michaeldthomas: (Default)
Caitlin is on Summer Break until after Labor Day. Since this is coinciding with a massive heat wave, it looks like we'll be watching lots of DVDs this week.

We're starting with the Star Wars saga.

There's not much else going on around here. I'm working on a new short story, but it will difficult to write while watching Caitlin. Lynne is editingThe Scarlet Queen when she isn't working on Chicks Dig Comics or her mystery projects. With luck, I can start the next round of rewrites this weekend.

Caitlin has an appointment with her Pediatric Epileptologist on Wednesday. Her seizures have been under control (*knocksonwood*), so it should be fairly routine.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
No, I didn't quit LJ for Google +.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. We had wonderful times at 4th Street Fantasy Conversation and CONvergence. We're only now just coming back to reality.

I would write con reports, but they would look like this:

1- We hung out with friends. Many of them are in the SF/F industry. :-)
2- We ate with friends. Mmm, food.
3- Drinking might have occurred, followed by gossiping, pontificating, and/or handstands.
4- We learned many secrets and got caught up in some small dramas (no permanent damage).
5- Lynne was magnificent. You should have seen her in that one dress.
6- Caitlin had a great time at my mom's.
7- We miss our friends. :-(

As we become more embedded in the community, there's just less and less I can talk about. It makes for a great life, but it's lousy for blogging.

Other than coming home to dead A/C (now fixed), everything else is fine. There should be a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about my editor wife in a week or two (many of you already know what I'm talking about).

That's it for the next few weeks. Lynne is editing Chicks Dig Comics and working on the SF Squeecast. She should also be finished with The Scarlet Queen by the end of the week. Beta Readers should have it in two weeks.

We're pretty much ready for WorldCon.

Caitlin finishes Summer School this week. I'm working on a troublesome short story.

How are you?
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I did it. I revised my mid-grade fantasy novel, The Scarlet Queen. Since I'm sleeping with a Hugo-nominated editor, I figured she should take a look at it before I give it to my beta readers.

I know it isn't perfect, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't suck. :-)

In other news:

1- We're at 4th Street Fantasy Conversation this weekend. Friends! Drink! Literary Theory! Venting about the Industry! Hooray! :-)

Lynne's on two panels. I'm just watching. We expect good times.

2- Unless, the universe screws us. Last night, a squall line hit the Chicago suburbs with 80 mph winds. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power, including my mother and aunt. If they don't have power by late Thursday night, we might have to bring Cait with us.

3- It looks like I'll be able to go to WorldCon with Lynne. I guess I need a new suit. :-)

4- We went to a movie last weekend. We all really enjoyed X-Men: First Class-- especially Caitlin after I reminded her that having Aicardi syndrome meant she was also a Mutant. She's now waiting for her superpowers to kick in. Based on all of her giggling after the movie every time I said, "Boom!", she seems to want Havok's abilities. Mystique, however, is her favorite.

Caitlin totally wants a "Mutant and Proud" t-shirt. :-)

5- CONvergence is next week. We're really excited about Lynne's first GoH gig. More on that next week. :-D
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
We picked up Caitlin's back brace on Thursday. We're calling it her HAPPY BUTTERFLY CORSET. Caitlin doesn't mind wearing it, and it helps her with her trunk control when she's sitting in a chair. Hopefully, her trunk muscles won't weaken too much from using it.

#

After we picked up her brace, we went to 2 different malls so Lynne could TRY ON ALL THE SHOES. She's on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes for her Hugo gown. She found one possible pair, but the price was too high.

Caitlin bought me some early Father's Day gifts while we were out including a vintage "Hot Rod" Rowdy Roddy Piper t-shirt, two new shirts for con going, and The Very Best of WCW Nitro DVD set. (DON"T JUDGE ME!)

When we got home, the mail contained our new Pertwee DVDs. YAY PREZZIES!

