Saturday, April 30, 2016

Diary Entries

Mom says we’re moving to Gotham City and I might be able to see Batman some day!!!

Dad found work easily since there is always new construction all over Gotham. The city is huge and filled with skyscrapers and dark buildings and you’d almost expect to see blimps in the sky sometimes. Mom is still looking for work and says there isn’t much call for psychiatrists in Gotham so she might need to intern somewhere?

School is OK and everyone talks about Batman a lot and how there’s a whole Bat Family who keep Gotham safe? Someone even says there is a bat dog, but I’m sure they’re pulling my leg.

GTG, mom is making spaghetti for supper.

Mom is trying to get a job at Arkham, which is a place where criminals go for rehabilitation, which is a word that is even more complicated than it is long. Dad says all the criminals should be killed, but Mom says they aren’t evil, mostly just really confused like some arts students she knew in university only they went ‘far sideways from sanity’, which is what she said, quoting someone from Gotham University. Mom and Dad don’t agree on that at all, but they don’t talk about it much in front of me since they don’t want me to have nightmares.

As if. I’m in middle school, and even Dad admits school is a lot worse than Arkham ever is. I know two kids who had family members die to the Joker. Someone said it’s a badge of honour, but I’m not sure it is?

School was closed today because some super villain fought Batman and Robin in it. Now everyone is wondering if Robin goes to our school. I don’t want to meet Robin, though: for me it’s Batman all the way even if I haven’t seen him yet. Everyone has stories about him the way other cities have stories about Superman, or my aunt tells stories about Jesus.

Everyone agrees Batman would kick Jesus’ butt.

Mom got a job! She’s interning at Arkham, and Dad is furious because the crazies are there and Mom asked where else a psychiatrist should be and asked Dad why he thought she married him and he didn’t find it funny at all. Sometimes I think mom isn’t good at her job?

They’re fighting a lot about it in their bedroom. Dad is scared some nut will get out and hurt Mom in the process. I don’t understand how they get out, since the prison has guards and most of the prisoners are human? But I guess Batman is human too? James says Batman is a vampire, but everyone knows Batman wouldn’t sparkle.

Mom has been acting weird. Not mom-weird, but weird-weird. She tells me she got assigned to help the Joker, but I’m not about to tell Dad. Dad would flip his lid, as Mom calls it. I think he’d shout and not stop. Mom says she if she can help the Joker, then she can help anyone and she’ll get tenure at the university and a book deal and Dad will be able to accept better jobs and I’ll get into a proper school.

I don’t tell anyone at school about Mom. I don’t think they’d believe me.

Mom didn’t come home from work last night. The police came and talked to Dad, and the Commissioner was with them. I asked him about Batman and he said Batman was looking into it. Meaning Mom.

I hid in my room after that. Dad came in later. He said the Joker took Mom somewhere. He said we’ll be OK and mom will be back, because Quinn’s are strong like quills are. It’s a Mom joke, but it helps.

I still haven’t met Batman. :(

I saw mom on the TV.

She’s wearing makeup. She’s with the Joker. She’s calling herself Harley Quinn.


I don’t think the neighbours know about Mom. I think the Commissioner made sure no one knows? Maybe cleaning up after the villains and Batman is his power. I don’t know.

Dad and I don’t talk about Batman much these days.

We don’t talk much at all.

Dad. Work. Clayface.

Falling building.

Dad got someone out, and died trying to get someone else out.

Aunt Jo came, to fix things. We don’t have money. Aunt Jo doesn’t, Dad didn’t. We were barely scraping us by, though I never knew that. He hid it from me. Like Superheroes hiding their identities.

I can’t stay here. But I don’t want to. Everything hurts too much to be real.

Mom never showed at the funeral. Not as her or as Harley Quinn.

I wish I could hate her. It would be easier if I could hate mom, but she looks so happy when I see her on the TV.

(I don’t think I ever want to be that happy.)

Batman wasn’t at the funeral, even though Dad was. Bruce Wayne was, and paid some money for some scholarship. I didn’t pay attention. I can’t think about schools. Schools don’t teach what matters.

The orphanage is large. I’m told the Wayne Foundation pays for it, like they pay for other things. The nuns say that Wayne employs at least 10% of the city indirectly, but I don’t know why they tell us that. He’s not important. Everyone knows Batman is important.

They say each Robin was an orphan here, that Batman saved Robin from the streets. We all work out in secret, using clips off of YouTube. Hoping Batman finds us. Hoping we get to be the next Robin.

Hoping we can help save Him.

(Just like Dad tried to save me.)

Breaking silences

Ack! Been busy. Trying to finish up one novella, wrote the camp story - Wings - and it ended. I did do up a 'things I would fix' file and even put a copy on dropbox for people to read if they wished to. It turned out off, since it had no middle act at all and I deliberately cut out 'here is room for sequels' in the end. The story worked as intended, some of the characters worked, but the entire thing had a rushed feel and I don't enjoy writing that genre enough.

I might try and retry the idea for a modern story some day, though. It would take more finesse to work. but the core was that the prince was born without arms (and being born missing limbs was seen as fighting 'evil' in the womb and winning; conversely, if you were deemed mad, you'd failed and succumbed to evil), and lived out his life, having some skill with Magic, being sent on adventures and eventually, when falling off a roof, discovering that Providence had blessed him with 'wings' where his arms were. And being so very, very pissed off at the idea of being blessed/cured/fixed. It would be harder to tell in a modern story, I suspect, but I might give it a go more as a short story sometime.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Having fought the forces of the Blight since before he was born, Prince Leos of New Dakesh enters his twelfth year to learn that being born without arms does not exempt him from certain courtly duties, nor the intrigues that come with them. Trying to find his place in a world where he is a prince who will never inherit the throne, Leos finds his growing mastery of the Art turned into a weapon to be used against enemies of the kingdom and that the kingdom has more enemies than he ever knew, both within and without. The forces of the Blight and Providence have not been idle since the last great war, and Leos finds himself both their pawn and a player of these forces as he tries to find a place for himself in a world that is far different than life in the capital would have him believe.
That's the synopsis of a YA novel that entered my head just when I got back from Africa. (Seriously: I slept 3 hours, woke up, went: 'ugh, great....' and lay in head, had the first scene come to me and began writing it. (I paused it at the 13K mark to begin doing the rest of it as a campnano deal and give myself time to make a map and flesh the world out better. Like actually name kingdoms and figure out how they ran.)  The story comes slowly, though I know the main scene now and how it ends, but it is a very formal story. Politics runs deep through it, Leos and others are constantly second-guessing themselves. It's fun to write, but definitely not a style or genre I think I'll write again. 

I like space for weirdness to happen.* And this style of story doesn't really give me the space. It's a good story. I like the characters, the plot is solid and makes sense,  but I doubt I'll ever write something like it again. Which is always fun to discover as well. 

* perhaps not as weird as pizza-popsicles, but even so.