Monday, October 19, 2015

Short Horror Stories for Halloween

As promised (at least I think I promised this at some point) I have collected four dark short stories, old and new, and published them. The collection is titled "Blackwater: Four Stories"(damn I'm clever), and it is available for $0.99 on Amazon. Some of the stories are my first children, and they have buck teeth and bad acne, but they are not without their moments so give them a chance... I was just learning to walk, myself. These aren't intended to be award winners, and perhaps they should've stayed in the trunk where trunk stories belong, but they might occupy an hour of your time and leave you with a shiver or a smile, depending on how demented you are. I won't judge.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finally Got Around to Creating a Website

I had been putting off the daunting task of creating a website for quite some time. Then I realized it really wasn't a daunting task at all, and that I was being dramatic and lazy. As I suspected, the majority of Internet-related things that once seemed complicated to non-tech-savvy people, such as myself, have since been streamlined and made user-friendly to the masses. I suppose that's how we advance as a species. Anyway, website building was one of those things that got easier. Go figure.

As it turns out, there are many companies that provide this service--Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Jimdo, to name a few. I chose Wix. It was relatively inexpensive ($75 per year), and the editing platform was easy and intuitive. The others are fine companies, but admittedly I didn't vet them as thoroughly as I could have. With so little free time, I need to be efficient.

So without further ado, I give you my website, the official Christian Galacar Author Page. I'm sure I'll update it over the next few weeks. Tweak things etc. But the basic idea is there. If you visit, be sure to sign up for the newsletter. I only really plan to take advantage of that feature to announce book releases... and possibly to solicit reviews and offer advanced reader copies.

Damn that's a clever domain name. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cicada Spring Is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

This is some exciting news! I was just notified that Cicada Spring is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. If you don't know what that means, click here and have a look at their website. No viruses, I promise (although that's exactly what a virus would want you to think). Now my cover has a fancy new emblem. I'll update my Amazon cover soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What's Next

Over the past month or so, I have received a lot of emails from new readers who have read my first novel, Cicada Spring, asking if I had any more books. It’s always a bittersweet thing: I love hearing from people who have enjoyed my writing, but I am always slightly bummed that I don’t have more books to offer at the moment (I don’t count the short stories I have published on Amazon). From a business standpoint, I can’t help but see it as the missed sales opportunity that it is. But what is even more disappointing (far more so than any amount of lost revenue) is not being able to provide more entertainment to people looking for it.

Now I know writing is not an immediate endeavor, but it is hard to know there are people out there asking for more when I don’t have anything to offer right away. I feel like I’m turning away hungry patrons, forcing them to leave empty-handed, stomachs still rumbling, appetites not sated. I don’t like it. Nope. Not one bit.

The only solution it would seem is to write another book. And, I suppose, the purpose of this post is to assure people who might stumble upon it that I am in fact writing another book. It’s called Soldier of God (for now, anyway), and my plan is to have it ready for publication in May/June 2016. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft, and provided my schedule doesn’t become even more hectic, I should be able to finish it in time for this coming spring. At my current rate, taking into account the responsibility of my full-time job (gotta pay the bills), I feel confident that I can put out at least one book per year—and maybe a few short stories here and there when time allows.

But what’s the new book about? you ask. Well that’s a good question. Here’s what I will tell you: Soldier of God takes place in the fictional town of Gilchrist, Mississippi, in 1959. There is murder. There is kidnapping. There is a strange river. It is kind of like a bizarre lovechild of The Green Mile and Sling Blade. That’s all I’ll share for now, but rest assured I am really enjoying writing and discovering this strange tale as I go. And at the end of the day, that’s what my writing comes down to: I write the kinds of stories I want to read... and I absolutely want to keep reading this one.

