Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My Relationship with Books

I was born on the 7th of May 1992, my mother sang songs to me, and then at 4 months she started to read to me. It was something that she did regularly and something she enjoyed doing. I couldn't understand but she did it anyway but I think this is one of the reasons why I have such an intense relationships with books. I started talking at 9 months and i started to recite the words of the books that my mother had read to me. I would look at the the page, follow the words on the page, recite them and then flip the page to do the same. It was something I did all the time and especially when my mother had tasks to do I was right there with her. I would sit on a little chair and I would read to her. This way she got her tasks done while I was engaged as well.

As I got older my mum would take me to the shop and I would pick out my own books. I remember it was a great thrill and excitement to go to do this. I loved doing it. There would even be times when mum and I would pass by book stands and I'd see something I'd like, tell my mum, and she'd buy it. That day we would read what we had bought that day. It was a wonderful feeling. My life was surrounded by stories and reading. I always loved to listen and enter another world.

There were moments when books made me sad or scared. I remember being given a Grimm's edition for my birthday and my mum read me The Robber Bridgeroom. It was horrific and scary - I didn't want to hear it. I didn't want the story to get to the end. My mum hadn't read the story before and obviously didn't know what kind of story it was. I was a very sensitive child, this story disturbed me deeply, and I didn't want to see the book ever again. When my mum read me The Little Matchstick Girl it was a story that made me cry. It was a wonderful story but nevertheless I was deeply affected - asking why she had to die. Even from my childhood I knew that there was different sort of stories and different sort of endings.

I believe this affected me deeply and why as I grew older I didn't want to have stories that have happy endings. I wanted to read stories that were realistic, believable and also genuine. A story I really enjoyed when I was a child was The Secret Garden (Ladybird edition) and I would look at the pictures with the words. I liked the fact that the story had a female heroin, and that she was this curious girl, who is eager to find find out the truth.
There hasn't been a time in my life when I wasn't reading. That isn't to say that they were good books. Especailly around my teen years I had trouble finding books I liked to read. I wasn't really interested by romance and I attempted to read the series of unfortunate events but they weren't going anywhere really. What I was looking for wasn't there for a long time. Then I stumbled on Artemis Fowl at a friends house and I absolutely loved the book. Artemis wasn't afraid to be himself and I was. In the books I took refuge and I admired him greatly - for this wit, sharp knowledge, humor and scheming attitude. I loved being with Artemis. He was driven and passionate. I could relate to him and thats why I was so pleased I had found the series. This was the book I remember from my teen years.

I feel that with time there has been a creative explosion. There is now diversity of books, characters and writers. More and more I'm drawn to young adult fiction. What I feel is the case is that in adult books there are such limited topics relationships, separation, divorce, marriage and death. I don't want to read about those things and thats why I get drawn to Ya fiction. Ya fiction explores identity, the world and life impacting decisions. They are intense, passionate and strikingly genuine. There is uncertainly, death, loose and separation but they are dealt with every differently. I find that now there are even greater female characters and that these books even explore topics such as rape, suicide and divorce in ways that supposed adult fiction doesn't.

Its this relationship with books that lead me to a degree in English literature. I have reading for my classes but yet I always find myself books that I wanted to read. I just love to discover new texts and new authors. The one thing I love to see is novels with real characters that want to find out about themselves. I love to read about those characters because those are the characters I've always longed for. Now I keep on finding them every time I'm book shopping. I never come home empty handed. For me this is a blessing not a cruse. The only one problem I have is when my shelve space runs out....like now my books are waiting in bags until their long term shelter and home arrive.

Autumn and Halloween are upon us!

There is no arguing about the arrival of autumn. Its definitely here. The leaves are falling, orange and yellowish hues are everywhere whether you live in a city or rurally you will be seeing the signs. That's not to say that there isn't summer feel days but the landscape just no longer looks the same. Now that we are in October the changes are becoming more evident each day and well we are almost at Halloween. My family didn't really get time to set up earlier this year but we have got together and set everything up today. Its exciting. My room is transformed with all the additions that give it such a Halloween atmosphere. Its a very lovely now that evertything is set up and I really feel it now. For me Halloween is a celebration that my family comes together and its a lot of excitment - getting the decor out and putting it around the house and deciding what we are going to make. I will update you on the decisions we make on the Halloween menu!

Now time for the pretty decorations that have gone up today :)

Pumpkins lights check:

 Here is the new display on my desk.
A pumkin with a ghost and another with a bat
 Ceramic sculpture of cat and bird and in the middle a pine cone candle!

One of the paining in my room with two gel ghosts. I put them so its like they are coming out the buildings. 

 Halloween sign on my bedside table
with my Owl lampshade :) which I love very much
(it isn't a decoration for Halloween).

This is the candle light decoration. The ceramic pumpkin has such a lovely warm glow. It really is magical. My dad bought it for me when I was probably 10 or 11 years old. Its been with us for a long time now.

The candle holder has a ghost and cobweb design that moves around as flame does.  At moments it really pops out. In the photo its just bright but its like a continuous animation thats so pleasant for the eye. I can imagine falling asleep to it with its gentle lull.

Exploring My Creativity.

Recently for one of my creative writing modules I got this work book. I officially started reading it today and Its been making me think a lot. Making me think in a good way!

The book doesn't preach and it isn't overbearing. It doesn't push you and each chapter is very small and this simplicity is brilliant as it doesn't hammer ideas, thoughts or processes down your through. I was enjoying reading it and thinking. I makes me want to go back to re-read what I read not because I didn't understand but its written so well and the voice is calm and inspiring that I'm drawn to go back to it - to find more points to focus/draw on.

The introduction makes a very strong and valid argument how at school one doesn't write for themselves or their pleasure but for teachers. The student wants to please the teachers and so writes things that they want to hear. I wasn't really aware of my own creativity at school but I know writing wasn't a pleasure. I took no satisfaction in it or have any joy from it. It was about saying things that were adding to my argument and building it up and getting me a higher grade. It was all academic and there was no space for expression or creativity there. Goldberg says about her own school experience that she "learned commas, colons, semicolons" and "compositions with clear sentences that were dull and boring." I remember that I too was terrible at my comas and my clauses and was just doing away with them but that wasn't any good in terms of academics. I had to make sure that I got them done and that I made as little mistakes as possible. I had no time to think of creativity I had to make sure I had commas, clauses and correct spelling. There was no pleasure in this. I was just happy when it was done and when I wouldn't have to do it any more.

A Zen master tells Golberg "if you go deep enough in writing it will take you everyplace." It was such marvelous thing reading that because I had indeed let my writing take me back to my past. There were things I didn't particularly like to recall - things that had been painful for my family. For so many years of my life it hurt to think of the past and I just never wanted to revisit. I always kept those visits at bay but one day my best friend told me "You have so much to write about. You've had such a interesting past and a lot to write from and about." This caused a chemical reaction somewhere within me - in my soul, my mind and my heart. I had to come home and so we parted and I started writing. My writing was taking me back to my past, there was no hurt or pain there, only history. Its like my past and I were separated. The writing had taken me back to the beginning and back to the past. What my best friend had said had ignited something within me and I kept going. I knew what I wanted to write and I kept having ideas.

This morning I took my childhood photo album and looked at the photos to see what they would incite within me and I wrote it down. I wanted to get my immediate reaction and that would serve as the core of my work. There was no pain when I looked there, there was a bunch of people, and now they are no longer those people in the pictures. Its not writing as therapy no its about my writing giving me the power to go back to a place of intense raw emotion and not be hurt. The writing arises out of that very place. Through writing I'm now in control and my past isn't a dark sad place. I've accepted all that has happened and through writing I get to understand and reflect. I get to be my own witness of the past and its a powerful thing.

Goldberg also goes onto say that "learning to write is not a linear process." Sometimes as writes we think we know something and we think we've accepted something but we haven't. We need to be told and only then will we fully accept. As a writer and a writer with dyslexia well my mind doesn't work in linear or chronological time, space or thought. I had so many ideas at once that I need to untangle them. I need to sort them out of each other. Sometimes ideas just float in my head and they sink never to return again. Those moments drive me mad - but then when they resurface they are even better then the first time around. Its powerful when Goldberg tells us that there is no logical process and well its something that we as writers need to be told. We need to know that this is ok and the chaos is very very normal. There is nothing wrong with us. Indeed we can stop worrying that we are sick with some life threating diease and we can stop telling teach other off.

Embrace the chaos with open arms. Let the past speak though you, don't reject it or be afraid, just let it happen.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Vintage! Yes Please!

 These are some of the vintage things that reside in my room. I love collecting and finding unique things from the past. And the most beautiful thing is when they aren't chipped or broken and are just WHOLE! Its the best when they are in their 'perfect' state - I don't mean that they have no aging but that are perfectly persevered. The biggest wonder is finding items like this. It gives me the most wonderful feeling. Its not because they are old that I have a connection with them but rather their character - the very thing they are and represent. I wouldn't just buy something because its old. No, I've got to connect with the item and when I do thats when I buy it for myself. 

This lovely lamp base is
from a lovely antique store called Roberts Rummage in Hastings, East Sussex.
The shop really is like a treasure cove for lovely things. Its not expensive at all and there's so many things to see. Once inside you can hardly get about from so many things on shelves and on the floor and hanging above. And then there's your eyes that can't stop moving and keep going over different things. Brass, plates, crystal. On our first day I had stopped the lamp but didn't purchase it because it was nearly closing time and I didn't want to be a bother. When around on the next day and got the shade of the top of a high cupboard and examined it. There was so chips or cracks or even crazing. It was everything I had thought and so much more. 

The mark on the bottom of the base states Foreigen  which gotheborg.com states is the a mark used by the 'less sophisticated countries" to print on their products like china etc between the years of 1893 and 1923 that were being exported. So in light of this my lampshade is quiet old and also very lucky for making it to me unharmed.

This tinker box is not only in the shape of a tea pot but it is also a sink and oven with a red flower pattern painted on. I found it while out at charity shop in Hatfield with my mine. Instantly I loved it and that I would get it. I couldn't believe such an exquisite creature of a thing existed! I just really was stunned. That little white mark on its base came about in the cleaning process at home. I thinks its very cute and adorable. The money that was spent for it also went for a good cause and I was a girl beyond the moon.

There is no mark on the box so I don't know if it was made here in Britain or somewhere abroad but I just know that its the epitome of a gem!

On the top there is a blue bottle with a gold top, a white saucer with a gold top and a green hairbrush with blue bristles. There are also the gold taps of course.

This coffee cup is another item found on a trip to the charities in my area. The contrast of the gold against the white is just so regal. Once I set my eyes on it I was going look at that look at that. I gently took it and look at it. Once again no chips, damaged and no grazing. It was perfect and so detailed. There was no detail on the bottom (expect two little lines and something like a signature on the cup) as to its maker so I don't know if its foreign or not. I might not know its history but its somehow got that that charity shop unharmed and to me. It obviously belonged to somebody who took great care of it but in the end gave it away. I will be taking great care of it and it will reside on my desk and I'll look at it when I write and work. It fits perfectly into my collection. I think so, don't you?

Artist Jewellery: A Passion!

I absolutely love jewellery and when it becomes art then really its in its most beautiful element. Its a form of expression. I was browsing ebay last week when I stumbled upon an artist from NYC selling her jewellery creations and It was so unexpected that it came as a shock and surprise. I was very happy I found her. Her creations are stunning radiate warmth and character.

The colours and design is absolutely amazing. I couldn't help but fall in love with them. There were so many but ONCE I saw these (ones pictured below) I knew they were the ones I was going to purchase. The rabbit one would be for my mum for Christmas and I purchased 2 of the The Virgin of Guadalupe - one for me and one for my bestie.

I wanted to pick these up when I visit NY but the artist didn't have a public studio so she is going to post them to the address I'm staying at. There was a whole mess up with ebay registering my UK address and there was a slight delay but it got sorted out. So I just paid a little while ago and I'm a very happy girl.
You can see and purchase the artists works at the following places:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeatherGallerArt - for UK and USA
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/collectartwork/  - for UK
 She does prints, cards, jewellery, ceramics tiles and home items.

Mushroom are Everywhere! :P

 Living out here in the country amongst the wild and fields means that I see a lot of mushrooms. The British weather is very wet and when the humidity hits in then its the perfect growing time for these. They are popping up all over the place. These were taken in the year 2012 around where I live. Now that this season has come again well the mushrooms are everywhere again. I've got a passion for photography nature so I've been taking pictures of the mushrooms I've come across this year.
I love foraging but mushrooms aren't one of the things I would forage simply because there are mushroom doppelganger so it's very hard to tell if its the edible or its poisonous counter part. And its not worth the risk because well poisonous mushrooms are toxic for our system.

 The other thing is that I used to think before that if mushrooms were poisonous then rabbits, slugs and deer wouldn't eat them. But I discovered that through researching that this isn't the case. Animals aren't affected and so slugs can freely nibble on what maybe a very poisonous mushroom and they would be ok but we as humans wouldn't be.
This red mushroom here is called Fly Agaric. It is a very distinctive mushroom that is poisonous. Its so beautiful and bright. They isn't another one like this. The cup is bright red and there are white dots that may sometimes be dumpy rather then smooth.


Country Living. English Longhorn Cattle.

I live out in the country and not far from my house the resident of these lovely creatures. They are English Longhorn Cattle. They are beautiful and as it can be seen in my pictures its was birthing season so mothers are with their young. According to the Longhorn Cattle Society Longhorn Cattle are an acient breed and the society was set up to protect that. They are part of the landscape where I live. They roam around free, eat the grass and actually last year being so wet here in England they managed to erode a whole hill (the one in the picture below)with their climbing it. They live in the wild but they are cared for. Clean water is provided everyday and when the mothers are pregnant they are checked up. They aren't aggressive or anything at all, they wouldn't charge at you if you have to walk past them, they'll just stay as they are.

New Prose: Idea for bigger piece. Illuminous

A single rose is laid on the middle of the bed. The room is still, silent and empty of course. Dim ray’s of light come in from the blinds into the small space. I stand at the doorway. There is nothing out of order here in this human dwelling. It is as if this room is ready for a painting from the gold sheets on the bed to the rustic coloured clock ticking on the wall. The rose lays in the middle of the bed.

He will be home at any moment. I don’t need to know the time I feel him coming. Day after day I’ve left a single rose on those gold sheets. I never find them the next day when I come back. It doesn’t matter. The roses they are a part of som
ething bigger. They’ve marked every day I’ve tracked it and marked my presence since the rose is my family’s royal crest.

My eyes look through the gaps in the blinds at the city street. I see people going into small shops, other people getting of buses, and some just rushing down the pavement. I hear the door open. I don’t need to look I know it’s him. He carries out his routine; bags down, shoes off, coat off. I don’t move from my spot.

Walking in he doesn’t notice the rose, but then he wouldn’t because it’s not in full light, and as he switches the light he’s eyes are averted elsewhere. He has no clue I’m even present because I can only be seen when I want to be.
He gets on with the routine as usual; taking of his blazer and crippled work shirt and putting on a tracksuit and t-shirt.

As he heads over to the bed his eyes notice the rose laying there looking at him. He watches it.

“Another one?” He whispers

There are obviously no finger or hand indents on the sheets. I just dropped the rose there and it just fell into its place. He’s gaze with the rose is broken and he looks up.

“Where do they keep coming from?”

He gazes out the doorway of the room into the apartment.

How do these get here? Who is doing this? Why me? Why everyday? Why never a trace? Why not even a note?
He hesitantly picks up the rose. Its somewhat withered not dead, but neither so fresh that, it bursts with life. Twisting it around his fingers he starts to move it towards his face. The rose touches his dark cheek and it feels somewhat dry and harsh against it. It sends a shiver to his lips.

Image of a girl crosses his mind. Pale white face. Wavy blonde hair. Ocean blue eyes. Shimmering bright eye shadow. Lips shinny. Wearing a bright white fur dress.

“We might live in darkness and caves but we like to dress bright and pretty.”

He is fixated on the vision – especially my eyes. It’s like he knows them and off course he does. Every night when he falls asleep I invade his thoughts. I search for information and rummage through his memories. He doesn’t have many good ones. A lot of pain and suffering from depression, he drinks a like more then he should, and he definitely isn’t ready to have somebody in his life. The vision makes him deeply tired and so he just robotically climbs into bed and has fallen asleep peacefully without another conscious thought.

When I’m visiting I never touch anything or leave any traces of me. I can sense how much he hates the daily routine. I can’t relate but I can sympathise somewhat. I’m not one exactly know for feeling emotional fluffiness to be very honest, its not really part of my job, being Queen of darkness is about dominance, control and power.  I was born into dark and now that I’m the Queen of Darkness I’m going to change the lives of my subjects. They will no longer hide and live in darkness. It is I who will give them the choice and the freedom to do whatever they want with their life; live outside the underworld, use their powers out in public or hold positions of power.

I don’t need a companion or a man in my life. I have numerous vampires and daemons swooning at my feet but I have no time for those boring trivia romance things. I have a scheme at hand and it wouldn’t start itself. The first plan is that Corrie comes with me. I can’t deny that he isn’t attractive of course he is but it’s important that he is. The men at home must think I’m no longer in need of a life companion and secondly he is my key to the human knowledge that I need. Yes I could rummage his head, but then again I sense that he will be something great, if he comes with me to the Kingdom of the Underworld. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m lustful, maybe greedy – I can’t judge for myself. I just know that he is coming with me one way or another. He will sit besides my throne and assume the position one way or another.

