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David D. Levine
21 February 2017 @ 10:56 am
IMG 6217Today is my fifty-sixth birthday.

As most of you know, I had a really sucky 2016. In addition to the problems all of us had with that hell-hole of a year, I had my beloved wife Kate's illness and death and some other (not unrelated) personal crises that made me very glad to see it go. So at the beginning of this year I decided that 2017 would be my "Year of Yes."

Yes to fun and excitement. Yes to opportunity and adventure. Yes to new experiences. Yes to love and sex.

It's going well so far. Here's an example: a Facebook post about where to find a new belt led in remarkably short order to a decision to visit Siena, Italy after the Worldcon for the Palio di Siena. I've been doing a lot of other travel on a rather spur-of-the-moment basis, and, closer to home, spending time with friends old and new and seeing a lot of theatre.

Now, I'm not going all Jim Carrey here. I'm still exercising judgement, and I'm still saying "no" some things, including avocados, olives, and cilantro (sorry, avocado fans). But before I say "no," I do try to take a moment to consider whether this is still something I don't want to do. Sometimes I do change my mind -- for example, I had guacamole on my arepas the other day, and they were delicious. (Still hate raw avocado, though.)

"Yes" is not without its costs. For one thing, saying "yes" to some things inevitably means "no" to others. My trip to Siena means that I will be on the other side of the world for the August 21 solar eclipse -- which will likely be the only solar eclipse within driving distance of my home in my lifetime. "Yes" has also put me in situations that push my boundaries, and in some cases have really frightened me. But all human activities have risks, and I'm determined to face them with mindfulness and learn from the experience.

I hope that you will join me in my Year of Yes. Let's not let the bastards wear us down.

 
 
David D. Levine
Very, very pleased to report that Arabella of Mars, my first novel, has received the following substantial honors:

Thank you very much to everyone who nominated, recommended, or talked up my book, and please do vote for it if you can!

Arabella cover
 
 
David D. Levine
08 February 2017 @ 08:42 am
At the moment my LiveJournal post of pictures from Kate's memorial gathering is the 10th most popular post on the whole site. I must admit that this makes me sad, because it indicates how far LJ has fallen. When added to everything else that's happened lately -- not just to me personally, but to people around me and to the country as a whole -- it makes me reflect on how easily the things we love can slip away.

Hang on to the things that matter, people.

 
 
David D. Levine
07 February 2017 @ 05:56 pm
Thank you to everyone who came out for Kate's memorial gathering last weekend! And special thanks to Mark Niemann-Ross, who made all the arrangements, and to everyone who pitched in and set up the tables and chairs when we were let into the building after the event was supposed to start. I'm sorry that I didn't get to spend very much time talking with any one person, but there were lots of good reminiscences and conversation and some people hung around for visits and meals in the following days.

Here are some photos from the event. All are by Alex Wright, except for the last one which is by Karen Schaffer.

Read more...Collapse )
 
 
David D. Levine
10 January 2017 @ 04:57 pm
So here it is awards season, and I suppose I ought to summarize what I published in 2016. By comparison with previous years it is a very short list, only two items, but I'm exceptionally proud of both of them.

DDLevine Arabella Cover MedMy first novel, Arabella of Mars, was published in 2016 to considerable acclaim:
  • "Embedded in the chaos of clockwork and space adventure, Arabella is a delightful heroine with more than enough fortitude to traverse the solar system. A fanciful romp through a cosmic 1812, Hugo Award-winning Levine's first novel is a treat for steampunk fantasy fans. Debut of the Month." -- Library Journal, starred review
  • "Arabella is a fully realized character, daring and willing to risk everything to protect the brother she loves and the legacy that her father has left them. Her wits and cleverness save the ship and crew more than once in this rousing swashbuckler." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • "Excellent, entertaining, humorous scenarios make up Levine's latest. His storytelling will keep readers turning the pages with its slight edginess, light-hearted tone and clear, crisp dialogue. Arabella is strong, sassy and clever, and her journey, as she makes her way back to Mars on an airship, makes this story an engaging read." -- RT Book Reviews, four-star review
Arabella of Mars is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats at Amazon, Powell's, and everywhere else books are sold.

My only other publication in 2016 was novelette "Discards" at tor.com, a standalone story in George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards universe. You can read the whole thing for free at tor.com.

If you are a SFWA member and believe these works are award-worthy, you can recommend Arabella for the Nebula or Norton Award or "Discards" for the Nebula Award (login required).

Thank you for your consideration.
 
