What it is to be Mundaine?

Well… what have I been reading now?

Well, it took about a day and a half to read City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.

The second book of The Mortal Instruments series.

It was a good read. I am going to be short with this because I am itching to get to the next book if I am honest.

So the book is a continuation of its predecessor- I loved that one too.  Just saying.

I find the story addictive. I love Magnus and Alec as a couple really I do. But at the moment I find Maia a draining character, I guess she can grow on me.

I think its exploring what “family” is or the bonds that it is, what it can and cannot be. It is curious how the characters are strengthened and weakened all at once by the bonds, so very human in a non-world. In some ways. Mind you some humans, well they don’t act very human, some act worse than demons and some as angels.

Safe to say I want to know what the hell Valentine’s experiments involved… or what the hope was.

I am making a bet about Simon’s new ability post boat is to do with Jace’s blood. But I could be wrong.

I don’t really know what to say. The book is fast pace, descriptive and realistic. I like the way the perspective bounces to other character’s being a central focus, a sure design to create the continuity of the environment surrounding them.

I am really curious about the angel names and so on, how they choose a name for the blades. It’s really quite cool. I want to know what Imogen said.

The series seems to be a very real blurring of the lines between good and bad, black and white, it is very much a test. It is hard to argue with someone who believes that they are without a doubt right, without a doubt justified. It is not possible to argue with a mad man, they will bring you round to their logic, and force you match them on their level and then beat you at it because they have been playing the game longer.

So I suppose I should get reading…

 

But I am enjoying the series and recommend that you read it. It is understandable why they chose to make it a series. I hope Netflix is going to keep this lovely up.

 

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Author Update (June 2017)

So I got the job!

Just a reminder :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 The Good Wife. It broke my heart… Damn well killing off my ship!

I have been attempting to learn I See Fire by Ed Sheeran on guitar… My fingers hurt but its a great song and I am determined to learn it.

So I am now starting to submit The Big Project to agents and publishers while I am going through my first draft chapter by chapter and making sure it is doing its job and earning its place. So hopefully the submissions will go well.

The Diary of Elliot Parker has been great fun to write, and I am still writing it, its a project I enjoy the unpredictability of when I open the page and just see what it is that I want to write.

The disaster diet?I had hoped to at least loose 10 kilos or more before the end of March. Well, I am back at the original weight but I feel stronger and leaner so I assume I have developed some muscle and maybe some fat has walked away from me.

Of course I still 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

The Diary of Elliot Parker Thirty-One to Sixty is available now!

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

A Trip Down Memory Lane… Coryburn Girls Skimming the Surface

Coryburn Girls: Skimming The Surface

The Coryburn Sisters are beginning to embark their way into adulthood, somewhere that has never interested them. Not your average girls the sisters tear a wayward path for their future, using the help of their best friend along the way, right and wrong is never black and white but when the lessons are being ignored where will their path of destruction lead?

https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Skimming-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00SFQUYXY?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Skimming-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00SFQUYXY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Or 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

The first few chapters as a taster just for you😉

Chapter One

It all began that night within the darkest shadows, in some of the darkest most secret corners of the street; that concealed the three dark figures skulking quietly along their narrow pathway avoiding the dim light that illuminated the old cobbled road about them. Between each of their own racing heartbeats they managed to snatch glimpses of the quietness echoing before them; the soft breathing of slumbering folk, tucked away in warm beds. A place they themselves should have been on this particular night. Out of sight; out of mind; and out of trouble.

It was the tallest of the three figures, who rather awkwardly abandoned its company; leaving the safety of the darkness, crossing over into the dim light of the road to lean on an empty carved doorway. Poised reluctantly to wait for what would come to feel like an eternity in frozen insecurity. Had he not been pulled into the midst of the plans tonight he himself would have been curled amongst the warm nest of blankets. That would surely have been much safer and far warmer and wiser than his current perch skulking in the doorway very alone and very anxious.

The abandoned company began to move again as they carefully slipped into a further void of darkness, the dank darkness of the nearest alley. Arms outstretched in that bitter darkness searching for the cold metal of a door knob. Finally, catching the cold metal in outstretched fingers the door was opened with the strangest care. A small flood of light met the figures. Two haunting young women masquerading in navy guards uniforms. One took the hand of the other and pulled them both inside closing the door behind their swift footsteps. Plunging the alley back into the solitude of darkness the last light their lonely ally would see that evening.

The leading womanly figure rapidly walked, calculating the paths before them through a hallway and beginning an ascent up a narrow dimly lit stairwell. In a rush and flurry their footsteps barely made a sound on the dusty wooden path.

Not once missing a door or taking a wrong turn the women navigated with acute direction, like those that have walked the ways a hundred times or more. They found themselves in the entrance way to a beautiful room. Striding past the shimmering glass cabinets and marble stands. They bypassed exhibit after exhibit carefully constructed. Not letting their eyes wander or flitter distracted over their surroundings. Like hawks focused on prey, they had not ventured through the darkness to peruse the surroundings, they had their minds set on something else. Something that to them was far more delicious, an adventure.

What they had hunted was a little to the left, in an exquisite red velvet lined case, sat so comfortably they had found what they sought, A flicker of candle light bounced around the surface of this particular cold, hard, unyielding stone. The candle light had set soft prismatic shimmering reflections, like the tides of the sea of still waters, bouncing from the soulless diamond. Crystal clear and gloriously cut, there was a pause of pure admiration. It was then that with extreme care they pulled the diamond gently from its casing and slipped it in a silken pouch that was hanging gently around the neck of one of the women.

