Farewell For Now

As some of you may have noticed I’ve not been around much online. Sorry! Thank you so much for all the concerned supportive emails. They are much appreciated. (You made me all teary.)

Here’s where things stand with me:

The good news: The original injury that caused me to cut back on blogging is completely healed. Yay!

The bad news: The RSI in my hands and forearms got worse.

I took four weeks off from the computer entirely. I have reorganised my computer setup. I’ve been doing a vast amount of physical therapy. I’m improving. Slowly and frustratingly but surely.

However, my time at keyboard remains limited and my top priority is my novel. All else—blogging, tweeting, emailing—is on hiatus until I can get through a day’s1 work without pain.

I see that all sounds depressing. But honestly I’m doing great. While I miss being in close contact with all my fabby online friends.2 I’ve been spending more time with friends in the real world. I’ve been reading more than I have in years. Watching lots of crazy good anime. Who recommended Moribito? I LOVE YOU.3 I’ve been cooking up a storm. And immersing myself in the WNBA, NBA, French Open, various cricket series and am ecstatic about the coming World Cup and Wimbledon and the Tour de France.

Life is very good.

So this is farewell for now. Thanks for all the support. It means heaps.4

I’ll be back.5

  1. I.e. four hours. []
  2. A LOT. []
  3. Feel free to make more recs in the comments. []
  4. Thanks to the lovely folks who inquired after my health at BEA. Even if most of you were Team Unicorn. What’s up with that? []
  5. But not in a scary way. I swear that I’m not a cyborg from the future hellbent on wiping out humanity. Me, I like humanity. []


  1. Rebecca on #

    We miss you too! I hope things get better. The internet NEEDS YOU.

  2. Jo Treggiari on #

    So glad you’re doing better. Sometimes being forced away from the computer becomes something very good indeed. Sounds like you’re embracing the freedom. Good luck with it all.

  3. Kristan on #

    πŸ™ I’m sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with so much pain. I hope it continues to heal well. Of course I hope that you return to the interwebz, but if you can’t, I mostly hope you feel happy and fulfilled!

  4. Stephanie Leary on #

    I miss chatting, but I’m very glad you’re OK!

  5. Cy on #

    Hi, Justine–I’m sorry to see you “leaving” us–this blog has been a lot of fun. πŸ™ But of course, taking care of your health and writing your novel comes first, so go with our blessings~~ β™₯

    As for anime recs (okay, I only *seconded* the Moribito rec, but if I had remembered it while doing my first set of recs, I would’ve rec’d that too~), since you enjoyed Moribito, I’d rec these series:

    1. Le Chevalier D’eon (beautiful animated fight sequences, super-strong heroine)
    2. Gankutsuou (Count of Monte Cristo redone as space opera–just watch the first ep; you’ll be hooked)
    3. Samurai 7 (re-imagining of Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai”)
    4. Sword of the Stranger (it’s a movie; gorgeous animation & swordfights in feudal Japan)
    5. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (another movie; not as much action but the story really stays with you)
    6. Tokyo Godfathers (movie by Satoshi Kon–hilarious and most original subject matter EVER)

    Hope you enjoy, and recover soon~~

  6. Josh on #

    Let me, as a faculty affiliate of my university’s Institute on Disabilities, add to the chorus of people mentioning dictation software, such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking or MacDictate. Remember that Henry James and J.L. Borges were dictators.

  7. rebecca on #

    watch bacanno!! and durarara!! and crunchyroll started streaming giant killing and 12 kingdoms is good. and read basara. well i could go on and on and on listing recommendations. but i wish to watch seirei no moribito. i think i have ot somewhere.

  8. Sandy Shin on #

    I’m sorry. I’ll miss you and your posts, and I hope you’ll recover soon.

  9. Mike G. on #

    Justine, I’ll miss reading your blog. I’ve been here for the last year and a half, maybe, and your blog has been funny and thought provoking. Plus, you still owe us a post on using Scrivener to write Liar!

