Sand and Ash 28: Second Thoughts
This chapter was written at a point where my life was rapidly getting stressed. My wife was pregnant with our third baby but we were still standing in the shadows of the miscarriage from the second that happened earlier in May. There were a lot of danger signs for this pregnancy, including things that justified going to the emergency room and doctors.
Every moment, I was afraid she was going to tell me we lost the baby and that shoved me into depression. Since I don't really have a social structure to help with that, I went with the only thing I did have: I wrote. These chapters reflect that mood, all of my fears of losing a child and the general weight of being depressed.
Looking back at the chapter, I can see where I borrowed from other incidents of depression my life, including the time when I seriously considered suicide during high school. I still remember the visceral moments of those days: the walking alone because I had effectively been pushed aside in my social circles, the ostracization that happened when a kid was suspended from school for slamming my head into a locker, and the death threats that followed. I got nasty comments when I was at my locker. Some of the students would rev their engines and drive off the road just to make me jump out of the way.
I didn't have a place after that, at least that is what it felt like, and no one to turn to for help. I was just... there but not there, "dead" like Rutejìmo is in my story. I think some of the idea of how banyosiōu reflect back to that time.
I didn't have many friends in high school. The people I was closest to were the teachers, but there is a gap that no student or teacher could bridge. They had to always keep me at arm length, which means I felt I couldn't get the help I needed. At home, I didn't really have a support structure because I didn't know what I needed or what I was going through. I had to figure it out myself because I felt that no one could help me. I'm sure there were, but I didn't know it at the time. I didn't trust anyone around me to talk about these things, not to be as honest as I needed to be. So, I ended up internalizing it as I wandered alone in crowded hallways.
This was twenty-three years ago. While depression continues to pluck at my life constantly, I've learned to manage it.
My love of writing really came from this period. I wrote because it kept me away from that abyss. I wrote because it could get the things in my head out on the page and let me have peace at night. In all honesty, the reason I'm still here is simply because I found that it didn't hurt anymore when I wrote.
As a parent, I also realize I *have* to show my boys that I'll always be willing to listen. Not to mock or shove it aside, but to listen and help. But, I suspect no one realized that I was struggling and I'm afraid it could happen to my own boys. More importantly, I'm afraid I won't see it coming. Terrified of that, actually. Among other things.
Flight of the Scions 10: The Boar Hunt Inn
And for more cheerful topics.
This has to be one of my favorite places in my world, The Boar Hunt Inn in chapter ten. It is a large inn somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Expensive, decked out, and with characters that have distinctive personalities.
The idea of the Boar Hunt Inn is that it is the midpoint between two large cities. Later, it will become a much larger junction and a lot of money to Falkin, but at the moment, it is nothing more than the country's largest rest stop.
I have a lot of story ideas for this place, but at the moment, it's just a random stop in Kanéko's life. This isn't the furthest she's going to get away from her home in years. That would be too easy since we are only a third into the novel.
We'll be going here a lot for Kanéko's story, not only this book but for the three after it too.
For patrons, I've posted a few chapters ahead for *Flight of the Scions*. So, enjoy and let me know what you think.