Drabble for my grandfather

Long time no blog. Busy, &c &c. ad nauseam.

Last night at my writers’ group I led an exercise on description. We each brought an interesting object and then spent five minutes writing short descriptions of each. It brought out some really good stuff, I think – a nice exercise.

And one of the objects resulted in me being engulfed by memory and sadness, and the following drabble resulted (the version below is edited from the original rough write). I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandfather lately, the first loved one I lost to death. Nearly nine years ago, and I miss him. I always will.

So here’s a short piece. For you, ukki.

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From the Woodwork

I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately. Grandad, with his steady hands and carpenter’s heart. These were his, I think as I run my fingers along the battered red handles of the pliers. His hands gripped them just like I’m doing now. They feel solid. Grandad was solid too, to the last.

I blink back tears, concentrate on the object in my hands. The pliers are flecked with paint from his past projects. The jaws, well-worn from countless hours of use, are rusty now. The shape and weight of the pliers give me strange comfort. I open and close them a few times. It feels like a heartbeat.

Like Grandad’s heart, that beat too irregularly, and then stopped beating.

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Sunday recs: Calls, swans, mermaids

I have several things I want to blog about, but life’s been giving me little time for reflection lately, and most of those potential posts require reflection. So, we’ll just do a very modest Sunday recs tonight.

A poem: Learning My Way Around by Neile Graham, from Goblin Fruit’s autumn 2011 issue. Birds, breadcrumbs, calls.

A story: Swan-Brother by Gabriel Murray. 1700s/1800s alt world with magic, a beautiful, sad story about brothers and swan-magic.

And then for this week’s favourite: Mermaid’s Hook by Liz Argall. Wow. This story is amazing: the POV, the realisation of what the setting actually is, the wonderful ending… I really love it all. The POV is especially excellently done: such a tight, never-faltering third person. I love the language and the atmosphere. Such a joy of a story!

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I’m trying to work on a story in Finnish right now, but it’s horribly sticky going. Times like this, I lose faith in myself as a writer, especially in Finnish.

So it’s good to have reminders to be forgiving to myself.