 
David D. Levine
05 January 2017 @ 04:42 pm
An informal memorial gathering to remember and celebrate the life of Kate Yule will be held on January 28, 2017, from 2pm to 5pm, at the Fulton Park Community Center in Portland, Oregon. Bring your memories, photographs, knitted objects, and stories of Kate.

We will be providing hors d'oeuvres from Chef Naoko. It's really important that you RSVP, and do so as soon as possible -- January 22 at the latest -- so we know how much food to order. Please RSVP here: http://evite.me/CvqND1nn1M

If you are coming in from out of town, we've set up a 15% discount at the Embassy Suites Portland Downtown (the BentoCon hotel). Use the hotel website, or call 800-643-7892, and use group code "DLM" and reserve before January 21 to get the discounted rate.

Anyone who knew and loved Kate is welcome to attend; please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone we might have missed.
 
 
David D. Levine
31 December 2016 @ 08:52 am
Novel words written: 73,735
Short fiction words written: 8,335
Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: 50,057
Blog words written: 13,501 Total words written: 145,628
Novel words edited out: 8,049
Net words written: 137,579

New stories written: 1

Short fiction submissions sent: 1
Responses received: 1
Rejections: 0
Acceptances: 1 (pro)
Other sales: 6 (3 reprint, 3 translation)

Short stories published: 6 (1 pro, 2 reprint, 2 translation, 1 audio)

Nebula nominations: 1
Other award nominations: 1
Awards won: 0

Novels completed: 1
Novel submissions: 1
Rejections: 0
Acceptances: 1
Novels published: 1

Happy new year!

 
 
David D. Levine
13 December 2016 @ 10:10 am
There will be an informal memorial gathering to remember and celebrate the life of Kate Yule on January 28, 2017, from 2pm to 5pm, at the Fulton Park Community Center, 68 SW Miles St., Portland, OR 97219 (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/64917). We will be providing more details and requesting RSVPs soon, but I wanted to let you know as soon as the date was nailed down. Anyone who knew and loved Kate is welcome to attend.

I'm doing okay, mostly. I'm still dealing with grief but I no longer feel like I'm carrying the shattered pieces of myself around in my hands. I'm keeping busy, spending time with friends, traveling (at the moment I'm at the airport, heading for a few days in San Diego with friends who have a condo there, and I also have travel plans for Christmas and New Year's), and seeing a counselor. I am lonely but not alone. Thank you all for your help and support over the last two very difficult years.
 
 
David D. Levine
16 November 2016 @ 10:36 am
OryCon starts Friday, and I'll be there! Here's where you can find me. I'm also doing NaNoWriMo this year and would be interested in meeting people for writing dates during the convention.

NOVEMBER 18 • FRIDAY

3:00-4:00pm: Steampunk! Explain It! Salon C (LL1)
Stephen Couchman (m), Ann Gimpel, David Levine, Rhiannon Louve
How much Steam is required in Steampunk? Is alternative history a must? Is it fantasy, or SF, and/or a lifestyle?

NOVEMBER 19 • SATURDAY

10:00-10:30am: David Levine Reading Hawthorne (2)
David Levine
I will be reading from Arabella and the Battle of Venus!

11:00am-12:00pm: First Page Idol Douglas Fir (3)
Curtis Chen (m), Annie Bellet, David Levine, Doug Odell
Submit the first page of your novel to our talented author panelists, and listen to them read aloud that first page (keeping the writer's identity anonymous) and give thoughtful reactions. E-mail your first page submission (please omit the author name) to: ww@orycon.org.

2:00-3:00pm Finding Diverse Voices & Characters in SF/F Salon C (LL1)
Jeffrey Cook, David Levine, Deborah Ross, Caroline M. Yoachim
Diversity in the physical, ethnic, cultural, sexual identity, and socioeconomic backgrounds of characters and writers of speculative fiction has become more important to readers and writers in recent years. Where do we go to find these characters and authors? Who are the writers (no matter their background) who are penning accurate and authentic experience? Do we find these books in the SF/F sections or do we need to look to other areas of the bookstore or library?

4:00-5:00pm The Davids discuss how to research alternate history: Mining real history for good fiction Douglas Fir (3)
David Levine (m), David Boop, David Dvorkin, David Weber
What are the methods and sources for researching an alternate history story? Where do you find the information you need to sell your twisting of history to readers?

NOVEMBER 20 • SUNDAY

11:00am-12:00pm Feedback Workshop Douglas Fir (3)
David Levine (m), Curtis Chen, Richard A. Lovett, Susan Matthews, David Weber
A hands-on workshop on how to apply the feedback you get from readers, editors, writer's workshops, critique groups, etc. Bring your questions, manuscripts, critiques, etc.
 
