Checking in

I see that I have let my blog lie fallow for more than a month, which is never a good sign. In case my 3.6 Loyal Readers are still alive and wondering what became of me, here is a brief summary:

In the latter part of April, my uncle died. He was a good uncle, a fine man whom I liked and respected (though I doubt he thought much of me), and he was the only uncle I had left, and I miss him. His death was the harder to bear because for a year past, I had been trying to get my father’s guardian to let me drive my father up to visit his brother; but there was always some impediment — usually the weather; my father’s guardian is a terrible worry-wart in some respects and has the idea that I can’t drive except in perfect conditions. So that last year went by, and my father never got that last visit that he wanted so badly.

On top of that, my father’s own health has taken a sad turn for the worse, and my mother is deteriorating as well. My father is merely what they used to call senile, before they invented fancy clinical names to describe a condition that they still cannot arrest or cure. My mother’s mental condition is a bit more exotic; a psychologist friend of mine describes her as ‘full-goose bozo’, and I fear this may be the most technically accurate diagnosis. I will spare you the details, and her the indignity of having them discussed in public.

My own reaction to these events was something else again. I shut down. For about three weeks, apart from errands of dire biological necessity, I was pretty nearly fit for nothing but to dig through old computer programs I had written and tinker with them, and lose myself in the minutiae of debugging. I even stopped commenting on blogs. This is more serious than it sounds. People who know my usual online demeanour will attest that I am the furthest thing from a lurker by nature. Commenting on blogs is one of my vital signs, like brain waves and respiration; when it stops, I am at least a quarter of the way to being clinically dead. The plain truth of it is that I was so mortified and heart-stricken that I could not think of anything to say.

Needless to say, I didn’t get any fiction written either — or any blog posts. The most I managed (and that only in the last few days) was to write some silly-ass vignettes about Why What Did That inside the ‘universe’ of one of my old games as I did test runs to sniff out bugs. That, however, was enough to prove that I was still physically able to string four words together. Since then I have had a number of ideas for things to write, but not the energy or the hope to actually write them.

Tonight I am going to try to write a short piece on comparative advantage in world-building, which I suppose will be more useful as a blog post than as an argument conducted with my sitting-room walls. If that goes well, tomorrow I may graduate from crawling to walking again. Or I may not. Time will tell.


  1. There’s only so much energy we have to deal with things; it’s no wonder that crises often have us too drained to do anything else except the most light-hearted.

    Hang in there. Hope you feel better soon.

  2. I’m sorry for your loss, and that specter of future loss you’ve been living with. Such things will drain anyone.

    If it encourages you, I loaned my copy of The End of Earth and Sky to a friend while she recovered from some major surgery. She is now hooked and eagerly awaiting Book 2.

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