The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the thirdd chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Three

Now

Katie

“You know you’re doing it wrong?”

The interruption… I feel my eyes roll when I put the bookmark in place and look up at the face grinning at me over the fence. I can’t help but feel suspicious. The grin turns to a smirk on his face, “you’ll never get a tan like that. What is it you’re doing anyway?”

I feel the bubble of discomfort and anger knotting its way into my throat. “Biology homework.” I feel blunt. I feel interrupted. I want to be left alone. “You look confused; homework is that thing we have to do to avoid detention. You should try it someday.” I know that stung. His smirk faltered. For a millisecond I feel bad, until he opens his mouth. “You have to be joking, I barely follow what the teacher says.”

My irritation is rising, and I can’t stop myself. “Yeah and don’t we all know it.” I start to pack my books away, saving my pages netting them together.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wow, did I actually offend him? Surely not. That question wasn’t said with sincerity and I am not in the mood for this, when I agreed to the favour I didn’t agree to the obnoxious prat. “Heaven forbid that anyone actually wants to learn something. But yeah, sure, you go on coasting by, pretending not to give a flying monkeys even though you and I both know you could actually pass, if you tried.”

I pile my books onto the ledge near the door and collapse the rusting chair and push it under the ledge, stuffing the plastic cover around it.

“Tutor me.” And there it is. What he wanted to ask. What I had known was coming. Mr Thomas had warned me. But the words still felt strange to hear. It wasn’t even asking. Not really. “What?” I respond not turning around.

“Tutor me. Please?” I begin to turn around, slowly, I am not going to lie, it feels a tiny bit satisfying. “You say I can do it, so teach me how. Help me pass, please, Katie.” I turn back towards the door, just a fraction. “Katie! Please.” The pleading in his voice was such a nice touch.

“Fine. Ok it with my parents first, as long as you do the work, I will help. But you can’t copy my work.”

~ * ~

Dad put down his knife. “So Mary stopped me on my way in this evening.” He was directing that at me, even though mum looked up like her neck would snap. “Apparently you are tutoring Chris today.” I nod, trying to ignore the reluctance that would seep into my voice stopping me from speaking.

Mum begins to busy herself picking up the plates. Her voice is tart, “You will need a hammer to get anything through his head.” Dad laughed but it never met his eyes, it’s no secret I don’t like the boy next door, it’s no secret what happens at school. “Good luck, and if he puts even a toe wrong, let me know.”

I roll my eyes and nod. “Yes mum” my tone feels flat as I help get the plates from the table into the kitchen. “What time was he meant to be coming?” I call out to dad. Who is twirling the knife in his hands, playing absent minded, he shrugs, “ten minutes ago.”

“Oh great.” Slips my lips. The knock on the door catches my attention. I slump away down the hallway a few thumping steps that feel like my feet are made of concrete. I pull the door open and Chris is leaning against the wall, lazily dragging his bag. It’s a wonder it doesn’t break. I think to myself ‘start as you mean to go on’.

“You’re late” I snap, “shift it.” Chris steps past me but waits for me to close the door and lead my way upstairs to my room. My desk is strewn with homework. I step inside and wait for him to follow but he is standing in the hallway.

For a moment I see him taking in the sight of my room, he’s never seen it. The purple, black and cream splashed everywhere. He makes his way to my desk now. The alcove covered in “aged” (tea stained) paper so that I can stick things to my wall without pulling off paint and bits of wall with the sticky tack. I watch him examining the posters of west end shows, my doodles, photos of my childhood. My childhood feels like a millennial ago and yesterday all at once. I feel like the little girl is not me, like that person no longer exists. She doesn’t. My recent photos are a secret life he doesn’t get to see at school.

I snap out of my own thoughts and pull out a book and push it in front of his face. “Here, get on with question one for a start and see if we get the same results. At least then I can find out where you actually need help.”

I can feel him want to say he doesn’t need help, before he can the next words slip through my lips “and show your work” I twitch a smile and sit on my bed. I’m continuing where I left off earlier. I’m on the last question of the homework. I take a quick glance up from my page and watch Chris tapping his pen looking at the wall.

