michaeldthomas: (content)
After a few doom and gloom posts, I decided it was time for a shiny happy post.

1- I finally scheduled a physical for myself. It's about 2 years overdue. I feel great, but it's time. My only issue is a small spot of uneven pigmentation on my face. It's probably just part of aging, but I want a doctor to verify that it's nothing serious.

2- I have 4 short stories on the market. I'm very happy with my most recent story after receiving some quality critiques. I think I fixed most of its issues. *fingerscrossed*

3- I'm finally revising The Scarlet Queen (my mid-grade fantasy novel). It's slow-going, but I should be finished by CONvergence. Now all I need is a critique partner who specializes in mid-grade fantasy. :-)

4- All of our WisCon plans are solidifying. The Whedonistas party is going to rock. It's going to be nice to hang out with so many of our peeps. Hooray!

5- We loved "The Doctor's Wife." It's now my favorite story of the Smith/Moffat era.

6- The SF Squeecast will premiere in the next couple of weeks.

7- The first batch of Chicks Dig Comics essays came in without any major drama. Lynne and Sigrid are pleased.

8- We have great friends. Thanks for all of the support. :-)
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)
It's Spring!

1- Caitlin is off all week for Spring Break. This will be a quiet vacation since Lynne is working.

2- We had a wild weekend. Our friends [livejournal.com profile] michaellee and [livejournal.com profile] frozendragon crashed with us on Friday night and Saturday night at my mom's. They're now off on their pre-honeymoon in Ireland. They also went to the c2e2 convention with us.

3- c2e2 was massive. I'm not a big fan of cons with over 30,000 people, but we had a great time. Lynne talked to some of her and Sigrid's probable Chicks Dig Comics contributors, and then she signed books for an hour at the Alien Entertainment booth with [livejournal.com profile] taraoshea. They had a decent crowd.

We probably talked to a few dozen of our friends over the course of the day. We also met a bunch of new awesome people.

I now own The Sontaran Experiment toy set, and Caitlin owns an Adipose stress toy (her gift for good behavior at Grandma's). I love living in a world where they make all of the toys I wanted when I was 10. :-D

4- We attended The Middleman reunion panel and had a wonderful time.

5- After the panel, we went out to eat in Chinatown with a bunch of people. I would say more, but we were sworn to secrecy by one of our ringleaders. WHAT'S SAID AT THE PHOENIX, STAYS AT THE PHOENIX. ;-)

Good Times. :-)
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: (Default)
The Happy Convention Round-Up!

What did I love at this year's Gallifrey One?

1- Hanging out with our peeps for four nights of drinking, dirty jokes, and general debauchery. (Sadly, in this case debauchery means arguments about Doctor Who continuity). ;-)

2- Watching Lynne and Deb hold copies of Whedonistas for the first time.

3- The entire Whedonistas launch panel, signing, and dinner. It was a complete success. I'm sure that Lynne and Deb will blog about this in greater detail with fancy pictures. The most amusing part might be my wife, Deb, and RM giving all of their Torchwood theories to half of the current writing staff.

4- Buying Peri & Sil action figures for me and the ginormous 11th Doctor TARDIS Playset for my little fangirl (she LOVES it).

5- Watching Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, and Sarah Sutton say the things about Matthew Waterhouse that I wanted to say after reading his dreadful Blue Box Boy.

6- Helping two friends make an awesome book deal.

7- Finding out that Janet Fielding read the copy of Chicks Dig Time Lords that Lynne gave her in the Green Room after Janet referred to it on main stage panel while answering a question.

8- Taking a trip to the In-N-Out Burger.

9- Getting to meet some new people while deepening other friendships.

10- Caitlin managed to have a good weekend with my mom and aunt.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
The Paul McGann Doctor Who movie is finally being released in North America. We pre-ordered ours a couple of weeks ago, and I've been jealously watching my Twitter stream as other friends watch their copies before me.

So, why do I care so much about a Doctor Who story that at best can be called mediocre?* (Apologies to those few like [livejournal.com profile] jblum and [livejournal.com profile] dreamer_easy who I know love it.)

Back in 1996, I wasn't really a Doctor Who fan anymore. I'd loved the show during my teen years, but my life had gone in different directions once I was in college (relationships, music, writing, comic books, trying to be "cool"). My Doctor Who things were all packed away.

Hearing about the movie reignited my interest in the show. I found rec.arts.drwho and the early websites. I also stumbled upon the videos of classic stories for sale at Best Buy and Borders. At that point, my fiancee C cut a deal with me: I could buy the videos if I quit smoking.

