This one is kinda bleak, but it’s also true. I’ll admit that the title is a little over the top, but hear me out: People mostly talk to throw their own voice into the mix. Maybe they just love the sound of it, maybe they have something important to tell (according to themselves), maybe something really funny happened or maybe they just need to get something off their chest. Either way, they aren’t doing for your benefit; they’re doing it for their own.
We all know the old adage, and like many, I’ve grown sick and tired of having conversations where people just talk to hear their own voice. Couldn’t we rather enjoy the silence for once, huh? On certain days, this gets so bad that I just decide to keep my mouth shut. And people don’t really seem to notice it, because they’re all busy talking about their own things. But then suddenly someone sees me, and feel the need to tell me that I’ve been quiet lately. ‘Well, you know what? It sounds like you people pretty much got this covered. I’ll be over here with my thoughts . . . they ones you just interrupted to tell me that I’m being quiet.’ I’ll admit once again that I’m being bit of a negative Nelly here. People talk to one another (or past one another); it’s how we pass the time. If the conversations are boring, I can either try to contribute or I can leave. Sometimes, I kinda feel like the angsty teenager that wants to get invited to the party just so he can decline the invitation. But there is more to this. I can endure boring small-talk as well as the next person, but when people make the conversation about me when I’m not participating, I get pissy! And you wouldn’t find me nearly as complacent and non-threatening when I’m pissy! (Working on a punchline for a superhero . . . how’s that one?) I’ll try to explain:
No, this is not going to be one of those ‘shake my fist in the air’ posts. Nor is it going to be one of those ‘kids today, mumble grumble’ type posts. This is about something completely different . . . well, not so very different: It’s about growing old, yet still being young.
Growing old is mandatory. (Is there a second part to this?)
We grow all the time (duh!), that’s kind of the point of living. You grow bigger, older, more frail, and then you die. All we are is dust in the wind, and so forth. During this time, everything changes, again and again and again. The world changes around you, and you change within it. We’re all shaped by what’s going on around us, as well as personal experience, friends and family. But even with all this happening – are we still stuck? When do we ‘shift’ from young to old? Is it just our age? Can you ever truly change within an already established framework?
Yes and no.
New year, new story! Like the previous one, this one is mostly set in the colder reaches of Noman. Enra Vadir, an unsuccessful entrepreneur from the far west, gets a shot at his big break one day when he’s invited to a fancy party way up in the Brend mountains. Sogen Valley, the invitation says, a place he’s never even heard of. Ushered on by his friends, Enra decides to go – but quickly realizes not everything is quite as it seems. As it turns out, the biting cold will be the least of his problems up there.
The Floor Above – click to read!
The Floor Above establishes one of the new characters in Frostbites (book II), and also sets the stage when it comes to the climate and weather. (It’s gonna get cold, if you didn’t understand that from the title) Apart from that, this novella is also an incredibly meta piece of storytelling, packed with references to myself and a few colleagues at work. I suppose in an extreme sense, you could say it’s based on a true story: A friend of mine did indeed get invited to a ‘party in the mountains’ as it were. He also planned on going, and the exchange between the four friends in the beginning is almost piece by piece taken from our own conversations. Thankfully, my friend never left, and Robert didn’t follow – no colleagues were harmed during the writing of this novella!
If you want crime, fantasy, murder and a good dose of comedy – this novella is definitely for you.