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Returned from the Midwest and COBRA

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We got home safe and sound. The snow stopped; the roads were clear. Hobkin was glad to see us and has spent the last couple days cuddled against my side--which makes it difficult to do anything but lie there being a skunk pillow. But now I'm refreshed and recuperated, and Hobkin is adhered to fosteronfilm's side. Time to charge back into the trenches.

Received official word that my COBRA benefits expire at the end of August--a fact I knew, but having them send me a reminder letter has ramped up the stress. I'm hoping that my HMO will be willing to continue covering us under an individual policy, but I'm not sure how likely that is, considering all my pre-existing health conditions. And if they do, I have no idea how much it'll cost. Of course, if they don't, I'm royally screwed. I keep wanting to go "I'll worry about this later" but it's almost April. Too much later and I'll be out of time as well as medical coverage. Urk.

I could really go for a national health plan about now. Stupid country.

   

Writing Stuff

Alas, I didn't make it onto the Campbell Award ballot, but I hadn't really expected to. However, I have to admit being rather crestfallen that Tangent didn't get a Hugo nod. Pook.

Crits for "A Thread of Silk" continue to trickle in (thanks aliettedb, basletum, and wbledbetter!). So far, it's being well received. I'm seriously dwelling upon splitting the epilogue into an epilogue and prologue.

During a very long stretch on I-24, I plotted out the next couple scenes on my novel. If the muse is kind, I want to get those on the page today.


Received:
- Contrib. copy of Here & Now #7. Finally.
- Contrib. copy of Oceans of the Mind XIX.

I'm feeling:
cynical cynical
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On March 27th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC), neo_prodigy commented:
this goes without saying but i was jumping for joy when i saw threads of silk in the critters queue. suffice to say, i can't wait to read it.
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On March 27th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Coolness. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.
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On March 27th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC), mroctober commented:
You didn't receive the gift?!? Damn UPS said it made the delivery.
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On March 27th, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I did, I did! I was just about to send you a "squee!" note. (Although I have to admit when I first saw the box, I was a little trepidatious. It looked the right size to house a hungry mold monster.) Thank you so much, Steve! You're the absolute bestest! I've already cracked open The Story of Oriental Philosophy and am devouring it with periodic forays into the Sou MacMillian poetry book. I don't know which one to read next, the Irish witchcraft book or the one on Welsh folklore or the Mexican legends book. I'm totally ignorant on Mexico folktales/urban legends but I love the Old Country tales.

Squee! So much wonderful source material, only two eyes!

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On March 27th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC), mroctober replied:
Books books books!
Hee, I was hoping for a major squeee! I'm glad you like.


Oh, and though this gift was given with the noblest intentions to help give you new source materials, do feel free to rant or rave about a title's worth (reviews on Amazon, Tanget or the like most appreciated by my little Lethe Press).
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On March 27th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Books books books!
Ranting and raving will commenceth, you betcha! And lemme just say that Lethe puts out absolutely beautiful, gorgeous books. Shiny and slick, with that wonderful "new book" smell. Mmm, new books . . .
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On March 27th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Thanks, sweetie. Me too!
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On March 27th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"Damn, I hoped you might make it into the Campbell."

It was a pretty hope, but I didn't really expect to. Thanks bunches for nominating me, though. And there's always next year.

"a prologue might work for "A Thread of Silk". No sure, but it could minimize the feeling of displacement at the end."

The jar in setting and era with the epilogue was commented upon by a couple critters. I was thinking about taking the first paragraph out of the epilogue and making it the prologue to bookend the story, sort of make the body of the tale a Highlander-esque flashback.

I was actively trying to start this story in a combat scene--a hook I'm not particularly fond of, despite the common wisdom of beginning a story with action, since it usually makes me disoriented rather than engaged--and sticking a prologue on kind of kills that. But I think I'll be happier with a modern-era frame around the tale.
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On March 27th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC), jaylake commented:
BTW, I have told the Child about Hobkin. She is fascinated by the concept.
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On March 27th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Hobkin has more fans than I could ever hope to!

If the Child would like to see pictures of Hobkin and read some of our newbie skunk-companion experiences with him as a baby, I've got a website devoted to Hobkin HERE. And, of course, she can see current pictures and read of our various skunk adventures via my hobkin pix tagged posts.
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On March 27th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC), wbledbetter commented:
"Thread of Silk" is a great story. I really enjoyed it. My story in Critters is receiving some good feedback too, but I fear that mine is going to require much more of a rewrite than yours will.

