The End – Keepers

We’ve all had phases in our lives that have had to come to an end. That’s how our lives work. We grow, we move on. Besides the lessons I’ve learned in those life phases, the most valuable thing to come out of those endings, are the people I’ve picked up along the way. Friendship is a bit like fishing. Some people we catch and we keep. Other times, it’s catch and release. When a phase in your life ends, it can mean saying good-bye to some friends and letting them go. This isn’t always easy, but usually in hindsight, we…

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The End – Writer’s Grief

You’ve written those two lovely words: the end. For some writers, the time is one of celebration—look at what I’ve accomplished! I finished my book! You know only ten percent of writers who begin a book finish it, right? It’s time for the Snoopy happy dance! But … what if it’s not? What if, instead of feeling like celebrating, you feel sad? If you do, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. I want to state that up front. Unequivocally. For those of you who don’t, let’s take some time to exercise that vaunted writer’s empathy, and see if we can’t…

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The End – Ending a Campaign

Hello, my name is Cameron, and I play Tabletop or “Pen and Paper” Roleplaying Games like Dungeons and Dragons or Vampire the Masquerade. For those of you who might not know, these sorts of games are played with a group of people who sit down to tell a collaborative story wherein one person generally sets the stage with the world, the conflicts, and the supporting cast and antagonists. The other people are generally playing major characters within that story, and attempt to resolve the various conflicts. Resolving the conflicts is done by way of various agreed upon rules, often involving…

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The End – Ending and Beginning

A beginning is an ending, always. That quote is from the short story Satan’s Children, by Spider Robinson.  It is, in fact, the very first line, and possibly the best first line ever written.  I mention this because I got to tell Spider that, the very first time we met, and that was the beginning of a thirty-year (so far) friendship.  I love that line, not just for its elegance, but for the sheer truth of it. The thing is, there’s often a transition period between the two states when pain makes it hard to tell much of anything. Birth…

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The End – The Unexpected Gift

I remember exactly where I was when I got the news my older brother Doug had died. It was the Monday of Labor Day weekend, 2011. I was at my home, a 28-acre forested property in Mulmur Township, southeast of Collingwood. The telephone rang, and I answered. It was my eldest brother Peter calling to tell me Doug had passed away earlier that morning. The news both did, and did not, come as a shock. After having a stroke-like memory loss one August day in 2010, Doug spent some time in the hospital before being diagnosed with an aggressive form…

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Warpworld V: Forbidden Revelations is here!

A mysterious realm where thoughts can kill, an ancient race of dimensional travelers wiped from history, a deadly secret responsible for the death of worlds, and the return of a primal enemy… At last, the answer to the question, “When will the final Warpworld book be out?” is…NOW! This one was more than a labour of love, it was a labour of sweat, tears, and some choice curse words. Very choice. But we’re excited to give you the final chapter in Seg and Ama’s story and we hope you’ll be excited too, and maybe a little surprised. We have some…

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On Loss – Loss of Fear

Our final guest has probably heard that old chestnut “I wouldn’t want to meet you in a dark alley”, a lot more than I ever have (and I’ve heard it enough for one lifetime, thank you very much). I had the pleasure of learning about Lisa Gemino’s life and struggles as a female martial artist on the Real Life Superwomen panel at the 2016 Creative Ink Festival, and the even greater pleasure of being an online friend for the past few years. When I read her submission for this series, it knocked the wind out of me. I have been…

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On Loss – You Can’t Go Home

There’s an old superstition that bad things come in threes. Superstitions hang around for a reason. It was 2003 and President George Bush Jr. had declared mission accomplished. I was stationed in a Republican guard base outside of Baghdad, wondering if anyone had told the Iraqis that the war was over. Granted, things had settled down from the initial invasion, there were no more intact Iraqi Army or Republican Guard units in the field opposing us and we went anywhere in Iraq we wanted (well to be fair, we went anywhere we wanted in Iraq even when Saddam’s army was…

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On Loss – Tonsillitis Blues

Of all that we can lose, our life is the most precious. But what if we almost lose it? What if we come close enough to get a glimpse at what the world might be like without us? Today’s guest, Melanie Marttila, talks about a childhood brush with death and the loss that could have been. Tonsillitis is hell. The true infection, the one that leaves your four-year-old self screaming, the monster pain in your ears reaching back into your brain, your throat, latching on with needle-like claws, and shredding. I remember that. I remember trying to lie still on my…

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On Loss – Heartbreaking Transition Eased by Unexpected Gestures of Acceptance

You’ve lost your marriage, your job, and your house, the worst is over, right? Today’s guest blogger, Ceejae Devine, talks about saying goodbye to two special friends amid a whirlwind of loss. I was so sure I’d finally made it. I’d walked away from a terrible marriage with two small kids. I’d gotten through five years of separation arrangements and divorce proceedings, and I’d gotten out of a part-time receptionist position at a Real Estate company where they’d been cutting my hours for months. The new job appeared out of nowhere. It came up in a conversation I had one…

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