michaeldthomas: (Default)
Since I can't do much until UPS delivers Cait's meds, I thought I would blog. Let's see if LJ stays up while I type this.

1- This weekend we'll be at Odyssey Con in Madison. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I are only scheduled for the Whedonistas panel on Friday. Lynne will be doing her SF/F Archivist thing (we'll pick up boxes, DVDs, or flash drives if you have them). I'll be hanging out with our friends. This should be a nice, low-key weekend.

This con will also be our friend [livejournal.com profile] truepenny's first GoH gig. If you can, come and support her.

2- That's my only panel for the next few cons. I decided that I'm too burned out to be on any WisCon or CONvergence panels this year. I need to work more on my writing career before I feel comfortable again up on a panel. Also, Lynne really needs me to focus on being her assistant at those cons.

3- It looks like the Whedonistas WisCon party might involve Mai Tais and a Buffy Sing-Along. Good times. :-)

4- My poor wife is BURIED in projects. We really don't think about it until somebody asks us about what she's up to. Then we talk about her normal work stuff, co-teaching her class for another university, a SFWA project, the Whedonistas launch, co-editing Chicks Dig Comics, writing something for a friend's book, writing an essay for another couple of friends' book, writing an essay for a journal, working on the least SEEKRIT SEEKRIT PROJEKT podcast ever, and chairing the Tiptree Jury.

And yet, she still somehow finds time to be an exquisite mother and wife. :-)

5- The Bridging the Rift Doctor Who Podcast features Lynne reading her Tor.com essay about the 11th Doctor. Flames Rising is running the Introduction from Whedonistas for free on their website.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
1- We had a lovely time with our friend, SF/F author Alex Bledsoe, last week. Alex was down for a Friends of the NIU Libraries/DeKalb Public Library event. He finally got to meet Caitlin while we ate German food and talked shop. The event went very well. The SF Book Club loved The Sword-Edged Blonde, and everybody consumed delicious cupcakes.

I love when our author peeps come to visit. Which brings me to...

2- [livejournal.com profile] sarah_prineas will be here tonight and tomorrow for the NIU Children's Literature conference. It will be very nice to see Sarah. Along with being an awesome friend, she's also Caitlin's FAVORITE AUTHOR. Caitlin loves her books more than the Harry Potter series. We've been bribing Cait all week with Friday's dinner.

3- Whedonistas will be out next week. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and Deb Stanish have been busy with interviews and other book launch activities. Some of the contributors are having a book launch event in NYC. There should be a review of the book in the current SFX Magazine in the UK, but we haven't seen it yet.

4- The new short story is starting to roll. I should finish it next week.

5- Since I started exercising in January, I've lost 10 pounds.
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: (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: (Caitlin 10)
Remember how we were worried about her making new friends at school? Twice this week, Caitlin came home with artwork from a new friend in her 2nd Grade class. Cait's friend decided to draw pictures of Caitlin's Make-A-Wish trip. The first one showed Belle at Cinderella's Castle and the second one showed Harry Potter at Hogwarts. Both were welcoming Caitlin with a wave and a smile. :-)

Last Sunday, we took Caitlin to meet another celebrity. This time it was legendary wrestler Mick Foley. Also known as The Hardcore Legend, Mick wrestled as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind. He still occasionally wrestles, but now he's better known as a bestselling author. You might also know him as the Senior Asskicker on The Daily Show.
Read more )
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)
My brain is still toast from an excellent CONvergence. We had a great time hanging out with Laura and [livejournal.com profile] kellymccullough, [livejournal.com profile] christapolis and the Mad Norwegian, [livejournal.com profile] jfboyd, [livejournal.com profile] michaellee and [livejournal.com profile] frozendragon, Stephanie and Ben Zvan, Christopher Jones, [livejournal.com profile] paulcornell2, @drwhodealer, [livejournal.com profile] resolute, [livejournal.com profile] fizzixrat, [livejournal.com profile] dewey921, [livejournal.com profile] swords_and_pens, and many more awesome people.

Highlights I can talk about include:

1- Finally sitting down and talking to [livejournal.com profile] swords_and_pens about life and writing.
2- [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne saving a panel from getting derailed.
3- Visiting the McCullough house and getting to play with their kitties.
4- Going to Matt's Bar with [livejournal.com profile] frozendragon so Lynne could try her first Jucy Lucy.
5- Watching Lynne in the Closing Ceremonies act in a small role and then getting announced as a 2011 Guest of Honor.
6- The parties. :-)
7- My Death of the Magazine panel.

