Kage Baker loved celebrating Lammas. High summer and Harvest combined. The exotic apple stand up one of the canyons above Avila Bay was finally open, and every day thunderheads floated out over the blue, blue Pacific. If we were going to have summer thunder storms, this is when we got them – and for Kage, those were God’s fireworks. We’d sit in the dark living room with cold cider to hand, and watch lightning strike down into the sea, and listen to the soundtrack from Frankenstein until the power inevitably went out.

Good times, man. Good times.

Today is August 1st, which is Lammas as ever was. It’s also the birthday of one of Kage’s favourites among her characters – the Dread Gard, born on a hot evening of thunder-weather, when the sky was grey …

July is finally gone. It’s been a slow walk through Hell for me, and I feel better just knowing the damned time is gone. I need a calendar change, a demarcation point, a change of season – also, Coke Black and iced coffee.

I haven’t been posting this July, Dear Readers, because it has been a slow walk through Hell and it’s better not to inflict those on other people. Especially ones you like. Creativity has curdled, my diabetes is being fractious, my agent keeps promising action but nothing has happened yet, two stories got rejected, and someone told me to stop referencing Kage because she no longer mattered. Also, the world in general has been decaying like an aged pumpkin.

All this means that I have essentially died during July. And no one likes a wrathful ghost. Writing daily blogs would have entailed dragging you all through a slow-motion emotional breakdown. I decided to refrain from that self-indulgence.

But now it’s Lammas, and August, and I can see September from here if I climb on a stump and jump a little. Much better. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist later this month. My new batch of Mullah coffee beans got here on time. I have plums and pluots and something new and celestial called a “chummy” – which is a hybrid of plums and cherries, or claims to be. Tastes like one, anyway, which means it is like kissing a young god … highly whoopee.

So anyway, I plan on resuming writing this month. If anyone is still listening, I hope I can still turn a phrase to please. If not, I shall shout hopefully into the abyss until someone answers.

As they say, the good side of hitting bottom is that it’s easier to head back up.


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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23 Responses to Lammas

  1. Michael Schwartz says:

    I also agree. Why carry this torch? What’s the point? All books and people are eventually dust. Do you want to go to heaven? And clearly you make yourself miserable.


    • Kate says:

      No, I don’t anticipate going to Heaven – I’m not a Christian and have no interest or belief in their afterlife. And while everything is, yes, eventually dust – so what? No one has any right to tell me what and when to discard any portion of my past. Why are you judging me? My memories are part of the joy of my life. Neither they, nor I, make me miserable: the mess the world is in makes unhappy. Trump makes me unhappy. Political malice, sexism, racism make me unhappy. Hatred and intolerance make me unhappy. Pain makes me unhappy. What is wrong with you, to think you can tell me what to do and how to do it? Please don’t do it again.

      Besides, beginning every blog with a reference to Kage Baker is a stylistic choice. It’s a framing device. If you do not like it, stop reading my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kara says:

      Hello, everyone – this is Kathleen. At Kara’s request, I deleted the comment here (though I cannot make it delete Kara’s name. Sorry!) Please be aware that I was NOT offended by the comment, but Kara is a very polite person, and regretted what she posted. So, at her request, it’s gone. And I am happy to do the favour.


  2. Brad Campbell says:

    I never met Kage, nor yourself. I’m ‘just a fan’ of the work. I have bookcases in every room sans a toilet. I have bookcases in the garage. The bookcases in my bedroom contain the works most dear to me. I have two shelves each of books by Harlan, PKD, and Kage Baker (& her sis Kate). There’s some shelves with the stray book about the killing of mockingbirds, a run through the Rye, being on the road, and a bit of Archie & Mehitebel. As ‘just a fan,’ I can attest that Kage matters in my world. I’m in such good company in my bedroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      Brad – I feel you, like most of her fans, do know Kage well. That’s a tribute to their discernment, and Kage’s clarity of writing. Those fans, and Kage, matter to me very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Luisa Puig says:

    Welcome back, Kathleen! Good to hear from you again. Like yourself, I have had a truly *awful* July and am just as glad to see the end of that as yourself, M’Dear.

    I’ve been re-reading many of Kage’s short stories and novellas. In fact, I believe doing so is the only reason I’m still alive and not gone, nor in jail, nor in any severe mental state, Hallelujah!

    As for ever being in “Heaven,” or some other Promised Land where the ‘faithful’ shall be ‘rewarded’ for whatever it is they are supposed to be ‘rewarded’ for … well, ugh. I sincerely don’t think I *ever* want to be around those sort of people ever again.

    There apparently are a lot of folks who have taken what I was raised to believe regarding The Great Being(s) and smothered the humanity, goodness and comfort clean out of ‘religion.’ It seems to be more like seasonal sports games and teams, now, with active violence both on the fields and on the sidelines. No. Thank. You.

    Like yourself, I’ve been to Heaven, we called it Agoura, CA, and it rose each spring with the wild oats, sunny poppies, songs, dances, love, and all that which manifested The Great Being(s).

