But Then, Goodbyes Aren’t Simple

Dear Emma,

Oh, screw simple goodbyes.

Yeah, I definitely can’t leave without rambling one last time. I really don’t think I would be able to do it, and I’m pretty sure you are all used to it by now.

I have been wrestling with this decision all summer, because I was really proud of this blog and most of the things that I’ve created. I’ve spent a year and a half making posts and gathering followers and I’ve really really enjoyed every minute. I just didn’t want to throw it away.

The reason I’m choosing to stop this blog is simple: I don’t feel happy with my blog anymore. I feel too much pressure in what I’m posting, I feel like it’s too open and I can’t be honest. I’ve also unintentionally managed to create my blog around someone else – trust me, the amount of time I’ve been called Emma is unreal. I know that sounds really petty but I would really like to build my own identity.

I’ve met some amazing amazing new friends and genuinely lovely people; this community is a pretty special place here on the internet. I won’t mention many names but I really have made a friend for life in Elm. We’ve been friends for almost two years now and I’ve enjoyed every second. I could say so much about so many specific people because you have all been lovely, but I can’t say some and not others. Everyone here is so friendly, welcoming and damn talented.

Which is why I know I couldn’t leave completely.

Yes, I’m leaving Letters to Emma, but I will be starting another, brand-new blog, probably sometime soon, and that blog will be the one where I can finally talk about what want to talk about, rather than what I think I should talk about.

I am scared, because I will be completely starting again, and who knows how much of a success this new blog will be. I sure as hell don’t.

I won’t be posting the link or URL to my new blog here, because I really am starting again, but I will be telling my blogging friends, and if you are here on WordPress and you know me, I’m sure our paths will be crossing again sooner than you think.

However, if you do see me and think that I’m me, (sorry for the terrible English), please don’t just come out and say it – I do want this anonymity to last for a short while at least. You can message me and ask, but don’t leave it anywhere where everyone can see it.

I just want to say a massive thank you to all of you who are reading this right now, and thank you to all the people who have read, commented on or favourited my posts over the years. You are all such incredibly incredibly lovely people, and I am honoured that you took time out of your lives to read my ramblings on a blog in a small corner of the internet.

It’s weird. I started this blog as a girl of fourteen, not really sure how the world works and a mediocre writer of stories and blog posts.

Now I’m sixteen, I know a little bit more about how the world works, and I’d like to think that my writing skills have improved.

I’m at a new house, heading into a new chapter of my life, and I will always remember this blog as my first, regardless of what else I do in my life. I’ll miss you, everyone. It’s been fun.

Tara, did you really split your goodbye post into two parts just so your post total could reach 100 before you left?

Yes, yes I did.

 

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Simple Goodbye

Dear Emma,

So, I guess this is it. I’ve decided to stop writing this blog. I’m keeping this goodbye short and sweet, because I’m effectively just coming back to shut things down and then I’ll be gone. In case you haven’t noticed, my return from hiatus wasn’t the most successful thing in the world. Or successful at all.

I’ve enjoyed this so so much, but now this doesn’t really feel right, not like it used to. There’s too much pressure, and I couldn’t do what I really wanted to.

I just want to say thank you, thank you to everyone who supported me in any way. It’s been amazing.

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

 

Long Time, No See

Dear Emma,

Wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote those words. What is it, almost three months? That’s definitely way too long.

I’m slightly scared, to be honest, because I’ve basically forgotten what it’s like to blog, and I honestly feel like I’m starting again. Obviously that’s not true, because I still (hopefully) have all of you guys who’ve followed me, but I’m still vaguely intimidated. Especially seeing as I managed to somehow get more than 200 followers during my period of hiatus – thank you guys so much for that – which means that for a lot of you, this is the first time you’re reading a post I’ve written since you followed me.
So the pressure’s on for me.

I’m also slightly concerned about how easy it was for me to go on such a long hiatus; I remember when Elm and I planned our exam hiatus together, but then she lasted about two, three weeks – correct me if I’m wrong – but then I managed to stop for almost three months? And throughout that time, I grew quite unattached to my blog.

I’m not sure why or if I even wanted to, I just don’t think it’s the kind of blog I’d like to have right now. It just doesn’t seem right, and I’ll probably try to figure out what’s missing as best I can. I really don’t want to give up on this blog, because I’m still proud of a lot of my posts, and I definitely like my other blog, because it’s focused on one of my passions.

