Monday, December 7, 2009

A request for recommendations

I've noticed a troubling theme in fantasy and science fiction stories. At least it troubles me as a handicapped woman. {bite lips}

When the heroine is handicapped, she doesn't get a romantically satisfying ending as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it's because I'm being too fussy. Wine, roses, champagne, and the like aren't required. All I want is for her to end up with a guy who, if he were direct enough, could honestly say "I could go it on my own, or find someone else, but I'd rather stay here with you." The only gal I know of is Myste in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, and she's the hero's love interest than a major character in her own right. {smile}

Handicapped guys can find gals like that. It doesn't happen often, but there's Carradoc of the Shrunken Arm in King Arthur's legends, Tannim in Mercedes Lackey's Serrated Edge series, Alberich in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, Gryffin in The Dream-Maker's Magic by Sharon Shinn, Philip Guthrie in Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair, Miles Vorkosigan in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vor series, and a few others I don't remember quite well enough to fetch the books for. {smile}

Now don't get me wrong: this is good. Handicapped guys need the encouragement too, and I'm very glad they're getting it. However... when it's a gal who has a handicap, she's practically never that lucky. I've seen more ways for this to get messed up than I ever expected:

1) The gal ends up with no romantic involvement.

2) The gal doesn't settle down with a guy until her handicap has been fixed, so she's no longer handicapped.

3) The gal settles down on a planet where her handicap isn't a handicap. (Who cares if you're deaf when every non-deaf human has to wear deafening earplugs to keep the local inhabitants from piercing their ear drums with their loud calls?)

4) The gal finds a guy, but they're united by a magical, psychic, biological, etc. bond they have no control over. This bond tends to ensure the guy either can't "make it" with the vast majority of otherwise eligible females, or can't happily settle down with anyone else. If the gal he finds happens to be handicapped, he courts her anyway. {lop-sided smile}

What's wrong with these stories? Nothing individually. None of them quite fit the romantic attitude I'm looking for, but I don't expect every story to end the way I'd like. The problem is that I haven't found any that do work out well. All the stories that don't work out well get frustrating when I look at them together, with so little to balance them out. {pause, bite lips}

That's why I'm asking for recommendations. I haven't read everything out there. Maybe I've missed something, or forgotten something. Does anyone know any science fiction or fantasy stories where a handicapped gal settles down with a guy who stays with her because he wants her, even tho he has the normal range of choices? He doesn't have to be in perfect condition himself. I'm counting both Alberich and Myste when they find each other. {smile}

I'm hoping there's more out there that I've missed, one way or another. {wistful smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today is Thanksgiving in America. I know what I'm giving thanks for.

I am thankful that I made it thru both medical crises this year. Both
the toxic reaction to the cholestorol medicine and the flushing and
blackouts from the niacin were pretty scary. I am thankful that I'm better
in time to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas without worry. {Smile}

I am thankful for the friends and family who stood beside me when I was
sick. I am thankful for the ones who hoped and prayed that I'd get better,
and I'm thankful for the ones who refused to let me face the problem
alone. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Well, the switch to time-release niacin worked. I've officially made it
thru a period without a nasty flush. {relieved sigh, smile}

Thank you, God! I needed that so badly. {Relieved Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Well, it's been about two and a half weeks since I stopped taking the non-time-release niacin. I haven't had a nasty flush since. Oh, I've gotten overheated once or twice, but there's been no attack with burning sensations, pain, or threat of blacking out. {relieved smile}

I have real hope that we found the worst problem. I won't feel sure until I've been thru my next menses without incident, since the flushing seemed worst during the last set. However, this looks promising. {hopeful smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Well, we haven't called the doctor. This is not a bad thing. {smile}

On Sunday around bedtime, Dad brought up something he remembered about his older sister, my aunt Kitty, having trouble with flushing when she was taking niacin. I am taking niacin for my balance, so he thought that might be involved.

One thing led to another, and we discovered that I am not taking 250mg of time-release niacin like one of my doctors suggested. The current bottle is not time-release; it's all at once. I'm pretty sure I remember that my doctor specified time-release to reduce trouble with flushing and burning sensations, as well as to improve it's effects on my balance.

