Darling Daughters

Chapter Three

A low slung mist clung tight to Grimeston.

In those quiet early hours of dawn, the only sound to be heard was the quiet hum of a car engine cruising slowly through the town. It passed by the large open town square of a truly picturesque town.

In the back seat of the car sat two very exhausted Darlings. The bloodline formed of the very founders of this town.

Pulling up to the manner house the girls drowsily stepped from the car, removing their baggage. The fog began to lift and rise as the car drove off into the rising mists. Elizabeth and summer watched it leave before facing their new home.

The front garden, an overgrown jungle stretched before them. It seemed to be that every leaf and stem was tangled and intertwined over every surface from the walkway to the porch steps. Dragging their heavy bags and suitcases up the driveway to the porch steps crushing the long grasses growing wildly beneath their feet. Pulling the heaviest case free they pass up the porch steps and past the broken porch swing the girls shared a look of anxiety before they opened the creaking door.

Creeping inside the doorway they drag their bags behind them and slide them beside the door they ventured into the darkness before them.

Finding the light switch in the thick dusty darkness they saw their first glimpses of their new home. The furniture shapes before them covered in thick heavy drapes covered in dusty. Without thought Summer dove into her shoulder bag and pulled out a notebook and pen and started to jot herself a list. As they made their first adventure the dusty grand staircase.

At the top of the hallway they approached the master bedroom. The first thing either of them noticed was the dust, the thick smell of dust. The room was intensely elegant even the simple attached bathroom, but the need to sneeze drove them from the room. Taking an envelope from the dresser table bearing Elizabeth’s name. Continue reading

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Two

Some very many miles away the wind was whistling violently across a sea filled with turmoil. Somewhat reflecting the soul f one particular passenger on the ferry sat sullenly with dark expressions. A beautiful girl whose face seemed to, in its own mystery, reflect the deep grey sky that dragged the wind through the sea. Coursing waves had encouraged a sickly shade of green nausea.

The girl had sat unable to drag her eyes from the turbulent landscape. In her sweating palms she gripped a letter, once again she read the scrawl of writing, now almost known to her by memory.  Her saving distraction, an invite to visit relatives she had not long discovered, ready to embark on the new journey for the beginning of the summer.

The girl had no reason to believe in luck, she had prayed to herself that there was more than what met the eye. She had put her family through a search engine, she could barely believe she was related to this inspiring family. She had always believed she was less than ordinary, always so lacking; yet somehow she never could fit in among her peers. Her way of thinking did nothing in conforming to regular convention. Ever the oddball, after all how could she believe the world to be reflecting the turmoil within out on the sea she was sailing.

Her eyes flicked back to the envelope, “Miss E M Darling”. She didn’t feel like a Darling, not by any measure; they were great, inspiring, creative, and so it seemed sheer genius. Not once had she dared to believe herself a fraction as wonderful. Continue reading

The 2017 Project

So… The Penultimate 2017 project!!! SO less than a month to see what I can do before New Year… Not long until I begin to finalize the goals I want to achieve in 2018, of which there seems to be a steady supply. Not sure if I will keep the habit swap. Lets see what happens.

So sadly I couldn’t fit nanowrimo in November. However I did complete number 14 which means that is 7 of my 24 goals completed and I have officially succeeded at my New Years resolution for the first time ever!!!

So while the other goals I haven’t quite mastered yet, I have to say I am very proud of what I have achieved next year. I want to do this challenge again next year it was fun and enjoyable.

Now the current in progress goals are well,  8, 10, 17, 22 mainly now. Though I am still going to try the others if I can fit it in.

The 24-7 goals:

1- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 2

2- Do NANOWRIMO

3- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 3?

4- Write the first book of the big project

5- Finish spine tattoo

6- Finish magpie tattoo

7- Finish musical rib tattoo

8- Look for an agent/publisher for the “big” project

9- Learn to drive

10- Learn guitar

11- Finish knitting the cable knit jumper

12- Finish knitting the blankets

13- Improve views on here

14- See a west end show

15- Try and succeed at least three times on the 21 day habit swap

16- Win the lotto jackpot

17- Look for the positives more often

18- Meditate regularly

19- Keep making emotional progress

20- Keep hope and loose more doubt

21- Make posts for here in advanced, consider adding pictures, try to avoid leaving it to the last minute

22- Try to grow my hair long- aim for below the shoulder this year.

23- Become even more open-minded

24- Discover my own special brand of writers magic,

Habit swapping:

Break- Stop apologizing for myself so often. I do it a lot, it is something that really bothers me, mainly because I apologise for things that are completely not my fault and nothing to do with me. I am sick of apologizing for my own existence.

Make- Eat at least one piece of fruit a day. It is supposed to be healthy right?

Make- Write/plot at least an hour each day even on rest days. I have to start getting stricter on myself.

