My warm place

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

It got cold around here since I last blogged. Very cold, inside and out. Health’s been grim, plus there was a painful event in my private life. Been more bedbound than usual, about 90% instead of my normal 75%. Been hanging onto hope.

Not hope that my health will improve. That train’s long gone. Hope that it won’t get worse. Because it could be a lot worse with only a small nudge off the cliff edge.

Some people with ME are fed through tubes for the rest of their lives. Many die from long term organ damage. Others kill themselves when the pain is constantly hideous and there’s no hope of a treatment and no end in sight.

That’s how bad it can get, but I hope it won’t for me. At least until the end of my life, whenever that is. No worse than my present quality of life until then is my sincere hope.

I’m okay. Got my warm place. It’s small and dark and snuggly, and my friends and I talk to each other. I’m not lonely. Could be, horribly, but I’m not. Still here. Still in touch.

And still using my writer’s brain. Holley Trent and I are working on our cozy mystery. Working title is Gully’s Wood. It’s fun. Exactly what I need.

The plan for 2018

Photo by Bennett DunganI aim to keep going at the speed that will allow me to keep going. Having proved to myself that I can complete one big novel per year despite health hurdles, that’s my benchmark. I’ve submitted 2017’s space opera, and depending on the responses that one receives its sequel is likely to be my big book of 2018.

Also, I’ve teamed up with Holley Trent to co-author a small American town cozy mystery, which promises to be fun.

Once I recover from the relapse that’s sunk me deep since I finished Space Train in October, really recovered that is, I’ll get started.

Do no harm

Photo by Ash EdmondsMy responses to world events since Brexit in the UK and Trump’s election in the USA have brought me to a crisis of personal morality.

My growing instinct since then has been to embrace the necessity to fight violence with violence. Punch a nazi? Please do. Kill a nazi? We’re not at war yet, but when it’s declared someone give me a sniper rifle and set me up in a hide. I’m physically broken, but still the same person who served a long career in the military until I got badly wounded and retired on a medical war pension.

But there’s the problem. I’m not the same person. After a long struggle with my conscience some ten years ago, I set violence aside and became a quaker.

So now you see the crisis. In these past eighteen months, my old willingness to use violence in order to protect vulnerable people reasserted itself. Except that it hasn’t felt right any more. It hasn’t felt right for me. For the person I’ve become.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that the dreadful wrongs being done in our world shouldn’t be fought. Or that the many vulnerable people being harmed and endangered and oppressed shouldn’t be protected. What I’m saying is that there are different ways to protect them.

What I’m saying is that while I will continue to call out wrongs when and where I see them, I’m no longer someone who will smack a nazi or pick up a sniper rifle against them if and when the war is declared.

What I’m saying is that I’m a quaker. I’m a pacifist.

My WIP is already reflecting this change.

It gets easier by the day to tear our world apart. Circumstances make it scarily possible. I won’t be part of that harm. As far as I am able, I will help to heal our world.

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