At least twice as fast as that!

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

That pretty much sums up my week. You get weeks like that in teaching sometimes, and last week was a classic example of the type. It started with a formal lesson observation and ended with a three-day sick headache and the most administratively complex set of exams we run all year, with a couple of six lesson teaching days and a surprise cover lesson somewhere in the middle. Oh, and not entirely coincidentally, my blood sugars went haywire (ah, diabetes, you still suck and always will).

What that meant, sadly, was this was the first week this year when I barely wrote anything. It was perhaps a timely reminder to take a breather, because I’ve been running myself ragged trying to get Reawakening finished and keep up with my marking. All the same, I’m a little sad, because I was making storming progress with it.

With about half an hour of weekend left, I’ve been reading through recent chapters in the interest of getting moving again next week. As I was doing so, I realised that I haven’t posted any snippets from this since the very first chapter, so here’s a little glimpse of Tarn and Gard, my dragonlord and desert spirit, in their human forms from Chapter 27, being about as cute as these two get.

“And what do you do all day?” Tarn asked him, as the others began to bustle behind them.

“I watch over my desert,” Gard said indignantly, his shoulders rising. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to keep everyone and everything safe? There’s always some creature, or some entire caravan if we’re talking about humans, walking straight into trouble. The work I’ll have to do to put everything back in balance after this…” He trailed off, and then asked quietly, “Tarn, if the Shadow destroys me, who will look after my desert? Will some new Alagard rise out of the wind and take my place?”

Tarn, whose fires burned eternally, had never been forced to consider his own mortality. Unsure, he said, “I won’t let that happen.”

Gard twitched his shoulder irritably.

Tarn tried again. “You are the only desert I could ever endure.”

“Better,” Gard sniffed, but leaned back when Tarn wrapped his arms around his waist. “Oh, is this how it’s going to be? I show a moment of weakness and you use it as an excuse to grope me? Typical.”

But he had folded his arms over Tarn’s, linking their hands, so Tarn ignored his protests.

Now if only they’d stop bickering long enough to let me get them to the final confrontation with the Big Evil…

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