I found some time-release niacin like I'm supposed to take. I haven't taken it yet. Monday I didn't take any niacin beyond that found in my vitamins. I wanted to give my system a chance to calm down. It didn't get a long chance. I started having balance trouble after 10pm on Tuesday, so I took one time-release niacin pill just now. I do hope it works, and doesn't cause any flushing. We'll have to see what happens. If necessary, the flushing was worse than the balance. However, I don't think time-release niacin caused flushing before. {cross fingers hopefully, {smile}

So far I haven't had any flushes since I stopped the other niacin. However, it's only two days; that's too soon to tell. Last week I don't remember what happened Sunday and Monday. However, I do know I had one Tuesday morning, one Saturday morning, and no bad ones in between. That's longer than I've been off niacin so far. {resigned smile}

I'm hopeful - much more hopeful than I was when my doctor prescribed vitamin D. This might not be the full story. I am beginning to near the expected age for menopause, after all. Still, this looks promising. Even if it just cuts out the painfully burning flushes, that would be such and improvement! I hope I'd get my life back if I got rid of those. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

{steadying sigh}

Well, yesterday Dad managed to get the test results out of a nurse at my doctor's office.

Thyroid: normal
Pituitary hormones: normal
Vitamin B12: normal
Vitamin D: LOW

So my doctor wants to put me on theraputic levels of vitamin D, and run another test in a few weeks.

I know that Vitamin D deficiency can be a serious problem. I'm too old for rickets, but it can increase tendencies for osteoporosis and other bone trouble. I don't want that. However, I don't think Vitamin D affects hot flushes/flashes much. I can't find anything that claims it does, and Dad doesn't know of any connection, either. {half-smile}

I had another nasty hot flush yesterday morning. I couldn't go to the air conditioned room a few rooms away. I couldn't clear the table. I couldn't even get up to turn on a fan, or pour a glass of ice water. I had to wait for my parents to get those to help me cool down.

Mom picked up the Vitamin D this morning. I've taken two pills today, and will continue to do so. However... if I have another bad flush, my doctor will get a call that hopefully will make it clear that waiting a few weeks to do anything more for the flushes is unacceptable. {grimace} I don't feel I can take on any new projects until they're fixed somehow. That includes applying for a librarian position that's come up at the university. The deadline is in November, so I can't expect them to get
fixed in time. My health is just too unreliable when a single flush knocks out a whole morning, or a whole evening. {resigned look}

I just want my life back. {Sigh}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Sunday, October 18, 2009

{peek in}

{peek in} Hello. {smile}

I'm sorry I've been neglecting my blog recently. I'm afraid this summer has been all too interesting on the medical front, as some of you already know. {rueful smile}

I had a really nasty reaction to a medication in July; it took me half a week to identify, and three weeks after going off to feel reasonably like myself again. Then in the first week of August, I had a panting-and-coughing-up-pink-mucous attack that was diagnosed as a panic attack, but followed by a similar attack without the worry.

The week after that, I had a really nasty hot flush, during which I blacked out. My doctor noticed that my diabetes was acting up. so she decided to treat that as the most likely cause of hot flashes. Well, the blood sugar levels responded favorably to the insulin she prescribed. The hot flushes did not. I've had a few near black-out since.

So my doctor is now beginning to look into the flushes. I'm... not handling waiting for test results as well as I'd like. {half-smile} I've caught myself being far too sensitive this weekend. I just hope my friends will understand. {tentative smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hurricane Felicia

Well, Hurricane Felicia seems to be passing Hawai'i by quite nicely. Hilo got hot, muggy weather, with some clouds, but not even much rain. Other parts of the state are seeing some rain, but no more than heavy-normal. Nobody seems to be getting much more than usual in the winds.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Here's three local news sites. Each had too many stories about Felicia to list each story separately. {Smile}

KHNL's news

KHON's news

KITV's news. This one also links to stories from two newspapers. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A smile and a wince

Dad and I just got to listen to an unusually long "concert" by a Chinese thrush in our Surinam cherry tree. He went on particularly long, maybe because he was competing with another bird further away. {Smile}

I think his concert just about made up for canceling Advanced Dungeons and Dragons tonight because I re-strained my back at church this morning. {rueful smile, Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Caught up?

