News, Views, and Other Stuff

Posted: August 11th, 2020 under Life beyond writing.

Whoa, it’s been WAY too long since I was back here.   There’s both good news and sad news on several fronts, so let me get to it.  Since the last post here was about Tigger, I’ll update horses first.  Tigger was doing better and better until October 11 last year, when something panicked him while I was leading him, saddled, as part of his ground work before trying to ride him again (which was going to have to be bitless, because of the permanent injury to his tongue, found at teh vet visit.)   He broke loose from me, raced around the north lot, either flat out or bucking, alternately, and the tack began to fall off in sections…stirrups, saddle pad 1 and 2.   In a final burst of speed, he headed for the 5 foot plus fence between the two lots and tried to jump it.  He didn’t make it, (broke the top pipe at a weld with his chest) and the impact threw him over backwards.  He was, as you might imagine, badly injured.   He’s alive, but not riding-sound and probably never will be.  I’ll spare you the description of all the injuries, but the one that hasn’t healed up is in his back.   Injuries like these *can* heal in enough years (the spine fuses) but in addition when he fell over, he whacked the back of his head–where head and neck meet, on the ground too.   He lost all the confidence he’d gained in the months here, and the two weeks in the vet hospital being treated for multiple cuts (some very deep), an injured eye, and so on did not help his mental status.  He’s still beautiful, though.

He now has a companion that I *can* ride, a black and white horse of no known parentage, a “steady Eddy” personality, named Ragtime (Rags, in daily use.)   Rags is smaller than Tigger and of a completely different build.  Conformationally, he’s an inferior horse, but in practice he’s a pleasant horse to walk around on, and easy to manage though somewhat pushy.  He’s six this year.

May, 2020,  Tigger and Ragtime when the grass was green

Meanwhile, I had started a new book–not a Paks book, but a book I thought might be easier to write, set in the Vatta universe.  It was intended to be the third book in Vatta’s Peace, but I knew I’d have to let it develop any way it wanted to, and not push for the same speed of writing that I used to have.   It’s still just called NewBook (no title) and it’s now just over 100,000 words.  Slowed down somewhat but not completely by the pandemic and moderate self-quarantine: everyone in our family is at increased risk (R- and I by age, plus pre-existing conditions that *some* politicians think make us unworthy of care) and our son as a disabled person whom some politicians also consider not worth saving.  This is a GOP-dominated state, and some of our state leaders and other political talking heads have been eager to say that this group and that group don’t really matter.    When our governor decided to re-open the state (after a late and incomplete closure and no real “wear a mask” statement) our case numbers were still rising, and Memorial Day was right in front of us.   To say I was angry at this gross disrespect for human life is to put it too mildly.  Our national and state leaders kept making it clear that the rising death toll didn’t bother *them* because they insisted the deaths weren’t that important.   As one right-wing pundit in Texas said about the increasing deaths, “It’s mostly elderly and Hispanics.”  Thank you so much, you smug arrogant scum, I thought.   I was not surprised, but definitely angry, when the recommended emails, letters, and calls to my representatives at both state and federal level has zero effect.  A story began to take shape in my head in  June, but I tried to stick to the book.

Even as a friend in New Zealand was describing the approaching end of their shutdown because of rapidly declining cases (NZ now has had no new cases for over 100 days)  and I was anticipating being an online program participant in their WorldCon, we experienced spike after spike,  including in my hometown and its county and those adjoining, down on the Border.   And then my husband’s younger brother and his wife came down with  COVID-19 in Houston, his wife went into the hospital, was intubated, and died.   We were not close, but that was the week they moved morgue trailers into our state, and shipments of body bags, and of course I was sad (and angry) about their situation even before she died.    I couldn’t write at all at first, or think clearly enough to do the prep work for the panels I was supposed to be on or moderate, so I withdrew from programming, and when my brain started functioning better…the story came out.

That story is now up on my website (link on the front page) at

I expect to get comments on it either on Facebook or on the Universes blog, also housed on the website, but if so moved you can put them here.


  • Comment by Deb R — August 26, 2020 @ 9:13 pm


    Ms Moon – so sorry to hear about Tigger’s trials. I hope he feels some respite with your love and care. Hope he and Ragtime weather the storm well.

    I keep re reading the Paks series every few years. They lift my heart and strengthen me as they illustrate people wrestling with hard choices and fighting against evil.