 
David D. Levine
26 October 2016 @ 01:41 pm
At the moment I am at the airport, heading to beautiful Columbus, Ohio for the World Fantasy Convention. I had been waffling about attending, due to some issues with the program and communication by the committee, but I really need to be with my people right now.

At the con I will be appearing on panel "Costume Makes the Character" on Thursday at 5pm in Delware CD (along with Delia Sherman, Madeleine Robins, Cinda Williams Chima, and Mercedes Lackey) and I have a reading on Friday at 1:30pm in Union D. Apart from that I will mostly be in the bar and otherwise hanging out. Kate was always the one who set up dinner dates for us, so please don't be shy about asking me along if you need a lunch or dinner companion.

I've been keeping myself busy, being social and spontaneous. I haven't been alone very much, which is a good thing. Most of the time I am okay, though I get walloped by grief as much as a couple of times a day. Being suddenly without obligations, after nearly two years of increasingly burdensome responsibility, feels like my mainspring has snapped. I have also been making plans for the future: Wordstock, OryCon, and Thanksgving with Kate's folks are coming up soon, and I'm already thinking about next year's travel.

Kate's funeral last weekend was lovely. We had 120 people, who fit comfortably into a chapel with a nominal capacity of 100. Ellen Klages did a fabulous job as officiant, and the funeral director said she had rarely heard so many heartfelt, articulate tributes. I learned a few things too -- many people described Kate as "adventurous," which is not a word I would have used but, upon reflection, she really was.

The eulogy I delivered and a photo of Kate's urn in its mausoleum niche are behind the cut.

Read more...Collapse )

Thank you very much for all the support you have offered. It is greatly appreciated and will continue to be needed.
 
 
David D. Levine
15 October 2016 @ 09:33 am
Just a reminder that Kate's funeral is tomorrow, Sunday 10/16, at 1pm at Wilhelms Portland Memorial Funeral & Cremation. All who loved Kate are welcome. There will also be a less formal memorial gathering in January or so, details TBD.

My plan for today is to stay at home and receive visitors. Please txt me at 503-806-7562 before coming over, in case we are out at lunch or some such.

Thank you all so much for your love and support. It is greatly appreciated.
 
 
David D. Levine
10 October 2016 @ 02:11 pm
Kathryn Lynn Yule (nee Barbara) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William and Marilynn Yule and died of brain cancer at her home in Portland, Oregon at the age of 55. She attended Kennewick High School and Lewis and Clark College, where she majored in foreign languages and spent a year abroad in Munich. After working for the Red Cross as an administrative assistant and then for some years as a clerical temp, she retired early and spent her time knitting, traveling, square dancing, and attending science fiction conventions with her husband, science fiction writer David D. Levine. They were together for thirty-two years and married for twenty-five.

Kate was passionate about travel, languages, and reading. An accomplished speaker of German, French, and Spanish, she also studied Japanese, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Gaelic, Catalan, and American Sign Language. Countries visited included England, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Australia, and Singapore. She wrote and edited the science fiction fan magazine Bento with her husband, and several square dance publications with her friend Allan Hurst. Although glioblastoma cruelly stole her ability to speak and write, she kept reading in multiple languages to the end.

Kate was also active in the knitting, gay square dance, and science fiction communities. She founded a neighborhood science fiction book group and the weekly stitch-and-bitch at Happy Knits, and served in various capacities in the Portland Science Fiction Society and Rosetown Ramblers square dance club.

Kate is survived by her husband David D. Levine, sister Susan Yule, nieces Isobel and Alexandra Wright, brother William A. Yule, and parents William D. and Marilynn Yule. Funeral services will be held on Sunday October 16 at 1:00 pm at Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Chapel in Portland, Oregon (wilhelmportlandmemorial.com). Contributions in her name may be sent to the Multnomah County Library Foundation (libraryfoundation.org). She will be greatly missed.

Kate with Wombat
 
 
David D. Levine
06 October 2016 @ 10:23 pm
Kate Yule's funeral will be held on Sunday October 16 at 1:00 pm at Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral & Cremation in Portland, Oregon. Anyone who loved Kate is welcome to attend. The ceremony will be officiated by Ellen Klages, and there will be an opportunity to share your memories of Kate if you wish.