Oh, and I almost forgot. In October I plan to put out a short story or two. Definitely one, maybe two.  The definite one is titled Blackwater which is my homage to Stephen King’s short story, Graveyard Shift, one of my childhood favorites. The second is a really short story I wrote when I first started out called Mercury Rain. They’re both fun stories, and they’ll either be $.99 or free. I might actually end up packaging the two together and releasing it as a duo.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I have to get a haircut. If you want to stay up to date on what I’m up to with my writing, follow my blog by adding your email to the little gadget thingy on the top right of my blog’s home page. And as always, please feel free to reach out to me through email at I truly do like to hear from readers.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cicada Spring: Award Update and Readers' Favorite Review

So I just found out the other day that Cicada Spring won an Honorable Mention award from the 2015 Readers' Favorite Awards in the suspense category. I thought that was pretty cool, seeing as I never really expected more than a handful of people to ever read my book. I'm still debating going to the ceremony in Miami, but I think I'm leaning more towards yes than no--my beautiful tax accountant girlfriend has informed me I can write the whole thing off on my taxes this year. Beaches, sun, and an award... seems like a no-brainer.
And since I'm on the subject of Readers' Favorite, I thought I would post the Five-Star review they gave Cicada Spring. You can also read it on the website here.
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite
Cicada Spring by Christian Galacar is a story of suspense set in 1979, Heartsridge, Massachusetts. An ordinary day in the lives of ordinary people, until 15-year-old Kara Price stumbles home, following a brutal attack and rape. The perpetrator? A highly public figure in the town, one who is loved by all. Heartsridge is changed, divided. A mayor who can do nothing wrong, despite his temper. A sheriff with a guilty conscience. A father who wants revenge for his little girl, and a killer. Then there’s Kara. She just wants to put it all behind her and move on. But she can’t. There are too many people who accuse her of lying, of being nothing more than an attention seeker. Will justice prevail or will the guilty party walk away, leaving Kara to pick up the pieces of her life?

Cicada Spring is an impressive debut novel by Christian Galacar. From page one, you will not be able to put it down, I guarantee you of that. It is fast and full of exiting action. Twists and turns like no other and the expert handling of a real human interest subject show that Mr. Galacar has set the wheels in motion for a runaway novel. I expect this book to explode onto the scene and receive the accolades it richly deserves. The insight into the mind of a rape victim is deep and will affect any reader. This is a fantastic novel, with strong characters and a strong plot, and I really hope that it signals the beginning of a strong career for Christian Galacar. I look forward to seeing more from this promising author.


Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist

No long blog post today (not that I do many of those or anything). I just wanted to announce that I found out last week that I am a semi-finalist in the 2015 Kindle Book Awards in the Suspense/Horror category. It was unexpected, and I am proud to be in contention with so many other talented authors. It's inspiring, but also funny to think that this started out as a hobby that I never thought would amount to much. Thanks to everyone who assured me Cicada Spring wasn't crap when I was certain it was. Next update on this will be September 1st when I find if I made it to the finals. Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

True Detective: A Few Observations

I want to start by saying that as of writing this, I have not formed any sort of opinion regarding how good or bad the new season of True Detective is. It would be foolish to this early on. In fact, to be completely honest, the only reason I am writing this at all is in shallow hopes that the trending topic will result in a few extra hits on my blog and, possibly, a few extra book sales. Shameless, I know, but whadya gonna do? A man’s gotta eat. That being said, it does not mean that what I am writing is, for lack of a better word, complete shit. What I’m really saying is: There be truth in these here hills.

Okay, so it’s not an opinion and it’s not shit... so what is it then? This early on in the season of TD (due to laziness, I will be referring to True Detective as TD from here on out), it’s just some observations on what I noticed after watching last night’s episode, “The Western Book Of The Dead.” Things that seemed to be working and things that seemed not to be. There’ll be a few opinions, sure, but as promised I will not judge the season itself, as many have been so quick to do.

*Possible light spoilers below*

To start, I can understand why everyone was so quick to rip the first episode apart. It was very heavy on character development, which, like any backstory or exposition in fiction, can tend to be a bit on the slow side if not executed with a deft hand. One of the most successful methods of doing it well, from a historical standpoint (because you never know who will change the rules of the game), is to get to know your characters bit by bit as you journey through the main narrative with them. That was what worked so well last season. We opened to the heart of the mystery, dove right in, and took the ride with Marty and Rust from the get go, being introduced to them more and more as the story went on. And while I think last night’s episode of TD did a good job of setting the stage for what’s to come, I will say that it lacked that dark hook that season one cast out there right away to lure in its audience. It was all fur coat and no trousers. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just different. However, when coming off the high from last year’s soul-blistering introduction to the series, it’s easy to see how different can taste an awful lot like crap. My recommendation to anyone already abandoning ship this early on in the season is this: Cleanse your pallet, then come back and try to view season two as its own animal. Compare it to its predecessor, fine, that’s inevitable and I will likely do it now, but do so in the same way you would compare red and white wines to each other.

