Author Update (April 2017)

It’s the end of April. Another year older but I am not sure I am any the wiser.

Heads up to one change on the site, along the menu bar the Coryburn Girls page that held the secrets pages now lives under the writing exercises… so for all the secrets linked to the Coryburn Girls. Please go to https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises/

The latest binge watch? Well that has been Being Human. I’ve also started watching Emerald City, when I run out of Neighbours to catch up on. I love Neighbours, only soap I have loved watching since I was a little kid. So yes Emerald City had a familiar face in it, Gerran Howell, I remember watching him in Young Dracula, I still find him oddly cute… not sure what it is. I’ve also binge watched Poldark and started Thirteen Reasons Why.

I need to practice guitar more consistently, I want to make progress but I have slipped into lazy habits. So rather than practicing songs and learning them, we did something different this month, I was taught about scales, structure and building a song, because that is what I have been working on, trying to write a song on the guitar, or at least get one step closer to an actual song so we have been working on and tweaking my own material.

Writers block was really bad last month, this month I feel more guilt ridden about it. I had wanted to finish writing the first book of the big project. I think I will have to forgive myself for it taking the time that it has, it has been a story that I feel I had to write because I needed to more than anything. It has been a need not a want or whim. Like I chose the story and it chose me back. It keeps throwing me curve balls and unexpected journeys.

The Diary of Elliot Parker has been keeping me occupied, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees some time and I think that is a prime example. The characters seem to feel the same way. Procrastination is rife. I am determined to develop some consistent.

Physio has been taking up much of my time and patience, but I am starting to see some real progress now so it is worth it.

I am still thinking about changing this site slightly. I will have to see where the inspiration leads but it will probably take some time to implement any changes… we will see.

The disaster diet?I had hoped to at least loose 10 kilos or more before the end of March. Yeah… no that didn’t happen… I have lost just over a kilo and just over an inch off of my waist… not as successful as I had hoped. Especially as my weight actually went right up back to the original weight… not so chuffed… but it gets better right? I’ve barely lost any at all…

I know my birthday was this month, I had some redeeming grace thanks to a couple of my friends. The dark cloud of drama didn’t over take everything, thankfully. I am lucky I have very good people in my life. It’s been a long old month. I am just hoping that I get more productive.

Of course I need to throw a little plug in for The Diary of Elliot Parker 🙂

The Diary of Elliot Parker is out now!!! I am happy that it’s now launched. If you haven’t already, catch up on the whole of the first part of The Diary of Elliot Parker so that this part makes a tiny bit more sense- no guarantees on much sense of Elliot in this part, a wee bit of a confusion cloud is setting in.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MG21QLX

Or if you want to make sure you get the second part bang on time why not pre-order The Diary of Elliot Parker… the second part!!! Yep that’s right, I asked you to pre-order… Out 10th June!

Also available for pre-order if you want a cheeky deal on the collection of the Coryburn girls why not buy the collective ebook or paper back! Here’s that little link you need, ebook available 8th July! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Collection-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B06Y5Y5KXF/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 its been a long while coming!

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?

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA xxx

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The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Forty-Eight :.

… My name is Elliot Parker…

The tunnel is beginning to smell like salt spray, I know we are approaching the fork but the men don’t. I can hear them whispering about the sea being close, soon they will be whispering mutiny, being lead down either path.

“Which way do we turn?” I let my voice carry a little with the fork in sight. “Captain?”

He glares at me before looking away. He makes a show of looking at both sides of the fork. Now the moment of truth. A decision that can’t hide the truth of the question I have been wondering.

“We take the right. Come on men.”  I smile, not that the crew sees, they see what I want them to see, which is nothing, a blank shrug.