But I’m also pretty sure that all these doubts have come into my head over the past few months because I’ve forgotten what it’s like to continue blogging, so I’m not going to listen to them and just try to get back into posting regularly and connecting with the community like I used to.

Re-reading my old posts, even the ones from a few months ago, is really strange. I feel like I’ve changed a lot, and to be fair, a lot has happened in my life which I’ll have to talk about at some point soon.

But, I’m back to stay, for now at least.

How have you guys been doing? I’ve really missed the community and I promise I’ll be more active from now on.

Love from,
Tara

XXX

I Tried, I Really Did

Dear Emma, 

I’m back! Did you miss me? 

Probably not, because my so-called “hiatus” lasted the exact same amount of time that I normally leave between posts, so it probably felt like nothing.

I did try to stay on hiatus, I really did. I kept telling myself, “You have exams in nine days that you need to study for, there’s no time to blog.”

Obviously that failed. I can’t not blog, it’s been a year. I’m used to it. 

Besides, it’s my last week in school this year, and it’s kinda freaking me out.

Like, I’m giving up Maths. Maths. A subject I have studied since I was literally four years old, and I’m not going to be doing it anymore.

Also, a lot of people will be leaving this week, and I’m singing in the leaving assembly, and…

There are a lot of things happening this week. A lot of changes.

And then my exams start! Yay…

Anyway, I hope you guys are having a great day, and maybe my hiatus will actually happen by the time my exams actually start.

Love from,

Tara

XXX

Just to Keep in Mind

Dear Emma,

I’m sorry that I’m doing this, but sadly I have to. 

I’m going on hiatus. Not for any personal reasons whatsoever so don’t worry. I still love blogging, I still love this community, but my exams start this week so I can’t promise regular posts, or even posts at all. 

I will probably still be reading and commenting on your posts, but I won’t be writing on here for a while. 

I hope I can write something every once in a while, but I won’t be back to my regular schedule for at least a month. 

I will still be managing the Treehouse because I won’t be writing anything for a while but I am still reviewing and approving guest posts, so please keep on submitting things – everything we’ve had so far is incredible! 

Anyway, if any of you are doing exams I hope they go super well and I wish you lots of luck!

Hopefully I’ll see you soon 🙂 

Love from,

Tara

XXX

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Story Down Memory Lane – Part 2

Dear Emma,

Guess what’s back. Yep, apparently everyone actually liked my weird ten-year-old storywriting, so as promised, here is the next installment!

Chapter Three

Crystal moodily walked herself to school the next day. As she passed the library she was joined by Petal, her second-best friend to Amber. Seeing as she hadn’t told Petal, she immediately asked what was wrong. Crystal told her the whole story. Petal looked concerned up to the part with Aunt Jo in it. Then she exploded. “What!!!” “That’s what I said!” answered Crystal. They carried on like this until they got to school. There they met Amber and Megan, another of Crystal’s friends. At school, Crystal seemed to forget about Aunt Jo. She had arranged to go home with Amber that day. She knew her parents would approve. They always let her go to Amber’s, as they lived a few doors down. Crystal went home with Amber. At six o’ clock, she decided she should really be getting home. When she opened her front door, she was suddenly was embraced by Aunt Jo. “Where have you been?” She sounded really angry now. “Er… at Amber’s” said Crystal nervously. “WHAT!” she yelled “Without telling me!” Yeah, thought Crystal duh, but she didn’t dare say it out loud. “You are grounded for a week! Go to your room!” Crystal obeyed but was by no means defeated. She knew her parents would ring on the first night to make sure she was ok.  Later that night, Crystal heard her aunt talking to her father. “Hello. Did she now? Yes, she did. I grounded her for a week because she’s obviously not allowed… What? She is? But… She’s much too young. And she’s going for a sleepover at Amber’s on Friday? But… But… Ok. I’ll tell her that. Thank you. Goodbye.” Crystal heard her aunt sigh and sink back into a chair. Crystal smirked as she went back to bed. At least she had one small victory.

 

Chapter Four 

A week passed and Crystal’s birthday neared. Aunt Jo started worrying about a party. Crystal had said she wanted a sleepover. Aunt Jo thought about it. Girls, running around, causing havoc for twenty-four whole hours. And, Crystal had suggested bowling, or roller-skating or maybe a film. Even more panic. Still, Crystal’s parents had allowed it.

