Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Reading for Healing

Fortress Series - C. J. Cherryh Being a writer usually means being an avid reader—actually, I can’t imagine a writer who doesn’t and hasn’t read widely…


One of the many perks of the writing life is being able to do something you love—reading—and, call it research; and, sometimes, also call it Healing

Earlier this month I had a “breakdown”—not psychotic but deeply psychological—not life threatening but emotionally deadly—not cosmic but concerning things not of this earth…

I have two very short posts that speak to it—here and here—and the intro to a re-blog—as well as a partial post that said a bit about a point of stability when I began to aim at returning to normal blogging and story-telling; though, I’m not quite there, yet…

Reading for Healing (while also doing writerly research…)…

There was a book by my favorite novelist, C. J. Cherryh, that I’d read many years ago; though, she’d gone on to write four more in what’s called the “Fortress Series“…

So, I’d fallen into my “dislocation” and needed some deep and high fantasy to live in, to “get away from things”, to ponder in another world…

I’m sure some of you select books to read somewhat intuitively; though I know there are folks who only ask friends and browse online book retailers…

I’ve almost always selected my reading intuitively and rarely has that process failed me; and, even when I ended up reading a book that “went against” my intuitive needs, it still could serve well for my writerly research activities…


As soon as I got into the first book of the Fortress Series, I realized (after I’d gotten about 100 pages in) that I’d remembered very little detail; and, that I was aware the whole series must be read to help me Heal………

It worked, better than I thought it would.

I’m sitting here writing a blog post where, before the books, I could barely get a re-blog out.

Cherryh isn’t for every reader—even her die-hard fans admit it takes work and commitment to appreciate her writing; but, if you can give yourself up to the way she uses words, you can Become her stories—I have no other way to explain the effect on me of her writing…

I have enough years and study to not take Cherryh’s fantasy literally; yet, there are those who would, she’s such a good writer; still, there is much Truth in the books—figurative facts that opened psychological truth, psychological facts opening up literal truths…

If you ever need to heal, to Become a different you, to go away and come back better able to handle this world, read the Fortress Series


Stay tuned for another original Tale in the Story Bazaar on February 9th—with some excellent re-blogs until then…
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6 responses to “Reading for Healing

  1. Elizabeth Thompson January 21, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Wonderful news! Thank you for this post. :) Glad to hear, Alex.

    Happy Sunday, Friend.


    • Alexander M Zoltai January 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you, Elizabeth—Happy Sunday to you, as well :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. paulareichwald January 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I love C. J. Cherryh! And I am so glad to hear you are doing better. I realize this comment is a bit late, welcome to my life – a day late and a dollar short. BUT reading that you are doing better actually helped lift me out of my doldrums today. I hope it continues to get better.


    • Alexander M Zoltai January 27, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      It has been getting better; and, your “better late than never” comment is, in turn, helping me move forward—thanks ! :-)


  3. Pingback: More on Reading for Healing | Notes from An Alien

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