Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cataract Journey: Countdown

As part of my preparation for cataract surgery, I’ve begun talking with my eyes. Or rather, talking to them. I say, “Eyes, something exciting and perhaps a bit perplexing is going to happen to you. But don’t worry, it’s like a hip replacement. It’ll help you see even better than before. I’m going to make sure you are safe (antibiotic eyedrops) and comfortable (steroid and anti-inflammatory drops). And we will have such fun seeing bright colors and sharp detail for many years to come.”

They don’t have a lot to say in response. But…

A week or so ago, I started dreaming about the surgery. It was the usual showing up without clothes or without having attended class or without having memorized your lines. In this case, I arrived at the surgery center, having forgotten I was supposed to fast. There was much hoo-ha and calculation of what I had eaten how long ago.

This last weekend, I drove our van down to LA to help my older daughter move in with us. The drive down was in daylight and the only visual problem I had was seeing the street signs while looking for hotel and then her apartment. But (for various reasons, you know the drill) we did not get started back until 7 pm. I am normally an early-to-bed person and ended up consuming as much caffeine as I usually do in a year, I’m sure. I was painfully aware of how stressful and difficult night driving has gotten to be. Almost all the freeway driving was in darkness. I have never appreciated trucks so much – all those lights made them easy to discern, much more so than the lane markers. Daughter and I took turns leading as we caravaned along, too.

I could imagine my poor eyes saying, “We’re trying, mom! This is the best we can do!”

“I can’t ask for more, eyes. I’m going to get you some help real soon now.”

So now I am taking my pre-op eyedrops four times a day. Fortunately, I’ve been using lubricating drops for so long, I’m used to putting drops in my eyes. After surgery, I’ll add two more. I have to wait two minutes in between each medication so it doesn’t wash out the one before. Other surgeons may have different protocols. I’m observing this one meticulously. I’ll be taking these for a while, because I’ll still be on some of them when it will be time to start full doses prior to the second surgery. 

I am considering dubbing this season The Summer Of The Eye Drops. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jeremy Erman on "The Tower" in GIFTS OF DARKOVER

On a wondrous planet of telepaths and swordsmen, nonhumans and ancient mysteries, a
technologically advanced, star-faring civilization comes into inevitable conflict with one that has pursued psychic gifts and turned away from weapons of mass destruction. Darkover offers many gifts, asked for and unexpected. Those who come here, ignorant of what they will find, discover gifts outside themselves and within themselves. The door to magic swings both ways, however, and many a visitor leaves the people he encounters equally transformed.

Gifts of Darkover is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other venues.

Here Jeremy Erman talks about his story, "The Tower."

Deborah J. Ross: Tell us about your introduction to Darkover. What about the world drew you in?

Jeremy Erman: I started reading Darkover novels in the late '90s when I took off a few years between high school and college. I loved the combination of fantasy and science fiction, and the fact that I could read the novels in any order I wanted. The Ages of Chaos especially appealed to me because they were more "fantasy" than "science fiction," but I was also fascinated by the origins of humans on Darkover, and wanted to know what happened to the original settlers. I searched for months until I found a copy of Darkover Landfall. It answered some of my questions, but not all of them!

DJR: What inspired your story in Gifts of Darkover?

JE: Ever since reading Darkover Landfall, I was fascinated by how quickly the original settlers abandoned Earth technology, and wondered if any of them tried to hold on to it even after most people decided it couldn’t be done. It occurred to me that decades after landfall there might still be people who remembered Earth, and their memories would essentially be the only records of Earth technology and culture on Darkover. What would such a survivor do with this knowledge, and how would someone born and raised solely on Darkover react to such an “alien” mindset?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Horse story reprint sale

My short story, "The Hero of Abarxia," (When The Hero Comes Home 2), will appear in the For Want of a Horse. The editor is Evey Brett.
forthcoming anthology from Lethe Press,

Here's the Table of Contents:

Gentle Horse, by Cynthia Seelhammer
Griffen, The High Flye, byJames Baldwin
The Black Horse, a Celtic Folk Tale
The Rocking-Horse Winner, by D.H. Lawrence
The Horse of Brass, by James Baldwin
The Goose Girl, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
The Winged Horse of the Muses, by James Baldwin
Horseman, by Renee Carter Hall
Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse, by L. Frank Baum
The Eight-Footed Slipper, by James Baldwin
Dapplegrim, a Norwegian Fairy Tale
The Horseman in the Sky, by Ambrose Bierce
Sensitive, by Evey Brett
The Fox and the Horse, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Al Borak, by James Baldwin
A Horse Story, by Kate Chopin
Ivan and the Chestnut Horse, a Russian Fairy Tale
The Goblin Pony, a French Folk Tale
Red Dust and Dancing Horses, by Beth Cato
The Dun Horse a Pawnee Folk Tale
The Magician's Horse, a Greek Fairy Tale
The Devil and Tom Walke, by Washington Irving
The Hero of Abarxia, by Deborah J. Ross

I'll post the release date when I know it.