The 2018 Project

Even better news, I can tick off number 8… I got one of the tattoos sorted out, so I got my cover up this month… Yay, just a few to finish but the goal was only one this year.

So it now makes that another one I can tick off, I am slowly reaching a point where I can can begin ticking off a few of those goals one by one.

Small joys but that is still some good news that I can start ticking things off one by one.

The tattoo was particularly difficult to sit through as a cover up, for some reason my skin kept pushing the ink out, but it seems to be healing so beautifully, I love it. Honestly I only picked the cover up first to do out of frustration and a whim, and it all just worked out so beautifully and I absolutely love it now.

24/7 Goals:

  1. Do Nanowrimo
  2. Write The Diary of Elliot Parker (4)
  3. Draft up book 2 of The Big Project
  4. Re-edit book 1 of The Big Project
  5. Edit book 2 of The Big Project
  6. Learn to drive
  7. See a West End show
  8. Complete at least one of the tattoos
  9. Improve on last year’s site views
  10. Keep learning guitar
  11. Create and keep a manageable writing schedule
  12. Look for/find an agent for The Big Project
  13. Finish the cable knit jumper
  14. Start and finish a cross stitch project
  15. Win the lotto jackpot
  16. Keep growing hair out
  17. Keep doing daily positive aspects
  18. Complete at least one minor savings goal
  19. Have Christmas wrapped up before October 31st
  20. Read around 12 books at least over the year for fun…
  21. Be more time efficient, come up with a better schedule.
  22. Fit into the blue dress again and go somewhere to celebrate it
  23. Begin writing the next big project for the site
  24. Enjoy 2018 as much as possible, be happy at every chance!!!!

3/7 goals complete!

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Thirty-Six

 

It was a few days after Easter break when Summer had once again, like on many evenings found herself in the library. She spent less and less time in her dorm room, somewhat avoiding Cassandra who had been gushing quite frequently about some mystery man she had yet to reveal. It was easier for Summer to avoid hearing about the guy on Cassandra’s mind. It felt tiring if nothing else.

One change Summer had embraced was the ginger hair dye. It had become a little like a shield for her. Though she didn’t need a shield, sat in her favourite corner of the library, books around her. It was her favourite place to be right now.

She smiled when she noticed a note fly onto her desk. “Get your glad rags on Darling (evening gown please) and meet us at the library in an hour… We are celebrating so chop chop! Promitto memorari!”

Summer grinned packing her books up, looking adorably goofy in that moment, she walked right past Cassandra who was in the middle of a heated discussion with the librarian over a book.

Somewhere over an hour later Summer returned to the library to find a familiar note attached to a masquerade mask, waiting for her. A few girls had arrived donning heir masks, each a filigree metal mask, with a tiny bit of sparkle, resting on prop sticks to hold them in place. They headed towards the now familiar path chattering and giggling as they made their way onwards to Summer’s hiding place. Continue reading

The Diary of Elliot Parker

.: Entry One-Hundred and Nine :.

My name is Elliot Parker.

Last night was the first night in two weeks where there hasn’t been the unavoidable, unstoppable onslaught of tears before I sleep. Whether it was because I was willing it or because I felt a little better for having begun to tackle how I have been feeling.  There is some kind of inexplicable therapy in the form of getting a new tattoo. It can transform how you are feeling about something or somewhere. It makes sense I suppose; you are undergoing a transformation. It is a choice every time. I suppose that is the beauty of it, when you sign the consent form it is like signing to say, yes I am ready to transform and grow and turn whatever brought me through those doors emotionally into something beautiful. Getting a tattoo for me, it makes me feel better, stronger, transformative, different, brighter, newer… it just feels like some kind of preparation. Some kind of allowing on a different scale. Sure it hurts, a lot. This one hurt a tonne, I was glad I chose something smaller. But it was perfect. I let go of the executive decisions on colourings and let the artist take over, I trusted him to choose what would look best, as long as the pattern followed what I had in mind, and it did.

After the tattoo, it just felt easier, walking with the pain, like there was some connection forged where I didn’t feel so alone, as crazy as that sounds.

That’s when some of that caring a little more about myself kicked in, making some of those moving forward steps began to happen. I got home and ate dinner with nana, having a nice chitter chat about nothing in particular. I went and cleaned my tattoo off and put that first wonderful soothing layer of cream on to make it feel better. I loved it. I didn’t really think it through too much before getting the tattoo, I didn’t have major expectations for it, in fact I just had some vague idea and I couldn’t picture it on my skin until it was done and it was right, it was just exactly what it needed to be. It was me, I even found the colour pleasantly surprising, most of my other tattoos are black work with a little colour pop here and there, this was full colour and it was perfect. I couldn’t help but love what it was, it was the perfect symbol.

So yes anyway. I cleaned off my tattoo, came sat back down, put a base coat on my toes and watched whatever was on the TV, I can’t say I was paying much attention. Then I put on a nice shade of lilac I must have had for a few years that I have very rarely used. I treated myself to just feeling a little pampered. I painted my big toes in a different lilac, a similar shade but this one was super iridescent. It just felt nice, to have that little pampering. The lilac isn’t too far off the lilac that’s been used in my tattoo. I don’t have a blue nail varnish that would match my new tattoo, yet but I have seen one that would look like a gorgeous complementing colour.

It was a nice way to start putting some real self-care into action. I prepared my vitamins for a week while I was at it. I tidied up a tiny bit of my bedside table. I wrote in my book of positive aspects. My three good things that happened that day. I do it every day, it has become a bit of a comfort thing, I like it. It sounds like something small and insignificant, but it has helped me in so many ways. I relaxed and watched TV last night with my nana and spent the time chatting about anything and everything.

Going to bed was easy enough, sleeping is where it got harder. It was hard, falling asleep in the darkness, but it was the first time I didn’t fall apart at the seams. I can’t promise the same tonight but it doesn’t mean I won’t be trying to not try but to just be.

I just know that today I want to keep looking after myself a bit. While this computer took forever to sort itself out I trimmed, filed and painted my nails in some sparkly stuff that is called fairy spell unicorn addiction. I just liked the twinkle and sparkle and fun. It’s basically unicorn jizz- sparkly white stuff that has no real colour it’s sort of transparent but has a lot of sparkles and shimmers in it. Such a wonderful description right?

I guess I could say I had a good day at work, excruciatingly tired but it was essentially a good day.

Right now I am listening to Bring Him Home, a song that would usually make me cry but right now I feel strong enough to listen, strong enough to let it just be with me. To let it be my prayer for JJ, even though I don’t know where he is or what happened to him, it just feels like the kind of song I would be hugging him while listening to right now, because that is what I want to be doing right now. Hugging my big lump of a crazy dog. I don’t think there is any shred of doubt in me when I say I will never, ever, ever, ever forgive my mother for rehoming him without even letting me know, for hiding it for months, for not letting me find another, for not letting me have a choice, for not letting me even say goodbye. On what planet did she ever think that it was going to be a good idea, a forgivable action? How could she think there would be no consequence, not when there wasn’t a good enough reason to do that in the first place.

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

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