Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Writer Facebook


If you've browsed this website for any length of time, you know it's dedicated to my creative work, and you've possibly watched it evolve from amateurish to hopefully more professional over the past four years. This blog has helped me explore the world of online platform building. Thanks for staying with me through those explorations--after four years, I now feel much more competent in this arena.

However, tinkering with this blog has also taught me that, for the purposes of creative writing, facebook is really more suited to building my platform, at my current level.

Platforms are a reality for people in the publishing world. Platforms sell books. But I don't think blogging is the right platform for me. Facebook is easier, quicker, and more widely used, generally. So I've made a writerly facebook page. If you'd like to follow my thoughts and updates about creative writing, or contact me about anything, facebook is the place for it. At least, that's the plan.

Click here to visit my author facebook.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bulbous bio

In my fiction writing class this semester, we were assigned to create bios exactly 350 words long. The biggest challenge was to include everything I wanted while keeping the flow of the piece--every time I removed or added something, it became choppy or bulbous, like a list of bullet-point info.

It's been awhile since I've updated this blog, so I thought I'd post it. Hope you enjoy!

Luke A. Wildman is a writer, fantasy novelist, and all-around weirdo. He wants his writing to resemble glass—clear and sharp—but it’s usually more like vomit. See, Luke is a Christian, but believes the African god Mbombo created our world when he puked out the sun, moon, and stars. Then Mbombo’s three sons tidied the mess and finished the work of creation, like a troupe of devoted editors.
Luke is not the African god Mbombo—despite having never been photographed with him—but his writing is usually messy and requires obsessive editing before it’s reader-worthy. Luke and Mbombo have Africa in common: Luke was born in Liberia during a civil war and reared in Nigeria amidst terrorism and religious conflicts. He misses the Nigerian people and food. Oh, and his parents. Them too.
You probably shouldn’t trust his growing-up stories, which are muddled with scenes from Tolkien, Lewis, Baroness Orczy, Robert Jordan, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Herriot, and countless others. Please don’t ask for one favorite author—Luke has a love/hate relationship with that question—but he’d love to hear about some of yours. Why don’t you chat with him over drinks? In conversation, he’s socially awkward—but, frankly my dear, he no longer gives a damn.
Luke got to study in Yorkshire, U.K., during college, and brags about it frequently. That’s the same area where Dracula sucked Lucy’s blood and James Herriot tramped around the Dales as a veterinary surgeon. Luke has a terrible sense of direction, and wandered lost for hours through ruins and tangled alleyways in the ghost-gray rain. He adored every minute.
Looking for him now? He currently studies Professional Writing at Taylor University, in the cornfields of Indiana. Indiana sunsets are gorgeous, and the people here are warm and hardworking. You should visit.
You might enjoy Luke’s published works, which include short stories and more. In 2014 Brimstone Fiction gave his unpublished fantasy manuscript an Editor’s Choice Award. In 2015 he received first place in a student creative writing contest.

Feel free to peruse his poorly updated blog:

Here is a picture of me and some friends pretending to be vikings in Valhalla. No real reason for it--I just like it.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Words in the World

Hello, friends. I have a spot of news.

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend my college’s 2016 C.S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium. It’s a scholarly conference held every two years, and I was astonished and humbled by the sheer number of incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable people in the room. Seriously—there were scholars from all over the world, including places like Oxford and Japan, and most of them have published multiple books and papers. I’d actually heard of many of their books.

During this conference, I felt privileged to present a piece of creative work in one of the sessions, alongside other wonderful writers. Here’s a picture of us:

The piece I presented was an excerpt from something longer I’ve been working on—the story of a boy who travels across a magical world in search of his sister, told from the perspectives of everyone he meets along the way. It’s a very personal story, in many ways, and writing it has brought me great joy. I was fortunate enough to win first place in the student creative writing contest, which means . . . and I still can hardly believe this . . . I got paid! In real monies, guys! This is the first time I’ve ever been paid for my fiction writing.

*Insert obligatory starving-artist joke.*

Anyway, here’s some other exciting news that goes along with this: because I’ve retained complete rights to this work, not only does it get published in an anthology of work from the conference, but I can also share it on this blog! I’m hoping that winning this award will provide a bit of a platform for the longer work, thus making it more attractive to publishers.

So anyway, without further verbosity, here is an excerpt from my in-progress novel Song of the Searching. This section is titled “The Words in the World.” Enjoy!

