What’s Ticking Over in Writer-Brain

Posted: May 9th, 2018 under Life beyond writing.

It’s been a difficult four or five months; those of you who follow on Facebook (now the more frequently posted version) may know about the death of Mac, the remaining horse after Illusion died, husband’s surgery, horse searching, the concussion following first horse’s very efficient bucking, the extensive dental work (now entering the third month), another tick bite by a Lyme carrying tick and the subsequent medication, the second horse purchase (older, quieter, but…it turns out…equally not the cooperative mount I was hoping for), and so on.  And of course *everyone* is having a difficult time with our peculiar Administration and Congress.

So that’s why the long silence.  I decided I would not try to write fiction this year at all…if it comes, it comes, but I’m not going to commit to anything.  I’m out of choir for now, and hope to get back in, but I’m not sure I can manage it due to the necessary driving at night…I need another cataract surgery.   The dental stuff, which started on my birthday in early March, as soon as I dared risk it after the concussion, has been…well, if you’ve had 9 root canals done in multiples and a pulled tooth and a bunch of other stuff, you know my feelings.  Or some of them.  And it’s not over yet.  I thought it was, but it’s not.

But things are once more beginning to tick over in writer-brain.  Some are leftover tags of the Vatta books that want a conclusion; some are leftover tags of Paksworld.  I’ve been doing a little light revision of the next bunch of Paksworld stories, for instance, and have a scene and a notion of where it’s going in a third Vatta’s Peace book.  Most days, however, get no fiction done at all.  Other things fill the time, including trying (so far unsuccessfully) to get fitter in the wake of the concussion.  My right leg is refusing to relearn that most natural (to me) of movements, swinging out and over a horse’s back.  The house next door, that we bought and renovated last year as a possible rent house has renters moving in.  I have not been able to knit since the concussion, or bake bread (weird…but just can’t…hoping that comes back!)  and initiative is way down, though intellectual curiosity is back, and I’m reading a lot of serious nonfiction again.

For your pleasure (?)  here are some pictures.

Mocha, first day here, January 10

Mocha with trainer, late February–now for sale

Molly-second day here, mid-April

Molly – three days ago. Red dun, has the dark stripes

Mocha had no papers…supposedly 3/4 Quarter Horse and 1/4 Arabian.  Molly is a 14 yo registered Quarter Horse, locally bred but her breeders retired and moved away years ago, and she’s not really suited for breeding anyway, IMO.  Others might disagree.  She’s a little shorter than Mocha, with more substance (bone), but she was used as a lesson horse in a program for children and she hates being bridled and isn’t fond of being ridden.  She doesn’t buck (big improvement) but is otherwise in need of retraining, which I’m trying to do between dental stuff and concussion effects and a few other physical problems.

Other than that, both husband and son are doing well.



  • Comment by Annabel — May 9, 2018 @ 9:07 am


    Sorry you’ve been having such a rough ride lately. I do hope the various bits and tags of Paksworld will come together for you soon – I was just thinking I need to revisit that lovely universe again very soon. Must try to find you on Facebook.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — May 9, 2018 @ 4:21 pm


    HI – horses look beautiful, but I shy away from any animal larger than myself. I empathize with the dental and other medical woes. While I am sure everyone would want more of everything, your health and welfare comes first. Ky and Paks et al can wait – we don’t want your spouse to find your lifeless body over even a started story. Sing. Take in the nice air outside. As someone who has read and who possesses all of your stories I can and am rereading, currently Ky.

    The famous author deserves her rest.

    Jonathan up here in beautiful New Hampshire.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 9, 2018 @ 8:36 pm


    Today I went out and took lots of pictures on the 80 acres. The Hesperaloe is really gorgeous this year, and I found a beetle I don’t know (not hard…there are LOTS of beetles I don’t know) on a little bindweed flower. They’re up on Facebook if you venture into that whirlpool.

  • Comment by Susan in WA — May 12, 2018 @ 8:51 pm


    It’s so good to hear from you! All that dental work sounds awful, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to not be able to knit and make bread. If you need to take a break from writing and let the fields of your imagination lie fallow for a season while you deal with Life Stuff, blessings to you. We all love to read your writing, but we care about you as a person even more, so take care of yourself!

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 13, 2018 @ 6:51 am


    Thank you! Your support–all of you–means a lot to me as I work on this stuff.

  • Comment by Butterwaffle — May 13, 2018 @ 7:18 pm


    Happy Mother’s Day! I’m sorry to hear about all your troubles, and hope you have a good rest the rest of this year. I’m sure Paks and the Vattas will understand. 🙂

  • Comment by Jazzlet — May 14, 2018 @ 5:49 pm


    Sorry you have been having such a horrible time, I have only had one root canal and that was quite enough. I think the fact that my dentist always scheduled them for Fridays should have tipped me off about the two days of pain no over the counter remedies touched. I was all ready to swear at him on the Monday only to wake with perfectly managable pain. Were you able to have adequate pain relief or did the concussion interfere with that? Anyway deep sympathy for nine and more work to come.

    Wonderful that the house is finished and rented out. I hope that means both of you can really relax, the surest way of getting properly better. I hope the bread making, the knitting and the right leg return to normal soon.

    I don’t do facebook, so thank you for telling those of us who don’t what has been going on.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 18, 2018 @ 1:18 pm


    I’ll add my wishes and prayers to all these others for additional (and speedy) recovery.

    I’d thought I’d gotten on your FB feed. I’ll have to check. But then, again, it may just be FB being FB and not sending things through my rather active feed now.

  • Comment by Fred — May 20, 2018 @ 9:02 pm


    A recommendation (from personal experiences): listen – as much as you can – to the music you love. Music does heal, singing does heal – not only the singer (as you may know from your choir), but the listener as well. Reach for the joy in your hearing.

    And know that we care.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 21, 2018 @ 7:53 pm


    Thank you, Fred and all the rest of you, too. I now have the major part of the dental work done, and yes…the music helps. I started choir with rehearsal last week and sang almost two full services yesterday (had to sneak out after the offertory anthem because I had lost focus and also strength–shaky and stuff–but I was able to sing both anthems at the first service. The second was a simple shorter one and there were enough other altos to do it without me. Our organist wrote the longer anthem, so it’s newish (he wrote it a few years ago, at another church) and quite fun to sing. And the low altos have a high E. Which to my surprise came out right when I asked for it on Wednesday, was squeaky in rehearsal on Sunday morning, but then warmed up and only began to fray at the edges on the last high E of the second service.

    I’ve been listening to Bach and Brahms and Mozart and so on…mostly use headphones at home because the two of us don’t have the same musical taste exactly (and certainly not minute to minute). But to be surrounded by it live in rehearsal and the service…it’s a joy.

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — May 24, 2018 @ 12:57 pm


    Best wishes for continuing recovery. I took the cataract journey in February and very, very much like the results. Hoping the same for you. Fellow sufferer in the dental department, prepping for a second implant. You have all my sympathies!
    I second the recommendations to listen to music, and get outdoors to hear Nature’s songs.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment