Thursday, 21 October 2010


Writers have to be fearless. To be a real writer we have to be unashamed. We must be able to tell, to say, to talk about anything, to use any word however vulgar or taboo, discuss any subject however uncomfortable. We are not required to be vulgar or obscene, or to use any word we do not have a desire to. But until we remove the idea of a taboo subject, we will be tied down to a barrier, the restriction of a box. If a story commands any subject, any word, we cannot be shy. Fearless, something more than a Taylor Swift album and song title.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

It's dark, and there's a wind on my back; I'm getting ready to climb in bed and sleep for a little until it's time to work. Then, off for eight hours. Then home, to sleep again, and perhaps perform a few meaningful tasks. Then, to bed and work again.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

"It hurts, Mommy"

I don't like talking about pain here anymore. You may have noticed. It's not because it's gone away. Lately, it's been different. Tonight, though, it's the same raw, dark, gaping emptiness that I'm hurtling towards. Sometimes, it feels like a living suicide. It hurts, Mommy. Sometimes it hurts so much I can't even think. There's a blur and I scream, and then pain, just deep, deep pain, and underneath a cold searing of some tenderness around my heart, like I'm losing something of myself, a little bit, every little bit, slowly, just as surely. There's the sense of being a child again, holding a hand while I cross the street, only to look up into the face of the one whose hand I'm holding and see a skeleton, with gaping mouth and burning eyes. It's the terrifying, soul-twisting sort of pain, where it hurts so much you can't breathe, and you're too scared to hold your water, or your breath. So you're breathing, but not, and all you can do is choke on your own bile. It sounds awful; maybe I'm being literary, exaggerating so you'll understand, like a magnifying glass on a bug. And yet, there it is, the same pain. It's not going to kill me; I know eventually it will go away. But sometimes I just want to crawl into bed and cry, like a three-year-old. "It hurts, Mommy. It hurts, and I can't stop it. Make it go away, Mommy."

It's late, and the air is cold on my bare skin, and my eyes hurt because I've had my contacts in too long, and my mouth tastes like an after-dinner mint, which I probably shouldn't have had since I brushed my teeth already. I'm tired, I'm still sick; I've got a headache, and I'm shaking with cold, or something else. It's blinding, numbing pain, inside, the kind that you can't feel until it's got you, and then you're not sure how much you feel until you think about it, and the only thing you can hope to do is sleep, but even then you can't get away from it cause it comes after you in your dreams. After that, in the morning, maybe it's gone; but it's only nocturnal, the kind of fearing pain that comes on cold, dark nights when you're alone.

It's like having the carpet pulled from under you on your way to an audience with the Queen; like watching everything you have in front of you, every good thing, fall, swept, dashed in a thousand pieces, and yet still whole, whole enough to be stabbed through the heart while it screams as it burns in white fire.

It's the pain of losing something more than a dream, the sort of pain that can only come when you've hidden the source of it behind other things, and pretended that it wasn't there. There's nothing quite like it, nothing at all. It's the pain of losing someone, someone you cared about more than anything...and the one thing you really wanted was denied, not by you, not by them, perhaps not even by God, but only life, if there is such a thing; a pursuit stripped out from under you, some mad twisting of the heart, with the cruel, long fingernails of a sadist.

It's not pain, though; it's like it, and that's one word for it, but it's not. It's emptiness. You're looking at a field, that was once beautiful, and covered in flowers. But now it's night, and the flowers have all died, or been trampled, or pulled out by the roots, and everything is gone, stolen. You can't get it back, you don't have the strength to go after it, but even if you did, there's nothing you could do. Oh, Mommy, it hurts...Make it go away, Mommy, please; make it stop, make it die. I can't do it much longer.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Bard's War

Excerpt 1: “In another time, I heard of stories in which only the chosen hero escaped, each and every battle. I always did wonder, what of the lives of those who fall? Are they less precious, their fate less worthy of a recounting? Is it an untimely death, sacrificed for the chosen one, which casts them forever aside? Who am I? Tal—yes, and you are Kenna, and you are Bard; yet our stories, our escape from danger, should it be retold when Dwnar and Rhysan lie forgotten?”

Excerpt 2:

Tallidwr took Kenna in his arms. “He has fallen in battle,” he whispered. “It was an honourable death. He will rest with his fathers.”

She pulled away, weeping into his arm. “Speak not to me of honour, Tallidwr—I care not how it comes adorned, it is still death and he now is perished. Comfort me not with such things, only the dear memory of his life can sweeten the bitter cup of loss we now are forced to sip. It is with a full heart, bursting with sorrow, that I look upon the world, caring not if there be no tomorrow—my life in turmoil has been now hurled.”

Excerpt 3:

Tallidwr raised his sword, the gleaming tip directed at the soldier’s trembling throat.

"No!” Kenna shouted, rushing toward him. “Tal, must every man die who has not the strength to fight for goodness and justice?”

His words ground through his teeth. “Yea, this one must; his choice was his own. Would you have me spare those who deserve judgement and death? What of the women, children murdered from the weakness of his kind!”

“His kind is our own kind—Tal, don’t do it!”

Tallidwr’s eyes to her had never held such depth— and in them was pain and courage and sorrow, but above all a burning fire. “It is not our fathers and our mothers who define us, it is the choices and strength within. A man may be a Zargo, this he cannot help, and for it I pity him, but a man can choose his path, and this man has chosen his. Perhaps he has a wife, perhaps he leaves a child, but what of the children who cry in the dark, howling like orphaned wolves in the streets while fire and sword destroy their future even as he has destroyed the lives of each mother and father stripped from this good land. I find in him more Zargo blood than any soldier I have killed in righteous wrath upon the field. Turn away, for this is no sight for your eyes. Think you I look on this with pleasure? I find it wrenches me in half, for before me stands a dog who might have been my brother. It is a choice that separates us from the carrion, and the strength of will is found wherever the desire burns to seek it. Stand aside, for by the widows who weep in starless night, and the orphans who beg even the blind for a crust, by their plight and the authority with which I hold my place I swear to you all he will join his fellows in the Pit of Scorca.”

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Well, there is hope for the world yet. For Christians, anyway.

Two words:

Dominic Smart.


Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen.


Do it.