I Will Not Be Silenced – Even By Me

Kage Baker was often urged to write a blog. She always refused, at least initially. That doesn’t mean she agreed to do it later; it means that you got one courteous “No, thank you”, and then she ignored you thereafter. Although she might cite you as an annoying, intrusive would-be parasite on chat rooms and in convention panels …

One guy bugged her about it for most of year, insisting that she owed it to her readers – that all authors owed their readers a blog, because they couldn’t write enough  to supply those readers with a daily dose of their creative output. He really did not understand that, if a writer had insufficient time to produce enough copy to keep their readers happy, spending part of their day writing a blog would not solve the problem. Even though it was explained to him – by me, in Not Very Nice Office Manager mode – over and over and over …. he only got that one explanation from Kage, though, because then I blocked his damned emails; I just answered the crap in the Spam folder because cleaning it out annoyed Kage.

I’m sure, Dear Readers, that you can all guess what annoying Kage was likely to get a supplicant.

She never wanted to write a blog anyway. Kage was mortally shy.  She felt she put enough of her private self into her writing without baring more of her soul. Also, she claimed that it was hard enough to get what she did write down into a legible form; she simply couldn’t organize any more of what went on in her head so someone else could understand it. (I believe this, having lived through a few overloads and floods …) And finally, as she used to say dryly from time to time, “I don’t want to rub off all the mystery, now, do I? When I’m gone, tell people that it’s ALL based on a true story – that’ll keep the critics interested, and my fans won’t be surprised anyway.”

The past 6 years have shown me that this last was definitely true.

Now, this is not a long-winded excuse for my stopping this blog. That’s not happening. I like doing this, and I don’t intend to stop. But it really was originally intended to explore how and why Kage Baker wrote, and what it was like living with that process; as well as trying to apply the lessons so learned to my own writing at her posthumous direction. But as much fun as I have doing this, I often feel guilty that I am not sticking to the precis: that too much whinging and whining and personal carrying-on goes on here. So every now and then I really try to re-commit my energies to the original idea. It’s amazing how much there still turns out to be to say about How To Write a la Kage Baker.

I enjoy writing both this blog and the ongoing stories. I’m not as fast as Kage, but I am succeeding at doing both; a little faster all the time, too. I just worry about wandering off the topic.

But at the moment, Dear Readers – I am whining! We have once again reached that point in the rolling year when the weather is trying to kill me. This summer has been much better than most of the last several -only about 3 weeks of really deadly heat. Still, it’s been 80 or better most of the time, which is normal for Los Angeles, but no longer normal for me. Sometimes I forget and go wandering out on errands (there being only so much on-line shopping one can do) and I always get sick. That won’t be improving – I have a dicky heart and only one kidney, which confer a permanent allergy to heat – but I’ll eventually get the new rules straight.

The cataracts aren’t helping any, though the eye patch has been a great innovation. Also, let’s be honest – it’s just cool.  Still, I cannot be trusted to pour anything into anything else – not cereal, not coffee, not water; not into a cup or a bowl or a 5-gallon bucket. It’s a darned good thing we now use pods for dish and clothes washers. I can see those. I do carom off door jambs a lot, but I did that anyway. Ground level is one of the bigger problems – I see completely hallucinatory rises and dips, so that I keep trying to step up into the wainscotting and end up kicking the wall …

But that too will end! I visit an ophthalmologist on the 8th, and intend to cry and moan and nag her into restoring my sight ASAP. It doesn’t even have to be good sight. I’ll settle for the same spectacles-dependent vision I have always had, as long as I can see without blurs, auras and migraines again. Anything better will be gravy.

And in the meantime, the heat is beginning to show signs of abating. Fall is coming; fog, the marine layer, northern winds – who knows, maybe even some rain this winter? It will eventually get cold. I will rejoice, because I’d rather wear gloves and sit at my desk wrapped in a blanket than sweat to death.

Kage wrote through the chill, despite her hating cold and complaining vociferously. I  have learned to write though the heat. I just complain about it, too …

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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5 Responses to I Will Not Be Silenced – Even By Me

  1. buggybite says:

    Your blogs are totally entertaining, no matter whether you’re recalling your sister’s writing methods, or adventures you had with her, or just observing (moaning is such a WORD….) what is going on around you—and within you—at the present time. I read every single one of your blogs. And there is no other blogger I can think of who gets THAT amount of attention from me. It’s partly because I find Kage Baker a fascinating subject, but it’s mostly because I really enjoy YOUR writing.

    I hope your visit to the Eye Guy (or Woman) proves fruitful. Apparently the actual operation for cataracts is a skoosh. I know a couple of people who had it done recently, and they’re all marvelling at how easy it was. Apparently the most grinding part was sitting and waiting at the outpatient department beforehand!


    • buggybite says:

      I didn’t mean moaning …I meant whinging and whining! I’ve been here in the UK for too long. Here we don’t whinge and whine. We moan.


      • Kate says:

        Really? I learned “whinge” from an Englishman … of course, that was a long time ago, in another land; and besides, the wench is – well, I’m not dead; but I *am* old.

        I am anticipating the actual removal and recovery from the cataracts to be easy. It’s living with the damn things now that is driving me insane. Me eye lady is, I hope, both patient and swift of action.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. mizkizzle says:

    Well! That’s a relief! I thought you were going to announce your abdication from the blog-o-sphere and got really scared there for a moment.
    Writing a blog and writing one’s one stuff to be sent out and (hopefully) published is impossible, I think, not if you write and research for hours every day and expect to take time out to eat and sleep and keep wherever you reside from becoming a horrible festering hell-pit of filth.
    Are you going to have your cataract removed on the eighth? It’s a remarkably quick and easy procedure. A child could do it.
    I totally get the one-kidney, wonky-heart thing, also the migraine thing. Having cataracts removed doesn’t cure migraines, more’s the pity, at least it didn’t cure mine; individual results may vary.


    • Kate says:

      Nope, nothing is making me quit while I am still on life. Late August is just when it gets horrible hot around here, and my tolerance runs out. Whining season!

      I am not worried about the cataract removal at all – I am worried about when it will finally happen. The 8th is the first time I see the optholmologist, and then I have to nag to get the cutting done. I do believe that it will be easy – and while I have no children currently available to do it, I’m gonna find out if an infuriated old lady can do it herself if this isn’t solved soon. I am losing my mind. It will help the migraines – those are being caused by the difference in sensory input between my 2 eyes. Or a brain parasite; I’m not sure yet.


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