Tremor Warnings

Two recent events have shaken my routine. One a post and one a game. Nothing earth shattering, more tremors – warnings of what might or will occur.

This post about ‘diversity’, Social Justice Warriors, and the withdrawal of Amélie Wen Zhao’s Blood Heir set me thinking about my current WIP, Fevered Few and what I was attempting.

I’m a WASP hetero male trying to write a novel with a female queer protagonist in the North Wales Police. Am I heading for the pillory or worse – even if I am trying to use diversity readers?

I had already realised I needed to tread carefully after a somewhat different controversy arose over the sexuality choices in the game Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

It probably doesn’t help that I’m making my protagonist Welsh with a deaf sister, since I’m English and I’ve never even committed a crime – other than parking illegally or speeding. Okay, I’m disabled, with Quaker abolitionist ancestors and splashes of Latin and Scottish blood. But none of those are qualifications.

Okay, SF writers write about aliens but aren’t from another planet. However, we don’t see the aliens protesting; or is that why there are abductions and experiments?

Is the solution to stop writing my Welsh police procedural series and tackle a topic that I know about? Horses?

Dang, I’ve done that and got criticised for my lack of knowledge.

Falling? My life-story could be fictionalised, but who is inspired by that? Not me.

Insecurity 1. Meltdown imminent.

Later the same day, I went into Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and got thrown into a quest that required me to press/punch/mash keys in quick succession.

Fail. Retry. Fail. Retry.

Fail. Retry. Fail. Retry.

Fail. Retry. Fail. Retry.

The fingers on my left hand locked up, and my hand became a useless claw while my head thumped.

Insecurity 2. Meltdown imminent.

That was not the first time that my hand and my reactions failed.  I had the same problem in Shadow of the Tomb Raider last week. Plus, it occurs when I type so when I’m working on a novel or a post – like now.


The harsh reality is that my multiple sclerosis is threatening to disrupt my life again – if I let it. I need to amend the rules…move the goalposts. Or change rackets.

Well, keyboards.

But not the typing element as half the keys are missing.

  • Step Two – Dictation software. I’ve ordered Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13 – arriving on Saturday. However, training my Dragon will take time, especially as my speech is slurred – MS side-effect. It will mean that in a few weeks, I might get to write as fast as I talk.

Even after spending this money, I still need to decide if I’m writing the right novel – the one that will cover all these extravagances.

MS is a frustrating MonSter, and I must learn to roll with its punches and fight back. There will be other rounds, but I’ve got this one.

Yes, I need to consider Audible as my eyes are at risk – not just from reading. Double vision was my initial symptom back in 1999, so the warning is there.

More rabbit holes beckon.

6 thoughts on “Tremor Warnings

  1. I feel your pain. But there’s me, writing about sexy males and their womenfolk out in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Exactly what do I know about being a man?
    Except I know a lot of men, and I used to run interpersonal skills courses and psychometric testing and I know there is very little difference between some men and some women and a lot of differences between some women and some men, and a lot of difference between some men and some other men, come to that. And that’s without taking any racial differences into account.

    I don’t have a problem with diversity. I have a problem with people that only see life from their own stilted point of view. But then you have to try to persuade them to open out a bit.

    Carry on writing that North Wales WPC and send it to a good editor who can give you enough feedback to help you decide whether to publish it. I mean, it’s not what you write, it’s what you publish that attracts the fanatics.

    Re deafness: I decided not to portray one of my characters as deaf after a great deal of thought. I’ve never been deaf. Perceptions may be different. I’ve known deaf people since I was 7, but I felt I might not get the internal stuff right. And I don’t currently have a deaf friend to discuss it with.

    Good luck, especially with the MS 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jemima for your well thought out comment and the encouragement. I’m likely to slog on with my Welsh WPC as you suggest. I will re-think the deaf sister; although, it ties into one of the protagonist’s skills – lip-reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a boatload of challenges, Roland. I have ideas on one-handed typing ( which I use with my one-handed students. Don’t know that they would work for you though.

    The diversity–in your own writing–that’s a tough one. I try to avoid discussion of skin color etc but it annoys people in my critique group. They want a physical description and I don’t think it’s always important.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ideas link was invaluable, Jacqui – many thanks. I am tempted with one keyboard in the first article about different options. I tried my new half-keyboard last night and its use is limited and I still need both hands for gaming.

      On the diversity front, it might be possible to write round some issues – like changing the ethnic origin of my female detective’s wife. Difficult but a challenge worth considering.


    • I think one problem in the racial bit is that skin colour is described differently on either side of the Atlantic. Here black is acceptable (provided it’s an adjective), in US it’s always a slur or worse. I asked a coloured writer I met about this, and she said the thing she hates most is being described via food – coffee coloured, chocolate etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes that’s a problem I have, Jemima. My sister’s daughter has a black father – French – and her partner is Caribbean; my sister’s. And what do I describe my South Indian character in my WIP as?


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