Last School Day

Today is Caitlin’s last day of school before the spinal fusion surgery. By the time Caitlin goes back to school in 7 weeks or so, it will be springtime and warm. Today it felt like -23 F as we put her on the bus.

I believe the kids at school will be doing fun things for her today. Some of her friends are also taking her to see Frozen this weekend.

I can’t tell you how much it means to us that Caitlin has friends at school. Since Lynne and I grew up at a time when kids with disabilities were hidden and separated from the other children, we weren’t sure that the other kids would ever accept her. Instead, Caitlin has a clique who invites her to parties, reads to her nearly every day, and covers the armrest of her wheelchair with Rainbow Loom rubber band bracelets. She has her own life, just as it should be. ‚̧

One plus about her not going to school is that it will give Waste Management and the district some time to fix the landfill mess. The IEPA determined that Waste Management broke state law. We’ll see what the school district does next.

At this point, we’ve done pretty much everything we need to do before going to the hospital. Caitlin’s pre-op pediatrician appointment went well. Caitlin is as healthy as possible. Other than some tense driving due to snow, it was an uneventful visit.

I will double-check paperwork today, but we’re pretty much down to cleaning and packing.

In case you are curious, Caitlin’s Aicardi syndrome sister Annie went through the surgery last month. Her mom has been keeping a detailed blog about the entire experience.

You can also watch a video of this type of surgery here.

Thank you again for your support this week and offers of support over the next few weeks. We really couldn’t get through this without our friends.

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What You Can Do to Help with Caitlin’s Surgery

Many people have asked us what they can do to help during the surgery and recovery. We tend to not ask for much, but we realize that friends and family often feel like they need to do something. (And yes, the support helps a lot.)

Here’s what you can do:

1- Just remain your awesome, supportive selves. Kindness and compassion go a long way. We love Internet hugs!

2- You can visit us at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. We would rather not have visitors on Tuesday while Caitlin is having surgery, but everybody is welcome after that. We should be there 5-7 days.

We would especially appreciate meals. Lynne and I will both be there, and the cafeteria is meh.

Please let us know if you’re coming. ūüôā

3- We would LOVE visitors to our house. We will be pretty much stuck at home for 6 weeks or so as Caitlin recovers. Friends stopping by is greatly appreciated. Once again, we also won’t say no to food.

4- Caitlin loves cards if you would like to send one. She doesn’t need anything, but she has an Amazon wish list if you feel like buying her a little something.

Thank you again for all of the support and love.

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8 Days Until Caitlin’s Surgey

We are starting to get a little stressed out.

We have 8 days until Caitlin’s spinal fusion surgery. So far, all of the pre-op doctors’ visits have been okay. The pulmonologist cleared Caitlin for surgery. (Yay healthy lungs!) We have one more appointment with the pediatrician on Wednesday, and then her final blood work on Monday.

The only weirdness was the SURPRISE ER visit last week after Caitlin and her entire elementary school were exposed to a gas leak from the landfill next door. It was an extremely scary day, and there are still many unanswered questions about what the kids were exposed to, how it happened, and how the school responded after assurances in 2010 that they had an emergency plan for such things. (Here are the newspaper articles.) At the hospital, it was determined that Caitlin and the kids had been exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide, but the levels in her blood were still in the safe range. She HATED the oxygen mask.

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In other news, a colleague/friend of Lynne’s held a fundraiser with her Girl Scout troop at a pizza place for Caitlin. It was quite wonderful. They wanted to do something for Caitlin before her surgery, and decided that the best thing they could do was get Caitlin her first iPad. It was a smashing success.

We really couldn’t do all of this without our family and friends. ‚̧

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Award Eligibility Post

Since today is the day¬†John Scalzi posted his annual SF/F Authors/Editors/Artists/Fans 2014 Award Awareness Post, I am posting my works that are eligible in different¬†Hugo Award¬†categories this year. Please also check outLynne M. Thomas’s eligibility post.