#

We were about to leave the house for my cousin's Home from the Navy party when I discovered a leak from the toilet base. After playing phone tag with the plumber and getting a confirmation from him on my diagnosis, I decided to make the repairs myself.

We spent the night at our friends Sarah and David's house. This was GREAT FUN for Caitlin since she thought it was a sleepover with their baby, Iris.

Our friends Stacey and Dan came over to lend a hand the next day. The repair was easy and cheap. Thankfully, I wasn't surprised with any scary complications.

So far, everything seems fixed. I'm glad that we have wonderful friends. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
It's time for a Caitlin update. Things are more or less stable. She's still a happy little lady.

Good Things:

1- Caitlin has only a 1/2 day of school on Monday. She survived 2nd Grade. :-) Summer school starts the next week.

2- She still had a monthly seizure two weeks ago, but it only lasted a minute. Hopefully, this means the new Sabril med levels are working.

3- Caitlin was approved again for the state supplemental insurance program. Hooray for us staying Lower Middle Class!

4- She will have a back brace in a week. She totally aced the fitting.

5- All of the changes for state employees didn't affect our health insurance program.

6- She has no pain in her hips. In that way, the surgery worked.

Bad Things:

1- Her knee still hurts from her holding it funny during the recovery from the hip surgery. It also swelled up last week due to intense PT. :(

2- We found out yesterday that Caitlin will have a new Special Ed teacher next fall. This was a surprise. Her current teacher is one of the only people in the district who knows how to program and incorporate Caitlin's Dynavox communication device. I guess we'll see how the district plans on handling this.

3- After 7 years, we're losing Caitlin's Case Manager at our primary health insurance company. We'll miss her. It's scary since she was a pretty good advocate for us in the system.

4- We have to change Caitlin's feeding tube button tomorrow. Not tragic, but always unpleasant.

5- I need to start the process of getting her a new wheelchair.

So overall, things could be much worse. Caitlin still has a wonderful quality of life for a girl with Aicardi syndrome.

Blue Monday

May. 9th, 2011 08:18 pm
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
Caitlin had her next follow-up appointment with her Orthopedic Surgeon today. We've had better appointments.

On the plus side, her hips are healed. He also looked at her aching left knee and hamstring. The doctor feels that they will loosen up and stop hurting if we use Cait's leg immobilizer at night.

Unfortunately, we also had some bad news. Caitlin's scoliosis is now at 50 degrees. That explains her trouble sitting for long periods at school. He wants her to wear a hard back brace for sitting. Using a brace will unfortunately weaken her trunk muscles and make her dependent on it in the future. The brace won't correct the scoliosis or stop its progression. That's the really bad news. It looks like Caitlin will need back surgery in a couple of years. This will be a much bigger surgery than the hips.

:(

I could really use some good news right about now.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)


Elisabeth Sladen and Colin Baker were the main guests at that same convention. Lis called Cait “sweetiepop,” held her hand for the photo, and commented that she must be at least nine, since she looked such a lady. Caitlin grinned, and preened, and generally was really excited to meet Lis (she’s also a big fan of The Sarah Jane Adventures). When we got Lis’s autograph, I happily paid for a glossy, but she insisted that Caitlin pick out a second one, gratis, from Father Christmas, and signed both photos extra with kisses on them just for her. Lis also went out of her way to say goodbye to Caitlin as she was checking out of the hotel while we were in the lobby.

Lynne M. Thomas, “Marrying Into the TARDIS Tribe,” Chicks Dig Time Lords

We're gutted. We haven't felt this sad about the passing of a celebrity since the world lost Jim Henson. Lynne and I both cried many times yesterday. Lis played the most iconic Doctor Who companion. She was my first. She was also Caitlin's favorite. Lis's performance as the plucky adventuress reporter Sarah Jane Smith transcended the show. She was a role model to my wife and daughter. Numerous essays in our book are love letters to Lis and her most famous character.

