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Severus' Answers  
16:44:00, February 2nd, 2008
John Henry Holliday, DDS
1. Excluding John, what drew you to your other muses?

The only other muse I have is Bran - brenin_gwyn, which means ‘white king.’ The book from which Bran comes is The Grey King – ‘brenin llwyd.’ Also ‘blessed king,’ for in mythology King Bran is ‘Bran the Blessed’ and my Bran is an albino. He is from The Dark Is Rising Sequence sequence , where he is not the main character but appears in only 2/5 of the books. My tattoo is a sun sign from these books, reworked and pedantic, naturally.

I chose Bran when I was ten, as he is ten in canon. He surely grew up as I did – branded with difference, growing up in the same cold home with the same religious rigours, attacked in school and out, no friends, no common culture, and yet... He was every alienated clever child’s dream – brilliant, bitter and proud despite it all, with secretly the greatest heritage imaginable: he is the son of King Arthur. And he too had an elderly friend to teach him, as I had my grandmother periodically. And he is Welsh, which pleases me as my background is Cornish, which is very close.

My Bran is grown and with no purpose, after his destiny is over. He is out of school and his guardian and friend are both dead. In the books Bran chose to remain on our earth and forget his destiny and significant life, when offered home and immortality with his father beyond the stars. My Bran chose to stay and remember. I wanted to see if I could give him purpose and love when others were not predisposed to despise him. Maybe I wanted to see what would happen. Maybe I just wanted to explore something of myself – just let him hurt and try until something changed. And now he has a friend. And now he has a dog.

2. How do you approach the TM prompts and which of yours are your favorite?

You can usually tell the ones I do not like so much because they are a single unbroken paragraph shorter than it is wide. *grins* My favourites were, well I would say 215 Seduction, but I it was so recent I could be wrong when looking back later. I liked John’s dream, simply because he saw it, but we gave you that already, at least the part that was Severus. I liked the Albequerque post, but it was not really a prompt.

When I see the prompt put up I think about what event in John’s life it might represent for him, then I write down the facts, and then I just listen to him. Or if there is nothing in specific I just write as he tells me his thoughts. I just listen. And sometimes John sees something as if in a dream. I like that best. I want to write more accounts and fewer thoughts – more stories. It seems strange and truly I do not so much think as ask, but there it is.

I liked:
Magic MirrorMagic Mirror</a>
John dreams again. This is the obscure version of the Albequerque post. One was supposed to look in the mirror and see one’s darkest fear, I believe. It is about the one thing that John regrets. As I said, I like the dreams, because they are always clear and always let him see things in a new way.

Someone Lied to You
I like this one because it is a very obscure thing about John and I am just glad to show something he did of which he was proud, but of which he did not speak – a secret of his... goodness. It is not perfectly elegantly written and it is not poignant, but I like it anyway.

Chance Encounter
John writes of Wyatt, as Wyatt wrote of him. John likes this one, so naturally I do as well. It is something close to him – an attempt to tell to others what he saw; why he loved. And we think it succeeded.

Letter to Someone who Hurt You; Someone You Hurt
The letter to Robert is the one he wrote and his thoughts are those of his father and uncle. I like it because it gives John family and shows something true. He was dying then and didn’t mention it nor ask for aid.

Crystal Ball: Leadville
This is John’s Christmas towards the end of his life. Maybe it is heavy-handed – I cannot tell in my own writing, but it is his loneliness and pain and makes me feel... tender towards him maybe.

3. Least favorite and why?

I didn’t like:
John thought of loyalty above all and this prompt fails. Maybe I did it too hurriedly.

This is poorly done. I do not think about monogamy, so we did not say anything worth reading.

Would You Change Your Actions
Again, John feels strongly about this and the prompt does not convey it adequately. He is for pride and innocence as a future prospect. He cannot want to change his actions, nor does he regret (save the one thing.) I did not explain the idea well. It does not make the pure sense it should.

Become a Woman
Well, we just did not care for this.

If Life Is a Game
Life is not a game, so writing about it is not likely to be brilliant.

4. If you met the real Doc Holliday, what is the one question you would ask him? What do you think he'll respond?

I would say Tell me about loyalty. And as that was ‘The cardinal tenet of his perverted creed’ he would tell me about honour and what he believed and his life and those to whom he was loyal and what he saw in them, which would also tell me what he valued. And then I would ask him to teach me cards and dentistry and I would learn everything, apprenticed. Ah, pipe dreams...

5. Is truth absolute, as Severus believes, or subjective based on the person's beliefs?

I am not sure exactly what Severus means, but I believe in absolute truth, which is not about to change by my will or thought. Philosophically I am not of the subjective school. Practically, alas the absolute truth is not pretty nor presentable, but:

“Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

Except that all people turn or fade or die, so all one has is to be true to those one values oneself, independent and regardless of ‘one another.’ All one can do is defy this truth and provide to those rare ones in whom one sees value: joy, love, light, certitude, peace, help for pain. And to be kind and courteous to all, just in case they happen to be more than tabula rasa, moved by preferences and mundane concerns and interests; for depth can be hidden and found where least expected, regardless of masks or visage, person or place, or whether people can see or value one in return. And one must furthermore work for the future that it will be true to those one would value who are not yet born. And this is sacrifice too, an absolute truth before which any concern bends.

And absolute truth is that it is undignified not to be diligent – to strive to do ones best. To strive to be Nulli Virtute Secundus – what else is there in the world? This is not to say one succeeds – one falls and fails, slips and judges wrongly, gives in to despair. And sometimes the best one can do is to simply rise and take breakfast.

And the absolute truth is that those who turn , fade and die do not lose their beauty, and it is extremely important to always be with them fully and give them one’s best attention in order that when they are gone one may hold and treasure the memories and finger them in the night when all the world seems otherwise dark. Still all wonder, still all light and love.

Thus John, who believed and did these things.

6. The sixth question (I have been asking six).
Your posts that move me most:
Best Friend



Recurring Dream This one made us love him, even after we had noticed him.

Simplicity The simple fear of free will not to be surrendered but taken. Oh, Severus.


Intrigue This one makes me smile for it matches ‘Best Friend’ and I understand it.

Control My god. Severus. There are not words to express... It deserved prizes. It makes us love him maybe most of all.

Sorrow in the World And this affects us likewise.

Theatre This is not a prompt, but. John ached for it. Did you ever read Paul’s Case by Willa Cather? Something of the same air...
affect: pensivepensive
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