Maybe I'm caught up with my general blog reading. {cross fingers} At least for now. At least if you don't count the week+ worth of posts added because a former high school classmate just told me where his blog is. {Smile} I'm looking forward to that reading project. It's past time I caught up with what he's been up to. {SMILE}

Now the main trick is staying caught up with the blogs while catching up with not only that one friend, but all my friends on LiveJournal. Plus not falling too far behind on Facebook. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it. {SMILE, chuckle, SMILE}

Oh, and also while trying to figure out where I might submit a short story. Yes, I'm finally working up to actually trying to get a little story published, instead of just sharing it with my friends like I do on LiveJournal. {SMILE} I'll need luck with this, too. {BIG SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No computer virus? {cross fingers hopefully}

Well... I hope I've come thru the computer virus attacks safely. I read all the advice offered, figured out which I could do without messing up, and which sounded reasonable. Fortunately, the stuff I could do mostly sounded like reasonable precautions. The most alarming solutions were beyond my limited computer skills anyway. {Smile}

So I did what I could. This might have closed a couple of loopholes in my computer's anti-virus defenses. {cross fingers hopefully, smile} Even better, the virus warnings quit, and no repeating "new tricks" turned up. I hope those are good signs. {cross fingers} It's certainly how I'd hope a non-infected computer would behave. {Smile}

If things stay calm for a while, I think I'll count this successful. If not, I'll take the computer to the Computer Store and pay them to look it over. They're the locals I know who I trust to really fix my computer's problems, and not just replace current problems with different ones. {lop-sided Smile}

Now to get back to trying to catch up with the blogs and journals I like to follow. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Computer Trouble {Sigh, rub hair}

I have had over half a dozen attacks on my computer while web surfing in the past week or two. A little rectangle from Norton Security - my antivirus - pops up in the corner saying my computer has been attacked, or that it has successfully repelled an attack by some virus. At least two viruses were involved, one "trojan.???", and one I forget at the moment. However, "successfully repelled" seems to be premature, since two-three attacks often follow in quick succession. {half-smile}

I have been following advice I vaguely remember hearing on the news: get off the computer for a couple of hours. However, I'm not sure that's the right thing to do. {pause}

What is the right thing to do? I really would like to know. Some of you are distinctly more computer-savvy than I am. {Smile}

Thanks, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

{raise head}

I'm sorry I disappeared so thoroughly this month. At the beginning of the month, a Facebook-based game a cousin got me into developed a really nasty bullying problem. I was a target.

I didn't take this well. {small smile} Unfortunately, I holed up until I'd fixed what I could, and gotten past it enough to feel better again. {smile}

So here I am, weeks behind on LiveJournal and the blogs I try to keep up with both. I'll try to catch up and keep up again, but I can't make promises, especially at first. {Sigh} I'll just have to try my best, but I do hope I'm back. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Friday, May 1, 2009

A New Chair

One reason I had trouble catching up last week was that I went shopping for a new reading chair for my room. This may not sound like the biggest deal, but in our house no one can begin furniture shopping until they've proven that they have a place to put what they intend to get. Believe me, the house is crowded enough, this is necessary. So furniture shopping doesn't happen often, and it's a bit of an occasion when it does.

Mom took me to three stores one afternoon, taking up about half the afternoon. Then Dad took me to four more stores another afternoon, again taking up half the afternoon. The most comfortable but most expensive chair was at Agasa's furniture and music store. However, I also found a cheaper, reasonably comfortable chair at Home Depot, and this one came with an ottoman. I'd been wanting an ottoman to put my feet up on in the living room anyway. We have a sort of pillow-ottoman, but it's getting rather flat, so it isn't very helpful now. {Smile}

So we got the chair and ottoman from Home Depot. They're mostly covered with some flattened fiber - I first thought wicker, but no - woven over an aluminum frame that's painted brown. The cushions are burnt orange. This doesn't match anything, of course, but it doesn't clash with the maroon and beige in my room, or the golden yellow with green in the living room. This is important, since the chair is in my room, while the ottoman is in the living room. No, we could not keep them together. There wasn't that much space in my room. {SMILE}

