At a certain point, we all feel like leaving everything behind. But all we do is settle at our daydreams and call it a day.— Jane
Only you know the depth of how much you care, till that one accusation brings you to the brim of self-doubt.— Jane
Bridge the gap
Was a gentle stream
Flowing between us
Despite the marshy land
So one fine day,
I was apprehensive
So you built one on your own-
A rocky one; a shaky one
Perhaps to alter our inconvenience
But today I rack my brains thinking-
Was that your incapacity?
|I fretted, but I made it too,
You didn’t even step forward, and claimed you had the flu.
(Picture credits: unknown; Source: Pixabay)
Interview: International Relations by Adele Archer
Here is how our conversation went:
Arghh! I am so bad at blurbs and synopses…synopsis…sin…summaries of the book. Well, I hate to call it a romance, and yet it is. But an offbeat romance with a difference. It’s an amusing, yet adventurous tale of two seemingly opposing people’s struggle to be together. However, life conspires to force them apart at every turn. See? I’m rubbish at synopses. I’d suggest you read the blurbs instead, I slaved hours over those babies.
According to your website your inclination towards writing came from your late sister, but where does the inspiration of the two main characters, Milo and Dee come from?
I remember being bored by fictional women in novels and TV when I was growing up. They weren’t the women I knew. I wanted to portray a female character that was multidimensional – like real women. Dee, I suppose, is a little bit of me. But me without any filters. And with more bad life choices. Milo is the archetypal brooding, enigmatic male protagonist – yet fragile and troubled. Actually, my husband absolutely loathes Milo. I had to point out that characters a bit like him are littered all throughout literature. He just responded that all women must like ‘bad boys’ (he actually used a different ‘b’ word, but I’m trying to be polite). And in a way, we do. But I would never personally choose one in real life, though. I’m too practical. And I think too much of myself.
What challenges did you face while writing and publishing your books?
Well…children, having a day job, having to actually talk to people. I know, I had a lot of hurdles and crosses to bear. Up to now, though, I’ve never found writing itself a struggle. What I do find challenging is allowing myself to sit down and write, when I feel guilty about neglecting everything else. I don’t suppose I’m alone in that.
What piece of advice would you like to share with aspiring writers?
I’ve said this before, but I think it’s difficult to be a young writer. When I was young, I believed that to be considered a proficient writer, you had to fit into a certain way of doing things. It was only when I matured that I realised I had to be 100% myself, or it was never going to work. It seems completely obvious now, but I just had to stop pretending, and do my own thing. Even if everybody else hates what I do. Because ‘me’ was the only thing I had that was unique. So that’s what I’d suggest, be yourself. You will certainly have a quirk that is all your own. Use it.
Could you give us a fun fact about your work?
How about three?
A) ‘International Relations’ (which went through a number of titles) was originally called, ‘And After That’ (rubbish, ay?). My husband thought up its final title. I never much cared for it!
B) In ‘American Cousins’, Kirby the cat isn’t fictitious, she’s my actual cat.
C) In ‘American Cousins’, the sheep joke happened in real life (sorry if you haven’t read ‘American Cousins’ but now you have a reason to)!
What can readers expect from the second and third parts of your book?
I’ve got to tell you – things get a little dark as the story progresses. I didn’t do that as some kind of ploy, it was purely timing. I was going through a bereavement during the latter stages, and I suppose that was where my head was at. Life isn’t rainbows and lollipops. There are times when I just had to let the story go its own way, even though ‘escapist me’ wanted to put a jollier spin on everything. But the narrative had a mind of its own and dictated that I couldn’t. People think it’s odd when I say that, because it was up to me, right? I wrote it. But it’s true. The story sometimes wrote itself.
Are you working on any other projects other than your series?
No. I’m a ‘starter-completer’ (it’s a thing). I can’t move on until something is finished. Other than my blog, working on Book III is all I am doing right now.
Would you like to venture into other genres apart from romance?
Yes! I’d like to think I will never write another romance novel again (but I can’t promise). My favourite genres are fantasy and murder-mystery, but I’m nervous that I don’t have an aptitude for writing them. But you never know until you try. One book I have no choice but to write will not be fiction at all. I will probably be writing the story of my childhood (which I won’t enjoy writing a single bit as I didn’t have a very happy childhood). But I imagine I won’t write it until I’m an old lady – don’t want to offend anyone, you see.