I wish we lived closer to all of our Twin City peeps. Four days are not enough.

I can't wait until next year. Did I mention that Lynne is ONE OF THE GUESTS OF HONOR along with our friend [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna? HOW F-ING AWESOME IS THAT?
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Where does the time go? I swear it was just yesterday I was in the WisCon bar goofing around with friends.

Here's one of those "five thing" posts the kids all love.

1- Caitlin's Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World is coming together. We will be staying at Cait's first choice, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. This hotel is a pint of awesomesauce covered in unicorns and rainbows. It's on a 43-acre wildlife preserve. You can look out your window and see "Ankole Cattle, Bontebok, Eland, Zebra, Greater Kudu, Impala, Okapi, Red River Hog, Nyala, Reticulated Giraffe, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, Thompson's Gazelle, Waterbuck, White-Bearded Wildebeest, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue Crane, East African Crowned Crane, Greater Flamingo, Marabou Stork, Ostrich, Pink-Backed Pelican, Spur Winged Geese, Guinea Fowl, and Ruppel's Griffon Vulture!" I told Caitlin she could ride a giraffe. She's really excited about this trip.

2- [livejournal.com profile] jimhines posted about the Marion Zimmer Bradley fanfic kerfuffle and linked to my earlier post on the subject. Jim says smart things. :-)

3- I'm working again on Fluid Links for Mad Norwegian Press after a long hiatus (this happens when one of the co-writers is also the publisher). Right now I'm trying to rediscover my groove for this project. Since I finished my research for this Doctor Who novel guide series, I've written a novel, 10 short stories, and a 1/3 of a middle-grade novel. It feels like Fluid Links belongs to a different Michael D. Thomas. The good news is that I've nearly completed my part of the first volume.

4- [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne is running around like a crazy woman. WisCon is a major event for her as SF Archivist to the Stars (As seen in Locus!). There are 17 authors attending who are already archiving at NIU. Another 11 will be there who have already said yes. Lynne is meeting a bunch more to discuss their papers. We're also picking up archival materials from about 8 authors. All of this action will be occurring while Lynne is also promoting Chicks Dig Time Lords and working on her next seekrit project. If we look exhausted at the parties, now you know why. :-)

5- We have new haircuts for WisCon. I expect that the next two days will be devoted to figuring out what we're wearing.

Bonus- Our good friends Sarah and David adopted a baby last week! She is beautiful. We're so happy for them!
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I'm slowly pulling myself out of my funk. I'm very lucky to have so many fantastic people in my life. Here are a few things that make a post:

1- We had a wonderful day yesterday at the home of [livejournal.com profile] eeknight, [livejournal.com profile] chats_noirs, and their sprog. He's getting so big! E prepared us a magnificent dinner while the kids played and watched Disney Channel. It felt good to relax with friends. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne had a surreal moment when she was asked to sign a copy of Chicks Dig Time Lords for a FAMOUS AUTHOR. It usually works the other way. :-)

2- Speaking of Chicks, another interview is up on the Internet. Doctor Who: Podshock interviewed Lynne, [livejournal.com profile] taraoshea, Liz Myles, Tammy Garrison, and Katy Shuttleworth at the Gallifrey One convention last month after their massive panel and signing. There's also a review of last weekend's Bluestockings Bookstore event in NYC up at Tor.com.

3- WE HAVE NEW SEKRIT PROJECTS!!! It's going to be a busy year in the Thomas household. :D

4- One of Caitlin's friends from school called her today out of the blue to chat about their Spring Breaks. Lynne helped with Cait's communication device to make the conversation work. Yes, it made us cry. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 09)
1- Caitlin is home for Spring Break. She can use the vacation. So far, she's been dealing well with her grief about Pa's passing. I'm still not quite sure how she processes those emotions.

We all survived the Dynavox Communication Device training session this week. There's A LOT to learn. The machine is capable of billions of things. One of the important things discussed at the training is how learning to use a communication device is like learning a foreign language. It takes time and patience. It's unreasonable to think that a person can jump on a device and start communicating. We need to use it in about 80% of Cait's daily activities. So far, she's responding well to it. Cait really needs to improve her targeting, but that's not a surprise. It's going to take a ton of coordination between her entire team to make this work.

Today, Caitlin was able to use her device to tell me she wanted to watch The Lion King. My heart almost leapt out of my chest. :-D

2- I'm doing okay. My amazing friends and wonderful family have been very supportive with phone calls, emails, and condolence cards. I can't thank you all enough. I even inspired a blog post from my friend [livejournal.com profile] kellymccullough. Somehow I managed a little bit of writing this week.