NOTE: Shasta’s name will eventually be changed. Currently it’s just a placeholder until I find something that fits.

NOTE: If you have any thoughts, advice, or questions about this story, let me know in the comments!

Luke A. Wildman
The Words in the World
(excerpt from a longer project, titled Song of the Searching)

I: The Expected Guest
The magician sat in his marvelously comfortable den, sipping a mulled cider and reading by the helpfulness of the blazing hearth. His favorite reading chair had drawn itself up by the fire.
Outside, the wind howled. It was a night to freeze any little bodies that happened to be caught in it. Yet it didn’t dare penetrate the magician’s den, which was scooped or carved or molded from the base of a great tree. Some said it was the great tree. There was no chimney, but the smoke inside did not pool. The walls were only bark, but the fire did not catch them, except where it had been told to stay. Those walls were crowded with bookshelves which were crowded with many things that were not only books, including no less than three human skulls and a small stuffed crocodile, whose name was Charlie.
            The magician set down his leather-bound journal—which was scribbled in runes that bore no resemblance to pentagrams—then checked the time and asked the teakettle to kindly boil itself. A guest would be arriving soon. The guest had a little body, which would be half-frozen from his wandering through the woods.
            The magician looked at the door. Any time, now. Any time at all.
            The guest would come stumbling up through the frozen woods, his feet dragging small furrows in the snow. Those furrows would lead back south. His red cheeks would sting with cold, his breath would puff from his lips in staggers and gasps, and his skin would have a crusty, flaked appearance. The guest, whose name had always been Shasta, would spot the ruddy glow of firelight through the trees. It would entice him to stray off the path.
            So he would come, thorns clutching at his garments, sleep trying to wrap itself around his mind. But finally he would reach the door of the magician’s den, and . . .
            Ponk, ponk.
. . . numb knuckles politely knocked on knotted bark.
            “Come in!” the magician called.
            The door swung open. Shasta stood there, hesitating a moment before the threshold.
            “Ahem. Fateful prophecies have long foretold this meeting,” the magician announced in his gravest of voices. “Come in, young Shasta! You’ll catch your death of cold.”
            Shasta stepped inside, and the door shut behind him. He didn’t appear the least surprised at the magician knowing his name. That was somewhat disappointing, but from everything the magician knew about Shasta’s character, he was a most unusual boy.
            “I have just been reading all about your adventures over hills and oceans,” the magician said, holding up his journal. “You haven’t yet told anyone your full story, but someday you will, and this book contains all the truest stories ever told. It has a full accounting of everything that’s happened to you since you left the river valley, searching for your sister. And now, Shasta. Let us talk.”
            Shasta tilted his head. He had flaxen colored hair, and the plainest brown eyes.
            “I know it’s a lovely place, your valley,” the magician said. “I’ve seen it, although that was back when it was still being molded from fire and rock. I hear it has a lot of sheep, now. I cannot abide sheep. I can’t stress that enough. More than their stink, it’s how they blindly follow anything that cares to lead them, even from clifftops. Only one lamb has ever truly been worthy of being led to the slaughter, and I, for one, am very glad that he did.”
            “Please, Sir,” Shasta said, “I am only trying to–”
            “Yes, yes,” the magician said. “After we finish, if you survive, I will send you on your way. You will continue seeking Ara, the golden-headed sister. But for now you must rest. We have a Perilous Task ahead of us, the sort of task which is fated to happen on any adventure worth having. If you complete it I will offer you wisdom for the road, but you’ll need all of your strength to reach that point. Tea and fruitcake, Shasta?”
            Steam from the teakettle suffused the room with a delicate, mind-swaddled-in-wool sort of smell. It was the smell of confusion and sincerity. Shasta shook his head at the offer of tea.
            “If you enter through that door,” the magician said, “you’ll find a cot prepared for you, and fruitcake. Enjoy the fruitcake.”
            Shasta nodded and left the room. The magician turned his eyes back to his journal, where he was currently reading about Shasta’s future adventure with the giants. That would happen in a few weeks’ time, assuming they survived tomorrow’s task.
            The magician enjoyed his tea and his book very much. He had to, because, as he well knew, the next day was scheduled to be the end of the world.

