the Author

State of the Author: October 2020 edition

Posted in writing.

This isn’t so much a social distancing post as an update. I’ve put the short stories on hold until the revi­sion for Cast in Conflict is done and back to the editor — it’s going to be a bit late =/. Release week for The Emper­or’s Wolves is coming up, and in theory it’s the time when I try hard to make myself more avail­able on social media — and I will try, but, well. Revi­sions. Cast in Conflict. I also believe that when it comes down to brass tacks, readers would rather have another book than … more Michelle babbling frenet­i­cally on the internet.

I will, however, continue the short stories after the revi­sions are gone and the release date has been cele­brated, because we are not out of covid-19 social distancing terri­tory yet — and it looks like Ontario is about to go back­wards because with school open­ings, our numbers have been… not good. Which, I admit, after almost four months of no cases in our neigh­bor­hood was a little a) heart­breaking and b) totally predictable.

I did attend the Zoom conven­tion, and while I had fun, I had much more fun on panels I wasn’t moder­ating. The lack of a visible audi­ence, with its tell­tale signs of, say, boredom or impa­tience, made moder­ating very diffi­cult for me — which I did not expect. So usually I’m a bit anxious before a panel, and hugely relieved after it’s done because by that point it’s gone well. Here I… could not come down off the ceiling because I have no idea if it went well or not.

I had a lot of fun on the panels I didn’t moderate :D. I was on a panel with Martha Wells about series.

But I’d expected to be able to concen­trate on revi­sions for the morning, do panels, and return to revi­sions and that is not the way things worked out.

Completely unre­lated to any of the above: eye exam­i­na­tions that involve suspi­cions about retinal diffi­cul­ties? The worst eye exam­i­na­tions ever. Like: someone sticks a small shoe-horn into your eye socket to put pres­sure on your eyeball so they can fully see the back of your eye. Someone said, when I was describing this proce­dure that … some doctors use air to pres­sure the eyes instead, and I would have vastly preferred that.


Also: there’s a contest being run by The Portalist between October 6 — October 20, in which the winner gets three books. One of those books is The Emper­or’s Wolves. The link to the contest is here.

13 Responses to State of the Author: October 2020 edition

  1. Darbie says:

    Am rereading the first novel in the sun sword and wonder what really happened to jewel is she like the seers of the lost cities can she never leave the city of aver­laan again or could she make a heart stone like the boys i matri­archs did???

  2. michelle says:

    The Matri­archs weren’t Sen; the Sen were respon­sible indi­vid­u­ally for the creation of their cities. Jewel is Sen, like the former Sen. She is, essen­tially, the equiv­a­lent of a god in a very small space – but it’s a space that can stand against gods who are gods in much larger spaces.

    For the rest, there will be more infor­ma­tion; the last arc of the world isn’t about Jewel the way the House War was, but Aver­alaan will become very prominent.

  3. sam Nadasky says:

    i am suddenly very thankful for the annoying puffs of air they have always used when i get my eyes checked

  4. michelle says:

    I would have *vastly* preferred annoying puffs of air. Also: the exam­i­na­tion took a while and I was told I was “anatom­i­cally chal­lenging”. What that means, I’m not sure — I think my actual eye shape is too narrow for the eyeballs, but I didn’t specif­i­cally ask him to explain.

    … I may have said, “Look, you had *one job* at the start of this: to tell me there’s nothing wrong with the floaters in my left eye so I could go home and do this revi­sion without worrying!”

    …and there was nothing wrong with my eye. ANDHAVE TO GO BACK FORFOLLOW UP T_T.

  5. Tracey P. says:

    I would like to cast a vote for Michelle babbling frenet­i­cally on the internet. A new Cast book would be a nice bonus though.

  6. emile666 says:

    I second the motion of Tracy P. And yes, those floaters can be exceed­ingly distracting — like a cloud of insects on one side of your head. I hope your 2nd visit is better than your first.

  7. michelle says:

    @Tracey & Emile: LOL!

    I hope my next visit is better than the first — for the poor doctor =/.

  8. Tchula says:

    Ah, yes. Scleral depres­sion is what that proce­dure is called. My dad had it a couple of months ago to check floaters and some thin spots in his retina (which were okay, thank good­ness). It’s stan­dard oper­ating proce­dure for retina special­ists, but yes, it can defi­nitely be uncom­fort­able, partic­u­larly when dealing with smaller eye sockets. I’m glad every­thing was normal. They always want to do a follow up in 4 – 6 weeks to make sure every­thing is stable.

  9. br60103 says:

    About 16 years ago I had a detached retina. Started with floaters and an odd apear­ance in one eye like oatmeal. Then one morning I couldn’t see my nose on one side — just black. That gets you up to the front of the queue. After the op, I needed a cataract oper­a­tion (laser beams do odd things to your lens). And the retina isn’t fully flat or something.
    But the other eye is still OK.
    I don’t hink they ever did that other thing to my eye — I’d prob­ably jump if they tried.

  10. Tchula says:

    @br60103 I’m glad they were able to treat your retinal detach­ment via laser! When the detach­ment or tear is easily seen by the doctor, he or she may not need to scleral depress the retina. It’s only when they aren’t sure if there is an actual hole or tear that they do it. Some­times “thin spots” (like the kind my dad has) can mimic holes, but they aren’t really holes.

    By pressing on the outside of the eyeball (the sclera) with the tool, it can make a small hole or tear more obvious by causing the retina inside the eye to lift up or pucker. It helps the doctor know if some­thing requires treat­ment, or just moni­toring. They always prefer to treat with a laser, rather than a more inva­sive retinal repair surgery if they catch a problem early enough. I’m glad you seem to have had a good outcome. :-)

  11. michelle says:

    @Tchula: thanks for that. Can I ask about lesions on the eye/retina? I had to come home — when I could actu­ally, you know, see again — and look them up; I got “eye freckles” unless past a certain thick­ness. Most of the eyeball poking time was not spent on the left eye, where the floater is, but the right eye — which would be the lesion eye.

  12. Tchula says:

    The most common lesion we see is basi­cally a nevus, or “freckle” in the back of the eye. They are harm­less, but will be noted and moni­tored for change over time, just like a mole on the skin would be. Some­times a nevus can look unusual, with small, white areas called inclu­sions inside it. I’m not a retinal specialist, but I assume they were looking for breaks in the retina if you had an unusual-looking nevus.

    Not to scare you, but if there is a prior history of breast cancer, they also have to consider tumor metas­tasis to the eye. Usually the thick­ness of the nevus can be seen on the OCT, which is the machine that prints out a color picture of the layers of the retina. Think of it as an ultra­sound of the retinal cell layers. If the density and thick­ness of the nevus looks normal, they will just monitor it over time. They prob­ably took a good picture of it to compare on future visits.

    I hope this helps! :-)

  13. Kathleen says:

    Just finished The Emper­or’s Wolves. Loved loved loved it. Who IS Seven Handed?! I can’t wait for your next book…but the wait is always worth it.…the books are so. wonder­fully crafted.

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