Happy Things · Uncategorized

My Happy Things|July 2017 Favourites

Happy Things

 

July 2017

It’s kind of terrifying that July is over and we’re already hitting up August.
When you’re a kid it’s all about the next birthday and you tell adults that you’re 7 AND A HALF or 9 and THREE QUARTERS– you want the months to fly by so you can reach the summer holidays or Christmas; before you know it you’re in your 30’s staring wrinkles and grey hair in the face, wondering why you wished your childhood away.
Anyhoo, I sound like a miserable old croon so I’ll just move on with this month’s happy things!

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I have been reading, A LOT.
I’ve always been an avid reader and just recently I’ve been demolishing books at the same rate I demolish share bags of crisps (Which is ridiculously quickly)
The first book is, of course, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
I read this at the beginning of the month and even wrote a little blurb on it which you can read here.
It’s just a really great read.
Nostalgia, adventure, a little romance… I loved it. It spoke to my nerdy heart and I’d 100% recommend it to anyone who’s into MMOs, D+D and gaming in general. It’s fricking awesome.
I won’t go into any more detail because obviously, I want you to stick around and read my actual Ready Player One blurb but anyway, I liked it. It was good. Etc. Blah.

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The second book I want to mention is by an author who was until this point unknown to me.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.
Gonna be honest here, this is kind of ridiculous, but I was put off by the author’s name.
I thought it was a dumb pen name meant to sound impressive because of the books she writes. I was shallow and stupid and my regret is that I made a judgement based on something so petty. Ugh, Heather, you fool.
Anyway, Karin Slaughter is actually her real name which, when you think about it is pretty cool considering she writes crime/thriller novels.
I was completely blown away by this book.
I have yet to write a blog post about it but I will.
When Claire Scott’s seemingly perfect husband is murdered she finds herself having to pick up the pieces of her life alone- with the police and FBI  involved suddenly secrets become unearthed and the truth slowly unravels itself shaking Claire to her very core and leaving her wondering if she ever really knew her husband at all.
If you don’t like dark, twisted, violent reads, this really isn’t for you. I honestly feel it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down, it kept me guessing every step and completely blew me away.

I have fallen in love.
I was casually watching some Instagram Stories one day when one account I followed was unboxing some books with the most beautiful piece of music playing in the background.
I haven’t heard a tune I’ve instantly fallen in love with for what feels like forever, in fact, the last time it happened was when I heard Hozier’s Sedated. (I love that man)
Anyway, this is 6/10 by Dodie.
I adore it. Check it out.

Finally, I wanted to mention the film Okja which is a Netflix Original.
I love anything which makes me emotional. That sounds dumb, I know, but sometimes I need a good cry. Okja totally helped me with that this month.
Okja is the story of a genetically modified creature which has been created in order to become a potential solution to global hunger.
A batch of “Super Piglets” are dispatched across the globe to be fattened up and entered into a competition. The winner of said competition will win an all expenses paid trip to New York to be unveiled to the world, and then be slaughtered.
Okja, of course, is one of these piglets- however, Okja is empathic, intelligent and loving – she is also the loyal companion to a young teenage girl who will do anything to keep her “Super Piglet” safe.
It’s such a beautiful story and I would really recommend it.
Weird that it’s in my happy things considering how much I cried, but still.

That’s it for July’s Happy Things!

Onward, to August!

S xx

Book Reviews · Uncategorized

Ready Player One

I’ve been reading a hell of a lot recently.
I mean, I’ve always been a bookworm but recently I’ve been going hell for leather reading and I AM FREAKING LOVING IT!
Anyhoo. I read a book, its name is Ready Player One and I took a picture, then wrote a thing.
Here is said picture:

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Here is said thing:

Ready Player One is the debut novel by Ernest Cline, set in a dystopian future it follows the story of Wade Watts, a teen guy who’d much prefer to absorb himself within a virtual world by the name OASIS than face reality, and who can blame him for that? The reality is living with a disparaging aunt, her boyfriend and a whole host of other bodies within a trailer skyscraper called a “stack”. Sounds pretty shocking to me, as if that wasn’t enough, he’s malnourished, has next to no money and the world’s having some sort of global energy crisis.
Wade is pretty average, there’s nothing really charismatic about him or enthralling, but somehow he’s relatable and likeable. Ha!
Wade spends his days obsessing over James Halliday, the creator of OASIS and the fact that he left the program and his billions in their entirety to whoever can solve a series of riddles within the simulation itself;  will Wade be victorious? Time will tell.
The story arc is pretty standard and direct, however, the prose and premise make this book a total page turner.
The references to games like World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons had me smiling like a nostalgic fool, memories of camaraderie and teamwork came flooding back, heck, this book made me miss the days when I’d lose myself within a game!
Ernest Cline is clearly a gamer, he talks the talk and walks the walk – you can’t fake the things he’s  experienced firsthand – everything from his boots of speed reference to the portrayal of Pac-man.
Would I have enjoyed this book without the gaming references? I’m not sure.
All in all, though, I loved this book, it was believable, fun and appealed to every part of my geeky, gamer heart.

 

S xx

Happy Things · Uncategorized

My Happy Things|June 2017 Favourites

Happy Things

June 2017

It’s that time again, yep! Time to share this month’s happy things.
I appreciate I skipped a month, I’ll share a few reasons why in another post so stay tuned.
Without further ado, June’s happy things!

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I appreciate I shared a Britney Spears fragrance last month, but this one is the fragrance to trump all other fragrances.
I have never smelt anything quite so divine, yes, that includes the scent of chocolate brownies, fresh from the oven. (I know, right?)
Maui Fantasy, by Britney Spears, is an intoxicating mix of coconut, vanilla and the essence of any tropical beach holiday ever. Just the smell of this gorgeous scent whisks me away to Hawaii. It’s bloody beautiful and I’m waiting for my other perfume to run out so I can wear it every day for the rest of my life! (I’m serious)

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I have a new best friend.
His name is Fitbit Alta, and I love him.
OK, so it might be a little sad to call an electronic tracking device your best friend, but he comes everywhere with me; we’re joined at the hip -or should I say the wrist.
I’m so late to this party and I have to say I was incredibly sceptical when the craze hit and suddenly everyone and their mother was wearing these bulky looking straps and needed to “get their steps in”. I judged. I rolled my eyes. I’d never been one of those “fitness types” I like wine and my sofa too much. However, in June of 2017, all that changed.
Currently, my little Fitbit is showing a lovely 10,032 steps on his screen, 2k calories burned and he also shared with me that last night I slept really well, a solid 8 hrs 33 minutes. Thanks, Fitty.
There’s something about having this device which makes me feel in control. In control of my sleep, my exercise and not only that, it syncs up with a handy app so I can log all my exercise.
I might not be a gym junkie, but I’m loving the encouragement and control I get from my new BFF!

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I am ashamed of myself.
I have to admit, June has been a month of change, I have been living with blinkers on and by that, I mean I’ve always been an Android girl.
Android and Apple, the perpetual war of phones.
Ask an Android user what they think of Apple and they’ll list a million different reasons why they prefer individuality, custom ringtones, the ability to organise their phone and make it unique to them. Then you have the Apple users and their comments about security, safety, simplicity.
I was an Android girl, my other half, he was Mr Apple.
When I think about it, it was always me bad mouthing Apple and never the other way around. I’d had one Apple product previously, it was the iPhone 3 and I hated it. It was clunky, I wanted Muse as my ringtone, I wanted Salad Fingers to shout “Oh Bubbletrumps!” whenever I got a message and my paperweight of an iPhone wouldn’t do these things. It was slow. It was frustrating. No, no, no.
When my contract was eventually over and I was able to move onto my Samsung I was so happy and I decided to never look back, except, I looked back.
To stop my waffling and get to the point, I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 6s. I know, not the latest model but I love it! I actually love it! It’s rose gold, the camera is fantastic and I’ve customised it! It’s so neat and organised! Enough said. I’m also a hypocrite and a traitor.