    Hope you heal soon, and get the novel finished so you can join us again.

  10. April on #

    Thanks for the update, and I hope you are feeling better. I can see how being forced away from the computer can be a releif sometimes; Having more time to read sounds nice! (And the Deathnote anime is awesome, by the way)

  11. stacy on #

    I was one of the Moribito people. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I try to keep track of what I’ve watched & enjoyed on my blog, to be able to remember them to recommend them to others, though I haven’t posted pretty much anything lately and should update it at some point. At any rate, perhaps those two lists might be helpful to you.

  12. Belongum on #

    Argh… I know I haven’t visited anywhere near enough over time – but Gee – talk about rough πŸ˜‰

    I hope we see you back sooner, rather than later – but I understand how good life is for reminding us that this business of us engaging and living a another ‘life’ – online – isn’t the priority that some of us might make it out to be (I’m looking over my shoulder now for my other half to give me one of her famous ‘looks’ haha)

    Cheers and I hope it all comes good mate…

  13. Caroline on #

    I’m really sorry to hear that you’ll be leaving us for a while. I didn’t comment often, but I really did enjoy reading your blog entries. Hopefully we’ll hear from you every once in a while? Good luck on your current book!

  14. John H on #

    Hope you get well soon!

  15. AliceB on #

    Take care and heal up!

  16. Jennifer Woodfin on #

    I have missed you, but I am glad that you are making your novel and your health your top priority. Your life does indeed sound good. I am looking forward to your eventual return. And to your next book.

    Happy healing!

    P.S. The people who asked after your health were Team Unicorn because unicorns have magical healing powers. Team Zombie WANTS you dead and rotting, either as an undead ally or as a delicious dish of brains on toast.
    Go Team Unicorn!

  17. Nathalie on #

    Get well soon, Justine. I’m glad you’re healing and writing. πŸ™‚

  18. lily on #

    I’ll miss your blog – it was always a good read – and hope you’re better soon. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying non-online life, good luck with the next book.
    (On anime – I’ve just discovered the series Mononoke – not to be confused with Miyazaki’s princess Mononoke – which is quite extraordinarily beautiful to look at)

  19. Katy on #

    Hey Justine, long time lurker and first time commenter… just had to wish you well and tell you how much I have loved your writing. Sorry about your owies (yeah, there’s no concensus on how to spell that word, is there?)and hope they all get better soon.

  20. Alpha Lyra on #

    Sorry to hear you’re having such a rough time. As a 15-year veteran of severe RSI problems (bad enough that I can no longer do the job I earned my college degree to do), let me recommend massage therapy. It’s very hard to find a therapist who knows what he’s doing, but if you can find one, they work miracles. 2 years of physical therapy did nothing for me. 6 months of massage therapy from a competent practitioner gave me significant benefits. I went from being unable to type at all without pain to being able to type 5 hours/day without pain, as long as I stretch before and after. (8-10 hours a day, what my job required, will never again be possible for me; my injury is too severe and some of the damage is permanent.)

  21. Ah Yuan // wingstodust on #

    I thought I left my comment but apparently not? *squints* Anyhow, I’m so sorry to hear about this, and I hope you’ll get better. I am happy to hear about the progress in your book though! 8D and the fact that you have free time to read.

    My anime rec would be: NATSUME YUUJINCHOU. Must watch. Also Honey & Clover, both Season 1 and 2. Kimi ni todoke is good as well… I want to rec the new Evangelion movies but I’m not sure if you’ll like it? Evangelion is kind of an acquired taste, lol. I like the fruits basket anime series as well.

  22. sean williams on #

    Deepest sympathy re your RSI. I am still struggling with mine (turns out you can’t just throw money at it and expect it to go away) but yes, it’s the best excuse in the world to read. And that’s one of the best things in the world to do, so there are indeed upsides.

    Heal well.