My next thought ties to what’s above. Nic Pizzolatto’s writing tends to be very focused on understanding what drives his characters—aka motivation—which is extremely crucial to telling a good story with good characters. If what people do and how they act does not seem authentically motivated, then we don’t believe it and we stop watching... or reading. In WBOD (get it? more laziness) we are introduced to a fair amount of characters right away (we get ‘the who’ upfront instead of ‘the what’ this season), and of each we learn just enough through action, implication, what is said—and not said—to pique our interest. I’m sure as season two progresses the onion will be peeled back on each character significantly, in time with the plot. From a writer’s perspective, it seems to me that Nic has gotten a lot of the heavy lifting out of the way early, clearing the way for a headlong plunge into a story-rich plot that may require a bit more room to tell itself. And that’s fine by me. Or I could be completely wrong.

The one thing I will say was lacking so far, was the eerie atmosphere from season one. The atmosphere of WBOD was thoroughly dark (I felt wrong not drinking whiskey while watching it)… but it was dark in a different kind of way. It was dark in a private detective noir film kind of way, where I kept half-expecting someone to drop the word “dame.” Thankfully that never happened, although I could tell Vince Vaughn’s character wanted to badly to utter it at least once. And I really disliked the use of the nearly identical ominous ambient music they used in season one for scenes in last night’s ep where it didn’t quite belong. It felt an awful lot like a cheap trick to try to elicit a latent response generated by residual feelings for last year’s story. I also could have done without the cringe-worthy and poorly executed almost-lose-control-of-the-motorcycle shtick. F that... he should be dead.

One more thing that seems a little forced is the overuse of philosophical ideas in a not-so-subtle way by characters. Last season it worked with Rust because whenever he’d go off on a tangent his partner was always there to call him out on it, and it made the whole thing seem self-aware and it worked. This season, so far, there is nothing to offset the heaviness of the dialogue and at times it can feel a little overwrought and crammed into the actors’ mouths. But as I said in the very beginning, it’s only getting started. The season is just waking up and last night’s episode was merely it opening its eyes and yawning. Saying, “Hello, old friend.” I’m confident there’s a satisfying ride ahead (twss).

There’s more on my mind, but I’m tired and want to go to bed. Perhaps I’ll do this weekly on Mondays for the remainder of the season. Or maybe I won’t.

“Behold what was once a man.”

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Writing Advice: Or (How One Writer Writes)

About a week ago a friend of mine let me do a guest post on her blog. I'm not sure if it's against guest-blogging protocol to post the same post on your own blog after it's already been posted on another's website, but I need to start building my posts (and I really liked this one) so I decided to take the risk. If I'm committing some kind of blog sin, I do hope someone will tell me.

 * * * * *

My girlfriend and I just signed a lease on a new apartment. That is exciting news in and of itself, but something equally exciting happened to me this weekend while I was cleaning out my bookshelf and boxing things up: I found my copy of Strunk's The Elements of Style. Immediately I recalled how fun and terrifying those first baby steps into the perilous world of writing were. The feeling was a strange combination of fear and longing that made me thirsty for a cold beer with old friends. I missed those earlier times.

Ahhh nostalgia, what a fantastic and powerful drug.

*Long thoughtful sigh*

Moving on now. 

Even better than the book discovery, was when I cracked it open and leafed through the pages and the receipt for it fell out (Spirit of '76 Bookstore, which, coincidentally, is now carrying my first novel, Cicada Spring). The receipt was faded and creased in all kids of strange ways that seemed impossible, especially when you considered that it had spent nearly three years pressed flatly between pages. But there it was in all its magnificent glory—proof of a beginning. For all intents and purposes, it was my birth certificate, a reminder of when I decided writing was what I wanted to do.

