Author Update (March 2018)

I will be honest. I wanted to come into this update with all things shining. Hell I wanted to be able to say this was another really great month for me. If I did that, I would be lying. This month has been hard.

You see, recently there have been issues in my personal life. My relationship with my mother has deteriorated after finding out the truths she had been hiding. In fact, she has made up some rather outrageous lies over the last few years and even months and now the truth is out. Trying to get my head around it hasn’t been the easiest, so for my own mental health I am back in counselling to try to get my head around the latest developments. Counselling helps, but it doesn’t necessarily fix sleepless nights followed by binge sleeping as I call it. There is no real balance. And, being honest, I come to terms with things a lot more in my sleep and with my current all or nothing sleep pattern it’s not happening as quickly as I would like. However, it does leave me certain that when I am ready to write properly again I will probably have some brilliant new material.

I have a feeling if I wrote down all the ins and outs and lies that I’ve been told over the years for you all to consume and read you wouldn’t believe it possible or true. But my mother is a special breed of liar. Something my Dad, myself, and a few choice others will agree with. When she gets caught lying she wont tell the truth or even accept that she did wrong or the consequences; she keeps lying. Not only does she keep lying but you get blamed for it, hell you get made to feel guilty and responsible for her lying. Or at least, she makes you feel that way.

This is the first time I posted so openly about my relationship and my mother on here, quite frankly I find it terrifying. Not that no one would believe me, but that I am not the only one. That there are others who have this kind of emotional abuse that they have grown up with. That there are others who have worked out what it is, that they know what it is like to finally learn what a healthy life is to only have this person keep trying to drag them back to this abusive pattern. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my mother, but I can’t forgive her or have her try to exert any influence on my life. Right now, I need to focus on me and my mental health.

So as you can tell, with even less sleep and time to think about writing, pen hasn’t touched paper, this is the first time my fingers have even kissed the keys since my last update.

 

So I am sure it is time for some good news.

After my last update, I had my six month anniversary with my partner. It was so romantic, and I feel like sharing some good news. So here is the story of our anniversary dinner.

As I am sure you are aware the last week of February and first in March was snow-filled in London. So on the day of the six month safe to say there were a few concerns if the restaurant would even be open. So we called to check and they were thankfully. So that day I got ready mostly at home, hair and make up were ready before I left to meet him after work. The snow was falling and it was beautiful but a cold walk to meet him so I went and got us both hot chocolates and headed in. We got the bus home after a bit of a walk and wait in the cold. I think it was the right choice to have left my dress in a bag to put on when I got to his. So we get in he goes up and gets ready. I change into my dress and boots, put the sparkly things I brought in my hair and got ready. We got a cab to the restaurant which we could have walked to in maybe 20 minutes in good weather. So we got seated in the front bay window near the heater. We had a beautiful view of the snow falling and the trees, it was beautiful. Dinner was amazing, we skipped a starter went to the mains, and then pudding… Turns out he discovered he likes creme brulee after doing a little bit of a pudding halvsies. It was a very atmospheric dinner and we got a cab home. But it really was a beautiful magical evening. It was great to feel so relaxed and happy and very much in love. I think I must be the luckiest girl in the world to have someone so wonderful love me back.

So the binge watching on Netflix? I finished Grimm and the new Jessica Jones, I am caught up on Jane the Virgin and Once Upon a Time and now I am making my way through Call the Midwife.

So the social life is still getting a priority but I am hoping it will inspire some writing. At the moment I am looking forward to Easter. I am planning a little surprise for my partner for a treat.

Nothing changes here in terms of throwing plugs in for my amazon books on my author page… I haven’t lost my hope just yet.

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA

xxx

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-One

 

When Summer and Cassandra reached the gates, the scale of the grandeur and elegance that confronted them dwarfed Darling Honor. Darling College excelled on the forbidding. As their eyes finally became accustomed to the building ahead of them, they allowed their focus to shift towards the students heading to lectures.

They stood inside the gates for the first time, swallowing their nerves, in that moment the girls let their own quarrels fade to nothing and let the excitement rise. Cassandra put her fingers around Summer’s hand and squeezed. Summer tensed until she saw the excitement of a child in Cassandra’s eyes. She relaxed, amused that her mortal enemy, or so it seemed at times could be that excited.