II: The World’s Last Day
            On the last day, the magician cooked eggs for breakfast. Sunny side up for the boy, over easy for himself. They ate quickly, the magician mopping up the last salty yoke with a corner of his fruitcake, then chewing it thoughtfully while he smoothed the crumbs from his beard.
            “Well, my boy,” he said to Shasta, “it’s time we were off. Button up your coat, please.”
            Shasta turned towards the coat rack, and the magician quickly snapped his fingers. His own nightclothes unfurled into long, purple robes, the silk feeling smooth against his spindly shoulders. His red sleeping cap stiffened into a peaked, conical cap, a foot tall with a silver bell jingling from its tip. Then the magician stretched out a hand and pulled his wand from thin air. He was ready.
“Come, my boy.”
The door opened before them. Together, they stepped out into the cool darkness of the pre-dawn hours.
            Four wild stags waited outside, harnessed to a rickety sleigh. They snorted and stamped in the snow.
            “We must hurry, Shasta,” the magician said. “We have all the time in the world, but I’m afraid that isn’t very much.”
Once they’d clambered up, the magician cracked his wand over the antlered heads. Away they whirled.
            Snow swished beneath the runners of the sleigh. Branches whipped at them, only just seen before they had to be ducked. This felt like galloping through a void of utter blackness, with even the stars and the moonlight obscured by the trees. Breath trailed from the stags’ mouths, like smoke from a locomotive’s chimney.
The sky slowly lightened. It changed to the colors of a drink mixed by Apollo. Purple, translucent wisps of cloud became swirled with gold, and beneath them formed a glaze of richer, creamy-pink clouds, which bubbled over the edge of the world. Finally, like a live coal in the bottom of a glass, the sun himself smoldered up, orange and glorious.
The world’s last sunrise was spectacular.
“Please, Sir,” Shasta said, huddled on his seat of the sleigh. “What do the words mean?”
The magician raised an eyebrow. “Words, dear boy?”
“The words I see in the sun,” Shasta said. “And I saw them on the hills where my friend Mr. Gough kept his sheep, and in the ocean with the sea monster. And they were written on the ice where the giants carried their friend who had died. But none of my friends who I traveled with could ever see the words. Only me.”
The magician blinked. Surprise was very rare for him. After thousands of years of living in this world, it had given him most of its secrets. But this boy, this child . . . he had seen something that even the wise seldom glimpse.
“You have seen the mortar that sticks our world together,” the magician said. “If it ever goes away, or if we every pretend that it’s gone away, everything we know will fall apart.”
“The world is stuck together . . . with words, Sir?”
All worlds, Shasta. All worlds are made through words. The words can be glimpsed in all things, sometimes smudged or twisted till they mean something horrible, but always there, and always more honest in the beautiful, aching places. The lonely cliffs by the sea. The quiet sunsets. The innocent promises of lovers.”
Shasta shook his head. “But if the words can sometimes be broken, then how can we know when they’re true? None of my friends seem to really know. Mr. Gough the shepherd told me that it’s always bad to lie, but Hali the highwaywoman said that you sometimes have to lie to protect other people. I travelled with Captain Drakesley over the ocean, and he usually lied, but it always made him less happy.”
“Well . . . .” the magician began, but Shasta wasn’t finished.
“And . . . and my sister accidentally lied to me,” he said. “I think she meant to tell the truth when she said that she loved me and wouldn’t ever leave me. But then she ran away with the gypsies, and I am trying to find her again. Does that mean she lied, even without meaning to? And if it does, then how can I know that any of my friends aren’t accidentally lying when they promise that they love me? How can I know when the words are true?”
The magician shut his eyes. He had the distinct impression that Shasta had never spoken so much at once in his life. He tried clearing his mind, but instead heard the sounds of the world: the swish of sleigh runners, the creak of branches, and the sighs of the wind as it fled the coming apocalypse. The apocalypse they were hurtling towards. It smelled like dust and death.
“Even the wisest could never explain why your sister left,” the magician said. “Humbly speaking, I am the wisest, and all I can say is that most people need help to be shown the words. Most people cannot see them on their own, as you and I are capable of. They also need explanation, because the words you see in this world are only glimpses of the truth in another world, not the whole truth itself. Only beautiful paintings of it.”
When he opened his eyes, he saw Shasta watching him.
“Sometimes, Shasta, people worship the places where truth is found, rather than the truth itself. And sometimes even when they know the truth, they still decide to ignore it. But you can see the words because you are the sincerest boy in all the world, and people who are very sincere are always shown the truth. And because you are so sincere, that is exactly why I need your help.”
            Shasta remained quiet, and the sleigh drove on.
