Author Update (June 2018)

So this month…

My diet is well underway and I have lost a few lbs and at least an inch so for that I am very happy. I feel like I have more energy even if its only a little bit.

This month I have been to see Demi Lovato at the O2 and I was so excited in the lead up to going I barely slept. I had been like a kid at Christmas. So yes, here is our story. Harry and I went for a nice dinner before we made the journey by train to get to the O2 arena, first time for both of us. We get there and we are walking around and there’s just under an hour until doors open and we are there and we can see loads of fans so its nice and we are happily walking along chatting and there is a bing bing on the tannoy. We stopped dead and listened as they announced that the performance was being rescheduled for the 25th. Well, we stood there like, is this a joke? We saw loads of teenagers burst out in tears and we are still stood there like a joke. Like seriously… So anyway we are like “we waited over ten years for this and it gets postponed?”

We go and check with the ticket office about how tickets will work etc, we go to get some kind of merch so the trip isn’t a bust. I ended up getting a t shirt in a size smaller than I would usually go for. And both Harry and I got a wrist band and headed home disappointed, the amount of people we saw that were angry was pretty expected. What I thought was a bit odd, was all the soft teenagers all like “I hope she is ok, I don’t want her upset” Fair enough, whatever, each to their own. But those of us older and a bit wiser were like, she would have known that in the morning and could have let everyone know then, doing it under an hour before doors open was really unprofessional. Which it was. It left little to no time to change plans or travel itineraries for some people.

But we were all very disappointed, and as adults, if we cancel our shift so close to starting (I mean in terms of you know, she had all day to let everyone know, it should have been done sooner, so assuming our shift starts late afternoon early evening and we cancel just before hand with something we know we couldn’t work with) we would have gotten disciplinaries or at least a telling off. That is something that has upset a lot of us. Let alone the disappointment. So hopefully the 25th is better.

Oh and I went to see Game of Thrones Live with the other half. He was excited for the whole month before hand, got to say so was I. So what happened? Well it was kind of our date night/day. We headed into London and had a walk around Covent Garden. Which was lovely, beautifully sunny but the pollen, we were starting to suffer with hayfever really badly so we decided to go and have our lunch dinner. So we went for his first ever trip to Planet Hollywood. It was fun seeing him get all excited about the props and movie things. We were sat in a booth next to some Indiana Jones memorabilia (I must admit I didn’t take photos the whole day… wanted to just enjoy the day). The restaurant was relatively empty. We both found the giant TV screens/projectors constantly showing something on nearly every wall pretty distracting not a great place for any kind of date or meaningful conversations if you happen to have a short attention span like myself. The food eventually arrived, he had a surf and turf burger and I had the ribs figuring you can’t really go wrong with ribs. I was wrong. The BBQ sauce on the ribs was overwhelming in its tangy-ness to eat in its quantity. The food was warm and not the hot you expect of fresh food, my first response was, “this tastes frozen microwaved” and he agreed when he tried some. His burger was the same, warm-hot but not as hot as you expect. It was hard enough to get wait staff to come over to get another drink and order pudding (if we are going to pay the price for dodgy food already might as well feel full for a short while if its going to repeat/make you feel sick). The white chocolate bread pudding was really nice although two tiny slices is not enough bread pudding for that amount of ice cream and whipped cream. He had one of the “super-nova” chocolate milkshakes… the chocolate on the side of the glass tasted cheap as hell and the milkshake was very much like a thick nesquick. Safe to say we took an anti-poop tablet with the meal just in case, we didn’t want to spend the concert on the toilet.

So after dinner we headed over to Wembley to discover it was at the same time as an Ed Sheeran concert. Certainly amusing to see all the people selling glitter face stuff and flower crowns. The queues for the toilets everywhere were massive. We found the wait for the Game of Thrones concert relaxing pretty much, no dramas, other than pollen. So after a bit of a wait in a queue we got inside, managed to get a couple of t-shirts and key rings. Heading up to our seats we had a look at the food stalls, we went to the bar and tried the cocktails advertised, the other half had a White Walker which having had a sip of it made me quite happy I chose the Red Priestess – a mocktail. Mine was very refreshing. Lemonade and cranberry I think… Was quite nice. We ended up snacking midway on chips which were nice. The guy next to us had major onion breath. It kept hitting like waves in the show. I think the other half suffered more, he was sat next to him. The show= OMG I loved it, it was incredible, the music was on point, we saw instruments we had never heard of and can’t remember their names. It was a beautiful production. The only grumble, well that was the amount of strobe lights, it sort of detracted from the show being so frequent, it was overpowering and eventually it got to the point where it was uncomfortable enough that I had to stop watching the stage eventually. In some ways it made the music even more incredible, it was great to be able to focus on that alone without the visual distractions, the music was incredible.