I did it. My cigarette budget became my Doctor Who collectibles' budget (if you've been to my house, you know how that worked out).

That May, we watched the McGann movie with a small group of friends in our Campustown apartment. I enjoyed it, flaws and all. I wanted more. I started buying books, toys, and anything else with a Doctor Who logo on it. C and I attended our first Doctor Who convention that November (Visions 96). The rest is history. The world might not have a book called Chicks Dig Time Lords if it wasn't for that telemovie.

That's why I can't wait until I have that DVD in my hands. The Paul McGann movie changed my life. :-)


* For the record, I think it's an average story. For a regeneration episode, it ranks about the same as Robot. I love the direction, McGann's performance, and the TARDIS set. The script is not particularly good, and some of the actors are a bit crap (I'm looking at you, Eric Roberts). The biggest knocks on the movie is that it didn't spawn a new series and Fandom had nine years to pick it apart.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
It was an average weekend. I missed most of the Super Bowl while dealing with a broken washing machine. It seems that the timer or kill switch crapped out (the cycles no longer advance). The Maytag man will be out on Thursday. At least most of our laundry is clean.

Other than that, the highlight was watching the second Doctor story The Dominators. Sweet Zombie Jesus, that's an awful story. It's probably the most boring and insipid tale in Doctor Who history. Even the documentaries focused on why it sucked like a sucking thing. I have trouble thinking of anything nice to say. Why did the universe save this story while junking most of The Evil of the Daleks and The Web of Fear?

I need to write. I think I have my characters and plot for the new short story, but I need to research some things.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Since it's only a week and a half away, I thought I would list [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne 's Gally schedule. If you see her, make sure you ask her for a Chicks Dig Time Lords's ribbon. :-)
Lynne's Schedule )
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: (Cait)
How the hell is it 2011 already?!?! Seriously, it feels like we just did that whole Millennium thing. I am not a fan of this whole time-moving-quicker-as-I-get-older thing.

We had a quiet evening last night. Caitlin spent most of the morning crying every 20 minutes due to cramping and soreness. Thankfully, she felt better by the afternoon. Lynne and I "celebrated" New Year's Eve with Chinese food and awful television. At least we were together and not in a hospital. We should have friends stopping by today and tomorrow. That will be nice.

2010 was a phenomenal year for us. Like any year, it had highs and lows.

The bad:

1- My grandfather passed away.
2- Caitlin's hip surgery.
3- My big nonfiction commission was put on indefinite hiatus.
4- I didn't write anything good enough for publication.

The wonderful:

1- Caitlin stayed healthy and had a successful surgery.
2- We continued to have amazing friendships and met some new wonderful people.
3- Chicks Dig Time Lords was a major success for Lynne and Tara, leading to book signings, our first Gallifrey One convention, fanart, fanvids, interviews, convention guest invitations, and fantastic reviews. We even impressed a few famous people who worked on the show. It's been an phenomenal ride.
4- I met all of my writing goals and completed another novel.
5- Lynne and Deb finished Whedonistas.
6- The NIU SF collection grew and Lynne was even interviewed for Locus.
7- Caitlin rocked her communication device and had a smooth transition to a new school.
8- We went on an amazing Make-A-Wish trip.
9- Lynne started two SEEKRIT PROJECTS that will be big deals in the next couple of months.

2010 was a magical year for us. Let's hope 2011 continues this trend.

We couldn't have done it without all of you. Thank you for your love and support last year. You made us feel like the richest people in Bedford Falls. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Things making me sad:

1- Caitlin's hip surgery is two weeks from today.

2- Today would have been my grandfather's 87th birthday. This is the first of his birthdays since he passed away. I really miss him. I want him to reassure me about Caitlin's surgery.

3- I'm nervous about Caitlin's meds showing up today. Usually, UPS Overnight calls on the day of shipment. I really hope that yesterday's bad weather didn't screw things up.

Things making me happy:

1- I'm going to see dozens of good friends at Chicago TARDIS in two days.

2- Lynne is one of the Chicago TARDIS Guests! How awesome is that?

3- Caitlin is really excited about meeting Tommy Knight from Sarah Jane Adventures on Sunday.

4- Lynne is going to buy me early birthday presents at the con.

5- The editing on Whedonistas is just about finished. It will be a REAL BOOK in less than three months.

6- Our best friends will officially adopt their baby tomorrow.

7- I will see the rest of my family on Thursday.

8- I raked all of the leaves in time for the city leaf collection with 1 1/2 hours to spare.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
This week, author [livejournal.com profile] jimhines posted a sexual harassment resource for writers and fans due to an incident at this year's World Fantasy Convention with an industry pro who has a history of harassing women at events. This resource also included information about SF/F conventions and a link to a list of different SF/F cons' sexual harassment policies.

Since Chicago TARDIS, wasn't on the list, I pinged the con on Twitter about its policy. I received this Tweet response from the Head of Programming and Publicity:

CT has no specific policy. We have a basic "if you behave badly, you're gone" in the prog book, have had no need 4 more.

I know for a fact that many of my female friends have been sexually harassed at Chicago TARDIS over the last few years. Many of these incidents involved a particular fan dubbed "Foot Fetish Guy" by comic book writer Tony Lee.

If this happens again, PLEASE notify the convention staff. The Head of Security is Wayne R. McCloud.

You deserve to feel safe at the convention. Let's stop tolerating this behavior.

ETA: I want to clarify that I am not blaming the convention or staff for these incidents. They can't act unless the sexual harassment is reported. That's why I'm pointing out that there is a policy and that people should report incidents to the staff.

ETA2: Clarified that the conversation was on Twitter.
michaeldthomas: (content)
1- The Whedonistas manuscript is in the hands of the Mad Norwegian. The "final" edits consumed our last week. I'm proud of all of the hard work [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and Deb Stanish put into this book. There are some magnificent essays in it. If you like Chicks Dig Time Lords and the works of Joss Whedon, you'll love this book.

Now we wait for the Mad Norwegian's notes...

2- We celebrated Lynne's birthday with the now-annual Squee Weekend (or Squeekend if you prefer). [livejournal.com profile] dark_aegis and [livejournal.com profile] nnwest drove in from their neighboring state while [livejournal.com profile] mrsdrdavison wandered over from her digs. We ate pizza, Portillo's, and cupcakes while watching a metric ton of Doctor Who. Lynne showed off her completed Tom Baker Season 18 scarf, and many racy things were said. Good times.

We've also decided that [livejournal.com profile] taraoshea should feed different Doctor Who celebrities in the Chicago TARDIS Green Room dishes based on the recipes they gave to The Doctor Who Cookbook back in the 1980s. We really want to see Frazer Hines eat his Mushrooms McCrimmon. ;-)

3- I'm reading Matthew Waterhouse's memoir Blue Box Boy. I can guarantee that Doctor Who fans will be talking about this books for years to come. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
This post is really just to convince my mom that everything is fine (she worries if I don't post every three days or so). ;-)

We're enjoying our first weekend at home in quite some time. For Caitlin and me, this means a little bit of rest. Unfortunately for [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne, this means that she needs to finish editing the Whedonistas's manuscript for the Publisher. My poor wife never gets to stop.

Actually, next weekend is her birthday. Some guests are coming in for what's becoming the annual "Squee Weekend Spectacular." I've been knocking things off of the honey-do list in preparation. Home owning is so glamorous. :-)

Caitlin is fine. She's watching TV and working on a scrapbook of her Make-A-Wish trip.

There's not much else going on around here. I now own a signed copy of Matthew Waterhouse's Blue Box Boy. I'm hoping that it lives up to my expectations.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
My brain is fried from last night's insomnia. Racing thoughts suck. The worst part of it is that I'm now thinking about writing a long post about the latest SF blogosphere kerfuffle. I'll wait until tomorrow to see if I still want to touch the shiny blades at the bottom of that blender.

Here are some news and notes:

1- Lynne and I will be at MadCon in Madison on Sunday on a Chicks Dig Time Lords panel at 1:00 PM with Sophie Aldred, Carole Barrowman, Kathryn Sullivan, and Jennifer Adams Kelley. Sadly, Harlan Ellison will not be joining us on the panel.

My brain has yet to process the fact that I'm going to be on a panel with Sophie Aldred.

2- The next installment of Cait's Make-A-Wish trip is up on [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's journal.

3- L. Timmel Duchamp officially joined the NIU SF Archives. There will be another announcement any day now of another author joining with some major WisCon ties. At this rate, Lynne will be archiving the Madison Concourse housekeeping staff by 2012. ;-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Lots of little things happening around here.

1- Caitlin had a great first couple of weeks of Second Grade. She's making friends and staying out of trouble.

Cait is very excited about her Make-A-Wish trip. We watched the Disney World vacation planning DVD on Monday night and she was unable to fall asleep until midnight. We'll be gone in 8 days!

