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Sailors, Sea Dogs, and Eternal Wanderers,
If there is one thing life taught me, it is that life is a struggle. If there is one thing death has taught me, it is that life was just the warm-up.
When you get a marlin on your line you feel it shake your boat. You feel it pull you to deeper waters as you try to land it. The infinite sea stretches before you like a realm you will float in without hope or joy as it consumes you. If it’s not clear, the marlin was my fourth wife.
I ran into my second wife the other day. She was telling this joke, “What is the difference between a ghost of Ernest and a living Ernest in the morning? None really, one isn’t solid and the other is too small to feel anyway.”
There is a reason I chose cats over her.
As the resident ghost writer and assistant librarian of this ship, I often find myself reflecting on the endless distance between man and sea and pondering how, as a ghost, I can get drunk enough to not think about it anymore. As I no longer can, I will instead spend this month listening to the music of the sea and singing of the spectres that walk the decks at night.
If any experience can challenge the depth of the ocean it is literature. It is the craft that expands the dimensions of all creation. Painting? Bleh. Music. For faeries. Real men read with a thick book, a strong mug of rum and their balls resting on a shotgun trigger. The ship’s lawyer just told me that those are not to be legally construed as advice.
So, as we sail through Spooktober let’s expand the universe a bit more. Let’s peel back the edges between here and imagination, let us let the inevitable fear drive us forward into the unknown instead of away from it. Especially if it’s away from my exes.
Seriously though, it is literature that makes the terrible terrifying, that transforms shadows into pools of liquid black and reminds us that we can dive into the infinite night and come out again.
Let us do that.
/Papa Ernesto, Ghost Writer
Papa Ernesto is the assistant librarian of the Resilience and one of the recurring characters in the stories about our pirate ship and the world we sail in.
ABOUT LETO ARMITAGE
Leto Armitage was born in America under a set of circumstances that prophesied that he would one day unite the lost tribes and return the Ever Summer. Somewhere around twelve, he realized he had been left unsupervised and binged too many Arthurian movies in his formative years and that he was just another kid who accidentally got an education while reading above his age level.
By the time he turned old enough to get a passport, he started finding excuses to travel determined to find out what culture, food and women there were to experience. After learning to grill in Oaxaca, do kinbaku in Japan, and being banned from several former Soviet block countries, he returned home to settle down and see what damage he could do locally.
After working jobs including being a short order cook, bodyguarding strippers and professionally doing reader’s advisory for erotica he realized the most reasonable path forward was to become a writer. Today he lives with cats, dogs, and humans who seem to like him despite actually knowing him. He prefers to sit on his back deck, listening to the birds and Barry the Bumblebear bee, while he writes cozy, uplit romance and raunchy erotica.