May 12th, 2011

Taos Toolbox 2010

The Nebulas Are Coming!

Yes, it's that season. And the Nebulas are being held right here in my area this year and the next. We're almost to the date now, one week away, May 19-21 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave, NW. That's a very downtown address.

The Frog, naturally, does not live in DC anymore. I live on 10 acres 50 miles away. But my parents lived in SW for more than 30 years on the top floor with a spectacular view. I lived in SW for about six years, owned a townhouse with Weatherdude on the waterfront in the same complex. Back when he was Major Weatherdude. So it's nice to go downtown to a "local" convention.

At any rate, the BIG NEWS is that the Friday autograph session is open to the public. Even bigger news is that Judy Tarr, aka dancinghorse is coming east and we're sharing a room at the hotel. She's looking into whether one of the horses will fit in a carrier under her seat. Or come as excess baggage. I'm not sure the Hilton will allow us to keep a Lipizzaner in our room, but I have a nice paddock with lots of grass here at Walkabout Farm.

And...I'm on the program. I'll be speaking on Saturday morning on the issues surrounding a decision to incorporate (or create some other form of entity) with Paolo Bacigalupi and hopefully with Wil McCarthy via Skype. I'll be talking to Paolo and Wil about their decision process and the costs. I can't discuss much in the way of tax issues, but my CPA self will be talking as a wise old business advisor, which is a whole different persona from my writerly persona. We'll take questions from the audience, too, but I'm not going to hold my breath that folks will be all that alert at 9:00AM on a Saturday morning.

Judy's on a panel with the Book View Cafe cabal on Saturday afternoon about putting a writer's backlist to work in ebook formats. Be sure to catch that as well.

Link to the program:

The list of people autographing on Friday is AMAZING. I'll be flitting around talking to folks, never in one place for very long. Here's the list of names:
John Joseph Adams
Catherine Asaro
Paolo Bacigalupi
Christopher Barzak
J. Kathleen Cheney
Chris Claremont
Brenda W. Clough
Aliette de Bodard
Scott Edelman
Timons Esaias
Cynthia Felice
Andrew Fox
Laura Anne Gilman
Anne Groell
Joe Haldeman
Peter Heck
M.K. (Mary) Hobson
Vylar Kaftan
David Keck
John Kessel
Alethea Kontis
Mary Robinette Kowal
Geoffrey A. Landis
Lee Martindale
James Morrow
John Scalzi
Lawrence Schoen
Abby Sexton
Lansing Sexton
Bud Sparhawk
Allen Steele
Eric James Stone
Michael J. Sullivan
Michael Swanwick
Judith Tarr
Brandie Tarvin
Mary Turzillo
Michael Whelan
Connie Willis

WOW! I say, WOW!

Frog Out

One Frog's Opinion

It seems that autism and vaccines are back in the news. With another myth debunked. And with yet another "reason" why autism should still be linked to vaccines.

Fact #1: My child has all her vaccines
Fact #2: My child is on the autistic spectrum and the better part of my life for the past 8 years has been spent trying to help her decode the world around her, help her with these too-small-for-official-notice learning disabilities. Except speech. The government was willing to admit she has some speech and language issues. Every other intervention has occurred via private care and parenting.

Some nurses have delayed the dates their own children were given vaccines, spread them out more. Some parents refuse to give their children vaccines believing that a healthier immune system is built from going through the disease itself. There are other parents and other reasons and other actions and to the parents, the reasons seem valid.

One of my biggest fears as a parent is that I caused her autism. Vaccines are one of the things I took at face value and did as I was told by her pediatrician, signed on the dotted line to give her the shots as recommended. She had far more vaccines than I ever did, at least twice as many, and she had them far younger than I ever did. Heck, the polio vaccine on a sugar cube was invented when I was already in elementary school, the measles vaccine when I was in third grade and I never had a mumps or rubella vaccine, let alone chicken pox. But I had all the diseases I wasn't vaccinated for at one time or another, I'm pretty sure.

The problem is we don't know if vaccines have caused autism in anyone. At least, I haven't seen any proof of that yet. And we won't know if it was something previously in the vaccines until sufficient statistical data exists to show that autism has declined as a result of changes made. Which will take one heck of a lot of data collection. For years. At least a decade, if not two decades. Because, like, we can't do controlled experiments on babies trying to INDUCE autism. We just have to collect data and try to isolate the various potential triggers, eliminating them one after the other, until we determine once and for all that it couldn't have been the vaccines or the vaccine schedule. It was something else. Or maybe we'll stumble over that 'something else.'

I would like to take issue with folks who've never had children declaring that my child should be vaccinated and that there's no danger in the vaccines or the vaccine schedule.

I would like to remind them that they don't live with my fear, that I caused this. This is the fear a parent has. We can rationalize it, we can dismiss it, but we still have to find a way to live with it.

And maybe it was because I was over forty and I should have known better than to have a baby so late in life because the incidence of autism increases dramatically. I have statistics on that?

Frog Out