The chair itself is sitting very happily in front of one of the bookcases in my room. Thanks to the aluminum frame, it's light enough to pick up and move when I want books from the bookcase. That was both a big selling point, and part of why we went to seven different stores before I felt I'd found the right one. It now has a yellow and green cushion from the living room behind the burnt orange cushion it came with. In spite of trying it in the store, when we got it home, I found I had to slouch at least a little to rest my back. This is an occasional problem when I'm 5'2" and not particularly leggy. {half-smile} So I searched around, and found a cushion that is as wide as the chair, and thick enough, I don't have to slouch. It looks a little funny, but it works. {Smile}

The ottoman is in the living room. There was no space for it in my room. Remember I said I had to prove I had a place to put something before I could get another piece of furniture? Well, that was true for the chair. Oddly enough, no one asked where I planned to put the ottoman before we brought it home. Fortunately. I'm not sure Mom and Dad would have approved my plan, even tho it works. I put it by the couch when I want to put my feet up. Then one of us puts it in front of the fireplace when everyone is done with it, because it's less in the way there. {pause} When I say "in front of the fireplace," think of it being on the hearth, with two legs just barely inside the fireplace itself. It looks a little odd, but it fits, and it's out of the way when someone wants to walk around the living room. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Sunday, April 26, 2009


May I claim to be caught up now? I think I've read everything on Facebook,
on Livejournal, and on the blogs I try to keep up. I've responded to the
initial posts I wanted to, and I've responded to comments and such I
wanted to respond to up thru yesterday. That leaves only today's comments
and several Facebook app requests. I hope that's close enough. I'd really
like to be caught up again. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Merrie Monarch Hula Festival

It's that time again. I plan to be glued to the TV tonight, tomorrow night, and Saturday night, watching the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. As always, this will cut into my computer time. {SMILE}

As usual, if you want to see what I'm so excited about, it's here on the web. They broadcast the three nights of competition on the web as streaming video, so people outside of our state can see it too. They should have Thursday night (Miss Aloha Hula, the young women's solo competition) up on the web from when it starts tonight until Hula Kahiko (old-style hula) starts tomorrow night. Hula Kahiko should be up from when it starts tomorrow night until Hula 'Auana (Modern secular hula) starts Saturday night. Hula 'Auana will be up from when it starts until indefinitely in the future. One year a friend caught it a week or so afterwards, so they don't take that one down quickly. {Smile}

I'll certainly be watching. It's nice to live in-state, where it's also broadcast on TV. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter food question

Does anyone have any suggestions for a nice Easter dinner? Ours will be a day late, since Dad expects to have more time to cook on Monday than either today or tomorrow. The problem is that we usually have an Easter ham, but with his congestive heart failure, Dad has to avoid salt. His condition is currently under control, but ham is now a flavoring added to eggs and fried rice in relatively small quantities. {resigned smile}

So we're looking into alternatives. Dad's decided that something bready would be nice and festive. I think he's settled on Chelsea buns with cinnamon added. {Smile}

However, it would be nice to pick out something special for the main course, too. Ham is out for the salt. Lamb is out because they only sell it by the leg around here, and Dad would rather not deal with that. Especially since he thinks "lamb" is a euphemism in that the lamb's lambs have probably had lambs before it reached market. {half-smile}

So... any suggestions? {hopeful smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Facebook {Sigh}

I must be nuts. {rueful smile}

I'm having a challenge keeping up with email, LiveJournal, Blogger, abml (a usenet newsgroup), my leisure reading, and the lap time Valentine wants. So what do I do? I join Facebook. Tho it wasn't my idea. One cousin joined, and got her sister to. They brought in the second cousin's boys... so hopefully I'll hear something from these relatives. They've been disgustingly quiet for entirely too long, so we've pretty much drifted apart. If they use Facebook more than email, phone, or snail mail maybe I'll finally get to know them again. {Chuckle, SMILE}

So who on here is on Facebook? And how do we find each other? {pause} I notice something about searching by name and email. I went in under "Anne Elizabeth Baldwin" and my public email, " anneb @ aloha . net " (without spaces, in the case of the email). {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Thursday, March 12, 2009


What is success for a short story writer?

What are the measures of success for a short story writer?

I've heard much about what success is and what it means for fiction writers... but it's all about novels. So those definitions are really for novelists.

