Kage Baker possessed a will of iron. But even she hit dead patches. That’s when she would re-read Terry Pratchett novels one after the other, or watch silent movies. She’d play Monkey Island and Grim Fandango 14 hours a day; she would spend days reading gardening catalogs, or exploring telenovellas. Native Angelina that she was, she had picked up enough Spanish to enjoy the insane plots – they were much more fun than the ones in English.

I don’t have her adamantine will, her facility with languages, or her fondness for video games. I don’t like soap operas. It’s too hot for me to go out and garden. And Terry Pratchett is dead.

What I do when I am sunk deep in the Slough if Despond is read. I’m a not-especially-recovering word junky, and the printed page is always my final refuge. It’s about all there is to do during dead times.

Dead time. It’s not like writing block. It’s more like the Doldrums or the Horse Latitudes – inescapable calms, little fresh rain, excessive amounts of seaweed and sharks. It’s where ships founder under full sail, until mermen crawl over the railings to loot the dead bodies under the neglected canvas …

March has been a dead time for me. Numbering the reasons would just be more depressing. Besides, the month is almost over and I am finally beating my health back into something survivable (I think), and I don’t want to jinx the progress. Suffice to say, I’m sorry I’ve been silent and I will soon resume my activities.

After all, how long can the weather keep up 90 degree days in Spring? I’m sure I don’t want to know – I’ll just cling to the hope that the weather will break, the infant tomatoes will survive, the plum trees will set blossoms despite the damned Santa Ana winds. March will end.

Land ahoy, Dear Readers. Or maybe, and even better yet, that shadow on the horizon is the approaching mass of a clean spring storm, rich with rain and good strong winds …

I can always hope.

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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3 Responses to Apologia

  1. Lynn says:

    I’m very sorry that Kage’s writing juju doesn’t work for you and that your own juju is temporarily off-line. However, I am thankful to know that that’s the main reason you haven’t been writing and that it’s not your health taking a turn for the worse. I would bet I’m not the only one reading your works who has been too polite to ask.


  2. Luisa Puig says:

    No hurry, Kathleen M’Dear. I’m under the spell of a likewise clinging cold virus up here in the greater SF Bay Area, and (alas) I’m pretty sure others are as well.

    Reading is one of the best medicines I am aware of. To that end, since I’m too tuckered out by said bug to even online order new books, I’m instead enjoying the pleasure of re-reading Kage’s “Nell Gwynne’s” stories.

    Looking forward to you feeling better and writing again when you can. Until then, take care and enjoy what you can.


  3. Gerry Carroll says:

    Likewise I’m glad to see you’re back online and I hope you’ll be back to top form soon.


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