“This is stupid. I’m wasting my time.”

I snap, “no, you are wasting my time.” I pull myself up off of the bed and stand behind him and look at his work, he is essentially right, but the presentation, well that is where he is getting lost. I guide him through the simple structure. He follows it and rewrites it out, and stares at how it is meant to look as though I just showed him my plans to poison him.

“Do you actually not want help?”

“I just, I hate the hoops they make us jump through.”

“I just obey them, hate them, and then reward myself with the knowledge that there is only a limited time left in that hell hole. Now if you don’t mind. Question two.”

~ * ~

I haul the book out of my bag, rummaging around the bottom of the bag to find my pencil case that has gone on a wonder about in my bag. Chris brushes past me, I feel his fingers brush my blazer sleeve. I look around and shake my head looking back at him. I know he is smirking. Even with his face turned from me so that all that I can see of him is his copper hair, so light that he could probably get away with calling it ‘strawberry blonde’ unlike mine, a true red.

I pull the pencil case from the bottom of my bag and sit down in the nick of time. Mr Thomas strides into the class.

“Come on class, sit down… Today” he puts down the register and smiles. “Right. Homework folders in the air and start the assignment on the board.” I put the folder in my left hand and bend my elbow resting on the table so that the folder is up in the air and my right hand can work as he makes his way around the class. I watch him from the corner of my eye as I work, he flicks through the folders and begins to make two piles. One pile has just two folders. I can see the exasperation on his face. He is frustrated, I can just tell, he’s going to flip.

“Why is there just two folders with homework in?” His voice echoes through the room. He takes a deep breath. Putting his hand in his pocket, he has the classes rapt attention. “Katie, Chris, come here please.” I feel my heart thumping in my chest, for some reason this feels like a punishment. As we reach his desk he puts a couple of coins into Chris’ hand, and my own. I try to hand them back; this feels like a trick as much as it is a reward. “Thank you for actually doing your homework.” I feel like a deer in headlights, I thank him and follow his request for us to sit back down.

I can hear whines around the room that “sir it’s not fair” and the like.

Mr Thomas is having none of it. “I expect your homework tomorrow the rest of you.” I glance back over my shoulder at Chris. He is staring at me; he mouths the words “thank you” to me. I just nod. This is weird.

I can feel the tension as I continue the assignment, the room now reduced to no more than the scratches of pens on paper, the odd clicking of the top, the odd the sigh. I daren’t look up from my work. I catch Mr Thomas’ eye. As he walks past my desk to deal with the ruckus in the hallway.

***

Then

Enya

“You look beautiful today Lady Enya.” I look up from my sewing to see the familiar face of Broderick. I smile and thank him before returning my focus to the cloth in my hands. He sits beside me. “You really can’t sew can you?” There are loose threads mapping a rough guide for what I want to do.

“I am sure it will look fine when it’s done.” I am coldly polite; I don’t like being disturbed. I pack away my sewing and pull the parchment with my rough sketch. My plan for the cloth, a circle of rope with a weaving loop of eight, an infinity symbol crossing through the centre of the circle. I tuck it away. The rain continues to pour down in the courtyard even as the sun shines.

I stand and excuse myself taking my sewing to my chambers. I slip out from my chambers with my cloak covering me, moving as swiftly as possible I stride down to the stables. Ready my horse myself, the stable boys are running errands, as usual at this time. I don’t have long. No one willingly goes riding in this weather so I know they probably won’t notice for a while. I get out onto the flats of the cobbles of the courtyard. With some encouragement the horse and I are off and out the gates, I hear a little shouting but I am already gone. The rain whipping at my face as we gallop for a few minutes. As we near the shelter of the trees I jump down and walk beside the horse. Continue reading

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The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the second chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Two

Now

Ethan

As life-changing moments happen to go, this is perhaps my best work. The most hidden, insignificant moment in this teenage boy’s life.