-Bill
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On March 27th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Agh! That reminds me that I earmarked your story for critique and promptly buried it under a pile of edits. I'll have a crit for you in the next day or two, scouts honor.
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On March 27th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC), wbledbetter replied:
Hmmm...I guess that did kinda sound like a request for a crit, but that was not my intention. I would of course love to hear your thoughts about my story, but I know you are extremely busy, so please don't feel obligated.
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On March 27th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Nope, nope. It's on my list. You're getting a crit from me, dammit.
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On March 27th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC), britzkrieg commented:
I'm glad you're back! Let's hope this is the last crisis for a while.
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On March 28th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Thanks, sweetie. And I'm so there with you on the moratorium on crises.
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On March 27th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC), alijt commented:
Stupid country
I totally feel your pain on the whole insurance/ health care issue. I do not understand why our system sucks as bad as it does. I have too many health problems to get insurance, my husband works for a small company that can not give their employees any kind of break on insurance because they don't have a billion employees so we can not afford $400 a month for insurance that will not even cover me for at least a year. Then there is my Medicare which will begin in July and you do not even want me to get started on how shitty THAT service is. It truly is sad that we work all our lives for a system that totally screws us if we get sick or injured....
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On March 28th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Stupid country
Canada's looking better and better these days. 'Cept for how damn cold it is up there . . .
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On March 28th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC), alijt replied:
Re: Stupid country
Funny you should say that. My best friend married her girlfriend in Canada and they are begging us to move there with them. Too bad you can not move into their country without having something to "offer". Health care would be so nice and as far as weather goes, Vancouver area is super nice and milder winters than elsewhere due to being on the coast. I love it out there, would love to live on Vancouver Island!!!
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On March 27th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC), reddherring1955 commented:
Doesn't GA have a state insurance plan yet??? I know Tennessee does. Maybe you should move to a state with a health care plan?? Hope something positive happens for you there. And I can't wait to puruse the Hobkin-o-rama! Thanks for the link. As for the Campbell and the other awards? Your time WILL come.
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On March 28th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
State insurance plan? I know not of what you speak.

"Maybe you should move to a state with a health care plan??"

Tempting, but I love it too much here. Besides, if we were to move to a place with a good health care system, it'd be Canada, and it's too cold up there.

"As for the Campbell and the other awards? Your time WILL come."

Meh. I just saw that starting with next WorldCon they're only honoring the new eligibility rules for the Campbell, and by that system, I'm no longer eligible. Looks like I won't get my second year after all. Suckitude.
On March 28th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
The only state insurance I know of is based on income. I checked into it here and they told me we made too much. I asked what amount would qualify and it was a ridiculously low amount, somewhere around $11k I believe. FOR A COUPLE!!! Can you imagine? I thought we were bad off, but I can not even imagine trying to survive on that. So I told the lady basically the state would not help unless we were living in a cardboard box. She laughed and said "pretty much". How sad is that?!?!?!
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On March 28th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC), basletum commented:
Alas, I didn't make it onto the Campbell Award ballot

Look at it this way. Award or no, you're still selling. ;)

I could really go for a national health plan about now. Stupid country.

I know how you feel. I'm in the same boat, only with different health problems. But still, the idea of the federal government handling anything for me sends shivers down my spine. If done on a voluntary basis, no problem: those who want it can get it, and those who don't, won't have to. (Hmm, it'd knock the supply & demand down and make personal health insurance cheaper, though. Maybe it'd be a good thing after all).

Crits for "A Thread of Silk" continue to trickle in (thanks aliettedb, basletum, and wbledbetter!). So far, it's being well received. I'm seriously dwelling upon splitting the epilogue into an epilogue and prologue

Actually, I should be thanking you for an enjoyable read. :)

I thought about suggesting a prologue but felt it might look too much like a frame story. Or my Flashbackphobia got in my way. But yeah, that could be a good way of handling the "What the!? I thought we were in ancient times!" sensation. But with a prologue and epilogue, you'll need something to seperate the prologue from the main story (at least for the reader). Maybe a calendar date? I don't know.
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On March 28th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"But still, the idea of the federal government handling anything for me sends shivers down my spine."

If the alternative is not having health insurance, which translates to a slow and painful death for me--if my flare-ups can't be controlled, the lupus/MCTD will likely start impacting my organs--then I'm all for the federal government getting involved. Besides, my taxes pay for a helluva lot of crap that I don't agree with; it'd be nice to get something I actually believe in as well as need.
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On March 28th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC), basletum replied:
I see what you mean.
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On March 29th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC), dream_wind commented:
Our governments are dismantling our national health plan here in Australia. We have a "happy mix" of public and private care. If you are really sick, you can get very good, free public care, but if you have a chronic, non-lifethreatening illness, you really need to take out private insurance so you don't join the huge surgery queues.

My insurance does not cover remedial massage, which I'm getting on my crap shoulder. I could change to a plan that does, but then I'd have to pay more if I had to go into hospital. Which is a distinct possibility with Crohn's Disease.

Maybe we just need full body transplants.
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On March 29th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"Maybe we just need full body transplants."

I like that option! But I betcha insurance wouldn't cover it . . .
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