I write short stories. Even the longest are many times shorter than the shortest novels. {pause}

So I'm not a novelist. {spread hands} That shouldn't be a barrier to success. Not all writers write novels. Some write nonfiction, or plays, or poems, or TV shows, or movies... I write short stories and short articles. I particularly enjoy writing short fantasy stories. This shouldn't be a barrier to success. There must be ways to be a success as a short story writer. I just need to figure out what they are. I need to know where I might be heading, and what milestones to look out for.

I need to figure out what success is as a short story writer. {smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Girls' Day!

Happy Girls' Day! That is what the third day of third month is by the Japanese calendar. {REALLY BIG GRIN}

My family is celebrating with mochi (rice flour cakes). That is traditional. However, it would be more traditional if we were celebrating with steamed pink, white and green mochi, instead of baked pineapple-coconut mochi. {lick lips} Not that I'm complaining. Traditions are nice, but Mom's latest mochi experiment is delicious! {REALLY BIG GRIN, HUMONGOUS GRIN}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Eye Strain

I don't know quite how I got it, but I've had a notable case of eye strain for the better part of a week. Contributing causes we've tracked down so far include dust and mold. (Both are long-standing allergies that tend to make stuff like this worse, if not cause it outright.) Also, I strongly suspect staring intently at the computer screen while playing a particular game, tho I don't feel that this is confirmed quite yet. {lop-sided smile}

I'm now trying to reduce computer time. Cutting out the game is a test of my will-power. So is cutting out the card games and such I like to play. On the other hand, I doubt email will suffer much. LiveJournal, Blogger, and newsgroups might, but I hope not much. I don't want the essentials to suffer; I just want to cut back to them for a while. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Friday, January 30, 2009

Turning 40

The age of 40 has such a terrible reputation, I guess I expected to feel a little different somehow. Never mind that I never felt different on previous birthdays. Never mind that I regularly forget how old I am, so I often have to stop and calculate if somebody actually asks. I still expected to feel different. {Smile}

(Yes, I forget my age. Do you realize how infrequently a woman gets asked her age in modern American culture? At most, I get to answer this a few times a years, and sometimes that's because I brought up the subject. {look UP Giggle, BIG GRIN})

Anyway, I expected to feel a little different somehow. I don't. 40 feels a awful lot like 39 did to me. {BIG SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Holiday Story

My holiday story is at what I think of as the "roughly polished" stage. That means it's about as done as I'm likely to get it now, but if I come back in a few months, I'll find things that my eyes have been just gliding over. {Smile}

So... I shared it thru email with the friends I talk to there, as well as a with a "card exchange" list from a newsgroup I've been trying to frequent again. I also shared it on LiveJournal under a privacy lock. I'm not quite as comfortable as I hoped I would be about leaving it in the open. {Smile}

Unfortunately, a few people I've met here haven't gotten to see it. Now maybe they don't have time. That's fine; I don't have as much time as I'd like, either.

But... {bite lips}

If anyone reading this hasn't seen it and would like to tell me. Between email, LiveJournal, and Open ID, I'm sure we can work something out. {REALLY BIG GRIN}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birthday weekend

This past weekend was my birthday weekend. My birthday was actually on Sunday. However, we celebrated it on Saturday, with presents at breakfast and a nice dinner with cake that evening. Sunday just looked to be too busy to squeeze anything else into. {Smile}

Of course, once Sunday came around, every single event that made it looked busy fell thru. So my actual birthday ended up very relaxing indeed. {REALLY BIG GRIN}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Saturday, January 17, 2009

chit chat

Hi Tia! It's good to see you here. {wave, REALLY BIG GRIN}

It's good to see you, too Monkey. You've been AWOL quite a while. {Smile}

I haven't mentioned it much, but I've been working on a story to share with my on-line friends. {Smile} I finished it last week, and just finished copying it into the computer (with initial revisions) tonight. Well, I sort of finished it. It ground to a halt right where I expected it to... with nothing resembling a satisfying ending in the vicinity. So it's now officially looking for further revisions and a decent ending. I'm suspicious that I'm going to end up sharing it with a warning about the lack of an ending. Of course, if it's really a fragment of something longer that I need to work up some day, I'll feel freer to post it in the open. So maybe it works out this way. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin