Sunday, May 13, 2012


The title is pretty self explanatory, I have here the prologue to my novel. Granted, it still needs some fine tuning, but it's a start :) And for some reason, part of this is coming out kinda screwy, but I hope you won't pay much mind to it...


Shannon, Ireland, 2007

     Beams of sunlight filtered through the thin, sheet like cloud cover, the warmth of the late afternoon sun enriching a golden hue about the atmosphere rather than bleaching everything white. The distant castles that had spent centuries disintegrating were now glowing, as were the rolling hills of the most lush green, and the trees that were just becoming stripped of their leaves as the year dwindled into early autumn. Waves were lapping along the bases of the sharply plunging cliffs, slicking the boulders with their moisture and giving their surfaces a lustrous sheen. It was a scene from a fairy tale that Julie was scanning her gaze over, and not without a twinge of unfocused wistfulness present in her emerald irises as she sat astride the rangy, yet sleek Thoroughbred, whose dark bay coat was shining radiantly beneath the sun's rays. Clad in a black, three-quarter sleeved polo that fit closely to her meager build, beige, full-seat breeches that bunched in folds up and down her long, equally meager legs, and tall black field boots, Julie immediately felt nostalgia stabbing her like a knife in the heart, knowing that she wouldn't be waking up to this scenery tomorrow, for she would be crossing the country to Dublin and enduring seasickness on a ferry to England that night. It was a strange and ironic concept, venturing back to a homeland that she hadn't seen since she was seven and encountering the unfamiliar. The country that she was quick to adopt as her home instead had even molded her speech in that her English accent was bearing a more prevalent lilt; her tongue couldn't decide if it was English or Irish. Beneath her black helmet, her long, tumbling golden brown waves were kept contained in a neat bun, save for a stray, wispy piece of hair that tickled her delicate heart shaped face as it fluttered in the breeze, which ever so gently coursed through the stable's courtyard, adorned with cobblestone, an attractive brick barn, and a stone fountain making for an appealing centerpiece. The sheer tranquility of the atmosphere was enough to render the two equipped horses calm and at peace with themselves. In one hand, encased in a glove of black leather, Julie was just barely restraining her own horse as the leather reins were slack, and in the other gloved hand, she had fixed a relaxed grip on the sporty chestnut mare beside her. Even with the nonexistent grips on their mouths, trusty Fiddler and Whisper remained still in their stances, save for some nonchalant surveying of their surroundings.

     Footsteps were grinding along the gravel path, and Julie snapped out of her reverie, turning her head to see a boy approaching. He was roughly her age, with cleanly trimmed, light brown hair capped off by a black schooling helmet, and his captivating pair of blue eyes were wandering idly as his nose bore a mildly distasteful wrinkle to it; he clearly wasn't sure how he felt about the beige breeches, brown suede half chaps, and black paddock boots he was wearing in contrast to the Manchester United jersey he sported on his lean torso.

     The corners of Julie's thin lips twitched upward, and she doubled over slightly, bringing the back of one hand to her mouth in a failed attempt to suppress her giggling fit. "Contain your excitement, Connor, you're exhaustin' me already."

     Her long-time next door neighbor outstretched his arms in question, feigning innocence. "What's so exhaustin' 'bout the sight of a fit lookin' footballer in spandex an' leather?" he asked lightly, but was clearly mocking his attire.

     Julie snorted. "Don't be so daft, those trousers you've got are mostly cotton."

     "Ah, shite," Connor said dejectedly, shifting his gaze down and to the side in defeat for a moment. He then lifted his head and took a moment to survey the two horses. "Wait a minute, I'm taller than you, so why am I gettin' the shorter horse?"

     "'Cos this is my horse, and he doesn't tolerate crap ridin'," Julie replied succinctly, and passed Whisper's reins over to the boy. "Now put these over her head and mount up from the left side."

     "Her head?"

     "Yes, Whisper's a mare."

     "I have to tolerate another dramatic female?"

     "In a sense, yes, now mount up before I go grey," Julie commanded him in a firm, yet neutral voice that was sweetened by a quick smile, and Connor complied with a sigh. He flipped the reins over the mare's head, taking enough care to avoid hitting her ears, and hoisted himself up with his right foot in the iron, widening his eyes slightly once he found himself facing the horse's tail. "What the hell?"

     Julie shook her head. Eejit, she thought, then turned to look at Connor plaintively. "You put yer right foot in the left iron an' seriously expected to be facin' front?" she asked with a pinch of incredulity.

     "Hold yer tongue, lass," Connor said casually, topping off his mildly orderly statement with a quick grin. He used his limberness to his advantage, furrowing his eyebrows in concentration as he deftly swung around one leg at a time, until he was facing the other way and beaming at Julie victoriously. "A-ha!"

     Julie only eased out a sigh. "You thirteen year olds are so thick," she remarked with a shake of the head, even though she had only recently turned fourteen and surpassed her childhood friend's age by a mere month and a half. She gently nudged Fiddler into a walk.

     Connor followed, then pounded a fist to his heart once and pretended to unleash a strangled gasp. "Oh that hurts, Jules," he choked sarcastically. "'Specially since I'm only a stone's throw away from fourteen."

     Julie wrinkled her nose again and sent Connor a blunt look. "Right. That doesn't change the fact that ye're still thirteen."

     Squinting his eyes, Connor leaned forward slightly as though taking a moment to study Julie. He then nodded his head when the pensive moment passed. "Yep, ye're accent's definitely screwed up," he pointed out, deciding to change the subject, as he always felt the need to do whenever Julie came out on top in their childish disputes.

     "Tosh," Julie declared.

     "I tosh ye not," Connor said with an innocent shrug. "Ye see, I can still hear yer original accent, an' yet ye have to take into account the fact that ye moved here by the time ye began formin' actual words."

     In response to the dig, Julie whirled on him in the saddle with indignantly furrowed eyebrows and her jaw as good as the ground. "Oi, I was formin' loads of words when I was seven!" she exclaimed, then turned back around, appearing purely affronted.

     Meanwhile, Connor was chuckling uncontrollably, up until he sighed and shook his head. "Julie Hunter, ye must be the most amusin' person t' piss off."

     "And you, Connor McLaughlin, are a royal arsehole to the, well...royalest extent," Julie blurted, shifting her eyes around as she wildly invented on the spot. She took a deep breath to ease her flustered self, then showed a vague, yet sly smirk, and clicked her tongue. "Trot on, Whisper."

     As the gentle mare picked up an easy trot, Connor widened his eyes as he found himself left behind in the saddle. "Fook!" he interjected, and was quick to shorten his reins.

     Julie kicked her head back to release a highly amused fit of laughter, and tapped Fiddler forward into a nicely marching trot to catch up to Connor. "You're fine, she's not takin' off with ya," she said with an air of nonchalance. "Just relax. You'll also find yourself balancin' better if you think about keepin' a straight line from yer head to yer heel; right now you look like ye're waterskiin'."

     Connor furrowed his eyebrows. "I can't keep a straight line from head to heel when me knees are bent, lass," he pointed out.

     Julie rolled her eyes. "I know, smart arse, you want your heel to at least be in alignment with your head."

     "Ye couldn't have said that the first time?" Connor challenged with a quirked eyebrow and a sardonic smirk.

     "Shut up," Julie drawled dismissively as they neared the top of the hill. "All right, now just sit back an' use your weight to bring 'er back down to a walk, save the reins for last, horses don't quite like havin' their mouths mucked about with," she said, and demonstrated such aids to slow Fiddler to a gently relaxed walk. As she took up this slower pace with her horse, she slipped into a wistful state of mind again as she took in the breathtaking panorama of the rugged terrain around her. "I can't believe I'm leavin' all this behind, everythin' I've known for so long," she mused. Turning to Connor, she reached over to give him a playful shove in the shoulder. "I think I may even miss you an' your cheekiness," she added, breaking into a grin that solidified the truth in her words. Her friendship with Connor had certainly had its ups and downs, but the downs were comparable to shallow craters in the ground, and the ups were comparable to towering mountains carving out a skyline; even after she would feel infuriated by his teasing remarks and mannerisms, all she had to do was consider the many laughs they'd shared, the times he'd thrusted to her an outlet for her pent-up angst, and the sheer extent to which they knew each other inside and out, and that would be enough for her anger to evaporate like alcohol from glass after every dispute. In the brief moment that she held Connor's gaze, she could read his expression like the pages of a book tossed carelessly to the side; from his meek, yet longing smile, and the way he humbly looked down and off to the side, he was missing her already, and the feelings were entirely mutual. She knew that dwelling on sentiment made Connor uncomfortable, though. Mind on this, she snapped into a sharper state of mind and flashed the boy a quick smile. "Want to try somethin' fun?" she asked. Her eyes danced; it was obvious she had more in mind than a leisurely trot.

     The instant Connor lifted his gaze to meet Julie's contemplative one, he drew back with warily furrowed eyebrows. "...I'm not sure I wanna know what ye're pullin' here."

     "No worries, I'll walk you through," Julie replied easily, and hunkered down so that she was leaning forward with her seat just barely out of the saddle and her heels anchoring her weight. She moved her hands up the crest of Fiddler's neck and looked over to Connor. "Just do what I'm doin', really feel yer weight sinkin' into yer heels," she instructed him.

     Gradually shedding his wary exterior, Connor emulated Julie's position in the saddle, his upright position molding into a half-seat position. "Yep?"

     "Good. Feelin' balanced an' secure enough up there?" Julie asked.

     "I think so," Connor replied, sounding less apprehensive.

     Julie grinned with a hint of mischief flickering through her eyes. "Grand. Now catch me if you can," and with that, she firmly thumped her heels against Fiddler's barrel and shot forward down the hill in a fleeting gallop, releasing a jubilant "Woohoo!" as Connor's incredulous "Oi!" only barely registered in her mind, what with the wind screaming past her ears as Fiddler's lengthy strides swiftly carried her along at a blistering speed. It was clear the fresh, youthful eventer hadn't lost touch with his racing days as his neatly trimmed hooves lashed out and propelled him forward over the grass. Julie braved a glance over her shoulder at Connor. Concentration furrowed the boy's eyebrows as he took the mare at a steadier pace than Julie and Fiddler had been going at, but yet he showed his friend a thumbs up to show that he was hanging in there.

     A fairly unassuming stone wall loomed up ahead; the Irish landscape was lined with a seemingly infinite number of them. Feeling freer and less inhibited than ever, Julie squeezed her trusty mount forward with her heels, and in four bounding strides, the powerful Thoroughbred planted his hind hooves into the ground and vaulted high over the obstacle in a tremendous leap that left long and cleared the height of the wall by a solid two feet, before the striking animal touched down a fair distance away from it, and proceeded onward in perfect stride. Highly invigorated, he threw in a fresh buck and lowered his head to blow through his nostrils before his rider sat back, reducing his fierce gallop to a rollicking canter and curving him along a half circle, and he channeled his energy and impulsion into taking up a beautiful upper-level dressage frame. His movement was easy on the eyes, the elegance in his stride enhanced by the roundness of his topline, from his sturdy back to the soft arc in his neck rendering his noble head on a vertical line. He didn't look the least bit restricted as his rider took up exemplary equitation and managed to fluidly ride with her horse's movement at the same time. She deepened her seat, gradually bringing her horse down through the paces until they were walking on a long rein, and then looked to see Connor and Whisper approaching the wall as well. If he was shaky about galloping down a hill at a breakneck pace, defying gravity was going to unnerve him as well. So he slowed the mare down to a trot and spotted an open gate out of the corner of his eye, then deftly threaded through it and approached the other horse-rider pair with a proud grin, satisfied that he'd found a way around the daunting obstacle that his friend had made so easy.

     Julie pretended to sulk, but still had the faintest trace of a smile lingering at the corners of her lips. "Cheap."

     Still amused, Connor shook his head and gestured a hand over his face in circular motions. "Ain't cheap if I got t' preserve this work of art worth a million euro," he replied.

     Julie dropped her jaw incredulously again. "You're so full of it!"

     "Shite? 'Fraid not, lass, an' ye know it," Connor piped with a charming grin that could warm hearts dipped in liquid nitrogen, rendering Julie speechless when she opened her mouth to say something, only to close it and shake her head, dropping her gaze as she did. Had their bond unknowingly become something more than a friendship over the years? The way his captivating smile gave light to his warmly twinkling blue eyes made Julie ache like nothing else could. She only needed a split second to take in his sheer radiance before she felt like she would grow weak in the saddle and flop down to the grass below. And to think that she wasn't going to be engaging with him in childish bickerfests tomorrow was borderline unbearable. She quickly shook her head a few times to rouse herself out of her thoughts and squinted her eyes to notice a small creek up ahead. "That was a good run, we should treat these two to that stream over there," she said, then showed a faint, sheepish smile and found herself shifting her eyes downward if it meant deliberately avoiding Connor's eyes and consequently avoiding a stuttering lapse. The walk to the thin body of water was awkwardly silent; this was likely the most silent they had ever been in the seven years that they had known each other. Julie was almost certain that her sunkissed, porcelain-like cheeks were sporting a brilliant shade of red now, and she didn't dare spare Connor a glance to see whether or not the unspoken feelings were mutual.

     She swung her leg upward to clear Fiddler's hindquarters and landed both feet lightly on the ground, then looped the reins back over his head and sat down, leaning back on her elbows when the horse stepped forward to the creek and lowered his nose in the numbingly cool water. She then shifted her gaze to the side when she noticed Connor do the same, only to sit down next to her. He was running a hand through his hair as he kept his eyes down, the way he always did when he was nervous about something, or awkwardly stalling. What was on his mind? He then unzipped one of the pockets in his breeches and dredged out a Sterling Silver necklace with an intricate Celtic cross pendant that had a tiny sapphire placed precisely where the two branches met. His eyes unfocused for a moment as he briefly studied the beautiful piece of jewelry in the palm of his hand, before he closed his hand around it in a fist and passed it to Julie. "Mum wanted ye t' have this, as a partin' gift," he mumbled. It took a few seconds of avoiding Julie's eyes before he finally looked up at her, however, not without uncertainty and hesitation, and smiled sheepishly. "'Course she had t' beg me an' throw 'erself at me feet before I finally agreed t' give it to ya," he added somewhat jokingly if it meant taking the edge off the awkwardness. While his words hinted at no feelings, the brilliant blush that followed countered that notion immediately. He sniffed idly and looked away again as he dropped the necklace into Julie's open palm.

     Stunned, Julie blinked as she caught the necklace. Her eyes grew distant as they scanned over the detailed patterns, while the lone sapphire in the middle would forever remind her of the ever radiating charm and charisma from the particular pair of sapphires dotting Connor's softly angular face, caught between that of a boy and that of a young man. "It's gorgeous," she mused. "I'll have to thank your mum--"

     "It's actually from me," Connor confessed quickly, still keeping his face angled away from her so as not to reveal his progressively darkening cheeks when he spilled the brutal truth. He squeezed his eyes shut, cringing at his own exploitation.

     This left Julie even more shellshocked than before, so much so that her larynx may as well have been ripped out as she opened her mouth a few times to say something, only to come up wordless every time. Finally, she settled on, "But Connor, how could I repay you--"

     "No need," Connor replied adamantly, shaking his head. He paused for a moment to think about his next words before adding, "Julie, I couldn't ferget ye if I tried, so ye don't need to repay me." He finally mustered up the confidence to confront the sheer honesty of his words and looked her way, tearing down the flood gate that had restrained the progressively building emotions from the time they were small children in primary school.

     Julie caught her breath almost inaudibly when Connor's penetrating gaze seized hers and rendered her frozen in a state of hypnosis. Even the mere thought of looking away made her uncomfortable; in that moment, all she wanted was to find herself immersed in the depth of those twin gemstones. The roses that had bloomed in his cheeks and the softness in his eyes that exceeded that of the most downy feather induced in her a painful ache to remain in Ireland for the rest of her days, to jump into his arms if it meant holding him for all of eternity. Part of her itched to kick down a wall in frustration; of all times, why was now the time for them to realize their mutual infatuation? Why did she have to feel a debilitating ache seize her heart in an unrelenting grip just before she would venture back to England? But now was not the time to let her inner angst rip, not when the exceedingly handsome boy before her was so effortlessly lulling her into this blissful trance. As though by virtue of telepathy, their faces were gingerly nearing each other, but not without hesitation, and they couldn't look each other in the eye if their pupils were linked together by thin metal rods that were parallel to one another. Julie hadn't had the slightest idea what she was doing; she wanted to kiss him, she wanted to draw back, she wanted to kiss him, she wanted to draw back. Meanwhile, her heart was off to the races, thudding over the feverish whirring of her thoughts and daring to break out of her frail chest.

     The sounds of bicycle tires rolling along the gravel path and a dingling bell sounded off behind Julie just as her lips were about to meet Connor's, and she squeezed her eyes shut, begrudgingly ceasing her advancement as she knew what that bell meant. She opened one eye to see Stephen, her seven-year-old brother, waving to her. "Oi, sissy! No snoggin', we're leavin' now!" he called to her in his pure lilt, having been born only three months before the family left for Ireland. He was a cute kid, bearing a striking resemblance to his sister, what with their golden brown heads of hair, emerald eyes, and glowing skin. His boyish features sported dimples whenever he grinned that cherubic grin that ignited stars in his eyes and virtually illuminated a halo over his head; it was impossible to believe that he had no shortage of pranks up both sleeves and pant legs, and perhaps even tucked into his shoes.

     Julie eased out a sigh and looked back at Connor, who bit his lip shyly as his cheeks failed to drain their excessive redness, given the intimate moment that was just barely foiled between them. "Right, we should probably head back," she said, hoisting herself up onto Fiddler again.

     "Yeah," Connor blurted out impulsively, and blushed even more if that were possible. He ducked his face down and coursed a hand through his hair again in his embarrassment, then cleared his throat as though doing so would dismiss his awkwardness and mounted up as well.

     They remained wordless on the ride back to the stables, even after the horses had been untacked, groomed, and loaded into the trailer. Perhaps such was the case because of thoughts kicked into overdrive. As soon as the door to the trailer was latched closed, however, Julie found herself instinctively approaching Connor again, even picking up a jog as she did, up until she pounced on the taller boy and enveloped him in a bone crushing embrace that was surprising, coming from such a lanky, fragile looking girl. His embrace around her was no less tight; the two of them were ready to hold each other until the time would come for them to be put in the ground. Finally, he drew away, just enough to make eye contact with her. His gaze was soft, yet questioning and deeply penetrating. Yearning, even. "Are ye comin' back? Soon?"

     If it hadn't been for Connor's arms holding her, Julie's knees would've knocked and buckled underneath her under the intangible force of his heartmelting countenance, especially since in all honesty, she didn't know when she was coming back. But who would she have been to disclose her uncertainty to him and dampen his genuine hopes? And surely she would be seeing Ireland again in the future. Mind on this, she nodded her head, cracking a smile. "Soon," she replied in a quiet voice. She deliberated sealing off that kiss that had never happened, then considered the fact that there was a running Land Rover, loaded and ready to go, right behind her. No, people are watching, ew, she thought reluctantly, then smiled again. "Don't worry, this isn't goodbye. See you later, Connor." With that, she pulled away with her fingertips whispering past his, and started for the car, slipping inside, where the consistent whirring of the tires would lull her into a deep sleep that would be sweetened with dreams filled with her fondest memories of the land she would be leaving behind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

As promised...

...I am here with an excerpt of my writing :) No rambling from me, though; maybe I'll come back with an edit later, but I kind of underestimated the pain that comes with wisdom tooth extractions, because I was feeling all peachy once the Novocaine wore off, and now the pain's plagued me -_-

     Connor awoke to an effeminate shriek beside him that would have been more alarming if it hadn't been for the dense fog hindering his state of consciousness, followed immediately after by a hard thud and a "Shit shit shit shit shit!" that was quick to shake him out of his drowsiness. He calmly scanned his gaze over the disheveled sheets and comforter beside him, then over the shallow depression in the pillow next to his. He made a cucumber look like it was feeling the heat as his deep blue eyes idly wandered around the perimeter of the bedroom, piecing everything together with a cool nonchalance that was almost ill-fitting for the situation--in a sense, Connor McLaughlin was a changed man.
     He then snapped out of his reverie and darted his gaze over to follow the motion of Julie shooting up to her full height to his left. Her barrette had fallen out, making for a waterfall of golden brown waves cascading around her angelic heart shaped face, which was partially covered up by the hands clasped over her mouth. Her emerald irises made dinner plates look diminutive, and her cheeks were glowing a brilliant crimson; whether it was induced by shock or embarrassment, Connor couldn't tell, but he had to will himself not to let his shoulders shake with laughter at her apparent disgruntledness. "What, did ye miss curfew or somethin'?" he asked mockingly, fighting to keep his voice level.
     "Oh my god, Connor," Julie ground out through teeth clenched together under the force of her flustered state as she began frantically pacing back and forth, turning around abruptly each time. "I just unknowingly slept with you!"
     Connor just looked at her boredly, his gaze distant, like she was a transparent pane of glass. "Yeah, ye do know yer clothes are still on, right? I may be a fookwitted pub hopper, but I still have respect fer the opposite gender," he said in a neutral tone of voice, as though attempting to assure his childhood friend, when his lips trembled again, threatening to release a stream of highly amused guffaws. "Unless ye're still too pissed up to notice."
     "Ughhh, this isn't funny you horse's arse." Julie then ceased in her pacing to look at Connor and shrugged her shoulders questioningly. "Why didn't you kick me out once I overstayed my welcome?"
     Connor rubbed one eye and then stretched his arms out and behind him, elongating his lanky, athletic frame. He relaxed his lean muscles and then held up his fingers as he began to tick off his reasons. "One, I'm kind an' hospitable when one is really fookin' smashed--"
     "Really fucking smashed?"
     "After two pints I was really fucking smashed?"
     Connor shrugged helplessly. "Lass, ye were buzzed after the first sip of the first pint."
     "Ye probably didn't even notice me laughin' at ya."
     Julie's eyes quickly narrowed. "...You were laughing at me?"
     Connor nodded once, with the air of a revered philosopher. "Further proof that ye need more Irish blood."
     "Shut up, I'm Irish enough."
     "Define 'enough'."
     Connor snorted.
     "Oh kiss my arse."
     "You have no arse."
     With eyebrows threatening to disappear under her hairline, Julie stuck her tongue in her cheek, her pupils behaving as portals that opened up a plot to slaughter the handsome young Irishman in front of her. "Connor?" she asked, feigning an eerie edge of calm.
     "Yes, Jules?"
     Julie nodded her head, the slow, large movements solidifying the conviction in the words that were yet to be spoken. "I may not look like much, but I'm not about to think twice about twatting you so hard you'll go grey before your head's done spinning."
     Connor snorted again, doubling over this time and lifting the back of his hand to his mouth in an unsuccessful attempt to suppress his amusement. He then straightened up and held up his hands in surrender. "Go ahead, ye probably still can't see straight, which means more time fer me to get out of the way--"
     He was cut off when Julie deftly cuffed him upside the head, prompting him to chuckle disbelievingly. Julie was thin enough to be carried off in the slightest breeze, yet her slaps packed the force of a freight train. Perhaps a little brother with an affinity for sitting on photocopiers and curiously watching a green light pass under him had something to do with that. Her hands were on her hips, a vindictive flash in her eyes as a trace of a smirk flickered at one corner of her mouth. She shook her head. "You poor, poor shitweasel," she crooned, then tilted her head to the side curiously. "And you only refused to kick me out because you were considerate of the fact that I was drunk?"
     An easy smile stretched across Connor's lips; his wrong assumption hadn't fazed him much, if at all. "No need to pity me." He then thought on her question and responded with, "No. I actually have a confession to make."
     Hands still fimly planted on her hips, Julie tilted her head to the other side. "Oh? Do tell."
     Connor ran a hand through his hair with a half smile hinting at one corner of his mouth. "I meself was feelin' a wee bit hammered last night."
     Julie gasped in shock, her eyes widening for a moment before she subdued herself and transitioned into a look of pity again. "Awww, did partying with an English girl rub off on you and take your infinite alcohol tolerance down a peg or two?"
     Connor sighed dejectedly and nodded with a morose edge. "I think so," he said in a mumble that covered up the sarcasm. "Ye just might be a detriment to me status as the rowdiest partier in County Clare."
     "Tragic..." Julie drawled again, shaking her head slowly. Her eyes were soft, like she was feeling every ounce of his apparent pain, until she cleared her throat, straightening up in attention again. "So. They say the triangle is the strongest shape. And a good argument has three pieces of evidence to back it up." She raised her eyebrows insistently, really wanting to get into the nitty-gritty of his thought process.
     Connor blinked, feeling as though the devil had prodded him with his trident when Julie began to stare him down. His mind immediately spun off on a tangent, thinking about the days when they childishly argued and then about last night, about the feelings that were running through his head when Julie's head was so tenderly placed on his shoulder in her slumber, even if it was just alcohol. Was one of those feelings love? It was a strange concept, falling for a childhood friend who used to be so easily affronted by his mannerisms. He ran a hand through his hair again, clearly stalling now, then smoothed over his scatterbrained state with a smile and replied with, "I wasn't exactly opposed to the idea of crashin' next to a hot lass--"
     He was cut off when Julie seemed to choke on her spit. Her shoulders were hunched over as she brought the back of her hand to her mouth, and she blinked a few times in disbelief, then slowly straightened up. A short laugh escaped her lips, and she flushed slightly; just doing so made Connor ache. "I'm pretty sure you have shoddy taste then if you classify scrawny girls as hot."
     "I tosh you not," Julie replied with a shake of the head, and then grinned as she coined an old exchange between them.
     It was difficult for Connor not to see past Julie's frailty the instant his eyes fell upon her smile, which gleamed radiantly and ignited an irresistible twinkle in her eyes that made him weak. After a few seconds of hesitation, he simply shook his head. "I don't classify scrawny girls as 'hot'."
     Julie then furrowed her eyebrows in confusion and bore a curious tilt in her head again. "I can count up my ribs just by looking in the mirror. Pretty sure that qualifies as scrawny."
     I wish ye could look past yer health issues an' see what I see, Connor's inner voice went off longingly. He appeared lost in thought as he maintained eye contact with Julie, stroking his chin idly as he did before shrugging his shoulders again and honestly replying with, "Ye're different." He took a moment to absorb her blank expression and then slid a hand down his face, looking down and to the side in thought for a few seconds before meeting her eyes again with a shrug and shaking his head. "I don't think I'd drive meself insane fer four years over anyone else." He could've sworn he saw something soften in Julie as he uttered his words. Was she taking them to heart?
     She turned away slightly, keeping her eyes down on the floor as she pensively rubbed a curl of her hair between her index finger and her thumb. "I'm pretty sure you've left me mentally unstable as well."
     A slight, sheepish half smile pulled at one corner of Connor's mouth. "I figured as much--"
     "It's not just when you say something that makes me want to throttle a baby," Julie replied quickly, and Connor watched her intently; he could tell by the way she cut him off and faced away from him that she was, ironically enough, in the process of exposing herself to him. She sighed and looked back up, holding her hands clasped over her stomach and twiddling her thumbs as she began to shift in her stance. "When we drift apart, even after you piss me off, I begin missing you like crazy right away and wondering what I could do to make sure you never sneak out of my life again. I spend sleepless nights fearing it'll be another four years between then and the next time I see you. We used to spend every waking hour of every day together, and now I'm desperate to make up for lost time. And when you use that cheeky smile of yours to manipulate me, it really does work, even though I like putting my foot down and saying it doesn't. You are one drop dead gorgeous bloke, inside and out, and the only reason why you've never been in a successful relationship before is because none of the girls even deserved you in the first place."
     Connor remained rooted to his bed, stunned as Julie's sudden stream of consciousness froze him in place. His eyes picked up a blush in her cheeks that sent his thoughts off to the races. Did she just proclaim her love for him? Were the feelings mutual? They couldn't have been, she just smacked him not two minutes ago. At the same time, he was true to his word all those years ago when he said he couldn't forget her if he tried, and continued to have a knack for decoding her silent messages. A nagging voice in his head told him to go on and put her out of her misery, to begin seeing her as more than a friend, to envision them sealing their fate together at the altar. He smiled wryly and coursed a hand through his hair again, sheepishly replying with, "I actually have a different theory fer that," and prompting Julie to finally turn back around. He felt his heart take flight when he found himself looking into her sweet face again, even though it had only been a minute or so. Even then, he was contentedly busying his eyes with gazing at those silken tendrils that he so longed to lose his hands in. But now he had her eyes to look back into, those warm, captivating irises of emerald green that made it uncomfortable for him to do so little as think about looking away, those refined porcelain cheeks glowing with an uncanny radiance that he couldn't recall ever seeing, just when he thought he'd seen it all.
     "And that is?" Julie asked.
     Connor finally rolled out of bed and stood, stretching his arms high above his head and cracking his knuckles in the process. He let his muscles go lax with a quiet sigh and found himself looking back at Julie, then slipped his arms around her delicate waist and closed the distance between them, feeling a curious tingling sensation rush through him when she responded by looping her arms behind his neck. There was only a trace of a smile across his lips, but the warmth in his eyes was every bit sincere. It no longer mattered to him that he never knew what it was like to be in a relationship that was truly filled with potential; he wasn't as elated then as he was now, holding Julie in his arms, and her simple returning gesture filled him with infinite joy, enough to ensure that he would die a happy man, knowing that she felt the same way. "I think fate just had in store fer me a certain lass whose accent isn't screwed up any--"
     He was silenced again when Julie suddenly reached up to kiss him--a most pleasant interruption--and then gently broke away. In that short moment of mind-numbing bliss, a train may as well have ripped through Connor's head, even more so than when she smacked him. No pint of Guinness, nor shot of Baileys, nor mug of Irish coffee could induce in him such a level of intoxication as Julie's kiss had, as a fog thicker than that covering all of London clogged up his senses. He took a moment to search her dazed eyes, to lose himself in the soft sound of her ragged breathing, to ache over the sight of her slap-happy smile; she didn't regret her impulsiveness one bit, and neither did he.
     She bit back a quiet giggle, one that was sweet, coy, and every bit infectious as it brightened Connor's smile. "Do you feel as smashed as you look? You should totally see your face right now," she remarked, placing her head on his shoulder and gazing up at him adoringly.
     Connor's inner jester was packed away for the time being. Normally he thrived on riling Julie until she swore her head off at him or smacked him or threw a shoe at him, but that kiss had rendered him completely brainwashed as he sat back and analyzed the situation. Beneath the tirades was a starry eyed girl who was completely in love with him, and the kiss, no matter how short it was, suggested nothing less. With a soft smile warming his features, he tucked a stray curl behind Julie's ear, his touch gentle and benevolent as he shook his head. "Yer face is all I need to see," he murmured quietly, and sealed the thought with a tender kiss of his own.


Foyst of all...I'm back! After abandoning this blog because I had nothing interesting in my boring life to tell y'all about plus school is a horse's ass and it'squitepossiblethatImayhaveforgottenthatIevenhadabloginthefirstplace/shotdead for a good nine months or so, I finally know what to post, since I am an avid writer and I have writing that I need to put out there before it burns a hole in my head :)

I'll start off with some background information. For the longest time, I've been writing some soap operatic boarding school plot that, well, didn't have a plot, or at the very least, a plot with no direction whatsoever. Now that I feel I've matured as a writer, I opted to go for something completely different. After roughly a year and a half of roleplaying on NaNoWriMo, I wanted to take my seven most beloved characters and throw them in the middle of present-day London, and see what kind of crazy crap goes down.

Allow me to put something into perspective for you. If you don't already know me as a writer, I am one to get severely attached to my own characters. I had roughly fifteen characters that were affiliated with my old stories which would probably be disintegrating in every physical way possible if there ever were physical copies of them. Only three made it into the next round. As I describe them, you'll notice that they get progressively more screwed up was that a spring that just flew out of Grace's head???????????? O.o One is Julie Hunter, who is, hands down, my trustiest character. Having surfaced in my imagination in the summer of '06, she's the sole reason why I'm a character hermit. I've literally spent the last six years or so developing her, and it's been a wild ride to say the least. She somehow started off as this back country hick from New Hampshire's White Mountains who cracked jokes like everyone breathed, and evolved into this more multidimensional character with an awesome English accent who could keep to herself, charm people with her quick wit, or deliver swift kicks to the ass when necessary. She conducts civil conversations, showers her lover with affection, reigns supreme in battles of wits without breaking a sweat, and goes on a tirade when her little brother photocopies his ass or pulls some sort of dastardly prank (more about this s#!^weasel later). Friends have said she reminds them of me, which is flattering because we apparently share the same dry sense of humor.

Amanda Chappell is a character whom I take great pleasure in making a total wacko. She's somehow managed to be the king (queen?) of the hill and the peanut amongst her siblings, since she's the oldest and constantly given crap for her runt-ly height. I like to think her mouth compensates for the vertical challenge that she's been plagued with, though, not to mention she's got really impressive bedhead in the morning that makes you think HOLY$#!^ISSHESCREWEDINTHEHEADENOUGHTOSTICKAFORKINTHEELECTRICALOUTLET/shotdead, because years of ridicule has thickened her skin and drastically improved her defenses, which is ironic, in a way, because she's got that sweet little girl exterior who doesn't look like she can pack a punch until she concusses you with the force of one of her sassy spats. Oh, and she's a spazz, she probably can't be thrown into a padded room quickly enough. *shudders*

Rounding out my oldies is Grace F***nut Whittaker, my whackjob-ish Texas cowgirl who could probably be heard within a ten mile radius when she's shrieking her head off at a bad driver. One of my most consistent characters, she's always spoken in one of only two volumes, loud or louder. I've told some of my RP-ing buddies, you can likely pick out Grace's dialogue just by looking at it; it's all caps about 90% of the time and is usually followed by a string of exclamation points long enough to haul her back to her steamy Texas ranch. There's nothing that excites her more than the chance to "whoop some ass," all hell's going to break loose the instant she starts spitting in her hands and rubbing them together. Oh, and how could I forget her affinity with Monsters? Yes, you read that right, she guzzles down energy drinks she really doesn't need. And when she's done, she saves the cans for when she encounters an idiot, in which she'll send a can hurtling for their head, and her aim's been sharpened by her sharp shooting. Run for your life.

