My best friend Louise got ovarian cancer, and was diagnosed in late 2016. I spent most of my vacation time in 2017 going to see her in my hometown of Halifax. Here we are in the Public Gardens in July 2017, one of her favourite places. There will be a bench dedicated to her there.
I finally went to see SEE ROCK CITY, as every second barn in Tennessee tells you to do, and Lookout Mountain.

My favourite memory from Christmas was decorating a gingerbread house at a friend’s place. Every year they have a big party with scores of people and tons of candy. It was so much fun.

A few days later, on December 22, 2017, Louise died. I got the text from her mother while I was at the ER for intense pain that turned out to be gallbladder attacks (preferable to the heart attack I thought I was having). It was a terrible day.

I had my gallbladder out in January. I had some complications that caused me to develop pancreatitis, and I don’t have very clear memories of the time in the hospital. I recovered reasonably quickly, though, and was basically back to normal by March, just in time for my very first cruise, a short 4-day excursion to the Bahamas (Nassau and Freeport). It was just the restorative vacation I needed. We ate stupidly good food and sat on our balcony and looked at the ocean. I felt very fancy. The best bit was the underwater excursion we did: the divers who went with us had lots of fish food, so the fish swarmed around us, and we got to see some very cool underwater statues. It was beautiful.

I’ve also taken up kayaking, which is wonderful exercise and makes me feel calmer and more balanced. I just love the water and being out in nature.

I spent most of April in Kickstarter hell, but was excited to make the money to be able to pay the contributors to Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good (which I also edited) and Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good (edited by Octavia Cade). I’ve mostly spent the summer working on those, kayaking, and writing postcards to voters. We also took a trip to see our friend Jason in Tacoma, but flew into San Francisco so we could drive through the redwoods and swing through Portland to see a good friend who lives there.

Now that it’s September, I’m concentrating on getting Broad Knowledge out the door and writing postcards to voters for the mid-terms. (Americans reading this, for the love of all that’s holy, vote in this election.)

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