What is your favourite book from the classic era and from the contemporary era?
‘Jane Eyre’ would certainly be my favourite book from the classical era – I love the brooding Mr Rochester. Hmm, he sounds familiar… Closely followed by ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (of course) when I’m in a more frivolous mood. From the modern era, I’d have to go for ‘The Game of Thrones’ saga. I read them all. Murder, romance, intrigue, war, politics. There just isn’t anything out there quite like it.
What was the most fun part and the most difficult part while painting your fictional story?
The most fun part was seeing what had been rattling around my head for years actually taking form on paper. The most difficult part was bringing the saga to a close. Those characters had been with me since my teens (when I originally came up with the story). It was hard to say goodbye – they’d almost become real people for me. But I’ve definitely said goodbye.
Name three or more things you cannot write without.
A laptop (I hate writing at a desktop computer). Coffee (sorry, obvious). Google (‘nuff said).
Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
The story is nearly at a close (well it certainly is for me, since I’m just editing Book III). ‘International Relations’ might not change your life, but it might just take you away from the stresses of yours. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Adele is currently working on the third and final part of her saga. You can meanwhile purchase the first two parts of her book from Amazon. (Currently, hardcopies are only available in US and UK )
You can even subscribe to her website- Adele Archer or her blog- Adele Archer Writes if you would like to know more about her.
P.S You can see my review of the book here. I highly recommend reading it!
Like any other couple’s
Except ours was a commencement
Of a forthcoming battle.
She was alerted beforehand
That setting me off
Meant putting everything at stake
But surrendering isn’t an option.
Unlike me, her only armaments
Are her dangling ornaments
That jingle as she marches
And what the enemy clan is eyeing.
As for allies
She just has her neighbours
Who again might switch sides
As part of a strategy.
She could fall prey
To their constant scheming
But I know she will rise
Like she was never pinned down.
And even if the God of War
Descends on the battlefield
To declare a truce
Victory will still prevail.
Every second of her survival
Is a tussle in itself
Because our probabilities
Can turn out to be inaccurate.
She could just be out in the garden
Watering her white roses
When the bulletin would be updated
With blood stained reports from the warfare.
She could be slipping a postcard
Through the mouth of a mailbox
When my lifeless body
Would pass her shadow.
Once the news breaks out
It will hit her like a grenade
And though she would shield herself
She’d still thrive as a worthy opponent.
If there would be a series
Of missiles shot to honour me
Give her a tribute there and then
Because she is the real warrior.
And if at all an epitaph
Would be laid in my name,
Have her sacrifices engraved too
For she is the one at war.
Glorify her risks
(Picture credits: Gunduz Agayev)
No sense of rhythm,
But only blues,
You sure have cast quite a spell.
From bearing two left feet
To those awkward hand movements,
I have come across a long way
As now I am both tamed and free.
Look at me Honey,
See how I am dancing,
The general audience isn’t bothering me,
But I am in accordance with everything natural.
The grass is getting tickled,
The sun is beaming from arc to arc,
The wind is blowing in my favour,
While you’re in awe of your own creation.
So tell me who requires mirror walls,
When one has a muse like you?
And tell me who needs a pair of bellies,
When one is being propped up in your arms?
|A feeling of freedom like never before
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Pinterest)
Give my love to…her
As I lay here, on my death bed, I would like to share my last wish with you. It’s no surprise that my body will soon wither away, just like the bunch of roses you offered me to take to the grave as a farewell present. So I request you to pick one of the finest roses in the lot and keep it in your shirt pocket, while everyone else is busy with the formalities.
After all the rituals are over, and you head back home, I want you to cry your eyes out. I will not stop you from spilling your emotions because just like the spell of rain ends, so will your grief. As soon as your heart begins to feel better, let your mind take charge of your actions. Change the bed sheets and your pillow covers, and open the curtains. Take a shower, and put on some fresh clothes. You can channel all your thoughts towards your heart right after you do this.
Seems easy, right? I hate to break it to you, but this is only 50% of the task that I have asked you to carry out for my dying soul. You might feel reluctant at first and you have every right to deny my request, but I have valid reasons to still put it forward. Besides, I won’t even be alive to see your bitter reaction. *Inserts tongue out emoticon here*
I suppose you’re all set to go to work. Well, Don’t. You will, however, need to step out to fulfil my desire. Don’t use your car, honey. Go on foot. And don’t forget to carry the rose I told you to pick. It is alright if it has wilted because it will hold more significance this way. You’ll know how shortly.
Now head towards the market area, and turn right after three blocks.
There. I don’t think I need to guide you further. You know which door to knock.
Don’t be afraid. She will let you come in. There is no need to inform her about my demise. The news would have reached her anyway. Once you both are done with the awkward exchanges, I will need you to offer that very same rose to her.
Look, she might get mad at first, but she will cool down too. Don’t let her series of insults get to your heart. Those are just bottled up emotions flowing out. But whatever her decision may be, make sure she does accept the rose. That will give her something to think about.
You must be wondering why I asked you to go to her and not move on instead. You see dear, I know she still cares for you, even though you drifted apart. You were high school sweethearts, and it was only misunderstandings that sent you along different paths.
We both were connected, but we didn’t have the luck.
You both had a spark, and now you’re getting another chance to rekindle it.
And as funny as this may sound- I trust her. I trust her because poetry runs in her veins too, and misjudging a writer’s heart is completely out of the question. I know she still has a drawer somewhere in the corner of her house that is devoted to you, even though it might be jammed due to brushed off thoughts. And I also refuse to believe that she is embarrassed by those cheesy couplets she wrote for you back then.
Now that I’ve stated my reasons, please be patient. She will respond. And your love will blossom again, just like old times.
In a few minutes from now, my heart won’t be here to get hurt by your choice, but my soul will ache if it sees yours wandering alone.
Go back to your old lover, my dear. Cherish her. Say you’ll marry her, and mean it this time.
Basically, give her my share of your love.
On paper and life
Like a fresh page of a notebook,
you begin writing your story,
you have the option of ink and graphite,
and likewise that of a whitener or an eraser,
but you could always tear the page off!
you’re equally trained and drained,
while the binding – the two staple pins,
now lay bare in front of you,
as you’ve exhausted your free trials from page one.
You’re already familiar with the last page,
as it’s the sole witness to your aspirations
like random doodles and scraps of poetry,
and even those endless scribbles,
that were drawn to taste the future.
A few pages come stuck,
some arrive as a misfit,
and many bear missing margins,
but they all become a hurdle,
only and only if you let it.
to either take down notes
just for your existence,
make paper planes and paper boats,
or maybe balance out the two.
to paper cuts and loose leaves, and most of all-
|Book of Life
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: We heart it)
I believe that you’re caught up in the greys of life,
So much that when black enters, it never feels out of the blue,
You seem to be aiming for white, which fades away too soon,
However, you fail to realise that even in blues,
There exist magnificent hues
Now what you need to do is view life as a blank page,
And then create an abstract image
But don’t settle for what’s made of wax,
Trust me, it’s a hoax in the form of a box,
Pick up the set of pastels instead,
And I guarantee –
There will be reds and carmine too,
There will be greens and jade too,
There will be yellows and ochre too,
You could be inclusive of orange and purple too,
And you may even find room for pink and brown too
Now, if you still choose to stick with monochrome
Then there is no hope for you
Recall how you art teacher would insist
On your filling in the white gaps as much as possible
And apply the same rule to your life
Only then will you truly appreciate the light
That falls in naturally.
|Don’t block your hope by romanticising dark hours
(Picture credits: Grant Haffner)
You do not require a pair of sterile gloves,
But only a string of words,
Uttered without a second thought.
To feel a broken heart,
You do not require any special tool,
Glance at the victim in the eye,
And be on the lookout for the telltale spark.
To heal a broken heart,
You do not require another heart,
Wire your brain in such a manner,
That it always gains the upper hand.
To seal a broken heart,
You do not require a dozen stitches,
Just put on the suit of the Tin Man,
Without his bizarre wish of course.
|Your ideal broken heart
(Picture credits: Emma Parker)