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Goodbye 2019

This is my first personal blog post of the year. It’s been a weird twelve months for me, but my main thought is: how has a decade went past?! This time last year I honestly wasn’t sure if I would see this time in my life. Anyone who knows me – or has read this blog – knows the depths of darkness I began 2019 with. It was a negative space to be in.

Now, for 2020, I’m trying to focus on the positive. I’ve set goals for myself, and I’m quietly confident that I’ll meet them. Last year I didn’t share my goals: I wrote them down, but I kept them to myself. A few were related to my writing, some were about the process of getting into a better mental space, and some were just silly. I’m pleased to note I checked them all off by September.

This year I’ve upped the ante. The things I want to achieve are bigger, riskier, and some of them are incredibly important to my personal growth. A year on from being diagnosed with postnatal depression, I’m not where I want to be and while my medical team are happy with the progress, I’m ready to push harder.

This year expect this blog to be updated regularly with the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have some projects I’ll be sharing, but most importantly I’m beginning an amazing year with my family.

creative writing, Evolved Energy Short Stories

#44 Background Hero

The forty-fourth short story in the Evolved Energy Series.

Previous

Slumped over his desk with his legs tucked beneath him, Wyatt glared at his wall. He was decidedly refusing to acknowledge the man in his doorway. 

“What’s rattled your cage, Demon?”

Wyatt’s eyes darkened. “Go away.”

Hiccup sighed and began to study his Godson more closely. He was becoming used to the hormone fuelled mood swings but they weren’t usually directed at him. Leaning against the door frame, he quietly summoned the pool of patience tee reserved only for the eleven year old. 

“Problems at school?”

Wyatt sneered in response. 

“Then it must be your Dad.”

The pause was enough to tell Hiccup that he’d struck gold. Lately Wyatt’s biggest nemesis was his Father: though Hiccup suspected this was probably normal between children and their parents. 

“He’s so boring,” Wyatt scrunched his nose up in disgust. “And embarrassing and lame.”

Hiccup’s eyebrows shot into his hairline. “That’s a word I’ve not heard in a long time. Anyway, cut your Dad some slack, one day you’ll be as old as we are.”

“Yeah but you’re not like him.”

“Then I’ll have to up my game.” Hiccup’s eyes twinkled playfully. 

Wyatt sighed dramatically and rested his chin on his crossed arms. “He never does anything interesting or cool.”

“He was a champion back in his day.”

“Doubt it.”

Hiccup sauntered into the room and inelegantly dropped himself onto the freshly made bed. “I’m telling you the truth. Your Dad’s a smart guy. He’s exceptionally talented. He could do more in his youth than most of our school put together.”

Wyatt shrugged. “If he was that good then why isn’t he now?”

“Maybe he had something more important to focus on.” Hiccup played with the seam of his trouser leg. 

“Ugh.”

Hiccup’s lip turned upwards. “I hate it when you make that noise.”

“I know.” Wyatt smiled. 

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(All characters, setting, plot etc. belongs to me – Erin Robinson)

creative writing, Evolved Energy Short Stories

#43 Feral Friends

The forty-third short story in the Evolved Energy Series

Previous

A ball of ginger fluff sat on the desk as the ropey tail dangled off the side. His Dad had told him that it was most definitely tame but after watching the creature bite into his Father’s flesh, he wasn’t convinced. Wyatt had wanted a dog. He’d been given a cat. 

So far, Wyatt couldn’t work out if the cat was stupid or had a major superiority complex. Training a cat was apparently not possible. Nonetheless, he was going to prove that he was a superior pet owner and this included not shunning your pet when it tried to eat you. 

“I don’t think you’re a house cat.” Wyatt frowned. 

The fluff hissed in agreement. 

“You might like my friend Russ.”

Soft, green eyes blinked but gave nothing away. Wyatt reminded himself that cats could still be just as good as dogs. He vowed to ask Russ what sort of things cats liked. Of course, he could have asked his Dad but he refused to concede that he was not already a master pet owner. 

By the time his Uncle Hiccup poked his head around the door, Wyatt was covered in a series of thin scratches. 

“I think you need a new cat.” Hiccup grimaced as he took in the sight. 

“No,” Wyatt huffed. “She’s just settling in.”

“Settling into your skin, perhaps.” Hiccup’s eyebrows raised. 

“She’s just scared.”

Hiccup sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. “So it’s a she?”

“I named her Freya.” Wyatt smiled proudly. 

Hiccup risked stretching a hand towards the furry feline but quickly retreated before the flash of claws caught his skin. “Perhaps Freya prefers women.”

