Month: July 2016

Week 30 2016 – Death By Tiger

LionsA pride of lions was on the hunt. So very hungry and so many mouths to feed. Antelope run too fast and so the big cats opted for a slow group of humans, locked in cages, hanging low from a tree. Not much wanting to be eaten by a lion, I made my escape. Recalling skills of my younger days, I picked the lock and dropped to the ground. Some of the other captives followed me, but for some, the lions were too many and too fast.

Lions could be cunning, and some could be driven mad into a frenzy of killing beyond sating of their appetites. I had heard first hand accounts of lions taking human prey and staking out human settlements. There were never any hashtags to mark these events. Perhaps, hoping to appease this particular pride, me and the others had been deemed a suitable sacrifice. I did not know. It did not matter.

I did not know where I was running too, only what I was running away from. The landscape was utterly alien to me. I climbed a hill once the lions turned their attention on the others. I should go back for them, I thought. I should save them, but then I am no hero. There’s no reasoning with hungry lions, and I had no weapon dire enough to dissuade them from their feast. I was as helpless as a lamb.

HungryTigerI saw lights in the distance sparkling against the dusk. A village perhaps. I fled in that direction, but I did not go far. The tiger, a massive animal, moved in a whisper. The last thing I saw were its jaws as they made to clamp down on my throat. I did not even have time to scream.

IMG_0538I awoke exhausted to Frankie’s most puzzled look. I told her that I had just been devoured by a tiger. The pug tells me that it sucks to be so aware of one’s mortality. It is a great way to stop from living. If you are always running from things, eventually you will run blindly into a tiger. And it will eat you, no matter how majestic of a beast it might be. No matter how much you donated to its preservation. It cares nothing for yours.

I felt small and insignificant, like a cow meant for slaughter all of Thursday as a result of my nightmare. I cursed Robert Blake the whole day as his poem echoed in the reaches of my obsessive mind. And when I slept that night, I found myself that awkward teen in English, reciting the poem before a class of mocking and cruel students. I think I would rather have been eaten by a tiger again. The pug, I have it on authority, cuddled up to a rabbit and a lion in her dreams, and slept quite peacefully.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Robert Blake
The Tyger
Songs of Experience

Week 29 2016 – Send in the Puppies

 

IMG_0245I find I can’t write this week. Only that I must. I promised I would chronicle the year, even if it is in rants and shadows. All I can say about this week is that at least there are puppies. The rest I hope I forget. I peppered my new book with all the pain and fear. Fiction is the only place those bits of me should be allowed. If they ever get out…well, I hope you have a good place to hide. As I have mentioned, my demons are not tame. That’s why I have a dog. My pug keeps those demons well in hand.

PuppyloveDogs see us as we were meant to be, perfect and worthy of great love. So play with the dog. Take a walk. Read a good book. Lose a day or two. The world will still be here tomorrow, and one day, each of us will wake as a curtain of silver rain falls back and reveals a bright green country. For now, there are puppies.

PuppiesInbasket

 

Week 28 2016 – Turn Off the World, Please

I’d like to get off at the next stop before the world plummets over that proverbial cliff. I suppose history will call it World War III or perhaps simply the Fall of the West.  School children will little remember the minutia, the division inside countries, the politics or religion of it, the bad actors,  or the names of the leaders who fed the crocodile until it finally ate them as well. They won’t know of the terrorist attacks on Paris and Nice and Orlando. They won’t know about police officers being executed on the streets of great American cities. They will only know once there was a country, a beacon of freedom, and somehow it fell and disappeared. The year 2016 may not appear as an answer to some multiple choice question about our demise. It is a slow thing and we will suffer through it, most of us in denial. I believe the Romans did the same until the food stopped coming, until the barbarians were at the gate and there was no where for them to escape.

In time and after great sorrows and tribulations, peace will come again when darkness devours us back into a new dark ages. The school children of this brave new world will not study Rome anymore. Nero and his fiddle will mean nothing to them. They will read about the fall of the United States of America , and how, like when Rome fell, a dark age followed, taking the entire world with it. They will little be able to imagine how advanced we were, how our technology took us to the stars. How in a world of plenty and idleness, we became petty and bitter and destroyed ourselves.

A thousand years will pass, leaving us to the dust bin of history, with a few hundred looking very much like our middle ages. The children who come after the fall will study a different restoration, romantic age, and technology revolution, little guessing that they are retreading already worn paths of history.

Once time circles around once more, when a new and far off generation once more sails the stars and send their signals invisible through the air, they will have learned the lessons we so quickly forgot.  With the help of the survivors of this time of torment, generations will appreciate the one before as they march through rebuilding the world, and those future children will be humble and kind instead of arrogant, entitled, spineless, and lazy. They will build on the ruins of all we made, some of them wondering, who were they? How could they construct such magnificent cities and buildings only to fall? Perhaps, our ghosts will answer them, warn them.

I hope I am wrong, but that will require a miracle. I believe in miracles. I am simply uncertain that this generation deserves one.

 

Week 27 2016 – Darkness Creeps

So often in these days all around me once decent people answer hate with hate, darkness with darkness. No one is listening. I am retreating into Alleysiande, praying for peace, trying to keep my own anger in check. It is fitting that I am delayed in my book production. Paradise is further away than ever. 
Perhaps, look to your dog. He knows how to love unconditionally. Right now, we are all wrong, everyone of us, and we all need love. 

Let us try to be the people our dogs think we are. Perhaps then, we can turn back toward the light instead of this useless state of being perpetually offended. Forgive. Unburden our weary souls. Forgive. 

Week 26 2016 -A Pillow Fort

IMG_0048My air conditioner died. During a heat wave. My daughter came to visit, and so with the heat and lack of air conditioning, we built a fort and played board games because why wouldn’t we? It’s what we always did when life threw storms at us when she was growing up. We would build a fort from pillows and blankets, and there we would play games, read books to each other. It was magical. The world would go away, and we would have this safe space isolated from the slings and arrows of life. Back in the days when my daughter had a bedtime, we would often play well past it, playing and reading until we both fell asleep in our little enchanted castle.  Things always seemed better in the morning. Both of us were kids living in paradise for a few hours once more. I can’t say the magic returned this weekend, but it was still a lovely little respite from our troubles.

My daughter only stayed the night because she’s all grown up now. She was in town for her father’s third wedding. She does try to go to all of them. She took my dog home with her for the week because it will be some days yet before my air conditioner is repaired – holiday weekend and part that needs to be ordered. I did not want Frankie to get too hot. Pugs do not do well in the heat. At all. 

IMG_0567I started working on three different new books. I can’t decide which one to commit to. I have the most invested in another book set in the same world as my last book as I know that world so well now. Then there is this lovely little science fiction/fantasy fusion sort of piece about a genetic engineering experiment going awry, a kind of Jurassic Park with dragons meets I Am Legend with Dark Elves. The other is about an enchanted roadside café for the lost and those in despair. This one is based on a short story I wrote that is hiding somewhere in this blog.

Perhaps, once I get my personal climate back under control I can start to focus again. Right now I feel like I am spiraling toward oblivion. It’s been that way for a while. I have good days, even months, but that is less and less. Now I am horrified that my writing ambitions will come to naught. I am so far from being able to get an agent now that I am starting over again, and I feel like I am running out of time. After all, I am not getting any younger, and I am not one of the immortals from my tales.