Carth, Outside the Jedi Temple

From time to time I’m going to share old posts that are no longer available from my personal blog. This snippet of fanfiction is one such post, from somewhere in the early 2010’s. Enjoy!

Another bit of kotor fan fic this morning, set post-kotor. Alternate reality in which kotor2 doesn’t exist. It’s a bit heavy.

Another Jedi council meeting that he was on the outside of. But when had it been any different? He thought back to when he had first gotten tangled with the Jedi, after Taris and rescuing Bastila.

Bastila had informed him that they needed to speak to the council. In person. Most definitely not by holocom. With her unique stare of superiority and secrets, she’d given him the coordinates for Dantooine. She’d practically dragged Revan from the ship on landing. It would be quick, she’d said. Yeah, try nearly a month of losing at Pazaak to a wookiee. Half the time he’d had been stuck on Dantooine, Revan and Bastila had been in secret Jedi business meetings. He’d been bitter then, though much more so now.

He had saved Revan, helped the Republic defeat Malak and destroy the Star Forge, and still he was relegated to the outside. He was not a Force user, and so here he was, on the wrong side of the door. At least Courscant wasn’t as humid as Dantooine. And if he wanted to, he could leave the temple and find something to do. But the council was interfering with their lives – again – and he couldn’t leave her alone for that.

Certainly, there was a part of him – not insubstantial – that was grateful to the council for saving and rebuilding her. He never would have met his witty spitfire of a wife if they had let her die as Darth Revan. But what they had done to her exactly, their utter lack of remorse for the complications and the strings that were still attached; all that made him angry. It had become clear that the council had not thought past her leading them to the Star Forge. They had not considered the possibility that Revan would remain true to the light, let alone that she would live through the ordeal. That left them with a conundrum. She had proven herself such that they could not imprison her, but they couldn’t allow her to be completely out of their reach either. The result of their debating was the much despised ‘nanny council’ that she now answered to.

While she took it in stride – at least outwardly – he could not. They decided to take a trip to Telos on a whim once so that he could show her where he came from; they had been chased down by a Jedi cruiser within two hours. She’d had to undergo a week of psychological evaluation before the council gave their permission for them to marry. But to show any remorse for the half-assed way they had wiped her memory? No, that was out of the question.

But then again, they didn’t have to deal with the consequences, did they? Not on a human level. They didn’t watch her launch into a story about her mom and sister, only to stop halfway through as she wrinkled her nose in confusion. She wasn’t sure whether the story she was telling was true or implanted. They didn’t see how embarrassed she was at times, unable to reconcile who she was, who she had been, and who she remembered. They didn’t have to sit there and hold her after she woke up screaming, having remembered something terrible.

That was why he hated answering to them. They didn’t care about the mess that they had created, they just wanted her kept in line. The weight of it was getting to her at times, he could tell. Her face was more gaunt, her personality more muted. It had been ages since the words ‘nerf herder’ had passed from her lips. They both knew that they were being watched. One fight in a cantina, one sweetener packet falling into her pocket, and the council may decide that she was too dangerous to live.

The thick metal door beside him slid open. Revan was alone. When she saw him, she smiled, but he could see the pain behind the carefully placed smile. As she stepped through the doorway, she took hold of his arm and began to lead him down the hall, away from the council chambers.

“What went on?” he asked.

“We can talk about it in a bit. Let’s go back to our place first.”

Carth stopped. Revan let go of his arm and sighed. He could see her facade crumbling.

“Yes, okay?” she choked. Tears began to stream down her face, and her body shook. For a moment, he thought he could feel the Force flowing through her body like electricity.

“They did it? They really did it?”

She nodded.

He felt anger surge, and for a moment he was light headed. He took a deep breath, forced himself to focus on her.

“All of the things they didn’t think of, but they made sure that you wouldn’t be able to have children?”

She nodded.

Carth wrapped his arms around her, and her composure dissipated.

Throwback post: On Creativity (With Kate)

From time to time I’m going to share old posts that are no longer available from my personal blog. This is one of those posts, with some new commentary at the end. Enjoy!

I got to see Kate (and Sylvia) yesterday, and as should be expected from two people who met through NaNoWriMo, the topic turned to creative pursuits.

Or lack thereof. Maybe that’s a better way of phrasing it.

I’ve been a big fan of being creative super late at night, at those wee hours of the morning when all is eerily quiet and shrouded in darkness. There’s nothing, less to distract me.

The problem is that there is no way for me to actually create at this time. I prefer to have my schedule on something of the same page as Matt’s because it is way easier to get things done when he is gone, rather than while he’s home or asleep. With him pushing his schedule towards the early side, (his alarm is set for 6 or something absurd) I can’t afford to stay up until 3-4 writing or painting or whatever. I would end up sleeping through most of the time while he is at work, which just doesn’t work. I may get more done creatively, but I would also end up very frazzled.

So the alternative is to pick up my creative spot and move it to something more convenient. Which is a very grown up thing to do, and ultimately why I prefer to stomp my foot like a 2 year old on a tantrum. NO. I don’t need a TIME to do things. If I can’t do it at night, I will just do it at any ol time, and it will work out just fine.

Which is why on average of every 10 days, I manage to forget to do my 750 words, and my streak drops back to zero. Because I don’t take it seriously, because I don’t believe that it should have something of a dedicated slot in my day. Because the best time, the time that makes the most sense, is morning, and I really don’t like mornings for getting things done.

Kate and I talked a bit about routines, which neither of us particularly want, but to some extent see a necessity for. She pointed out that for her daughter Sylvia, routines are important. They give her security, allow her to know what to expect and what is expected of her.

We like to think as adults that we have the freedom to do ‘whatever’ we want. But the truth is, I think we function better when we know what to expect, and what is expected of us. I can see that with Matt.

Since he started aiming to be at work at 7, his mood has improved. Sure, he gives up a bit of freedom in that in order to adhere to this, he can’t really stay up until 1 am, and he has to pull himself out of bed in the morning. But knowing that if he gets in at 7, he can expect to leave around 3 gives it a nice definition for him…and for me. But I can also see where his actual position with work is frustrating him. He is working towards this nebulous “deploy” which will allow him to move up in the programming world. The problem for him is that there are no visible benchmarks. He doesn’t know what he is working at, and cannot see tangible progress. To this extent, not knowing what is expected of him is frustrating.

Thinking about the concept of routine from a child’s perspective helps me clarify things that I’ve expressed before – that I felt that I really thrived in high school and have had a more difficult time since. I don’t have a clear definition of what is expected, and haven’t quite developed the skill of reasonable self-expectations. (I am getting better with it than I was even a couple of years ago, but I am still not where I would like to be)

So, maybe I need to see more of Kate and Sylvia before they pack off and head to DC for the summer. (If that’s even possible!) I don’t know about her, but I enjoy bouncing things back and forth. After spending time with her, something always looks a bit different.

As for me and my words – well, much as I hated coming to the conclusion, I decided that mornings are the only time when I consistently know I will have the ability to write. Pushing it off until later in the day is asking for some sort of interruption. So, while I still need to refine the process, I’m currently content with trying to get my writing going before noon. Some days are earlier than others, depending on how much sleep I got or what needs to happen that day, but right now, noon is a good benchmark.

2020 Commentary:
What I love about my thirties is that I feel so much more settled in my skin. I tried, failed, fell on my face a thousand times in my twenties, and while I still do – I fall on my face a lot less, or at least in new and different ways.

Picking a time and sticking to it is something I still struggle with, particularly when it comes to things that can happen “any time!” and even more so during the pandemic, because so much can happen at any time – or no time. It feels like there’s very little middle ground. But I am FAR better now than I was when I wrote this (I’m guessing eight years ago? Maybe nine? I can’t remember how old Sylvia is!).

I have a far bigger respect for routine and how good it makes me feel when I stick to one. I was getting pretty good at that before the pandemic hit, and while I’m coming back around, I admit that I’m still ‘holding my breath’, waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’ – I know I need to stop that, but it’s easier said than done.
One of the biggest boons to my ability to stick to a routine is a planner. For years I resisted planners because I wanted to get things done naturally, or because I didn’t feel like I had enough stuff that was ‘planner worthy’. Well, as it turns out, putting everything down on the planner is totally acceptable, and a great motivator for getting things done. If I put down “wash Gwen’s ears” on Sundays, it’s way more likely to get done than if I don’t. When I write down that I want to finish a certain book in that week, I feel like I’ve scored a touchdown when it’s Wednesday and I’m done.

So when it comes to creativity, try and fail! You won’t know what works for you unless you know what doesn’t. While I don’t tend to set a strict time for doing things, having an idea of whether I want to get it done in the morning, afternoon, or evening usually offers just enough structure for me to work with.

Don’t judge your brain for whatever routine or structure it needs to work best. Throw lots of creative spaghetti at the walls and see what works best for you. Sometimes it’s the unexpected thing that will really work well – other times, the answer is right there and you’re pretending that it’s not.

Also, I miss Kate. <3