In the distance of another room in the adjoining chamber, muffled voices carried; echoing in the darkness with every footstep. Without missing a beat, both of the women lowered their gaze and moved swiftly back towards the stairway as quietly as they could manage.

Below the girls, voices began rising up the stairway headed in their very direction. Without hesitation they took the only possible direction left to choose, that wouldn’t lead them into the hands of the guards, up.

As gently as they could manage, on their race to freedom, they manoeuvred a swift flurry of rushed footsteps they reached the exit to the roof. The search for the key to the lock had begun, finding that the key they were looking for had fallen into the dim patch of cold dust a corner. A frenzy of voices below them alerted the women to the urgency of their current predicament. Fumbling with the dust they made attempts to secure the key into the lock; they pushed the heavy door in the hope to open it enough to squeeze through. Neither had spoken in the evening but stifled groans fell from their throats in their efforts to push and shove the door just a little more, with its heavy rusted hinges their only chance to win their freedom leaving them little choice to break their silence.

They made a final attempt; with little time between themselves and the approaching guard, they combined the remainder of their strength.

Chapter Two

The door finally gave way, falling under their sweating bodies and snapping at the hinges. It sent both of the women stumbling onto the roof falling forwards in their combined efforts. Their location had now become alarmingly obvious and confirmed their presence to the guard in their pursuit. The women ran to the edge of the roof top searching for some means to be able to descend from their desperate situation; a stairway, a nearby balcony, anything.

Their nearest chance of escape was also their slimmest chance to escape, a nearby roof top. With little choice they made their way to the gaping open door way that was beginning to fill with the lamp light of the owners of the voices that they had heard. Exhausted, panting men making their ascent became the warning that the girls needed of their impending dangers letting them know, just how far away they were from being apprehended.

Veering around back to the view of the edge of the roof; they had one chance to make that final leap for freedom. With an alarm beginning to ring and sirens exhausting themselves from within the bowels of the building they began their run. At speed towards the edge of the roof, taking that leap, they seemed to float more gracefully than they had imagined towards that roof top. They stumbled forwards a little more than they had expected landing on their fronts.

Elated with their luck and survival they resumed their running, laughing as they jumped between the rooftops and sliding their down lower and lower towards street level as quickly they could manage. Ensuring a safe enough distance between them and the sirening museum they had left behind. They had made their escape.

It seemed that with good fortune; by the size of their evening so far they had found themselves with a great deal more luck then they had thought that they would need. But that was the charm of not following the rules. They stumbled upon an unattended carriage without hesitation or encouragement they pulled themselves onboard and started back towards the museum, at speed. The cobbles jolting at the wheels bouncing them over and over as they navigated their path.

They skidded to a stop in the path of the anxious figure that had abandoned them to the doorway earlier that evening. Having watched the sirens and the alarms of the museum being raised to the world splitting and screeching through the night. One of the women reached her arm down to the man and pulled him aboard. Her voice was somehow both soft and stern in its command “Tarron, get in!” He disappeared from the street into the darkness of the carriage.

As quickly as they had arrived, they had sped off into the darkness once more until they believed that they had finally cleared enough distance between themselves and the museum. Eventually slowing before finding a safe, out of the way place to fall apart laughing hysterically at their escapades of their evening.

Stepping out into the moonlight the young women’s eyes seemed to sparkle as vividly as the diamond they had just stolen, that now swung gleefully in the pouch hanging from the neck of the girl who by some miracle owned the gloriously hypnotizing, vivid green eyes. Her beaming smile completing her natural beauty as she released her hair from the guards hat letting it fall loose, with a glossy light chocolate brown sheen in lose curls draped over her shoulders. She hugged her partners in crime.

Jumping back in excitement she pulled off her partners guard’s hat letting a curtain of fiery, red, cinnamon-ginger hair cascading around her flushed cheeks. Her bright honeyed, amber-brown eyes meeting the captive from the darkness of the carriage. Tarron, a tall, mousey brown haired blue eyed man who raised the first question that he had obviously been bursting at the seams to ask. “Did you get it?” The women burst out laughing as they dangled the pouch teasingly before his face. Knowing that he would try to catch it to see the girl with the green eyes pulled it out of reach.

The women, sisters, twin sisters; bright and beautiful had roped Tarron into tonight’s activity; not that it had really taken much effort, not that he ever really had much choice. Tarron had long since become like the twins personal pet in some respects. Kayetelynn the green eyed beauty and her fiery haired sister, Annabellarose (commonly called Annabella by those she cared for) had known Tarron for what had begun to feel like an eternity, but childhood always seemed like it would last forever, now they were getting wiser about the flighty nature of time it seemed almost right to describe it as an eternity. It would be true to say that they had almost grown up together if it wasn’t for the fact that the girls though thoroughly immature in their pursuit of adventure were on the day to day norm, perceived as wiser than their years, and much beyond their time.

It had made perfect sense to the girls to have their most loyal, doting friend, Tarron act as their lookout boy for the evening.

Finally agreeing on a safe place to hide the carriage and the horses for the meantime they resumed their desire to slide back into the darkness of the night.

Mundaine…

What have I been reading now???

So it took about a day and a bit to read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

Safe to say I enjoyed it. While I am an avid reader, this took less than three days of “I am reading this book” days, but taking out the time I wasn’t reading it would be a day and a half.

I enjoyed reading it, I enjoyed the nuances of characters. The things that the character’s notice, the expression Clary found in shoulders. Something that some of us do with some kind of instinct and then just dismiss the character seems to consider.

I suppose that must be very much the artistic mentality.

I enjoyed the pace, the action and the content. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I find it quite interesting, embracing the myth and legends. Of course I do, I love fantasy. So this book is great. I will be reading the next one in the series of The Mortal Instruments.

I love the perspective change and the way the world around Clary seems to change, but the real change is her, her being able to see it.

And yes MAGNUS BANE- Awesome.

I love the idea that is revolving around a sense of family, it’s a very human concept and centred-ness and feeling of home. These beings half human half angel have this family feeling not just being warriors. They are more than just the basic dimensional character. Each one has a further dimension, each is pursuing their adventure and story. They have their motivations and mannerisms.

And those motorbikes- I WANT ONE!

Ha!

I enjoyed it, I can’t wait to read the next book. So this is going to be a short bit here because I want to start the next book.

So what I am saying is this book is great. She finds out her life is essentially a lie, her mother hid her identity, her true father, she has a crazy adventure and yet there she is, still a functioning, kind human being- well… ish.

But still she grew up human so yes.

Also- how cute is Simon.

 

How did I discover the Shadow Hunters? I saw the series on Netflix watched in a week and then ordered the books— OOOOPS! I seem to find good books from watching Netflix adaptations. Which I can’t complain at.

But that said and this totally aside from this book. I would love to see Bloodlines and Vampire academy to be made into a series in episodes- because I do enjoy them and I would probably watch them, a lot.

I like books that inspire me so yes the Vampire Academy and sister series is considerable inspiration, as is as it seems to be at this point in time the Shadow hunters series… I am ready for more so for this moment I am off to go and read the second book in the series.

A trip down memory lane… Breathing Smog

Well this is where it all began, Breathing Smog. This is the story of two girls, the differences of how they grow up and the different lives they lead and how their worlds collide.

So let’s give you the link now….

https://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Smog-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00M0MOJWG?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breathing-Smog-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00M0MOJWG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

And here is a little sample of the first couple of chapters…

Chapter One

It all began really, when two girls were born on the same day, at the same time, in the same hospital. But they could not have been more different; and would have severely different kinds of an up bringing. Perhaps an introduction is necessary. I am the voice for both of these girls, a narrator, if I must be named at all. Both girls where born of remarkable families.

Amber Andrews born at quarter to one in the morning on a dark chilly day mid April, looked much like her mother  but had neither her mothers eyes or her fathers. She went home from the hospital to live with her mother and her great grandparents, a wonderful and inspiring selection. A family of future, a family of promise and of love.

A stark contrast to the home Nina Black was to arrive. A mother that would work to strive for her daughter’s upbringing, in the way she saw fit, despite a lazy lousy father’s feeble efforts. Perhaps a harsh description but it is none the less a simplistic honest description. Now allow me to be clear I’m not saying this house wasn’t filled with love, because it was, an immense amount of love, provided by her mother enough love for both of her parents. But enough resentment for the life she could have led.

Nina and Amber grew fast, blindingly so, both girls where walking weeks before their first birthday, both girls happy and content in what little a one year old knows. Nina’s first birthday was a true celebration perhaps her final celebration in a family soon to be torn apart at the seams. For you see, Nina’s mother and father had not long been married, for complete honesty I must explain. Nina’s mother, Victoria, had married Edward because she was pregnant and it was the right thing to do at the time, she didn’t want the child growing up with the social stigma of being an illegitimate child; or perhaps it was her vanity and name that would be under the microscope for raising a child on her own.

But Victoria knew Edward wasn’t right for her, she knew deep down that marrying Edward was wrong, he was wrong, and he was a danger. But she knew all this and yet proceeded to marry the father of her child, in October before the birth of her daughter and before her own twenty-first birthday had passed.

What little that I can assume of this marriage is that it was an unpleasant and unfortunate incident which gave way to a tide of many mistakes. Perhaps I should also confirm now for you that this is being written some twenty odd years later and much has changed; socially, politically and of course economically.

But at the time Victoria was of worthy and higher class then Edward. She had her own plans; had she not gotten pregnant and married him would be to become a nurse and rise through the ranks to matron or was it sister? She could never settle because it was never enough. She always wanted to marry a doctor or a lawyer or a barrister.

However she married Edward, perhaps at first it was love. He was a foolish hap-hazard boy that would go through life flitting through a few jobs exactly that, in his traditional hap-hazard foolish ways, but more importantly he was immature. The man she chose to marry never grew up or established a clear grasp of reality, with the same mentality of a child at times.

By about 2 years of age Nina could see what was going on and would say to people that daddy hits mummy. Victoria now had no choice; her daughter could see the conflict and things had to change. But things where changing rapidly, Edward left to live with his parents and Victoria now had to raise a young child as a single mother with a mortgage and bills a single mother can ill afford.

Edward, well Edward was a petty man, he came back to the house whilst Victoria and Nina where out. He came to the house and took silly things like bread and milk and his clothes. Edward by his actions laid down the pathway he would take in the raising of the child, an absent father. An absent father with too much to say with little thought other then himself.

*

Amber was an angel, her mother though not a natural had her grandparents support, her parents even though they had spent what felt like a lifetime separated, and her brother’s support. In their opinion it was better to be safe raising a child than to be in a bad relationship putting herself and her daughter in danger.

The family in all their discussions had agreed that Amber was to assume her father had died and was with the angels. Amber was never to know her father as bittersweet the lie this was far from the truth. Amber’s mother Cindy was outstanding in her conviction. Cindy was a beautiful and smart woman persevering in her education to develop herself a career. She wanted to show her daughter she could do anything she wanted if she tried hard enough.

Both girls where enrolled in ballet which they both loved and adored. Both girls enjoyed and loved the time they spent in ballet on the Saturday mornings. But for one this love would be taken away. Nina’s father had her stay with him every other weekend and he declared that morning lessons took away from his time with his daughter. But a few hours for a child’s happiness taken away, by a bitter man with only himself in mind; wanting to win a war. What harm would it have been to even watch the lessons? To spend time with his daughter whilst she did something that she loved? As young as she was at what right was that his decision? At what right did he have to stop his child from doing something that she loved, just because it delayed his times? His concern was for getting on the motorway before it got crowded because he had moved to another county so it was enough distance from his ex. As simple as that, he moved county to get away from an ex. A county to get away from his responsibility as a father; a responsibility he was not willing to undertake and keep.

It could be that perhaps I am being too harsh in my description, or perhaps I have little to no sympathy for this guy. Surely inserting my own opinion into what I say is my right? As a narrator I should be allowed. I’m not going to do an entire paragraph ranting on about how I have the right to input my opinion though I’m sure it’s never done and I’m sure it’s a silly idea. Anyway… back to the point?

Amber however continued with ballet and she loved it. Although during little ballet shows and showing the family what she had learned made her beam with pride there was sadness, a longing for the father she never knew, she wanted to make him proud. Anyone could see and understand that the family dynamic wasn’t quite what a normal family should be. She knew that a family was a mum and a dad, somehow having all that love left a void, a void she knew she had but didn’t understand.

It’s stunning the similarity, both brown eyed babies with dark hair, doing ballet, but now you have to trust me; it’s not me being a lazy narrator, it is just the way it was.

Believe me now when I say I could write page upon page about both of those men, their short falls and their flaws. But where is the fun in that? Why not let these men show themselves when the time is right or perhaps there is never a right time for this kind of thing? What I can explain I shall, what I know the honest answers to I shall reveal when the time is right. Until then the order shall remain.

After a short while Nina joined her first school yes admittedly it was the youngest class. Nina had been enrolled in a Catholic school, and it was one hell of a school. Massively overwhelming, and there was a building that was said to be haunted, and lots of ghost stories. It was a beautiful school; it wasn’t too shabby, she even liked it at first. But then things never turn out quite right or at least they don’t if Edward has anything to do with it. He forced Victoria to pull Nina out of school because it was Catholic.  He really is doing himself no favors here.

Well as anyone can imagine and understand being a single mother is hard, and earning a living was hard on Victoria, so she turned to child minding. That way she could spend time with her daughter while trying to earn some money, being self employed. Well unfortunately parents didn’t always pay and things got tricky. The children where right little, for lack of a better word, demons. There’s only so long you can put up with rubbish parents palming their child on to another because they can’t handle them and then refuse to pay. I would use the cliché all good things come to an end but this really wasn’t all that great.

*

Amber was being sent to other styles of dance now a little older, the main trio ballet, tap and jazz. Amber loved the dancing and it was doing wonders for her; it was a perfect form of free expression. Living under a roof of strict upbringing, Amber’s great grand parents, Veronica and Edmond were strict and a lot was expected of her from a young age. And that was perfect, for someone to have family that believed so much in them and it was beautiful, to see that much love in a family. Things weren’t perfect but they where close. Something Nina in years to come would wish that she had.

But sadly Amber’s great grandmother a remarkable woman passed away from cancer, and this would not be the first time Amber’s life would be afflicted with so much tragedy caused by this same illness. With the loss of Veronica, Amber’s appetite changed and so did she, she was involved with the world of dance, the pressure to be perfect, and as we all know the media has its role to play of what is perceived as perfection. Amber’s attention focused on the one thing she could change she wanted to be thin and pretty; just like the girls in magazines and on television. She did the only way that she could understand at that age, she wouldn’t eat as much.

With only the influence of girls her own age in the dancing world, she felt a pressure to be thin, something the women and most of the men in this family were not so genetically flawed and a little too young to understand she took note of what the other girls where saying.

*

Nina had seen ice skating on the TV. She thought it was fantastic she would slide her feet along the floor pretending to be an effortless ice dancer. Her mother did what she could and enrolled her in ice skating courses at the local ice arena. She was a natural; the instructor even said that for the next term she could skip five grades! How fantastic was that? But that happiness and pride was short lived, yet again the ugly monster that is Edward rears his head, and yet again Nina was forced to give up something that she loved. Edward, heaven knows how or why Victoria fell for him, an awful and immature man. I would expect it was a case of bad boy syndrome, he was cool he was funny but he was bad, he was vindictive. Yes vindictive he made its own life difficult, he made sure his job was that insignificant and his living costs just high enough that when the child support agency had done their assessments he had managed to get out of paying anything. He is certainly turning himself into the villain of our story almost effortlessly. Yet anyone could sympathize; perhaps it was hard for him to spend time away from his only child? Maybe he struggled? But unfortunately it is easy for him to lie his way through life, what appears to be the only thing he can successfully do in this girl’s life. The only thing both of her parents really knew how to do.

Both girls clearly smarter then I would have given credit for where taught to read and write well before schooling age, something both mothers could and should be proud of. Amber was home schooled, she got to spend time with family and learn all the time, something that was absolutely perfect for her. Both girls were bright, and so eager to learn. Nina however did not suit being schooled at all. She was an outsider right from the start.

Victoria was told off by Nina’s school for teaching her to read and write because she had taught Nina the wrong way. Nina had nothing to do in her first year because she was already reading and writing properly and the teacher didn’t cater for this so Nina suffered, she had nothing to occupy her and keep her mind going and learning, she was sat at the back of the class doing things she could do in minutes that was expected to take an hour or even a day for the other students.

This bred negative feelings about school. In Nina’s second year things where no better, in fact Nina had never felt so alone, she played on her own at break times. Things did not improve at all during her third year in fact it got worse. She was bullied relentlessly.

One day on her way outside to the playground the bully in her class attacked Nina and pushed her against a wall and slammed her against it, hitting her head into the wall again and again. Nina practically melted against the wall crying as the girl walked away. That wasn’t the only negative thing to come out of that year. Nina stopped eating lunches and most of her other meals.

She wouldn’t eat at all. Her teacher one day lifted up her lunch box at the end of the day to find it was still full, she kept Nina behind and brought Victoria in to the class room after the rest of the class had gone, to talk.

The teacher told Victoria about the lunch box and the pair of them arranged for Nina to eat lunch in the classroom with the teacher under supervision. Probably not the wisest move. Victoria took Nina to the hospital where they forced blood tests from an unwilling girl who swore from then on she would hide her eating, that no one would find out and make her do anything like that again. Victoria without realizing had ended up creating a larger problem then she anticipated in her motion to try to fix it.

Victoria really seemed to try to do all that she could to help her daughter; she would go to the ends of the earth and back again for her. But the one thing Victoria was struggling to do in her eyes was to make up for the fact that Edward was her mistake all along. Nina really was the best thing to come out of that woman’s life but he was the worst, a constant connection to an ex she would do anything to forget. Who would blame her? I am sure most women and men alike have had an abusive ex at some point, whether emotional or physical, all they want at the end of it is to forget and move on, but with a child involved its almost impossible.

Chapter Two

Unfortunately both girls weren’t very healthy by this point; aged eight going on nine these girls had some issues. One issue being they were plagued by tonsillitis, frequently, so frequently certain forms of antibiotics became useless on the girls. That being the case they ended up having their tonsils out in the same hospital they where born in. The hospital, at the time was preparing to bring out a new leaflet of the friends of the hospital. Unfortunately for Nina the photographer was in on the day of her operation and they took a picture of her on her way into surgery. When the leaflet came out she was on the cover!

Something such a shy, self conscious girl severely lacking in confidence found strange and uncomfortable, but in years to come she would actually find a silly little pride in that leaflet. But until then Nina would struggle with her emotions and her eating. It came to the fourth year of school; things couldn’t be more stressful for such a young child.

It was this year the bully was someone that everyone liked, a blonde haired blue eyed child with a disgusting personality, funny though that such a person was a popular child. This girl made life awful for Nina, the girl and her two friends where cruel, and even when the ring leader was to leave mid year the girls two friends continued.

Heaven knows if a child can really understand and realize the impact they can have on another’s life, but it was not a good road to begin with. Even with Victoria stepping in and speaking to the teacher nothing was done, a ridiculous neglect on the schools part, and that teacher.

On one of Nina’s weekends with her father he pulled a dirty stunt, he sat Nina down and started talking to her. He pulled out a pile of letters and showed them to Nina saying that Victoria couldn’t afford to pay her bills, and that Nina should come and live with him. A dirty underhand trick, to try and take a shallow child from its mother. The only problem was that Nina wasn’t shallow and she loved her mother to the ends of the earth.

It made Nina determined to stay with her mother; she refused to be taken in by money. Mid-way through the year Victoria having taken out loans and credit cards to try to save the family home to make mortgage payments on her own lost the battle.

Without any help from Edward even though his name was on the mortgage the house was repossessed, and Victoria and Nina had to move. The council had agreed after looking into everything, hell they would have looked into who the cats mother was if they could, had agreed that they would put the pair in a council flat, unfortunately said council flat was in a bad neck of the woods, hell even police officers have called it a “Hill Billy inbred” council estate. Victoria and Nina definitely stuck out like a sore thumb.

The flat was small and pokey, on the third floor in a building filled with a drug den and some what it’s almost impossible to describe as anything other then cheap trash. Yes I the narrator would consider these people this way, not by any stereotypical assumption but because these people where exactly that by behavior, appearance and intelligence.

The kids in the area picked up on how different Nina was to them, she was bright, and she had a future, something that it’s doubtful they had. Nina wasn’t allowed to play with the children either, she was kept separate. Because even with little contact between Nina and the local kids they managed to find a way to make Nina understand the children as dangerous and bullies.

So bullied at school and in her local area Nina had it coming in from all sides. I would expect if Nina had kept a diary it would be a depressing read. She had a deep sadness in her heart and no outlet; she had hidden it every day since she dared to remember.  Something had truly changed with in her soul the night her father played his petty attempts at taking the child from her mother, in the soul aim to spite Victoria.

If he had truly cared for the child he would not have used such a cheap, tacky trick but he would have made an effort every time she visited, instead his soul aim to hurt Victoria was failing, and failing fast.

Edward had found a new woman a few months before, a funny story I suppose in hindsight, and a little out of our timeline but it seems necessary to speak of it. This was months before his dirty trick. His new girlfriend, Mercy, had practically moved in with him from the first date. It came to Nina’s first weekend with her father since this new woman. By the evening all was not right. Nina was in bed early. Edward called Victoria to tell her that Nina’s weekend had to be cut short because Mercy couldn’t cope with Nina being around; basically taking her time away from Edward.

I want you to keep in mind that Mercy had spent time as a nanny; she was proving herself to be a real piece of work that deserved Edward. Victoria didn’t take too kindly to this and demanded Nina be brought home right away so in the middle of the night her belongs were packed up and Edward brought her home. I’m no nutritional expert but Nina was given a donut as her lunch, now you see even if a child has an eating problem not that Edward knew or probably even cared, a donut is not a lunch for a growing child. Especially one that actually liked vegetables (see I did say Nina was a strange child didn’t I?). Well now my rant about diet being over and possibly with more stories of this woman to come; I shall leave the stories and distastes over her alone for a short while.

But after these events Nina was wising up to her father, who and what he was. She didn’t want to be his burden every other weekend and she didn’t want to be around a toxic and evil environment. So she refused to go on the weekends to her fathers.

It took a little time before it became apparent to Victoria that this wasn’t a phase and it wasn’t going to change in the near future. So Victoria found she had to explain this to Edward who demanded he spoke with his daughter.

The conversation was cold on her part, perhaps some dialogue would explain. “Hello Nina, your mummy says that you don’t want to see me. Is this true Nina?” Sounding intimidating and threatening in her young ears. But it was surprising how strong and firm her 9 year old voice was saying “yes it’s true”.

The child had the courage to undo her mothers actions of marrying him to give Nina what she thought would be a stable life all those years ago. Nina had so much courage and strength to hold her ground when inside she was crumbling.

There was so much darkness in this girl, it wasn’t fear, it was her honesty to the reality she had around her, she could see the demons, but on her own, singing to herself she felt at ease. Like all she had to do was sing, and the hurt would melt away for the time being.

*

However over protective Victoria was of Nina it was nothing compared to how over protected Amber was, by her mother Cindy her grandparents and great grandfather. Amber rarely made friends her own age, she always found it easier to talk to adults, and they made more sense. By spending so much time with her family, she became a little socially restricted; she lacked confidence and came across as shy.

One night her mother took her to the theatre, to see her first musical, and she loved it. Almost at once Amber knew that that is what she wanted to do, she wanted to be on a west end stage, and nothing and no one was going to stop her.

*

Meanwhile things where getting worse for Nina at school the old ring leader of the group of girls that had spent so much time bullying her was returning and she knew what this meant for her. In her final year of primary school things were hard. There was this awful supply teacher; one day, during silent reading time Nina had sat sideways on a chair facing the window reading a book. There was another girl on the table that read a magazine.

The teacher began to loose his temper, yelling at a quiet class to be quiet, to turn around and face their desks. Far too engrossed in her book Nina seemed not to notice until the teacher was standing behind her forced her round to face the table lifted her chair and practically threw her chair with her on it into the table so it wasn’t sticking out. He then took the magazine from the girl who was reading it and yelled that it wasn’t a book, and it was unacceptable behavior and threw the magazine at the girls face.

The next day the students a whole class full told their teacher what happened and she didn’t believe them, a class of thirty students insistent that this was truth where ignored and nothing was done.

Later in the day the math students who where in the top set where pulled aside to their lesson separate from the class including the girl with the magazine and Nina, all the students gathered around the far end of the table from this man. That wasn’t the only horrifying ordeal Nina suffered that month.

When everyone else was at break Nina had to get something from her bag when two of the bullies started on her. Nina went into the bathroom to get out of line of fire, but the girls followed her in and trapped her into the cubicle, and a horrifying truth escaped her mouth, a quiet truth that she had been hiding, “I wish I was dead” as break time ended the girls left. They had gone to the teacher saying Nina had said that she wished that they were dead. Something that Nina profusely denied. Although this thought had crossed her mind, a dark sinister thought, and not for the first time. Nina told the teacher what happened, and what had been happening over the past few years at the school and that she had told the teachers before but none had done anything at all to stop it. Not one intervention, not one effort to stop it, and this teacher followed suit and did nothing. Stood by and did nothing.

Later in the year the class were doing a drama skit from a book they liked and a ginger haired boy approached her and said you will be a perfect Hermione, with a puzzled look from Nina he explained to her, all about Luke Potter, and all she had to say was “we could have been killed or worse expelled” while he played Ron and his friend was Luke. Their drama skit was a success. Admittedly a little while later she read the books and she loved them. Yet another thing she was to have in common unknowingly with Amber who had discovered them and read them with an intense focus.

But things where starting to change for both girls, they had reached the age and time for secondary school, Amber was to remain home schooled but Nina would end up with another school she would detest.*

London Spirit

After more bad news from the terrorist attacks to now the tower block that was ablaze, my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by all the tragedies. The grief is raw, and yet the London spirit is incredible. The way people have volunteered their time, money, belongings, homes and risked their own lives to help, has been incredible.

Those that did their very best to help and save have done so wonderfully and I hope they get the aftercare and mental healthcare they need after the trauma they have seen.

Grief after grief and loss after loss that could have demolished London spirit has had the opposite effect. There are no words to make things right for those affected, for those who have lost so much, but there is hope and love being offered to help you through it. I hope with all sincerity that the answers you need are given to you and you are supported and helped through this heartbreaking time, to move towards a happy and healthy future.

To those who have fallen, rest in peace.

Okay?

Well what have I been reading?

I have just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

First of all, a huge thank you to John Green for a truly astounding read.

It took me about a week to read, simply because I had a fairly flighty week in terms of my focus. The story needs no explanation, it has been out for some time, hell there is even a movie. So I don’t need to tell you what happens or an over view.

So, yes I suppose I might as well admit this, I did tear up.

The story is very well written, the characters are clear and defined, and I loved the attitude and style.

I can’t say that this story had a satisfying ending, because we all have that secret hope when we read a book that everyone gets a chance to live good happy ever afters. But this book seems to love rubbing in your face that the world is not a “wish granting factory” and there’s no happy endings, mainly endings.