3- Most of my attention has been on the Chicks Dig Time Lords mania. Retailers can't keep it in stock. :-) Here's a nice review from Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell (Father's Day, Human Nature).

4- I'm reading a copy of the Vworp Vworp! Doctor Who fanzine. Good stuff. It's probably the slickest fanzine I've ever seen.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
This entry has been bouncing around my brain since Saturday night. I felt about a dozen different emotions during the memorial. I missed Scott and was sad for his passing too soon, but I also felt a joyous warmth from the celebration of his amazing life.

The event itself was perfect. It encompassed all of the good memories I had about IMSA's open mic night of music, readings, and cheesy, derivative sketch comedy. Scott would have loved it.

I went into the memorial with a great deal of anxiety. I'm not very proud of the spazzy teen version of me. I made a lot of mistakes. IMSA was an intense experience. At the time, I didn't possess the maturity or mental stability to handle a residential school for the gifted-- thus my flaming out after a Junior year of DRAMA. These people saw me at my worst.

It seems that all of that crap doesn't matter. Caitlin and I had a wonderful time. I reconnected with friends and buried the hatchet with some people who I left on bad terms. I'm glad I went.

Scott had one last gift for us all; he made sure that our friendships would last forever.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
My high school friend Scott passed away last night.

There was never a time I knew Scott when he didn't have life-threatening health problems. It infused his teenage life with a level of passion that I've rarely seen in other people. He had total commitment to every opinion, both positive and negative. He was extremely intelligent, loyal, and witty. He drove his scooter around the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy campus as a genuine rock star. I was in awe of him.

I had a rough time at IMSA. I didn't possess the maturity to handle a residential high school for the gifted. Scott took me under his wing (I was Sophomore when he was a Senior). We spent countless hours hanging out, talking, and listening to music. He introduced me to the albums of They Might Be Giants. He brought me into the IMSA clique that formed around Club Pseudo, the monthly open-mike night. When I was really down during my first birthday away from home, he gave me the gift of a Tom Baker glossy.

After Scott graduated, we kept in touch for the next couple of years. Then, like most high school friends, we drifted away from each other. A couple of years ago we found each other on Facebook. Unfortunately, we never found a time to meet for lunch.

I'll miss you, Scott. You made my life better.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I'm writing this during our last lull for the next few days. We'll soon be with my family, and then Chicago TARDIS unofficially starts with the arrival at our house of the Mad Norwegian and [livejournal.com profile] christapolis. The action won't stop until we collapse here on Sunday night.

As always, I have a lot to be thankful for this year:

1- My grandfather made it to his 86th birthday this week. He's not doing well, but we should get at least one more holiday season with him.

2- Lynne's career is amazing. Two books! 40 SF/F authors already archiving at NIU (30 more on the way)! She's unstoppable. *g* I'm so proud of my wife.

3- Our house hasn't fallen to the ground.

4- I'm a better writer than I was a year ago. I started sending out short stories in January, and I've received six personalized rejections so far (one talked about how the editor almost accepted the story). I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer.

5- Caitlin is thriving. She's never been healthier and happier (9 months seizure free). She's reading, doing math, and making friends in her first grade class.

6- We have the best friends and family in the world. We couldn't do it without all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving!
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Well, that was a fairly aggravating week. Some of it I have to take to my grave (yes, I know how sausages are made); other things I've been whining about all week.

Okay, now it's time to GET POSITIVE! :-)

1- I've moved the ball out of my court with Caitlin's device and her anti-epileptic meds.
2- I get to send out three short stories in the next couple of weeks to some different markets.
3- I have a Hugo-nominated fanzine editor reminding me that he wants my articles by next week (I'm just tweaking my drafts).
4- I'm going to see an NIU football game today. A friend had an extra ticket and asked me if I wanted to go. :-)
5- I have a draft of a new short story to play with next week.
6- We have wonderful friends coming for a visit in 2 weeks. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne has been completing home projects like a mad woman in preparation.
7- Those friends will be bringing me new Doctor Who toys.
8- Chicago TARDIS is going to rock.

That's a pretty good list. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
It's been a busy week on the phone. For the past couple of days, it seems like everybody I know has been in some sort of crisis that they needed to talk about. I'm glad to be a sympathetic ear, but I am really drained today.

Here are a few things going on around here:

1- We had a very nice Mexican dinner this week with [livejournal.com profile] truepenny  and [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw . It proved to me once again that LiveJournal isn't a replacement for real face to face conversation. It was also great to hang out with them when there wasn't a convention going on around us.