We also plan a memorial gathering in a few months, most likely in January, so if you can't attend the funeral there will be another opportunity to celebrate Kate's memory.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Kate's honor, please give to the Multnomah County Library Foundation to support the library's literacy programs. Kate volunteered for years with SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) and was always passionate about books and reading. Please mark the gift in memory of Kate Yule and indicate that the acknowledgement should be sent to my address (email me if you don't have it). Your donations are tax-deductible.

I have found myself at the epicenter of an enormous outpouring of condolences and love since Kate's passing. I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and wish I could respond in kind to everyone who has reached out to me and Sue in this very difficult time. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

DSC 1411
Photo by Janna Silverstein
 
 
David D. Levine
04 October 2016 @ 09:14 pm
Kate passed away at 3:30 this afternoon. I was holding her hand, Sue was on the other side, and my father was with us as well as our friend Teresa E. Her passing was as peaceful as it could be. Thank you all for your thoughts and kind words.
 
 
David D. Levine
03 October 2016 @ 08:40 pm
Kate has basically been asleep for the last couple of days straight. She hasn't been able to eat or drink anything, and can no longer swallow pills. We are now giving her only the most critical medicines, in forms that can be absorbed through the tissues of the mouth. She is resting peacefully and we are adjusting her drugs as appropriate to keep her comfortable.

Visitors are welcome; please txt me before coming over. Kate's parents have gone home, but Sue is still here and my father is with us for a few days. The house can be quite crowded at times (at one point this morning we had ten people, including two friends, a caregiver, a nurse, a home health aide, and a notary). If you do visit, you should not expect Kate to respond to your presence, although she may open her eyes and look at you. She is not quite conscious, but not exactly unconscious either. We think it is soothing to her to have calm voices nearby.

Thanks for your help and support.
 
 
David D. Levine
29 September 2016 @ 03:53 pm
Kate is getting a little weaker every day. She can no longer get out of bed and is having even more difficulty communicating than before. She's sleeping a lot, but her pain is under control. Her sister Sue is here for the duration, her parents are here right now, and my father will be coming this weekend.

We have been getting excellent support from hospice, with nurses, drugs, and equipment all just a phone call away. The social worker and chaplain (for some reason when I reach for the word "chaplain" I always get "cleric") have been helpful with those difficult end-of-life conversations, and the home health aide comes by three times a week to give Kate a bath. Our third-party home health care provider is now sending someone for four hours every day and overnight every night. Everyone has been compassionate, skilled, and supportive.

Visitors are welcome, but please txt me before coming over, because the house is sometimes kind of crowded with health care people and sometimes she just needs a rest.

Thank you all very much for your support and good wishes.
 
 
David D. Levine
18 September 2016 @ 03:08 pm
I haven't sent out a progress report in several weeks because there hasn't been any progress to report. Kate has had two infusions of Avastin and has not been improving -- in fact, she's been getting worse. She is now extremely weak and, despite using the walker indoors and out, has been having falls and near-falls almost every day. The aphasia is also very bad, and there are other problems.

This has been extremely hard on me. I am not physically strong enough to pick Kate up by myself when she falls, and I'm having trouble maintaining the patience and compassion I need for all of the other caregiver tasks I have to perform. I am exhausted, and emotionally I'm near the end of my rope. I have been getting more help from in-home health care and friends, but it's not really enough.

With all of this going on I called Dr. Lufkin for help Tuesday, and he got us in Wednesday morning. His assessment is that the Avastin is not really helping and could cause harm (it causes bleeding, which could be very bad in case she has a serious fall), so he recommends stopping it. Unfortunately, there are no other treatment options left. Avastin is the last FDA-approved treatment for recurrent glioblastoma, the Foundation One genetic tests didn't turn up any additional options, and she isn't eligible for any of the available clinical trials. Therefore, the next step is hospice care. Kate needed a little time to think it over, but she signed the paperwork on Friday.

Hospice doesn't mean just waiting to die. Hospice means that a wide variety of at-home care services become available to make life easier for both of us. We have a dedicated team of nurse, social worker, chaplain, and home health aide, and access to other specialists from bereavement counselors to animal therapy. Any drugs or equipment we need will be delivered to the house on short notice, and it's all covered 100% by our insurance.

There is explicitly no timeline here. Every patient is different and every tumor is different, so there's no telling how long we have. With more support and a focus on comfort and in-home safety, she may actually live longer than she would have with treatment. Some patients remain on hospice care for a year or more. Some patients even come off of hospice care. We will just have to make the most of however much time we've got.

Thank you very much for your support and good wishes.
 
 
David D. Levine
Sandra Odell, Django Weller, and I will be appearing at two events in the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series this week:Hope to see you there!

