Great News and Graphic Content

We’ll get to an upcoming nerd event in a second, but first I wanted to share something.  I posted a little while back about Spider Robinson’s daughter Terri Luanna and her fight against cancer.  Last week Spider took the time to drop by the site and pass on some great news:

Since you were kind enough to mention my daughter Terri da Silva’s breast cancer here, I wanted you to be among the first to hear the good news we got today. After her first round of chemo, her oncologist reports that all the metastases, the tumours in her lymph nodes and leg bones, ARE GONE, and that the original tumours in her breast have all shrunk by at least 50%, and the largest one shrank by more than 75%. She is still, and will always be, a Stage 4 cancer patient…but for the moment, she has kicked cancer’s ass. She will not, after all, need mastectomy or radiation, just a lifetime of very careful chemo. She and her husband attribute all this change (which stunned her doctors) to her positive attitude and lifestyle: to saying “Yes” rather than “No” as you say above. See her splendid bloghttp://www.gracefulwomanwarrior.com for details. Thank you very much for helping to bring attention to Terri and her blog: I’m quite sure it helped. And thanks to all who took a moment to throw Terri a prayer or a few bucks for her huge medical bills.
Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased. Please share my joy!

I am truly happy to share this joy!  I’ll add my meagre thanks to anyone reading this blog that took the time to donate or send good wishes.  You guys and dolls are the best!

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On that happy note, let’s look at the one and only nerd event on my radar.  Despite the weather’s attempt to force snow on us, it is way too beautiful out there to miss out on this….

Graphic Content: Ghost World

 The latest and greatest in the Graphic Content series at The Metro!  Starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson, Ghost World is one of the most highly regarded comic book movies ever made.  Screening is this Tuesday, April 17th at 9pm.  Looking at the Metro site this looks to be the last film in the current series, so I’ll be keen to see what the next series holds for us.  Update: There is a Graphic Content for both May and June, and then they take a break, starting the second series in September.  In the meantime, come check out a great movie with great people!

…and that’s it for now.  If there is a nerdy event happening that you aren’t telling me about, shame on you!  Let me know so I can let other folks know.  In general, if you are a comic book nerd you should keep your eyes open for Free Comic Book Day, coming up on May 5 (yes, the day after The Avengers opens).  I know for sure that Wizard’s Comics & Collectibles and Happy Harbor have events planned for FCBD, and I suspect other comic shops might as well.  So nose around…

That’s it for now.  Join me tomorrow for a bit of geek fitness wisdom.  Because spring is a good time to work on that “Dorito spread”…

Spider Robinson Needs Our Help

While many writers have given me ideas and inspiration, there are only a few authors that have shaped the way I think to any significant degree.  Spider Robinson is one of those authors.  Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon had the effect of jump-starting my emotional intelligence, and starting me to think about compassion in its many forms.  That development continued through the rest of the Callahan series, and as I branched out into his other non-Callahan works, like The Free Lunch, the Lifehouse Trilogy and the Stardance Trilogy (co-written with his wife Jeanne, now sadly gone from us).

I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that at their heart every Spider Robinson book is about compassion.  Often between and for specific characters, but just as often for the whole damn smelly, noisy human race.  They carry in them the idea that it is possible to nurture and also be strong, that there is no weakness in caring; indeed, there is a profound fortitude to be found in loving.

As flawed as I am I would not be even half that man without the Spider Robinson’s words.  His work has reached me and helped me at some of the darkest points in my life, and I don’t have the words to describe what that means to me.  There are simply some debts that can never be repayed in full.  But it doesn’t stop me from trying.

Simply put, Spider Robinson needs our help.  As I mentioned earlier, Spider’s wife Jeanne passed away in 2010, after fighting cancer to a draw.  Now, their only daughter Terri Luanna, has also been diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer.  She is undergoing treatment and the odds, while not the desirable 100%, are good.  But she and her family could still use help, because of the myriad costs associated with the treatment and just…life.

If you have ever read and enjoyed a Spider Robinson novel, please donate what you can to help Terri Luanna.  If his work has in any way touched your life the way it has mine, please help.  Even if you’ve never read his work (and you should), trust me when I say that he is one of the most decent men among us and deserves our help and support.  Give what you can, because even the small amounts add up over time.  And even if you are totally skint and can’t donate take a moment to hit “Like” on her Facebook page and help get the word out on Facebook and Twitter.

And I highly recommend taking the time to read Terri Luanna’s blog, Graceful Woman Warrior.  It is funny and well-written and touching by turns, and well worth the time spent.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Update:  Jan Schroeder has begun the Graceful Woman Warrior auction on eBay in support of this cause.  There are some wonderful items up for auction so please take a moment to check them out and spread the word.