And now for my nooooooooooooooooooooobs! 8D I love noobs, don't you? ^^ Most of them are siblings of my old novel characters who have never had a chance to be in the spotlight, so I don't count them as having associated with my old soap opera xD First in the lineup is Stephen Hunter, and many sources of inspiration have certainly enriched Julie's little brother as a character. Like one time when my friend told me she randomly felt like throwing a shoe at me, without knowing how that impulse transpired in her head. She even assured me it was nothing personal. Or a month and a half ago on the night of the school's orchestra concert where there was word of one of our bassists photocopying his ass. Can you tell this kid is a little screwed up? And I don't know how he got around to training Taco, his faithful Golden Retriever puppy, to piss on certain people. Maybe I, too, am screwed up. Needless to say, he is one nasty thorn in Julie's side. With an adorable little chuckle that shows just what a little kid he is.

Next we have Ryan and Justin, the two assholes angelic brothers bred into the Chappell household. Not. On the contrary, they make quite an ambivalent pair. Upon dishing more of their characters out for some weekly Advanced Writing assignments last semester, I've discovered that the father consumes a nightly glass of Cabernet and that the mother takes sleeping pills before she goes to bed. How fitting it would be if they were trying to keep themselves sane while their two youngest children were busy throwing chairs at each other at one in the morning...anyway, they swear, they fight over dastardly tactics to win MarioKart Wii, and they drive Amanda up infinite walls. There is no shutting them up if you slapped entire rolls of duct tape over their mouths.

Perhaps the character of mine who--lately--has been the most fascinating for me to work with, though, is Connor McLaughlin. I initially thought he would forever be this completely uncouth jackass, until I entered him in a roleplay, and the first character he talked to was a frightened twelve-year-old girl in a shot elevator. The guy had sympathy, I couldn't believe it! Thank you, Fishy, for putting dearest Alice in that roleplay, she completely revolutionized my pub hopping Irishman for the better :) Weeeeeeeell, she didn't quite kill his wild side, but that's all right xD Basically what I love about him is how multidimensional his personality is. You meet him in the park--or some public area--and he's about the most humble young man you could carry out a conversation with. Stick him in a pub, and all hell's about to break loose. It shocked and humbled me for a while how all these love squares and love pentagons transpired over him in the RP's, until I realized that that's what I got for creating an eighteen-year-old version of Patrick J. Adams with an Irish lilt. "Suits," anyone? Waaaaait, actually he looks better on TV than in that picture, so here's a trailer:


Anyway, I've already got a few scenes scrawled out--including a little spark between Connie and Jules--which I'll post later. Right now I'm getting ready to get my wisdom teeth out Dx Later!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Something Short and Sweet to Think About...I Suppose...

Two GPS'. Both are Garmins. Both are dumb and make their rightful owners want to rip their hair out. My cousin's Australian drill sargent who screams at everyone in the car cost $200 and our American seductress whose directions carry the underlying meaning of, "take me home with you" (seriously, I hear her uttering directions to my dad and I'm thinking, "hon, he's married, and you're not his type.") cost $600. I think someone got ripped off, here...

(Yes, I know you can change the settings, voices, accents, and all. We just never bothered to. *shrugs*)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Because once upon a time, I lived on Youtube. *nods*

I shall start by showcasing my new favorite band.

Oasis- Hey Now!
Oasis- Some Might Say
Oasis- (It's Good) To Be Free
Oasis- Stay Young
Oasis- Headshrinker
Oasis- Listen Up
Oasis- Supersonic
Oasis- Live Forever
Oasis- Slide Away
Oasis- Bag It Up
Oasis- I'm Outta Time
Oasis- To Be Where There's Life
Oasis- The Nature of Reality
Oasis- I Believe In All
Oasis- Force of Nature
Oasis- Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Oasis- Songbird
Oasis- Little By Little
Oasis- Guess God Thinks I'm Abel
Oasis- Keep The Dream Alive

...Think I'm a little obsessed with Oasis? They're sure as hell better than anyone we have here in the States, that's for sure. But that's just my humble opinion :)

I'm also a staunch Snuggie hater. They make you look like a monk with a scandalous fashion taste.

WTF Blanket
WTF Blanket- Dead Animal Edition
WTF Blanket- Lil' Bow Wow Edition

I credit my aunt for getting me hooked on Hell's Kitchen--and Gordon Ramsay in general--two and a half years ago. *nods*

Hell's Kitchen Season 2 Highlights
Hell's Kitchen Season 3 Highlights
Hell's Kitchen Season 5 Highlights

Youtube has failed to work with me. I could only scrape up three of eight seasons worth of highlights. *facepalms*


Wolfstone- Morag's Reels
Party in Third Class Scene from "Titanic"

Tenth Doctor FTW

Top Gear Interview with David Tennant

And the grand daddy of 'em all...

Super Mario Brothers- Frustration

Enjoy :)

More soon. Laptop's gonna die -_-

Wow...What's next?