On the day of Crystal’s birthday, Crystal woke up eager. Aunt Jo came into the room bleary-eyed. “Will you be quiet!” Crystal raised her eyebrows, confused.  “Oh, happy birthday Crystal” said Aunt Jo finally. Crystal gave Aunt Jo a pleading look which meant can I open my presents? Aunt Jo seemed to read her expression. “No, you can’t open your presents” said Aunt Jo. She made a big fuss of putting on her dressing gown and getting the camera ready and things like that. By the time she had done all that, Crystal was almost getting bored. Finally, she was allowed to open her presents. Tearing the wrapping paper off the first one, she found… a set of vests and a teddy bear. “Happy Birthday!” cried Aunt Jo “Do you like them?” Crystal was shocked. A vest set? A teddy bear? For a ten year old? What was Aunt Jo thinking! She tossed those presents aside and unwrapped the next. “Don’t tear the paper” said Aunt Jo nervously. By the end of the unwrapping, she had:

Two computer games

A woolly scarf and hat set (Which she wasn’t too pleased about)

A professional art set

A leather jacket

Some blue jeggings

A chemistry set

3 board games

A large bar of chocolate

And over £500!

She had saved the ones from her parents last. She savoured the wrapping paper of the first one (for once).  She unveiled… a cute toy lion, leopard and tiger set and a leopard pendant (leopards were her favourite animals)

Another one had a cheque for £50 (Aunt Jo was shaking her head at all the money) The last one had a beautiful stone made of obsidian, a turquoise volcanic rock. There was a postcard that said:

Dearest Crystal,

Happy Birthday little eleven year old!!!
Lots of love

Mum and Dad

P.S. 

By that time, it was about ten o’clock. “Time to get ready!” said Aunt Jo.

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the terrible, terrible names that I decided to give my characters. I mean, Petal, seriously? Also, Crystal is one spoilt child – who gets £500 for their eleventh birthday?! And she’s so sassy.

Cough cough-easy way to move the plot-cough cough.

ANYWAY, hope you enjoyed (or not) and there is still more of this. I promise there will be an actual plot at some point in the foreseeable future.

Love from,
Tara

XXX

 

 

 

Drag and Drop Stories: Series 2 – Part One

Dear Emma,

This is it! The start of Series Two, yay!

So today’s prompt was suggested by my good friend Elm and she said, “Your character has been expelled from a school of magic and must now fend for themselves.”

I realise that I made this slightly less focused on the magic than I would have liked, and also it was so so hard not to put in any Harry Potter references. Like, seriously.

————————————————————-

Expelled?!”

I attempted to sneak past my mother, who was holding the offending letter in her hand as if it would poison her. Knowing my school, it probably could. Sadly, I could not get further than the bottom of the stairs before a sharp screech made me visibly jump and turn around, wincing.

Samantha! Don’t you dare run away, get back here now!

Even though the distance between the door to the living room and the stairs to which I was desperately clinging was only around a metre, it felt like an eternity. I could just run now, I thought frantically, staring at the unlocked front door just inches away. I could just leave. Unfortunately, my wand was in my room, and I didn’t want to take the risk of leaving without it. So slowly, painfully, I shuffled towards the open door to the living room.

I couldn’t even make eye contact with her. I could almost feel her eyes burning into my skull, sense the complete fury radiating off her in waves that crashed down on my conscience. But I wouldn’t buckle under the onslaught, not yet.

“What the hell were you thinking?” She didn’t move, either towards me or to her wand, which I could see resting on the coffee table nearby. That was both reassuring and terrifying, because whenever I was in trouble of some kind, she would normally hex me with something, and once my ears, nose, mouth, feet, whatever it was, returned to their normal shape and size she had normally calmed down.

This was a new kind of anger, and it scared the living daylights out of me.

“Samantha, I am so, I… I don’t even have words.”

Should I speak? I felt like adding any of my own opinions would instantly cause the unpredictability of this situation to magnify by a factor of about a thousand.

“Are you just going to stand there? You have disgraced this family, completely alienated your mother, aggravated the school, and you can’t say a thing to help yourself. Do you think they will let us send your sister there next year? What you’ve done has impacted so much more than your own life. It is selfishness, pure selfishness in the extreme.”

Maybe I should say something.  “I don’t know what you want me to say, Mother. It happened. Besides, they did expel me on ridiculous grounds, all I did was enchant the flowers to spray custard 24/7. And I might have killed the school mascot in the process,” I saw the murderous look on her face and quickly changed tack, “It was a really old elf anyway! It was probably already close to death, and besides, it wasn’t my fault that it was the fourth time that-“

“Stop. Stop talking.” She abruptly cut me off, and reached for her wand. I thought she would hex me, send me to my room and it would be over. But she did something different. Brandishing her wand, she gestured towards the door to the hallway. “You have fifteen minutes.”

