Happy New Year

Posted: December 31st, 2015 under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, snippet.
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Though it’s tempting, in the current state of the world, to follow that up immediately with “As if…” actually I do always hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, and a New Year will see changes for the better.   And sometimes it happens.  Sometimes there’s a breakthrough, not only in science or technology, but in the hearts of individuals…and then those individuals’ internal breakthroughs propagate through those near them.  Not always, but sometimes.

What I hope for all of you reading this, in the coming year, are those inner changes that bring you closer to the person you were meant to be: a person with agency, a person with dreams and goals so exciting that you break through whatever has held you back (if anything has; some of you are full steam ahead already.)   I hope for all of you an environment that enables your growth.  Friends that care for you, and you for them.  Health, physical and mental, and health care for those times when health needs help.   Mentors, and mentees (if that’s the word): people who help you expand your lives and people who need your help to expand theirs.  Beauty, whatever beauty is to you–a view, a particular mug, a flower, a color that lifts your heart whenever you see it–indoors, outdoors, everywhere.   Enough of what you need, whatever that is.   More than enough, of love.

I am grateful for you, for others, for the natural world, for the cultures that lie behind us.  This world, this–as one of our prayers says–“our fragile island home.”

Let 2016 begin on the stroke of midnight in whatever time zone you’re in…but a new year begins every day.   May it be a good year for you.

So let’s start the year with a snippet.   This book is so spoilerific that it’s really hard to excise snippets that aren’t too…spoilery, but surely the first paragraph or two won’t hurt.  The book starts in Slotter Key nearspace, where Ky Vatta has come at the request (demand, more like) of her great-aunt Grace.


Ky Vatta stared down at her home planet as her pinnace took her from Vanguard III, her flagship, to the lower-orbit space station where she would take a shuttle down to the surface. Once there, she would have to assume the role of Grand Admiral Vatta, homecoming hero of the recent war. But here, between the place she had made for herself, commanding Space Defense Force, and the welcome that awaited her, she had a short time to indulge her own feelings, as long as they stayed inside her head.
She did not want to be here. She did not want to be anywhere near Slotter Key. She felt nothing warm or sentimental about her home planet, the city she knew so well, the lost home in which she had grown up. She did not want the good memories to rise, because with them would come the immediacy and certainty of what had been lost.


Now from personal experience, going back into a situation (coming home to a family, having a reunion experience) with this kind of bad attitude just about guarantees that it’s not going to be a straight shot to a joyous conclusion.   Ky could have opted for the “If they could see me now…” approach, been all gleeful about showing her accomplishments, going from disgraced cadet to triumphant admiral in just a few years.   In fact, even if you have a good attitude and expect everything to be fine and dandy…it’s often not what you expected (good or bad) and those expectations may get in the way of coping with the reality.   (I never expected a relative who claimed to be an avid birdwatcher to stomp along the boardwalk of a famous wildlife refuge full of rare birds, talking loudly the entire time: “I don’t see any birds; I thought there were supposed to be birds here–where are they?  Why is this place famous for birds anyway?  I don’t see any birds…”  Etc.  I was glared at by every real birder in the place as I attempted to escort (and quiet) the relative in question.  By the time we headed out on the second trail, word had spread–people as well as birds were fleeing into the bushes as we came in sight.  Had I known her idea of birding was watching birds at her feeder at home and realized how loud her voice was, I would’ve taken her somewhere else.)

I did mention to Ky that her attitude was not going to help, but Ky is, in this book, over 40 years younger than I am, and in some ways disturbingly like I was at her age.   Her annoyance with another character is very much like mine with the loud not-really-birdwatcher relative.  I was patient with birds I wanted to see, but not very patient with people.  OTOH Ky has skills I never had, and just to reassure you, I have never killed anyone, as she has.   I don’t think I’ve ever been willing to sacrifice good memories to avoid the bad ones.


  • Comment by Bob — January 9, 2016 @ 1:26 pm


    36 years ago last Tuesday I was standing on the yellow foot prints at MCRD. 34 years ago Wed I was headed down 101 coming home. I never had to kill anyone either, though I knew people who got killed or knifed. All the violence I saw was here in the states. The closest I came to getting killed was from following another car into the oncoming lane trying to pass the car ahead of us … that … and maybe falling asleep at the wheel coming back to base from a swoop to SoCal. Ah the stupidity of youth and the reflexes to get you out of it. The guy who said “youth is wasted on the young” was a fool.

    So … with mixed feelings for these and other reasons, I wish you a Happy New Year too. You never know … good things can happen by accident …

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — February 1, 2016 @ 11:47 am


    Um. All of the comments seem to have disappeared. And it has been more than a month since we had a post from Ms. Moon. Is everything all right?

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 1, 2016 @ 12:14 pm


    All the comments are still here for me…or they were yesterday.

    There has been some stuff going on behind the scenes. A college friend died a week ago of cancer; my web guru (also a friend of hers) was part of the in-city support and she and her husband were point on getting the memorial gathering together. I was involved, too, mostly at the memorial and bringing stuff to help out. This had been something we expected, but the exact timing is always uncertain until the last 24 hours. C-‘s husband, sister, and son took care of C- at home, along with help from Hospice Austin.

    So R-, my web guru, has been busy with that and though she’s done some work on the new designs, they’re not live yet. We’d both hoped to have the new stuff live by the first of the year but…didn’t happen. Soon, and very soon. Barring other emergencies.

    Editor didn’t get to the new book when she hoped to, so I had no news to impart there. Knitting has occurred, along with cooking, cleaning (some), laundry, horse care (Mac had a visit from the farrier this morning), preparing and submitting the annual wildlife management report (many pages!!), and reading (yay! End of book treat!)

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — February 1, 2016 @ 6:32 pm


    Hope all the wildlife counting, etc. went off without a hitch with all the other stuff going on.

  • Comment by Marit — February 2, 2016 @ 12:34 pm


    I am sorry about your friend.

    This post had 8 comments for a few weeks, but about a week ago, they disappeared, and there were 0 comments until yesterday, when the three comments above appeared.

  • Comment by Susan — February 4, 2016 @ 10:07 pm


    It’s good to hear from you again, Elizabeth. So sorry to hear about your friend. I figured you were experiencing Life Stuff, and just hoped and prayed it wasn’t anything dire.

  • Comment by Pat — March 19, 2016 @ 9:07 pm


    Sorry to hear about your friend – cancer sucks. I have lost some that way also. My daughter is a survivor. 5 years now since we watched the slow drip of poison during our weekly cancer ward visits.
    Every day I visit the science blogs and read about the progress and slowly watch a better future emerge. Where there once was a death sentence often there is now hope.

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