We walk for another three or so hours until we can see the patches of where the water creeps up to. The Captain tells us to walk back an hour’s distance to where there is less evidence of water damage, we camp there until the early hours of morning, it may be the last sleep we get for some many miles. The men begin to grumble finding space in this tunnel just enough to sleep sat with legs stretched before them. The floor is cold but not as cold as the warning the Captain gives, no noise above a whisper and be wary of the tunnel we have just left, what dangers lurk in either direction is unknown.

The men begin to settle with the supplies being distributed and food eaten with a hushed chatter. The voice that cuts through the dim light and whisper is the Captain, calling me to him, like an obedient pet. Navigating my path avoiding stepping on members of the crew having been sent to the back to give some supplies to the men at the rear of the party, a parade of obedience. The closer I get to the Captain the smiles on the men ahead of me are a challenge. I feel the corner of my mouth twitch, is it nerve? Is it danger? Is it anger? I let it pass and continue to the Captain, passing a leering smile I feel a hand slap me on the backside, the men around him burst into laughter. “I wouldn’t mind that body warming me at night.” I try to shake the rage and look up to the Captain, the mask is of gentle humour but recognition of this man’s challenge. “This one is mine boys, not for sharing but try curling next to fat Shane, he always seems to be a walking furnace maybe you will get lucky and he will share it with you.” The crew laughed with the Captain but the smile never met his eyes. Beneath the mask, the face of a man who just had to tolerate someone playing with his favourite toy, even if for a second.

I reach the Captain who has sat down to sleep. I go to sit down in the small space next to him, navigating how to move without disturbing the Captain or the man next to him. The Captain pulls me down onto his lap, pushing my legs in line with his, my back to his chest. I feel the solid but warm body at my back, pushing me forward to wrap his blanket over our legs. A few of the crew are watching, I can feel their eyes on me, all the time, even if I ignore it. I feel his hands still in place either side of my waist. I feel the twitches in his fingers, tightening, trying to communicate his command without using a word. The blanket now covering our laps. His hands abandon my waist. One hand snakes around my middle and pulls me back so his chest meets my back. I know he has sat straight behind me, keeping contact with every point of my back I can feel his stubble on the side of my neck and shoulder as he lets the warmth of his breath meet the soft skin, I can feel his smile. “Come now pet” he says so the crew can hear, he settles himself to lean on the cave wall and has me lean on his chest, he’s marking his territory. Part of me hates it, part of me knows he is doing this to keep his position, he is keeping me safe. It’s a dangerous game to play no matter the situation.

The Captain pulls the rest of the blanket so that it drapes over my shoulders covering my folded arms. I see his hands moving under the blanket, Skirting the edges of my folded arms making the blanket move and my folded arms forgotten. I watch him play a game, rubbing my arm, the crew laughing like school boys. I know what they assumed, but the Captain’s hands are not on my chest, not where they think his hands are. I smile to myself I don’t bother separating the mask to indifference. This smile, its laughing at them, even if they can’t see that.  I can smell the Captain, his breath hot on back of my neck his warm skin breaks the smell of the ocean beginning to fill the chamber further down the tunnel. He lets one hand reach out of the blanket. The fingers tracing my collar bone to just behind my ear, then his fingers are in my hair, curling it out the way pulling it behind my ear. Gently he applies a little guiding pressure, urging me to tilt my head and expose more of my neck to him. I feel his fingers brush where the flicker of my skin betrays my heart beating a little faster than I would care to admit. I feel the brush of his lips as he smiles. He murmured in my ear, less than a whisper so only I could hear as his breath tickled my skin. “Anyone could be mistaken to think that you like this.” His smile in his voice, his tease.

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Forty-Seven :.

My name is Elliot Parker. Except here it’s not. Except here I can’t tell anyone what my name is. Except here there is only one person who knows who I am, the Captain. To everyone else I am nothing but the stowaway girl. To him, I am the Princess. To him, I am a pay check, whichever way he sails to the wind I am worth a sum to him. But a Captain without a ship, is a problem. For both of us. I need to put more distance between me and that living hell. That’s how I ended up in this.

At first it was just the bugs that bothered me in this balmy forsaken tunnel. The protection the Captain offers, comes at a price, the promise not to run. His sight is limited, but even he knows that the promise I made was under a mask. Anyone with a shred of sense would only make that kind of conditional promise with an alternate plan. Anyone with a shred of sense knows a promise made under a mask was made under a degree of duress. Anyone with a shred of sense would keep an eye on the one wearing the mask. That means while the crew try to look inconspicuous I know they are watching me, all the time, under his orders. That means they know he doesn’t trust me. And he knows I don’t trust him.

So here we are, in a stalemate. Worse still? In a fragile agreement, while on the run, being hunted. Something I shouldn’t have been able to see, not if I was whatever normal is meant to be. The sea of blue and cream are riding above us, heading in the direction of cave we are leaving. I shouldn’t be able to know that. I shouldn’t be using this much power in myself. The Captain is shielding me from the crew seeing his new sight dog, for lack of a better word. We might very well get to the ships and be able to sail away, but even then, he won’t let me go. Why handover something, someone who can read the sight like I can, why handover someone who can see danger before danger can lock you in its sights, even if it is hunting you. The only difference is down here, there is only one direction, one way we can run.

The crew trusts me as much as I trust them. But for now? For now, I am the Captain’s personal pet.

After what happened in the cave, I know the crew have ideas of their own. But their loyalty to the Captain is strong enough to be compared to a pack of dogs, he is their unbeaten and unbeatable alpha.

The tunnel is dark a damp, but the torches make it just as balmy as the forest above us. Running my fingertips along the wall as I walk lets me see the sea of cream and blue above us moving closer to the cave. We have been walking solidly as quickly as we can manage for hours. Our only break, a stolen few hours of rest before dawn. Only I know it is the middle of the morning above land. We have walked all night and so far, we are below the sea we are running from. The Captain’s hand pulls mine from the walls. He may not speak, but the warning shot from his eyes tell me I am still being watched. “Did we lose much lead with our break?” I shake my head with the slightest movement. A twitch at the corner of his mouth is the only giveaway he allows himself in his relief. But this is far from safe, far from over. I want to get out this tunnel. I know there is a fork ahead one path leads to the ships, the other to open water. The tunnel mouth opens out to a dead end, sort of, there is an open cave that fills with water when the moon rises. The tunnel opening closest the ships is a hatch covered in sand and dead branches and brush. A hatch that hasn’t seen the sun in some time, a hatch with all the weight of that wet sand and the rotting branches, could be somewhat hard to unstick.

“Captain, we need to talk.”

“What have you seen?”

I glance over my shoulder; the Captain has had me leading our way so far but it is time to put strength and stealth ahead of us. I tell him that we take the left fork, the one that leads to the hatch, but the path will narrow and strength is what will open the hatch. But we still risk being seen and exposed as we leave the ground, strength and loyalty will get us above ground. That is unless he doesn’t trust his men. If not, then we stop now, let night pass and loose half a day in distance, they are approaching the cave as we speak. But if we go through the water chamber we emerge on the rocky islands, the salt spray will be as tough and as risky as appearing on the edge of the forest close to ships guarded by men. Above land we can plan, but, even if we go through the chamber, and make good time, they will be on the return to the ships. Above and below land if they find the tunnel we had slipped into.

An hour later and the tunnel begins to widen no longer two men abreast it can take three. I keep watching the Captain waiting to see the fork, still not sure what side he will take, but I know one thing for certain, I will see just how much he trusts his men. This is the tell I am waiting for, to find the chink in the armour. I watch him from the corner of my eye when the light allows, looking for some kind of hint on what the path will be ahead…

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Forty-Six :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

I’ve missed my book room. I’ve been avoiding dreaming, dreaming of this place. It’s bittersweet.  I know now that this is a dream, but I also know that this place is deceptive. A sort of honey trap. This place exists because of him, and for some reason, I’ve not wanted to bump into the man Adrian wants to be, his true self. Sometimes it just feels too hard; to see the man I know he can and wants to be and then see how he is in the real world.

