50 Comments
author

Great compliment Ika thank you.

And holy crap — that is EXACTLY how I imagine this dad to be!

Thanks Ika — there’s surprisingly great fiction on here!

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Loved this bit here: "Could this be it? Am I freed? Marc wondered without fear or sadness. This man who had done nothing but love and care for him, did he really wish him dead? How could he feel, in the passing of his father, that he would be ‘freed’? Freed of what – judgment and worry? The assignment of fault? The source of his lifelong fountain of self-loathing and criticism?" It feels like the narrator switches for the first time to a judgmental tone, a consideration of merit. Such an interesting transition. Great story.

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author

Thank you Silvio — that really is the climax of the story.

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Mar 27Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Outstanding. I’m grateful you wrote and shared this. And I’m thankful I got to read it.

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author

Thanks you for the great compliment George. Hopefully I can keep delivering.

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This is powerful. According to Mary Karr: "A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it." The dysfunction here seems to be low-level yet constant which really made the sudden, plain spoken apology more surprising (for me.) At the same time, the lack of specificity in the father's apology for "everything" makes me thing there's perhaps a period of bad blood between the two that rears its head in close quarters. Brilliant work!

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author

That is great insight Will. Thanks for reading. You might almost say that the waters of these two people don't intermix.

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one could say that

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Well done on creating a smoldering tension between the two of them… one that doesn’t really result in reconciliation only an apology for “everything” which is as good as “nothing.”

I wonder what all their lives were like up to this point and where they’ll go.

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author

You're right -- "everything" IS just as good as "nothing"... never thought of it like that before. Thanks for reading! Maybe these characters will come back in another story someday...

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Apr 26Liked by Clancy Steadwell

The meromictic lake becomes all men as they age. Those surfaces and deep waters share less and less real estate. It must be a strange thing to have a father, and stranger to be one.

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author

So true. A great comment Adam, and thanks for reading!

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Wonderful use of symbolism in this story. The father is meromictic like the lakes in that the depths of his personality never come up to the surface, which makes it so tremendously startling when he is able to express those depths at the end.

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This was great. I could feel everything the father and the son were feeling; the tragedy of family members not getting along simply because they're different. The description of the father was also masterful and gave me a little chuckle. I'm looking forward to more of your stories!

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author

Thanks for reading Hayden! There’s some other stories on my blog that have the same sort of feel that’s i’m quite proud of if you want to check them out!

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I'll check them out for sure!

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Fantastic. All the things unsaid, and a few that probably should’ve been left unsaid. (In other words: The way families talk.) The thousand little irritations and resentments that drape heavy over love.

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author

What a great compliment! Thanks for reading Stephanie :)

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Mar 30Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Wow, this was written with a lot of sentimentality. Beautifully done. I love the way you managed to evoke an atmosphere between father and son. Your slice of life stories (the ones I have read so far) are really charming.

As a side note, I know of someone who behaves like this father maybe a bit extreme too, to the point where he would be obsessed about when to drink so he doesn't have to go take a leak in the middle of the night — 7pm, that's the cut-off time, and rants when he missed out on drinking water before then. That and many more quirky attributes.

Anwyay well done. I am glad to keep finding really great writers like yourself here.

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author

I just tried to respond to this comment but left it on the main thread instead 😂

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Mar 30Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Touching and delicate.

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author

Thanks Remy.

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Mar 30Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Whoah. Amazing. The point where he throws the flashlight into the lake, after identifying it as the one from childhood and the source of many memories….I loved it. Thank you.

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author

No one has mentioned that yet Jen but it was one of my favorite parts as well. Thank you for reading!

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A thoroughly mimetic and clever tale, well written and so relatable, esp. this line:

“Ah, yes, of course,” Marc said, measuring his level of sarcasm to the calculated dose a lifetime of living with his father had taught him was enough to avoid reciprocal aggression.

Chapeau my friend.

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author

Thank you Alexander, a great compliment. I like that line and I think a few others did too!

If it interests you, I write posts about my writing called [retros], so be on the lookout for when I retro this post if you’re curious about the process.

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we must always be and stay curious!

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Mar 27Liked by Clancy Steadwell

To answer you book club question- things are left unsaid because, much like your lake, no one wants to drag the bottom of the lake to “clean it up”. Too much effort to really understand each other. A pleasure reading you, as always.

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author

100% agree. Thank YOU Ana!

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Mar 27Liked by Clancy Steadwell

I felt sad when the dad offered to drive, like he knew his son wouldn’t want to make convo. Was that an intentional creative decision? Brilliant story

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author

Thanks for noticing that. There was definitely a conscious decision by myself to have the dad drive at the end. As for why he did that -- well, that's up to reader interpretation! And I like your interpretation. Thanks for reading.

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Happy I saved this one! I really enjoyed it. I can imagine parts of this sequence happening between me and my father. Also I’m so interested in the metaphor of the lake and if you encountered this type of lake as a catalyst for the story? Great writing, Clancy.

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author

Thanks for reading Kate! I hope your father doesn’t have sleep apnea though! As for the lake metaphor, you’ll just have to wait for the *retro* piece on the is one to come out…

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Ha he does not. Just some small parts, not the whole character!

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