Kage Baker was seldom stopped from work by mere illness.
She was indomitable that way. No mere microorganism ever kept her from her writing for long. If she was at all upright, she was at her computer, working away furiously. Even when confined to her bed – and it took the ass-end of a fatal illness to accomplish that – she dictated and plotted.
In like determination, she went to work when ill, whenever she could manage. Many co-workers did not exactly bless her name for this monomania, but she had an amazing work record. If they gave Good Attendance Awards to grownups, Kage would have gotten lots of them. She even did Dickens Fair with all its attendant varieties of insidious Winter Plague, usually medicated to the eyebrows on decongestants and coloured narcotic syrups. I remember her hilarious routine with a crystal glass of Nyquil, pretending it was absinthe in the Parlour of the Green Man …
Kage managed to do this because she did not drive. She could recline, glassy-eyed with fever or surrounded by Kleenex, in the passenger seat while I drove us on through the dark to our artistic rendezvous. It made me nuts, that she would not rest and recover; but it was just the way she was. She’d rather be propped up in a corner as a prop than miss the show altogether.
Many performers feel the same way. Heck, I feel that way myself! But I’m the one who drives; especially this weekend, when my stalwart co-pilot nephew is deep in the final drafts of the papers he owes for finals. That’s not something he can do on the road, or in the Parlour … so when I got up yestreday and went more-or-less face down in my surprised pillows – well, it was obvious I wasn’t getting to Fair.
I am thus in the midst of missing this weekend of Dickens. This is especially annoying because I had promised to bring some polo mallets up for someone … don’t even ask, Dear Readers, it’s the sort of thing that only makes sense at a theatrical event. The polo gig will have to wait a week. My own brilliant staff is doubtless doing just wonderfully in the Green Man without me, but … I miss them. I miss everything and everyone.
On the other hand, I am fighting off the flu and hoping it does not sink into my lungs and develop into pneumonia – which is a problem with us old lady-types. I am close to drowning in my own skull, I can’t catch my breath, my bones ache in places where I know for a gods-forsaken fact I don’t even have bones, and I am alternately freezing and sweating to death. Which means I either have a fever or malaria; neither of which would surprise me.
Anyway, I have no splendid tales of journeys through the starry dark this week, Dear Readers. I am chasing no mysterious lights nor UFOs; the wise-eyed wild beasts are not waiting for me on the verge. There is no beer nor brandy nor Smoking Bishop in my future: only cups of hot tea and the interestingly-named bone broth – which tastes mostly of water over stone, herbs and chrysanthemum petals and so is at least very yendri in flavour … but not very exciting.
I am going to crawl back in bed now and hope to dream of wild excitement and brightly-decked halls. And I hope you, Dear Readers, go find yourselves some real ones.