I’ll be at the Limestone Genre Expo!

Limestone Genre Expo
Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4, 2017, 10 am-5pm
St. Lawrence College
100 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston, ON


Really looking forward to sharing with and learning from other authors! I’ll be sitting on the the following panels: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Speculative Fiction and Extraordinary Bodies – The Portrayal of Disability in Speculative Fiction. I’ll also be moderating a panel called When to Listen to and When to Ignore Writing Advice. See the schedule for this event!

My First Week with Noola

File_000

Isn’t she a beaut?

After years of needlessly suffering, I finally bought a rollator, which is a walker with a seat and wheels. I named it Noola, after the feisty character in Life in the ‘Cosm. Fellow author Jamieson Wolf said he was glad I named it that because, as he stated, “Noola would roll!”

Noola and I have been rolling, too. Because of the neuropathy I experience daily from fibromyalgia, I find it difficult to walk or stand for long. I’d been using a cane for years because nobody told me there were other options. HINT TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: If you want your fibro patients to move regularly but they consistently cannot, please suggest accessibility devices!

Glad I got that off my chest. Ahem. Anyway, I’ve taken to the rollator like a fish to water. We had the worst weather, which was basically all seasons in one day, and I still went out for my walkies. It’s so much easier for me to get around and last week there were three days in a row where I clocked 3K each day. That’s enormous for me! Having a seat with me all the time helped. If I felt tired, I’d sit down, text my bff, drink an apple juice, and then continue on.

Even my first test-drive at a mall was super fun. I kept saying to my husband unit, “Let’s go here! Let’s go there!” I zipped around all over the place, like a hyper animal let out of a cage. After a few days I realised I had probably developed coping mechanisms for years, to keep myself from going insane due to being cooped up inside all the time. But since having Noola, you cannot keep me indoors.

I know I’m new to this, but . . .

Okay, so here’s something not as super fun that I’ve discovered: bathrooms, while using an accessibility device. Stuff has happened to me in bathrooms that made me feel pillow-wallopy. (I often threaten to get out the Whacking Pillow when I’m miffed.)

Now, I have a micro-bladder, and I understand if there are only two or three stalls and you feel like you’re going to explode, you use the larger stall if it’s the only one free. Also, if you have several children and a stroller and such, or have a genuine need to use the wider stall because those narrow stalls can sometimes be ridiculously narrow, I totes get it. But here’s a few things that I’d like to suggest if you do not have a disability and/or can use the regular stall:

  • If you are standing in front of the line inside the bathroom and see a person with an accessibility device and the larger stall becomes free, don’t go into the larger stall. Allow the person with the mobility aid to use the stall. We cannot fit into a smaller one.  (Totally happened to me this past weekend. More than once.)
  • Maybe don’t hold open the actual stall door for us. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I found it a bit invasive and kind of creepy. A++ for effort, though. I could tell people were trying to be kind.
  • When there is no automatic door to enter and exit the bathroom, you can ask if a person with a mobility device needs help with the door. If they say no, don’t argue the point. Personally, I can get inside no problem, but it’s a pain when exiting. I wish all bathrooms had the automatic door openers. I really did appreciate when someone helped me there. But ask first.

Saying yes instead of no

The most wonderful thing about having Noola is that I don’t have to say, “No, I can’t,” to everything. You’d be surprised how much stress I would carry from thoughts like, Do I have to stand in line? and, I hope there’s somewhere I can sit, and, Is there much walking involved? Having a rollator takes a lot of that off my plate so I can just go out and enjoy myself. I spent last weekend at Ottawa Comiccon for all three days. Okay, so, it hit me on the Sunday that I overdid it because I was an enthusiastic puppy, but I had a great time. Last year I’d been almost weeping from pain. This year I zoomed all over the con, sat down when I wanted to munch on a snack, and zoomed around some more. I felt so independent!

I like how my future looks like it will be full of more yes answers than no answers. As an author, I want to see people and do all the things! When I’m not authoring, I want to get out with friends and see my family. My husband and I have started walking together again. I missed that.

It was author Madona Skaff-Koren who suggested I try her walker last year and then sent me to the amazing people at Ontario Medical Supply. Thanks, Madona! I owe you big time.

When we with disabilities encourage and support each other, amazeballs things happen.

Whee! (That’s my internal thought when I’m rolling with Noola.)

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network, a blog featuring writers who manage disabilities and/or chronic illness. She likes cupcakes.

I’ll be at Ottawa Comiccon 2017

Look for me at the Renaissance table on Friday May 12, 2017 at Ottawa Comiccon, from 1-5 pm, selling Life in the ’Cosm and other awesome books. I’ll be floating around all weekend, too. Follow my Instagram to see what I’m up to! So stoked!