She will be missed. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
1- Caitlin had more seizures on Friday. We didn't have to use her emergency Diastat, but we now know she's definitely back on that monthly seizure schedule. On the plus side, it's still only one bad day a month. On the minus side, they're still massive seizures. Caitlin's Epileptologist/Neurologist increased her Sabril in response. Thank the maker that Sabril is now FDA-approved. That would have been a financial disaster two years ago.

2- Since I didn't have to use Diastat, I spent the whole day hovering over her and watching every twitch and movement. Lynne came home early to help. Yeah, we've had better days.

This colored our whole weekend. Once the crisis ended, we had plenty of time to process and be miserable-- especially once Caitlin went to bed each evening. This is why we fill our lives with work and distractions. It's very hard to watch our little girl go through the epilepsy and pain. It's tough when we stop long enough to think about Caitlin's future. We know that her best days are very likely already behind her.

3- On a cheerier note, crazy doors are opening for Lynne left and right. It seems that every time she completes an awesome project, two more take its place.

4- I'm revising this week. Along with my mid-grade fantasy novel, I'm working on my most recent short story. Most of my crit partners have sent me their notes. Now I just need to work up the courage to read them. :-)

5- The one good thing that happened on Friday came in the mail. We spent the weekend consuming our Kinda and Snakedance DVDs. We still love the hell out of those stories. We also picked up a copy of Sunday in the Park with George on CD. Now that I'm in my mid-30s, I'm really learning to appreciate Sondheim.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
We had an amazing time at Odd Con. Since we were surrounded by good friends (too many to list), it was essentially a Relaxacon for us. We had many great conversations and meals. As always, Odd Con also had a great BarCon. It's the perfect way to kick off the convention season.

Caitlin behaved for Grandma all weekend. :-)

Last night we popped into The City for a lovely dinner with [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna at Harold's Chicken. It was nice to see her outside of a convention or signing. I wish we lived closer to her.

After a week of shop talk, I need to bear down and revise my mid-grade fantasy novel. I also need to revise my new short story, but that can wait until I have some more feedback from my beta readers.

Everything else going on around here is SEEKRIT. We can't wait for some of these things to go public. :-D
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Slowly but surely, [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's SEEKRIT PROJECTS are becoming public. She is wicked excited about Chairing the next Tiptree Award jury. It's an amazing group of jurors (Karen Meisner, James Davis Nicoll, Tansy Roberts, and Nisi Shawl). They've been setting things up over the last couple of days. It looks like Lynne has some reading to do over the next few months. :-)

If you know of an SF/F book or story that you think "expands or explores our understanding of gender" from this year or the last few months of last year, please email your recommendation to the jury at nominate@tiptree.org. That's one of the ways they discover these gems.

#

The Whedonistas's launch went well. The publisher is pleased with the sales, and the reviews are positive. It looks like we're having a launch party at WisCon. Now all we need to do is plan it. :-)

In case you're curious, here are all of the Whedonistas's reviews:
Reviews )
#
Caitlin's Spring Break is over, so it's back to the writing mines for me. I need to revise a short story this week.

Caitlin

Mar. 8th, 2011 01:31 pm
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
The follow-up visit to Caitlin's Orthopaedic surgeon went well. Her surgery was a success. Everything looks great to her doctor.

He was a little surprised that she is still crying when she activates her leg muscles. He feels that the pain will disappear in the next couple of months.

When I picked up Caitlin from school, I was handed a letter to my doctor from her school PT. Apparently, Caitlin will no longer hold her trunk up when she sits at school. The PT provided tons of photos as proof. This problem pre-dates her surgery.

The thing is, we don't have the problem at home. Even at the doctor's office, she sat independently on the exam table for 20 minutes. She also sat in her wheelchair for an hour without needing chest support.

Since the doctor couldn't think of a medical reason for this problem, we figured that it might be behavioral.

My guess: Little miss figured out that she can get out of schoolwork by acting floppy. This is NOT GOOD. If she keeps it up, she's not going to Six Flags this summer.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Real life is managing to be as real as possible.