Taking a deep breath, they headed towards where they assumed the reception would be. The closer they got they noticed a man walking towards them. “Miss Darling, Miss Devonthorne, what a pleasure to meet you both. I am Dean Forrester, I’m fairly casual with titles, I like to be ‘down with the kids’ as they say.” Summer and Cassandra cringed. “You may need to excuse my enthusiasm; it has been a long time since we had a Darling intent on studying here. Not since Edward Darling, Elizabeth’s father who I believe is your cousin? I met him once you know, lovely man. Anyway, I have been asked to give you a tour and fill you in on Darling life.”

He guided them out of the reception area. Cassandra and Summer shared a look. Just out of ear shot Cassandra whispered in Summer’s ear “trust us to end up with the over excited labradoodle.” They stifled their giggles while Forrester had a brief exchange with a passer-by, the girls had carried on walking.

“Excuse me” they chimed walking past a blocked hallway not waiting for Forrester who caught up with them. Summer began to hatch a plan as they walked. Continue reading

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Ninety-Six :.

My name is Elliot Parker, and yes, you read that right, I am in a relationship, I have a boyfriend! It’s official, Dyl and I are officially together and I couldn’t be happier. I hadn’t mentioned it because I wanted to get the whole Clover thing out of my system some more before I revealed the thing that has had me so happy. But Clover is well… Clover.

I know, I know, it was sort of inevitable, what with that almost magnetic attraction. Over the last couple of months, we have spent a lot of time together, and I mean A LOT of time together. He just makes me naturally happy there is no effort involved it is just that instant happy feeling even just thinking about him. He makes me happy and doesn’t have to do anything. He is on my mind a tonne; it just feels good. I met his mum and dad, they are lovely and so wonderful so it’s no surprise he is as lovely as he is. The quirky expressions while we are at work and can’t really talk, the smiles and the winks, it’s just that impossible to ignore attraction. Yeah you read that right at work. I mean, yes we are professional no making out in the halls, we have been trying to keep it a secret but it seems that secret is out, those in the know, know. I guess it was inevitable and I suppose it explains why a couple of people are being nicer and slightly more smiley with me. It’s like, yes I know you know, but no I will not ever discuss that part of my life with you sort of feeling. Harsh or fair it doesn’t matter; I haven’t been close with them before I won’t be now. I am guessing a few people know that we don’t even know about but that is ok. A couple of people I don’t mind the odd talk with, but even then I won’t be talking about anything incredibly personal with them.

I am quite lucky, we try to see each other once a week which I know is a lot more than I used to see Adrian even when we were together and I know I pretty much was used to that, but with Dyl, it can sometimes just feel not enough I would happily spend every day with him just in his company.

I know I mentioned Adrian, there is a reason for that, he has been trying to be very friendly recently, even inviting me to his birthday party, the thing is, I didn’t feel comfortable going. Mainly because I would rather keep my free time open for Dyl and spending time with him and talking to him. I get that we are friends, but, things feel weird. Especially as Clover seems to have no intention of supporting the relationship with Dyl, not in the way that matters. Clover and I had been talking in small amounts and finally I snapped a bit after her “oh ok” and “cool” lack of supportive responses, I’d basically had enough so I asked her out right.

“Do you have an issue with Dyl?” I asked, it was just the annoyance of dead, flat, uninterested responses. I can’t be blamed for finally having enough of this sodding attitude.

“I don’t know the guy so don’t have an issue.” I got sent back so I just shrugged it off while she carried on typing until she hit send. “You know me I am team Adrian unfortunately but no I don’t have an issue with Dyl!! I want you happy.” Part of me doubts that last bit. The thing is, I think, ultimately she wants me to be hanging on her every word about all the boys she has sniffing around her looking for a scrap here and there. That is not happy making. I know it is about to sound hypocritical, but, there is more to life than boys and I know it may not seem like I think like that given how I write here but I do have goals and dreams and things I want to do and achieve without the impact and importance of a relationship or boyfriend. My boyfriend is a welcome, happy bonus to my life; support and comfort and happiness on the path to whatever it is I am desiring and pursuing in my life. A relationship is not the all-consuming be all end all in life, a relationship is a bonus wonderful aspect of life to accompany life, to give it a brighter more enjoyable facet.

“Dyl makes me happy so I am very much team Dyl, it feels relaxed and easy and he seems happy with me too.” She promptly changed the topic onto something about her. If I am to be honest I am not entirely surprised by her attitude. Dyl is a threat to her view that getting back with an ex when it seems impossible being a reason to hold on and cling to that ideal. Truth be told I just find it annoying. I mean, I think it is going to take her a long time to adjust to the new happy me, the me that past problems aren’t as big of a deal which as harsh as it sounds, means we do have a lot less to talk about.

Honestly I do feel completely at ease with being myself around Dyl in every way, we both just are our most authentic selves around each other and we just fit together. We just get along in a way I didn’t ever expect was possible. He is all the things I never knew I wanted, and many of the things I needed. Someone who wants me as much as I want them. I like feeling very sure and clear and happy. I guess I am just very lucky… That or I am a brilliant deliberate creator, which is probably the truth, given that I need to work more on the deliberate part.

Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty

 

Summer found her negotiation skills tested trying to organise a day when she could go to Darling College that Darling Honor would agree to.  She had to avoid days with mock exams and major class projects, and rather reluctantly Summer had to accept headmaster Maiden’s orders that Cassandra would go with her to look at the college.

Summer had overheard Cassandra bragging about her excursion to Maggy who pouted, this was one excursion she wouldn’t be able to get away with joining. Valarie however seemed more curious if it meant Cassandra would be going to a college party. Summer struggled to suppress her laughter. But even that hadn’t escaped Cassandra’s notice.

Cassandra approached Summer in the girl’s bathroom, it was less an approach and more an ambush. Summer began to feel confined and cornered, something that she had always hated. “Cassandra move.”

“No, I want to talk to you about something.”

“Can I at least wash my hands while you talk.” Cassandra looked her up and down and stepped out of the way.

“I will be valedictorian.”

“Good, I don’t care”

“Sure you don’t”

Summer rolled her eyes and turned to face Cassandra. The threat in the air was clear, Summer really didn’t care, she felt an old helpless anger bubbling from her throat. “Listen to me Cassandra, because this is the last time I will say this to you, I don’t care! I honestly don’t, I have no interest in being valedictorian, I want to get this year done, get it out the way. I don’t care about valedictorian, I don’t care about you and I certainly don’t care about this damn school.”

“Sure you-”

“I haven’t finished talking. Leave me alone. Seriously, I have had enough. You think you are scary, I’ve known worse than you, so go take your conspiracy theories and put them where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Cassandra stood open mouthed when Summer finished turned and walked away. For once Summer had stood up for herself in a way she had never done before. She had stood up for herself, something that felt very strange and left her shaking on the inside.

***

Summer woke early with a nervous stomach. When she pulled herself from her bed and got dressed she came stumbling into the kitchen pulling on her shoes. A blurry eyed Elizabeth trudged into the room, “coffee, coffee, coffee” she mumbled. Elizabeth groaned, she sat on the chair drinking her coffee while Summer darted about preparing for her day trip. Today was the trip to Darling College, after about half an hour they were on the road to Darling College.

Elizabeth was in a hurried mood, she had a one track mind focused entirely on her to do list as long as her arm. Dropping Summer off was just the start.

Elizabeth dropped Summer off nearby, she had felt like a walk. Elizabeth drove off leaving her walking up the path to Darling College.

Summer enjoyed the walk, peace before she had to face Cassandra again, something that she had avoided. The birds sung and it all seemed so picturesque. It was peace in chaos. Summer’s blood ran cold for a moment hearing Cassandra call her name.

“I thought you would have changed your mind when you found out that I will come here.” Summer didn’t bother to suppress her smirk as she waited for Cassandra to catch up.

“You should be so lucky, I belong here, despite your obvious connection.”

“Not bitter are we Cassandra? You do know, it’s really not attractive.”

“You sound like my mother.” Summer’s face fell, the tension subsided for a moment. Their walk continued in silence. While there was unease between them, they both had a nervous energy. The further along the path they walked the silence became a little unbearable.

“I’m sorry.”

“I know, and for what it’s worth, so am I.”

“Thank you, I guess we should probably try to get along, today is going to be a long day and we are going to need to get along. Us fighting, here it’s not something I want getting back to my grandad. Truce?” Summer offered her hand. Tentatively, Cassandra shook it.

