Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Words of Wisdom from Lee and Miller’s “Trader’s Leap”

with 6 comments

Folks, as you know, I have been battling a mystery illness for quite some time. (Several months, minimum.) So when I read something recently in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s newest Liaden Universe ™ novel TRADER’S LEAP that applied, I knew I had to come here and let you all know about it.

Here’s the quote that resonated so much with me, I’ve read and re-read it several times (along with the entire book, of course) over the past few days:

“You will pursue all necessary tasks tomorrow,” Lute told him. “Nothing will be lost by caring for yourself. Learn some little wisdom while you sleep. You endanger all and everything by ignoring your hurts.”

TRADER’S LEAP, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, p. 124

Now, you might be asking, “Barb, why did that quote resonate with you so much? It’s not just about your health, is it?”

I think it resonated so very much because I’ve been attempting to juggle five different edits for the past several weeks. Every time I finish an edit, it seems like two more pop up. And while this is wonderful from a work perspective — it means my edits are gaining some small notice, and that people are in general happy with my work — it can be challenging to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to, even when I’m not sick.

When I read this anew, several days ago, I’d just been diagnosed with another sinus infection. This one was bad enough that it had set off several wicked migraines (worse than usual), and I was given prednisone along with antibiotics. (Prednisone is a steroid that’s intended to help you breathe easier. It also ups your appetite and allows you to have a bit of energy, as for the moment your illness is muted by its effects.) I needed to read, just in that moment, those words of wisdom from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

See, fiction can still illuminate our present problems, and sometimes offer viable solutions. (Even if, as in this case, the solution is to rest.) We can see ourselves, reflected. And though it is entertainment — how not? — it also can give you heart’s ease, solace, a few good laughs, and divert you from your pain and problems for a few, short hours.

Many people, due to complications from Covid-19 or other illnesses exacerbated by the global pandemic of the last year-plus, are hurting right now. Some of us, myself included, do not want to rest, even when we need it. I know that I, myself, am afraid that if I rest, I’ll make matters even worse. (It’s not logical, no. But it’s very human.)

That’s why reading the page above, and being reminded that resting is essential in order to fully heal up, made me want to stand up and cheer.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 15, 2021 at 8:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. It’s always a good idea to take care of yourself.

    The “important stuff” won’t get done if you “kill yourself”. 😉

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    April 15, 2021 at 8:39 pm

  2. What Paul says is true. Doesn’t mean we listen to wisdom though, unfortunately. I have had an anxiety disorder for years. Until I began taking medication for it, I only slept 4-5 hours a night. I’d done it for so many years that I thought that was just normal for me. Now, I sleep an average of 7. While I hate giving up those 2 hours or more to sleep — which I’d seen as the enemy, since it was not restful — I do like how clearly I can think and how much better I feel overall. It took a few months for it all to start kicking in and for that rest to finally show in other parts of my life. I still resent that I have to take so much time for sleep. My mind is active all the time. Most nights I am doing something — reading, watching videos, studying… until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I go right to sleep. Hate lying in bed tossing around when I could be up doing something instead. It works for me to combine meds with being actually tired before I go to sleep. My schedule is different, but life feels better overall. Sometimes, what we need isn’t at all what we want. I feel for you! Especially since my work is some of the editing you do! 🙂 I do not take it for granted ever. Thank you for being the person you are and for sharing this with us.

    Kayelle Allen

    April 16, 2021 at 8:14 am

    • You’re welcome, Kayelle. 🙂

      I enjoy editing your books. They’re a lot of fun. I especially love A STOLEN HEART, as I’ve told you before…but all of them are very good, well thought out, and interesting. 🙂 Pietas in particular is such a complex soul, but he truly wants to do the right thing even when he sometimes doesn’t exactly know what that is. (He may be a workaholic perfectionist, and an all-but-immortal genetically engineered man with many talents, but he’s still human in the best of senses — that of the soul.)

      And yes, that’s how my mind works, too. It is always on. Going to sleep does feel like the enemy sometimes, as you said so well…but if I don’t get six or seven hours of decent rest, I can’t function. That makes everything else go more slowly, and allows illnesses to hang on and on.

      That’s why I’m working on it, and doing a little better with regards to sleep. (I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for the kind words.)

      Barb Caffrey

      April 16, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      • I treasure those words, Barb. Thank you. I’m pleased to report that Surrender Love is #1 on Amazon right now and Wulf was at #7. Ring of the Dragon debuted at #94 and has climbed to #73. I’m beyond pleased at those numbers. You had no small part in making these books good.

        Kayelle Allen

        April 16, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      • That’s wonderful! 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        April 16, 2021 at 9:06 pm


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