The New Beginnings of Amelia Blake, Mirjana Fulir — RED HEADED BOOK LOVER BLOG

Amelia Blake has been through a number of things in her life that most average people would call failures: failure to live up to her mother’s expectations, failure to have a successful, monogamous marriage, failure to have children… Most people. Not Amelia. Her passion for life and all its passions takes much more than that […]

via The New Beginnings of Amelia Blake, Mirjana Fulir — RED HEADED BOOK LOVER BLOG

Shame on me!

Yes, I confess! I have been away for too long… Mea culpa! But, in all fairness I have kept myself busy. Translating my third novel into my native language as well as: drumming up another. “The new beginnings of Amelia Blake” is what I like to see as a sign of my maturing as an author.

However, I’m not going to talk about my own work here today, but rather let the RED HEADED BOOK LOVER speak in my stead. The review has been posted yesterday evening so still steaming hot and fresh and I hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I did.

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Novel number 3

Yesterday evening, I’ve put down the last lines of my third novel. Now I look forward to spending a bit more time with my characters through editing, but also I feel very proud: it’s the first novel I’ve written within one single year :-)!

And so it is Christmas…

Well, almost anyway. Another cycle rolls to its end. Or one nears its beginning, depends how you look at the matter. Have you ever thought how dependent people are on cycles? How disoriented we’d be without them? We need these, seemingly fixed points in time that help us divide this earthly existence into chunks we can grasp, begin to understand and deal with. Imagine if we were served the story of our lives at the very beginning and told: that’s what’s coming to you. It may not all be pleasant and it may not all be grand and what you wish for, but there it is – no shocks or surprises. I think most of us would say: blooming heck (no, I’m not going to swear in my Christmas post!), couldn’t you give it to me one calamity at a time?!

While we will inevitably complain about the weather being either too hot or too cold or not cold enough, I think I would miss seasons terribly. I love being able to blame the full moon for my nights of insomnia. Anyone out there who was lucky enough to have been born a woman knows very well how handy it comes to have that one part of each month when we can be cranky and unapproachable and just a little more resentful than normally, and the relief of being able to tell yourself that it’s over and everything will be better in the next couple of weeks…

To meander back to where I started, there’s this very special end of a cycle that makes us all a little mellow. Makes us all leave the rat-race and stop, hopefully think, hopefully do some good once in a year if not more often… I wish it came around more often. Or at least stayed in the hearts of people longer.

I hope this Christmas brings happiness, relief, peace and some good, smart decisions!

Merry Christmas!

Older and Wiser

All my life, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to people considerably older than me. As a kid, I used to sit at the table with my parents and relatives when we visited them or they visited us. While my sister and my cousins happily ran off to play, I listened in on the conversations of the adults. I can’t say they appeared too concerned about my presence, they pretty much went on with their discussions. Only once in a while my mom or dad would sort of realise I was there and that the subject and tone of the discussion weren’t exactly fit for a child and try sending me off to play. Which would seldom work, I’d just return in the next couple of minutes.

And the older I get the bigger my fascination with mature people seems to be. In fact the older I get the older people I’m drawn to, so this age difference between me and the interest group just appears to grow. I can’t exactly explain what it is that attracts me. Perhaps I hope to find wisdom and answers that are still out of my reach at this stage in my life.

I wonder occasionally what will happen in case this avatar of my physical body serves me well and lives me to be of very, very respectable age. Will I be a very lonely old woman once there’s no longer people considerably older than me to hang about with? Or will I perhaps be lucky to draw the attention of youngsters in search for wisdom of respectable age?

Is Love the answer?

I was doing my very best lately to stay away from the news. All they do anyway is make me feel angry, hurt and helpless most of the time. And I thought I was doing fine until I saw a post by dear Deacon Gill. There’s a photo she published with the poem, showing a father holding a child and the bigger children holding on to him. They are wet and dirty and I imagine by now they are cold as well as the autumn is certainly announcing its presence by cold nights even in the southern countries. The expression on the man’s face speaks volumes. And I just broke apart. I desperately wanted to stop the tears from welling in my eyes as I was at work when I looked at the post and it was no place to be seen crying your eyes out. But little good did that do as they streamed down my face, no permission asked. I thanked God for having a private little office on which I could close the door and be alone until I gather myself, all the while wanting to scream out: God, where are you and why are you just watching this and letting it happen??!!

All the man in the photo wanted is a decent life for his children. I cannot even imagine what they must have gone through that changed the expression on his face from hopeful and encouraging, for the sake of his children if none other, to this desperate sadness and deep, lonely helplessness. No person on earth should be allowed to feel that way! No person! And certainly no child should ever be robbed of a childhood and made to run for his or her life!

Makes me reflect back on times when I dreamed of love and romance and believed love was the answer to all and that love can conquer all and overcome all and was worth sacrificing anything for it. That when you’re in love everything else becomes little and unimportant and dispensable because you have love. I imagined it was a treasure worth every effort because it made anything possible.

And I was most likely right. Only I had the wrong kind of love in mind. It’s not the romantic kind that holds all the answers. In fact the world would still turn without romance. People would still marry for one or another reason, they would still build lives together and have families and they would most certainly still make children. Question is, can we muster enough love for the mankind, for a fellow human in need to say: enough, let’s start over! This entire society needs rebooting and reprogramming because something had at some point gone terribly wrong and we have forgotten that love is the only thing that multiplies through division, through sharing.

Yes, I know, the sceptics out there will say that these people need a much more tangible help than love at this point. And I agree. But I wonder what would happen if this forgotten love could be invoked in every single person all around the world including those holding the power in their hands. If every single man, woman and child started crying at the sight of this desperate, helpless, loving father…

Novel 3 – excerpt 2

Friday evening Petra went for her first trial meditation class in Andrej’s group. It was a beginners’ class so she didn’t feel as out of place as she’d been afraid of and some of the relaxation techniques she was familiar with from her yoga class. The biggest surprise of all was Andrej himself. She had to admit to herself to having been prejudiced about the people doing the kind of work he did. She imagined him pompous and pretentious, a kind of an annoying, smug type, condescending and somewhat arrogant. But he turned out to be just a very normal, very regular kind of guy. Normal sense of humour coming across through the jokes in between the exercises, nothing high almighty about him whatsoever. She couldn’t wait to hear what Adam would make of him. They were all meeting for drinks after the class: Adam and she, Andrej and Erik. Funny how things work out in life. At one time she had doubts Adam would ever be capable of sitting in the same room with Erik without the situation being an emergency. But then again this was a kind of an emergency, wasn’t it?

What struck Adam at first glance was that Andrej was nothing like his idea of a gay man. He looked a proper guy’s guy, big and brawny and dark and, so help him God, handsome. Straight kind of handsome. While with Erik everyone suspected his true orientation possibly before he did, Andrej could easily hang a beautiful woman on his arm and nobody would ever suspect he lacks anything to conquer, satisfy or keep her. In fact, was it not for the fact that he was gay, Adam wasn’t sure he’d feel exactly comfortable about his wife spending a lot of one on one time with the man.

They’ve actually spent a very fun, very relaxed evening together. The group chemistry between the four of them was really just right, they seemed to have plenty to talk about, plenty to joke about. Petra never would have thought in a million years that their first ever couple friends would be a gay couple, but hey, so many things were happening to her lately that she’d never before thought possible.

“So Petra, how did you find today’s class?”, Andrej asked finally.

“It was good. I’m surprised it isn’t more complicated or demanding somehow, but I guess this is really the very first step towards it, right?”

“Actually, that’s a very common mistake people make about meditation. They think it’s hard, requires lots of discipline and concentration and that you almost have to be a holy man to get anywhere with it. But in fact anyone can meditate. Another common mistake is building up huge expectations about what meditation is supposed to be like and what’s supposed to happen. That inevitably leads to failure because the expected almost never happens and then people just give up. In truth, the recipe I always give to my students is don’t push it, don’t force it. Meditation is all about letting go and just being present in a moment.”

“I could do that.”, Petra smiled.

“Of course you can. Unless I’m terribly mistaken I think you can do much more, but there’s plenty of time to get there, we’re just beginning here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, like I said, anyone can meditate, but there are people who are in a way gifted to go deeper than that. It needs a bit more getting to know you to be sure, but I seldom make a mistake about it already at first glance.”

Perhaps this was the first sort of smug thing he’d said the whole afternoon, but Petra didn’t mind much – apparently she was gifted. And didn’t that just make her feel good about herself. Feel good about herself – she had almost forgotten what that felt like.

“So how shall we go about this?”, Adam asked.

“Well, for starters, Petra can keep coming here Friday’s for a while and then we’ll see. At some point I’d definitely want to move you along to individual sessions and then we’ll agree on timing and frequency.”

“Andrej, how much would something like that cost? I’m still not sure I can afford you.”

“We’ll come to some sort of an arrangement. After all, I do owe you a debt of gratitude.”

Andrej smiled and put his hand on Erik’s shoulder.

“You breaking up with my man here sent him off into a search of his true self.”

Everyone laughed while Petra marvelled at the connection and something warm one could sense between the two of them. Love was always love. Love was always obvious. What was it that Lidia used to say – you can’t hide love or coughing, and those two loved each other deeply.

Novel number 3!

The first sentences of my third novel have taken form. I’m opting for something a little bit different to what I’ve written so far and I hope my small, but devoted audience does not hold it against me. I give you a few lines here – raw, unembellished, uncensored, as they rolled off the tips of my fingers.

“Tiptoeing into the bedroom, Petra scraped her little toe against the bottom right post of the bed she shared with her husband Adam. One would expect her to have mastered the route after she’d been tiptoeing it for good fifteen years. But in fact, when she managed to just scrape any part of her foot was to be considered a circumstance of extreme luck. Most of the time she marvelled at the fact that the poor little toe was still attached, the sheer number of times she had stubbed it straight on. She crashed onto her side of the bed as gently as she could, rubbing the pain away.
Adam rolled over in his sleep and stretched his right arm across her waist. She looked at his face under a beam of light that shone into the room through the blinds from the street. She’d always hated that stupid lamp, standing right in front of their bedroom window, shinning inside regardless of what kind of blinds they installed. Complete darkness was her thing if she wanted to sleep well. But she loved their house. It was a home in every sense of the word and they’ve made it into it, together. Adam moved and let out a short snore before he went back again to even, steady, deep breaths. Petra sighed at the thought of how much the bedroom decorum changes over the fifteen or so years of marriage. There was a time when she would have found lying in bed with this man without wanting to snuggle in closer to him mission impossible. A time when she’d found everything about him so primordially sexy. His name included – Adam, the first man. Erotic. With substance. And he was good with his hands, too. There wasn’t a thing he was not capable of repairing, restoring, building even.
They’ve evolved since then. He became the man who’s seen her ill and exhausted, feverish and weak, he’s seen her with diarrhoea and he’s seen her puke her soul out at the beginning of both her pregnancies. They have evolved to that point that every couple swears they’d never reach. The “I’m too tired to move a limb, never mind my pelvis” point. The point when snuggling in closer to each other is just about as much as you have the energy for. Not that they had no or unsatisfactory sex life, quite the contrary to what most people would expect after such a number of anniversaries. It was all just much less inevitable, less overpowering, overruling, and the ultimate expressions of closeness distributed more evenly around the other places in the house, and no longer resided exclusively in the bedroom.”