The me I am in this room, the me I am in my dreams is the person I want and wish to be. But I am pretty close to being that same person in the real world. The gap between the two versions of myself is smaller than his gap and I keep trying to close that gap. He has only just started to try to close the gap. With him being away it’s been easier to avoid being summoned to this place being in different time zones. Recently, with him being back, it’s harder to avoid the summons pulling me in.

Today, ok, tonight I have been summoned.

The room is coming to life around me transforming into my own safe space.

I am alone, maybe the room missed me.

I watch the dust dancing in the light streaming through the window. It is beautiful, so calming to watch. My alone ness in this room is loud. My boots make a noise with every step. The room is dustier than normal, like no one has been here in a long time. I haven’t been here in a long time.

I don’t know why, but part of me is hoping to find something new. A part of me hopes to see the Adrian that Adrian wants to be. A larger part keeps reminding myself that the man he wants to be is only a part of himself. That’s the torture of being able to know that the world I am in right this second is a dream. It is a world full of what is wanted.

In some ways it’s a glimpse into my higher self to know what it is I am going to be manifesting but this is a place of co-creation. It is not just mine, it is shared.

Is it bad that even though this is a dream world, I would rather not alter the dust away in the blink of an eye?

I know it’s a tidy up, a spring clean for my dream world in the room. I can wipe the dust off of each cover and read the blurbs on the back and see what adventures are still here for when I finish reading, or perhaps living, the story of the stowaway girl. Her world seems so intense and dangerous. Whoever wrote that, must have had a strong source of inspiration, a strong desire to write the character as someone that they wanted to be.

I feel like somewhere in these books is something hidden, if I can tidy the shelves and organise and tidy things, I can find what I am looking for, but that’s not the only thing, it gives me a chance to build my own places to hide things. I want what it is I think I am going to find. It feels like there is something to find in this room. I wonder if it is a certain someone’s hidden intention? I don’t know, this place right now doesn’t feel as comfortable and familiar as it used to feel. I feel like my skin doesn’t feel like my own, like I am somewhere or someone I am not used to being. I suppose I haven’t been connected with the me I want to be in a while. There has been a lot of disconnect. I had focused on avoiding this place and in that I lost myself a bit. I know the disconnect is small, its formed from the resistance. It has been formed by my attention on all the contrast my attention has focused on.

I know I have wanted to change as a person but this is so much anyway. I am tidying up a dream room. I am organizing somewhere that only exists in two people’s heads. I am trying to do the thing I want to be doing in the real world, I am trying to fix things that are beyond my reach, again.

This room smells musty and the air is thick. It’s been starved of air and life and it just wants to be loved. I just want to be loved. I just want to be able to love myself and not feel guilty that it seems that I am abandoning and making my connection with others shallower and less important. But it is for a good reason. I have to stop holding other people responsible for my happiness or my worthy-ness or my existence being a good thing. I am determined to be my own source of happy, worthy goodness. But in doing that it takes away their power to have an effect on how I feel. My feelings of joy and happiness keep me in this place where I don’t want to compromise how I feel for anyone. This place tonight seems to be a source of wisdom that I needed and wanted to learn. I had to learn myself here this time. What it is I want and what price I am willing to pay. There is no price, I have set some things as my desires and I know that my attention to my desires has sent the request in my energy. The universe says yes you can do and be and have and see and experience all that you are wanting. It is delivering it to me and I know that the unfolding of these manifestations are the most amazing feelings in the world, it is making hard things easy because they are easy when they are inspired from the you that you want to be. Letting yourself be who you want to be on a more regular basis.

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Forty-Five :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

I’ve not written in my diary for a while. Since I last bared my soul, things have happened. Things that I didn’t expect. Some good, some… some are full of contrast.