    Our world now seems to have exploded into chaos. Your state is scary with how many normalise uncaring behaviours- which life does not matter to God? Up north we are challenged too. A former resident of my town, moved to Wisconsin, was gunned down by cops In front of his children, paralysed waist down – miracle he is alive. Peaceful protestors the next night were shot at by a 17 year old “blue lives matter” fanatic. He killed 2 peaceful protestors, but the cops didn’t pick him up and charge him until today. The 17 year old guy is white. The gent shot by police is black. My heart is so heavy and I am both mad and frightened. When did our collective moral compass get so broken? Basic science has made great strides – but so many now don’t even recognise nor respect that disciplined thought and method that our society is losing the ability to effectively utilise those tools. Covid decimates due to ignorant politicians and lack of common courtesy/respect.

    Now Hurricane Laura is poised to drench and pound eastern Texas and I pray for you and your family’s safety. I hope you know that you are a bright light. You make a difference in this world with your caring and with your work. I just want to say – Thank you. God bless you.

  • Comment by Judith — August 31, 2020 @ 9:46 pm


    I am currently reading the Paladin’s Legacy for the second time, after reading the Deed at least three times. I find it so comforting during these crazy times. I wanted to reach out to you because, much like Paksenarrion’s world, there is both evil and hope to be found.

    I know that our tendency is to hate “other” for the pain we feel, and what we feel is real pain. Leaders in all camps, not just R or D, have made shocking decisions (including our D governor moving Covid patients to nursing homes!). Remember, not all magery is evil. Not all leaders are fools. Please also remember that we must look at the big picture, not just our small piece of it. God is in control but He does not promise we will not suffer.

    My family’s prayers are with you and yours. May God grant you peace and the healing you require. God Bless.

  • Comment by Janis Owen — September 12, 2020 @ 4:47 pm


    I just finished your last two Vatta books in the Peace Series. I found them while looking to see what else you have coming out. I loved them. Ky is my hero. You really made her wonderful. Before I read the last two books, I reread the first two Vatta Series for probably the 3rd time, so my awareness of context was renewed. I love them, all.

    Thank you for your work. I really appreciate the quality—the characters, the plots, the integrity.

    With regard to your CV-19 story, I share your anger about the horrible politicians who are covering everything up, committing their crimes and Trump committing his, them profiting off each other’s complicity. They make me ill. I hope they are all voted out of office. They have proved their unfitness to serve snd can’t be trusted in the future.

    This was a good, solid story that brought me some vicarious satisfaction for the unjustly dead.

    Here’s hoping we can be strong enough, have enough numbers and resolution, to be rid of the trash after the election. To put it on the curb for the paddy wagons to collect and haul to jail. For all of us who care, voting is our only hope—our kids’ and grandkids’ hope, the Earth’s hope.

    Thank you for your previous service and the continued service of your books. All your hard work is inspirational and really does make a difference. Thank you.

    I hope Tigger feels better and you get to ride Rags often.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — October 27, 2020 @ 7:07 pm


    Your latest story was so timely. It spoke to a deep anguish I have been feeling for our country during this so difficult time. I hope that your space – horses, family, friends, and church community – will pull through this trial together, if not intact.
    I look forward to reading the next episode in Vatta’s Peace – when it speaks to you.
    Meanwhile, I wish you well and writing. Thank you.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 1, 2020 @ 10:24 pm


    Ginny W.: Thanks–Vatta’s Peace III now is very near the end. I had wanted to finish it by Election Day but some other lifestuff intervened.

  • Comment by Cary Wood — December 17, 2020 @ 1:20 pm


    As a longtime reader and fan, I am glad to see more coming from you. I’ve read and reread almost all of your works and Vatta and Paks are my favorite.

    I feel sorry for those in your state who do not agree with the state leaders (and their attempt to undermine the county’s democracy.

    Keep your chin up and mask on and we shall get through this.

  • Comment by Kevin Jackson — May 19, 2021 @ 7:16 pm


    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your Paks books. I hope you are doing well and wish you the best. Sorry to hear your on the D side of things, but really no politician in this country is worth a copper penny in my opinion. Good luck on your writing.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 8, 2021 @ 10:28 pm


    Kevin, thanks for letting me know you enoyed the Paks books so much. Let’s not discuss politics

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 8, 2021 @ 10:31 pm


    Cary: I’m afraid that I’m one of those who, at thirteen, was intent on not having a boring life (and I haven’t) and wishing for Exciting Times. Mea culpa, for sure.

  • Comment by Derek Roland — July 3, 2021 @ 3:35 pm



    This last year has been full of so many themes from the decades of books you have written that I have loved. Honor and dishonor, Leadership…Betrayal, Heros. I still remember waiting for the release of Oath of gold and being inspired by it in high school.

    A terrible year but I had time to revisit Vatta and Paks and Serrano and more.

    I found a British hymm that makes me think instantly of your writing for some reason.

    I vow to thee my country..

    I hope today finds you well, perhaps enjoying a ride in the country.


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 19, 2021 @ 8:05 am


    Thank you!

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