the skulduggery pleasant books rated by mentions of dogs
  • scepter of the ancients: features dogs running freely in haggard with their tails wagging, a slobbery dog in a towtruck, and several other references to dogs. a solid dependable book. (8/10).
  • playing with fire: melissa mentions one of the edgley's owns owns three small dogs, says she prefers big dogs. valkyrie asks her if they're getting a dog. a tantalising conversation, but could be improved with more dogs. (6/10)
  • faceless ones: while there are two similes referencing dogs, this book contains no actual dogs. very disappointing. (2/10)
  • dark days: valkyrie asks her parents if they can get a dog. however, she also insults hannah foley's chinese crested dog. not cool. (4/10)
  • mortal coil: valkyrie see's a dog being taken for a walk at st anne's park. she also gives skulduggery a mug with a picture of her neighbour's one-eyed dog betty on it. this is pivotal to the ongoing development of both their character arcs. (9/10)
  • deathbringer: kenny goes to the park where he see's several small dogs playing in the sunshine. A few other references to dogs are made throughout the book. (7/10)
  • kingdom of the wicked: we learn of the existence of an alternate dimension where mevolent and his army kill dogs.this is awful, just awful (-10/10)
  • last stand of dead men: contains one real dog and one fake dog-like-alien, i would have prefered two dogs (5/10)
  • dying of the light: valkyrie finally gets the dog she's always wanted. xena is amazing, a very good dog. couldn't be happier for my girl. (11/10)

“Are you okay?”

No, no, of course not,
Maybe. I don’t know anymore.
I don’t know if I’m healing
Or if I’m dissolving,
I don’t know if I’m on the edge
Of breakdown or breakthrough,
But either way: an edge, and it’s sharp.
What I do know,
Is that last night I could hear 
The ghosts of everyone I’ve ever been
Screaming in my ear
And pounding on my head
Demanding, let us in, let us in.

My heart broke for them, but I did not open the door.

“Talk to me.”

In metaphors? In simile,
In prose or in poetry,
Which format will you hear most clearly?
I can’t tell you, in conventional language,
That I’m gutting myself
And tying my organs one-by-one
To helium balloons
And setting them free into outer space
And hoping that either:

1) Someone will find them, and know where they come from, and will find me and stitch me up, or

2) They will be forgotten forever, and something grander and stronger and altogether better will grow in the empty spaces left behind.

“I miss you.”

I’m sorry.

“I need you.”

I’m drowning.

“Help me.”

Not this time.

Written Out

Something fell out



I don’t know
I only know
the words are raining down
a chaos of syllables

One thousand and three

Cracks widening I counted them
as silent sounds in letter form
fell all around me

I don’t know what they want

I don’t know where they wish to go

I know who I am but not what I am
when my thoughts shake loose
to come out non-sequentially
spilling emotions in odd patterns
that change the definition
but not the intent,

I am an onion

Layers separating
left too long in the sun
a thick rotting juice
pushing me apart

I don’t know if I’m real

Or the words are

They aren’t mine

The words

Some stranger has staggered
out of a crumbling ruin
faceless and voiceless
with a dirty battered rucksack
full of a familiar language
I don’t recognize
to dump it’s contents
in the mud at my feet
I crouch down and pick through them
wondering why they’re here
or if maybe they are
and I’m not

Is this communication?

Am I communicating?

I can’t know if you’re there
without knowing if I’m real

If I become a ghost will I know?

I haven’t spoken a word in two days
no one has spoken to me
Am I cut off or cut out or just drifting
in a crowded world where the silent
disappear into the scenery of the real?
In my mind my mind is spinning
roaring sparking as a dynamo
gone moderately mad and racing
but nothing I have outside
shows the fierceness inside,

Am I real?

Is anything?

Or maybe the words
are the only things that ARE me
so that as they scatter loose from my grip
bit by bit I am fading
as they drop into obscurity
until soon
the only mark of my life,
the only proof I existed
will be a random sentence
in an anonymous quote
bereft of meaning


Seriously though, Norman commenting that Daryl was like a ‘little boy who lost his mom’ is not an ageist comment about MM. It’s not actually about her at all. When asked if the Caryl relationship is mother/son he flat out said unequivocally no. It’s a description of his emotional state. When he talks about Daryl being like an abused animal he’s not literally describing himself as a dog. Come on.

It’s like in your chest there’s a magnet, a magnet not for metal but for a substance not available on this planet. So that it is constantly pulling […] at something it will never draw close. Must be where they got the expression aching for something. Because it is a kind of ache. To want something and want something and. After a while you begin to feel intimate with the missing part.

Aleida Rodríguez, from “Exile,” Garden of Exile: Poems (Sarabande Books, 1999)