 

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry Ninety-Five :.

My name is Elliot Parker and yes Clover was still thinking about that status and what people were saying about her because of it.

Safe to say I kind of had enough of it. She said she wasn’t happy and I told her that she has a choice in what she thinks. She didn’t like that much because her response was “I don’t think you get it, it’s not NICE for me!” Well, that was the last straw of my patience of this. I snapped and no I am not proud but even though I would have loved to cut her a new one for it I tried to be firm but fair while I stood up for myself. “I know you’re not happy, do you think it makes me happy when you post statuses like that about me?” After the many times she had done exactly what that woman is doing to her to me she now had the nerve to act clueless. I wasn’t going to shy away from the point I wanted to make this time, like I had before. “I know you have done it, people have sent me screen shots and proof and I have called you out on it before especially with that whole thing about that abusive twat that you chose.” Her response did her no favours, “that’s different, were you called a dirty little slapper, nope!” (no Clover, but you’ve called me a slut in a roundabout way before because I don’t have to be in love [or obsessed] with someone to sleep with them… but that is beside the point.)

I responded quite shortly given how annoyed I was; I didn’t want to deviate from the point or give any idea that I condone her behaviour. “No I was called a shit friend etc,” she didn’t like me still refusing to budge on my stance. Her response “I’d rather be that, its 100 times better sorry. Better that than a dirty little slapper or a girl who wants to get in every boys pants it’s all lies and fabrications.” Of course I took that to mean she thinks every time she does those statuses she is saying the gods-honest-truth. So I messaged her a thumbs up emoji with “ok so I’m a shit friend” good to know these things isn’t it. Like seriously, does she not even realise what she is saying, that it’s ok for her to post those statuses and have those effects on people as long as they don’t do it to her. She can make everyone else feel as shit is right now, but she doesn’t want any of her own medicine!

She didn’t like my sarcastic but clearly very loaded response. “What are you even talking about? I love how I am having a real shit time not happy at all and yet you want to turn it round on to you something from the past? Erm ok, clearly I’ve missed something here. You want to know if I think you’re a shit friend? No I don’t think you’re a shit friend at all.” Oh but it’s ok to post that publicly across all social media and say all other kinds of things calling me all kinds of things she backs down from when I confront her about because she knows its utter b.s. hmm… double standards much?

So I took my time to make sure I was toning down what I said to be sensitive to her and fair and still stand my ground. “No I want you to accept that she is doing what you’ve done to me and you don’t seem to have any empathy about the consequences of how you make people feel. The fact that you feel this shit about what people are saying about you and that woman isn’t even your best friend.” Which was the point I wanted to make, she feels that shit about someone she isn’t even close to, she thinks its ok to act like that because she feels victorious as a victim and isn’t held accountable for how she acts.

“I’m sorry but this isn’t about you, no she isn’t my best friend.” Well, I haven’t exactly sent her a message or spoken to her since, I have had enough by that point and I walk away. I’ve put her on mute for a while, at the moment its set for a week. She probably sees it as a victory like she is right and I should be the one ashamed of my behaviour. I’m not at all, I am proud that I remained honest and true to myself and was as fair and kind to her as I could be while being firm. Honestly I screenshotted the conversation and sent it to her baby daddy to keep him in the loop so he knew exactly what was said, and what she had implied, he has his little one to think about. I sent him a bit of a long old message.

“I am sorry but I am taking a break from Clover drama. I am sorry to leave you to it with her but I tried to rein myself in and be as fair as I could to her while being as honest as I could without setting her off. I am sorry but I need a break from the stream of negativity, constant boy drama about Sam, Sam, Jamie etc, I can’t keep up and I can’t be a good friend right now if everything I say is constantly being ignored or belittled or it doesn’t fit in with what she wants to hear. I tried being patient but she has pushed too far today and I just want to be happy and enjoy my new relationship without being made to feel bad about it. I am trying to change my life to what I want it to be in terms of writing and a steady income and a possible future with someone who makes me happy, and I think perhaps I need the distance from her so that I can do that without risking things. I am sure that she will be fine and that you will be too, just keep an eye one the little one if Clover has gone on another one of her spirals, she is an intuitive kid, and I know you will have her back.”

His response “yeah, that is probably for the best, just focus on you x”