Sfwa
 
 
David D. Levine
15 August 2016 @ 05:04 pm
I'm heading to Kansas City tomorrow for the World Science Fiction Convention! Here's where you can find me.

Thursday Aug 18, 2016:
  • 10:00-11:00 AM in Autographing Space: Autographing: Christopher Husberg, David D. Levine, Diana Rowland

  • 2:00-3:00 PM in room 2503B: The Care and Feeding of Minions
    A panel of aspiring Evil Overlords need Minions to carry out their evil biddings. But now that minions have heard of collective bargaining and have seen what non evil overlords offer their workers, it isn't as easy as it once was.
    Mur Lafferty, Lynn Gold, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala

  • 3:00-4:00 PM in room 2504B: Why I Write Short Stories
    Most authors agree that short stories don't pay the bills, but authors who are known for writing novels frequently turn their attention to the shorter forms. If it isn't for the money, why do they spend their time and energy writing short stories?
    James Patrick Kelly, Mary Robinette Kowal, David D. Levine, Bishop O'Connell, Charlie Jane Anders

  • 6:30-7:00 PM in room 2203: Reading: David D. Levine


Friday Aug 18, 2016:
  • 5:00-8:00 PM at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown in the Count Basie room: High Stakes Launch Party & Mass Signing
    New York Times Bestselling Author George R. R. Martin will celebrate the release of the new hardcover High Stakes: A Wild Cards Novel with a gathering of Wild Cards authors. This is a special ticketed event and a Worldcon membership is not required.
    George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Caroline Spector, Ian Tregillis, Carrie Vaughn, Max Gladstone, David D. Levine, Parris, Pat Cadigan, Marko Kloos, Gail Gerstner Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Diana Rowland, Walton (Bud) Simons, Bob Wayne, Walter Jon Williams, Michael Cassutt


Saturday Aug 20, 2016:
  • 3:00-5:00 PM on Tucker Stage (3501A): George R R Martin's Wild Cards Deathmatch
    George R. R. Martin pits his Wild Card authors in a cage match for your (and his) amusement.
    George R. R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, Laura Mixon, Caroline Spector, Bob Wayne, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Diana Rowland, Michael Cassutt, David D. Levine, Stephen Leigh, Melinda Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Marko Kloos


Sunday Aug 21, 2016:
  • 10:00-11:00 AM in room 3501F: How to Form a Writer's Group
    So you have decided to publicly declare your insanity and become a writer. How do you find similar souls and how can they help your dream? What can go wrong?
    James Cambias, ElizaBeth Gilligan, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala, Walt Boyes


All events are in the Kansas City Convention Center except for the High Stakes Launch Party and Mass Signing.
 
 
David D. Levine
10 August 2016 @ 06:10 pm
Kate has been home from the hospital for a bit over two weeks now, working with in-home physical, occupational, and speech therapists once or twice a week each. She is still weak and wobbly -- using a walker even in the house -- and the aphasia is still pretty bad, but I believe both are improving. It's slow and not consistent, but on average I think she's getting a little better every day. In fact, she's doing so well that the physical therapist thinks she ought to switch from in-home to outpatient therapy soon... maybe next week.

We've also signed up with an in-home health care firm. We have two different caregivers coming over on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. This will let me get out of the house or focus on tasks without having to worry about Kate. We are still figuring out how best to make use of their help while they are here, but it is helpful just to be able to take my mind off of Kate's care for a couple of afternoons a week.

We met with the oncologist on Monday. He's satisfied with her progress since the surgery and we are planning to start Avastin infusions in two weeks. The genetic testing isn't back yet, but he says it's unlikely to result in a big change in treatment. I'm not really happy about Kate getting an infusion every two weeks for the foreseeable future, but if it keeps the cancer from coming back I suppose it's worth it. We are also ramping down the steroids (currently 6mg per day, down from 8mg) and pain meds. Next MRI is scheduled for this Saturday; this one is mostly to set a baseline for future scans.

We had an unplanned trip to Seattle last weekend, to visit a dear friend in the hospital there. She's been hospitalized for more than a week and doesn't have a diagnosis yet, which is worrisome. Many of you know who I'm talking about, and if you do I hope you'll spare some good thoughts for her. The trip was stressful for a variety of reasons but Kate came through it like a champ.

As you may know, I had to cancel my planned readings in San Francisco this coming weekend. However, Kate's sister is coming down from Seattle next week to stay with Kate while I attend the Worldcon in Kansas City. I hope to see some of you there.

So, all in all, things are not going too badly. I hope that we will continue to see slow but steady progress in the coming weeks.