I achieve ember. Twice.

I nearly peed myself when I realized there was a decent amount of heat coming from between my feet. Stopping my sawing on the bow, I peered down and frantically started blowing on the tiny ember cradled in the tinfoil. I didn’t think I’d get this far and there was no tinder substitute near me. I pulled open my lumberjack drawer and pulled out what I thought was a tinder bundle I’d made earlier just in case. No, it was some of the fur I’d combed off my cat and was twisting into yarn. (More on this later). Cat fur doesn’t smell much better than human hair when it burns, or fizzles, in this case.

Despite all my efforts, I couldn’t get it to chirp into a teeny flame. Not even a small one. And then the rest of the evening, nothing, barely even any smoke, mostly just the irritating squeaking. And I had to drill a couple of new holes in the fireboard, too, as well as new spindlepoints. At this rate, I’m going to run out of spindle and fireboard before I ever create anything that could light a candle.

Last night I tried again, and this time achieved a nice big ember. And then nothing. I fed it proper tinder (over my sink, for safety), I blew on it, I talked pretty to it, and nothing. It split in two, shrunk, darkened, split in two again, darkened and went out. As it was late, I sharpened up the spindle, again, in preparation for the new spot on the board I’m going to have to drill, again.

This project is kind of the cornerstone of my moving forward. Making fire from nothing? Come on. That’s like magic even if it just reclaiming technological skills that are everyone’s birthright. I’m telling myself this is the part of the superhero’s story when her training just sucks and she can’t think she can do it. Sucking at it doesn’t mean you stop. It just means you wipe your sooty hands on your pants and keep going.

The house smells nice!


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