Batteries now included

If I don’t do anything else in 2015 — a most unlikely scenario — I’ve already had a phenomenal year. I posted in my last blog that I was headed to the Xena convention in Burbank, but I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it because the moment I got home I had to get ready for another event. So let me just run down what the last few weeks have entailed.IMG_0790

First … yes, the Xena convention. I’ve been attending these since about 1999, usually with my partner Jenny, but she couldn’t make it this year. (She says “Hey!”) I have so many great friends in the Xenaverse and it’s always such a thrill to see them again. As this was (ostensibly) the FINAL Xena con, it was bittersweet to feel the love and simultaneously realize there were many folks in the crowd I likely won’t see again. Thanks to all who stopped by the Bedazzled table and bought books. I arrived with 4 boxes and went home with 4 books. Huzzah!

It was especially fun this year because I got to share it with my dear friend Genoveva from Stockholm, who’s currently doing a postdoc at one of the big telescopes on Hawaii. She served as a resource for my upcoming book T-Minus Two, the story of two women vying to be the first to colonize Mars. It was Genoveva’s first US con, and I enjoyed seeing that burst of excitement through her eyes.

IMG_0828Recognizing that I’d probably never get another chance, I also went for a photo op this time with the lovely Lucy Lawless, and here’s a photo of that photo. Don’t we look happy! I did one years ago in Chicago but it was so awful I chased the photographer down and made him delete it from his camera, and then watched while he dumped his trash bin. This one turned out pretty good, yes?


Next up was a board retreat for Lambda Literary, where we convened in Palm Springs for two days to hash out our wish list, priorities and strategies for the next couple of years. Since we’re a national board, most of our meetings are conducted by teleconference, and everyone scrambles to get all of the committee reports into Dropbox, review the financials, etc. Frankly it’s a lot like work. But then each time our board is able to gather in person, there’s a whole new energy — camaraderie, excitement and a genuine sense of joy about the things we do. These are the moments we’re all proud to serve on the board, knowing that Lambda Literary helps bring authentic LGBTQ stories to our community all over the world. I feel so lucky to be able to work with such wonderful people.


Photo from the Florida Back Institute

Photo from the Florida Back Institute

On a personal note, most of you who’ve followed me a while know that I’ve suffered for the last six years with debilitating back pain that’s grown steadily worse despite extensive surgery and other treatment. It hasn’t kept me from an active life, though it bothers me a lot when I have to sit for more than a few minutes. That makes writing a challenge, but I’ve found lots of ways to adapt.

Anyway, the news is I recently had another surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator. It sends out electronic pulses to interrupt the pain signals, and I’m optimistic it will help. Not a cure, but I’m for anything that means I can focus better. It’s possible we’ll add some wires later to expand the reach … we’ll see. That should shed a little light on the title of this blog post, and also on the reason I might be smiling a little more than you’re used to seeing.


And finally, the update on my book progress: In the midst of this recent whirlwind, the galley proof for T-Minus Two landed in my inbox. I managed a three-day turnaround, so it’s off to the printer. I’ll definitely offer a chance for those who want to get an early copy, autographed. Watch for that near the end of March.

And I’m 20,000 words into my fall story, The Touch of a Woman. They haven’t actually touched yet. That may be a problem.

9 Responses to “Batteries now included”

  1. Whoa, your back is all high tech now. You can do the Mr. Roboto song now. sorry it’s friday and i am all corny. I hope this new gadget helps. Back pain is awful, and injuries even worse. Are your characters going all Hamlet: To touch or not to touch? hmm, should that even be a question? Okay, i shan’t go all existential here, but am sure your story will be page turner. Can’t wait to read it. cheers, A

  2. That’s fascinating. Do we have Christopher Reeve to thank perhaps? It sounds like a grandchild technology from the spinal cord injury research that he championed.

    • And also Gloria Estefan — she suffered a severe back injury when her band’s bus was involved in an accident in 1990. She went on to help establish a spinal cord injury center at the University of Miami.

  3. The brave new world of pain control – I hope you find relief.

    • It’s amazing what they’re doing with this kind of stim. My device is upgradeable to accommodate new technologies, and I’m very happy that the upgrades can happen without having to go in and take it out.

  4. Sylvie Saint-Laurent Reply March 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Love your picture with Lucy. She’s such a trooper and so smart. I was happy to see you again at Burbank and can’t wait to read your new book in May. Hope the stimulator help you.

  5. It does sound like you’ve had quite the year already. I hope the implant helps(does this make you bionic?) I hope I’ll see you smiling at GCLS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: