Writing and the “Black Dog”

A guest blog co-authored by Casimir Gosselin and Fane Anghelescu

19c46fd0e00dd247b5a56f087e0a2b8bFane looked up as he heard the distinctive sound of his cousin’s Ducati Diavel engine approaching the Chain & Sprocket workshop. He said nothing as Casimir strode into the small reception area, indicating the office with a jerk of his head. It always amused him when Casimir chose to show up in what was clearly his preferred clothing: leathers, one of several brightly-coloured Buffs around his neck. Fane laughed to himself. The difference between Casimir the businessman and Casimir the biker was quite amusing, given what had happened recently.

“Bhavita …” Fane called out to his human ‘desk jockey’ on the Reception desk, “… I will be in the office. No interruptions.” Opening the office door, he noted that Casimir had already helped himself to a mug of coffee, pouring one for his cousin. “So, what brings you to my den of iniquity, cousin?” He drawled, accepting the drink.

“A request from our author-creator.” Casimir answered. “She’s off work at the moment, stress issues. Wondered if we might explain how you and I can help her work through that.” Casimir raised a brow as he took a sip of his coffee. “That is, if you feel you are …” He smiled, unable to resist winding up his cousin, “… not quite up to it?”

boundFane growled, throwing himself into a chair. Pulling up the WordPress site, he keyed in the login and password. “Of course I am up to it, you idiot.” He smirked at Casimir. “I will even modify my language, since I know her blog is read by humans. They just can’t take my usual turn of phrase.”

“So, how do you want to play this? You know she started writing about us because she was spending so much time away from home, stuck in hotels? I heard tell that it was expected she spend at least one night a week away from home?” Fane leant back in his chair, his long legs extended before him.

“It was deemed necessary to do her job.” Casimir responded. “Business requirements are such that it would have been impractical to drive everywhere on the day. She knew that when she took the job.”

“Yeah, right. And I am a fluffy bunny rabbit. You know as well as I do that she ended up doing a lot more than four nights a month. She is a people person, as humans say. She needs her family near her at the very least.” Fane snorted at Casimir’s words. “You going to be the bad cop here, or something?”

“If I need to be, then yes.” Casimir smiled over the edge of his mug. “But back to the point. You trying to say that the pressures of work proved too much. What about that saying, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?”

“What happened to ensuring a good work-life balance?” Fane barked. “Isn’t that what human companies are supposed to do. All work and no play makes for exhausted employees, and they tend to not work so well or as efficiently. A good businessman like you knows that.”

“She works in a high pressure environment.” Casimir pointed out. “She knew what was required.” He took another slurp of the coffee. “But that’s not the point. She told me that the last time it was this bad was over fifteen years ago. Fifteen years ago. The point was that yes, she was accustomed to a high pressure environment. She has been working in that place for six years. So why now? And more to the point, how do we help her?”

Idly, Fane picked up the six inch blade lying on his desk. “I have a solution …” He suggested with a smile. “Might be a bit messy, but it would solve the problem reoccurring. Even fifteen years since the last time is too soon.” He slammed the blade into the wood of the desk.

Casimir Gosselin

“Yeah, very subtle.” Casimir drawled. “I don’t think that will solve the problem. I think what she had in mind was how the process of writing about us has helped her deal with stresses do date. More to the point, how do we help her ensure that this doesn’t happen again?”

Fane sighed theatrically. “The fact is the writing gave her an outlet. I heard her say that when she had a bad day, she would write a fight scene. The book she just published, “Merysekhmet”? That started after her co-author had a bad day at work. Each and every one of us helped her over the bad days, the exhaustion, the asinine behaviour, the empire building. All that shit that she said she can’t stand. She just wanted to be able to do her job.”

“Indeed. So when someone else’s cock-up cost her that £20k contract, that didn’t help. But no one was willing to accept the blame. Or rather the individuals responsible tried to pass the blame onto someone else. Very easy to blame our author-creator, particularly if she is not hitting sales targets.” Casimir’s voice had dropped to a growl.

“Wouldn’t it be great if you and I could just leap off the pages of the book and …” He smiled. “… explain to these individuals that it is not a good idea to have our author-creator feel so stressed.” Fane’s expression made it clear that he would ensure that such a lesson was not easily forgotten.

“Don’t I wish.” Casimir gave a bark of laughter. “Instead, all we can do is give her the means to release her frustration on paper.” He shrugged. “If it means I must kill one or two more individuals, who may or may not bear a resemblance, passing and unintentional, to real individuals …” Another shrug. “I can live with that.” His smile was cold. Businessman he might be, but he was protective of those who mattered to him.

“On that we are agreed.” Fane raised his own coffee mug in salute to his cousin. “We need to continue to help her come up with plots, perhaps incorporate some of the idiots who cause that stress. Last thing we want is for her to give up.” Fane gave a mock shudder of horror. “Having had a starring role in several of her blog posts, it’s been quite fun.”

“Perhaps we should come up with a few more ideas with her, ways that our stories will go that might be unexpected. If we can make her laugh again, that won’t be a bad thing.” Casimir nodded. “May I suggest you have a word with your Pack, and I will do the same with mine.” He coughed. “Of course, she is working on Josh and Dylann’s story, as well as Sergei and Karma’s story. Must mean it is your turn.”

Fane grinned widely. “It will be my turn with bells on. She is trying to turn “Ddraig” into a single volume.” He shook his head. “300,000 words by the look of things. I think she might bring it down by 50, 000 words once the takes all the repetition out. I don’t envy her the editing.”

Casimir wandered back to the coffee machine to refill his mug. “So, we are agreed. We work together to ensure that our author-creator continues to see that we are here to help her and support her.” He shrugged. “Not just us, either. All her friends, her co-writers, some of the other indie authors she has met over time. They all support each other, some more than others. But, when the ‘black dog’ starts barking, she needs to know that she is not alone.”

depression-signs-symptoms-infographic-concept-vector-flat-cartoon-illustration-poster-sad-women-character-80480952“Agreed. One individual can’t be permitted to kill her spark.” He toyed with the knife in his hand. “Still, it is a damn shame you are I are tied to the world of fiction. The fun that we could have.” Fane smiled. “The fun, indeed.”


“Bound”, Volume 1 of The Diaries of the Cŵn Annwn
Amazon.com $0.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016TQFBNY
Amazon.co.uk £0.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B016TQFBNY
Smashwords.com £0.00 (Free): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589130

“Alpha”, Volume 2 of The Diaries of the Cŵn Annwn
Amazon.com $0.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ENZ972O
Amazon.co.uk £0.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01ENZ972O
Smashwords $0.99: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/631708

“Beta”, Volume 3 of The Diaries of the Cŵn Annwn
Amazon.co.uk: £0.99 or free on KU https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KB20OL6
Amazon.com: $0.99 or free on KU https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KB20OL6#nav-subnav
Smashwords: $3.99 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/660156

“Merysekhmet”: A love story with bite
mazon.com: $2.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJPK5S7
Amazon UK: £2.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XJPK5S7

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