Make- Create and stick to a writing schedule. I have to start being more organised.

Break- Stop being hard on myself, speak kinder words to myself instead. That pretty much explains itself.

Make- A daily list of 3 positive things that I like about my day. Because sometimes it is easy to forget that there were brief sunshine moments.

Make- A daily list of 3 things that I like about myself, physical, non-physical. Because, it can be hard to show yourself some love.

Make- A little notebook of positive aspects, a once a day entry of 10 things that are positive. Literally a list of positive aspects about people, places, things; maybe one day I will post it on here.

That’s all  for now, it might change or grow but other than that, it’s all feeling good!

Darling Daughters

Chapter One

The manner fell silent.

For once the manner had stopped creaking, the wind daren’t rattle the shutters. The house had stopped living; it had fallen silent in mourning. The manner hadn’t always been this way. After all, the house had seen some truly revolutionary dinner parties. The house had played host to family gatherings and celebrations; it had seen births, christenings, communions, confirmations, after parties, birthdays, weddings and deaths. The reason for its last gathering.

The old Manner itself had begun to mourn the late, the great, Archibald Joseph Darling. The man who had bonded with the house, loving its creaks and murmurs. Archie had danced the fine line between creative genius and madness all of his life, but it was he who had exposed the house’s true personality. This was the very first house to be built on this land. Having replaced the original building after its burning down around 150 or so years ago it was returned to its former glory, and then some.

This house was the foundations for the town. A beautiful little place in New England called Grimeston, not too far from Stars Hollow. The house was made truly spectacular by Archie; after all it was his inheritance. Before Archie the gardens had been plain and simple, until he designed and sculpted a stunning water feature in the centre of the back garden with neatly encouraged tangled ivy and beautiful roses trained along the borders of the garden. The house had never looked so bright and alive. Continue reading

What’s coming up next?

Well when I first began to wonder about the question I realised my original idea has to change. I haven’t been able to take part in NANOWRIMO like I had planned and hoped I could and would have, although I did begin starting to look at the project ideas and begin planning what I want it to be like I have struggled to even begin to get the words down on paper.

So I know this isn’t the ideal situation I was hoping for. I found myself with a lot of half started stories this year, and only a couple of them have been finished. So what do I want to do with the remainder of 2017? Well… I am going to do something naughty. I am going to post the first three chapters of the big project around Christmas time, so stay tuned. But I warn you, those three chapters of the big project over the Christmas period are likely to be all that is ever shown in a preview on here until I have an agent/publisher and a publishing contract and date etc all sorted out. Yes, I know that is mean, just giving a little teaser and taster of a project I have honestly loved writing. I am still hunting for the agent and publisher so it probably is a bit mean to be saying here this is the great big project I have been preparing for, for the last seven or eight years. But that being said, seven or eight years is a long old time to be working on something. I love this story and I can’t wait to share it but right now this is all I feel like it is time to share.

But that is not enough I know. So this year will see the start of a project I wrote a while ago and that has had a bit of editing from its first draft of horror to this draft of shame… in the hope that it could be more of what I wanted it to be like. It had a little bit of a make-over, which it sorely needed, and I think my way of writing has evolved and changed since then so of course editing was very painfully cringe-y. I enjoyed writing this story the first time because it meant a lot to me that I had been inspired by the wonderful strong women I know. So that will start this year and be adjusted into next year’s new post structure/schedule. So I will probably be releasing that in its chapters and I will release that as a whole next year on amazon kindle so keep your eyes peeled. It’s called Darling Daughters and will begin to appear on here VERY soon.

So what is happening to The Diary of Elliot Parker? Well, I am continuing the project, it’s developed a life of its own and taken a few twists and turns already I can’t wait to share… I think Elliot Parker is here to stay for a while, just how much post time it gets over the next year is debatable, it will return in the new year to share some screen space with Darling Daughters… I love writing TDEP and I am reluctant to let it go just yet. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to write.

Hopefully with any luck I will also be able to begin to work on the project I had planned to do for NANOWRIMO, get a good plot hashed out and ready to write, write that and then hopefully it will be ready to appear some-time next year. I just need to get a few projects done… ok more than a few. I think there is a to do list that is longer than I am tall… I will get it done though. I refuse to fall into the abyss of worrying too much about the to do list to actually get it done. It’s just going to take some time… So yes I know I am currently borrowing time like crazy, but I will get some exciting new projects and work written up soon! I promise.

So I know this isn’t exactly what I planned. But I have to roll with it, life is a bit unpredictable so I am going to be working even harder now than I was before to make sure I am releasing the best work I can on here for you to read.

May luck and adventure be on your side.

ARA xx

 

Author Update (November 2017)

So it is November after all… This year has gone so very quickly.

Where has this year gone? I can’t believe it has gone so very fast! Not long until Christmas and New Year!

Has everyone else done all their Christmas shopping and gotten everything done yet?

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next year, in terms of New Years resolutions. I am beginning to wonder what next year will bring but I am sure it will be good.

I have barely done any writing lately but I am hoping to settle into creating a new rhythm so that I am making more time to write. To be honest, barely is putting it mildly.

No NANOWRIMO this year sadly but maybe next?

This month on Netflix… I watched the Daredevil and some of the new Heartland series but other than that, tv has been lazy half baked viewing. I finished watching all of the new series of Vampire Diaries and have been watching some of the Greenhouse Academy too.

Guitar has been SO VERY slow, I have been trying to decide what song to master next but the practice schedule has been pretty hard to achieve… as in, I haven’t practiced, although we learned Two Worlds Collide by Demi Lovato, as much as I like the song I don’t think it is one that I like playing on guitar sadly.

My sumbissions of The Big Project to agents and publishers has been slow and painful… extremely … No luck as yet but there is always hope for the future.

I am still working on that whole work/writing/life balance… its harder than I thought.

Of course I still gotta throw a little plug in for The Diary of Elliot Parker 🙂 I likes writing it so of course I will keep reminding you…

The Diary of Elliot Parker Part Three is now available! Here is the UK link https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075VSBT3Q

Here is the US link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VSBT3Q

 

And as always… I just want to remind you that there are books that are open, and available to you. So here is the link to my amazon author page, why not see if something takes your fancy? There is plenty up there to get you caught up from the first edition to the current of The Diary of Elliot Parker. Perhaps I might even stick something new on there soon so watch this space!!!

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA xxx

Wicked was well…

Wicked.

So yes I know, we went on Halloween and it has taken me an awful long time to type anything to be honest. So what can I tell you, Wicked on Halloween was incredible. Haz, Boo and I seemed to have a great evening, albeit chaotic.

As per tradition Haz was a bit late to meet up to travel into London together. So finally getting into the station we went to Frankie and Bennies, which was a great choice. We all had something a little bit different but we enjoyed the food and only had the mains because, lets face it the portions are decent enough to leave you feeling rather full. We decided to go try some mini cupcakes on a side shop after, which were great.

Well when it comes to wicked we had a lot of fun, a big giggle waiting to go in, our seats were half decent for sitting in the nosebleeds. We had a great view. The cast did an incredible job. Truly, it was magnificent. The vibes were incredible, the energy in the room, everything.

I loved it. For once I wasn’t insanely jealous of the cast performing either, I got to enjoy it completely but I think that has more to do with where I am now and what has been happening in life. Then as for the horrendously pricey mini tub of ice cream… that was delicious.

The cast did a great job, their singing was incredible, the techniques and the emotion they had emphasized were completely on point. It was brilliant.

Basically we all loved watching Wicked. A fantastic night out.

The Harry Potter Tour

So… Yep I finally went. I’ve not had time to write up about it until now. Although some pictures are slowly making their way to my instagram page, which you can probably tell I went with boo.

So Watford is a lovely place, the studios are massive. It is a magical trip to make for any Potter fan, and yes puns will probably be intentional.

We got to the studio a little bit early but it was good to not rush, we enjoyed the giant chess pieces out the front, wonderful props. So we went inside, I advise a quick trip to the bathroom before you go into the studios, always good to be prepared. So we loved looking at all the beautiful props even in the atrium before you enter. So we made our way inside and there is a whole big thing before the tour really begins which is where I will refuse to give spoilers. But stepping into the tour was insane fun, we loved it, the hall the hourglasses everything. going through all the props, the way that things were made, seeing how things were made, cast and crew interviews on screens throughout the tour were fantastic. I loved the Halloween features that had been put in place, the special touches, it was fantastic. The live show with death eaters. The people that work there are great and need a lot of praise, they do a great job and are there if help is needed.

The entire tour was incredible, but unfortunately, I am definitely not a fan of butterbeer… it is gross in my opinion, but that is ok, we don’t all have to like it… So the next thing, the thing that left me awestruck was the room that has Hogwarts inside. Honestly, it was very much an incredible feeling to walk around the model of a place that for most of your child hood you dreamed of running away to. It did kind of feel like that “ah, I am home” sort of feeling, even though in reality we had never been there before. It was completely incredible. I loved every second of the tour. I can’t wait to go back, honestly I am already planning another trip, though it won’t be for at least another year.

 

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

This book took me a little while to read. It has a few authors, Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy was a good read, some of it took more time than others to understand. I mean, it was pretty incredible. I liked the continuation and the breathing life into characters and seeing back stories for characters who in the original mortal instruments seemed to have more of a story. One thing I couldn’t shake was the wondering about this book, was it essentially like a fan fiction for some aspects. Like I know it was probably very planned with guidelines for some of it but still I have to wonder if it was a way to push a few storylines forwards.