According to the tiny piece of paper, May 20th, 2012, was when Christian the Writer was born. I'm still a lot of other things: Christian the Banker, Christian the Over-Confident Golfer, Christian the Hungry, Christian the Habitual Line-Crosser. But Christian the Writer is certainly my favorite of all these identities. He is the one who feels most at home in his awkward and often sunburned skin. Christian the Writer doesn't tan well.

It's funny to think about how three years can feel so short yet so long at the same time. From my current standpoint, it flew by (a tad cliché, I know), but when I try to place myself in my younger self's writing shoes, I can only remember time passing in a grim slog of impatience.

When I was first starting, pumping out short story after short story, all I wanted to do was get better. I wrote hard and fast, with little regard for the rules. I was aware I was making mistakes, but I didn't care. Damn it, I wanted to be good NOW! Get out of my way punctuation and grammar! However, deep down, I knew there was work to be done. Very. Hard. Work. Talent, in my opinion, is less about the 'genius' you think you have inside you, the gift you believe you were given, and much more about how hard you are willing to work to coax it out of you and shine a light on it. It'll be an ugly bastard at first--squinty eyes, no teeth, opaque pink skin (picture a baby rat)--but eventually you can pretty it up some and maybe even find someone who'd be happy to date it.

What I'm getting at is this: I knew that if I kept at it, if I promised myself that no matter what happened, if at the end of the day I never gave up, then inevitably I would get better. And sure enough, I did. At least I think so. The progress was slow. The results, I was certain, would never come. But bit by bit, word by word, then sentence by sentence, things started to get better and easier. I have no delusions of being a genius writer, but I do, however, think that the talent I felt simmering inside me is finally a little easier to transition from my head to the blank page. In short, it's gotten easier to say what I want to say the way I want to say it. And in writing, that's pretty darn important. It is your voice.

So, while I know 'writing advice' is an over-touched-upon subject, and one I'm not even sure I am qualified to discuss, I would still like to talk a little bit about what I picked up along the way. Bits and scraps from here and there. Things that worked for me. Some might be helpful. Some might be better suited as dog food. But if you, dear reader, should glean even the tiniest morsel of inspiration or insight from it, I will be satisfied. Think of this less as advice and more of me telling you what has worked for me. There is no one size-fits-all with writing, so read this and interpret it widely. These things are simply the things I've noticed I was doing when I felt most in control of my craft.

Let's begin.

1) Write Honestly

This is something of a staple in almost any book on writing you will ever read. My favorite, of course, is Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and he discusses the topic the way only Stephen King can. I doubt he would claim to have invented the notion; it is simply something any writer worth his or her salt learns along the way—that the words are best and have the greatest impact when they aren't dumbed down out of fear of what people might think or who might get offended.

Many writers, I have found, are the sort who were often thought of as weird in their adolescence. Not because they were actually weird necessarily, but because they would say things with little care of what others would think of them. Little did we know we were preparing ourselves at such a young age to say what we wanted to say the way we wanted to say it.

So what exactly does 'write honestly' mean? It can mean many things to many people, but to me it means don't hold back. For example: If you want to make a character convincing, say a character who is supposed to be devious and evil (serial killers are a good blank canvas for the dark inclined mind), then I hate to tell you this but you're going to have to conjure up some dark thoughts that disturb you. And when you finally go to put them down on the page, cringing as you type the words, second guessing yourself as to whether or not it's too much and you've crossed a line, you need to know that that's when you should keep going. If you aren't feeling it as a writer when you're writing it, then you better believe the reader won't feel it when they read it. That goes for any emotion—fear, love, lust, anger, humor, sadness.

To write honestly you need to know your characters inside and out. They have to think and behave the way they were meant to, and often times the way that they want to; they can easily take on a life of their own and say things that catch you off guard. So if they decide to speak up, for the love of God do not censor them. It's an unforgivable sin, if you ask me, and you should be nibbled to death by a duck.

2) Surprise Yourself

When it comes to twists and surprises you need to avoid doing the first thing that comes to mind. You are the writer, but you are also the first reader. If you get to a point in your story where you can see the setup/opportunity for a plot-twist coming, take a break for a moment. During that break, think of the first two or three scenarios that would best fit that twist... then throw them away. If you thought of them that fast, then chances are a reader will too. Sometimes the cleverest twists are the ones that seem more obvious (sounds counterintuitive, I know), but people automatically look for the obscure when they start to realize things aren't what they seem. Hiding in plain sight isn't always bad if it suits your story. Points for clever twists are always good, but not the ultimate currency in storytelling. Stories are so much bigger than gimmicks.

