A couple of days ago when I was lying helpless in a small dark room with a couple of dozen needles stuck in various parts of my body, I began to reflect on the state of modern medical science.

If you’re thinking that the combination of claustrophobia and needles might not to be conducive to philosophical reflection, you’re right.  The truth is I was trying to distract myself; not only from the pain and psychological discomfort, but also from the galling knowledge that I was paying for the privilege of enduring both.

I’ve been getting acupuncture on my arm in a futile attempt to speed its healing from my latest kickboxing injury.  (I should note that it’s my fault the acupuncture isn’t working as well as it should.  I’ve discovered it tends to be considerably less effective if I spend four or five hours digging dirt and moving heavy rocks immediately afterward.)

No; the acupuncture works well when I behave myself… but it’s ironic that with all of today’s cutting-edge medical science, the most effective treatment for tendonitis is 2,000 years old.  With fancy diagnostic machines and a lot of fiddling around, today’s doctors can tell me exactly which tendons are inflamed… but they still can’t fix them without sticking needles into me.

When I considered it, I realized most physiotherapy is actually a little on the barbaric side:

  • Ice and heat applied alternately to create the maximum possible discomfort.
  • TENS, which is basically electrocuting the sore spot.
  • Massage and active release techniques, which both boil down to ‘find the place that hurts the most and press really hard on it’.
  • And ultrasound, which is like hitting the sore spot with a zillion teensy-weensy invisible hammers. With blue slime as an added bonus.

The truth is we really haven’t even come very far from our Neolithic ancestors 6,000 years ago.  ‘Way back then, they used a technique called ‘trephining’ to drill holes in people’s skulls and let the bad out.  Sometimes the patients even survived.

Today we do pretty much the same thing for intracranial pressure, only with less screaming thanks to anaesthetics, and a slightly better survival rate thanks to antibiotics.  But we’re still drilling holes in people’s skulls, and we’re still trying to make their sore spots feel better by sticking needles in them.  The more things change, the more they stay the same…

And speaking of relieving intracranial pressure, here’s one thing off my mind:  The cover art is done for Book 8, and it even has a title!  And it’s halfway through the beta-reading process with only one minor revision so far.  Woohoo!

Here it is:

Spy Now Pay Later cover draft

Railroaded into acting as a secret agent, Aydan Kelly only wants to return to her peaceful former existence.  But when trusted co-workers go missing along with a deadly weapon prototype, she’s forced to take over the investigation to protect them from an agent with a personal vendetta. 

And when a violent criminal organization abducts her lover, Aydan discovers exactly how far she’s willing to push the limits of her new role.  The bad guys are about to learn an important lesson:  Don’t piss off a middle-aged bookkeeper. 

So what’s on your mind this week?  Go ahead, let off some pressure!  And… has anybody got a miracle cure for tendonitis besides “Stop doing stupid things and let it heal”?

* * *

I’m on the road today so I won’t be able to respond to comments until tomorrow.  I’ll look forward to “talking” to you then!

34 thoughts on “Progress…

  1. Pingback: I Went Out And Got Pithed | Diane Henders

  2. I love when someone points out a common occurrence that I’d never thought about before. Like: …Massage and active release techniques, which both boil down to ‘find the place that hurts the most and press really hard on it.’

    Congratulations on the new book, Diane!


  3. I also want to tell you how eagerly I anticipate the next installment in the series. Based on the last seven books, you are incapable of offering your readers dung in any form or temperature range. All your books acknowledge thanks to your beta readers and I must admit my ignorance of the term, having never seen it except in your prefaces. What do they do and how can I become one? I know that your editors and proofreaders do a great job because errors are almost non-existent in your work. It is a joy to have the words flow so naturally off the page and into my imagination without the stutter of poorly crafted sentences, typos and errors of spacing and punctuation. I am a rereader of the books I own, but I especially enjoy rereading your books in order again and again. Thanks for the endless entertainment.


    • Aw, thank you for such kind words, El Tea! I’m stumbling around this morning in my post-road-trip haze and you just gave me a wonderful boost. 🙂

      Beta readers are very similar to editors, but they tend to be more familiar with the characters and the series as a whole rather than focusing on the pure structure/grammar issues. For example, my beta readers might tell me things like “Kane wouldn’t say that” – they know Kane, so the dialog sounds ‘off’ to them even though it’s structurally and grammatically correct.

