“I don’t know how to tell you this… [your brother] passed away this morning.” I had to read the message several times before I processed it. Then my legs stopped holding me up.
Some writers fear the blank page, the pressure to find words; I’m just afraid of the consequences. It’s not the social stigma, it’s the threat of being sued for defamation. The threat of violence.
“I hate this,” he said. “I know most of them are just fishing boats, but because I know at least a few of them are pirates, I have to treat them all as if they’re going to attack us. And I can’t stay away from all of them or we’ll never get home.”
In lockdown, I decided to write and self-publish a book. As a Linux-user, that was harder than it sounds. Here's what I learned.
“Your request to be considered under the COVID-19 travel ban exception process has not been successful. There is no right of appeal."
How to motivate someone to prove you wrong Photo of a professional man looking at paperwork, from LifeofPix The examiner stared at his papers, silently rearranging them, avoiding my eyes. I forced a slow, deep breath, determined not to let him see how tense I was. The clock behind me ticked, meting out the seconds. A... Continue Reading →
Photo of cups of tea by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash “I’ll just make you a cup of tea,” she smiled. “No thanks, I don’t drink tea.” “Of course you drink tea,” she laughed. “I’ll make you a cuppa.” “Thanks, but I don’t drink tea.” I shifted, looking for somewhere to put the cup of tea that... Continue Reading →
Sack of potatoes, by Torstan Detlaff from Pexels “Hey, Johnny, what’s for dinner?” I peered into the galley window. John had a truly enormous lump of frozen mince wedged into the top of a cooking pot and was attempting to pour a sack of muddy potatoes around the sides. “Spuds and mince, good Irish meal,” he... Continue Reading →
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash The staring was starting to become awkward. I glanced down, checking that my clothing was in order: faded orange boilersuit, covered in grease and cargo, and a pair of scuffed steel-capped boots. I reached to my waist and confirmed that I’d remembered to leave my belt knife on board. I... Continue Reading →
Photo by Jakub Skafiriak on Unsplash I stared at the third mate. “Is this a joke? Because it’s Christmas, you know, not April Fool’s Day.” He shrugged. We stared down at the night orders. The first part was reasonable enough: follow the cargo plan, pump ballast when necessary, don’t break the ship in half, don’t blow... Continue Reading →