Aten’t Dead Yet (in fact, doing OK)

Posted: May 4th, 2019 under Audiobooks, Collections, Deeds of Honor, Life beyond writing.
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We’ve had fifteen inches of rain in the last 30 days.  More than half an average year’s rainfall.  Five and a half of it in the previous 48 hours, running through the barn aisle into the dirt-floored horse stalls and loafing area.   Extraordinary rain starting last fall with a deluge and flash flood…so we have gorgeous wildflowers  and water running for weeks at a time across the near meadow.   My new horse is great except for the continuing physical problems; she spent a month at the vet’s getting started on fixing one of them, a deep-seated chronic hoof infection causing repeated abscesses.  The vet tells me the X-ray evidence and what he saw cutting on the sole of her hoof is that it’s been going on for years.   We won’t know if she can possibly recover until her hoof grows out completely, which may be in September, but maybe not since she can’t go out to be worked on wet ground–and working a horse is what stimulates hoof growth. However,  her abscess hasn’t recurred since March 25, when she came home from the vet clinic, and it’s been 4 full weeks since she came off the antibiotic.   After she came home, I was told I could ride her–should ride her–every day if possible, but most days it hasn’t been.  So almost every time I get on her is a re-start.  She’s got a great feel, when she calms down from “You’re going to get on me AGAIN?  I thought you gave that up forever!” and jigging a lot.   But we make progress in other ways.   I do what I can in the barn, though today…what a mess.  And it’s cloudy and there’s not a drying wind.   If not for the need to keep her bad hoof dry and clean (it’s always in a medicated wrap, inside a hoof boot, but water and mud can go over the top of the hoof boot if deep enough–hence restrictions)  I could be out shlooping through the mud with her.

And meanwhile, some Paksworld news.  The audio book of DEEDS OF HONOR will be starting production soon; I’m at the stage of communicating with the voice actor about pronunciations and such.    I’ll be working on that today….and  until it’s done.

I went to my first HS reunion ever (56th for those who’ve been going regularly) and that was very interesting.  I’m glad I went, though I was sick (caught a cold probably Easter Sunday, and was still in medias res on the Saturday after) and recognized only two people right off the bat.    Both I’d known in elementary school, and one before that.  It’s unusual for me to recognize people after a break–my lousy face recognition processor–so a relief to instantly know *that* had to be who it was.

It’s become obvious in the last year and almost-three-months since the concussion that it’s going to take a lot longer for some of the symptoms to resolve, if they do.  The remaining difficulties are typical of post-concussion problems–but overlap with typical age-related problems.   All very depressing, if you dwell on them, and I’m trying not to, though a writer having difficulties with language *at all* raises the anxiety level.  When typing, I make mistakes of a type I never used to make, thinking one word and typing another.  Plain typos I’ve always made–reversing letters, leaving one out.  But these are true cognitive (not fingering) mistakes.  Grrr.  I see them when I re-read a Facebook post or a tweet, but it’s annoying and scary both.   Fiction doesn’t hold together yet–the plot-daemon, that faithful assistant, seems to wake up only in spurts, and since I’ve never outlined  (teachers TOLD me I should always outline)  when I lose the scent or the tracks or whatever it is that has always led me onward…I sit there staring at the page with no idea at all what to do.  Yet in reading fiction, I’m back to my old speed and analytical ability (I’m plowing through Cherryh’s Foreigner series again, in which I’d missed a few books over the years, and holding the first sixteen books (so far) in my head and finding the connections, the foreshadowing, the ways she’s held this huge and complex and multi-layered series together.)  But I’m more easily distracted by real-world things, both good and not-so, when I try to forge ahead on either of the two projects begun and not really advancing.

But I intend to keep trying, while also working on general health issues (now better, not done yet, though) and pushing the envelope as much as possible.   The stories are in there somewhere.


  • Comment by Duncan — May 5, 2019 @ 4:31 pm


    great to hear you are back. Hope you recover well.