2- Lynne rulz the Internets. This week saw the announcement of Whedonistas, the Seekrit Project that [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and Deborah Stanish have been editing for some time. I'm glad we can finally talk about it. :-)

In other cool book news, the giant SF/F website io9 ran an excerpt from Chicks Dig Time Lords-- specifically, Carole Barrowman's essay. To say we are giddy about this is an understatement.

3- I'm at the 3/5 mark (more or less) on The Scarlet Queen. I'm feeling more and more confident about finishing it this year.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I have an addendum to yesterday's post.

LYNNE HAS BEEN ADDED AS A GUEST AT CHICAGO TARDIS!!!

From [livejournal.com profile] renn's announcement:

Now for guests. Joining our little party as a guest for the first time, after many years as a regular attendee, is LYNNE THOMAS. Lynne co-edited the Mad Norwegian Press book "Chicks Dig Time Lords." In addition, she heads the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, where (amongst other things) she has spearheaded the archiving of several dozen SF authors' papers.

How frickin' cool is that?

Chicago TARDIS is one of our favorite conventions. We've only missed it twice since it started in 2000.

That brings me to something else I've been meaning to write about for the last few months. Chicks Dig Time Lords has been wildly successful: great sales, wonderful reviews, and its own fan following. It has been read and enjoyed by famous people who have been involved in the creation of the show.

As most of you know, I'm a big Doctor Who fan. I started watching the show 25 years ago. I own a roomful of Doctor Who memorabilia. As written in Lynne's CDTL essay, I introduced her to the series.

A couple of weeks ago my mother asked me, "Does all of Lynne's success bother you?"
Read more )
michaeldthomas: (content)
A bundle of links about my AWESOME wife...

1- There's a great review of Chicks Dig Time Lords in the latest issue of the Doctor Who fanzine The Terrible Zodin. I love the reviews that get what we were trying to do with the book.

2- There's a wonderful picture of Sophie Aldred (Ace) wearing a Chicks Dig Time Lords t-shirt while standing next to Karen Gillan (Amy) in the latest issue of Vortex: The Big Finish Magazine.

3- Speaking of Sophie, there's going to be a Chicks Dig Time Lords panel at MadCon in Madison on September 26. Panelists will include Editors Lynne Thomas & Tara O'Shea, Associate Editor Michael D. Thomas, and contributors Sophie Aldred, Carole Barrowman, Kathryn Sullivan, Jennifer Adams Kelley, and Christa Dickson.

4- Pamela Dean joined the NIU SF Archives! For those of you keeping score at home, she joins an all-star author list that includes Jack McDevitt, Carol Emshwiller, Tamora Pierce, Eric Flint, David Weber, Kage Baker, Patricia Wrede, Sharon Shinn, Pamela Dean, Elizabeth Bear, Robert Asprin, Jody Lynn Nye, Caroline Stevermer, Will Shetterly, E.E. Knight, Catherynne M. Valente, Tobias Buckell, Sarah Monette, Kristine Smith, Tim Pratt, Nnedi Okorafor, Jim C. Hines, Sarah Prineas, Alma Alexander, Kelly McCullough, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse, Alex Bledsoe, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jennifer Stevenson, Nisi Shawl, Cat Rambo, Ted Kosmatka, Richard Chwedyk, Steven H Silver, Lori Devoti, Mark Rich, Donald Bingle, Elise Matheson, Catherine Lundoff, Jaime Lee Moyer, Heather Shaw, and Sean M. Murphy. There are another 30 or so authors on their way. :-)

5- Paul Cornell quotes [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne in his con report about CONvergence 2010. If you're thinking about going to CONvergence, this is an excellent primer/endorsement.

6- Finally, the CONvergence website has been updated for the 2011 convention. MY WIFE IS ONE OF THE FREAKIN' GUESTS OF HONOR with Catherynne M. Valente and Brian Keene!!! How freakin' awesome is that?

Phew. There are other amazing things going on with Lynne, but most of them are seekrit. I am very proud of my phenomenal wife. :D
michaeldthomas: (Default)
After all of last weekend's insanity, we're talking a break. As a family, we have accomplished almost nothing all weekend. It's a wonderful thing. :-)

So what have we done with our weekend off? We've read comics and watched Buffy and Doctor Who DVDs. We almost feel like fans again. ;-)

Caitlin remains a major Sarah Jane fangirl. She watched The Monster of Peladon and The Masque of Mandragora for the first time and squeed every time Sarah did something cool. Like you do.

I'm probably going to work this afternoon on some critiques I owe. If I'm feeling virtuous, I might sneak out to the coffeehouse for another round of writing.

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