I would love to know what happens to the parents and of course to Isaac. But I daren’t ask for fear of something that was never enough. It is good to imagine their lives in a positive glow. Still at least there was less of an “all men must die” vibe to this so thank you John Green.

I must admit I found it interesting that Hazel was a veggie and didn’t rub being a veggie in other people’s faces kind of thing. She seemed to be a character that reserved her rights to being judgemental but never felt particularly judgemental, more of an observationist.

I enjoyed reading the book, the perspective and the glimpse into another world. It was a great story and more than anything it allowed me to escape.

I am a reader that loves to go into another world when I am reading. I love that feature the most when it comes to stories. I want to feel like I can touch the world that the author presents. To feel it through someone else’s eyes or to observe the character, their features and their flaws. I like the lack of perfection and the accidental perfection. I am a person who grew up on one form of story or another, so yes, for me, living in other worlds, stories from the outside world like musicals or movies or tv shows or books, it comes naturally. Even day dreaming- yup I admit as much as I live in other worlds I live in my own in my own kind of story. That’s the reality of how I work on scenes or plots, just like everyone else.

I am a day dream believer.

But I loved reading The Fault in Our Stars, it was another world and it was a great world.

Launch day!

Well… Today is the launch of the Kindle book of The Diary of Elliot Parker Part Two!

 

So this was the continuation and it was just as fun and just as hard to write as when it was started. My aim this time with The Diary of Elliot Parker Part Two was to have as much fun writing it as possible. It is safe to say it was all kinds of intense!!!

The Kindle book is OUT TODAY… just in case you have missed the hints- GO GET IT (please)!!!

Just as before as a very special thank you to those of you who have been reading Elliot Parker’s entries, I have included the next three entries… that’s right you get a head start on seeing what is going to happen next. That’s right it doesn’t stop just yet. Not only are the entries of part two in one nice neat place, there are BONUS entries.

You get to see the exclusive world of what Elliot has to say next before anyone else.

So with all due respect, gratitude and appreciation I would like to thank the readers of arappleby.com for their willingness to read the stories, to read the writing and the writing exercises and all the fun that I have had writing for this website.

It will be a little while before there is more Elliot Parker so please, keep yourself in those worlds a little longer and splash out on the Kindle book.

Out today!!

 

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA xxx

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Sixty :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

Waking up from the dream, the ghost tears felt real now. Waking up at three thirty-three in the morning, my time. Nothing short of magical to wake at three thirty-three in the morning and feel that kind of connection. I just feel like a walk in the sunset but you can’t really do that at three thirty something now in the morning. Instead I lay there and close my eyes, I take one deep breath and then another, and soon I see colours on the backs of my eyelids, swirling colours. I begin to think of that walk, the way the sun looks disappearing with streaks of reds and ambers bleeding the blue of the sky. The brisk cold air filling my lungs and splashing my face as I walk. The warmth of the coat around me and the hot heat of a hard walk in every muscle. The music in my ears. The cold ice of the air, making my nose red. I let it fill my every breath and every thought. Just the falling away of my existence, the falling away of the reality. This time the tears that fall are from the cold whipping wind. Nothing is more beautiful. It’s the kind of view that you just want to capture forever.

Is it running away or just loosing yourself? I miss loosing myself in other worlds like this, where the clarity is so unmistakeable. In a place where every risk pays off and you can have what you want in your life just by writing it. If that was possible I know what I would want, him, us, that back together-ness. I could have it my way, I could have everything. Isn’t that what happens in the stories, there’s a rough patch, things change, people change and then somehow they fall back together and things work out perfectly. The whole happy ever after thing. I want to live that, however much I wouldn’t openly admit it, I believe in it and with him, I want it.

Sometimes, being in touch with how you feel, can be a little overwhelming. Sometimes just wanting silence from yourself. No thoughts, just awe with the world around you and peace, sometimes it’s the thing that you want more than anything. Something to cleanse your soul. I know that it doesn’t sound like it, but I do love that I am finding ways to allow the whole of me, but more than anything, sometimes I just want to wash the fog away, you know the fog of trying to work out what it is you want and what everyone else wants from you. To just wash all of the ties and responsibilities away and let the ocean sweep over your very soul.

The thing is right now, for once, things with Adrian feel stable. Even when I am taking the biggest risks. I let him know a second chance was possible. I’ve become so much braver. Sometimes, I just struggle, because I don’t recognise myself. I don’t know where the last few years have gone, I don’t know where many years of my life have gone, boxed up and repressed for my own happiness.

These risks with Adrian, they may not seem like they are paying off, there’s no calculable results but they are there, especially on my side. The payoff is enormous. It feels better to be braver, it doesn’t feel like I am being brave. It feels like I am allowing myself most of all in that moment and it can only work out for me in the best way.

Last night, it was the night before Adrian flies, it’s the first trip he’s been home and I haven’t seen him, it’s been so hard as it is. I let him know that even if I can’t see him before he leaves I hope he has a safe trip. He said something sweet back, he hoped I stayed safe and wished me luck with the books. He’s never said that before.

I had to ask him if this was goodbye, it felt strange. It wasn’t goodbye. I asked him to keep in touch while he was out there. I just didn’t want him to think that there was an end to me wanting him in my life. He is such a huge part of it.

So I took a chance and I sent him another one of those, risks… in a message. It wasn’t me trying to achieve anything, it wasn’t with an agenda or motive. It was just me wanting to share what was in my heart at that particular moment, my own rampage filled with pure unconditional love.

“Promise you will keep in touch. Cos you are in my life for good and forever now. I wrote about you before I even met you. Writers immortalise the people they love and you are already immortalised in one of the stories that I have written, so that’s that. You are a life changing event and though it’s taken us a long time to get here I would do it all again. You helped me become the very best version of myself, the me that I had the potential to be that was out of reach, the best is still getting better.

