A belated book review

I’ve been reading a book series by an author going by the pen name Shirtaloon. It’s about a Australian man who gets transported to another world via a summons gone wrong.

I find the series intelligently written though with editing mistakes and word placement which can be attributed to the self publication process.

I tore through the first 3 quite large books which are available for purchase on Amazon or through Kindle Unlimited. At the end of book 3, with the next book slated for a December release. However, the author has a Patreon. And on checking, I found that he had the equivalent of 4 more books available to read. I signed up immediately.

I’ve blazed through those 4 books and am stuck reading each chapter as they come out.

These books have evoked strong feelings in the community of folks who read LitRpg. For 2 reasons. The first is that the protagonist is perceived as almost rabidly atheist. That’s not how I read the motivations. I found him to have some of my same attitudes. In a monotheistic society, any dissension is seen as attack. But any true theist should welcome contention.
Faith which is not examined, which is not tested; is not faith. Instead, it is zealotry and zealotry is not something to aspire to.

Now this protagonist has no innate respect for authority. Any authority. Including God or gods. And that resonates with me. Respect is earned. He’s new to their world. They haven’t built up any goodwill. Why should he bow and scrape.

The second point of contention is that he’s political and he goes on little rants. But that’s not contrived and his friends and later, even himself makes comments about it.

I recommend the series He Who Fights Monsters to anyone who likes cultivation or gamelit. Or anyone who just likes good fantasy. Cause this is definitely it.

Watching the weeds grow through the grass

Driving home from work though a corridor of tree lined streets with a mountain in the distance makes me regret that I work from home most of the time. Though not actually. Working from home is great for me.

I suppose what I’m missing is the world. Outside of the safe space of my home. In a place of relative safety, I can be whomever I am. Without the expectations of others or my pushing back against those expectations. I can just be.

Coupled with the almost too warm but not hot weather, it is a balm to body and soul.

Something I wish I could have more of.

More quiet. Less worry. More comfort.
It’s something, I think, we all need.

When the edge crumbles away

The saddest part of growing older is that the relationships you’ve built and the friendships you’ve made all start to fall away.

People take different paths. They take different jobs. Communication slows. Then stops. And when you see them again, you no longer recognize the shape of their soul. They are strangers with vaguely familiar faces.

Good friends build lives with spouses. They have families. Which necessitates changes of focus. Leaving the person without a traditional life, like myself, with few points of juxtaposition. You still try. You all still try. But you can feel that point coming where it’ll be a yearly check-in and a promise to get together which never pans out.

Time grinds us all down and those lacking the ability to for new friendship fall faster and faster.

And here is me. In freefall.

Jaw clenched against the pain

Sitting in silence
One last reminder
One last pretender
One last link to the frozen past
Indelible ink
Marked in skin so deep
Its 7 years by 7 before it shows
Kiss me I’m yours
Give over to fire and passion
Don’t wait
I’m looking for that sign
But all I hear is silence
The too loud voice of my own thoughts
Over and over
What silence really means
All while hoping that it doesn’t

An anniversary I would love to forget

I’m coming up on 16 years since I lost Morgan. It feels odd to no longer feel the sharp pain of her loss and yet to still feel the dull empty of absence.

The last 2 years I haven’t even realized why I was feeling depressed until it smacked me in the face and I let out a soft ‘oh’.

I’ve grown around and beyond the pain of losing her but it never goes away. I know that for some it does and those people feel like aliens to me. I can’t understand how they can look back on everything and just remember the happy.

Or all those loss tropes of you have one year then go out and find someone new. Doing a disservice to whoever you meet as well as yourself. If you aren’t ready, aren’t at least healing, then doing that isn’t what is needed.

As if grief is something you can change by shear force of will.

No one asks the person with a shattered spine to run marathons in a year. Yet with grief and other emotional and mental damage we are asked to shed those bonds. As if we aren’t human. As if our humanity has to be put on hold so that society who was only tangentially effected, can move on.

Well, fuck that.

But also, fuck this horrible empty.

Dreams after insomnia are super weird

The dreams that really get me are the pnes which aren’t scary during the dream. The ones which are so real that it feels like living a whole other life. A life entire, until something completely weird happens. It this case it was a hole cut into my skull and inside was a steamer trunk full of bloody leather waistcoats and bloody jeans, a 5 gallon orange water cooler which sloshed in a disconcerting way, and a little jar of vaporub.

I was frantic that there was this huge hole in my skull but these items filled be with terror. Not of the items, but that they would be found and traced back to me.

It was super weird. And there was some subplot where a mobster was trying to escape but his lover dies and somehow she had a kid after dying and he was looking for the kid and the description for the kid was to just look for the most unbearably romantic starry eyed kid which was remarked to be the least useful description.

And the mobster or the kid or the lover weren’t me. I was just watching this unfold.

And during the dream this was all normal and fine. But now I’m awake, and I’m left with a what does it mean. Usually its bits and pieces taken from my day to day. The vaporub was from a youtube video about a Genie from the South. The mobster was probably from a article I read about the show, The Sopranos. The rest of it…. Just what the fuck.