“Fifteen minutes to what?”

“Fifteen minutes to pack whatever you’re taking.” She looked me right in the eyes, and I realised that she had gone past the stage of being even remotely angry; I couldn’t see anything in her eyes. She had made her decision, and all emotion had abandoned her.

But it hadn’t abandoned me yet. I stared at her, desperately trying to comprehend what she had decided and attempting to change her mind.

“Get out of my house. I don’t want to see you again.”

“Are you serious?” I felt the first tears running down my face, looking into those cold eyes and making a final attempt to rediscover the warm glow I had become so accustomed to seeing.

“Fourteen minutes.”

Sobbing, I began to run up the stairs, nearly tripping over the top step as my eyes were so blurred. I opened the door to my room and instantly sank onto the floor, back against the side of my bed. What had I done?

I grabbed my wand and used it to flick all my possessions into a small case. Looking around the room at all the posters on my wall, the patterns on my bed, the photo frames I’d painstakingly hung on the walls and wardrobe, and in a fit of despair used my wand to change colour of the entire room to the same shade of grey that now occupied my heart. I couldn’t bear to leave this room, this house. I had spent the entire summer forgetting about my escapades of the previous year, and suddenly the weight of my actions came crashing down on me like an avalanche.

Now I no longer had a choice. I would have to come back to say goodbye to my sister, because I couldn’t bear to be without her, as annoying as she was, especially since she got her wand now she’s off to the school next week. There really should be rules about not doing magic at a certain age. I hoped and prayed she would be able to change my mother’s mind, because I had no idea how I would be able to survive alone. Sixteen, and already a failure.

The temptation to just escape out of the window was so overwhelmingly inviting, but I had to face her one last time.

Walking down the stairs, I quickly stashed my wand into my suitcase. Who knows what would have happened had she seen me with it.

She stood stoically in the hallway, and silently opened the door, gesturing me out. Having already wiped the tears from my eyes, I had turned into a sort of hollow shell, incapable of speech, and I just couldn’t bear it any longer. I ran as fast as I could out of the door and along the path. The cold night air hit me like a brick, and I found myself shivering, not only with cold but with sheer grief.

I heard the abrupt slam of the door behind me, and then I was truly, truly alone. I stood under the light of a nearby lamppost, watching the first snowflakes slowly twirl down onto the road, melting on contact with the asphalt.

————————————————————-

I hope you enjoyed the opening to Drag and Drop Story Week, and if you have any other prompts leave them in the comments please 🙂

Love from,

XXX

The Blogger Awards 2015

Dear Emma,

So my awesome blogger friend The Ambivert has come up with an epic idea: the Blogger Awards 2015. Basically, there are many different categories of awards, and you nominate people for them, like the Oscars, or the BAFTAs, or… I can’t think of any more awards but you get the idea.

I’ve already officially nominated them over on Ambivert’s blog, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about my choices here.

Remember Drag and Drop Stories starts tomorrow, if anyone has thought of any extra prompts comment them here, they would be much appreciated!

So, I’m going to go through the categories and my nominees, and I’ll link to all their blogs below.

Blogger of the year: This is without a doubt Elm, she is the queen of the blogging world, always looking out for new bloggers (like me when I first started) and over time she’s become an amazing friend. She is my inspiration, and one day I’d hope to be like her. Elm, I love you 🙂

Blog of the year: Again, another easy one. LyfWithEm has one of the most inspiring creative relatable blogs I have ever seen, and she deserves this award 100%, not only because of her blog, but also because she is incredibly kind and such a good friend to me and to everyone else in this community.

Best photographer: Now this person is new to the blogging community, but I do really love her photography skills, and that’s The Wandering Girl. Go check her out, because her photos are great!

The newbie: That has definitely got to be Dziey, for one reason. Ever heard of the 5 Day Challenge? That has got to be one of the best ways to make your mark on the blogging community.

Prettiest blog: I actually really like the look of Ambivert’s blog, and I know these are your awards, but I’m nominating you! Come on, who doesn’t love Matt Smith in the rain?

So these are my nominations, I know I didn’t do every category but these are the ones I’ve decided on 🙂

Excited to start the stories tomorrow!

Love from,

XXX