The Silence of The Damned

Photo by Suzanne Mclean Long.

Photo by Suzanne Mclean Long.

I find I am too often apologizing to you dear readers for my absence, my silence. And forgive me for doing so again.

We chalk up lack of posting as Real Life. Or real life getting in the way. In reality, most times it is pure laziness. And while that is part of the case here, there are other things afoot.

Laziness, in my case, is often a lack of focus, a lack of motivation. But that lack of motivation has a dark and sinister finger on the button. Cancer.

I know I’ve touched on it before but I feel the need to talk. To get it out in the light, at arms length, to show it to others and in doing so, hopefully take away some of its power.

Cancer, according to my wife, ground zero in this whole mess, is not an illness. She feels fine. It is a dark spot malingering inside her. It is a cloud hovering over her head. It is a weight on her shoulders trying to bend her, to break her. But she won’t let it. Its reach is not confined to her flesh, though. Ask any cancer spouse, child, parent. They will tell you, its reach extends to those around them.

I equate it to having to write ten thousand words in fifteen minutes. While I work well under a deadline (forgive the horrible pun), some are too close and as such, inhibit my ability to write. This is how cancer feels. Like I have so much to do and not enough time to do it. Like we are always waiting for the, to quote the cliche, “other shoe to drop”. It is a waiting game. That and I feel guilty writing about myself in the face of what she is going through.

While my wife’s prognosis is good and indications are the surgery and radiation will get it all, it still never feels 100%. There will always be that little grain of worry. That partially held breath.

The other part of cancer is the isolation. Being handled with “kid gloves” or people just not knowing what to say. Yes we have to choose our outings and social gatherings carefully. Always mindful of her state of being. The exhaustion that sneaks up and is all encompassing. The muscle pain and aches. So too often we sit at home. We watch too much TV.

Through all of this, my wife stands tall. She tries, and is succeeding, to keep life as normal as possible. But there always is that cloud and it is heavy. Heavier than you can imagine for all parties involved.

So, I beg your forgiveness for the silence. My creative juices run hot and cold. I have to fight to start stuff, always afraid that something will come up right in the middle. Instead of accepting that and forging on, I cave and stop before I begin. I always want to be ready for that other thing. Not to be distracted.

But, even in the face of all that, I have managed to do some writing, thanks mainly to my family, a large and supportive group of writing peers and by riding on the coattails of my wife’s courage.

What have I managed?

An anthology of twisted tales by some brave, genre-hopping, writers we hope to have out late this year.

Two series of dark, gritty stories co-written with Tobin Elliott, that we hope to see in graphic novel format.

My two novels, Appetites, a werewolf story and Echoes, an homage to Mary Shelley, have suffered during this silence and most likely will continue in that rut.

I have finished two more Christmas stories. The sequel to The Good King, Three Ships for Three Kings (in edit mode) and Archibald and The Gentlemen Three (edited and submitted).

And my final project is a dystopian Sci-fi co written with Pete Woolman and Aaron Mullins.

There, you are up to date. I can’t guarantee this silence won’t continue as we are not “out of the woods” yet. But please stop by my  Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. It is easier for my scattered brain to work in smaller portions.

So, from the brain of the damned,

Thank you all for your support and for reading.



About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
This entry was posted in The Word According to Dad., Writing News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Silence of The Damned

  1. samoore777 says:

    Dale, any posts or tweet or message we get from you is affirming. Keep up the good fight. I lost my Dad to cancer in late 2011 and it feels like yesterday. My mom has been struggling with cancer treatments herself ever since. It has turned our family upside down. Sometimes the exhaustion is so much, we just can’t handle the smallest thing, and sometimes, more often than not, we push ourselves, rise to the challenge and find our way to redoubled strength and miracles. And in between you find those moments of pure adulation and wonder for the courage and humour of those you love. That, at least, is a soaring gift from the greater spirit than inhabits us all.

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