My Cancer Week

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago, I had bladder surgery. Everything went okay, but while operating, my doctor spotted a tiny mark on my bladder. Like, teeny tiny. Less than half the size of my pinky nail. It was a spot rather than a lesion. Still, she wanted to check it out, and it was so small that when she tried to biopsy it, she just took the whole thing.

It looked like nothing, but it was cancer. Malignant, angry, fuck-off cancer.

If left to its own devices, it might have killed me. Bladder cancer is sneaky. Doctors often don’t spot it until it’s already well on its way to killing you. And they usually spot it because of blood in the urine. But I have kidney stones, so that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow for me, let alone a red flag.

Like the grandpa in “The Princess Bride”, I feel like I should tell you that I don’t get eaten by the eels at this point. I’m okay. They checked the rest of me, and I’m cancer-free. To help us both calm down, here’s a chicken that looks like it’s wearing pants that it made itself:

So, now that we’re breathing, they checked the rest of me for cancer but found none. And now I will get regular checks on my bladder for the rest of my life. But for a week or so, I had cancer. I didn’t tell anyone but my family. I’m sorry if anyone’s feelings are hurt because I didn’t include them. It doesn’t mean we’re not close. I felt like if I said it too loudly, it would come back.

My fears don’t really listen to me when I tell them they’re ridiculous. Maybe someday, they’ll learn.

I know this is some heavy shit. To help you catch your breath again, here’s my dog Polly in a Wonder Woman cape:

Got your wind back? Okay.

I’ve had lots of thoughts since my cancer week. There were a couple agonizing waiting periods between tests. There have been lots of feelings. Do I feel lucky? Yes. Extremely. Was I scared? More than a little. But having a chronic pain condition already prepared me a bit. I didn’t have to go from zero to cancer. I was already “sick.” A very irrational part of me was happy. Why? Because the part of me that’s always looking for a reason behind my various illnesses thought, “Great! Cancer is probably the cause behind my RA, my anxiety, and my PCOS. And when they get rid of that, all those other problems will go away!” I also fantasized that I wasn’t really overweight but had a fifty pound tumor, and when they removed it, I would have the body of my dreams…

Like I said, irrational.

Did the whole experience change me? I still haven’t decided. Living every day like my last isn’t really possible, not when it’s not actually the last. I mean, the dishes still have to get done. I did decide that if I didn’t have much time left, I would spend quite a bit of it writing because I have so much more I want to say. And if I don’t finish the Godfall series before I die, several people have threatened to come after me in the afterlife, sort of like a reverse haunting. No one wants that.

Time for another pic. Here’s my mom’s cat being zen:

Ah, so soothing.

I am happy I don’t have to go through cancer treatments. Not yet, at least. Hopefully never. I am happy that I get to live more, to write more, to love and be loved more.

I had cancer for a week. Does that make me a survivor? I think I always was one, just not in a cancer-y way. That feels important to say.

Also important: I’m going to see Wonder Woman tomorrow night.

What are you looking forward to?

Two Big Cons, Two Chances to See Yours Truly!

Hey gang, on April 28-30, come see me and all the great guests at HavenCon in Austin!

And on May 12-14, I’ll be appearing at Houston Comicpalooza!

You can find the schedule for HavenCon here, but in case you’re dying to know just where you can find me:

Friday, April 28th at 11:00am, I’ll be leading a talk on LGBTQ characters as villains.

Saturday, April 29th at 11:00am, I’ll be give out some tips and tricks on Worldbuilding.

And all weekend, I’ll be rocking a Guest of Honor table so you can buy books and talk about life. Maybe there will even be some prizes. You have to come to find out!

The full schedule for Houston Comicpalooza isn’t up yet, but all the Guest bios are here. Boy, am I in some rare company! And here’s where you can find me:

On Friday, May 12th at 4:00pm, I’ll be on a panel called “Not Your Grandpa’s Fantasy.”

On Saturday, May 13th at 11:30am, I’ll be on a new type of panel, a fan roundtable, and we’ll be discussing fantasy.

On Saturday at 2:30, it’s another fan roundtable about science fiction.

Also in May, on the 16h, I’ll be at the Women With Pride Book Club talking about Coils at 7pm!

Now, come on, you can come see me at one of these, right?

 

Lone Star LesFic time!

I hope you’ll join me this Saturday, April 1st for the Lone Star LesFic Festival!

Tons of authors, a raffle, and door prizes await. Plus, you can buy books and get them signed by the authors!

I hope some of you can come out and see me. You can get your hands on one of these babies:

Now with stickers!