I loved it. It was a wonderful week even with the disappointment of the Demi Concert being postponed. But I can’t wait to tell you how that went.

Well the 25th was awesome.

Having practiced the dinner and the trip there before it was safe to say we knew how to get there and it was a fairly relaxed journey, other than the tube escalator stopping near the top and walking down the whole thing- which was not good on my eyes, made me very dizy, I couldn’t tell 100% where each step ended. A few days on and I still have eye strain from trying to work that one out. Everything else seemed to run smoothly no delays.

So we got to the O2 bloody hell is it a massive venue! So we got there about an hour n half before the doors opened so it was a bit of a wait but not too bad, some of the fans were doing a sing along in one corner. Getting through security was pretty standard. We got up the escalators which thankfully didn’t break down, I wouldn’t have been able to face that again. We got up stairs and there wasn’t a queue for the ladies thankfully. Came out we got two cokes for £6 thanks to a discount otherwise just one coke would have been £4.50 bit overkill for a captive audience. The first act, Joy, was enjoyable, very simply staged, very cut back which was perfect for her it seems. After an intermission and spending more money on candy floss, because you know, it looked delicious. The next act Jax Jones got the audience hyped up and ready for Demi, but then there was another intermission which sort of calmed the excitement back down a bit. But when Demi came on stage the atmosphere was pretty damn lively. She is really good live, and really hot… The show was great, I would have loved some more of her older songs built into the show just to balance out the old and new a bit more. She did great, really glad we could make the show. I really truly enjoyed it. Would love to see her live again! Harry seemed to enjoy it a tonne too. We had to leave just after 10pm to be able to get home ok, so we missed the end, but what we saw was brilliant. I even dreamed in Demi songs after the show, but that was probably the concert music still pounding in my ears.

Writer’s block? Well I have done small amounts of writing but it still counts. I can’t stop. But at least there is some writing being done. Luckily with such a busy month I feel a little less bad about not doing very much writing. But I am still hoping to win the Lottery, then I could easily spend more time writing.

What am I watching on Netflix? Well, to be honest, I haven’t really been watching much for once. I think I finished Call the Midwife and I can’t really think of anything else that made much of an impact. I think it is just not having the focus at the moment, and that’s ok too.

So Darling Daughters will release soon, so for those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the pre-order link for Darling Daughters! Releasing 22nd August 2018

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

I couldn’t just leave you with that tiny little chapter, so here is another an extra chapter if you will…

Chapter Thirty-Five

 

Thanksgiving had been a quiet affair at Darling manner. Elizabeth was still obsessed with reading old Archie’s papers. She had found another account in her name. It seemed to be that Archie had developed a habit of squirreling things away for the girls. Including stories. Elizabeth had become obsessed with Archie’s papers in place of making a decision about Oaks. It had weighed heavily on Elizabeth’s mind and conscience. While Summer had tried to bring it up in conversation, Elizabeth liked to change the subject every time.

***

It had been a couple of weeks since Summer had gone back to Darling, although Elizabeth had heard concerns that Summer had become withdrawn she understood why. But she knew that the family would catch wind of Summer being reluctant to up hold the family social status. Elizabeth wanted to throttle Jamie, but she enjoyed relishing in Cassandra’s tale of how she revealed his true colours to a hallway full of women.

Elizabeth had begun to feel better about spending time outside Darling Manner with some insistence from Simon. She was regularly found at the Diner chatting with Simon. Her notebook becoming more used with every day; as Simon indulged Elizabeth in talk about how he ran the diner and made it work. It was a slow process, but Elizabeth was coming to accept her choice, not that she verbalised it.

Simon suspected, but no matter what Elizabeth refused to tell him what her plans were. Continue reading

Darling Daughters

Chapter Thirty-Four

 

The next morning there was an awkward silence around the room. Elizabeth had her nose buried in files, Summer was nursing her head frying bacon trying to sooth her throat with glugs of warm tea. Cassandra stumbled into the room and poured herself a mug of coffee.

Summer made their bacon sandwiches quietly and walked into her room with tea and plate in hand. She sat on the foot of her bed. After a few minutes Cassandra walked in and sat next to her. Summer took a bite of her sandwich chewing so she didn’t have to talk.

“Last night was great.”

Summer nodded.

“I’m sorry though.”

“Why?” Summer asked swallowing dryly. Her voice still husky from tiredness and the alcohol.

“Well, you know, it’s a college thing isn’t it, a college experience, you know?”

“You mean experimenting?”

“Yeah, I meant nothing by it, I hope it doesn’t make our friendship weird?”

“Oh, sure but why would it make it weird.”

“I don’t… I’m not gay.”

“Neither am I.”

“Oh! So it was the same for you then, just a drunk coconut.”

“Erm, sure. Never heard that before. But ok what is it you are trying to say?”

“We are friends right?”

“Of course.”

“It’s like nothing ever happened.”

“Nothing happened. I get it, I don’t know what it is you are worried about.”

“Nothing. You’re my best friend.”

“Cassandra, shut up and eat your sandwich before I do.”

“Yeah.” Cassandra took a big bite of the sandwich staring out of the window. “It’s nice here” she said after swallowing it almost whole.

“This is weird. You don’t do small talk, just be normal Cassandra, unless there is something that you want to talk about?”

“Nope, it’s all good, just my head pounding like a drum making it hard to think.”

“Ok, well you better sort your hangover out, we don’t have time to wallow in alcohol pains today.”

“Summer are we cool?”

“Yeah, you?”

“Yeah of course. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, nothing to be sorry about.”

“Promise?”

Summer nodded and picked up her towels to go and have her shower leaving Cassandra sat alone on her bed. Summer ignored the events of the night before, seeing Zach, drinking the whiskey, Cassandra’s kiss. She pushed them from her mind and got herself washed, dressed and ready.

 

 

For those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the pre-order link for Darling Daughters! Releasing 22nd August 2018

 

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry One-Hundred and Eight :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

So what are those wonderful things I am looking forward to? How can I rebuild myself?

Because that is what I have to do, I suppose it is the only choice I have.

So what do you do when you finally get your freedom after being trapped in some kind of bizarre horror show of an existence?

First, I get to stop beating myself up. It is ok to not be ok. It is fine to let yourself feel hurt and grieve as long as I can stop letting it consume me.

So I started by dying my hair. Not some crazy colour, not some false version of me I can project on the world and pretend that I am ok with like wearing a mask. No, I am stopping doing that. I am stopping this stupid need to hide how I feel. So I dyed my hair sort of close to my natural colour-ish, again, only this is the closest match I managed to find. So there it is, the first layer of my mask is gone.

I won’t be beating myself up or getting mad at myself for crying anymore. I am releasing resistance when I do, I am finding some semblance of healing when I free myself from pretending to have things together.

So what else?

I am going to paint my toes. It sounds small, but it is a little bit of pampering, it is a little self-care and self-love beyond doing the bare minimum to pretend to be ok. Painting my toes is for me, people at work don’t see my toes, I don’t wear peep-toe shoes, I don’t wear flip flops really, my toes are my private little pampering and sparkle that get to be my little nod to say it is ok.

What next?

I am going to listen to some music that feels more like summer, feels brighter and more fun and more sassy. I haven’t listened to music in a while so this will be a nice change.

I am going to be proud and draw a little bit. A little doodle once in a while.

I am going to check in more on here, write more on here, not keep bottling things up.

This can be my safe space for a while too.

I am going to meet up with Hal and spend some time with my brother from another mother. A good quality hang out just the two of us and catch up on everything. I am going to have fun and eat junk with him and talk about everything. I’m going to open up to him.

I am going to honour JJ in some way, however that is I will find a way that feels right. The best dog ever that would be the clown to make me laugh when I was broken hearted, my best friend and baby boy.

What else?

I am going to shave my legs and wear a pretty dress and go out with Dyl for dinner and have a lovely date and spend some time together. I want to make sure he knows just how much I appreciate him. And yes I know I started that sentence with I am going to shave my legs, it’s a special occasion so I won’t be doing the rushed ones I have done the last two weeks, I am going to take my time because I can’t keep scratching skin off with the razor when I rush. The razor is meant to cut my hair not my damn legs into ribbons.