Today is the night I take him away. Until now every day I’ve tracked him. I’ve made sure that he is safe. At night I personally come to watch over him. Sleep is overrated and well I have all my life for sleeping. After my scheme is complete I will be able to sleep in peace. The Rose Heart would have changed history and nobody would even dare to try to destroy the kingdom I will have created. I Zahra Rose Heart, Queen of Darkness, will bring prosperity to my people even if it brings me to have to tango with death. I like the Phoenix will rise from the ashes and bring my race greatness.

I’m from a long time of Rose Hearts and I’m been raised in pure Rose Heart fashion with all the cruelty, the blood, and the manners. Nobody hid the darkness from me or shut me out. I simply can’t remember but I never had a child’s understanding. I saw the world for what it polluted with sin, death, and cruelty. So many women bore the burden of cruelty, violence – they were a man’s punching bag. That’s the world I know and I don’t wince at it. There’s no point shutting my eyes to it – or even myself from it.

Corrie is part of my grand plan. He will untie the races together and he will represent humanity to my people. How ironic the most luscious human male to represent humanity… it shall be done.

Tonight I lay in bed with him. Even if he does wake up and sees me it wouldn’t matter any more because this will be his last night amongst humanity. I put my around him, to my surprise he does not even stir but moves closer to me. My fingers travel over his dark lips and he makes no move to get away from the touch – but then again he is asleep. His breath deepens; nervousness. The tip of my finger brushes his eyelashes that like feather are both soft and brisk. I consume his complexion with my eyes and even though it’s a contrast to my pale one its beautiful.

Just as I’m in though he stirs and his eyes are on me. I feel no panic or shock – like he has been expecting me. His dark cobalt eyes are intense and he’s lips part like he is about to say something but I don’t give him the chance. I slide my hand over to his neck and feel him shiver.

“You are coming with me. I’m destined for great things.” I smoothly coo.

He says nothing and its not like I’ve expected him to. His thoughts are paralysed by my words and that’s exactly the effect I’ve been after. I don’t really want him to put up a fight.

“Now you are mine so don’t worry about a thing!”

I lift him into my arms. His body soft, warm, paralyzed by fear. Not an inch of a fight or a murmur. The temptation of a kiss is just too great, as I feel his half awoken body against me, and my lips tease against his for a second before I’m no longer holding back that sweet tickling temptation. His heart goes at top speed will mine is as slow and steady as the moon in the night sky. I like it. I like it a lot. I don’t know much more the kiss or the heart rate?

When the kiss is over. I don’t give him a chance I stab one of the rose thrones into his vain and spear the rose into it. The rose is the binding oath to my kingdom which he know will have undying loyalty until the day I say so or myself die. It is only then he will be free of the blood oath.

“You know belong to my kingdom and I.”

New Fiction: Part of work in Progress.

Dad taught me well.

Keep your cool. Pretend everything is ok. Then go for the kill.

That is exactly what did when I pulled the trigger. No second thoughts, uncertainty and no mess. There was of course the blood that’s only a small matter. The most important thing is that the job is done. As long as there is no traitor on the loose then the amount of blood spilled.

Play your bullets right. That’s the motto of the family. 

It was a foggy winter day, there was a chill in the air, especially when you breathed in you could feel a sting in your throat. I remember going for a walk in the walled garden of our estate, there was a light layer of snow, and I was wearing a thick woolly coat against the cold. It was that day that unofficially I was taking over from my father, so I would sit at the desk, and he would seat on the armchair. Some of my greatest lessons took place in that room. That first day I took my rival the first visitor I had was unexpected, he didn’t have an appointment, he just turned up demanding to be seen. That wasn’t the unusual. What was strange was that he was a rival. A rival by default.

He was thoroughly searched. I saw the questions everybody had in their eyes. The question marks just hung in their irises. Why today of all days they thought. I was both suspicious and curious. I heard him out. It wasn’t anything anybody in the room expected. Of course everybody stayed in fear that in some way he’d attack me. He had a proposition but I knew he wasn’t to be trusted. Nobody needed to say anything for me to know that they felt that way too. They all knew I would have my own proposition but they didn’t know what to expect. It was that he had to go out with me or there was no deal. I’d reclined in my chair and lit a cigar against his face. I saw his eyes jittering in surprise and alarm. There was no way out. I crossed my legs and blew out smoke rings in his face. He parted the smoke with his answer. It was a yes.

He got up and was escorted out. Latter I rang up and arranged things with him. There would be no bodyguards, no tracking or weapons. Obviously he had no choice but to agree since he’d agreed to the arrangement in the first place. 

All my people were nervous. Some thought he’d strike then. An instinct in me told me he wouldn’t. I of course was right.

The dinner was a simple affair. Brick walled restaurant with wine red curtains. It had a quiet lull of classical music. The tables were oak with chequered clothes, there was one huge white lily in a brown ceramic vase and one candle that was lit when we sat down. He was quite, quite and silent. I remember thinking is this guy shy, reserved or is he simply scared. I concluded it was probably the last option. Scared that I might kill him. We had red wine of course by the bottle. He spilled some on his white shirt and he spent all evening with a stain that looked like a gunshot wound.
All the time I observed. I wasn’t enjoying myself I was analysing and making lists in my head. My top note was that he had a serious weakness for alcohol. The date ended with both of us alive. We said good-bye at the car doors.

The second date went in a similar fashion. Different place but the same people. The restaurant had wooden panelled walls. Colour scheme was mustard and the floor shinny black marble. Perfect for spilling blood I thought, and easy to mop up. I didn’t smile to my own reflection in it. The wine was sweet and the food was warm delicious. This time he talked a little more, I nodded, and he took this as encouragement that I wanted to hear more. I made a note that he was a men seeking approval. My body and my brain were completing two very different sorts of tasks but yet working together towards one goal. At the end of the evening he gave me a little smile and I returned the gesture. I made a note that he is no longer holding back so much and I was pleased with my progress. He’s good bye was warmer the second time.

