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Deathly Ill Deadlines

Last week was a bit of an ordeal. We went to press on Wednesday for the April issue of A Certain Magazine, so that required the usual big push of hard work to finish. Wednesday night I did a panel on “The Radical Futures of the Book” with Nick Mamatas and Terry Bisson at Counterpulse in San Francisco, where we talked about e-books, self-publishing, the collapse of traditional publishing, Google, political writing, radicalism, and other things. I’m told it will be a podcast sometime, and I’ll link to it when the time comes, I’m sure. (I went to the panel straight after the end of a brutal deadline day, though, so I doubt I was at my best. I hope I struck the proper delicate balance of boorishness and being misinformed, for which I always strive…)

I took my day off with the kid on Thursday, and the boy started coughing in the afternoon. By evening it was clear he was suffering from a bad cold. He fell asleep in my lap after dinner and I put him to bed, but he woke up intermittently throughout the night, which wasn’t very restful. The next day he wasn’t any better — worse, if anything, wheezing terribly and feverish — so we took him to the hospital. That was more-or-less an all-day thing as they gave him steroids to help his breathing, then waited 45 minutes to see if he got better, then gave him more/different medication — rinse and repeat. He has asthma, so a bad cold can be pretty dangerous for him. By the afternoon he was buzzing on a steroid high and declaring himself “all better.” (Of course, he wasn’t, and when the meds wore off, he was a sad little dude.) But after a weekend of heavy asthma medication, he seems to be on the mend. My wife and I are sick now, too, of course. Having a pre-schooler means having your very own personal disease-vector right at home!

I did manage to get some work done, though, largely because deadlines loomed loomishly. I revised my novel over the weekend, and will send it off to the editor at the end of the week. The book turned out a lot better than I’d expected, and needed less work than I’d feared. A thousand thanks to my wonderful wife Heather for taking long stretches of childcare and allowing me to plow through making changes. I couldn’t do any of the worthwhile things I do without her.

Next week, I start working on some stories, and then my Pathfinder novel, City of the Fallen Sky.

I read Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold (I’m kind of a sucker for revenge stories, actually, they scratch some primal mental itch for me), and liked it a lot, certainly enough to read the trilogy set in the same world. Not quite as good as K.J. Parker’s gritty fantasies-with-minimal-magic, but in the same vein, and most enjoyable.

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