      As much as I’d love to have more beta readers to make my books as good as they can possibly be, the editing time increases with each additional reader. So I’m not looking for more team members at the moment, but I’ll definitely put out a call here on my blog if I ever have to rejig my team. Thanks for offering – I know you’d make a great beta reader!


  4. Don’t piss off a middle aged book keeper? Yeah, in fact I try not to piss any of them off, no matter what their age.

    As for the Stone Age medicine, I think Douglas Adams had it right when his aliens regarded us as primitive because we still thought digital watches were cool.



  5. Wow! I’ve suffered tendonitis off and on for years. Clears up and then flares up all over again. Hope your acupuncture does the job. I’ve never tried it but have heard it works well. (of course you do have to cooperate, lol) Old methods most definitely work. You have heard of some hospitals using Leeches to ward off blood poisoning? Now that is going back a long, long way.
    My heart is racing with the information on #8. Yep, even at my age my heart races, in fact I can salivate too! Love the cover and the title. Excellent work.


    • Yes, there’s that whole “cooperation” issue. Some of us don’t do well with that. And I’m glad you like the cover – I can hardly wait to get the book out, but I know how valuable the editing period is. And I usually go back to it with a fresh eye after being away from it for a few weeks, so that’s a good thing, too. Just hard on those of us with little patience… 😉


  6. I understand completely. I just walked, er, hobbled out of PT where I’m paying this burly knuckle dragger to bend my brand new knee both farther than it wants to go and the wrong way. But I feel fine…after the screaming stops. Technology (and a hundred grand or so) gets me a shiny new titanium widget where there used to be old bone and gravel. But it takes a knuckle dragger to make it work. Progress. Ish…


      • Oh, ouch! I hope your cyborg knee settles down and starts working for you soon. And I hope you find the hilarity. I’m at the stage where I’ve looked at the whole book for too long and I find myself wondering, “Have I just grunted out a steaming pile of crap?” I’ll read it again in a week or two when my team is done with it and (hopefully) reassure myself. 😉


  7. I’m just impressed you have a “kickboxing injury”–that is so much more bad-ass than my knees aching because I walked up and down the stairs too often doing the laundry.

    Speaking of bad-ass, I love your new cover! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂


    • Thanks, Linda! Yeah, I often wonder what kind of moron would intentionally do this to themselves as I survey the scabs on my elbows from leaving skin behind on the punching bag and the occasional bruise from sparring. But I still ended up with more bruises from fixing my car a couple of days ago – nothing like rolling around on concrete and jamming your arms and hands against solid steel for a couple of hours.

      Yeah, I’m going to go with ‘badass’ – thanks for that! It sounds so much better than ‘moron’… 😉


  8. Well, “Stop doing stupid things and let it heal” was the only thing that worked for my elbow tendinitis, though I never tried acupuncture. I’m glad more physicians are open to acupuncture now. It’s one of the few alternative therapies for which there are good studies demonstrating its efficacy. Now, if only you’d taken pictures for us… 😉

    Love the cover of your latest book, and I think the title is great. Good luck with the beta reads! (And with your tendonitis. Sorry it’s causing you grief. I know it’s frustrating to be limited in the things we want to do.)


  9. When is your new book going to be on sale/ I’ve been waiting for it. Also, where is the best place to get it? Thanks, I really do enjoy reading your books.


    • Thanks, Mike! I’m hoping for a release date somewhere around the end of June, but I never really know until my beta readers/editors/proofreaders have finished with it. Your best bet is to stay tuned here and I’ll announce it. It’ll be available online in all the Amazon .com, .ca, etc.; Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords (which carries all e-book formats).


  10. Congrats on the book cover and title. Looks awesome. As far as the advances of modern medicine I’m personally quite relieved the bloodletting at the barber shop has ceased.
    Wishing you speedy healing.


  11. Wow, I wish you a speedy recovery. And would describe my cure for tendonitis, but it involves permanent removal of the afflicted body part, and somehow I don’t think the side effects would be acceptable. 😉

    Awesome book cover, BTW!


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