Sunday in the new world

I want to thank everyone who sent condolences on Steve’s passing, and also everyone who sent donations in lieu of flowers.  I can’t possibly thank you all individually, but know that I’m grateful.

On the Theme of not being able to answer every question individually, I’m going to answer a bunch of them here, and then post links to this post everywhere.  I think this should catch most people.

So!  The first question —  Will I be continuing the Liaden series?
Yes, it is my intention to continue writing in the Liaden Universe®, at least to the point of finishing out the remaining three books contracted with Baen.  There will be some changes in how things go forward, which are inevitable, given Circumstances.  Trade Lanes is off the table, at least for now.  It is possible that it will never be written, but — I’m new at this, so let’s just not say “never” and instead say “we’ll see.”

I’m about 1/3 of the way through the book following Ribbon Dance, and have Extensive Notes for the book after that.  The sequel is due at Baen in September.  The deadline may have to be renegotiated; I don’t know that yet — see “new at this,” above — and I’ll have to talk with Madames the Agent and the Publisher.

Question the Second:  How am I doing?
I have no idea.  I have moments of relative peace — work is going to be a refuge, I can already see that — moments of immobilizing terror, and breathtaking pain.  I’m assuming these things are standard, but I’ve never lost my best friend, spouse, and creative partner before.

The cats have been a comfort, piling on whenever I land in a place and stay still long enough.

Local friends have also been keeping an eye on me, to the extent that I allow it; it’s hard to ask for help, and I’m not Steve, who loved people and made connections the way the rest of us breathe.  I’m a more … private person, a fact that it will do us all good to remember, going forward.  If I’m testy, sarcastic, or clueless — recall that I’ve always been that way, and that Steve always did the heavy interpersonal lifting.

Question the Third:  What am I doing?
Cleaning off Steve’s desk — he was a pile maker — in the hope that I’ll find all the account numbers and passwords and whatnot that I’ll need in order to do all the Stuff that attends a death, starting — well.  Tomorrow.  I did do this once, a couple years ago, long distance, when my father died.  At least this time, I know the broad outline of the Things To Be dealt with.

Referencing work as a refuge, I’ll be — today or tomorrow — converting my reading nook to a dedicated writing space, since my desktop is bearing the weight of the Stuff-coping.  A quiet space and a quiet computer will help me think.

Other than that, I’m trying to breathe, and not succumb to the Black Dog.  As a friend who knows me well wrote in her condolence card, “Be Strong.  The cats need you.”

Question the Fourth:  How can I help?
By being patient, of course, and realizing that this is a House in mourning, therefore instant answers will not be available.

Kind people have been sending gift cards, which I greatly appreciate, and which, I suspect, will come in extremely handy while the Accountant’s Guild clarifies my financial situation, going forward.

If you would like to donate a gift card  “in lieu of flowers” as many people have said, an Amazon gift card to rolanniATgmailDOTcom will be greatly appreciated, as will Hannaford gift cards, or Petco gift cards.

If you prefer to donate cash online, there’s the Patreon page, PayPalME, or you may buy me a Ko-Fi (which is PayPal by another process).

If you want to send a card, the best address is:
Sharon Lee
PO Box 1586
Waterville ME 04903

. . . I think that’s the full list of repeating queries.  Again, thank you all for your support and your love, down so very many years.  Group hug.

Here’s a picture of the reading-soon-to-be writing nook.  Coon cat provided for scale:

13 thoughts on “Sunday in the new world”

  1. I appreciate the community you create, and as an introvert, I am in awe of how well you’re doing that. It means a lot that you are sharing updates. My heart goes out to you. So glad you have cat people. Take good care.

  2. Just … {{{hugs}}} (appropriately distanced and impersonal but with the overall impression of care and comfort as needed. Bless you. And yes, the cats need you. Please take care of yourself.

  3. My mother used to say to me at the end of a visit: “Drive carefully. The cats are in the car with you.”
    So, yes. The cats need you.

  4. Please remember, you *are* allowed to break down. Yes, you’l still have to get up and go back to coping after but it is absolutely OK to break down at need.

  5. Remember to be gentle with yourself! You are loved and cared for by many. And…
    We and the cats need you!

  6. I had started rereading Agent of Change before Steve dropped his earth suit. I find as I continue to read, the two of you seem so close. I am glad you find comfort in writing. Cuz then, we stay connected. Reach out if ever you want to.

  7. You may be the shy one and Steve the people one, but you have been the one to share life details with those of us who are electronic friends. The fact you have kept us involved in the devastation of this time is appreciated beyond measure. We love both of you beyond measure and just maybe we collectively are an unseen battery of energy when it is needed.

  8. Thank you for keeping us posted, from a fan and online friend of numerous years. I remember before Baen when we paid for new books by the chapter. Still have a bunch of short stories printed in various colors in my bookcase. Right now take care of yourself and cats.

  9. I’m impressed that you could write this post so soon. I understand the lure of work as an escape from grief. I did that when my Dad died in ’77. I may have overdid it, but I was 13. What did I know? Please know that there are such things as grief counselors should you want to talk to one. We in America ignore and dismiss grief as a society and it’s just Not Right. Those who are grieving should be given the grace to do what they need to, be it falling apart, renegotiating contracts/mortgages/deadlines, or whatever. Know also that we WANT to be of assistance but we need to know how. What you have here is helpful but please don’t stop saying what you need.

  10. While I realize that there is much To Do, and that the cats need you, you also need them. Please allow the time to Do You. Allow your heart to open and pore itself out. Grief should not be put on a shelf else it will fester inside. I am a stranger and yet you have comforted me many times through your books. I stand next to you with your pain as you have unknowingly done so for myself. Much love to you Sharon Lee

  11. This is a very wise and smart way to share and protect yourself.

    While I was more on Steve’s end of the spectrum with interpersonal relationships, I learned to protect myself during the Minneapolis protests and riots.

    A lot of people knew how close I was to things during that time, in fact you asked me once how far I came to see you for a signing at the Uncles, it was only 4 blocks, and we know what happened to them on the third night. So a lot of people wanted to reach out, but that was traumatizing for me while I was still trying to process things happening to my neighborhood and community. So I did long posts on FB and declined most of the personal interactions.

    So be true to yourself and protect yourself knowing that you are cared and loved.

  12. Thank you for sharing. I understand about interpersonal relationships, and in my experience grief was the most difficult to share. I resorted to finding books about grief and was fortunate to find a few that were able to walk alongside and even lay some groundwork for me (others just made me irritated about people’s arrogance). I couldn’t face grief counseling or grief groups because I couldn’t face dealing with others’ griefs while I was trying to cope with my own. More than 10 years later, that is still the case. Meanwhile, what I did do is keep a journal, something I hadn’t done for over 30 years. I wrote out memories: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The questions my heart was asking. The accusations I was railing at the universe. The glimpses of sanity I had. Eventually, I was able to set it aside and just go on with life.

    All this to say, we all hope you will continue to communicate in spite of or because of all the changes in your life. Our love and prayers are surrounding you.

  13. I hope that sharing your journey with us is as much a comfort for you as it is for us, your followers/friends/fans. I enjoy reading your updates. You are in my thoughts daily and I am so glad you have the cats and they have you.

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