It began here:
I really enjoy watching a very basic idea take on a life of its own. It’s the greatest pleasure I get from writing; having new ideas pop up and take the story in directions I would never have planned if I concerned myself with story arcs, scenes, and all the technical correctness required if you write for money or the hope of money.
This story kept surprising me, and I can’t count the number of times I smiled as I finished one sentence only to have a new idea emerge that made the next sentence even more fun to write. I like this story.
The motivation initially came from two sources. Addy is writing a mythical world-building story that I really enjoy, and in recent news the Queen’s Guard in England had yet another run-in with an incredibly ignorant tourist.
I took the basic ideas of both of the above, in that this story is set in an alternative reality and involves the Queen’s Guard. As it progressed, the story became something else entirely, so I let it be what it wanted to be. Readers of some of my other stuff know that I like to hurt my heroes. A lot. In this story, there are several heroes and I hurt them all catastrophically.
My apologies in advance to my friends, who are characters in this story. I belted the shit out of all of you. This one’s for you.
Gigoid: (as Ned)
Addy: (as Aiden)
Warjna: (as Vanessa)
SouldierGirl: (as Souldier/Kirsten)
Thumbup: (as Vickilin)
Special Guest Appearance by Bob the Wordless: (as Guard Robert).
This is a disturbing one. I think it’s a little heavy-handed in places but I haven’t written much lately so ‘rust’. I don’t feel like coming back to it later so here it is and here it stays.
A short I had the idea for a few years ago but that didn’t really come to me until today while I was out for a walk. I think this one might surprise you. Enjoy.
I think this short story was written in 2008. I had lived in China for some years previously, but it was a few years after leaving before I could even think of it without bitterness. I had met a really nice Canadian couple in my travels who had been to Tibet, and the man told me he’d been a pilot in the Korean War. I wrote this as an exercise in voicing disapproval without becoming a ranting maniac, and once again in practicing writing about love and tragedy.
“Be prepared.” Not a bad motto for a boy scout, and an even better one for a soldier. More often than not the person who wins is the one who is ready to do more, go further, and keep pushing long after others have given up. And that’s pretty much the story of my life. There’s a cost to have an unrelenting philosophy, and I’ve paid it. Pretty soon I think I’m going to pay again so I’ll try to put these thoughts into some sort of order for anyone who might find them useful in the future.
I will never forget riding on my fathers’ shoulders. The bullet that killed him passed through my leg before hitting him in the brachial plexus. He bled to death internally. The day I was shot, the day my father died there in the short grass, was the day my brother Peter stopped believing in God and my brother Michael started.
Isn’t it odd that we say we’ve come a long way when in fact many of us hardly move at all? We pass the years in a sort of mechanical blur, never really thinking about the day we’re experiencing and how it affects the totality of our existence. We look back at weeks that have flown and years that we recall in highlight rather than detail. Ask someone to tell you about their last twenty years and chances are they’ll tell you their most memorable highlights. The rest just becomes clutter stored away in the billions of cells in our brain.