February 17, 2021

Yay for the Builders!


It’s been a rough four years for us all.  One of the many effects it’s had on me is to quash—or, I guess more accurately, redirect—my creativity. 

Before November 2016, I had written two books and almost a third in my Wyoming Chronicles series.  These are YA novels, British classics set in contemporary Wyoming. So fun to write! I’d written Moreau (The Island of Dr. Moreau) and Pride (Pride and Prejudice) and almost finished Solomon (King Solomon’s Mines).  But the same week as the election, which devastated me and so many others and caused a bit of a mental breakdown, I also got this series rejected by traditional publishing for the final time.

I quit writing.  I hardly had the emotional energy to make it through the day, much less write.  I think I listened to the same comfort music (Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas) for a year straight. 

Only in the last year have I started to come out of it.  Like everyone, when the pandemic hit, I began to cook a lot. I’ve always cooked a lot because I love it, and I’m a good cook.  It’s something I love and something I’ve devoted a lot of time to.  I’m always trying new recipes from NYT Cooking or WaPo Voraciously or EatingWell. 

I also dove head first back into science fiction.  I’ve always loved science fiction.  Ever since reading so much of it as a teenager—my brother had a subscription to Science Fiction Book Club—I have loved it.  But I focused on literary fiction for much of my adult years, though I’ve always been an avid sci fi movie buff.  (The Expanse ROCKS!)  And as part of that, I thought I’d try my hand at writing a science fiction novel. The result of that is the first book in my Mechalum Space series, The Language of Corpses.

The first step in creating my universe was to create a future history. Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how fun that is and was!  Thinking through, okay, here’s where we are today, and here’s where that technology is going to take us in 700 years.  The rabbitholes I went down figuring it all out.  So amazing.  So fun.  Absolutely the best!

We are living in a science fiction universe.  All those things you’ve read about as possibilities are coming true.  Just this week, we’re landing again on Mars and moving toward a permanent base on the Moon.  Scientists on CERN are getting closer to understanding hydrogen antimatter, and they announced findings just this week.  We will land humans on Mars in fifteen or twenty years, and we will be able upload our consciousness into computer in thirty. Seriously.  Not just in fiction or in theory.  In my lifetime.

And of course the adults are in charge again. The forces of chaos and hate are at least going underground, and hopefully the solutions offered by builders as opposed to destroyers—I told you we were living in a science fictional universe—will help enough people to turn them away from extremism.

It’s been the best of times. It’s been the worst of times. As they say.  I am so lucky. I can work from home, which I never would have been able to do without the pandemic. I am able to help my teenagers do their school from home.  My partner and I kept our jobs.  We have options.  We are so so lucky. 

So I’m thankful.  I’m still going through deep-but-functional depression, but I’m clawing my way to creativity again.  I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Science fiction has saved me again, as it did when I was a teenager.  So, if you’re so inclined, check out my other blog and my book, The Language of Corpses, if you’d like. Follow me on Twitter at @tt_linse.  I’m deep in writing the second one in the series, The Evolution of Corpses.  And stay tuned here.  I’ll be trying to blog once a week on my other blog about sci fi and here about other things.

My heart goes out to you and your loved ones. We’re all going through such a tough time.  I love you!

February 13, 2021

Blogging, as a Sign of Recovery


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Ain’t that the truth? But I feel like I’ve recovered a little. You?

Anyway, I’m going to try to put up at least one blog post a week here and on my other blog. (,

Stay tuned!

July 15, 2020

Live Life Deliberately

I went into myself because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

February 25, 2019

'I don't feel very much like Pooh today'

"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.

"There, there," said Piglet.  "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."

September 9, 2016

Ideas Catching Fire

Oh my god, oh my god!! I just came up with the greatest idea for a novel!! A series, actually!  It’s called The Moshfeigh.  Oh, I could just bury my head in this idea and not come up for months. I don’t want to say much about it other than it’s science fiction and it's very Ursula Le Guin-esque. Lush world, competing idealogies, one insignificant being must save her species from subjugation. Lots of social and political intrigue. Hmmmm. 

I’m at the exciting world-building stage that’s in some ways the very best! Because you haven’t had to do any hard work yet, just play play play.

One itsy-bitsy problem: I have at least five book ideas ahead of this one. Two in my Wyoming Chronicles series, two in the Round Earth series, and a memoir. And why oh why do I always think in series?

You heard it here first, folks. Let's see which idea wins out ...

September 5, 2016

Despair to Optimism

As I’ve mentioned before, I have long cycle manic depression. Not diagnosed or anything, but every 3 months or so I cycle from optimism to despair.  In the despair phase, I feel like I totally suck. It’s hard to get anything creative done, because, you know, what’s the point? In the optimism phase, I’m manic, I’m going, I’m a creative fireball.

I’m not way out there. In optimism, I’m not unreasonably manic. I’m just upbeat and motivated and getting a lot done.  In despair, I’m not suicidal (usually).  I’m just reamed out, empty.

And, at the moment, I’m transitioning from despair to optimism. Could you tell? By the fact that I’m blogging? 

Something that happens, which I always notice on this part of the cycle, is that I turn outward.  My mind and emotions are no longer a hamster on the wheel. Instead, projects come toward me like road signs and I follow them and everything starts to hum along.  I notice how absolutely fabulous it feels to create and to put things out there. Who cares if these victories are tiny ~ publishing a blog post, posting a photo for photo-a-day, having a meaningful exchange on Facebook with another writer. 

But, the thing is, because I open up and start saying YES to the universe, good things come my way.  A friend recently sent on a call for a writing opportunity, and I followed up.  Had I been in the depths of despair, I would have let it pass. But since I’m revving up, I took it and followed up. And I got the assignment! 

It would be so easy to say, “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, girl! It’s all in your power to control. Why don’t you just be optimistic all the time?” Well, as many of you know, it’s not that easy.  It’s also a subtle way of blaming the victim. “It’s your own damn fault you’re depressed. If you’d just eat better/get some work done/focus, it’d all go away.” Riiiiiight. 

A lot of the time I can white knuckle it.  I can force myself to get things done. At least get up in the morning and get dinner on the table. But, sometimes, I just can’t. It takes more emotional energy and courage than I possess. 

But when I’m on, man oh man. One of my most recent novels I wrote start-to-finish in two months. TWO MONTHS. 

At least I’ve learned moderation in my habits (thanks in part to my supportive husband). That makes the lows less low and the highs more sustained. When I was a teenager and knew nothing about moderation, it was all lows, pretty much. 

But really what I wanted to say was that CREATIVITY ROCKS!!  Nothing beats the feeling of things coming out of your brain and body and into being. Nothing.  It’s manna from heaven! 

September 2, 2016

Slow TV

Feeling rushed?  Try some slow TV.  Watch the complete train trip from Bergen to Oslo, Norway.  All 7 hours, 14 minutes, and 13 seconds. No car crashes, just rolling countryside.  I love the idea!!