Suppose I was feeling sorry for myself, too. There was at least a bit of that when I thought up this Burndtree. Life...the big L...hadn't turned out as I'd hoped. More like a small-l.

Always had a thing for trees. For them standing upright. For them turned into things, like paper, and boats. For the solitary pine, bent by a thousand gales on a hilltop. And deciduous woods, the light changing with the seasons. And conifers, crowding close, creeeaking, the place tangy like one of those air freshener trees.

Especially liked tree trunks, limbs just right, that allowed that kid me to climb high inside their whispering heads. Kid no more, I still tip back my face — any chance that comes — eyeballing the treetops as I hurry off to work.

This Burndtree was only a word, when I decided on it...about seven years ago. As a safeguard, so my respectable and boring Telus email account shouldn't attract junk mail, I signed-up for one of those free webmail accounts. Figured I'd give out that junkmail address if ever I had to while online, you see. And needed a name I could live with.

Always wrote, and Sci-Fi was my first writing love. I daily created and burned worlds in my head...as a kid...figuring the best way to save the world I cared about was to show the hell it could become. Already had decided on a tree. Because I liked a bit of drama, a burned tree. Dropping the e.

Nice touch that it also sounded close enough to my name, Bernhard. Thing is, over the years I used my Burndtree account more than the respectable and boring Telus one. Got fond of it.

Then, at the start of '08 came a hankering to explore a blog — and at the same time this Protagonize, daring me to do some climbing again.

I could live with Burndtree. Now needed a profile pic.

There was only the one choice. Drew the tree right the first try: trunk and limbs, because I liked that; however on the back of some scrap at work. Back home, scanned it clearly enough that I didn't have to try draw it again. Touched it up in a paint program. It turned out better than I could've hoped. The burned tree, alive, bending in the wind. And a lesson there for me, when I'm feeling full of myself. Say a bit too...stubbornly dramatic.

Then it turned into an apple tree, even occasionally bearing fruit!

The End

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