  23. mb on #

    I miss your blog terribly — it was always one of my favorites to read — but I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. Also, encouraging anecdote: I had some RSI issues many years ago. They cleared up and haven’t bothered me since, so it does happen. I’m convinced that rowing really helped, though I have no idea why, since it’s repetitive also.

  24. Shveta Thakrar on #

    I definitely miss you, but your health comes first. No doubt about that.

    I’m glad to hear you’re getting so much done and having so much fun in the process. Yay!

  25. Jude on #

    I got so far behind on blog reading that I decided to omit the blog clutter and I unsubscribed from about a hundred blogs. Just today, I was thinking, “Surely I wouldn’t have dropped Justine’s blog, would I?” and so I found this post today. Healing is good, but blogging is better. Of course, if we get another novel out of the hiatus, that will be time well spent.

  26. Alpha Lyra on #

    Just to clarify, in case this will be helpful to anybody reading this who has RSI that is not responding well to physical therapy…

    The reason PT did not work for me is that while it was my wrists and forearms that were sore, the real problem was in my shoulders. My physical therapists did all kinds of work on my wrists and hands. It accomplished nothing. Then I went to a massage therapist who found significant tightness in my lats, pecs, triceps, deltoids, and the rotator cuff (especially subscapularis). Once those muscles were released, my wrist pain, which had been unrelenting for years, disappeared.

    I’ve heard that the reason it works this way is that tight muscles in the upper body restrict circulation to the extremities. With impeded circulation, your body is not able to do the microrepair it needs to do on the small muscles and tendons of the forearm as you type. I’m not a doctor and I have no idea if that’s actually true. But I do know that if I keep my shoulder muscles stretched and loose, I do not have wrist pain.

    If you go to a massage therapist, make sure it’s the right kind. “Feel good” massage will do nothing–you need therapeutic, deep-tissue massage. It is extremely painful. Whenever the therapist finds a tight spot, ask him/her which muscle it is. Then go home and google stretches for that muscle, so you can put together an at-home stretching program that targets your trouble spots. Pecs seem to be particularly important. I know one woman with chronic, severe RSI whose problems were almost entirely resolved just by doing pec stretches several times a day. For me, subscapularis is the biggest trouble-maker (in part because it is difficult to stretch), but I stretch everything to cover my bases.

  27. Saints and Spinners on #

    I’ll miss reading your blog, too Justine! I enjoyed meeting you in Seattle all those months ago (loved the boots, too). I hope you heal and continue to grace us with your creations.

  28. Ariel Cooke on #

    Sending you heaps of radiant light and hopes for speedy healing. Your fans need those typing hands to recover!!! All best wishes,
    Ariel Cooke

  29. wandering-dreamer on #

    I really hope that the RSI gets better, best of luck!
    Think I was another of the Moribito people (read the books too if you can, I know the first two are out in the US but they seem to be hard to find in brick and mortar stores), glad you liked it! And I will second the recommendations of Le Chevalier D’eon, Gankutsuo, Natsume Yujincho, and Honey and Clover. Also tempted to second the Baccano! (yes it really does have an exclamation point in the title) but I’m afraid of how a 1930s story with mafia, bootlegging, train hi-jinks and immortals might effect your 1930s novel.

  30. Sarah Smith on #

    Hi Justine–

    Bummer! RSI is tough to recover from. Give yourself time.

    A couple of suggestions that worked for me:

    Dragon Dictation–works better than it used to, at least. It still drives me crazy because of my “interesting” accent–it will come up with all sorts of things I never said. But when I broke my arm last year, it worked better than typing.

    But much better, and a real long-term solution: investigate the Comfort Keyboard, http://www.comfortkeyboard.com/ The theory behind it: The most natural position for your hands on the keyboard is something like holding a basketball from the top. Everybody’s position is different, and your optimal position can change from day to day.

    The Comfort Keyboard is split into 3 parts, which are infinitely adjustable. Adjust the keyboard the way you want it, tighten the parts in place, and you’re ready to type.

