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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-07-26 14:45
Subject: [cancer] Coming back from an invisible edge
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, personal, stories, writing

Sometimes you come back from an edge you didn’t know you were standing on. I finished novella “In the Forests of the Night” almost a week ago. That’s the first major piece of new fiction I’ve written since the cancer diagnosis. It was difficult to write for reasons which aren’t clear to me yet, but not onerously so.

I sent the story to the first readers and to the editor. I’ve heard back from various quarters that is works well. It wasn’t until I heard back that I realized I’d been holding my figurative breath — waiting to see if I’d Lost It to my disease.

This is utterly non-rational, and I didn’t know I’d been doing it, but I felt like I’d passed a very important gateway. Fred did not live inside my tumor, or my sigmoid colon. He lives inside my head. Which I’ve always known, but the brain-spoon has been stirring so much lately.

I’m so relieved that I think I’ll go write something else!

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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User: gaaneden
Date: 2008-07-26 21:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cool to hear. Is your Grants Pass story in the queue?

Edited at 2008-07-26 09:49 pm (UTC)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-26 21:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Real Soon Now, though LaunchPad and WorldCon will interfere a bit...
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User: beth_bernobich
Date: 2008-07-26 21:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:balloon heart


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User: musingaloud
Date: 2008-07-26 22:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yay! You found your Fred!
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2008-07-26 23:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, as I commented today, we tend to underestimate the effect that major illnesses and surgery will have on us psychologically. I've seen it in my DH (per my comments today) and I've seen it in others.

Fred lives inside your head, but Things Related to Fred have been stirring as a result of what was going on your sigmoid colon. It's to be expected.

Although I think it may be different for anticipated non-critical surgery, such as the hip replacement my principal just had. He actually looks happier and better than he was before the surgery. He'd been in a lot of pain, though, and the hip joint was shot. He has less pain and better mobility now than he did before surgery.
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bodandra: pic#58085374
User: bodandra
Date: 2008-07-26 23:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope that this will drive you, Jay.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-07-27 00:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dang, no matter how I write and re-write this, it comes out flip. NOT INTENDED. Please.

Let's see, your life flashed before your eyes and you were afraid you were going to lose it. All of it. Now, coming back strongly, you are aware that this is not the old normal, it is a new normal. As you tiptoe through this new normal, every damn step is a test. The things you value the most are the ones that will worry you the most. Iffen you discovered, say, that you could no longer eat brussel sprouts, depending on the value you attach to eating brussel sprouts, you would be that upset over it. Fred is a big one, right up there with the well being of the_child and breathing. All perfectly understandable. Even if it does scare the pants off of you.

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David Moles
User: scarypudding
Date: 2008-07-27 05:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And nobody can accuse you of pulling your writing out of you-know-where.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-27 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heck yeah...

:: laughing ::
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