  • Comment by Jazzlet — May 6, 2019 @ 9:42 am


    Recovery of battered brains does seem to be slow, but it won’t have stopped. That cousin I mentioned took several years to plateau in her recovery, so I’d guess you are not done getting better. It’s hard not to fret about your brain being wonky though, it is frightening, infuriating and yes maybe even funny at times. I get this with the effect of the some of the pills I have to take to control a chronic pain problem. I have finally become adept at swiftly describing objects by their attributes when the name simply won’t come to mind.

    I wish we could have some of your rain, I live in the rain shadow of the Pennines and the phrase ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is what ought to have been happening, instead we were having to water our potatoes and alliums in April. Anyway I hope you and the horse can get out regularly jolly soon, and that she recovers completely

  • Comment by Moira — May 7, 2019 @ 1:54 pm


    Glad to hear you’re hanging in there, Elizabeth. The only thing you can do is more of the same, and be gentle with yourself. I get the impression that you’re a lot more likely to be gentle (and patient) with others than with yourself (not that I would know anything about that…) but I guess we can all learn new things!

    Animals help. I’m not a horse person, but I’m assuming there’s all sorts of bonding going on between you and Horse even if you’re not able to ride her. I’m a dog person myself, and the truly wonderful thing is that animals don’t care who you are, what you do, what you used to be able to do, what you look like, how much money you have/not, etc. They just appreciate you for you, for the fact that you feed them and play with them and talk to them, scratch that one special spot under the chin or behind the ears, clean their hooves or wipe away their eye boogers…

    Laughter probably is the best medicine, but I reckon animals are the best therapy. And they’re pretty good at making you laugh, too (at least my dog is – she’s a regular comedian).

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Comment by Jim DeWitt — May 8, 2019 @ 4:10 pm


    Excellent to hear from you.

    Sorry to hear about the slow cognitive recovery. You don’t need me to tell you the brain heals slowly. My other favorite author, Terry Pratchett, suffered a serious cognitive disfunction. Among other things, it caused him to be unable to type. He found he could beat it by dictating into his computer. Voice recognition has gotten pretty good.

    Carolyn Cherry is a brilliant, under-rated writer. I’ve been a fan since SFBC featured “Gate of Ivrel” and “Brothers of Earth” back in 1976. If you can hold the plot elements of her “Freigner” series in your head, you are doing well indeed.

    Did I mention how good it is to hear from you?

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — May 12, 2019 @ 11:47 am


    Hi – good to hear from you. Take your time in recovery. Ms. Cherryh is also recovering from a variety of ills. We are also having a lot of rain up here in New Hampshire but things are greening up just fine.

    Are there any indoor riding places where you are? That might be an option.

    We all care about you very much.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 14, 2019 @ 4:59 pm


    My echoes to the glad to hear from you and prayers and good wishes on the recovery front.

    In Paksworld news: Just got back from my local B&N with my new purchases of the 30th Anniversary edition of DA and OoG! Yes, they are out in the wild!

  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — May 19, 2019 @ 4:21 pm


    Wow, that is some pile of news over in Universes. Including the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention of Moon Flights new edition. For anyone who does not know, two Paksworld stories in there, plus the LAAS stories (no that is not a typo).

    So glad you are singing in the choir again Elizabeth. And could host the large get-together celebrating Carrie’s life. And focusing on the positive regarding Kallie. Wishing you well with “Prestige”.

  • Comment by Fred — May 20, 2019 @ 9:55 pm


    OK, curiosity has got the better of me – sorry if the question is way off-topic!

    “Redroots” – are they closer to beets or yams/sweet potatoes?

    And still cheering for your recovery!

  • Comment by Leslie — May 24, 2019 @ 8:11 am


    So sorry to read about your struggles to get fingers to do what the brain tells them to do. Have you tried dictating and letting someone else do the typing?

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