Sadly, I Don’t Have a Life

Dear Emma, 

So I was attempting to find something interesting about my life to write about this week, but I actually couldn’t. 

There are about three weeks till exams start, so I pretty much don’t have a life at the moment. 

As I have probably said about a thousand times, I am so incredibly excited for summer. 

It kinda almost dispels the fear I’ve got for exams. 

Nope, not really. 

HOWEVER, I have heard that they are apparently opening a Disneyland in Britain, so I am very excited for that. 

Hope you guys are having an amazing week! 

Love from,

Tara

XXX

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The Race

Dear Emma,

Picture me this. We – and when I say we I mean all of us students – have been running in a race for the past few years. Maybe two, three, four even. 

But for once, we’re actually nearing the finish line. This is the point where we can see the goal on the horizon.

However, this is also the point where the panic begins to set in. 

Because between us and our goals there are so many hurdles, higher than anything we’ve ever jumped before. But they are also hurdles that we knew were coming, and they are hurdles we have been running our whole lives to jump. 

And suddenly the regret kicks in, and our pace slows as we think about all those times we stopped running to take a break or enjoy the scenery. 

We think about those times we stopped training because those hurdles seemed so far away, and pangs of guilt hit us like hailstones. 

There were so many opportunities to make those hurdles seem easier to climb. We start to panic, overtraining, over exerting, missing those times when those looming obstacles could be pushed to the back of our mind.

Sadly, we can’t do that anymore.

(To be continued)

Love from,

Tara

XXX

Worth Writing About

Dear Emma,

I’m going back to school tomorrow. Oh joy…

I’m actually feeling pretty apprehensive about the term to come, because at the end of it, I will have finished all of my incredibly important exams, which is both relieving and completely terrifying, because I’m not ready. 

Will I ever be ready? Probably not. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

As I have said, it was my birthday this week, and in the morning (along with many lovely messages from various people both in real life and from the internet) I got an email from Wattpad (side note: I don’t remember ever registering an account on there nor telling them my birth date, but anyway) wishing me happy birthday, and then it said, We hope that it’s a birthday worth writing about. 

Aside from the fact that it was obviously a shameless promo for you to write on their website, it actually made me think. Did I have a birthday worth writing about?

Forget that, do I have a life worth writing about? What does that even mean?

And then I thought, screw you, Wattpad. Everyone has a life worth writing about, and whether anyone else thinks so is completely irrelevant. Because everyone has a story to tell. And maybe not everyone in the universe will listen, but that shouldn’t make a difference. As long as the people that matter think your life is worth writing about, then it is.

Also, I’m sorry that Drag and Drop Stories failed completely this week. Me being an idiot picked a week where I was incredibly busy, had loads of revision to do and started our first huge group project. I will rectify that terrible mistake at some point.

Hope you are all having an amazing week, and good luck to you if you’re going back to school too 🙂 

Love from,

Tara

XXX

Drag and Drop Stories – Series Three: Part Four

Dear Emma,

Today’s prompt was suggested by Alex, and I really like it 😀

“Come on, Sam, it’s your turn.”

With those words, four pairs of eyes snapped up to look at me, accompanied by five grins of anticipation. “Come on,” echoed the chorus.

I rolled my eyes. “Fine, fine. Give it your best shot.”

Amy smirked. “Okay. Truth or dare.”

What is it that makes us decide how to answer that question? Most people say truth, especially when you have friends as intelligent as mine who can come up with the cruellest dares. But then if you have a burning secret, you could choose a dare out of fear. I guess there is no real easy option. Luckily, I don’t have that problem, because I know how to lie.

“Dare,” I said, then lounged back on the chair I sat on. I had given them something to be excited about: everyone else had chosen truth. Waiting while a group of teenage girls sit in a huddle is not an incredibly exciting experience, but for once, it was going to prove helpful.

Because for some reason, Grace’s hair was starting to change colour. Around two years ago, she dyed her mousy brown hair jet black, and we had all gotten used to her hair being the darkest out of our friends, but her normally subtle brown roots were suddenly getting more and more noticeable. It was like a tap had been turned on on her head and the black colour was vanishing like water down a drainpipe.

“Grace, what’s up with your hair?” I called to her back, and she whirled around, laughing. She reached a hand up to her face and her eyes widened. Instantly she ran from the room, but no-one seemed to notice.

I rose from my seat and walked over to the group, laughing. “Guys, how long does it take to come up with one dare?”

The three of them turned to face me, and I took a step backwards in shock. Before my eyes, braces appeared on Evie’s face, Amy’s face completely changed shape and Jess suddenly had to contend with a pair of glasses on the bridge of her nose, replacing the contacts I had gotten used to seeing her in.

And me? I realised that I was looking at the friends I had known three years ago.

“What the hell?” I said, stumbling backwards like my friends had all caught some kind of contagious disease. “Guys?”

Amy laughed and stood up. “What are you doing, Sam? We’re playing tag!” She then hit my forearm and suddenly everyone leapt away from me, squealing.

I started to walk out of the room, but was confronted at the door by Grace. At least, I thought it was Grace. The girl stood in front of me barely came up to my shoulders, and she had her hair in sandy brown pigtails. I looked again, and her two front teeth fell out as I stared. “Grace?

She looked at me and started giggling, running between my legs to join the others in the living room. They were all shrieking and jumping on the furniture, laughing like they were six years old again.

Maybe they were.

I didn’t understand. They were all shrinking. No, not shrinking, I reminded myself. Getting younger.

And I didn’t know how to stop it.

I have decided to skip yesterday’s story especially because I only have two prompts left. Sorry guys.

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost

Dear Emma,

Sorry guys, I haven’t had time to write anything today. Although to be fair I’ve spent the past eight hours travelling in and out of London to go to a concert.

Also it’s my birthday, so I shall write the story for tomorrow, I promise 🙂

Love from,

Tara

XXX

Drag and Drop Stories: Series Three – Part Three

Dear Emma,

I actually really enjoyed this prompt. Maybe I’ll continue it, what do you think?

Anyway, it was suggested by Elm and here it is!

Around here, we believe that there isn’t a better feeling in the world than grass underneath your feet. I spent the first ten years of my life shoeless, and only when I started climbing the mountains did my mother spend three hours hand-sewing a pair of simple leather plimsolls, but the only occasions I wore them were those days where I wanted to get away from the valley and explore a little piece of the world. Well, as much of the world as I was allowed to see.

In my grandfather’s words, “I don’t think that you understand, Samantha. I don’t think that you understand what the world has become. You are one of the truly, truly free children in this world. You should feel privileged, my child.” Then he went back to his rocking chair and I soon learned not to ask about what lay beyond the forest because I never got a straight answer, as much as my burning curiosity hated to admit it.

To be fair, it isn’t a tortuous existence. The only thing that wakes me up in the morning is the first light of dawn, but then I’m never in bed until after the moon peaks over the mountaintop. I had to negotiate with my grandfather for at least a week for him to let me stay up until after sunset. But I love it.

It doesn’t normally bother me that I’m the oldest one in the village: I’ve spent endless days alone, wandering through the forests, rescuing bear cubs when they get stuck in trees, climbing the rocky outcrops on the outskirts of the forest and craning my head to try and get a glimpse of what lies beyond. It’s never really bothered me. Until today.

I sat on the topmost branch of an ancient oak, lazily whittling a misshapen chunk of wood into an eagle when a rustling of leaves underneath the tree made me freeze and drop the carving. I heard it roll down each branch until it came to rest on the forest floor.

The first rule of encountering a potentially hostile creature in the forest is to figure out what you’re up against. If it’s something you can run away from easily. Sadly, that’s not really possible at the top of a fifty-foot oak tree. As silently as possible, I slid down the tree one branch at a time. Except I couldn’t do that, because there was an acorn on the third branch from the bottom which I tripped over, causing me to rather ungracefully tumble to the bottom of the tree. Luckily, I caught hold of the bottom branch, so I swung down onto the forest floor and drew my pocket knife from my belt, landing with a thud onto the floor, knife towards the attacker.

Except, it wasn’t an attacker. Standing before me, looking pretty perplexed and holding my eagle, was a teenage boy.

I would very much like to see what happens after that.

Also, I am very excited because it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I went prom dress shopping today…it was an interesting experience.

Anyway, thanks for reading and if you have any more prompts (still don’t have enough) then please leave them below!

Love from,
Tara

XXX

Drag and Drop Stories: Series Three – Part Two

Dear Emma,

I apologise for last night’s story, I know it’s about two milliseconds long and I will go back and edit it when I have time. But anyway, for now it’s on to the next one!

By the way, I do not have seven prompts yet, and for this series to work, I need them so I’d really appreciate it if you guys gave me some otherwise I might have to cancel the series 😦

Okay, I’ll stop being needy and depressing and get back to the story.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Selfie!

“You know we’re going to have to have this conversation at some point,” called the voice from downstairs, but Sam was too preoccupied with darting into her room and quickly shutting the door to notice. There was no way in hell that she was going to sit at the dinner table, going through A-level courses and college brochures with her parents. Simultaneously it seemed like the easiest and the most terrifying prospect. Easy because she could impulsively and stubbornly make a decision, terrifying because it was all too simple to make the wrong decision, and, as she was reminded all too often, her future hung in the balance.

For her, procrastination was an art, and a skill she could demonstrate all too easily by just ignoring the entire world to continue to binge-watch the entirety of Netflix: it was her number one technique to avoiding revision, chores, and responsibilities in general.

She knew she couldn’t avoid her future forever, but she was determined to prolong the fear for as long as physically possible. Sadly, her parents didn’t seem to share the same beliefs. “Sam, come on,” came her mother’s voice from outside the door. “We have to talk about this at some point, you know. You can’t avoid this forever.”

“I can try,” she muttered, grabbing the nearest pair of functioning headphones and shoving the earbuds into her ears, turning the music up as loud as physically possible to drown out her mother’s patient questions.

“Right, come on,” she said, and the door flew open, the foreboding figure of Sam’s mother shadowing the doorway. “Your application is due in in three weeks, and we need to talk about this. Have you even bothered to read through the form?”

Sam raised her eyebrows at her mother’s not-so-subtle accusation, groaned and got up from her bed. 

An hour later, Sam returned to her bed, but the sunlight that normally illuminated her little room had vanished, along with any enthusiasm she had for the next two years of her life. The supposedly helpful conversation with her parents had just made her brain hurt.

She rested her head on a pillow and stared at the ceiling. It seemed horribly unfair that her school, family and general life had prevented her from having too much responsibility and then suddenly given her a thousand at once. 

Exams were looming and it was getting harder to find time to just figure out what the hell she was doing with her life. 

There just wasn’t enough time.  

Okay, that got way too similar to my life, I feel attacked.

Also, I know it’s not the most action-packed prompt, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the most relatable. 

Anyway, hope you liked this, and it would mean a lot if you guys gave me some more prompts! Also, I’ve started a writing blog with Elm, so I’ll leave the link here and in all my future posts if you guys want to check it out!

Drag and Drop Stories: Series 3 – Part One

Dear Emma,

Here we go, the continuation of one of my best ideas to date. Let me just slightly apologise, because I know this could be a bit better. I might come back and edit this later. To be fair, it was my birthday party today, so I haven’t had much time to write this, but I’m just going to go with it.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Greton!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? To be fair, I wouldn’t describe it as a feeling, more like an instinct, a sensation. There is probably a reason, some primal urge from when humanity’s biggest worries were whether or not the family would be eaten by sabre-toothed tigers. Actually, that sounds more worrying than any of the crap I go through these days, but I digress.

As a teenage girl in a fairly low-life neighbourhood, I’d say my guard is always up whenever I walk down the street. As much as I would love to interact with the people I meet on my way home, I’ve heard too many horror stories to be able to casually stroll down the road, having conversations with everyone I meet. I normally just settle for getting home alive.

Which is why the boy in the bomber jacket freaked me out so much. The fact that I have to walk home through an estate normally gives me a reason to excuse the gaggle of teens with poor posture shuffling behind me, but once the cluster of urbanisation with pitifully small space is over my shoulder, normally my shadows have disappeared, because the road I live on is pretty small.

Apparently that wasn’t happening today. I turned the corner out of the estate, and the unfamiliar sensation caught me between my shoulder-blades, like an invisible knife pressed against my spine. 

I tried to turn around subtly, but something stopped me from looking back. Instead, I got out my mirror to pretend to fix my unruly parting to get a glimpse at my potential attacker, and then mentally rolled my eyes because I knew I looked like an extra in a bad spy movie. 

But as I walked, the figure shadowed my every movement, so I don’t think I can be blamed for feeling uneasy. 

It’s not every day you suddenly gain a stalker.

Okay, I want to continue this but I had four hours of sleep last night and am ridiculously tired so I have to stop it there. If I add to it later I’ll link it in a post 🙂

Thanks for reading, guys!

Love from,

Tara

XXX

I CAN FINALLY TELL YOU ALL!

Dear Emma,

So I’ve been working on a “secret project” for a few months now, and when I say a few months, I mean that we came up with the idea for this project a few months ago and then spent four hours on Skype yesterday making it happen. And when I say we, I mean me and my BBF Elm.

Sorry, I’ve kinda pulled all momentum out of this exciting annoucement. It is exciting, I promise.

ELM AND I HAVE STARTED A NEW BLOG! CUE THE FIREWORKS AND HAPPY MUSIC YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

So, it’s called The Writing Treehouse and the link is here. I thought I would explain more about it before you guys checked it out.

Basically, we decided that we want to post all our writing in one place, and especially because I know that not all of you are huge fans of my writing, so if you don’t want to read it, that’s fine. But this blog is going to be incredibly exciting, we’ve got loads of collaborations planned, and the best thing is, we want to involve everyone. Even those who don’t have blogs. Our plan for this place was if you want to write something, there’s a place for people to read it.

I already wrote an introduction on the actual blog, and Elm just put up a post introducing the blog here, which you can go read because I’m sure it will be better than mine. Also, I worked hard on the introduction post over there, so even if it’s the first and only time you look at this new blog, I’d appreciate it if you read it.

Also, we want this blog to be a community, so if you are interested, it would be amazing if you shared this with your followers, we’d love as many writers as possible to take part!

I am still doing Drag and Drop Stories next week starting tomorrow which I am very excited about, prompts would still be much appreciated!

Anyway, I am incredibly amazingly excited for this new blog, and I would love it if you all went over there and had a look, and I would love it if you joined us on what I hope will be an amazing adventure 😀

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

IT’S BACK!

Dear Emma,

Guess what’s happening again. Do you know? No? Well, neither did I up until about an hour ago, because I completely forgot.

What do I do at the end of every school term? That’s right, my favourite series, Drag and Drop Stories. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the first and second series are here.

The basic concept is that I have a character called Samantha (or Sam) and I “drag and drop” her into various situations every day for a week based on comments from my lovely readers.

So, I need prompts. I apologise that it’s such short notice, but I didn’t remember until today. I’d love it if you guys made some suggestions for stories I can write next week, and it’s completely okay to make more than one 🙂

Thanks guys! I’m excited now, I completely forgot about this!

Love from,
Tara

XXX

P.S.  I apologise for yesterday. Or do I… 😉

P.P.S. KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR SOMETHING INCREDIBLY EXCITING TOMORROW