Dead reckoning

I just had a long (and fairly one-sided) conversation with my dad about therapy. I think it could really help him, but he’s resistant to the idea.

Anyway, it didn’t end well.

I told him, “Dad, just because you need help doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a person. Imagine what you could do if you didn’t feel so angry all the time, or if you didn’t feel like you needed to drink.”

The way he ended the conversation is still ringing through my mind.

“Who are you trying to convince, Kris? Your dead dad, or yourself?”

A Dream I had last night

I dreamt I was a teacher in a US college in some out of the way rural location. The kids are all rich kids, the faculty seems nice but a bit strange. The Principal is played by Hugh Jackman in my dream. Angry, edgy, full-on, basically Wolverine as a teacher, but without the healing factor, adamantium skeleton, or the heart of gold.

The moment I arrive I’m taken round the other teachers and introduced. There was a Phys Ed teacher who was a WoC; she seemed kind. I don’t recall any of the other teachers.

A note on my “character”: he came from a strict evangelical upbringing. His parents had to hide the fact that sometimes he knew things about people that he shouldn’t have. His mother called him sensitive and home schooled him to keep him away from people. He grew up with an immense amount of guilt, that his ‘condition’ kept his parents from living the life they wanted. When he reached college age, he broke free and studied to become a teacher.

On the first day of school he’s introduced to the seniors. As it’s a small school there aren’t too many, and right away they seem rebellious and unruly. Wolverine brings the hammer down hard and immediately disciplines the loudest and most recalcitrant.

It becomes apparent that the kids are acting out because a girl has gone missing. She’d arrived in the dorms a few days before, and then vanished. No one knew where she had gone, and the school had yet to inform the police of the girl’s disappearance. Some of the faculty members, having also just arrived, weren’t yet aware of the situation, and their reaction forced Wolverine to make a decision. But rather than call the authorities, he opted to split the children up into groups and have them search the grounds with the teachers, heading into the woods around the school.

I went with the phys Ed teacher and three of the seniors, we headed up to the dorms to take a look around. It’s at this point that the PE teacher tells me the place is haunted, and at the same time the entire floor vanishes. I see something hunched over the body of a girl, a vast hungering spirit. A sudden chill makes me catch my breath, and coming to a halt I realise the others can feel it too, even if they can’t see what I’m seeing.

Our breath curls away from our lips as mist as a scream rings out from the grounds outside.

I can’t remember who wrote this thing I saw on twitter, but it’s leaked into my brain and settled there for a bit. It was this:

In order for others to find value in your work, you have to first discover its value for yourself. Not in terms of how much to charge for content, but in being able to create without seeking validation for it.

I’m probably screwing it up, my brain is far from perfect – especially these days – but it’s something I really needed to read, and hopefully absorb, right now.

Here’s to knowing the value of your own work.

a draft left unpublished

thirteen days sleepwalking

thirteen days
almost two weeks
sleepwalking, wondering/not-wondering
where I’m going.
Stumbling, close-eyed,
who knows where one unsteady foot leads.

I don’t.
This maze is my whole life.
Like everyone else, I’m lost
and won’t be found.
God help me,
I’ll not find myself.

Trees and stuff…

I wrote a silly little board game that fits on a single sheet of A4 and pretty much encapsulates how I feel about the tree situation on this island.

It’s called The Government versus the Trees, and it’s free and you can have it and spread it around and even try to play it if you like. Fair warning, it’s unplayable.

The Government versus the Trees

Mirrors of Suspire, part two

Elin Asara fought every step of the way to stop herself from looking back over her shoulder. She had seen the way that Tharn had stepped through the window – as easily as walking through a door – and she was afraid. They had warned her, her employers, that he was a master. Only now that she had seen him at work, she suddenly doubted their plan.

(more…)

Mirrors of Suspire, part one

A friend of mine over at 52 Tales is challenging herself to write a short story every week in 2018, and I’ve agreed to take the challenge with her. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, no word limit, the aim of the exercise is to maintain a discipline and produce an bank of creative work by the end of the year.

My first entry this year was The Walk, and you can find that here. I cheated a little last week, because I didn’t finish the story. I got to a natural stopping point, and decided it will be a two or three part serial, so here’s part one of Mirrors of Suspire.

There were only three people in Suspire who could work mirrors like Hederac Tharn, and he was all three of them. There had been more, once. Not version of him, of course, but other sorcerers, well versed in the art and science of reflection. Learning the rituals and applying them was just a matter of book work and practice. The grand library at Three Sisters held more than two dozen volumes accessible enough that a complete beginner could capture, seal, and interrogate an image within half an hour of cracking open the covers. (more…)