1- Entropy visited our home again. This morning the fridge started to make noises like the Tin Man with an upper respiratory infection. It's been a loud fridge for a long time, so its immanent demise comes as no surprise. Luckily, Lowe's had a nearly identical fridge on sale and in stock. Nice people will bring it here tomorrow while taking away the old one. Other than the dryer, that means every appliance in our household has been repaired or replaced in the last month (plus a kitchen sink repair). Homeownership is fun!

2- Caitlin is doing much better. She made it through the last few days of school without any screaming fits. Her brain has also been stable. Hooray for good Caitlin health!

3- Pink Raygun gave Whedonistas a good review.

4- I like my new short story (so far).

5- The week started off with the deaths of comic book creator Dwayne McDuffie and Doctor Who Brigadier actor Nick Courtney. They both will be greatly missed. I keep tearing up from all of the wonderful remembrances.

How are you?
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
Caitlin had a massive seizure this morning that needed Diastat (rectal valium) in order to stop it. For almost ten minutes, Caitlin's brain betrayed her and caused a rhythmic spasm on her left side that only powerful drugs could stop.

This is her first seizure since last May and the first one needing Diastat in about two years.

Hopefully, this is an isolated seizure and not the start of a new pattern.

She's been asleep in her room for the last five hours or so. The seizure wiped my poor angel out.

Seizures still suck. You never get used to them happening to your child.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
11 years ago today, [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I were married in a Unitarian church in Hamden, CT.

Yeah, that kind of rocked. :-)

We went out to lunch at the local Middle Eastern joint yesterday. Today I'm watching Cait while Lynne works on a SEEKRIT PROJECT (if you were quick to the CONvergence programming page this week, you might know what it is).

In other news:

1- Lynne guest blogged about Chicks Dig Time Lords at [livejournal.com profile] jimhines's blog for his First Book Friday series.

2- There's an AMAZING review of Chicks Dig Time Lords on the Tin Dog Podcast. It made Lynne cry.

3- [livejournal.com profile] shsilver reviewed Whedonistas. It's the first of hopefully many. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
The title sums up our week. DeKalb ended up with about 16 inches of snow. We kept our power. The worst seems to be that our Internet has been wonky in the evening. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I shoveled about half of our driveway and a kind neighbor used a snowblower to finish the job. Other than Lynne and Caitlin getting two days off, the storm was pretty uneventful. Basically we just spent two day watching Hercules, Xena, and Robin of Sherwood episodes (Caitlin is on a fantasy kick).

Some other news and notes for the week:

1- Cheryl Morgan sums up why I mentioned that Chicks Dig Time Lords is eligible for a Hugo Award in the Best Related Work category.

2- About a dozen reviewers now have PDF ARCs of Whedonistas.

3- Gallifrey One is only two weeks away. I'm not on any panels. To put it bluntly, I'm kind of tired of doing Doctor Who panels (especially now that my DW writing project is on indefinite hiatus). I've said just about everything I can say about the show, and I think the world can survive one less middle-aged white guy giving his opinions about the series. I would rather just relax, hang out with friends, and fanboy my wife. :-)

4- I didn't write much this week, but I submitted a couple of short stories (one for the first time). That gives me three currently on the market. I also have a new story percolating in my brain.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
1- Caitlin is still progressing. :-)

2- I spent this week doing small home repairs. I replaced a borked drain on our kitchen sink. Thank the maker for youtube repair vids. I love that I live in a world where I can learn how to repair things in minutes rather than paying big money to a plumber.

3- We had a wonderful visit from our friend Sigrid on Wednesday. We watched Doctor Who, shared stories, and ate pizza. She also had a chance to talk to [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne about a SEEKRIT PROJECT. Good times...

4- It's the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster today. I was in 6th Grade eating lunch when they announced it over the PA. It's still devastating. I cried a little last night during the PBS NASA documentary that covered it and the Columbia Disaster. I truly believe that these two tragedies are the reason why my generation in the US isn't pushing our government for more manned space exploration. Space became scary instead of wondrous.

