I am so glad that The Lessons of the Moon touched many people during the reading at ICFA.
The short story (starts with a poem) is in the awesome Accessing The Future, edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad, an athology that looks at disability in science fiction.
I am flabbergasted that it is even Nebula or Hugo standard. I should not self-reject – but there are days when I feel that my story is not that good, or Clarion-level, or even readable.
It was inspired by my biopsy. In 2014, I discovered a lump in my breast. I was given a breast surgeon who then sent me immediately to do a biopsy. It turned out benign, but it scared me. The following year where I underwent treatment was harrowing as the medication was strong and I was often chronically fatigued.
The day of the biopsy was just as harrowing. My breast was so inflamed that the local anaesthetic did not work; I literally spent the entire procedure in pain as the extractors stabbed in and I could actually feel the thud when they bit into flesh and fat. I was bleeding quite a fair bit too. I spent the day recovering at my parents’ – and it was during this time the words of the poem first entered my head. I just had to write them down.
So, to the many people who loved the story, thank you so much. I am very very very grateful to have shared this story and a very dark moment in my life.