Darkness and Angst

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m currently reading Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson. This is a huge book but unlike a lot of other huge fantasy books a lot happens. Most of what happens is pretty horrifying.

There have been descriptions of babies on pikes, crucified children, eye balls exploding… Gory and chilling stuff. It’s also extremely well written to only shock and not scar the reader. The emphasis is always on the characters and not on the horrific things that happen.

Arguably the stuff that happens in this book is worse than anything that happened in the Story of Ice and Fire, at least the first 3 books I read, but it’s not done to disturb the reader but instead as part of the world building and realities of the world.

Thankfully, for me, this book doesn’t waste much space on angst. The characters are forced to deal with their scars and horrors as they are shoved from one death defying moment to the other.

Yes the book makes me cringe and some descriptions had my skin crawling but it’s written in such a way that it won’t keep me up at night. (Some of the mythology and story twists might but that’s a good thing.)

So far the book is amazingly written but definitely not my style. I still have a third to finish but military horrors are not my thing. I can see why this would be someone’s favourite series. It takes a lot to keep me reading when it’s so far from my preferred style to read. A lesser story or writing style with the same elements would have me quit two hundred pages in.

Later Days,


Dear Dragon – The World Today

Hello Dragon,

I hope you’re afraid of monsters under your bed, boogeymen, or (like your grandmother) of Freddy Kruger. It’s not that I want you to be afraid but that I want you to only have fictional things to scare you.

I hope you never feel the fear of going out to a public place, or going to school.

I hope you never fear for your life walking down the street or traveling to other countries.

The world right now is on the cusp of something. I’m not sure what it is yet. Optimistically it’s the movement towards a united and peaceful world. Pessimistically it’s the movement towards another great terrible war or series of wars.

Weekly in the news, we hear about bombings. Sometimes more than one a week. In the UK they just voted to leave the European Union. Some for economic reasons but mostly for racist reasons; and hate crimes have risen to historic highs. In the US, the argument of politics seems to be more about skin colour and genitals than actual policies.

All over the world people are afraid. Afraid for their lives, afraid of others, afraid for our world.

The earth isn’t dying. People will tell you we’re destroying it. They’re wrong, we’re making it uninhabitable for ourselves. Just another thing to fear. Some people deal with that fear by trying to change things, others by ignoring it.

“I would never bring a child into this world, why would you?”

Someone asked me how I could think of bringing children into such a broken world. My answer to them was simply, “Hope.”

You, Baby Dragon, represent hope to me; a hope that you will have a wonderful life that you will see a world free from hate and fear, that you’ll help make that world.

And the truth is it’s not all doom and gloom. The Ozone Layer has started to heal, infant mortality is at its lowest in history, life spans are longer, more people can read, food production is more efficient than ever. Every day we as a species invent, discover, and create something amazing.


The world we’re bringing you into isn’t perfect, far from it, but it has hope and that’s worth a lot.

I love you, Baby Dragon!

Your Loving Papa

Pre-Holiday Grumps!

There is another war on the holiday season in which most people participate. The regulation of the holidays is something that gets more annoying every year. Arbitrary rules like, “No Holiday music until December 1st” or “No decorations until American Thanksgiving” are everywhere and people will get into loud angry debates about the “Proper” thing to do.


As much as people love the holidays, they love to complain about them more. There’s nothing like hearing a Gen X or Y complain about the commercialization of the Holidays. We are the generations that grew up with endless holiday specials, endless holiday themed toys, candy, etc.

The holidays are stressful, and people, as much as they like the days of, hate the lead up. The planning, the buying, the same 3 songs sung by 20 different people which play on the radio. I get it.

The biggest new trend now is the, “Respect our Veterans. No Christmas until after Remembrance Day!” As if the two are mutually exclusive. If you have a wreath on your door, or lights on, or are selling Holiday themed anything, you have no respect for Veterans.

BULLSHIT! and to hell with your emotionally manipulative crap! Your hate and fear of the coming holidays has nothing to do with respecting the brave men and women who fought and died to protect our freedom. Shame on you for using Veterans to legitimize your own personal dislike of the holidays

True respect has nothing to do with your decorative preferences. It has to do with your actions towards the Veterans. Wearing a Poppy, talking to the soldiers around you, telling them you appreciate their sacrifice, volunteering or donating to those associations that help Veterans, and going to Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The holidays aren’t starting any earlier than they have in the past twenty or thirty years. Decorations start appearing near the end of October, and on November first, all the places the Halloween decorations held is filled with winter holiday stuff.

It’s not earlier, you’re just noticing it earlier.

The winter holidays are an industry. They push our economy in a huge way. They are the yardstick the economists use to know the health of our economy.

It’s ok not to like it. I won’t judge (Others might, but they’re jerks). But if you truly hate it, for whatever reason, channel your anger and frustration into something useful. Volunteer your time, donate money, etc.

If someone is being genuinely hurtful, racist, or mean, then feel free to let loose; but don’t get on a high horse and try to police others’ harmless love of the holidays.


Have you been yelled at for celebrating too early?