One more week I remember thinking. Just one more week. Every time I came back, alive and breathing, everybody was relieved and pleased with the progress. Dad took me to the firing rage every weekend. I never got a bad shot and out of a hundred shots seventy were a bulls eye. It wasn’t bad but not perfect yet.  I had to keep training and not let myself fall a victim to my rivals.

The third time we went out I let him choose the place. I didn’t expect it to be so untraditional. An American Diner; a metal capsule building silver and shinny. Neon lighting shone bright into the dark night and into my eyes. The lights made me feel glamorous. I remember wondering if he had planned something…something to catch me off guard. His head was slightly tilted like it always was, his outfit unwrinkled, and his body posture as always slouchy. But the golden rule was that you had to pretend to be yourself that was the rule. I was alert let me tell you. I never once got up to go to the restroom and watched him while he ate. I didn’t order any drink for myself that night and although the food was tasty every second I was afraid for my life. Afraid that since he had set this up then there was a significant opportunity that he could bribe them to poison my food. I kept my cool and as always kept the conversation flowing. When he wanted to kiss me good night at the end of the ending I let him. It was the most positive progress for my cause. The kiss was well…a great kiss but it didn’t matter what it was. The most important thing was what the kiss meant rather then anything else. It wouldn’t have mattered good or bad either way.

My plan was set in motion. I would leave town and make him join me. After the way that date had ended I knew he would be more then willing. I remember phoning him on a windy morning I was standing by the glass window looking out. I had lit a cigarette and talked slowly listening for any signs of alarm, rustling anything. Of course it was dangerous going on this trip but instinct told me know was the time. I leaned back as I heard his breathing over the line and I timed it to see if it was nervousness. It wasn’t and I smiled.

It was arranged we would travel in separate cars. I couldn’t take anybody with me and that again madenervous. They were worried that I might be the one caught out but they had trust in me. Everybody knew it had to be done. I hugged dad and assured him it wasn’t to be his last hug. I wore faux leather trousers that day both for the allure of it and because it was practical if you spilled something it would be easy to wipe it off. I got into the drivers seat, closed the door, and looked back. Dad was standing at the doorway, he saw me looking, and saluted like a solider. I knew he was proud of me, he wasn’t afraid or sad, he knew that in this business you couldn’t let fear rule you even for a second because that’s when they would strike.

The doors opened and my mission officially started. My eyes saw all the cars, the drivers, car passengers, people crossing the street, number plates. I saw everything there was to be seen.  I didn’t see him on the road but I didn’t let it get to me.  I kept my hands on the wheel and my eyes unblinking. It had snowed the day before but everybody was used to it in this region even the grannies still driving.

When I reached my hotel, I saw his car parked outside, and he was leaning on the bonnet of the car facing away from the road. Not very clever but yet he didn’t suspect which showed my successful progress. When I started to park, he turned around, and I waved. He waved back at me, smiled, and I responded. I rolled down my window, waved him to come to me, and asked if he wanted to go for a drive to see the frozen lake. He wanted to go because obviously it sounded very romantic. I saw him look at my trousers and knew my plan was working in my favour so far.

The drive there was fast and silent. I drove in front, it was dangerous yes, but it was even worse to be tailgating behind. There was more things that could go wrong then – many more. It was I who obviously arrived first, I got out, and waited for him to park. After he did he open the door, leaned against the car, looked at the scenery.

‘It’s beautiful here’ he said.

I smiled.

“It is” I returned.

I grabbed the gun out my bag and pulled the trigger. The bullet shot into the air. fast eager. It wanted to reach flesh. He hadn’t seen it coming and when he did it was to late. I could see the same jittering feeling that he had when he had meet me that first day. Surprise Alarm. The bullet had come so fast and so unexpectedly that I don’t know if his brain could realise that he would die.

“This is for my parents” I shouted out. The shout echoed around the trees and into his ears.

Bullet entered flesh. Right in the heart. Blood soaked his white jumper. He slowly slide down. Collapsed in the snow. Blood started seeping into the white snow. Infusing colour into the blankness.

The gun felt cold in my hand. 

“Sorry” he whispered

I shot again. Bullet in his arm.

“That’s for good luck”

He remained silent. Thoughts of death were upon him. Brain having those last twitches before death.

“My parents are waiting hurry”

“I’d rather stay”

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t let your wealth get lost in the abyss”

“Thanks” I felt sarcasm in his voice. That was the last thing he said.

I’d told dad what the plan was. I knew that men were already on their way. They would get rib of everything. Just leave everything and go I was instructed. I looked at his bloody silent body, got into the car, and drove off.

You see that day everything changed. Everybody knew that I had killed one of the most powerful men without a hitch and that if I was capable of achieving that then I was capable of so much more.

The reason why I killed him wasn’t because I wanted to install fear in the other families no I wanted justice. He was the man who had killed my family, robbed me off the maternal arms that would have raised me from adolescence into adulthood, but they died that night. That night when my parents were out celebrating not only their anniversary but also mum being pregnant again. It was to be a boy. I was supposed to have a brother. He had somehow located where my parents where having their private picnic and murdered them both. I’m told my mother had a bullet to her stomach. They died with the food still in their mouth. Nobody would let me see the open casket, so I wouldn’t be haunted by their dead still bodies, in those wooden boxes. Their funeral was so tightly patrolled that a fly couldn’t have got in if it wanted to. I was only allowed to give a speech by my surrogate mother Maura, who was mums best friend and maid, they shared everyday together. Nobody could have done it better. I was then carried away, given dinner and taken to bed, so I wouldn’t see when they put those boxes in those holes in the ground. Dad’s stepbrother Luciano, was my surrogate father, they loved each other so much. Nobody was in more pain then he was. We were both equally in pain

Luciano and Maura became my parents to be.
That day I came home I made two sets of parents proud. I felt it.

When I came home after killing the man who had killed my parents, the first thing dad did was hand me over the driving licence, and then he hugged me.

I left my lip print on that licence and dad sent of the sign.

Business always first – affection latter was his motto.

New Prose: Eyes On the Ground

21st January 1965

“You knew Miss Betsy didn’t you?”
“I did indeed know her yes. We worked together.”
“You didn’t jus know Miss Betsy did you?”
“Once upon a time we were friends.”
“What ended your friendship?”
“Nothing in particular.”
“There must have been something?”
“Betsy stopped being friendly. She didn’t want to talk.”
“Where you angry at Besty?”
“Where you angry?”
“About what?”
“Well her abrupt end to the friendliness towards you”
“No why.”
“Because I think you killed Miss Betsy. “
“I didn’t.”
“Well there’s such speculation you did.”
“What about evidence?”
“You are set free for now.”

31st June 1980
On a sultry sunny day in summer I meet DeJohn(I latter learnt his name; will explain how). It was a sweat your skin of day. I’d gone to store to buy lemon drops, a lemonade and a pack of ice. Dreamt of that cool drink but never of such a sweet man. I say men but he was young – as old me probably give or take. I think he may have noticed me but I was never really sure. I wanted to catch his eyes but they never came my way. I as a white woman could look where I wanted, but DeJohn as a black man held no such looking rights, simply because he was a black man and I a white woman. He let me admire his beautiful features – its not like he had a choice. I couldn’t try to get his name there was no chance as he quickly left the store.

I tried to hurry so I could see the direction he went in. Bag into my arms and I tumble onto the hot pavement. The air was hot so hot and sticky on me. I hurried forward. No people where about that day. Maybe it was the heat maybe something else. DeJohn wasn’t outside. I hadn’t hoped for the best but well I thought maybe there would be a chance.

I felt like the heat was melting my skin. After months of working in similar heat I was still not used to it. My mind railed but then my eyes caught him down the road. I didn’t need to see his features to know. He was heading to the farm. Who knew hey? It being such a large place.

But my friend Betsy she knew everyone. Socialised, observed and stalked somewhat you can say that. She worked but she was never fully there as her ears were always pointed listening. Eyes alert seeing people, details & rumours. It was she who told me his name. I really wasn’t sure if we were talking about the same person but she was. The next day she spotted him (loading trucks) with her alert eyes awkward on him not knowing whether to say or move away. Nervous eyes those were. To look or not to look. It was strange.

Of course my inquire raised questions. She was curious so curious that it was untameable. I felt that she would suffocate in her unknowing. After fruitless weeks on end excuse my pun, but her mind hadn’t stopped scheming, for an answer that I wouldn’t provide.

“You like a nigga don’t ya” she blasted
“Why do you call him that”
“That’s what he is. More interested in that fact rather then my conclusion I see.”
“Yes. Yes I’m”
“Well well I didn’t figure you were stupid but turns out you are.”

I was angry through my heart, my hands and my mind. Why was she saying these things? I didn’t understand. There was just no way I could. All of a sudden she’d turned – to prejudice, hatred, malice. She hurt me that day.

After her grand conclusion of my feelings she no longer regarded me in  her friendly, sweet, tender way. It was just her face turned from me and her eyes were cold mirrors that reflected my face. We never had a proper conversation after that. She always hurried like she was being clocked.

1st July
I really don’t know why they make do these entries here. I don’t understand but I’ve got to do them. They say its good to remember. To reflect. I don’t even know what the words I put on the page are but I write.

It was a few days after that I saw DeJohn at the shop again. I realised what the look in her eyes had been; she had though him inferior. I couldn’t let my eyes brim with tears that would make him wonder. I’d heavy supplies at my next visit to the shop, he offered to help me out, when he saw me struggle. A white woman struggle.

“Mam’ let me help you, if you will”

Of course I accepted but I didn’t know if he wanted to help or he felt that he must. I obviously didn’t want him to feel it was his job but but I wanted to know him so I accepted.

Walking on hot pavement. Walking under the lazing sun. Walking home with DeJohn. He held my bag tight as I tried to converse. Eyes following hot pavement cracks. I understood he was afraid to offend me, insult me or embarrass me.

“DeJohn why do you work here?” I’d asked
“So I could save myself some money, buy myself a bundle of books for a good library, and move somewhere Northeast. California maybe”

When I heard about the books I couldn’t control my smile. Once again his eyes were on the pavement looking at dry dirt. I didn’t understand it.

“I love to read” I followed.

No response. When he got to the door he carefully handed me my bag and waved me goodbye.

That night my brain wouldn’t sleep. I kept thinking. It was no puzzle really I understood it. He was afraid to be seen with me. Didn’t want to engage in conversation. It was obvious that he wanted to keep us in our places – he in his and I in mine.

All this writing writing – remembering remembering is making me so tired. I don’t know what its all for. It doesn’t make sense. The nurse says it’s beneficial. But if I feel it doesn’t help me how is it? I feel it’s making me worse. Both in my mind – my heart I feel it.

2nd July
Another painful day remembering another painful day writing. Writing it’s hard on me. Everyday I’ve got to write. I want to live. Will I let myself? It’s so cramped here. The writing isn’t helping. I feel crowded. I try see outside but the curtains the curtains they are too thick. They mask me from the outside. I stay confined to my room and the wretched writing every since day at exactly half past 10. Break and then writing. Remembering so much that I’d like to rip the sheets of the bed and those wretched curtains. 

I just couldn’t stay there picking fruit with that hatter. I knew I had to go or she did. It was I first. I went do the truck loading so I could be around DeJohn. My DeJohn of course. We were quick a team. Always got head – got the work done. Never late always on time. The centre of farmyard gossip. It couldn’t be helped really. I was afraid for DeJohn I knew how hateful those men could be. I didn’t want him to get hurt. Love you see, well that’s what they say anyway.

I took him dancing one night. I thought he’d love it.

But. DeJohn didn’t want to dance.
“It’s not proper. Not the way of things around here” he said.

I felt guilty. I felt horrible to be the one to remind him of all the prejudice in the air. He wouldn’t let me in for a moment – not into his heart or into his mind. I danced while he sat eyes on the floor watching my red shoes. He wouldn’t look at my face not even once. Not even when my eyes didn’t leave his hunched frame he wouldn’t let it be. I hurt that day.

On our walk home eyes were on the pavement watching shoes heading home He wouldn’t look at me for a second.

“Please don’t make my life harder” he said to the ground.
“Why can’t you let me love you” I inquire.
“Because society would kill us both.”
“No. If you love me you’ll leave me alone.”
“I can’t.”
“Then you’ll have nobody to love Just a dead body on the road. A black man with no grave. I’ll never have peace.”
“Please don’t talk like that”
“It’s only the truth”

That night I of course laid alone. I wanted to see his closed eyes and feel his nurturing hands encourage me to sleep right along side him. I knew he’d never let me. Never let me even though he was my DeJohn.

3rd July 1980
Again I’m alive. The doorway is empty today. Nobody watching me. What’s the point. The doorway is much more beautiful empty, barren….but those wretched curtains they make my eyes blind. Nobody would do anything when I need them they aren’t here at the doorway. I have to write keep writing they say. We’ll give you privacy but they never open the curtains. Artificial light bright ugly scientific hurts me. Nobody hears. But they keep wanting me to remember remember all sorts of things….they say its important I do. Healing, meditating, cathartic they say….means nothing to me but they want to see the pages. Pin them up on the walls on the door frame stick them on my bed so I can stain them with tea...

One night I surprised him. I’d got the idea that I wanted to take him on a midnight walk along the grapefruit rows. I got out of bed – hurried, quiet, hurried, quick, quick . Out in the darkness. The wall guiding me to DeJohn and I got into where he is sleeping grabbed his arm quickly.

“We’ve got to go” I whisper fighting a laugh.
“Up up” I demanded.
“Time is?”

Before I knew it we were out. He was far from amused with me.

“Please just this once hold me.”
“No. I can’t. Please no”

 I started to wrap my hands around him.

“Please just once. This one time.”
For a moment he resisted me. Tried to push my arms away.

But then just like that he decided against it.

“Only this once.” He sighed.
“Only this once. I promise.”

That was the first time he showed me any affection. I hoped it wouldn’t be the last.  He embraced me gently ever so gently.

I heard nothing in the darkness but us. It was a good silence. When DeJohn properly woke up, he realised I was in my sleeping clothes, and he let me go.

“You said.”
“Please just hold me”
“No I can’t I’m going now. I’ll be gone tomorrow.”

Just as he turned I heard footsteps. Footsteps.

“I knew it was you two over here. Wait ‘till I tell tomorrow.”

In that moment impulse took over. I jumped on her. DeJohn didn’t stop it. He didn’t move. She didn’t move. Caught under my body, my arms and my fists. My pounding fists. They hit her all over everywhere. I hit hard. She couldn’t breath as I pounded the breath out of her.

Her eyes drew themselves into their sockets. She couldn’t speak. Her lips wouldn’t function – couldn’t function. They never would again. I knew that. She knew that. DeJohn knew that.

She got up somehow. She couldn’t take her possessions. Her body.

I snatched the gold chain from her neck.

“Mine now.”

“Put it around my neck DeJohn will you.”

I always loved gold. It was such a pretty necklace would have been a loss. Such a beautiful present. Betsy was never selfish – she let me have what I wanted most. She let me have the necklace that I’d watch glitter in gold sun. She was good to me wasn’t she? I had both the things I wanted most. She always wanted peace could never get enough of it on that farm. She told me so herself.

If she was here I know she’d open those curtains and let that sunlight in. I’m among the pages but the doorway is empty once again. I abandon this crowded room with its pages and wretched curtains. Today is the day – my day that I’m going to go through to see what’s along the corridor…see who lives in those other rooms. In those other rooms here. Maybe they too are selfless and have some gold. I’m always in need of it. That way the sun can always see me so.

New poem: I sit on the floor

dollies in my lap
have to be quiet
for the news
Grandpa says
so silent I sit
dollies silent like me
I stoke their hair
clothes swapping would be fun
granddad says
can’t undress the dollies
 can’t see through my back
afraid to undress them
his tone
bad news blasting on full volume
on that old tv set –

grams in the kitchen tidying up
I know it
so I sit on the floor
with my dressed dollies
while I stroke down their dresses
quiet like am supposed to be
News fills the room with its tragedies
everything bad, ugly and more important then me
News with its voice monotonous voice
mine isn’t even a crumb in me
I stroke my dollies coarse blonde manes
following instructions
of silent and playtime obedience
Newscast wearing itself out
and my granddad will let me speak
but by then my voice will be dead

New poem: I will not walk

in the shoes
of women before me

enslaved for her
her body controlled
her body sold
in dying
her body
life unlived

doll of the house
all for dressing
a little dance
eating raisins
being a little spend thrift
biggest crime

Ms Havisham
her best companions
the spiders crawling
on her cake
and she’s blessed
for the cobwebs
laced around
the windows  

minders of the mind
away from
in crates
not to ship
them away
but dumb at sea
at least you lived
and developed
a mind of your

takes Hamlet’s insults
didn’t ever think to be
rude back
which I’m sure
would have made
feel much better
if she had
rather then taking
the river for a bed

just wanted to play
the submissive
when he hit
she didn’t hit back
was plain sorry
look where that got her?

you should have rebelled
worn a spiky jacket
and smoked
surely your parents
would have noticed
something was wrong
just left with Romeo
let them welcome
your empty bed
at least you wouldn’t
have ended up dead

plays commander
to the so called
‘native savage’
acting colonizer
everybody hates those
now days
only if you’d thought
without your father
in your head
then you would have
owned intellect

I will not walk
in the shoes
of women before me

instead I will wear
my own shoes
on summer drives
along the sea
to cliffs
where wind
combs the grass
to my lover
who’ll feed me
artisan food
with his hands
and at dusk
my flesh come
his touch

Hi I'm back my blog! - The issue of hope and blogging. An essay

I want to write about blogging and hope. Yes the two are more intertwined then you know. This topic arises out of the fact that I set up a blog and abandoned it until know. This post wouldn't just be about this don't worry. 

I wanted to share my work but then my vision disappeared. I no longer had the passion or urgency to do so. I didn't feel anything. I got lost in myself and didn't want to do anything. I'd been without hope for a large period in my life. This isn't something we should be ashamed to admit because its such a natural phenomina. How many of us get out of bed and don't only where to start but don't have the energy and the fire to do so. I had a great passion for blogging and then just like that I lost it one day. There was no energy within me. 

For a while my creativity was going. I had a lot of energy and ideas to give. I drew them out of me put them down on paper and computer. Then my energy and fire where gone. They left me as they had come. I had no desire to write. There was no sensation  within me that told me to go write. I had no ideas. My mind just had no creative thoughts or any urge to do anything creative at all. I was stuck. I didn't have writers block - I had hope block. 

In August (2014) I struggled to get back into writing poetry. I started, wrote, read it and instantly knew there was something wrong. It wasn't working. I felt it - my poem was static, dull and it had no energy - no fire. I wanted to change that. I turned up to my poetry workshop class without my poem (I was on a Study Abroad Year). I didn't lie and I told the truth. The teacher understood and yet she didn't - she thought it was to do with writers block and I did too at the time. Now I know it wasn't.
Often we don't realise that hope drives so many parts of our life forward. Without hope where would be get? Well we would only get as far as the last of our creative energies are drawn out and then we are a broken down car on the side of the road. We can't go any further until we fix ourselves and our hope. 

I stumbled upon a BBC broadcast that I found interesting and this sparked something within me. I wanted to write I felt like I was doing something worthwhile. So that Monday morning I sat in the library and I crafted a poem. A poem with intensity, vision and passion. It wasn’t an easy poem – and well the critique the class gave helped me improve that poem so much. The comments made me able to give the poem so many other dimensions. It’s a grand poem, its an intense poem and it’s a hard poem to read because its about the death of 3 men at different ages and stages in their life not having a chance to live. 

Without hope one doesn’t really have a chance to filful their dreams. They have nothing to steer them their. I know that I had nothing and being in the pits meant that I was stuck hopeless. Only when I managed to write that poem did I manage to get myself unstuck somewhat. I managed to write a poem a week and I wouldn’t lie I struggled. It wasn’t that I lacked inspiration things in my life – they were around but my mind was blocked to them. My mind didn’t see the inspiration – my mind was blind. 

I did try to get myself unstuck. Everyday I would write about my day and what I was up to but I didn’t do very well. I wanted it to be grand and mighty but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be even though it had intensity. This didn’t help give me back my hope. I felt more down trodden then before. When I had a vision and I couldn’t do anything about it – that made me feel ‘crippled.’ A crippled writer who just couldn’t connect with her hope. 

I left myself to my block you could say as I didn’t try to force myself to become ‘uncrippled’ or ‘unblocked.’ It wasn’t that I didn’t do anything. I read and I absorbed. I was able to escape my crippled artist side and enter the world of books where I was accepted and I was face. Nobody would just me on my inability and I wouldn’t judge myself. I wouldn’t beat myself up and in books I had hope. You could say I was a child again and somebody needed to give me hope. 

In the month of May I left on a road trip. This journey across the landscape would affect me deeply. It would affect my mind in ways I hadn’t know. My eyes perceived and my mind was inspired. I wanted to write. There was things I wanted to say and get down. Often I was tried but I did light bits. I fought with my block and I overcame it officially on the 25th of May. I wrote a poem – a dedication to Dodge City. There was a sensation in me and I knew I wanted to write about the place. I wrote dedications like this from the cities we visited and in those poems I wrote down the impression that they left upon me. It was remarkable how my mind perceived and then created something out of that perception. Everything was involved in the process – my eyes, my mind, my heart and my soul. I could feel the places I visited and I could feel the places I captured in my dedications. 

I actively looked for things to write about – for different ways to be creative. I tapped into my ability for creating cartoons and I started a scrapbook. I visited the museum and took pictures of things that sparked something in me, that interested me and that I felt a pull towards. There are pieces of many kinds but the thing that they have in common is that when I saw them they affected me. They affected me and I wanted to write about them – short fiction, poetry -  I didn’t exactly have what I wanted in mind but just knew I wanted them to inspire my work. 

Months latter I would start a poetry collection that would span over 4 months, a calendar poetry collection and non fiction poetry about my childhood/adolescence. The calendar poetry is suffering most I’ll be honest and well I feel guilty about it but then on the other hand I know that I can’t recapture of section of the day again so it would be false to really go back like that. Its not important what I write but that I write everyday and I do write everyday. I might not put something down on paper but my mind is collecting its writing up and new ideas are coming in. I can happily say that my mind is a fertile ground for creativity. 

I’d rather be flooded then it drought.  I’ve been taking into my mind open up doors – hidden nooks there and exploring my creativity. I expect I’ll find something new each time so I’m not surprised but I have hope – so much hope and desire.

I’ve been finding time to do things I love because that’s important in giving one a sense of pleasure and fuliment. What I love to do is read so I’ve been buying and reading things I know I’d enjoy. I’m not only doing something that I find so much pleasure in. In the process I’m learning a lot about myself and it’s urging me to peruse my dream to write a Ya novel. Its been lingering there for a while but I’ve never really acknowledged it as something that might be possible for me but I don’t and wouldn’t doubt myself any longer.   

 I have the energy and the fire to work towards that dream. I give life and presence to the ideas floating around in my head. My mind and eyes perceive and they are inspired by everything. I’m not scared when my mind is spinning with ideas or when I can’t come make myself come back to the real world 100%. I know that I’m heading in the right direction even though they are no sign posts in this land of creativity.