Best Related Work Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It, edited by Sigrid Ellis and Michael Damian Thomas

Best Editor (Short Form) Michael Damian Thomas for Apex Magazine (Managing Editor), Glitter & Mayhem (co-edited with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas), Queers Dig Time Lords
 

Best Semiprozine Apex Magazine Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Jason Sizemore

I also hope you will check out the poems and stories in Glitter & Mayhem and Apex Magazine. I am very proud of everything I co-edited this year.

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Caitlin and Conventions!

1- Caitlin is 11 today! ‚̧

No major plans today other than dinner with local friends. We’re hoping to see some of her friends and family this weekend.

2- I will be at Windycon! (11/8-11-10)

My schedule:

Favorite Fandoms
Time:¬†Saturday‚ÄĒ10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: Lilac C
Panelists: Chris Barkley, Toni Lichtenstein Bogolub, Kelly Strait, Michael Damien Thomas (M), Leah Zeldes
Description: Fandom may be all-encompassing, but many of us have favorite fandoms that we like to hang out with. What are they and why do we like them? Our teen fans are just getting started and our venerable fans have a lifetime of fandoms to share. Join our panelists and pick the one you like.

Autographing: B. Harper-Murray, M. Thomas
Time:¬†Saturday‚ÄĒ11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Autograph table
Panelists: Brenton Harper-Murray, Michael Damien Thomas

Doctor Who at 50
Time:¬†Saturday‚ÄĒ12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: Lilac C
Panelists: Rachel Esler, John Jackson Miller, Michael Damien Thomas (M), Michi Trota
Description:¬†It’s the 50th anniversary of¬†Doctor Who. We must reminisce! What makes this show so popular? How can any series last 50 years and still attack new fans? Does the new series stand up to the monument of Baker and company? Who is your favorite classic Doctor, your favorite new series Doctor?

3- I will be a GUEST at Chicago TARDIS!!!!!!! (11/29-12/1)

This is a childhood dream come true. LOOK AT THE OTHER GUESTS!!! I WILL BE ON A STAGE WITH 3 DOCTORS !!!!

More on this later. ūüėÄ

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Editing News and Notes

Apex Magazine

All of you have probably seen the big announcements. I am stepping down as Managing Editor of Apex Magazineafter the December issue as Lynne steps down as Editor-in-Chief. My Queers Dig Time Lords co-editor Sigrid Ellis will be the next Editor-in-Chief.

This was an extremely hard decision for me, but Lynne and I needed to leave together. There are future editorial plans that are being developed as we speak. You will be pleased.

The Hugo Awards

Apex Magazine lost, but I get to hold Lynne’s SF Squeecast Hugo and pretend.

I am very happy for Clarkesworld. It was an AMAZING list of nominees.

Did I mention Apex Magazine is still eligible in Best Semiprozine next year? ūüėČ

Glitter & Mayhem

So many links!!!

Photos from our FABULOUS launch party!

Excerpts!

Introduction by Amber Benson 

Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak

A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar

Guest blogs!

My Favorite Bit

Wag the Fox

Dark Cargo

Apex Publications 

Reviews!

Locus’s Lois Tilton¬†(Karen Burnham and Rich Horton have reviewed it in the August & September issues.)

Beauty in Ruins

Vicky Thinks

Short Story Reviews

Midnyte Reader

ForeWord Reviews

Horrible Book Reviews

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Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Schedule!

Cross-posted from lynnemthomas.com:

So, the Thomases will be at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books this weekend.

Here’s where to find us. All of our panels are in the same room,Northview 130:

You can see the full Program for the festival online.

Saturday:

1:30 PM  Glitter & Mayhem / Crowdfunding (Michael Damian Thomas, Lynne M. Thomas, Matt Forbeck, John Klima)

3:00 PM Short Fiction Panel Science Fiction (Gary Kloster, Aaron Schutz, Lynne M. Thomas and Patrick S. Tomlinson)

4:30 PM Jane Austen/Science Fiction Fantasy (Mary Robinette Kowal and Lynne M. Thomas)

5:30 PM Lynne Signing

Sunday:

Noon: Science Fiction Archives (Bill Fliss, Lynne M. Thomas and Max Yela)

1:30 PM Lynne Signing

3:00 PM Michael Signing

The festival has free admission and free parking. :-)

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