            A few minutes later, they broke out onto a flat, open country. The dry grass was studded with boulders, and its color had been dusted away by the snow. The sky above them was big and gray and empty, but not so much as the landscape that the magician knew they would soon gaze upon, if ‘landscape’ was the correct word for it.
            The land rose, but not into the gentle slope of a hill. It all rose at once, curving up like the edge of a food platter. Grass gave way to only rock, and then at last they slid to a halt. The magician dismounted to thank the wild stags, and thought about offering them lumps of sugar, but decided against it. Saving their world should be payment enough for their giving him a ride. If he did manage to save the world, perhaps they could offer him sugar.
            At last, Shasta and the magician stepped forward and peered over the rim of the world. The gray sky above them darkened, becoming the lack of sky. Just an empty, starless void. And far, far beneath them, the world simply ended.
            Broken stone stretched away forever. Almost forever.
            The stone was pitted. It wasn’t brown, red, gray, or any other color; it simply was no color at all, even in the places where the sun’s rays died upon it. The magician glanced behind them and saw what he’d expected to see: although it was still dawn, the sun was coming up on the wrong side of them. That made it sunset, rather than sunrise.
            “Sir,” Shasta said, “what is that?” He pointed a finger towards the void. The magician followed his gaze.
            A darkness swelled inside the void, building into a storm. It could only be likened to an enormous sandstorm, although of course there is no sand in that place. There is nothing, and any living thing that enters it should die soon after. A few creatures have entered it, over the ages. Monsters, the sorts which devour worlds. But those are long dead, their skeletons strewn thousands of miles away from each other, twisted into ridges of ancient bones. No, this storm wasn’t a monster. It was the end of all things.
            In the sandstorm, lightening flashed. There wasn’t any wind, but the darkness whipped about as if shaken by a gale. And from the heart of the darkness, a face gazed out. The face of a man.
            “What is it, Sir?” Shasta asked. He didn’t sound properly afraid.
            “Squint your eyes,” the magician told him. “Look very carefully, and out beyond the void, you can see the faint rim of another land. There, you see it? It looks like the headland of an island, glimpsed across a foggy sea. That is the place where the world that borders our world begins.”
            Shasta gazed with stoic innocence. “I didn’t know there were other worlds, Sir.”
            “Oh, yes. And they’re all connected, although you and I could never reach them. Not by crossing this void on our own, at least. You see, when the alchemists first built the worlds at the request of the gods, they built all worlds to be accessible from all others. But the evil of the worlds became too great, and so the gods had to separate them. They placed gulfs between the words, which are not meant to be crossed. That is the space before us. But sometimes things not physical can seep between the worlds, and in the world next to yours, the world you are looking at, a very wicked man recently did something that his world isn’t large enough to contain. It is coming, and it trying to cross the void to reach us. If it does, everything will end. Any attempt to stop it will be too late.”
            “But Sir,” Shasta said, looking up at the magician, “my sister and all my friends are in this world. Will they be destroyed as well, if the storm reaches us?”
            “I’m afraid they will.”
            Shasta and the magician both looked at the storm, and they saw it massing further. Its lightning grew wilder, its darkness blacker.
            “Then we have to stop it,” Shasta said.
            “I hoped you would say that. That is why I have brought you here. We have one way of stopping it: with magic.
            “Mr. Gough doesn’t like magic.”
            “That is because he is shepherd,” the magician said, “and most shepherds do not understand what magic is—they are only frightened of what it does. But magic is just truth that’s allowed to fulfill its purpose. To do magic, a person must speak the words which hold the world together. Now, Shasta, do you have the flute that your sister gave you?”
            Shasta didn’t look surprised as he withdrew the small, reed flute from his coat pocket. He held it loosely, as if it were a delicate friend.
            “Good,” the magician said. “Now, I want you to play me a song. It must be the sincerest song that any little boy has ever played, played by the sincerest little boy in all the world. Can you do that?”
            “I think so, Sir. At least, I can try.”
            “We will have to hope it is enough. Now, play. You play, and I will speak the words that may forestall this apocalypse. Than that, we can do no better.”
            For a long moment, there was only silence. Then Shasta blew into the flute, and a note quivered out, high and soft. Beyond the north, the storm began to move, sweeping over infinities of rock in the space of heartbeats. Shasta played harder, and the song formed. It was pure and sad. A love song of Absuland, ancient beyond time. The magician listened for a moment, then raised his arms and chanted words of power:

            “Devil, devil, do not trouble,
            Skies to burn and land to rubble,
            Dead-earth will our green-land make,
            Sun will scorch and land will bake.”
            The magician’s chant didn’t fit the tune that the lost boy played. Yet somehow their two songs melded, becoming one as the storm surged towards them:

            “Eye of World and Soul of God,
            Raise your thunders, hear our song.
            Blowing winds as reed flute sings,
            Halt the death of wicked kings.”

            Behind them, in the midst of the sunrise that was also the sunset, the colors began to swirl. A new storm formed, forged of pink and gold and flaming orange clouds, boiling together and sluggishly drifting north. The new storm they’d created drifted over the edge of the world.
“Put an end to devil’s trouble,
            Let glory boil and bubble!”
            At the magician’s cries, the new storm picked up speed. It raced over the empty void towards the coming apocalypse. The apocalypse raged towards it.

            “Devil, devil, do not trouble,
            Skies to burn and land to rubble,
            Meet the scourge with lightning, God,
Let this end be now forestalled!”

            The storms met. In the heart of the void, death beat against the sunset. Lighting flashed from the apocalypse, trying to smite the colors of salvation.
            It was terrible.
It was beautiful.
            Shasta stopped playing, his fingers hovering above the flute holes. The magician lowered his arms. This was the end of all things, and they were fighting the apocalypse with a song. How appropriate.
            Up until now the battle had been nearly silent, but now, from out of the void, there rolled a single, low, reverberating note. It swept over the world, shivering the pines of the nearby forest. It travelled farther south, rippling the ocean waves, and then, on the hilltops of Aldea, it frightened Mr. Gough’s sheep where they grazed. The sound continued until every rock and blade of grass was shaken to its core. Then, after raising dust in the distant desert beyond Ridia, the sound stopped.
            The darkness was gone. The world was saved.

This story is an excerpt from a longer project I’m working on, titled Song of the Searching. It’s the story of Shasta searching the world for his sister, told from the perspectives of those he meets along his journey.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Beauty of Corn

Hello, friends!

I recently got an article published with a student-run magazine for York St. John University in the UK. If you're interested in a quick browse, my article is on page 14, titled "The Beauty of Corn."


Wait, did I just say "ciao?"

Monday, March 21, 2016

On the Endings of Stories

Everything reaches its conclusion. Best friends part ways. Couples break up. Our journeys, which shape us and teach us and take everything from us, finally end.
Stories are no different.
This blog has mostly featured my stories—the ones I’ve lived and the ones I write. But now I want to talk about something related to the craft of writing: worthwhile endings. Gravity Falls ended recently, an animated show about the summer adventures of two twins. In the days after its finale, waves of bittersweet fulfillment swept through me. It was “only a TV show,” but I’m grieving, though I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, what did Gravity Falls do right? What can any of us do right?
1.      Know when to stop.
Don’t you hate it when your favorite story drags on until all you’ve loved becomes desecrated? I’ve heard that Alex Hirsh, creator of Gravity Falls, was asked by Disney to continue his show beyond two seasons. But he refused. All good things must end. So, how do we know when they’ve reached those conclusions?
2.      Fulfill promises.
A story ends when it’s done what it set out to do. The monster is slain. The bomb is defused. The hero finds confidence and gets the girl (or boy, as the case may be). Examine your beginning and see what you promised. The revealing of secrets? A tragic ending? A fun adventure story? Make the ending match. But whatever you do, do it well. Which brings me to another point:
3.      Don’t cheat.
This means several things. First, don’t use a dues ex machina: a contrived solution that resolves the conflict through coincidence or outside interference. Your characters have to solve the problem, not the gods, luck, or magic. It’s the only road to a satisfying conclusion.
Another way writers cheat is through tragic endings. A good tragedy is beautiful, and very difficult to accomplish. But as writers, we sometimes find no way of providing satisfying conclusions, so we cheat and have our characters fail. If we want to succeed at failure, it needs to be spectacular, and it needs to serve a purpose. Which raises another point:
4.      Provide real substance.
An ending should make readers feel something. Grief. Relief. The bittersweet solemnity of a journey’s conclusion. Whatever it is, make it real. In my opinion, one of the best ways to do this is by endearing your characters to the reader throughout the story, then bringing them to satisfying conclusions. Also, make your readers feel like they’ve been journeying with the characters, and that their journey is now over. Readers have experienced endings in their own lives, and, if you remind them of those endings, yours will have more power. For good examples of stories like these, think Gravity Falls or The Return of the King.

