October 1st, 2017:
I am writing this all down as quickly as I can. I’m leaving for Neithernor and I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’d made a promise that I would wait to reveal what I’m about to reveal until all of this was finished. If it was safe to reveal it at all.
First off, hello! I’m hope all’s well with you. So yes, I have a secret. One I kept from everyone, even Cole. A secret I promised I would keep. This all started in November of 2016. Back when I was going to restart Ackerly Green on my own. Before things took a dozen or more turns for the weird and my life changed forever.
It all started with this:
I didn’t receive a response when I messaged whoever it was who registered the Ackerly Green social accounts. So… I did a little more digging. And by “digging” I mean I did some borderline unethical things like emailing Instagram and claiming the @AckerlyGreen account was mine but I couldn’t remember what email address I used, and I needed it to reset the password… (I only wanted the address to email them directly, I swear.)
Instagram, helpfully responded…
The man whose children had found the Guide to MAGIQ my father had left in the park. The man whose son had recreated the Guide and essentially set us all on this path. The man who’d claimed he wanted nothing to do with all of this magiq business and asked to be left alone.
Well, if he wanted to be left alone, why was he claiming Ackerly Green social media accounts?!
So I emailed him. Over and over and over.
And it wasn’t until February or so that he finally wrote back.
“I’d said I didn’t want anything to do with this, yes, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I can’t explain why but I’ve been fixated on all of this ever since they came looking for the guide and I created these accounts… I don’t know… as sort of a lure? To see if anyone else out there felt the way I did when they heard the words “Ackerly Green.” And the messages started rolling in, from all over the world. People with stories and memories, asking what I knew, what I remembered… It was overwhelming. In a way I didn’t understand, until recently. And so I had to ignore them. Tried to anyway. If you want the accounts, their yours. I’m sorry if I caused you any trouble.”
I felt wretched. I responded, reassuring him, explaining that I understood.
And we started a correspondence. The only thing he asked was that I not tell anyone about our talks. He said something in him was scared for everyone to know. He wanted to protect his children, his husband, but there was something else pushing him away from all things “mountaineer” and he couldn’t explain why. I learned he was a writer, an indie publisher, and self-described geek…
We became friends. Though, I admit that as the months rolled on and the craziness of my life increased, I corresponded less and less. But it didn’t matter. CJ had decided to help me manage the business here in New York City while I was traveling the world, running from (and to) knocking doors and mysterious, far off locations.
CJ took on the responsibility of helping me gather up everything I’d need to restart Ackerly Green Publishing when I came home, learning more about the company he’d found himself so drawn to.
But as you know, my interests in publishing waned as I dug deeper into the mysteries of The Monarch Papers and finally saw Neithernor, the world my father led me to.
I’d missed dozens of emails from CJ. He’d become a sort of expert on Ackerly Green. The emails were all about the company, its strange history, the memories others had shared with him… And a few secrets CJ himself had been keeping and was finally will to share with me. (Editor’s Note: you can read about this in CJ’s Publisher’s Letter.)
So last night we met for coffee.
And I put the company in his hands. He refused at first, but we finally agreed that he would run it while I was away, and if I wanted it when I came back, I could have it.
I’m about to join the forum. About to tell you what I’ve learned about my father, what I’ve decided…
I don’t know when I’m coming back, but I’m sure we’ll cross paths again. But between you and CJ, I’m more sure than ever that Ackerly Green Publishing is in very good hands.
DGx – Stormslayer