In a roundabout way, I think I am trying to say to be real as often as possible. Root your lies in grains of truth to lend them believability and ground them in reality.

3) Find What Works For You and Do It

Writers are creatures of habit, if nothing else. We have our routines and our environmental requirements in order for the words to flow freely. Some writers like to drink or smoke a cigarette or wear aluminum foil on their feet. Find what works for you, your comfort zone, and stay there for the duration of your writing session, whatever it may be. Me? I need to be warm. Scratch that—I need to be blazing hot. I bundle up and turn the heat to 78 degrees. It's the only way I can relax enough to get things moving along. By the time I've managed to get down a thousand or so words, I'm usually a sweaty medium-rare and ready for consuming.

4) Write, Damn it!

This one should go without saying, yet I cannot tell you how many "writers" I have met who tell me they want to write something. It's usually at this moment that I am overtaken with ungovernable rage and want to grab them by the lapels and shake them, all the while screaming "Well then write it, damn you! Don't tell me you want to write... WRITE!!"

What I am getting at in a not-so-subtle way is that if you want to write, you need to write. Even if it is only a hundred words a day, you have to write. It is the only way to get better, and it is the only way to be a writer. Hence the old chestnut: A writer writes. It's old and it's a chestnut because it is true. I have a minimum goal of five hundred words per day, and I always hit that no matter what, even if the words are crap. If I don't, I honestly have a hard time sleeping. Writing, as with so many other hobbies, can quickly become a compulsion and an obsession that demands things from you. It is not unlike an unruly child without manners. It wants what it wants when it wants it. So feed it and you'll be happy.

5) Read Everything

That's all I have to say about that.

6) Dialogue

Dialogue can be tricky. I have always been jealous of those to whom it comes easy. My brother, for instance, can write clever and witty dialogue as if he has been doing it for his entire life. I should mention he is not a writer and the dialogue he does put down on the page is usually just part of some funny email he has decided to send me when the hours of our day jobs are ticking by slowly. But still, he is damn good at it. The trick is, I have found, to remove the boring parts (Elmore Leonard says the same about all writing, in fact). Dialogue should always move the story along or build a character's depth and reveal subtle motivations. It's a great way to show instead of tell.

If you want to try an exercise that can help you improve your skills, try this: listen to conversations on a train and transcribe them, then after you've creepily jotted down everything the couple next to has said, take out all the parts that didn't lend a person character (mannerisms and stall words etc) and take out all the stuff that didn't advance the conversation. What you are left with is the good meat.

7) Finish Something

One of the biggest confidence boosts I got when I was first beginning to write was when I finished my first story. I had a wicked habit of starting things and putting them down, never to be finished. The problem is that when you first come up with an idea to write, there is this initial euphoric blast of adrenalin and excitement. You are like a child with a new toy. But after a few thousand words the excitement wears off and you are left with a bill for the hard work required to finish it. This is where the men are separated from the boys, the women from the girls. This is where it's time to show that story who the hell's boss. So do it. Come to the page every day and finish that story. Even when it gets hard, even when the idea seems stupid at second thought, even when the characters don't resonate, finish it. I promise you when you sit there at the end of it all, finished first draft in hand, it will all be worth it. One cruddy but finished story is far better than a dozen brilliant first paragraphs. And besides, first drafts almost always stink anyway. It's okay. Rewriting and editing is an equally important craft to hone, and you will do just that, grasshopper... you will. It just takes time and practice.

For now I think I have said enough. There is more kicking around in my noggin I am sure, but much of it is probably nothing more than opinions on what you should eat for breakfast and what brand of tea to drink while writing (Earl Grey). So I shall depart posthaste, before I lose your attention, dear reader. But first I would like to thank Kathleen Valentine for the opportunity to write this piece for her blog. The advice she has given me over the past few years has been invaluable.

Thank You.

Friday, April 10, 2015

New FREE Short Story on Amazon

For the next two days my short story "Finding Nebraska" will be free on Amazon. Give it a read. Hope you enjoy. I'll post a description and an excerpt below.


A short story of 8000 words.

Sometimes the wheel of life doesn't spin in your favor, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. Brian Lethando knows this firsthand. His mother left him when he was only two years old, and his father died shortly after of a heroin overdose. Twenty years later, when the woman who took Brian in and raised him as her own son begins to suffer the effects of Alzheimer's, the two of them set out on one last road trip to discover the true meaning of the word 'family.'
Finding Nebraska

We drive west on Route 20. The car moves along, rolling on rusted rims and bald tires, barreling toward some uncertain future I know holds in it the possibility of hurt. But that’s life, and that’s okay. Hands gripping the wheel, eyes set forward on the edge of the sunset, I ask, “Do you really think this is a good idea?”
Louise looks at me. Smiles. “I don’t know. But what I do know is that we break our hearts, our bodies and our souls, for the things we love—or the idea of love, anyway. I know that much. But no, Brian, I can’t tell you if this is a good idea. I only know you’ll do it because you have to.” Then she turns back to the window.
Land rolls on endlessly. Outside is a plate of dead plains that seem like lost dreams. Forgotten hope. Dry grass like dead love. Vast skies kiss the purple horizon with level lips. Occasional rock ridges the color of burnt biscuits cut the straight lines, catching the last rays of the falling sun, setting their crowns on fire like stone torches.
I think about what Louise just said. I think I understand what she meant about having to go. She is having one of her moments of clarity, a two-day stretch this time. To some it might not seem that way, but she is. I recognize it. The eyes tell it like it is. And she is behind them right now.
These moments, when I recognize the woman who raised me for all those years, are where I want to be. But I feel myself already starting to miss them, like the promise of being lost forever has already begun sweeping them away. They are little glimpses back to the old Louise, the woman who existed before she got sick, before her doctor said that phrase that sounded so cruelly like Old-Timer’s Disease. Nothing lasts forever, though. I’m not foolish enough to think it does. Some things should, I’ll admit that. But they plain don’t. Just have to bear it.
With a final wink, the sun drops below the horizon. The sky smolders like an ember of heaven. Louise slides across the bench-seat of the Pontiac and rests her head on my shoulder. She fiddles with the radio dial. Something with twang fills the car. We must be in Nebraska by now.
“I think we’re in Nebraska,” I say. “You want to take your pills?”
She doesn’t respond, only rests her hand on my thigh and begins to caress it. Then I feel her dry lips on my neck, smell her sweet perfume with the stiff undertones of medicine and dry mouth. “Dad will never know, Cody. Let’s be a little bad. Why don’t you pull over? We’ll park for a bit.”
She’s gone again, just like that. I pull away gently. I don’t want to scare her. What she thinks and feels in these moments is real to her. Cody was her boyfriend in high school, from a timeline nearly fifty years before.
“Louise, it’s me, Brian. Do you remember who I am? We’re taking a road trip, remember?”
She looks at me, trying to hold a flirtatious smile—or trying to remember how to. I can see that she feels sixteen again, but the deep-set lines in her face won’t lie about her age. They are like dried up riverbeds wandering away from the edges of her eyes, her lips, mapping the story of a hard life.
Doubt clouds her face. Her smile starts to fade, replaced with something like embarrassment. Only she doesn’t know if she should be embarrassed, so she hesitates, clinging to that false reality where she’s sixteen and I’m Cody. She is half kneeling on the seat like an eager teenager when her world begins slipping through her fingers. She becomes aware of the misalignment in her mind. Then she slouches, as if someone pulled a plug and she is deflating. “Oh, I… Brian? I’m sorry. I got confused. Did I… I thought you were…”
I don’t let her finish. She shouldn’t have to say the words. She shouldn’t have to explain herself. It isn’t her fault. “It’s okay. Don’t apologize. Maybe we should stop for the night. Get some sleep. It’s been a long day.”
And it has been a long day. We’ve covered nearly six hundred miles. Six hundred miles with only one slip of her mind. Not bad. But not good, either. The bouts seem to come in clusters, like wave sets breaking on the shore of her mind. Churning. Unearthing fossilized memories like ancient relics. There is comfort in knowing that when white water settles, clear waters resurface.