“Christopher Giry. Sit.” I keep my voice cold and bored, even if everything is riding on this moment. My office is a mess; it is basically a cupboard nested beside a high traffic stairway. It’s cluttered, I know, full of books, papers, folders. As it happens the evenings I spend in here marking stacks of repetitive boredom is matched with bad coffee.

Since my permanent selection for detention duty, my social life drained away, and I spend more hours in my office than any other teacher. I am a jar of “Marmite”, you will either love me or hate me.

But it seems no matter what, I like to discover all kinds of potential. Christopher, as yet, is untapped. A key that’s stuck in the draw. He is sat in the cheap plastic chair opposite my desk. This time he is being held back after detention for my chat, and I know his slouch and mask scream indifferent. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the first chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

 

Chapter One

Whenever

The Wordsmith

Hello old friend.

It has been such an awfully long time, or perhaps it is none at all? Time after all, is not always what it seems. Time has such a beautifully subjective quality; it is easily mistaken as a fixed entity.

It is as though, perhaps, there are two beginnings to every story. There is the one that you know like your own heartbeat. And there is the one, that clever, ever so beautiful one that conceals the very secrets of its existence. That is of course, not to say that neither one can be true. It really does all depend delicately upon the perspective from which you are looking.

This is why I should introduce you somewhere closer to the end, rather than the traditional beginning. Although… they may be one in the same, a confusing blur. This could even be the very middle. The centrefold if you will. Perhaps we may discover the answer, or ignore all questions completely, but I must warn you, there may be a time for a time outside of our own, to leak into what I am to tell you. As memories go, it has become a tangled lace, a web of intertwining events as everything becomes over time. It is becoming clearer to me, slowly, as these words appear on the page before me that I have no real idea where I should begin, or understand what to say.

The exact moment where we will cross that unknown between a stranger, a narrator, a story teller, or the voice to the words that you read will disperse and become something else entirely. A connection will grow through the bonds of adventure and we will embark upon a friendship; destined to explore the old and the new, the strange and the surreal, the normal and the mundane moments that will inflict themselves upon this tale that I tell.

After all, it is the smallest of things, a butterfly’s wings that can change the world. So as we steal and sneak our path through private moments, secret conversations, hidden thoughts, fantasies and regrets, we will discover their secrets and rudely pry into the privacy of other lives. Take my words as my hand, guiding you through the adventure (and I hope you brought the snacks).

Let’s walk through the twisting path of time and discover the untold story hidden in the recesses.

We will intrude upon the memories, long forgotten, and reawaken for us to devour, word by word.

And so I fear, it is time to cease our introductions and begin.

Darling Daughters

Chapter Six

 

Walking past the gazebo back to being a brunette felt weird for Summer as the sunlight streamed through her hair. Her thoughts centred on how unnatural it felt to have natural hair for the first time in years. No longer the girl with red and black hair, she felt out of sorts. A loss of her identity. Summer bumped into Elizabeth, who wanted to check she was following orders.

Summer made her way to work. She arrived received a few compliments from a couple of customers. She couldn’t shake the feeling inside her, the dip in her sense of identity. In a sweeping flood Summer’s homesick hit her in the stomach, simple things like a decent cup of tea, fish and chips and a traditional Sunday roast niggled at her. Grimeston suddenly felt lonely. The down was eccentric; she was given an opportunity to start fresh but this had drained her.

She felt herself changing, no longer identifiable as who she thought she was. Even learning the local Americanisms. She was even flirting a little with a very handsome young man.

She had enough of hearing encouragement to not be nervous and to be herself, but she didn’t know who she was. Before Orkney she knew who she was. The girl with cool hair and a brilliant mind. Now maybe one of those might be true. Her latest fear was stepping into Darling Honor and still standing out but not for the right reasons.

She was lost, just like every girl her age. She didn’t notice Elizabeth watching her. Slowly Summer began to think that she might not be alone in this feeling. Summer looked up scanning the sea of grass, she saw Elizabeth leaning against a lamppost.

