Without giving too much of the plot away, I want to reflect on a key theme in the Oaql Seed:--
the loss of the ability to speak.
You may have considered this at some point in your life:
A vow of silence about a particular subject, like a secret?
Maybe for a silent-meditation retreat?
And what if you lost your ability to speak due to a medical emergency like a stroke?
How would you adapt?
In this case, I’m specifically reflecting on expressive aphasia—a condition where comprehension and therefore intellectual capacity may be entirely intact in a person, but their faculty for speech is inhibited or even completely dismantled. For some, the situation is temporary, and they have the good fortune to be able to retrain their capacity for speech, but for others, this can be a lifelong change—a “new normal” so to speak.
A loved one, who is still a central figure in my family's life, has aphasia. His circumstances inspired one of the major plot elements in the Oaql Seed, as well as the plot device of telepathy, that you almost immediately learn is central to the Treeboat Series.