    So THANK YOU for keeping Kage referenced. Thank you for all your fond memories of her, your days together, our days together, and for keeping the stories alive.

    Happily, Heaven can be found between either the soft Tor covers, or the occasional hard cover.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Luisa – for being there/here/wherever-the-heck we are, for reading Kage’s work again, and for saying what I was feeling – but better. I literally dream every night of Agoura and Black Point; and that is, as it always was, Paradise enow.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. john says:

    Kage’s stories were/are a breath of fresh air …….. your insights into her and your life together are most welcome ……. thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. buggybite says:

    I was so glad to see your blog surfacing in my emails this morning. I was worried. Usually silence from your blog is not good news. It means you’re going through a bad patch.

    Kage’s work will always be ‘favourite’ for me. I still promote her books when I can, buy copies of various books to give to friends, etc. Like with Terry Pratchett, it saddens me no end to know there will be no more books from this author. But thankfully, like Pratchett, she was prolific. She deserves to be remembered and celebrated.

    Don’t let the ‘bad’ people out there get to you. Read ANY online blog or thread or news story on any topic, and you will find haters and nasty comments. It comes with the territory. Don’t take any of it to heart.

    Kage keeps me reading Kage, but you keep me reading you. Your detailed descriptions of what she was like and what she did makes her seem very alive to me, and the way you take a portion of her life and use it as a lens to consider more recent development is a literary device that really works. Please don’t stop.


  6. Cora Hendershot says:

    Glad to see you back. I’ve missed you.


  7. Margaret says:

    Who is this knuckle-walking halfwit who tells you Kage Baker no longer matters? Of course she does. People are still reading her work and lamenting that she is no longer here to write more for us to enjoy. I continue with my job of converting the world to Kage Baker readers, one person at a time. Some of my converts are on their second run-through of the complete works.

    I’m sorry your July was so vile, and hope August is better for you. May those who think Kage no longer matters learn to shut the hell up and go back to reading rubbish.


  8. Medrith says:

    What they said! (Except for that first guy). Does Jane Austen no longer matter? Does Patrick O’Brian? Does J.R.R. Tolkien? I am far from the only reader who thinks Kage belongs with them. I hope you feel much much better. Do you get figs out there in the West? I bought my first box today at the farmer’s market, tiny but perfectly ripe and sweet.


    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Medrith. It was just one of the many horrors of July; I collapsed under the accumulated weight. Ifg my critic doesn’t like what I write, well … he can vote with his feet; that’s everyone’s right. As for figs – Oh, man, we are inundated with figs in Southern California! In fact, they grow damn near year round, and have grown in many of my own backyards. I like them tremendously.


  9. Kara says:

    Thank you for continuing on Kage’s work that was in progress, giving us the further adventures of Joseph and Lewis in Hollywood and the Women of Nell Gwen’s on vacation. Thank you for sharing your own work in progress, of Neanderthals in Australia, survivors on Mars, and ridiculously cute extinct animals. Thank you for all the cool back story you have shared about you and Kage and the writings, making each re-read that much more rewarding. And thank you for contributing to Tor’s official re-read, sharing even more about the blood sweat and tears that go into the writing process. Thank you for your writing, and thank you for sharing it over the years.

    And specifically today, thank you for teaching me that chummys are a thing. I must need find some to try and see for myself what it is to kiss a young god!


    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Kara. Oh – the cherry/plum hybrids are also marketed as “very cherry plums”. They do tend to be small, not surprisingly – but, oh, the taste!


  10. Marc Bailey says:

    Kage’s writing ia alive and important. Let the fool who finds her work otherwise fade like the bad reader he is.


  11. Dina says:

    I am so glad July is done, for both of us and anyone else who had a rough ride lately. I have been rereading Kage’s work. And about to share them with my eldest grandkid. She is an avid reader, just like her Grame’. *grins* I’m in agreement with all but that troll. I Love Your writing too, Kate. I got a laptop to replace the ones that crashed last month & hopefully will get the desktop that wouldn’t let me into my email for all of July. Next is a new-to-me auto, then the roof… Just stuff that needs to get done while dealing with health issues. Savor the juicy bits that life offers, for the rest, Kick some arse and take names. Or find that broom and clean house. 😉 I am so very glad you are here.


  12. Lynn says:

    Welcome back, Kathleen. As most of your readers have said (‘cept that first guy) we have missed you and knew that something was up. I’m glad for Lammas and the changing of the calendar leaf. I was away and didn’t take a computer or anything else to read emails but was thrilled to find your messages this morning once I got back to work.

    Kate’s work is important. Your work is important. Talking about Kage reminds those of us who knew her how very special a person she was and lets those who weren’t as lucky as we are get to know her. Keep on writing as you do!!!!!!!

    There are always turds in the punch; we just need to avoid them so as not to leave a bad taste in our mouths.

    And thanks for that hint about the chummys. I’m now on the look-out for them!


  13. Elizabeth Howell says:

    Welcome back! Your world, your rules.


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