Adrian and I barely talked since that day with the message and confronting phone call. We were polite and friendly. It wasn’t until the day before he was due to return for a short time that I heard his voice again. He was stressed out. He returned home. I’ve not seen him though. Something unusual for us. When he returns I normally see him. I had called shotgun on seeing him on one of his few free days, but he had to do something with his dad. I wasn’t disappointed. Not how I normally would have been. I didn’t think it was the only chance or the only option. I understand, he is human but so am I.

I started to really put myself first and focused on my feeling good.

Last night we had a very honest conversation.

It started with a message that made my heart race with anxiety, “I need to talk to you at some point”. It turns out what he wanted to ask was that I be honest even if I think it rude or anything, he wanted to know 5 things to change or improve about himself. That gave me a fair bit of anxiety. My first response was, let himself be happy and stop self-sabotage. Then I took a hugely risky chance. I said, “both yours and my relationship status. You can’t blame a girl for trying. I think you have known for a very long time how I feel so there is no point in me denying or pretending it’s not there.” That got skirted over quickly by him. I just told him that I want to see him happy. He said “being happy is overrated. When you’re happy all the time you don’t appreciate it.” So that didn’t help the anxiety but I was being bold and brave and very honest. I told him that his smile is the most beautiful thing in the world. Letting yourself be happy doesn’t mean that you have to be sad. He said something that I had been surprised to hear from him, he wanted to change from being work driven to personal achievement given. He is changing, perhaps he is stepping up to be the man I have known he has always had the potential to be.

After a while another wave of brave hit me. I asked if he was mad about me saying about the relationship status thing, should I have kept my mouth shut? His response was “Na”.

I decided to reference a conversation I had with him before. I told him I was giving everyone a clean slate (I did that mainly for myself, to let the past hurts go and forgive myself more than anyone else). I told him that I have learned from the past, that I believe in second chances. His response? “I’m not gonna be here this year, travelling” then he changed the topic and said he had to go.

He didn’t say a direct no, but he ran away from the conversation.

The thing is, I had been trying to improve my deliberate creation powers recently and well… I had decided to manifest an honest conversation with him. I had that conversation with him, certainly. I didn’t get what I had planned and hoped for right away but I wasn’t disappointed. It was just like it was the start of being able to have more open honest conversations with him on the way to what I am desiring.

I still love him; I don’t doubt that.

I love me more.

It has taken a long time and a lot of hard work to even begin to remotely feel like this. Well maybe not hard work. Maybe it feels like that because it was lots of little steps on the path to the big path. You know, like when you see a huge hill ahead of you, and at the bottom it feels a bit more impossible. Then as you take the first few steps you think “wow I have such a long way to go” and then it becomes more like a consistent trudge one step at a time on this path that you are making. It’s a hill without a road. You make it up as you go along and each time you pick a step of least resistance. As you get about half way you look back and some of the view is beginning to show itself. You can see where you were and how impossible it felt. And the closer to the top you get the more relief that you feel. It feels good to just get closer to the goal, you can almost taste and touch the satisfaction of things being fine. Sometimes when you get to the top of that hill you see another hill, and while you might be tired, you can still feel the satisfaction of what this hill felt like. So you try the next hill and you get higher and think, “wow, where I was and who I was is so far away now.” The feeling of relief just grows, you find the doubt dissipating, you know you can do this.

That is what those conversations can sometimes feel like. An impossible hill that you take one step then the next. But you have to take that first step. I think for him; Clover’s message was the first step to the realisation for the change he wanted to see. Though I doubt he would ever admit it.

For me, those steps and those hills, me taking on the challenge and being brave in that conversation with Adrian was me on that hill, climbing, reaching the top of the first hill. Making it to the top of the first hill and saying “I can do this” I did something that I didn’t believe I could do in the past, being so honest brave and open with what I wanted and what I felt. I said what I wanted and the best part is, I felt worthy of it. I am worthy of my desires.