For November Notes Day 25 the song is “Tethered” by Sleeping at Last. I’m combining the prompt with a #3LineTales Prompt from Sonya ofOnly 100 Words.
Credit: Manu Sanchez via Unsplash
“Tethered” by Sleeping at Last
Remember when we were tethered together by the sea and we tied strings around our fingers, promising to love and live by the ocean forever, to never leave. But time has raced on, we’re still lovers but in this frozen city tying to be brave, to breath normally in a world — where loaded guns are forever a threat. We can untangle each other’s knots, warm each other when we’re shivering cold, but the threats are always present, beside us, in the streets, near the playgrounds; soldiers serving a dictator, bright red berets making me yearn for the ocean where we first enlaced our lives — I want that life for us again.
Simon was a scientist working for NASA. He hadn’t thought he’d marry until he saw Nancy. He was walking past her office and the sight of her muttering equations with her hands twisted in her long brown ombré hair made him stop.
Her skin tingled. From the corner of her eye Nancy saw an attractive dark haired man studying her. She didn’t recognize him. “Can you come back in an hour? I can’t lose my train of thought.”
Then, she felt a hand on her shoulder.”Here you need to do this.”
The man pointed out where she was having problems on her laptop screen, astonishing Nancy. She noted his thick navy glasses frames on his angular face. She could also tell he was taller than her. Most of her dates eventually told 6′ 0″ Nancy she was too tall and/or fat.
She breathed deeply shivering, was this chemistry? “But what about this? I tried what you said, it’s not what I’m missing,” Nancy told the man.
They argued over her equations for the next three hours. Nancy was to her surprise completely comfortable around him, learning his name was Simon. She didn’t mind how near he’d pulled his chair.
By 6:00 p.m. Simon realized he’d been so absorbed in Nancy he hadn’t noticed everyone else had gone home. “Nancy, would you let me take you for dinner? I’ve kept you too long, you’re probably starving.” Simon’s thumb grazed her nape.
“I would love that,” she said.
Two years later Nancy was pregnant. Simon created the finishing touches to their baby’s Space Ship mobile. He didn’t want his son to hurt himself, by being able to reach the mobile.
For the “first time in more than 130 years” there are more young adults” choosing to live with their parents among people “18 to 34” years old (Domanski). Although I’ve been out of school for over ten-years now, I do think there are excellent reasons some Millenials are remaining at home. It isn’t just to mooch off their parents or cases such as in the movie Failure to Launch. For me personally, it’s been bad health.
When I finished university, moving out right away wasn’t an option at 22. Earning $34, 000 dollars a year as a receptionist wasn’t going to pay for rent and food, despite my BA in English. Moreover, I noticed a common trend, especially among young women, who chose to stay home and develop their careers before moving to their own place.
Many friends, and acquittances tried to earn enough money to live on their own first. They stayed home to pay off debts, earn a down payment for a house or condo, or waited until they eventually found the person they wanted to marry an or move in with.
This is what I want to focus on, in this post, those Millenials who have lived with their parents through University (or moved back in) to establish themselves in life and their careers. Sadly, it takes time and money for most of us to create the house or home of our dreams so beware your dream kitchen or living area will probably take a while to create.
8 Things You Should Know or Own After Establishing Your Career Before Moving Out
A Decent Sized Bed and Bedding such as Sets of Sheets, a Duvet, and a Duvet Cover
Hopefully by the time you’re in your mid-twenties the twin-bed has been upgraded for a Queen-sized or King- sized bed, whatever fits in your bedroom. But it’s often better to buy this ahead of time as it’s a major expense you don’t have to worry about later on.
As well, having a couple sets of nice cotton sheets for your bed is a wise purchase. Ensure you’ve bought a couple of regular cotton sheets that match your duvet cover or are neutral colored; as well as, a couple of sets of flannel sheets made of cotton for places with a cold climate. Although cotton costs more than microfibre, it’s much better for your skin as cotton breathes and will not cause you to break out or sweat to death in warm or cold temperatures. Check out these Solid Flannel Sheet Sets preshrunk, made from cotton, and on sale now at Simons.com. Also, take a peek at their Cotton 600 Thread Count Sheets in White or Gray which is an awesome start for sheet set colors as they go with pretty much any duvet set for spring, summer, and early fall.
Moreover, a decent duvet (whether it be goose down feathers, microgel, or polyester filled) is a must. Although goose down feathers will keep you warmer, many people can be too allergic to the feathers. In this case, a well-made duvet filled with polyester or microgel is the way to go. Also, if you’re a person who becomes too hot when they sleep having a non-feather filled duvet is cooler.
Furthermore, you can find a mixture of goose down and microgel duvets which I find work well, despite having allergies to goose down. As well, purchasing a nice duvet set, something casual and elegant, a more ‘adult set,’ is recommended for your new bedroom. Then, you can blend sheets, decorative pillows (etc.) all into this theme or your chosen color scheme.
2. Crystal Wine Glasses, Your Own Wine and Liquor, and an Elegant Bar Cart.
Moreover, large wine glasses will do for any kind of wine white or red until you have the cash to buy smaller glasses for white wine or champagne. Having these around at home is wonderful for friends who come over when Mom and Dad are away and also for yourself on Friday nights. They’re one less thing you have to buy when moving out because they aren’t the cheapest thing to buy either.
Moreover, if you’re like me, your wine and liquor stash at home was in your bedroom so if you know you’re moving out that year, collecting a few kinds of wines and liquors is a great thing to have for both you and the guests you will have at your new place. Also right before you move out, if you can find yourself an inexpensive but elegant bar cart, or piece of furniture that can be turned into a bar cart, this is an excellent purchase.
3. Bathroom Items – A Couple Full Sets of Soft Towels Good For Yourself and Male or Female Company along with Basic Hygiene Items for Guests
Hopefully, if you’ve made some money from working a couple of years, you’ve had enough of it to invest in a couple full sets of towels thinking of your color scheme. For instance, my duvet has colors of blue (as do my sheets) so I have purchased a couple sets of towels (4 of everything) for myself and in the future, for guests. You don’t have to use them all at once but if you see the right towels in your decor colors, at a good price, they’re wonderful to pick up and stash away until you’re moving out.
If you know you’ll be leaving home soon, having other basics such as a matching shower curtain (if needed), a tooth brush holder, foaming hand soap, and spare hygienic items for guests such as body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, and deodorant, are great items to have. They do not need to be the most expensive brand but nice smelling drugstore brands. Extra face clothes are also items that are always needed!
Furthermore, ensure you have the cleaning products you like using, if you’re moving out soon. Choose ones that are environmentally friendly and won’t cause you to be choked-up by noxious chemicals. CLR Kitchen and Bath is a good bet for the main product to use in the Kitchen and Bathroom areas. It works for dusting too.
4. Dishes for Your Kitchen & Basic Kitchen Supplies
Some KitchenSupplies you can buy as you go along, each month, adding to your kitchen stash. One of the best things to have first is a set of dishes. They can be new, old, or inexpensive but having dishes and having enough of them so that when family and friends come over you have a full set of dishes ( 8 to 10 places settings) is important.
Additionally, if you’re getting married you might wait and ask for these on your Guest Registry; however, if you’re single and making enough money you might want to choose more affordable dishes for now. For instance, you can look at these place settings made of bone China called Wedgewood Butterfly Bloom 5-Piece Place Setting found at BedBathandBeyond.ca, better for wedding presents and special occasion dishes.
If you have your grandma’s or mom’s old dishes you might consider matching these with more modern dishes. For instance, my Baba gave me her old dishes that have bright pink flowers on them and gold around the edges. Finding white dishes with a gold trim to match with these dishes might help them seem less gaudy when an entire table is set.
Also, consider going somewhere that sells quality but not too expensive glasses that will last. You can go to IKEA but every time a glass slips or falls, it will shatter. Better to buy more durable glasses to start out with and not have to buy more later. As well, I find myself, often larger glasses or better than smaller ones as they encourage you to drink more water and are better for larger portions or alcoholic drinks.
Also, although my Baba’s set includes these, serving dishes are important to have. They can be plain white and inexpensive and are significant along with cutlery (enough for company 8 to 10 people and doesn’t have to be pricey). Moreover, knives, mixing bowls, whisks, serving spoons, tea towels, oven mitts, spatulas, a kettle, a microwave, and other common kitchen items you’ll use often need to eventually be purchased.
They could include a Tassimo coffee maker, toaster oven, hand blender, mix master, and other items. You’ll probably need to buy basic items first, and add more expensive appliances to your kitchen as you live in your new home.
5. Painting Your New Place
Whether you’ve bought a new condo or home or are living in an apartment you plan to remain in a while, painting your new home can really make it feel like home. There is nothing more calming and homelike than having your rooms painted on your own, with friend’s and family’s help, or professionals, to make your place feel as if it’s yours.
If you have an apartment you’ll need to talk to the manager first before painting so they can approve the colors. Lighter colors that are more neutral in this situation are better choices as they’re easier for you or your apartment manager to paint over (if needed) when you move. Paint before you move everything in. Check out the article 10 Paint Colors That Will Never, Ever, Ever Go Out of Style on the House Beautiful Website.
Moreover, if you own your condo or home, paint your home whatever color you choose, but remember that once you paint the walls, it’s harder to paint them a second time when you have to move out all the furniture again or cover it up so it doesn’t get paint on it. Consider a color scheme that you will not become bored with. Feature walls (painting one wall a vibrant color or say covering it in a nice wall paper) is a good idea as you only have to change one wall later and not the entire room or space.
As well, many people become sick of walls that are too bright quickly, especially in colors such as red or bright green. Keeping your paint color neutral or light, allows you to play with your home decor in other ways — with interesting artwork, dark or colored furniture, and decor items that are more unique and bright. Remember to buy good paint. Some of the best I’ve used is the Behr Paint from Home Depot that comes with a built in primer. Benjamin Moore is also a wonderful brand but more expensive.
Ensure you buy enough paint to give the walls two coats if needed, or to go over spots that get scraped off later accidentally. Also ensure if you paint different rooms diverse colors, the colors flow into each other and do not create choppiness in your home. Warmer colors will also make a room bigger while cooler colors tend to make rooms smaller. Also painting the ceiling a dark color is not recommended as it causes the ceiling to ‘come down’ and make a room significantly smaller.
6. Displaying Art Work and Photographs
Additionally, for those of you who read my last interior design piece HERE, you’ll know I’m a big fan of purchasing art you like that is also more unique. I enjoy buying prints off Etsy.com because far fewer people will have these prints and because you’re supporting local and home businesses. Here’s an example of OldStyleDesign’s Alice and Wonderland Themed Prints and Frames.
As well, LauraRowStudio’s Hollywood Icon Prints are made from paintings of actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Additionall, events such as Art Walks, craft shows, MakeIt.ca ” The Hand Made Revolution,” and other craft and design shows are fantastic for finding authentic art.
Moreover, if you’re a decent artist yourself it’s also more inexpensive to buy canvases, brushes, and nice paint to paint more impressionistic or modern pieces of artwork such as flowers, shapes, or picture’s you’ve seen but can easily mimic in your own artistic style. Also on Etsy.com I found some paintings of wonderful abstract art by MichelleDinelleArt on canvas. Below is an example of one of her works in a purple color scheme.
As well, consider that when buying prints and works from local artists, you do not have to spend a great deal of money having them framed. Often, you can find beautiful frames yourself at the various home decor and craft stores to create a photo wall with various kinds of frames. In Canada, you can look at HomeSense in store or Winners in store to find various frames along with your local craft store. Another wonderful place to check out would be Ikea.com as they carry many kinds of frames instore and online.
Also, you want to think about what family pictures you want to show off and how you would like to frame those photos.
Since we are such a technologically based society and we’re always taking photos on our iPhones of our latest get-togethers, you can keep in mind an awesome concept for a picture frame below. It’s an intuitive frame I enjoy myself!
The first thing I loved about this frame was that it downloads your favorite and ‘best’ photos from your iPhone and Ipad. The pictures in your frame alter as you take new photos everyday. Moreover, what I adore about this frame is its unique technology that ‘curates’ your photos, meaning that none of your flawed or embarrassing photos will appear on the frame’s screen in your new home.
In addition, I adore the frames sleek elegant design found in three colors including Ivory with a Rosegold trim, Charcoal with a Black trim, and Crystal Blue with a Silver trim. The first color combination is my favorite! As well, the frame uses ‘smart technology’ so that along with photos from your Iphone, the best pictures taken by your friends and family, on their Apple devices, will appear on the screen of your frame. The current frame I have is about 10 inches high and almost 12 inches wide, but I’m hoping bigger frames become available.
Moreover this exquisite and modern frame, from Auraframes, is designed to be a classic piece of home decor to exhibit the wonderful times you’ve had with friends and family, as well as, the special moments that have, recently, occurred in your life. More information about the tech aspects of the frame are available on the products site. You can also watch the video about Auraframes and/or purchase a frame right here.
7. Changing Lighting and Hardware
Some of the most worthwhile changes you can make to modernize your condo or new home are to change your lighting and hardware before or while you’re moving in. You can change lights in the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom; as well as, faucets in the bathroom and kitchen.
7. Repurposing Old Furniture and Buying New Hooks and Handles
Another great thing to do when first moving out is to find old furniture relatives don’t want and repurpose it. Paint it and replace it with new handles that give the piece a whole new look. Changing hardware on old furniture passed onto you or that you’ve found, is a wonderful way to reuse it and change its design along with new handles on drawers and closet hooks throughout your new place. You can also find interesting hooks along with new handles for the kitchen and bathroom as well.
Painting with good wall paint works on furniture but you might want to consider the finish of the paint, whether you want the paint finish to be shinier or more eggshell and easier to clean. You can rub away some of the paint after it dries to give your repurposed or refinished furniture more of an antique and worn look. Remember to stay within your chosen color scheme and use colors of paint that are neutral or match this scheme when reprinting wood furniture. Also, sand your furniture down before painting it so the paint sticks.
Additionally, you can use these beautiful delicate feminine handles for repurposed or refinished furniture called Entomology Knobs here with different knobs for different finishes of gold, silver, and bronze. Also, these Galaxy Knobs are more angular and geometric but still interesting and not so girly. Moreover, these Gardening Indoors Knobs are great to add color to a more neutral furniture piece.
For interesting and beautiful hooks you might consider these Pronoun Hooks or you might consider simpler hooks in either silver, bronze, or gold in these Harvey Hooks or consider this Fretwork Hookrack as a sturdier piece near the door, in your bedroom to hang clothes, or in the bathroom to hang towels. These Glass Etoile Hooks are both pretty but sturdy as well.
There is also a plethora of handles available for making armoires, dressers, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets more interesting such as the Hammered Serina Handles in gold, silver, or bronze. As well, the Tangier Ceramic Handles in blush or turquoise are superb. Also lovely clear handles with silver called Glass Bubble Handles are pretty but less girly handles to choose. Especially, at Anthropologie.com there is such a variety of these hardware items to pick from in all kinds of fabulous designs and metal finishes.
8. Ensure Your Furniture Fits Into Your New Space: Measure 3 Times to Make Sure it Fits
When you move into your new place, you should make sure that any furniture that’s been passed down, found at garage sales, flea markets, or other places will fit in the rooms you want to put the furniture in. If you think it’s going to be too big, better to wait and not purchase the piece than to refinish or repurpose it and not be able to get it through the door or into a room.
Measure where you want certain pieces of furniture to go 3 times to get the correct measurements,jot the measurements on your phone and carry a tape measure with you, wherever you go, to ensure you don’t purchase the largest furniture in the store when your condo is a mere 800 square feet.
As well, when you measure for curtains measure 3 times as well to make sure you have them sewn the right length and width or to ensure you buy the right length of curtains and panels and only buy decorative items you love 100 percent and pieces that represent you, just as much as your artwork or photography does. A wonderful place to purchase fabric for curtains and have them made is Chintz.com. You can choose from an array of fabrics that suit your decor colors.
Throws, candles, cushions for couches and bedrooms, pillow cases for cushions (and the insides), can all easily be found online and in stores, or on places such as Etsy.com.
If you plan to replace these items often don’t throw away your money on items that have little meaning to you or that you don’t like but buy because they are cheap. Wait to buy items that you love unless they’re inexpensive festive items such as for Christmas.
Also, remember you’re the one dusting your entire place now so don’t clutter it with too many knick-knacks, you’ll end up hating yourself later.
Remember to check out some of my past interior design posts under the category of the same name. Thanks for reading!
Goodmorning and welcome to my biweekly interview series. Today I have the honor of sharing with you the writing and blog ofIan Kelly. He’s a talented guy who has recently published a book of short stories. You can find Ian’s blog here: Ian Kelly Writing.
1. Hi Ian, Please Tell Us About Yourself?
Hi. My name is Iain Kelly and I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. I have lived here all my life and it’s where I write my blog from. My blog is called: Iain Kelly Writing.
Telling about yourself is always the most difficult question to answer, so I’ll keep it simple! I work as an editor of television programs for BBC Scotland. I’m married with two-year-old twins who take up most of my time. After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I first started my blog six years ago and spent a year doing film and book reviews. I neglected it for a couple of years and then took a fiction writing course online.When I had finished that I had a few short pieces that I liked and decided to share them on my blog. From there I have kept writing new short stories and flash fiction.
“After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.” – Ian Kelly
3. What Does Writing Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
When I was much younger I wrote stories. I have always enjoyed coming up with characters, letting my imagination wander with them and see what stories resulted.I used to play football (soccer) and would write stories about fictional football teams and players. As often happens, life gets in the way of dreams.
I went to university and studied English Literature, Film, and Television. My career took me down the path of television. Eventually, I’ve found the writing bug again. Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
I tend to write fiction based on real life, or perhaps a fictional future world rooted in reality. I don’t tend to write fantasy or science-fiction specifically. My inspiration comes from the world around us. It could be something happening in the news, events, politics, but also from looking at everyday people, the struggles and/or laughter they share with each other. My motivation may come from wanting to try and comment on events that are occuring. Writing is a way to turn frustration into something creative or to attempt to cope with a situation in life.
“Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.” – Ian Kelly
5. Is There a Time of Day You Prefer to Write?
My time available to write depends on my work schedule and my children. When the kids have gone to bed in the evening I try to fit some time writing in. Or if the twins go for a nap during the day sometimes I have a chance to write. The main thing is that I have to find the opportunities to write when I can!
6. What Are Your Most Current Writing/Blogging Projects? Any Hopeful Projects for the Future?
At the moment I am working on my first novel-length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft.I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.
After the first draft is finished I will re-write and edit. I’m aiming to have a finished novel by the end of the year and then decide what I want to do with it –- if it’s worth sending to a publishing company or self-publishing the novel.
Alongside that, I will continue writing short pieces for my blog. It helps to take a break from a long novel and focus the mind on something different every so often, before going back to the main project.
“At the moment I am working on my first novel length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.” – Ian Kelly
7. Can You Tell Us About Your Recently Published Book?
At the start of this year, I self-published a collection of my short stories from my blog in a book calledCollected Sketches. I decided to do this at the end of 2016. I realized I had a lot of stories, some with similar themes and dealing with similar issues, that I thought were quite good and worth collecting together as a compendium.
The other benefit of publishing theses stories was that it gave me a chance to try self-publishing out for myself which I hadn’t done or considered doing before. I’m pleased with how my book turned out. It’s available to a global audience through on Amazon: HERE, which is an amazing thing to happen to my writing. You can find out about Collected Sketches by Ian Kelly on my blog or through Kindle on Amazon.com
8. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process that You Went Through To Publish?
I used Createspaceonline to self-publish. After looking around at a few online resources I went for this one mainly because it was free to do, and also it allowed me to do everything myself. Other sites offered help in editing and formatting and design, but at a cost.
If you’re confident to do these things yourself then Createspaceis excellent.With the novel I am currently writing, I plan to try the traditional route of sending it to agents and publishers. But it is good to know that if all else fails I can self-publish and still have my novel out there into the world. Here is the link to CreatespaceHERE.
9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
I think I’m still figuring my writing process out as I go through this novel. Most writers advise that the best thing to do is write the first draft as it comes to you.Whatever happens, keep writing! So I’m following that advice.
I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form, freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.Doing flash fiction short stories is great practice for that.
“I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.” – Ian Kelly
10. Do You Have Certain Genres You Prefer to Write or To Read Books In?
I tend to stick to everyday drama or real world stories. But I also love to read and write spy stories, war fiction, and crime fiction. I might occasionally try other things too.
I spend a lot of time reading. Favorite authors would be John Le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy, Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Ian Fleming, and Terry Pratchett –- to name a few. I also like to try and go back and read the classics every so often such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and I love Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeer novels. I think that comes from my days as a student of English Literature.
11. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like To Follow?
Just keep writing and getting your work out there into the world for people to read. Ninty-Nine Percent of people will be kind to you and give constructive criticism and feedback. If you love doing it, keep doing it. And read lots too.
I follow loads of great fiction writers out there so rather than trying to pick from them I will pick three alternatives:
One for writing prompts is a relatively new flash fiction challenge called‘What Pegman Saw’ which uses Google Maps as a prompt each week to give a location to inspire stories. It’s a great idea and means I learn a lot about various places around the world, as well as writing stories.
I don’t really do film reviews anymore, but one of the best blogs that I follow for all things film-related, including reviews isThe Snooty Ushers at which one of my friends from University days contributes to. Great reviews and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Finally, Joanne Kelly Art and Design. I am biased but my wife Joanne has her own blog. She is a graphic designer and artist and has started creating works both by hand and on computer software.Some great stuff, so I hope people will check it out.
14. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog?
Flash Fiction, I have always liked this one, to sum up being a writer:
“The Writer’s Spiral”
By Ian Kelly
Mark met Bob from Accounting at the bottom of the stairs.
‘Another Monday morning,’ said Bob, as they began the trudge up to the office. Mark grunted in reply. Bob began every Monday with the same conversation.
‘Don’t you ever feel like we’re hamsters in a wheel, going round and round and getting nowhere?’ Bob continued. ‘There must be something more exciting in life than this.’
As Mark prepared to answer, the lights went out. Out of the window, they saw bright orange beams cut through the air. Aircraft buzzed around them, firing at one another. Buildings exploded as aircraft and missiles crashed into them. The sky darkened as a large spaceship loomed over the city. Mark ducked as a piece of debris crashed through the glass next to them. It caught Bob and sent him plummeting to the ground below.
The writer paused and read back what he had just typed. It all spiraled out of control too quickly. He sighed and pressed Ctrl+A and Delete. The cursor on the blank screen blinked at him. He started again.
Mark arrived at work at the same time as Bob from Accounting…
Here Are Some Of Ian’s Longer Pieces he wrote and favorited:
Thank you so much, Ian, for wanting to be interviewed I enjoyed your answers and you seem to have a solid idea of what you’re doing as a writer and how to achieve your set goals. Best of luck with the novel and future endeavours.
If you would like to be interviewed please reach out to me on my contact page. I would love to tell your story as a writer or if you blog for a cause, I can also interview on that as well. See you in two weeks!
Phallon watched the fish swim in the pond his Grandpa had installed in his backyard. He enjoyed visiting his Grandpa each Saturday. Grandpa had put the pond in because young Phallon loved the fish so much as a toddler; ‘fishes’ had been his first word.
Now he sat with Grandpa who asked him about school and of course the girls in his school. Uncomfortable, Phallon wished Grandpa didn’t ask him about that.
Grandpa simply laughed,”Phallon, I’m only teasing you. It’s good you have friends who are girls and that there are girls you like. This Jennifer, have you asked her out?”
Phallon’s face turned red, “Yeah we’ve gone to a movie together and bowling. I want her to be my girlfriend but her parents say she’s too young to have a boyfriend.”
Grandpa nodded a smile on his face, “You’ll find the right one when you’re older. When I saw your Grandma the first time, my heart lept out of my chest. I wonder if I will ever meet that right girl of yours and see you marry her?”
Phallon felt uncomfortable again, “Why wouldn’t you be there Grandpa? You’re only eighty-one?”
Grandpa patted Phallon’s hand then squeezed it, “You know, my boy, I’ve been sick a long time. It’s a battle I’ve mostly conquered, but my strength is waning these days.When you get married someday, think of your old Grandpa, okay?” Phallon nodded feeling a lump in his throat.
Two-years later Grandpa succumbed. Phallon was sixteen and felt raw inside. He returned to the fish pond in Grandpa’s back yard. He noticed the fishes were floating and the reality of life made tears wet his cheeks. In the mess of the last two weeks including Grandpa’s funeral, no one had remembered to feed the fish.
Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview withMicheleVecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.
1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?
I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.
One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore calledThe Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.
2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?
I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.
My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life.My husband and I have been married just over five years. Markis an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.
Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.
On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.
Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.
“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto
3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging?
I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.
My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.
When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.
4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.
I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.
Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).
“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.
Inspiration for me can come from anywhere:a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.
As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.
6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?
I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.
“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto
7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?
I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.
My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!
8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?
I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.
Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.
I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.
“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto
9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?
My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.
The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.
If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.
If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.
I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.
11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?
I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.
My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.
I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy inspirational pieces as well.Both of these kinds of writing have their place.
“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto
12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?
I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.
I’ve also started aFacebookpage and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitterhas been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.
13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?
I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running calledBelle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.
14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:
Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”
More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:
Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times. I try to live my life as described in “The Choice”and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.
Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blogone more time: Steps Times Two.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page.See you in two-weeks!
Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recentlymarried. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”
1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?
My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family. I was married on November 11, 2016 and I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.
This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.
Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.
As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other,helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.
The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.
” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana
2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?
I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.
This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.
3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?
I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write.I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.
They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored. I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life,it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.
Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.
These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth.We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms.Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.
By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.
God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.
Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want tohelp others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection.
“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana
4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?
There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.
There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.
5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?
I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.
“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”
6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.
When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.
7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?
Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.
WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.
8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?
I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.
9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:
“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder
I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.
I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.
For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.
My sensitive nature is misunderstood.
Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?
One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:
“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15
In my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.
I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.
It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.
I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.
The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.
I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.
When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?
People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.
As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem! I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.
It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten
Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s Blog: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1
Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!
Thanks to the lovely and gracious Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW this last week.
Violet read the letter her daughter had sent her in disbelief. To fathom a girl of Elizabeth’s quality of breeding would do this to her family was unimaginable.
Harsh Victorian society could never know the truth of what Elizabeth had done and Violet wasn’t sure she could bear to keep in contact with her daughter.
She would focus on her other children. Violet’s sons had married well. Three of her daughters were also married suitably and having more children. Her two youngest daughters were courting wealthy gentlemen.
Elizabeth if not cut-off from her family, could ruin them all. Violet reread part of her daughter’s letter once more in disgust:
“Did you know Mama, there is such thing as a circus? Freaks of all kinds, but I love them because they’re genuine, not like the society you so desperately try to trap me in. Years of dance lessons have left me flexible. I pirouette far above the ground and dance in the air; I ride the elephants.
It’s amazing travelling the world and I won’t be returning to London, except for an occasional visit of course. I’ve married one of the men who runs the circus. He is like me, gentry who has run away from a society of judgement. I love you and hope we can write, but I can’t be the woman you want me to be. . .”
It takes a great deal of pushing and a lot of poking to make me angry, but Yasmine knew which buttons to push. The neighbors never heard us fight, until that night in August.
“You always want to be together; I can’t be with you all the time. I’ve work and sometimes I need alone time, and occasionally, guy time.” I yelled.
Yasmine flicked back her long brown hair and laughed at my rage; she was far away inside her head again; I could tell.
“Look who’s upset,” she said softly. “It took me a long time to make you this angry, Logan. I thought you would never notice me. You’re always leaving me home alone.”
“Yasmine, I’m extremely upset at you, scared for your mental well being, and scared for our relationship. But you think my words are a joke.” I say.
She laughs and slids her arm around my shoulders. I shrug it off. Yasmine crosses her arms and says:”Calm down Logan. Stop being such an ass. Your married, you don’t get space anymore.”
“Being married doesn’t mean no space.You never used to be this way Yasmine. You did stuff with your friends and visited relatives. You also worked as a successful interior designer.” I told her.
“Now, you stay home all day and you lay in bed. I’m trying and I know you’re not well. But one of us has to work and support us financially. You need to look for ways to occupy your time. Read, write, watch TV, walk, or pretend you’re designing a new interior space.”
Yasmine gave a thin smile at my suggestions. “I suppose you want me to keep visiting the psychiatrist, the doctor who says I’m suffering from depression because I lost our baby.” Tears leaked out of Yasmine’s deep brown eyes. I wiped them away.
“I think it’s best for you Yasmine. The psychiatrist makes sense. You’re sad, tearful, and you can barely make it out of bed. You’re also anxious and you’ve terrible self-esteem right now. When I tell you you’re wonderful, talented, and beautiful, you don’t believe me. Yesterday, you said you believed you were a baby killer.” I said.
Yasmine smirked.”Before the baby died, I believed you. Now, I don’t believe you’re telling me the truth. I’m in awful shape and I think you’re placating me. I believe you’d rather by anywhere else and not with me.”
“Listen,” I told Yasmine. ” When I said I need space, all I meant was I need some time each week, where I can tye up loose ends from work. I also need a night away from you every week or two. For my own mental health, I need a few hours where I can forget and not deal with our issues.”
“I talked to your friends Becca and Lynn,” I told her. “They said they’d love to take turns hanging out with you one night a week if you’re okay with that? You guys could go see a movie or go shopping, something along those lines?”
Yasmine buried herself beneath the comforter on the couch.”I don’t want to see my friends, look at me? And I need you here Logan; I was thinking, we could have another baby?”
“It’s not that I don’t want another baby with you sweet heart, ” I say carefully. “I keep telling you, it’s not your fault Jacob died. It happens to many woman with their first pregnancy. It’s just right now, you’re still recovering from losing Jacob.” I told Yasmine.
She covered her ears, “I don’t want to hear it Logan. Stop talking. It’s my fault Jacob died; I didn’t take care of myself. Now, I’m sick and I feel I can’t do anything. Everything makes me tired and I’m so mad at myself.”
I sat down beside Yasmine and rubbed her back.” Relax. We have time. Work on feeling better. Try to take a short walk, even around the block. Be in the sun on the patio to get more vitamin D and sleep whenever you need. However, you have to promise to take your pill.” I said.
“I don’t want to! I hate my med. It makes me feel foggy.” Yasmine complained.
“The doctor says in a month or so, when you’re used to the medication, the fogginess will go away. But you have to let your body get used to the anti-depressant. I notice when you take them, you’re much happier. You get out of bed. You make conversation. You sketch out designs for rooms,” I tell her.
“But Logan . . .”
“Please, for two-weeks, try taking your pill. If you don’t, the Doctor says you’ll have to go back in hospital, Yasmine, ” I begged.
Suddenly, Yasmine flew into a rage. She pushed at me and screamed. She grabbed her car keys before I could catch her and snuck in the elevator. When I reached her parking space, it was empty. I’ve never seen Yasmine again.
Yasmine’s my wife and it hurts me to know she could be anywhere and I can’t help her. I don’t know if she’s well or still suffering from depression. No one’s been able to find her, not even a private detective.
I grieved for Yasmine. It took me two-years before I started writing my stories down in journals. I thought, when Yasmine came back, she could read about what happened in my life after she left. I tried to make my journal entertaining for her to read.
Then, they found her body. Parts of me ached which I never knew existed, when I learned Yasmine was dead. I’m not sure how they can find out how she died now. But I’ve convinced myself I caused her to commit suicide.
I tear the pages out of my journals; I had had them bound and printed into volumes for Yasmine to read. Now I know she will never be able to read what I wrote.
Broken and grieving, I destroyed all my journal volumes. All the typed pages scattered across the floor in my office. Broken journals, like my heart.
How does one heal after hurting so long, believing their other half, couldn’t be dead?