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I love a good Marvel series.
We’ve watched Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and lastly Ironfist.
I love Ironfist.
My opinion is this, it’s not as strong a series as the others. Ironfist himself is mildly irritating and a bit of an impulsive man-child but I absolutely adored it nonetheless.
I appreciate that it got a lot of stick, fans weren’t as engaged with Ironfist, they didn’t enjoy it as much and claimed it was slow going and dull.
I have to disagree.
It took me around 2 weeks to watch the entire series, that’s pretty quick considering the amount of time I get to spend with my other half is minimal and we wanted to watch it together; add a rambunctious 2 and a half year old into the mix and you see why it’s tricky to watch anything that’s not Ryan’s Toy Review or Blippi when she’s up and about.
I fell head over heels for Ward. Initially, he was a jackass, but about halfway through he turns into a lovable, relatable jackass and I loved the character progression.
I can see why it wasn’t popular, but I for one, certainly hope there’s a season two.

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Normally, it’s about now I’d share a book with you but in all honestly, I haven’t read a book in June that I enjoyed enough for it to warrant a place in my “Happy Things” Sad face.
Instead, I’m going to share another TV show – 13 Reasons Why.
It’s ironic that I should label this series a “Happy Thing” when actually it’s a teen drama about depression, heartbreak and suicide but I loved it.
I won’t include spoilers because I’m not a horrendous human being but basically, it’s about Hannah Baker, a young woman who kills herself and leaves 13 tapes with 13 reasons as to why she took her own life.
Enter Clay, our narrator, who talks us through his feelings and his perception of Hannah and the others who affected her decision so deeply.
I cried. Not gonna lie. I was adamant I wouldn’t but I did. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, that’s for sure but I related and I empathised.

That’s it for this month’s happy things!
Onward, to July!

S x

PS, if you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m updating my “Story” daily, plus meeting a tonne of interesting people, I’d love for you to be one of them! @saffize is my username! ❤

Short Stories

Hunted.

The following story has been written for a monthly SimLit competition over on The Sims 4 Forums, the original thread can be found here

The rules for this month are as follows:
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My entry comprises of 1,625 words give or take a couple and 13 screenshots.

So, without further ado, here’s my entry.

Hunted.

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The biting wind whipped her hair wildly around her pale face.
Running through the trees, Violet MacColl fled for her life.
Stumbling carelessly with only the moon as her light and no plan as to where she was heading she daren’t turn around for fear of what she would see; her pursuers gaining on her.
With a short, sharp gasp Violet stumbled forward, reaching out in the darkness for something to hold onto before she fell downhill, rolling and tumbling through the undergrowth.
Scrambling but finding only loose rocks and dirt, she clawed helplessly and descended further and further down the slope.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity she reached the bottom with a surprisingly soft thump.
Only when she heard a grunt and felt movement beneath her did she realise she had landed on another being.
Scuttling away quickly, eyes wide with fear, Violet watched as the figure before her stood up, at least 6 feet tall he rubbed his back and winced.

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“Wow, that was some fall,” he said, turning to her, “Are you OK?”
Saying nothing, Violet eyed the man suspiciously.
“I’m Jack,” he smiled, stepping towards her with his hand outstretched, Violet shrank back.
“It’s OK,” he murmured, his voice deep and smooth as chocolate, his hair was a dark brown, wild and unkempt, “I’m not going to hurt you.”

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Still, Violet was silent but she was slowly coming to the realisation that she was on the run and this man was the friendliest face she’d seen in a while.
Swallowing, Violet tucked her ash blonde hair behind her ear and without looking at Jack, she took his hand.

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His touch was warm, despite the coolness of the night and he tugged her gently to her feet before removing his shirt and placing it on her shoulders; it smelt of the woods and fire.
“How long have you been out here?” he asked, adjusting the shirt around her shoulders, “You’re freezing- and bleeding.” He gestured to her cheek which she touched and winced as the sting hit her.
“It’s OK, come with me, we’ll get you cleaned up. Can you walk?”
Nodding, Violet stepped forward and followed Jack further into the woods.

~~~

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Stretching luxuriously in the tub, Violet sighed; she felt better already.
Jack Harper had taken her into his cabin and instructed her to warm up in his tub whilst he set about making some dinner. He was a gentleman, she’d give him that – she just hoped she hadn’t bruised him too much when she fell on him. What were the chances, that he’d be passing on the lower path just as she came hurtling through the trees?
It was meant to be.
Violet thought of her pursuers, chasing her and attempting to catch her;  they’d never think to look for her here.
Smiling, she lifted her arm and watched the water drip from her fingertips, her skin was incredibly pale despite the warmth of her bath and underneath the water, she felt the rumble of her protesting stomach – hopefully, Jack could help with that.
“It’s almost ready!” came his voice through the locked door.
A few moments later dressed in her undergarments and a fluffy white robe, Violet stepped out of the bathroom and into the cosy living space.
The TV babbled ceaselessly in the corner, a warm fire roared enticingly and the smell of steak filled her senses; she closes her eyes and breathed deeply, taking it all in.

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“How do you like your steak?” Jack asked, the steak cracked and sizzled in the pan.
“Um,” Violet looked at her feet, unwilling to meet his gaze, “Medium rare,” she stated.
“Girl after my own heart,” Jack said as she looked up and he gave her a wink.
Violet’s stomach rumbled once more.
“It won’t be long,” Jack said with a deep throaty laugh, he swiped at his hair, brushing it out of his eyes, “Why don’t you sit down near the fire? You still look a little peaky there.”
Violet nodded, her legs were weak from a lack of sustenance and from all the running she’d done.

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No sooner had she sat down then there was a rapping on the front door, short and sharp – urgent.
“Hm, now who could that be this late?” Jack frowned, removing the pan from the hob and wiping his hands on a tea towel, he approached the door.
Fear caused Violet to duck down and out of sight, her heart hammering in her ears – her throat tight with anxiety; had they found her after all?
Jack opened the cabin door which groaned softly.
Two men stood on his porch, both dressed in hiking gear and with the emblem of the forest park appliquéd onto their hats.

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“Ralph? Bob? What are you doing here?” Jack inquired, perplexed.
“I’m sorry, Jack,” Ralph removed a hanky from his pocket, using it to wipe his face which was flushed from exertion, “I know it’s late but we have a slight problem on our hands.”
“Oh?”
“Have you seen this woman?” Ralph gestured to Bob who pulled a small photograph from his jacket pocket, Jack took it from him.
The woman was beautiful, with large grey eyes, pale blonde hair and a beautiful smile; she looked happy and carefree – she looked like Violet.
Jack peered over his shoulder discreetly, content he couldn’t see the woman in question in his peripheral vision he studied the picture for a few moments, his mind racing.
“I- I don’t think so,” Jack shook his head, handing the photo back to Bob.
Ralph nodded slowly, “OK, well, her name is Violet MacColl, she’s missing. If you see her, give us a call, it’s imperative that we speak to her as soon as possible.”
“Is she in some kind of trouble?” Jack enquired.
Ralph shrugged, “That’s what we’d like to find out.”
“OK, well, if I see her, I’ll let you know.”
“Thanks, Jack, sorry to bother you so late.”
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Slowly closing the cabin door, Jack turned back to face the room as Violet peered over the top of the sofa, a weak smile on her lips.
“So, it would appear we have something we need to talk about,” Jack stated.

~~~

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The steak was good, not exactly what Violet was hoping for but it was enough to sate her hunger for the moment.
“So, let me get this right, you ran away because of domestic violence?”
Violet nodded, “it was too much,” she whispered sadly.
“So why are you wanted by the rangers?”
“I- I guess my friends must have phoned them… I don’t know.”
Jack was silent, did he believe her?
Violet’s eyes were drawn to the television as a newsreader wrapped up the day’s stories.

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“…In what’s been described as the worst case of poaching since 1991, park rangers in Granite Falls are perplexed as to what is happening to the flocks of wild deer which reside there… up to 4 bodies have been found over the last 4 days – cause of death unknown. The deer which live in Granite Falls are a protected species which makes this case even more disturbing. Anyone with any information should call the following number…”
“People are disgusting,” Jack shook his head, his brow furrowed with concern, “Why kill if you have no intention of using the meat?”
Violet said nothing.
The newsreader continued.
“The following woman is wanted in connection with this case.”
Violet stared at her own picture, now visible on the screen, she then took a sideway glance at Jack who was staring right at her.
“Did you…? What? Why do they want to speak to you about the deer?”
Violet’s throat felt dry.
“Tell me,” Jack insisted, “I’ve brought you somewhere safe, given you food, let you wash, I think you owe me an explanation.”
“I-” Violet started, “Y-You wouldn’t understand,” her heart pounded in her ears, her stomach turning.
Jack slowly put down his cutlery.
“Try me,” he said, his voice a low growl.
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Things weren’t going as expected; no one else was supposed to get hurt but there was no way Jack would understand if Violet were to divulge her story. It was a shame, really.
“I was hungry,” Violet met his gaze with indignation, a slow smile played on her full lips.
“W-what?”
In a flash, Violet was up on her feet, her chair clattering to the floor behind her – in that moment she changed – she became almost feral in appearance, cat-like.
“Just like I am now.”
Jack Harper had no idea what hit him, the woman who appeared so small and frail was bearing down on him as though she weighed 200lbs or more, her sharp nails dug into his skin as she sat atop him and she laughed; right before she bit his neck and groaned with pleasure as the taste of blood hit her taste buds.
Every time she swallowed she felt revived and every time Jack twitched she felt more powerful. Violet wasn’t just hungry, she was ravenous.
It had been a shame about the deer, despite their size they’d done nothing to quench her thirst but she’d not seen another human for days – not until those interfering park rangers had spotted her feeding. Human blood was the only thing that could satiate her hunger it would seem.
It did seem a shame to kill him though, after all, he’d been so nice to her.
Violet wiped her mouth on her sleeve leaving a smear of crimson on her cuff.
Starring down at Jack’s limp form she realised he was incredibly handsome- such a waste.
Ah well, there’d always be more she decided and she plunged her canines into his neck once more.

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Happy Things

My Happy Things|April 2017 Favourites

Happy Things

Hey!
I thought I’d share a few things that have made me happy this month.
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The Turning Point – Freya North

I’m starting with a beautifully written and compelling novel by the extremely talented Freya North.
The Turning Point is essentially a love story – with a twist.
North’s ability to pull me into Frankie and Scott’s story blew my mind; I haven’t felt so connected to fictional people in a long time.
The story is smooth-paced and captivating, the characters relatable and likeable.
This book not only pulled on my heart strings, it took them, gave them a great big tug and possibly snapped a couple of them in the process.

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Glow Time BB Cream – Jane Iredale

I’m pretty terrible with makeup, I don’t mind admitting that so it might seem a little strange that I have two beauty products in this month’s Happy Things.
The first is Glow Time BB Cream by Jane Iredale.
It’s amazing. Honestly.
Not only are all Jane Iredale’s products cruelty-free which is always wonderful, Glow Time is full coverage,  non-greasy and easily blendable.
I literally use this cream and some blusher on my skin, that’s it. A little goes a long way and despite the price, I will definitely be buying this again.

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Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain – Jane Iredale

Yep, here’s the second beauty product, Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain by – you guessed it – Jane Iredale.
I’ve actually had this item for a long time and never really bothered testing it or using it but this past two weeks I’ve worn it every day.
It’s easy to apply even for a makeup noob like myself and the colour is pretty and long lasting.
So far I’ve only tested  “Forever Pink” but I love the way the colour looks on me.
Again, it’s pricey but worth every penny.

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Fantasy In Bloom Perfume – Britney Spears

I’ve been a fan of Britney Spears perfume for a long time and the most recent addition to the “Fantasy” collection hasn’t changed this. I love it.
Fantasy In Bloom is a floral, springtime scent with hints of cherry blossom, jasmine and vanilla.
The only downside to this product is that the scent isn’t long lasting; I usually have to re-spray at least once throughout the day however it smells so good I don’t mind!

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The Travelling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon

Laymon’s not for everyone that’s for sure however I personally love his writing.
The Travelling Vampire Show is about 3 sixteen-year-olds who decide it’ll be a great idea to sneak out and visit a weird kind of circus which promises a glimpse of the beautiful vampire Valeria.
The novel is slow and builds suspense, it’s full of teenage angst and sexual tension as well as its fair share of gore and violence.
Not for the faint of heart but would certainly recommend to anyone who loves horror and Laymon in general.

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Westworld – HBO

Finally, we have Westworld.
I really don’t know where to begin as to why I loved this series so much.
Westworld is the story of an artificial world themed on the Old American West.
Populated by “Hosts” robots programmed to look, sound and emote just like humans in a controlled environment who paying visitors can use in whatever way they wish.
The characters are beautifully portrayed, the story well written and the acting on point.
I was kept guessing, didn’t see the twists coming and I became invested in characters as their development escalated.
Beautiful to watch.

So that’s it for this month’s Happy Things.
May is almost upon us and with it comes my birthday, hurrah!
Speak to you soon, S xoxox

IRL · Random Ramblings

Letter to my Younger Self.

I’ve been going through a little bit of something recently.
Not sure what that something is but it involves me having zero drive or motivation to do anything as well as feeling pretty apathetic about life in general.
I was on YouTube procrastinating when I stumbled upon a video titled “Letter to my Younger Self” and I liked the idea.
Growing up I wish I’d had a friend to tell me these things, but hey, the past is the past, right?
Here’s my letter to my younger selves.
Let me know if you decide to do this too, I’d love to see what you have to say to yourself!

 

Hi, 12-year-old Heather,
I know you’re going through something weird right now, you have that odd ache in your gut like something’s not right. Don’t ignore it! That feeling is your intuition and it’s powerful.
I know you’ve found it difficult to open up to your peers and potential friends; looking back I realise it’s because you moved around a lot as a kid and so never really made any significant friendships.
It’s not a bad thing. You’re resilient and you are comfortable being alone. OK, so it’s difficult for you to let people in, to show them the real you, but that’s something people have to earn and in the future, you’ll meet some wonderful people who understand you and appreciate you for who you are. I promise.

Hi 15-year-old Heather,
In your mid-teens you’ll struggle with school, it’s not that you don’t have the brains which is what you think, it’s more than likely because the subjects you’re studying simply do not interest you.
School isn’t everything and it certainly doesn’t define who you are. Plough through, take Music and History classes instead of Art. Art sucked. Your style wasn’t appreciated. Never conform just to please someone else! That’s why you failed so hard.

Hi 18-year-old Heather
When your late teens hit you’ll go through some sort of weird teenage life crisis. It’s OK, you’re just trying to find your identity. You’ll become frustrated because you want to meet someone who genuinely understands you and the harder you try, the harder it becomes. You’ll come to realise that you’re a little different to your friends, they wanna party or hang out ALL THE TIME whereas you kinda wanna sit inside and read a book, or watch movie or… just be by yourself occasionally.
It’s because of this that you fall out with a number of people you thought cared about you, they’ll label you “boring” and make fun of you, they’ll also be under the impression that you think you’re better than them, which is totally not the case, you’re an introvert. Embrace it; besides, if they were true friends they would understand that you like alone time and leave you to it.

Hi 23-Year-old Heather
In your early twenties, stuff gets a little hectic relationship-wise.
It’s fine, I know right now you are hurting you thought you’d met someone who truly cared for you and you were wrong and that’s OK. Call it a learning curve. You were lucky that it took you this long to be really hurt by another human being. I know right now, you feel alone, depressed, unattractive and more than anything else like an utter fool for falling in love with the wrong person but to be honest all you can do is learn from the experience and let it go.
Focus on you! SAVE YOUR MONEY! Stop chasing men, start chasing your dreams!
You’re about to meet someone else who will change your life forever.

Hi 30-Year-old Heather
Stuff is harder than you thought, right?
You’re a mother!
OK, so right now you’re not too happy; that WILL and DOES change.
Ada is amazing, smart and beautiful and she will change you as a person, just wait.
Those colic filled sleepless nights DO stop.
If you don’t enjoy breastfeeding, STOP! Just because “breast is best” health wise doesn’t mean it’s best for you mentally; plus, Ada picks up on your anxiety and that makes her cranky.
You have more support that you realise, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Dear Heather of today.
You’re still struggling.
What’s wrong? I know you don’t really know the answer to that question so think about what’s right.
You’re fit and healthy plus you’re losing weight. You’re changing something you don’t like about yourself and that is wonderful.
You have an amazing spouse who is grounded, solid as a rock and supportive, you did well!
You have a beautiful daughter who runs you ragged but encourages you to grow as a person, your world really has changed.
There’s always things which could be better, ALWAYS.
Know that despite any hardships you feel right now, once you’ve overcome them there’s going to be something else because that’s just life; it’s all about growing as a person.
This weird pull into depression you’re feeling can and will be resolved, just like it has in the past.
It will never go away completely, but just take it as a prompt to try harder.
You’re not happy with something? Change it! Can’t change it? Try to live with it.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
I think you know.

 

Love, Heath xxx

Short Stories

Cerise

I’ve finally got around to finishing my entry for this month’s simlit writing competition!
Here are the rules / theme:

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I chose the colour pink, traditionally associated with femininity, nurturing, unconditional love as well as sweetness and innocence.
Without further ado, here’s my entry. “Cerise”.

2 Years ago today was when it all changed.
Staggering down the road like a drunken idiot, mumbling incomprehensibly at strangers as I held onto my writhing stomach, desperate for help.
At that point, all I could think about was you, just like now; only different.

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See, it all started with a kiss. A small, flirtatious moment in a crowded bar. A moment of spontaneous frivolity.
It felt great to take a risk, to get out of my comfort zone; at least at the time.
Only when the next morning dawned and in my hangover haze I woke in a strangers bed, well; I certainly didn’t feel so great then.
I found out I was pregnant 7 weeks later.
My world ended.

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My parents were ashamed, my friends wanted nothing to do with me and the guy? Well, I tried to find him, I really did. No such luck.
My belly grew and my life felt lost. Any ambition I had had left me.
My parents advised me to have my baby adopted, and I thought about it, I’m not going to lie.
I hated the idea that I was to become a mother.
I’m not a maternal person, hell, I wasn’t sure I even wanted kids! Should have thought about that, huh?
I despised this thing growing inside me. I hated that strangers felt it was OK to approach me and touch my swollen stomach, ask me if it was a boy or a girl. I’d just glare at them with glassy eyes.
I don’t care, I wanted to scream in their faces.

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I moved to San Myshuno and into the smallest, dingy and most grotty apartment, I told myself I was doing OK. I had everything I needed. If I ignored the letters to see my midwife it was fine, it meant I wasn’t pregnant despite the fact that none of my clothes fit properly and my ankles swelled to twice their size. I was in denial.

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As the months dragged on and I fell further into a cold, dark pit of despair I felt kicks. I could make out an arm here, a leg there and my swollen belly contorted with movement that was not my own.
Still, I ignored it. Until that night in February. Then, I could ignore it no longer.

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Which takes us back to me staggering down the street in more pain than I could have ever imagined.
I dropped to the floor like a stone as another contraction hit me and before my head met the pavement I was swept up and into the arms of some good Samaritan who hailed a taxi and got me to the hospital.

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I kept whispering “I don’t want this, I don’t want this” over and over, but it was happening.
I lay on the hospital bed, sweat dripping from my brow, surrounded by strangers and I pushed.
I pushed with all my might, anything to expel this thing from my body.
Then – amidst the cheers from the midwife I heard you.
You were calling out and time stopped still.
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“It’s a girl!” Came the shout and goosebumps prickled my skin, despite the warmth of the room.
A small, slippery, wet being was wrapped in a pink towel and place upon my chest.
Immediately you stopped crying and you looked up at me with big dark eyes and stared; I stared back. You were beautiful.

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“What’s her name?” I remember being asked.
I simply couldn’t respond. My breath had been stolen by your beauty.
I had fallen in love with you; My Cerise.

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