of the Con, but I’ll have Beowolf, and my Kindle, and some knitting, and the company of the stalwart Neassa in the quiet times, as well as that of anyone I know who manages to find me in the chaos.

If anyone does find me, Dear Readers, I’ll be happy to sign any of Kage’s books – or even mine own singleton thus-far effort.

Anyway, I seem to definitely entering a new cycle of activity. Which is remarkable for being any activity at all. I’ve been far too sedentary lately.

Time to move, time to bustle. The sun is brightening to Summer.




About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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9 Responses to Entering A Sunspot Phase

  1. maggiros says:

    All great news! I wish I could say the same for me, but at least one of us getting effervescent!


    • Kate says:

      Well, I’ve been such a slug since the New Year … at last, I think I’m getting better. You, you’re still recuperating from Appendicitis Surprise!


  2. Pingback: Entering A Sunspot Phase | Kathleen, Kage and the Company | Solar Flare 2012

  3. Miz Kizzle says:

    Huzzah! They can fix severe sleep apnea. They can’t fix screaming black megrims or tweenmaid’s jaundice. You’re lucky not to have those.
    BTW, if you can find some, you might like to toast your diagnosis with Ol’ Red Cap, aka Blenheim extra-spicy ginger ale.


  4. Lynn says:

    Hooray!! I haven’t dropped any weight since getting my C-PAP but I sure sleep better! An am looking forward to the new-ish Beowolf. I still love the translation by the Irish author who passed away about a year ago. Just magic…

    Maggie, I hadn’t heard about your excitement. Best recovery wishes are sent their way from Northern California to you!


  5. Medrith says:

    My brother-in-law got a big improvement from his C-Pap. I would buy & read that bubble-blowing bear story.


  6. Lisa P says:

    Glad to hear you are getting along with the C-PAP… and I would love to see a *good* TV/movie adaptation of The Company stories. Maybe something along the lines of The Twilight Zone with episodes not necessarily in chrono sequence. I can dream.


  7. Mike Young says:

    I too suffer from apnea the c-pap was a god send. A good night sleep is great. Wish I could see you at the con but life won’t let me.


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