Lions, Tigers and Cheap Literature (Oh My)

So this last week, as you may have pondered due to the relative silence afoot (or, if you were like me, were entirely distracted by Turkey), I was adrift. Away. Out and about. Soaring the skies and careening back through that lovely mountain city: Denver. The purpose? Family. The goal? Socializing and stuffing our faces like proper gents.

Behold: the togetherness of food. Er, family. I meant family.

Behold: the togetherness of food. Er, family. I meant family.

And while I was there, I got a little stir crazy. Until there were lions, tigers, wolves and bears (oh my) afoot.

Howl for me, puppies.

Howl for me, puppies.

Sure, she *looks* docile. It's a trap, I assure you. Much like the Cake.

Sure, she *looks* docile. It’s a trap, I assure you. Much like the Cake.

I may not have found a muse, but more importantly, getting out and about (and just getting out of the usual schedule) stirred up that sense of inspiration back inside myself. You see, we Galfords like to write (case and point below). We really like to write. We don’t really feel “right” if we aren’t. But that publishing side of things, the business side of it, can discourage you…strip away the purity of the art and leave you clawing at the addled remnants of your brain. But I can happily say, I’m now up through the sixth chapter of the third Haunted Shadows novel: “As Feathers Fall” (working title).

See? I told you we like to write.

See? I told you we like to write.

My fingers hurt. My brain hurts. But it’s the good sort of hurt.

And for that, as part of my return, the first book in that series, “The Hollow March,” is currently available on Amazon for the discounted price of $.99. Holiday treat. Enjoy! And if you’re up to it, why not share your own stories from Thanksgiving week in here? This is the holidays, after all, and one of the things I’m certainly thankful for is my readers.

Birds in Flight

Picture copyright Fee Easton.

Feathered summer bright

In taloned march sing madness

Death—one season’s end.

A piece for this week’s edition of One Shoot Sunday. There’s no interview by me (had a couple weeks off, you know?), but several lovely prompt choices to select from a generous old friend of One Stop: Fee Easton. You may remember my earlier interview with her back in March. A wonderful woman with some very vivid photography. This was my response to her “option 3” photo.

Absence Addendum

My father and I.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your support in the past week. Your tweets, comments, and e-mails have been a great boon to me in this troubled time. I had hoped this new week would allow me to start out with some better news, but it’s my great sadness to report my latest updates are still on the grayer shade of things.

Over the weekend, my father was kept at the hospital, ostensibly so the antibiotics being pumped into his system could have the time to do what they needed to do. A CAT scan was scheduled for this morning, wherein they could determine whether or not they had done just that. After being bumped to the afternoon (because hospitals can never bring themselves to be timely, mark me), however, the scan revealed that the antibiotics, while making some gains, were far from packing the punch the doctors had been hoping for. They will have to conduct surgery this afternoon after all.

Unless they move it to tomorrow. One never can be sure.

Before you ask, yes, this is the same procedure the doctors had flagged as “too risky” to undergo before. They give a little consolation now in the fact that the antibiotic rounds have made the job a bit easier, as they will have to root around less in their procedure…but even so. Hopefully, I will hear good news this evening. If I do, I’ll undoubtedly update this message about it. If not, I’ll have words for tomorrow.

For now: more waiting. It seems all I ever do any more.

My father and the hounds.

On another note, Fane is doing alright. His wounds are healing, despite the fact that he tore one open again late last week. Animal Control came at last on Saturday – five days after I notified them of the attack (they said it would take 2-3 days). The woman was nice and took down my report, and promised to have a stern talk with the neighbor who owned the other dog. Hopefully she did. I don’t honestly know. Regardless, a vet visit was unnecessary, and my dog appears to be healing alright, so that’s one less worry on my mind at the moment.

My internet presence will still likely be a bit spotty in the week to come – and my apologies for that, but it’s how I deal with these things. I’m one of those that retreat into themselves when the going gets bad. Probably not the healthiest, I know, but it’s my way. But for those of you that ponder it, I will be posting a work for One Shot Wednesday this week, though once again I can make no promises on the comments. Hopefully the surgery will take and some semblance of life’s normalities will resume in short.

I thank you all again for keeping my family in your thoughts, and for the kind words you have provided me over the past week. It means a lot, it really does. I wish you all the best in turn.

UPDATE: As of 10 o’clock, my father has gone to surgery and emerged again, weary but with promising news. The surgery was successful, and in time he should recover. He is to be kept in the hospital for another week for recovery, but time will see him released. From there, it will be another two weeks at home before he can return to work (and probably as long before he can have good, solid food again), but the creeping darkness seems to have subsided, and a brighter path opened. The waiting is over, and much of the week’s past worries should soon subside. Again, I thank you all for your thoughts and kindnesses. It has meant a lot in this time of worry.

Absence Explained

Yesterday, you may have noticed I posted a poem for One Shot Wednesday. Nothing out of the ordinary in that, and certainly unorthodox. Those among my commenters section, however, may have noticed that I have not, as my usual goodly self would have, traveled to your blogs in turn for a comment or a quality liking. You may be thinking, what a dick, that Chris guy.

Well humbly hold back on the dickery decrees for a moment while I explain. This week, you will probably not be seeing much activity from me. Some issues have erupted in the real world that have left me scrambling for sanity, but facing worry; for time, but finding little to be had.

My mother and father, Rocky Mountains 2010.

Yesterday, my father was taken to the hospital following a week-long sickness. In the beginning, we had thought it was the flu, or something like it. When it stretches for a week – certainly not the case. He was checked into the emergency room. Doctors seem to have figured out what was wrong – infections coming on in clumps all up in the wrong areas – but they don’t know yet if what they have prescribed will be enough for the moment. They have held him at the hospital for now, and given him antibiotics. They may take. They may not. If the don’t, they will likely have to conduct surgery. A skittish Chris is left in the meanwhile.

As if that weren’t enough, the week seems content to stack numerous other obstacles and bad things in my path. For example, yesterday, not 20 minutes before I learned about my father, my dog was mauled by another dog while we were walking down the street. Put an inch long gash in his neck and took a chunk of skin out from under his eye. Would have been worse, much worse, if I hadn’t booted the assaulting animal off my thoroughly startled dog. Have to deal with animal control and all that now. Likely an angry neighbor as well.

"Fane," post-attack.

I will likely return to normality next week, and you will see posts and commentary the same as ever from regular Chris, but for the moment, if I’m a little lacking in internet presence, I hope you’ll understand. All the best to you all.

We’ve seen the mountains rise from hills…

We’ve seen the mountains rise from hills,

Watched forests bloom from flowers.

We’ve seen the waters rise and fall,

And seen so many setting suns—

Such sights that you could never know.

We walked the world

With loving family, all—

We wandered plains and forests both,

Loved by Mother Earth.

We’ve seen so many moons,

Bathed within so many starry seas—

Yet still it seems our time has come.

In dead of night you wretches came,

Blazing rifles in your hands.

You killed our prey,

You drove us away—

What did we ever do to you?

We fled in our confusion,

But from you there was no hiding.

You tracked us down and shot us dead—

All of my beloved family.

We’ll never see the Moon again,

Nor the freezing of the streams—

The Sun is but a fleeting dream,

The Wind a fading memory.

Where once our noble howls rang,

The land now fades to silence.

I am of race by far your elder—

A brother you betrayed.

Perhaps you will regret

Once we are all no more.

Perhaps a tear will fall

When those children look to you

And with their glittering eyes they ask,

“What is that thing you call a Wolf?”