Hope you can come out and see us:

Saturday, April 1st, 8:45 am to 6:30 pm
Norris Center, 2525 Anderson LN,
Austin, TX 78757

Trailer Time!

It’s the second release day for Widows of the Sun-Moon, and you know what that means!

Trailer time!

And here’s the link.

Widows Of the Sun-Moon 300 DPI

Widows of the Sun-Moon is now live wherever books are sold AND on the BSB site!

Blurb:

Naos is bored. Alone in space, life should be idyllic. No more random thoughts intruding on her brain; no bodies clogging her senses. But what is there to do besides stare at the planet below and wonder what it would feel like to be Calamity’s only god?

War between the other gods shouldn’t be too hard to start. The Storm Lord has a bad temper, and after being abandoned by Simon Lazlo, source of immortality, he’s easy to provoke. And the Sun-Moon live closely with Calamity’s plains-dwelling people and their new neighbors, a pack of humans and aliens led by the intriguing ex-soldier Cordelia Ross. With a plague ravaging their numbers, it will be easy to set them at each other’s throats.

A little war, a bit of death, and the chance to be Calamity’s only deity? It’s a game to keep even the most fickle goddess entertained.

I hope you love it as much as I do. Or else…BOOM!

 

Happy Release Day!

That’s right, it’s release day number one for Widows of the Sun-Moon!Widows Of the Sun-Moon 300 DPI

And now until January 3rd, get Paladins of the Storm Lord ebook editions for half price!

Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPI

Here’s the blurb for Widows, the second Godfall book:

Naos is bored. Alone in space, life should be idyllic. No more random thoughts intruding on her brain; no bodies clogging her senses. But what is there to do besides stare at the planet below and wonder what it would feel like to be Calamity’s only god?

War between the other gods shouldn’t be too hard to start. The Storm Lord has a bad temper, and after being abandoned by Simon Lazlo, source of immortality, he’s easy to provoke. And the Sun-Moon live closely with Calamity’s plains-dwelling people and their new neighbors, a pack of humans and aliens led by the intriguing ex-soldier Cordelia Ross. With a plague ravaging their numbers, it will be easy to set them at each other’s throats.

A little war, a bit of death, and the chance to be Calamity’s only deity? It’s a game to keep even the most fickle goddess entertained.

Sound good? Then head on over to the BSB site. The book will be for sale everywhere on January 17th, and that’s when you’ll see a new trailer from me, too. 😉

Rainbow Award Winner!

Hey gang, just dropped by to let you know that Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory won a Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Fantasy Romance!

Thrall Beyond Gold and Glory 300 DPI

winner

And Paladins of the Storm Lord was a runner-up for Best Lesbian Sci-Fi/Futuristic!
Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPI

runner-up

Plus both books were runners-up for Best Lesbian Book! Squee! Thanks to Elisa Rainbow and all the judges. I’m still hard at work on House of Fate, and Widows of the Sun-Moon, sequel to Paladins of the Storm Lord, comes out in January. Busy busy busy! What’s everyone else been up to?

Pain and Happiness

It’s been a bit of a health roller coaster these past few months. As well as rheumatoid arthritis, I’ve also been dealing with a lot of stomach issues and some mental health issues: namely depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. There’s been new medication and changes of dosage, and well, it’s been a little rough.

But it’s also given me a better perspective on happiness. I think when people look back on their lives, they tend to focus on the negative. Bad times are like giant blinking lights along your personal timeline. And the only good times that really stand out are the orgasmic-ly good times, and those just aren’t as easy to remember. It’s like dread and horror are etched on our psyche, but pure joy is less easy to summon and re-embrace. So sometimes, if we look back—especially from an already depressed state—it seems like the bad outweighs the good.

Living with a chronic condition makes the good easier to see. I know that sounds wacky, but that’s what it’s been like for me. I’ve had periods of such intense pain and panic that I would rather die than live that way forever. Don’t worry, I’m not in danger. You don’t have to run for the phone. 😉 But when those feelings and sensations finally do subside, I’m happy. Right now, my body feels pretty good, and that makes me happy. I’ve learned to divide life into a series of moments, some better than others, and I realize that most of them are happy, even when the bad ones are so very bad.

It’s sort of like writing a novel. If you set out to write a book, it’s easy to fail. Books are long. It’s hard to contemplate writing that many words. But if you set out to write a chapter or a scene or a paragraph, it becomes much easier. Looking at life the same way, it’s easier to see the happier, content moments. The bad times are hard, but they are fewer than the good. That math becomes really simple, and time seems to slow down.

I hope that helps some of you.

Also, I’m totally counting these words toward my nano word count. 🙂

What content little moments make you happy?