I’m a better woman, a better friend, a better writer and a better everything for having you in my life. I owe you the biggest thank you the world could ever offer so I honestly do wish you a sincerely happy life.

I’ve immortalised you in other stories, so you are truly eternal, I hope that you can understand that the love I have for you is unconditional; at your best and your worst for all time. Whatever we may be and wherever we may be that doesn’t change.

I say this with complete sincerity, thank you for all that you are in my life and for your existence. You are loved, unconditionally and unendingly and appreciated beyond measure.”

Waiting for those two blue ticks suddenly felt like the riskiest thing in the world.

Out now! Want to see the next installment ahead of time? Can’t wait to find out what happens next? Get a cheeky little preview in the kindle book and see what happens after that risky text… 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XP14ZX2

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XP14ZX2

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Fifty-Nine :.

My name is Elliot Parker, and the dusty room filled with books is materialising around me like a sea.

“Elliot?” His voice, even here makes my heart skip a beat.

“Adrian, you called me here?” I look at the books in the room around me, still tidy.

“I wanted to talk to you. I am going away again.” My heart sinks.

“I know, you said” the distance between us, however short in this room feels like gulfs sometimes.

“I didn’t say no to you. Did you notice?” He sounds like a hopeful child, wanting you to see some marvellous effort.

“When I said about second chances?”

“Yeah.” His smile is so hopeful it’s starting to hurt.

“I noticed. Looks like you are leaking through, not a straight no, less pinching off, just because you won’t physically be in the same country doesn’t mean that the second chance is invalid.” I watch the smile on his face, the little twitch as the corners of his mouth move as his smile becomes a grin.

“I know, it was the best I could do, I’m still pinched off, just I wanted to say thank you for helping, you are showing him, you are here the same as in the reality, you managed to allow your full self. We can see it, it is causing the changes in us, you know that right?” The way the separation talks from his physical and his soul pinched off hurts, I know it does, I remember that hurt.

“Yes. But that can’t be all you wanted to talk about.” I want to know everything he called me here for, but there is never enough time together.

“It’s not, after that hell of a day, we wanted to make sure you were ok, you know, he, we, we want you safe.” I can’t help but smile,

“Why is it, our best heart to hearts are here?”

“Because, I think, you already know, our souls are linked now.” Whether it is what we want or not, I know we are linked.

“Love does that doesn’t it?” He nods. I bridge the gap between us and walk over to him. “I know he is changing, I can see it, he didn’t have to tell me what I already knew. He keeps making this point, he’s asking for advice but it’s asking for advice and sharing things with me in a way that didn’t really happen before. He tells me about some girl who wants him or another that wanted a particular kind of favour from him and he tells me. He says to me that he says no to them and what they desire is not what he wants and lets me know that he said no.”

“But he, I, we haven’t said no to you.” Like he is offering the piece of a puzzle I didn’t already know.

“Precisely, it’s like you’re consciously trying to tell me to listen that you’ve not said ‘no’ you’ve evaded it saying that you won’t be in the country.”

“I’ve not given up on you. I can’t give you up. Listen to me, in reality, he’s still pinched off but now he is seeing that its ok to allow the whole of him, little by little. You showed us it was possible, how we hurt you and look at how you transformed. You became this soul that shines in this world and in reality and we can see your allowing yourself like a beacon showing us that it is possible. You don’t give up your connection with yourself. We are becoming the man you deserve.”

I can feel the ghost of a tear and I know it’s from the physical world. I am crying in my sleep, I can’t but let out a small smile.

“I don’t want you to go.”

“We don’t either. Just don’t give up on us.” I haven’t so far, I don’t think it could be possible.

“I love you, unconditionally. Promise you will never forget that.” He nods, I can’t stop myself from reaching up and pulling him into a kiss. My whole body feels like its glowing and sparking from top to toe, inside and out. I remember this feeling, it’s the feeling I’ve had in his arms. When we first saw each other after the messy break up and months of quiet, when we finally saw each other. I just remember this feeling being in his arms. It’s like a golden light coming from within, like the most intensely perfect feeling.

“We fit together.” I nod unable to find the words yet again. “You know of all the stupid things I’ve done, screwing us up was the dumbest mistake of my life.” I can’t help but laugh, it’s something of a choking feeling with the ghost of a tear.

“It’s easily fixed, just keep doing what you are doing, soon being happy won’t be the enemy. I wish you could remember that happiness isn’t the horrible thing he contorts it into. It doesn’t have to end.”

“I know, just keep leading by example.”

“I have no intention of stopping my allowing the full self. You know I mean it, when I say this year I’m going to be selfish, I am putting myself and what makes me happy first.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

“This year is my year; personal or professional I am doing me this year. I hope you get to tap into your full self this year. You deserve to be happy.”

“I know, you too. I am getting there, its baby steps between here and reality. Everything is working out, just don’t forget you know how I feel even if in the physical he refuses to admit anything. I am working on getting that wall knocked down. One step at a time.”

“When you tell me you are telling the other girls no…”

“I am telling you to be honest with you, but more than that, to show you that I haven’t said no to you, to show you that I can’t let you go even if I can’t say it out there, I mean it. I can’t and won’t lose you.”

“That would be impossible. I already told you, I am always, always here for you. I wish I could give you everything you want to make you happy.”

“You do. But I just have to stop getting in my own way.”

“This is so bittersweet.”

The pre-order link is available now… Due to release 10th June!

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XP14ZX2

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XP14ZX2