Detour Ahead

Signs: STOP, no right, no left, no back, no ahead, wrong way, do not enter

I should really have learned by now to be very, very careful about making plans. I’ve always laughed about the old truism that “the best way to make the gods laugh is to tell them your plans,” and yet it’s consistently played out as actual truth in my life. In the current circumstance, a tooth my dentist had been keeping an eye on for the past year went from OK to bad over the course of the past month. This was heralded by two weeks of migraines, and then necessitated oral surgery to remove the offending tooth. Unfortunately, it was so riddled with old cavities and new rot that it shattered in the socket, so the surgeon had to do a lot of digging to remove all the shards. Which means recovery has not been quick or easy either.

Meantime, hubs took a bad tumble and cracked a rib and nearby cartilage, so he’s been in excruciating levels of pain as well.

And we’ve been pulling out all the stops to prepare for his first album release in 20+ years. Since neither of us was completely incapacitated, we managed to set up his Bandcamp site, update his musician site, and do all the necessary marketing to promote the gig that will officially mark the music’s release. In fact, if you’re in the DC area, I will strongly encourage you to join us this Friday for an evening of excellent, thoughtful music provided both by him and our good friends, the Slambovian Circus of Dreams.

In those moments of free time I’ve carved out, I haven’t had enough brain to write, but I have been reading. A lot. I’ve blown past my second revised GoodReads goal. And read quite a few articles. One by a popular author in SFF, Mary Robinette Kowal, reviewed all the ways women have had to overcome structural hurdles built into the NASA space program to even be able to get into space in the first place. Another one relevant to the book currently languishing in chapter-one-land, is that the Bystander Effect is not quite the negative thing people imagine it to be… though this was proven by reviewing surveillance footage, so the irony that the Nanny State is how we learned this is not lost on me.

Then there was the fascinating study that showed a tree stump with no external signs of life, was actually fully integrated into the New Zealand forest where it was found. The study speculated that the dead tree might have integrated its root systems with others, and was therefore actually more like “retired” than dead, and that there could be benefits to the surrounding forest and ecosystem to have these kinds of stumps.

In my mind, that somehow links up with the study that shows when lovers touch, their breathing and heartbeats sync, while pain wanes.

That last has been helpful to hubs and I as we nurture each other through our wounds, but in a broader way, reaffirms some of the principles found in Romancelandia, where a happily ever after forms the bedrock of the genre. Acknowledging the power of connection–whether between plants or animals–and its ability to transform individual experiences, provides such a rich playground for my imagination. Now I just have to find my way back to the writing path to explore what research results hint at.

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