This post was interrupted. I received a message from a friend. You see not long after thinking about trying to find some way to honour JJ, trying to think of a way that I could have some consistent reminder of him with me always an event fell into perfect place. The message said that my tattoo artist had had a cancellation, on a day that would have been impossible to get time on and my friend thought of me. I had asked about getting a time slot either yesterday or today but my artist was fully booked. So when the message came through I thought this is brilliant. So within twenty minutes I had gotten dressed and left to go to the studio.

So I got a tattoo on my right leg, the side that JJ had been trained to walk to. I got something that both JJ and I loved playing together, bubbles. It seemed like the most perfect way to honour him. I needed to do something, to give myself some way, some place to grieve.

Last night was the first night I wasn’t bursting in tears before I dozed off. That’s not to say I slept well, not at all, I woke up regularly. It drives me a little crazy that I haven’t slept through the night yet. But this was the step in the right direction. It didn’t even hurt that much today, it was fine at work and now here I am. Finally, with some way to feel like JJ is with me still, in some kind of way. I don’t feel so alone, JJ was wonderful like that, he was always there always excited to just be with me and spend time doing whatever. Being separated was always something very hard on the both of us, we were so in sync together. He was as much a part of me as I might have been to him. That’s the most precious thing about having a dog. They become part of you, they are impossible to forget but the most horrendous pain in their absence. He is so irreplaceable and he will always be a part of me, in my heart and now on my skin. It is the perfect way to have him with me always. Now hopefully as the ink heals I will heal at least a little with it.

Darling Daughters

Chapter Thirty-Three

 

Summer and Cassandra had been sat on the freshly mended porch swing that Simon had fixed that morning. Elizabeth wasn’t in the mood to hang out with Summer and Cassandra who were now sat watching the town go by with a glass in one hand and bottle of wine in the other.

“Hey isn’t that Zach?”

“Where? Oh, yeah it is.”

“He’s cute, what happened?”

“It was a long time ago; we didn’t work out.”

“Oh that’s a shame. I bet you looked cute together.”

“I guess. Let’s go inside its too cold out here.” Summer stood up and Cassandra followed after her.

Putting the wine on the side Cassandra helped Summer set up the spare bed. It was a bit trickier to achieve with the slightly drunk sway and giggle. Eventually it got done. They flopped onto the bed.

“Cass, you deserve better than him, he’s a jerk”

“Oh, Jamie, yeah I kind of figured.”

“Good cos you don’t deserve it you know.”

“Neither do you, the competition is stupid.”

“It still exists though.” Cassandra hugged Summer not knowing how to reply. “You feeling thirsty?” Cassandra smiled, “pink or red? Or… I think we have some whiskey?”

Cassandra winced when Summer brought the bottle and two smaller glasses over. “Do we have to?”

“Nope. Want me to get you something else.”

“Nah” Cassandra shook her head and took the bottle from Summer pouring herself a small glass, she took Summer’s and topped it up. “Have some more you need it.”

“Gee thanks.” Cassandra poured more into Summer’s glass.

A few moments passed, strangling themselves on the burn of the whiskey. “Summer, have you ever you know?”

“What?”

“Done it?”

“Have you?”

“I asked first.”

“No. You?”

“Yeah, Jamie. How bad does that suck?”

“So bad, I am so sorry for you honey.”

“Don’t. I wish I was like you.”

“No you don’t, at least you’re not a competition.”

“So, they still want you. No one wants me, I’m unwantable.”

“No you’re not, you are very wantable.”

“I’m not”

“Shut up. You are.”

Cassandra looked into Summer’s eyes, testing to see if she was being genuine. She was. She could feel it. Summer was radiating warmth. Summer hiccupped and giggled. Cassandra pulled the strands of hair away from Summer’s face.

Rather clumsily, Summer leant towards Cassandra aiming to kiss her on the cheek but missed, she caught her ear instead. They laughed. “College experience” Cassandra muttered and returned Summer’s kiss on her lips.

Cassandra smiled and kissed her again.

 

 

For those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the pre-order link for Darling Daughters! Releasing 22nd August 2018