Toe In The Water

Kage Baker was some semi-divine embodiment of determination. She won stuff. She worked at it.

She never encountered a situation that actually stopped her. If halted in her progress, or thwarted in her intent, she would plan and scheme and even connive until she got what she had originally wanted. She would patiently do without, rather than settle for second best; and she would, eventually, succeed in her aims. It was amazing – and, watching her cold-eyed, relentless determination, just a little frightening.

It was usually to my benefit as well, though, so I did not stand in the way. It would have been futile, anyway. Kage always triumphed. It took Death to stop her: and even then, she wrote up to the moment she slipped into her final coma. She narrated an entire story about Scandinavian trolls, exogamy and Founders Effect genetics to me the afternoon she died. I have the notes …

I am, of course, not Kage. The last several months have come very close to stopping me in my tracks. I nearly took up a late career as a moss-covered stone. I have nearly foundered. Breaking my right humerus seems to have cancelled all my remaining warranties, and I have decayed. But yestreday, I was released to drive again – physical therapy has begun – I am no longer on brain freezing pain killers. Since I can now type two-handed, this is my official return to blogging – shallow waters, but a start. I hope someone is still listening ….

It’s been a weird, hard, fairly dreadful time. Do not break major bones in your old age, Dear Readers, if you can avoid it; recovery is a nightmare. Several times, half-asleep in the recliner where I have been since May 22nd, I woke convinced I had died and was in my coffin … only sometimes it appeared I had been interred in various cardboard boxes or dugout canoes. I woke my sister Kimberly, attempting to watch over me from the couch, several times – to demand how I had gotten into a graham cracker box or some such. She had to convince me I was still alive once or twice; so much fun in the middle of the night!

Kimberly finally got me an electric candle for a night light. It gave a nice low, yellow, flickering light, by which I could tell I was in a recliner and not in my grave or the cedar chest. Added benefit: Ashby, our young Maine Coon cat, is apparently afraid of the dark and had just been waiting for someone to get a night light. She immediately took to sleeping next to me on my night table, with the candle, so when I wake up I get light, instant orientation, and purring. Kimberly gets more sleep.

So, like I said, I can drive again. Consequently, I have decided to go to WorldCon76 in San Jose next weekend. Mostly, I planned to just wander around; sit in the bar and knit and people-watch. But then … I got invited to the Analog/Asimov’s party by Sheila Williams (the editor of Asimov’s !!!!). I was asked to come sign books at the Tachyon Publications table. Some other Important People inquired if I would be there just in general …

Kimberly was right. I really am not dead. I am remembered, even.

So, I’m going to WorldCon. I already paid my membership, so I could vote for the Hugos; it was just a matter of renting a room and a car at the last minute and seeing how presentable I can make myself after almost 3 months as an estivating sloth. My success in that has yet to be determined – but, by golly gosh, I am indeed going to WorldCon.

Kage would shake her head and ask me what in hell took me so long to get my act together. And I really don’t know what I’d tell her.

Except that at least, at last, I have.