As the seasons change, I again find my ability to concentrate frazzled. Getting up in the morning is even more of a chore than normal, and, while I tend toward irritable most of the time, even little things at least pinch my nerves more than normal. I’ve got some good ideas for new game material, and I’ve even started a couple of drafts, one being a new Swords & Wizardry character class and another a short adventure for the same game, but that brings me back to where I started this paragraph.
Lent starts today. This is a time for ruthless self-improvement, for gimlet-eyed examination of conscience, et cetera. Common practice is to “give something up”. I’m sure most people are familiar with the idea. “I’m giving up chocolate.” “I’m giving up coffee and alcohol.” “I’m giving up Facebook.” And so on. I’m not good at giving up things. I’ll keep drinking coffee and alcohol, for example. I’m still going to browse Facebook. Last year, I did give up repeating myself to my students. That was fun and instructive. This year, I’m going to give up not doing things. I’m going to stop not writing, stop not going to aikido class, and so on. I think I need to be less concerned with breaking bad habits and more concerned with developing good ones (which is really the same thing).
So, how about some goals? I’m going to finish that aforementioned character class and that short adventure this month. The former will go up for sale on-line as normal, and the latter will launch my foray into Patreon as a purveyor of hand-drawn maps, short scenarios, new monsters, and such. I’m also going to aikido class tomorrow evening, and that’s going to become at least a twice weekly thing (three times a week being the most I can attend).
And now, today’s writing exercise. I hit 276 words in eight minutes on the prompt “There Is a Crack in Everything”.
The Things I Do for the People I Love
“Dad!” my daughter’s voice wailed from the back of the house. I ignored her. I was busy. Sort of. One can be busy reading a book. But then her voice came again, louder, more insistent in the urgency of the moment. “Daaad!”
I stuck the gas station receipt slash bookmark into the book, tossed it to the side onto the sofa, and walked down the hall to poke my head into her room. A week’s worth of laundry had exploded across her floor. I repressed the urge to roll my eyes and complain, and instead smiled.
“Yes, baby girl?”
My daughter frowned, holding up her I-whatever-it-is. The screen was cracked.
“It’s cracked, Dad,” she said. Her disappointment was palpable, not because my daughter is obsessed with material things, but because she has inherited quite honestly both my facility to be outraged by minor injustices and her mother’s calm, thoughtful pensiveness about the small disappointments in life.
“Everything gets cracked eventually,” I said, realizing this was hardly reassuring.
“It happened at church, at the gala.” I silently wondered why anyone would bring an I-whatever-it-is to church. “I had set it down while I was working the welcome table. Someone must have put something down on it.”
I frowned. Shrugged. “I wish there was something I could do. Do you know who did it?”
“It was probably Nicholas. He was carrying trays for the kitchen, and put them down on the registration table.”
I sighed and smiled. “You want me to punch Nicholas in the throat?”
My daughter laughed and nodded, and that’s how ended up here, in the county lock-up. All in all, not my best decision.