Don’t get me wrong I loved that Alec and Magnus ending up accidental parents to a little blue warlock. I thought that was great! I love the whole “Malec” ship. But I can’t help but the “Clace” (Clary and Jace) ship was a bit, lacking in how defined it felt. I know the focus was largely on Simon. I like that he grew as a character and that his friendship with Clary was given a new route of life. But I think the friendship that was built and so heavily underlined with George was a heavy handed approach to make the character liked. I’m not above writing like that myself, I know characters have to be given an importance and likeability if they are to take up a significant amount of face time with a main character. But the way that the friendship and kinship resolves with Simon and George, it feels like an underwhelming resolution to a storyline. I know there has to be a significant risk or consequence for characters and to threaten it but not deliver is foolish. But however, I do think delivering the consequence to a character who otherwise could be seen as a side line or after thought to even the main character is a bit ill advised. Making someone significant all of a sudden with the desperate need before any consequence to have provoked an emotional response feels a bit amateur for the story. I think I might have expected a bit more. Maybe the emotional bond could have been highlighted more earlier and given higher stakes.

Yes, Simon and Clary would be obvious parabatai material but to be honest, I wanted it to be George, I think it would have been nicer. I think Clary and Isabelle would have been great to see them find a level of friendship that they could become parabatai. It would be a little less obvious and a bit more controversial although, that said, it would have been obvious too. I suppose I just would have liked Simon to have grown a bit away from Clary even when he gets his memories back. I think putting some distance with Simon and Clary would have been good just to see how Simon grows more with others, I think, George would have challenged him as a parabatai to become who he wanted to be, not to say Clary wouldn’t, but to say, Clary seems to have Simon always at her side as a side kick not so much an equal but the emotional crutch and you don’t often see her return the favour. Her being there for Simon feels under told in this story in some ways, she acts as a mechanism for escape and distraction which we all need but I think Simon needed her a bit more, even though he may not have realised it.

That being said, it’s a good book, I enjoyed reading it, sometimes it was hard to put it down, but I did have two or so weeks between picking it up to read the next part once or twice, hence why I felt it took me longer than usual to read.

The Diary of Elliot Parker Part Three is now available  on amazon! Out NOW… here is the UK link https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075VSBT3Q

Here is the US link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VSBT3Q

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition

Well… I had to wait for my delayed order. When it came I wasn’t very sure I could face reading it. I love the story, but this book has all new material at the back. But before I could read the new material that I had desperately been needing I decided to read the book.

Well, it was just as good as the first time I read it, even better if I am honest. I loved reading it having known what happens later, knowing what the series brings and what the sister series brings. I smiled a lot more reading it.

I love the strong characters, the tender moments and of course the sass and wit. I loved every word. It was wonderful and beautiful and a pleasure to live vicariously through.

So the story of two runaway girls who are part of the vampire world are brought back to the boarding school they ran away from. The story is wonderful and I have an official crush on the Dimitri character. GAWSH he is hot!

Ok so obviously the story itself is wonderful and addictive. I really enjoy this chance to see the beginning of the evolution that the character’s face. How the characters begin to grow individually and of course see the double agent weaving the web of lies from the very beginning is great to read. Even re-reading the story is just as pleasurable as the very first time. Just this time hindsight was a wonderful gift. I loved reading those exhilarating moments that reminded me of some of those forgotten things, you know the feelings you have on the lead up to falling in love. The tiny things you notice about another person. It is wonderful.

And now the moment I have been waiting to tell you about, the added material!

You heard that right, Richelle Mead added some more material to the end of the book.

The Turn and the Flame which is the story of how Christian Ozera’s parents were turned into Strigoi. Christian is such a sweet little boy. But even in this story, having read the other books, I find it hard to feel remotely sympathetic towards Tasha. I am a Romitri shipper, what can I say.

From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir is a nice insight into Rose and Lissa’s great adventure being runaways. It was nice to find out what happened in their time away, how they settled or unsettled. It was nice to see the recovery from complete grief and heartbreak to some semblance of normal life. It was great to read some of the positive changes in their lives. However risky.

The Meeting … Be still my beating heart. Dimitri… How he saw Rose, it was wonderful seeing their relationship develop through her eyes, but through his… I am now a new level of jealous previously unknown to man.

Hello, My Name Is Rose Hathaway … I loved this adventure. I want to be at the carnival. Like really, really want to be there. Oh and Dimitri breaking the rules! YES!!!! That was some outside the box thinking. I love the way the story gave a bit more of a tease of their relationship and how they felt. Plus of course, when you imagine Danila Koslovsky in his role as Dimitri you can really get a sense of overall hotness.

The Diary of Elliot Parker Part Three is now available  on amazon! Out NOW… here is the UK link https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075VSBT3Q

Here is the US link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VSBT3Q