So June 23, I had officially wrapped up my junior year of high school, which also meant saying "screw you" to AP U.S. History once and for all (I seriously wondered early on if my brain had some sort of chemical malfunction normally induced by drugs when I decided to sign up for that class my sophomore year). Granted, it was a good class, but when I signed up for it, I was smart enough to go for what would look good on my transcript...and then I completely ruled out the performance factor (by the way, if you think my use of the word "smart" was sarcastic, go ahead and stick a gold star right next to your name :) ). I'll be honest, in years past, I've never really had to bust my ass to get the grades I wanted; normally I can rack up all A's except for a few spot B's without any effort. AP American, however, was one rude awakening. I went in treating it just like American Experience from sophomore year. And it showed. I averaged high 90s in American Experience whereas I barely scraped into the 70s in AP American. For some reason, my mood about that class was just sour right from the first test we took. I don't know if my learning style didn't click with my teacher's teaching style, or if I found him to be unapproachable whenever I needed help (seriously, if the air the teacher carries about himself (or herself) makes you feel stupid when you walk into a classroom, you're probably not going to want to seek help from them. At least not if you're me.), or if I just found myself not thoroughly loving the material (remember? I signed up for that class just so that it would look good on my transcript. *facepalms*). But if there are any positives I can draw from taking that class, it sure as hell got my feet wet with regards to what college is going to be like. And now I'm totally pumped for AP Literature and Composition, which I'll be taking next year. I'm even enjoying the summer assignment I have for that class :)

Anyway, my summer started off pretty uneventful; I was just kicking back and taking a break from the rigorous school year I just endured (I racked up A's from all my other classes and felt like I put on a mediocre performance in general. Funny how AP classes do that to you, huh?). My high point thus far was seeing my cousins from all the way out in Chicago. I met up with them in Rhode Island while they were visiting another one of my uncles and got to see a cousin of mine whom I haven't seen in six years (isn't that sad? Her mom's a bit possessive over her -_-). So we hung out, got to swim in the pool (the water, apparently, had too much chlorine in it, giving it a less-than-desirable color. My aunt defended that it looked like iced tea, but I countered that by saying it looked like crap.), and when we had a little down time, I taught them a card game called President, or its alternate name, Asshole, as my friends and I like to call it; we're not exactly a serious bunch, so why would we refer to it as such a prim and proper name as President? ...Well...we're still levelheaded to an extent, so we'll refer to it as President under adult supervision for good measure. *nods* Really the best parts about that game are the fact that it's every man for himself, so you could totally pull a move that'll screw someone over without it being illegal (people. Get. MAD. xD), and the ranking system is pretty ingenious as well: first person to run out of cards is the president, last person to run out of cards is the asshole. ...Wow. I just sounded like a total card shark for the last couple of lines or so. I'll explain why later :) I even showed my cousin the YWP NaNoWriMo website and showed her a little bit of my roleplaying material. Ryan and Justin Chappell are her favorite characters of mine, which doesn't surprise me xD So Thursday we journeyed all the way back up to New Hampshire, the state I've called home since I was born, and I don't know if it was just my angsty New Englander "STEP ON IT!" mentality, or if I was just eager to go back home, or if my aunt really was driving radically slow. For one, Massachusetts is GOD awful to drive through, so I was actually elated to see that I could count on one hand the number of cars on the road. Either one of my parents likely would've been doing 80, and my aunt's probably doing 50. TOPS. ...And still periodically hitting the brakes. *grabs hair in frustration* ACK! -_-...So we're just rolling along with a huge gap in front of us. I rationalized that perhaps she was so used to the dense traffic in Chicago that going over 60 was downright intimidating, but even so, part of me couldn't help thinking that they were in absolutely no rush to swing by my place, which is a bit distasteful in my point of view. They're total beach lovers. And what's lining Rhode Island's coastline? *gasps* BEACH! Within which state was the starting point of our journey northward? Rhode Island. Where was our destination? New Hampshire. Is New Hampshire known for having a particularly extensive coastline? *shakes head* Noooo...Catch my drift here? Think the theme goes along the lines of favoritism just a tad? *grumbles unintelligibly* Anyway, I come home, and I've got a select few friends who are eager to meet my cousin, so we go out for ice cream and have an awesome time just chilling out and talking, which was nice, because I was worried that my cousin would have the same reception that I had when I met her friends two and a half years ago. They tried to get me to feel up a guy I didn't know. If I hadn't been so awkward around them, I probably would've cracked a nice solid backhand across their faces; it was a total turn off. So, you guessed it, her friends didn't strike a very good chord with me, but my cousin loved my friends, which gladdened my little heart ^^ So the next day, we took a day trip up to Portland, Maine, because my parents and I like to accommodate the ocean addicts temporarily living under our roof. I immediately drew a parallel between Portland and Burlington, Vermont, because both cities have enough people for them to be considered small cities, and yet they are pedestrian friendly and have the rustic charm of small towns, which equals perfection in my eyes. The next day, my cousins and I squeezed in a few games of Asshole before the family was to sadly begin their journey back home to Chicago. I was surprised to see how quick my dog was to ditch us; my cousins piled into the van, and there's little Zippy, my Pekingese of ten years parked in the back seat and saying, "kiss my ass." Well that was a little rude of him; then again, I don't know why I was so shocked; you'd be surprised by what we've interpreted his actions as of late. Much to his discontent, we ended up peeling him out of the car and hauling him back to the house, letting the Chicagoans drive off without him. How sad.

And since then, it's been chill time for me :) If you paid ANY attention to my rambling so far, you may remember that I was going to explain why I was such a card shark. It's thanks to some kids I traveled with in Europe last summer. One rainy day in Austria, Mother Nature decided to render us unable to do anything interesting around the mountain village of Seefeld, so we just played cards in the lounge to our hearts' content. Asshole was my favorite game by a landslide, such that I ended up teaching my friends the following school year. It was all jokes :) I'll explain about my Europe trip in another post, since I feel like my fingers are about to disintegrate at the joints right now. More soon! :)