After a very successful Clallam Bay Comicon, I had begun procedures for time, place, guest artist, everything -
And then Monsanto and the US Army finally killed me.
(Before reading this, be assured there will be a Forks Comicon. And if you REALLY want to see me again, get your ass up here when it happens, for my insane wake party. Because there WILL be one! I'm not going to crawl off and die like dearly-missed creators - my art ain't gonna be burned! Please wear your Hallowe'en best.)
Anniston, Alabama, was listed as the most toxic place on earth. I was stationed there at Fort McClellan for basic training in 1970-71.
Monsanto settled out with the town of Anniston in 2003. The US Army was not part of that settlement - I suspect because of the badly-stored chemical weapons.*
Some of you have called the EMTs or taken me to the hospital. Invariably, the condition was listed as "anxiety attack," which is new-doctor-speak for "hysteria." When my symptoms were so obviously poisoning (one of you got me to the hospital when I actually HAD been poisoned - and the symptoms were identical).
I thought I was doing very well after the Clallam Bay Comicon. The Lion's Club hall was rented. Talks were on line for a new Forks comicon. We had a fabulous guest artist for Clallam Bay. Dan and I went for a huge walk on Hobuck beach. I felt invigorated and ready to go.
And then... things happened. Stress-points started to build up. I hit crisis point.
I can only say So Many Thanks to Kevin - an EMT who works at the Forks Outfitters - for refusing to let me simply call my husband and wait out the vomiting and convulsions and passing out for the next 18 hours. I heard him - and the EMTs he called - say repeatedly, "Her pulse is low. Her pulse is so low." I really, truly just wanted them to let me go. I started to fade, and it felt so good, after all the years of suffering and bullshit. For Dan's and the cat's sake, I'm so glad the EMT's didn't let me faint out (although I truly wanted to kill myself AND them when I was dry-horking in the back of the ambulance).
So, I don't want anybody to think this is whining. This is the bullshit thousands of vets go through every single day, from many decades, who were stationed at Fort McClellan. We can't "sue" because it would cause stress - and then it's agony in the hospital. In my case, with hereditary cardiac finally starting to bother me, it could be lethal. If you really really want to do anything for us - GET THE FUCKING RECRUITERS OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS. Those people need slammed through a wall, like the health insurance CEO in The Incredibles - and for the same reasons.
So that's why I'm not running the Comicon. But I WILL mentor and assist at the Forks Comicon. I can DO that! And at a smaller convention, I could even run a table. If I can't, then there's my online bookstore, my Black Manuscripts, and social media.
I love you all dearly, and I wish I could keep doing this for you. But the robot be done, as robots do. Oh, well. It's been a good run.
Now I'm going to devote my time to Dan and my old cats, the beach, and my art. And pissing around with all of you on social media in the morning.
*Trust the Green Machine Generals' fan club to shirk its responsibilities to its play-toys (ALL fighters are like this - regardless of whose side they're on. They fight for no one but their fan club. They certainly don't fight for anybody's rights - or there would be no more FGM in the middle east).