/cg


Hannah

Cait Gordon is author of Life in the ’Cosm, a story about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague. She is also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network, a blog featuring writers with disabilities and/or chronic illness. In her spare time Cait plays drums, reads, plots to take over the world with The Brain, and eats an absurd amount of cupcakes.

My New Wheels!

rollator

I AM SO STOKED, PEEPS!

My first-ever rollator (a walker with wheels) came in yesterday. This makes me crazy with happiness. Why? Well, simply put, I feel disabled without the thing, but with it, I feel able! You see, my leg neuropathy does not allow me to stand for long periods of time, or partake in many activities because I know after walking for a bit, I’ll be in too much pain to continue. So, I say no to things a lot. And an extrovert saying no to doing stuff with people sort of rots the soul a little.

BUT! Because I am a published author, there are conferences I must attend for learning and for self-promotion. I want to go to these events. And with this rollator, I can! Always having a seat with me is an enormous deal. Last year at Can*Con 2016, people suggested I sit on a window sill while waiting in line for a panel. That was a solution, I guess, but not a very good one. Also, I kinda hate asking people for chairs all the time. It’s going to be nice just to chill and be independent.

I’ve been using a cane for so long, I know I’ve been compensating and not working all my muscles properly when I walk. This accessibility device is going to force me to move it, move it! I have a goal of eventually walking in charity marches (like 1K, 2K, and eventually 5K). I don’t care if I come in last, either. It will feel good to be athletic again.

Also, I need the rollator inside my own home. I never realised that before. Huh. Discovering new stuff all the time.

The thought of not fretting in advance about how long I’ll be out takes a whole lot off my mind. If I’m shopping and I’m tired, I can sit for a spell. Same with walking outside. I can try longer distances because I know I can take a breather whenever I need to. In the suburb where I live, there’s nowhere for me to stop and sit.

The occupational therapist who assessed me told me that it was great that I had such a positive attitude in admitting I need the rollator. I told her it will open so many doors for me and that I was fed up of staying in the house, relying on rides, or the usual, which was saying, “No, I can’t do that.”

Going from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can do this and I can do that’ is like winning the lottery.

I have a disability. It doesn’t have me.

Oh yeah, this morning I saw a photo with two ladies fencing while using rollators. That’s a thing, right? Because I so wanna be a walker Jedi.

*rubs hands sinisterly*

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network,  a blog featuring writers with disabilities and/or chronic illness. She also likes cupcakes.

Making a Living: More Potent than a Toxic Beetle

making-a-living-355x545

Making a Living, by Caroline Fréchette

How am I supposed to resist reading a book that begins with, “When Nathan came to, the dead girl was crying. He was relatively sure she wasn’t supposed to do that.”?

Let me explain the title of this review. Last Thursday while I was taking a walk and about to take a sip of juice, a small beetle flew into my mouth. (Tasted terrible and I got puffy. The little begger is fine. I spit him out.) After a doc confirmed I was only suffering from an inflammatory response to the beetle’s coating, I went home. So, here I was exhausted, swollen, and lying in bed. I picked up Making a Living. Not even suffering from beetle toxin could make me put this book down. I even managed to stay awake through Benadryl!

Omigosh, what a great read this was. I gobbled it up like a burrito.

The first page made me feel like I’d just walked into a room wanting to say, “Oh, um, I think I’m interrupting something.” Because we’re put right into the middle of an uh-oh situation. We meet Nathan, the mistrusting soul who is completely unaware that anything good has ever existed in the world, and Annie, the undead ghoul scientist who still has a brilliantly functioning brain. They live in the time decades after a meteorite hit, which killed many people and turned them into zombies—mostly brain-dead zombies. But Annie is different. She not only has a brain, but a heart. Even though she drains some lifeforce out of Nathan so her body can remain intact, she does so remorsefully. Her goal is not to kill the living, but to make herself alive again.

And Nathan? Dude got some crazy powers. He can talk to electronics. Electricity also revives him, when it would normally kill us. This guy actually can stick his fingers in the sockets. I love how his computer is sentient, and his friend. Oliver also gets ticked off when Nathan forgets to plug him in. Quite a rational pet peeve, really.

The story is about how Nathan and Annie work together towards her goal. But stuff happens. Yeah, stuff. That’s what I have to write so I don’t give anything away.

All I want to say is read it! READ IT! REEEEEEEEEAD IT! The characters and world-building just sucked me right in. So many times I said, “Okay, one more chapter and then I’m going to sleep.” Nope. Usually ended up being three more chapters. Or four. Or five.

Making a Living has a perfect pace, without any lulls. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed it.

Word of warning, though. You might get food cravings. I know I did.

Burritos for all!

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network,  a blog featuring writers with disabilities and/or chronic illness. She also likes cupcakes.