“Don’t think so,” Wyatt scrunched his nose. “She tried to scratch Mum’s eyes out.”

“Well at least she’s a good judge of character.” Hiccup shrugged. 

Wyatt rolled his eyes. “She’s very clever.”

“No doubt.”

“And she’s fierce.” Wyatt beamed. 

“Well, we can see that for sure.”

Freya watched with mild indifference as her owner sung her – albeit limited – praises. She seemed to acknowledge the compliment as her hissing dulled into what could be mistaken for a purr. 

“I should have known he’d get me a cat.” Wyatt sighed. 

“I think she’s purrfect.” His Dad smirked from the doorway. 

Wyatt sneered. “Ugh, Dad.”

“Really, Eacal,” Hiccup shook his head. “Do you have to subject us all to those puns?”

Eacal smile very nearly met his ears. “I thought it was good.”

“It wasn’t.” Wyatt rolled his eyes. 

Hiccup nodded his agreement. “It was bloody awful.”

Eacal shrugged and began to walk away. Over his shoulder, he called back to his two favourite people. “I made cookies downstairs.”

(All characters, setting, plot etc. belongs to me – Erin Robinson)

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Life, Parenting

Wrapping With A Toddler

What fresh hell is this?! Every year I do the Christmas wrapping because when Mr Robinson does it each gift looks like it’s been gnawed by foxes. I don’t enjoy it, but it’s normally fine. Not this year my friends. This year enters the toddler…

The biggest hurdle this year is trying to find time to wrap so the kid doesn’t see the presents, or rip the paper, or tangle himself in tape. Our evenings have limited kid-free time – and I’m not really willing to sacrifice sleep in the name of ribbons. This is a parenting nightmare which nobody ever warns people about! I think the people with multiple kids deserve medals, or at the very least a free gift wrapping service.

My family are also those people who generally do very pretty, perfect corners, twirly ribbon wrapping. Normally I’m fine to join in but this year people will be lucky to get a stick-on bow. I have a newfound appreciation for gift cards, and I decided to address all the wrapping-disasters “from santa” so at least the elves can be partly responsible for the stress they’re putting me through.

Thankfully our 18-month-old is unlikely to notice the wrapping beyond trying to eat it.

creative writing, Evolved Energy Short Stories

#42 Allies

The forty-second short story in the Evolved Energy Series. 

Previous

Despite the relatively large size of the slate grey sofa, Eacal’s frame made the piece of furniture seem insignificant. His arms stretched out over the long back and his head tilted backwards against the cushions. He was at home even if he wasn’t in his own home. 

“You missed Saul’s birthday bash yesterday.” Eacal yawned and engulfed himself even further into the cushions. 

Hiccup barked a dry laugh. “Sorry. I was watching paint dry.”

“Hiccup!” Eacal’s eyebrows drew downwards. “You could have made a bloody effort. It’s not like he’s got that many friends.”

“Oh? I wonder why that is.” Hiccup smirked nastily. 

Eacal clicked his tongue. “Put your sarcasm back in its box.”

As his eyebrows raised slightly, Hiccup slid down into his favourite chair with a steaming cup of tea balanced in the palm of his hand. Parties had never been his ‘thing’ and, come to think of it, neither was Saul. Their friendship was a delicate affair that didn’t stretch to social gatherings very often. 

“Doesn’t matter,” Hiccup picked at a thread in his black trousers. “You said you needed advice.”

Eacal hummed his agreement. “I’ve been looking into, you know, divorce laws, in case-”

“Then you need me! I’m the best lawyer in the city!” Hiccup brightened considerably. 

Eacal rolled his eyes. “Always humble.”

“Humble is best kept for people that are not successful.”

“Like me.” Eacal smiled. 

Hiccup raised one threatening eyebrow. “You’re great at your job.”

“I’m not the best.” The larger man shrugged. 

“I think you are.”

Eacal said nothing for a while. He knew he’d always have the support of his closest friends but support could only take him so far. There was a lot at stake. 

“It’s not that I’m going to but if I did-

“You should.”

“If I did then I probably wouldn’t get Wyatt, would I?”

“I’d fight as best I could for you.”

Eacal recognised the non-answer for what it was. His best friend never made promises he couldn’t keep. They’d both seen enough of the world to know that a court order wasn’t guaranteed in any case. 

“I think there’s plenty in your favour,” Hiccup tapped his finger against his tea cup as he considered. “And Wyatt’s old enough to get a say.”

An undignified snort split the air. “That would be a disaster.”