2- [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne  just received her contributor copies of Special Collections 2.0. She is currently bouncing like a Tigger around her department.

3- Speaking of [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne  and her books, there should be some Chicks Dig Time Lords news next week.

4-  The Cubs are still playing good baseball. 

5- I have a bunch of Doctor Who DVDs on the way.

6- I just received a short story rejection. I really didn't expect to crack that market. 

7- Caitlin is fine.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
We had a nice, long weekend. Unfortunately, I think I left my brain at one of our stops. Here are the highlights from the last few days:

1- On Friday we finished watching Torchwood: Children of Earth. It was a masterpiece of SF television. Period.

2- We finally got to meet [livejournal.com profile] eeknight and [profile] chats_noirs's sprog. He's positively adorable. We played with the baby, ate delicious homemade pies, and watched Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. I can't recommend this show enough. I now want to be known as a "dreamweaver." ;-)

3- We had a nice time with my family at my mother's birthday party.

4- Sunday was the big BBQ at [livejournal.com profile] bifemmefatale and [livejournal.com profile] debunkshy's place. This time, we had the correct date. :-)
We met a bunch of wonderful people including [livejournal.com profile] ashnistrike and her spouse, and [livejournal.com profile] beatificdreams and her daughter. The food was excellent. My only regret is that we had to leave so early.

5- I didn't get any writing done today since Caitlin is still on summer break. Instead, I spent most of the day reading David Howe's The Target Book for research. It's a marvelous book. 

6- Caitlin had a very good session with her Speech Therapist today. Cait demonstrated that she can do addition and subtraction with single digits, and she managed four swallows on Crystal Light lemonade at nectar consistency. 

Restless

Jun. 19th, 2009 03:38 pm
michaeldthomas: (Default)
There is nothing going on today. Not surprisingly, I'm a mess. I just can't focus on anything. I really don't know how to relax.

Caitlin is home today since there's no summer school on Fridays. We're watching the Cubs getting killed by the Indians. There's a stack of Doctor Who Magazines I could be reading, but I'm still missing my Doctor Who mojo. I'm also getting ready to bail from the novel that I'm currently reading. I'm over 100 pages into it, and it's just not grabbing me.

Sunday can't come soon enough. :)

There's not much else going on around here. An old insurance billing problem came back to haunt me yesterday. Hopefully, some faxing of EOBs on Monday will fix it. Oh, how I love my battles with the broken healthcare system. :P

We had a nice evening out in Downtown Sycamore last night with our friends Sarah and David. We ate dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant and then took a walk around Ye Olde Small Town Main Street. The highlight was popping into a new vintage arcade. As it turns out, I still suck at Donkey Kong. Sarah and David played some Skee Ball and gave their tickets to Caitlin. Cait now owns some beautiful plastic bracelets.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 08)
I want to say hi to all of my new friends. [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored just reminded me that I should probably tell you all a bit about my daughter, Caitlin.

Caitlin is an amazing six-year-old girl with a wicked sense of humor and a great deal of love for the world around her. Caitlin has an extremely rare congenital condition called Aicardi syndrome. The syndrome is characterized by brain malformations (ACC), eye malformations (retinal lacunae), and severe epilepsy (infantile spasms). Caitlin has major physical delays and communication problems. She is also a silent aspirator who is unable to eat or drink by mouth (she has a feeding tube that goes directly into her stomach). Caitlin by the standards of the disorder has thrived. She can sit for an hour, stand with assistance, and communicate with sign language, choice cards, and her device. Caitlin is at age in cognitive abilities and can read at a second-grade level.

I am her full-time caregiver. I coordinate school, doctors, insurance, and therapies. I also do a lot of local volunteer work with different agencies that help people with disabilities. When Caitlin is at school, I'm a writer and associate editor for Mad Norwegian Press, a small press that specializes in cult television guidebooks. I am currently co-writing Fluid Links: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who Novels and Audios. When I'm not working on that project, I write SF short stories and novels.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
1- Caitlin is better. She's having fun at school as I write this. We meet with Make-A-Wish tomorrow. :)

2- I had a nice meeting with the The City of DeKalb IT department. The Disabilities Commission is currently working with all of the city departments to survey their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. IT is now planning on working closely with us to make sure that they incorporate accessibility into their website redesign.

3- I want to apologize to anybody I offended yesterday on Twitter or Facebook. I was stressed and made a goofy and tasteless comment about the Tea Party protests. I put my foot in my mouth, and I am sorry.

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michaeldthomas: (Default)
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August 2011

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