I’m out of time, but if you want much better advice, visit the Writing Excuses podcast. Goodbye for now!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Greeting the Goodbyes

I am no stranger to goodbyes. We meet on a regular basis. Sometimes we get coffee.

A few minutes ago, I scooted my desk chair up next to the closet, used it as a footstool, and opened the cabinets to swing down my two suitcases. Now they're half full with button-down shirts, running shorts I never did use, and the trinkets I've accumulated during three months of study in York, U.K. I'm getting ready to say goodbye. Hello, my old friend.

This will not be the saddest or most traumatic of the goodbyes I've said in my life. Third culture families know how it is. My parents have lost everything to rushed evacuations. We've exchanged continents and countries multiple times. Mom thought she was bidding permanent farewell to Dad when he chose to remain in Liberia during the civil wars. And sometimes, you don't get to say goodbye. Sometimes, the chance is taken from you.

You know how it is. That ache, deep in the pit of your belly. That numbness, dulling the edges of your brain.

Sometimes you don't get over it.

I think there's an expectation for these types of reflections: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." But I'm not about that life. I mean, I am, but that's not a legitimate way to deal with grief. Weep. Weep for the loss, weep for the pain, weep for the friends left behind. Weep because something that brought you joy will never return. There may be other joys. They may be grander. But this joy, this beautiful sliver right here, has ended. And you will never get it back. Face that. Maybe you don't need to weep, or need your mom's friends to psychoanalyze you (they will anyway), but acknowledge your loss in whatever way works best for you.

Those accustomed to goodbyes develop rituals. Songs, movies, things we do before we leave. When I packed to leave Nigeria after senior year of high school, I listened to Coldplay's "Til Kingdom Come" over and over again. It's a song about life moving on, about someone who waits for you through the changes and uncertainty. To me, that person represents God.

"Steal my heart, and hold my tongue,
I feel my time, my time has come.

Let me in, unlock the door.
I've never felt this way before.

The wheels just keep on turning,
The drummer begins to drum,
I don't know which way I'm going,
I don't know which way I've come . . . ."

I listen to that song every time I leave a place.

For my sister, the song was John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet-Plane." And in Nigeria, at a mission guest house where many missionaries stay before departing that final time, there's a bunk bed in one room where dozens of MK's have Sharpied their emotions and graven their names. Some little piece of themselves, remaining in the place they called home. The place that could never be home. The place that will always be home.

Sometimes we don't greet the goodbyes. I've had friends and family who've lost clumps of hair over the stress of leaving, and others, including myself, who've cut everyone off, become instinctively mean to chase friends away. Still others refuse to acknowledge that it's sad, and rejoice that they're returning to "civilization," until years later when they realize what they've lost.

Let me tell you a secret: sometimes I get so, so jealous of my "normal" American friends. I am tempted to belittle their pain: "No, you don't get to say that your half-year mission's trip was 'life-changing.' I lived overseas my entire life; you can have your Thanksgiving, you can have your Independence Day, but you can't have this. This pain belongs to me."

But that's wrong. Every place we visit clings to our souls, like wet paper. Every place becomes a part of us, no matter how briefly. I am addicted to that sort of pain, because I know it helps me grow, though it hurts like hell at the time.

As I leave York, I will walk the Roman walls, I will do my writing, I will sip my mulled cider, I will listen to my songs. I will perform my rituals to greet the goodbye.

But greet her I will.

And as we leave together, she will put her arm around me, and I will say, "It still hurts this time." And she will say, "I know, Luke. You're welcome."

She is familiar to me, even when nothing else is. As strange as it sounds, I take comfort in that. That is why I greet her. That is why I know how to say goodbye.

Goodbye, my beautiful city

Friday, November 6, 2015


The ECHO is Taylor University's weekly newspaper, and today they kindly published a piece about my interaction with Brimstone, written by a fellow Professional Writing major. If you'd like to read it, the article can be viewed here.

Tee hee. This makes me happy and nervous. Also, where did they get that picture? Did they get that from my old facebook photos? That's from, like, eleventh grade. Just goes to show, you never know where things on the internet will wind up!

This is the picture in question, so that you know what I'm talking about.