“Wyatt likes you better than her.”

“She’s still his Mother.”

Hiccup ran a hand through his hair. “When she feels like it. He told me he hasn’t seen her in nearly two months. Where is she wandering off to, anyway? For all you know she’s having an affair and-”

“Hicc! That’s a bit much!”

Hiccup glared. “If I have to do a character assassination on that woman, I will.”

“But you don’t even know if-”

“Doesn’t matter,” Hiccup smirked. “I only need enough reasonable doubt on my side.”

This part of his friend was the part that Eacal preferred to avoid. In the light of day, Hiccup was ruthless and not to be trifled with. Eacal thanked his lucky stars that the lawyer was on his side. 

(All characters, setting, plot etc. belongs to me – Erin Robinson)

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Uncategorized

Thyroid, thirty, and tinsel.

To say the last few weeks have been intense would be the understatement of the year. I’m beginning to come back out of a depressive episode (finally) and I’m cutting it close to Christmas. However, it’s been a period of progress. I have been pestering my doctors, meeting new medical staff, and trying to rule out every possibility for why I’m not moving forward.

Turns out my blood count is low, and my thyroid is under active. Finally there may be an answer for why I am SO EXHAUSTED. My ability to sleep for twenty hours might be more about my body running low on resources, instead of running low on sanity. The downside is it will be another three or more months of testing before anything is done so I won’t be celebrating just yet.

One thing we did celebrate this week was Mr Robinson’s thirtieth birthday. We were lucky to be able to spend time over the last few weeks with family, friends and food. We had a night out without the baby! Overall it was fun but exhausting. We had to come to terms with the knowledge that being a parent doesn’t allow much time for late nights or hangovers.

So now we’ve got all that stuff out of the way, the Robinson household now has a tree!

creative writing, Evolved Energy Short Stories

#41 Future Obligations

The forty-first short story in the Evolved Energy Series

Previous

“Did you even bother to read the report, Saul?” Eacal huffed into his coffee. 

Saul scowled at his friend. “I’m not buying it.”

Both men engaged in a staring contest that ten year old children would have been proud of. Neither was willing to give in. Since Saul’s Father’s departure the day before, Eacal had been on the warpath: this time he had useful ammunition. “Russ is getting older. Surely you can see for yourself that he’s going to struggle to earn a living in the near future.” 

“The old man likes to malinger.” Saul sneered with a hint of petulance. 

“But the Doctor said-”

“I’m not buying it.”

“But the report clearly says-”

“I’ll help him out if his limbs fall off,” Saul glared. “Until then he’s not my problem.” 

Eacal paused briefly as he considered whether he wanted to continue pushing his friend into a corner. He wondered what it was going to take to mend the rift between Saul and his Father. Years had passed: nothing had changed. No matter which way he looked at the issue, Eacal couldn’t relate to Saul’s stubborn refusal to accept Russ into his life. Foolishly, he’d hoped that the medical reports would be enough to turn the tables. 

“The thing is, Eacal,” Saul chewed on the inside of his mouth thoughtfully. “That report says he’d need to change his lifestyle. He’s never going to bloody do that. If he couldn’t do it for his wife and son then I doubt he’ll do it to add a few extra years to his life.” 

“Don’t you worry at all?”

Saul laughed darkly. “You’re asking if I stay up at night worrying about the man who shapeshifts into a lion and roams the wilderness?” 

“That’s not what I meant.” Eacal rolled his eyes. 

“That’s exactly what you meant, Eacal. What do you want me to do? That’s how he wants to live his life and he’s big enough and ugly enough to decide that for himself. He’s never asked me for help.” 

Eacal frowned as he crossed his arms across his chest. “Would you ask him for help if you needed it?” 

“I’d rather die.”

“Bit melodramatic…”

“He knows the score,” Saul shrugged. “If he was desperate, he’d ask. I put up with him whenever he shows up, don’t I?”

Eacal’s frown deepened. “No. You don’t. Hiccup kept him at his place – you wouldn’t even offer him your sofa.” 

“I gave him some clothes!” 

“Only because you didn’t want him naked in your bar.” 

“Oh come on!” Saul groaned. “”What kind of idiot goes around naked?” 

“Idiots that spend time as big cats.” 

“You’d know all about that.”

Eacal breathed out a laugh. “One of these days, you’re going to need your Dad and he won’t be around to help you.” 

“When that day comes,” Saul smirked. “Be sure to get me some professional help.”

(All characters, setting, plot etc. belongs to me – Erin Robinson)

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