5- The comic book magazine Wizard ended its print edition while firing everybody this week. I used to occasionally read it back in the 90s. I was never a big fan since it had too much of a frat-boy attitude. It was much more focused on the exploding booby titles from places like Top Cow than the thoughtful Indie and Vertigo comics that I was reading.

Still, it's a shame to see it go. I'm not pleased in general by the death of the print magazine as a viable form of information and entertainment. Wizard once sold over 100,000 copies per month in the late 90s. It was down to about 20,000 last month. For all of its problems, it paid its writers, had an editorial process, and published the occasional well-researched article. The comic book websites can't replace that.

Wizard claims that it will open a e-magazine, but so did Starlog. They seem happier now running crappy conventions with c-list celebrities than covering an industry.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
We're having our first major cold snap of the season. They had to send a second school bus for Caitlin this morning after the first one's lift broke.

News and notes from our week:

1- Caitlin continues to improve. She's still very sore, but she went to school every day this week. She's also tolerating the extra physical therapy. Hooray!

2- We're about to send out PDF review copies of Whedonistas to a bunch of magazines and websites. There should be some reviews in the wild before the Gallifrey One book launch.

3- Lynne's Seekrit Projects are still Seekrit (but EXCITING).

4- I'm rewriting a weird fantasy short story I put aside last May. I still hate reading critiques of my work, but my readers definitely help me improve my writing.

It's nice to be working again after a month of Cait's medical stuff.

5- I've been watching the new PBS documentary series about the history of NASA. It's good, but I wish they could go into greater depth. As always, I'm amazed we didn't kill more astronauts during the 60s.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
1- Hey, Chicks Dig Time Lords made the long list for the 2010 British Science Fiction Association Best Non-Fiction Award. That means at least one person put it down on their ballot. Cool beans!

2- As most of you saw yesterday on Facebook and Twitter, Caitlin had her first Physical Therapy session yesterday. We had low expectations. Caitlin, however, had a different plan. First, she independently sat on the floor for the first time since the surgery. Next, she stood on her right leg with minimal assistance. Essentially, Cait displayed all of the abilities she had before the surgery. Considering that she's still recovering from having her hips altered only a month ago, we're very impressed. Cait's PT was flabbergasted. Caitlin's still in some pain, but it seems that she will completely bounce back from this surgery in only a couple of months.

3- Lynne, Deb, and I spent the last few days finding and contacting as many geek culture websites as possible about reviewing Whedonistas. It's amazing how many Girl Geek websites and podcasts exist. There's even going to be a GeekGirlCon in Seattle this year. Quite a few of them have already agreed to take a copy of the book.

If you have a suggestion of a cool review site that might be interested in Whedonistas, please let us know. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
Caitlin's bones are all healed!!! No more brace!!! She can begin physical therapy and use her real wheelchair again!!!

WOO HOO!!!

The only downside at the moment is that she's in pain due to her leg and hip muscles being unused for over a month. She'll have a rough few days, but the end is in sight.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
We had a quiet weekend. Here are some Things of Interest:

1- After one week of exercising, I manged to lose two pounds. I'm happy, but weight loss isn't my actual goal. As I said when I started exercising, this is about having a healthier lifestyle. Still, I'll take it. :-)

2- Today is the next follow-up appointment with Caitlin's Orthopaedic surgeon. Hopefully, there will be some good news that will make our lives easier. We all want to see that brace go away.

3- Caitlin is more or less fine. She's been really sore in the morning, though. It was bad enough on Friday that I had to call her in sick from school. It breaks my heart when Caitlin screams in pain.

4- Since [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne bought a WorldCon supporting membership in order to vote for the Hugos, I swung by the library and picked up a pile of SF/F books published in 2010. READ ALL THE THINGS!

5- This D&D video might be the greatest bad thing ever.

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