    When one position is making you uncomfortable, change positions.

    I have Comfort Keyboards at work and at home. They’re not cheap, but I can highly recommend them. Ever since I started using them, no more RSI.

  31. Leda on #

    Mushishi and Natsume Yuujinchou are similar in mood and beauty to Moribito, although they are a bit more episodic. Natsume also has the benefit of a strong and very intriguing female character. She isn’t the protagonist, however, yet the story is as much about her as it is about the main character. I highly recommend it!

  32. anne on #

    Justine, love your writing, and the way you make one think about things…am reading the magic and madness series now, mid-way 2nd book, really great fun!
    be well, come back when you can πŸ™‚

  33. Katrina on #

    Hi Justine. So sorry to hear about your injury! I had a similar type of condition, mainly from using the touchpad mouse, but have been really limited with how much typing (and mousing) I can do. I ended up buying a HP laptop (Touchsmart tm2) which has a touchscreen and stylus so I can write directly on the screen and it converts (relatively accurately) to text. Not as fast as typing, but not as painful either! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  34. Julia Rios on #

    I failed to see this earlier due to being out of touch with almost everything for the last month. I do miss your posts, but I’ve been getting my thought-provoking-Justine-is-thought-provoking fix through Daughters of Earth and The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction. So, you know, thanks for providing non-electronic stuff for me to mull over. I look forward to your eventual return, and wish you lots of goodness in the meantime.

  35. MissAttitude on #

    I just wanted to pop in and say that I miss you so very much! Also I’ve FINALLY reviewed two of the books you sent me from Australia (Deadly Unna?-liked and Unpolished Gem-It was OK). I’m loving my immersion in Australian culture, it’s made me realize how incredibely stupid I am when it comes to the rest of the world πŸ™‚

    Happy writing and reading!

  36. karen on #

    It’s so good to hear that your life is great and that out of the pain have at least come some unexpected benefits. Thank god you can still read – and cook.
    Thanks for posting this message πŸ˜€

  37. African American novels on #

    you’re one of the most refreshing writers on the Net, do come back when things are okay!

  38. Jade on #

    hi justine! i loved How To Ditch Your Fairy! at first i thought i would hate it because fantasy isn’t really my thing at all, but when i started reading this i was totally addicted! i love that Fio and Charlie have to try to get rid of their fairies with T’s The Ultimate Fairy Book. this book was so addicting πŸ™‚ loved it!

  39. Lucy on #

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while (because I love your writing, despite the fact that I’m not technically in the target audience for YA). It’s sad that you can’t keep blogging, but I hope you feel a bit better soon!

    Also, by the way, I was just researching an essay in my uni library and I came across a reference to an academic article by Justine Larbalestier… Is that you?! That’s so cool. πŸ˜€

  40. Nicole on #

    I wish you’ll feel better soon. =(
    Your book is important, but your more important- rest is first priority, well you can do what you want, but still.

    For anime’s. You can try this if you want, it might take your mind off things…

    It’s called ‘Death Note’. (some people like it, some people don’t)

    It’s about a guy called Light who finds a Death Note, it’s a note book that whoever’s name you write in it, will die however you’ve written.
    Death Note origionally belonged to a Shinigami. (Angel of Death)
    Light kills all criminals that he see’s broardcasted on TV.((call’s himself Justice)I know, kinda weird)
    Light has to try to make L (apparent best detective) think that Light isn’t behind the large amount of murders.
    It’s big on thiking, very clever with strategies.
    May help with ideas for anyone in need…

  41. diane ballou on #

    Reading some of your blog was fun. I got into it by googling nondrivers, I also write. Thanks!
    Love diane elizabeth ballou

  42. Rebecca on #

    Full metal alchemist: Brotherhood. ’nuff said.

  43. Lee Holum on #

    Sorry to hear about your condition. I hope that your recovery is going well and that you will be able to write again soon. Best wishes!

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