Summer stood and ran towards Elizabeth and just demanded a hug. That is all she needed right in that moment. Taken back Elizabeth obliged Summer as a few tears streaked her cheeks. There was a moment of silence between them breaking from the hug.

“Ellie, I am so sorry if I have been, you know, a bit difficult recently. I just sort of miss, you know, knowing who I am.”

“Oh Sum, you finally called me Ellie.”

“You finally called me Sum.”

They hugged again. “Wanna go grab something to eat?”

“God yes”

With that both girls walked arm in arm towards Simon’s to have something that they didn’t have to cook, neither one feeling like dealing with the kitchen or the washing up.

 

 

Darling Daughters

Chapter Five

 

Reluctantly Summer got dressed knowing that she had to go into a school she had just started in order to leave. Elizabeth shared the daunted mood, the cloud of frustration hanging over them as they warmed up the left over takeaway for breakfast.

Waiting for Elizabeth, Summer was leaning against the door when the Grimeston High head teacher called her into the office. Summer would be required to spend the full day in school.  Summer shrugged and made her way to the first class handing her teacher the note the head had given her.

“Oh, so you are the new girl? Summer. Well apparently today is your last day. What happened? Couldn’t hack an American state school?”

Summer swallowed her initial response. Taking her seat, she took a deep breath. “Nothing like that, personally, I couldn’t care less and I think you couldn’t care less either. It was simply a miss-understanding during the move. Monday I start at a school where my uniform would make a Ribena berry wince.”

The class remained silent, the teacher a little surprised, instructed the class to read. Summer rolled her eyes and took out the prospectus guide for Darling Honor. Summer found restraint hard reading through paragraphs, her cynicism and sparkling silent sarcastic commentary running internally left the only signs of her unenthusiastic agitation written on her face.

The day dragged on. Finally, in her last class, she had found most of the teachers had insisted on her doing some work. Luckily the final teacher didn’t care less and she resumed the prospectus browsing. She reached a section she finally had some interest in, a segment of her family. The Darlings a list of their achievements relating to the school and their academic accomplishments. She began to appreciate just how inspiring the Darlings were, in that appreciation her own self-doubt ate at her.

When the bell rang Summer made her way to her locker emptying it of the little she had stored in it. Managing to turn a corner she bumped into someone and the contents of her arms slipped from her grasp. She ducked down to find that the person she had bumped into was helping her pick things up. “We haven’t scared you off already?” He smiled. Summer gently denied and reluctantly mentioned her transfer being to keep her family happy.

He didn’t stop smiling, “I’m Zach, does that mean you are leaving town?” Continue reading

Darling Daughters

Chapter Four

Waking up in the manner felt surreal, every single morning. Summer was not only waking up in a new home it was a new town and country. Summer had woken early, aching all over, even getting ready for the day felt like a draining effort.  By the time Elizabeth woke up Summer was attacking the garden. Elizabeth held a little resentment in that moment watching Summer from the window. She was at the right age for this fresh start, she had so much more potential than her.

It took Elizabeth a moment to shake these thoughts directing her attention to the stack of letters on the dresser as she watched the sun stream through the window. Snapping from her distraction she shook off her thoughts and got herself dressed and ready to brave helping in the garden.

Elizabeth had been mindlessly chatting with Summer when Simon arrived; insistent once again to help return the gardens to the glory he remembered. Elizabeth couldn’t help but poke a reminder to Summer that she had school on Monday as she returned to removing some of the waste plants. The progress from wild jungle back garden was slow. But with a little assistance it might not take as long as Elizabeth anticipated.

With less than a week to go until Summer would slip into life at Grimeston High, she couldn’t shake her nerves no matter what she tried. The nagging feeling that they had forgotten something kept creeping up on her. Summer had always hated school. It left her panicked with a knot in her stomach that threatened to creep up her throat and choke her.

With as much done in the garden as they could stand, Elizabeth and Summer had decided Simon would be joining them for dinner. While Elizabeth finished clearing away Summer made a dash to the market while Simon went home to clean himself up and check in on the Diner. Continue reading

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

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