Sunday, January 25, 2009


I read novels voraciously in middle school, mostly science fiction and fantasy. My reading dropped off with the more time demands of high school, then in college I discovered high-speed internet.

Since I've been sick, I've again started getting novels from the library, most recently The Lady by Anne McCaffrey. A few chapters into the book, I developed a nagging suspicion that I had read it before. One of the young characters called a particular scene to my mind: her American cousin lecturing her about how having a menstrual cycle makes a woman fertile, and teaching her what contraception was.

About halfway through the book, this scene did actually happen. I've definitely read the book before, almost certainly in middle school. Yet, through the four-hundred-odd page book, I remembered nothing else from my first read. That one scene apparently made a deep impression. It makes sense, in a way: I grew up to become one of the major contributors to the birth control and menstrual cycle-related articles on Wikipedia.

Not that I've done much with them lately: my edit count has been declining since August (which, maybe not coincidentally, is also when my first symptoms of cancer appeared). I look forward to feeling consistently mentally sharp again, and re-starting work on those articles.


Dr. LeAnne Deardeuff, D.C. said...

I have enjoyed your articles on the female cycle in Wikipedia. They are fantastic. I appreciate the work that you did to create them. I love the female cycle chart. It is the best that I have ever seen and has assisted me in my teaching many women about the menstrual cycle. The chart says that it is under common license and seems to say that we can reproduce it or use it on our websites. I would like to be able to include it in a book that I am writing about using essential oils and energy work together to balance the organs as well as hormones. I would like to have your permission to do so.

I am very sorry about your tumor and having to go through chemo. That is not fun and I admire you for you blog and record of it. I am sure it will assist many women who may be under similar circumstance. You can contact me at
I wish you the best.

Yours in health,

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyrl,
just a short note of thanks for your work on Wikipedia. It was a nice surprise to see you reference a paper published by my partner in one of your edits (a nice buzz for those involved !). It was a 'message-in-a-bottle' moment, as something that was put out there came back in an unexpected way, like a returning echo wave from a pebble thrown into a very large pond ! Well, as something of a tangential ripple, it led me to read some of your blog articles which had many resonances for me. I'm not sure if I should be surprised by that, there are probably a lot of selection criteria that filter your readership ... not least of which (in this instance) being your interest in my partners field of research ! I ended up more surprised by the differences than the similarities (eg. I've never been able to reconcile faith and scientific rationalism, but am intrigued that those with otherwise similar world views can). All good food for thought, and it seemed a shame not to send an appreciative ripple back, in the hope that bloggers get a similar buzz from an unexpected response as researchers do !
ps. Happy New Year