In Trevor’s Words

This is written in Trevor’s words, my character from Leaves of the Fall. I found it while searching through my creative writing class folder from college. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

 

With a river of tears streaming down her face, she turned to me and said, “Forgive me… without him I am empty … I’m sorry!” Stooping, she gathered her suitcase and purse, gave me another regret-filled look, and left; walked right out my door.

It all begun earlier in the day … well, actually, it had begun many years ago, I think, but for the sake of time, and in order to alleviate the risk of confusion, let us just leave it at that.

We had been driving along, going for a Sunday drive, simply minding our own business, when suddenly, quite out of the blue, I saw someone whom I had thought dead not much more than a month before. It was as if a ghost entered the car. I uttered his name. Rose bolted straight up in her seat, as if she had been struck by lightning.

“What?”

“In the back of that car. It’s him; I know it.”

She studied the maroon car for several minutes as we drove in silence, chewing on her pinkie. The maroon car’s turn signal lit up, informing me they intended to make a left turn. I slowed our car down to a steady crawl, then a near complete stop, waiting with impatience for it to be over with.  Anger filled me at the thought that this would delay our drive, that the day would somehow be delayed due to this one person, holding us up. I began to tap my fingers on the steering wheel, and bade my time.

All the while, as I pretended to focus on the traffic around us, and waited for the car to turn off, I observed Rose, watching her facial expressions. She followed the maroon car with her eyes, until her line of vision ran parallel to our car. Beneath her veiled lashes, I glimpsed an emotion I had seen before, and it puzzled me. It also frightened me. So I glared at her. But I am not so sure she saw, and if she did, I am not quite certain she cared. It had not always been that way.

As I brought the car to a complete stop, I peered out of the corner of my eye at the maroon car, and at the eyes just above the back seat. He was staring in my general direction, but for the life of me, I didn’t feel he recognized me, not at all. I felt a mixture of remorse and irrational hatred. He didn’t even acknowledge me. But he was staring, and his eyes held such sadness, and a certain curiosity. This made me think, and wonder…

But I closed off all thoughts to that arena. It does one no good to ponder what is not a certainty, and it would serve my existence no purpose to make a stab at analyzing the way of things.

A few moments later, and we were again on our way. The sun was still shining, the birds were still floating beneath the clouds, and clock continued to move forward. But, I perceived a marked difference in the weight of things. She was quiet, true, but that was not a change. We have had many drives just like that one, and her silence had never perturbed me before. Perhaps the change was in her body language, her rhythm. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I just knew that from that moment on, I could not recapture the emotions we had shared, even just prior to the encounter.

An hour later, we returned home, and I don’t recall exactly what I did next. I may have gone into the garage to tinker with my latest project, or possibly to take a shower. Does it really make a difference now what I did?

She disappeared for a time. I do recollect an irrational fear that had overwhelmed me shortly after our return. It was this feeling that began at the heart of my chest, and traveled down until it settled like a chunk of lead deep within my stomach. It was then, before I even saw her, that I knew.

And because I knew, there weren’t any words to be said. What could I have said that would have made any difference at that point? Words, although often helpful in some instances, would not have changed the outcome of that day. Her mind had been made up.

I do admit, however, to feeling unjust shock at actually experiencing the preconceived moment. My jaw dropped as I drank in the setting: her, with her suitcase, neatly packed, and with her face set in an expression of determination. It made me wonder, just for a moment, if she had planned the whole thing in advance.

But no, that would have been impossible. I see that now, just as I saw it right when it happened. There is no way she could have set that plan in motion.

Fate, however difficult it is for me to accept, must have intervened in order to cause the events of that day to come into being.

So now as I lie in my empty room, with only a cigarette to keep myself company, I must digress. I brought this episode on my own conscience. I did this. In retrospect, I now realize it was my fault that the moment came into being. For if it weren’t for my own weaknesses and imperfections, those events would have never been set into motion. Rather, if I had been who I was supposed to be, then in all likelihood, she wouldn’t have gone.

Now, being forced to shed light on a waning day, I see. But does it really matter at this point? She is gone.

Words fail me. I have never been one to waste time on needless words. I extinguish my cigarette, close the book, and turn off my bedside lamp. It is done. I wish to sleep.

 

To read Leaves of the Fall, click here.

Writing machine!

I have been really busy! I have dusted off a couple more stories I wrote a while back and edited them. I am on a roll and very happy to be doing what I love.

The first is a novella, approximately 120 pages regular print, entitled Leaves of the Fall:

At twenty six, Rose Dunn’s life is a mess. Her husband Trevor has been unfaithful in the past and seems to be up to his old tricks. Her dear friend, Ethan might be dead. Following a terrible accident, Rose is finally forced to deal with the past once and for all and to confront her emotions, in order to decide what she wants for her life.

To buy on Amazon, click here.

To buy on Smashwords, click here.

To buy in print on Lulu, click here. This is a print on demand service, a real-life print book of my novella. 😀

The second story I have edited and made ready is an 18 page short entitled Learning to Drive (yes, I seem to love L words!):

Lila, 17 and pregnant, leaves home wanting to escape what she considers controlling parents. She marries the father of her child. Through a journey of self-discovery, she finds that she’s given up control to her new husband, Harry, which may or may not be such a positive thing. A cautionary tale to teen girls who might think teen pregnancy will liberate them.

To buy on Amazon, click here.

To buy on Smashwords, click here.

In the coming weeks, I am going to be working on self-promoting, as well as a compilation of all my short stories. I have a ton of them. 🙂 I look forward to sharing them with all of you.

If you’d like to email me regarding my work, please email me at violetyates2@gmail.com, or click here.

Mahalo for looking!

Violet Yates

Review of Lost & Found by Paul McGovern

I received an awesome review today from a friend over in Northern Ireland. I opened the email and just sat, stunned. I had heard from other people that it was good, that I had talent, but this was overwhelmingly full of praise. I feel very happy and yes, proud. I would like to say Thank you to my Lord, Jesus, for putting this gift in my hands and guiding me along the way. I have decided to post it here in the chance that others will come across it. If you’re like to read Lost & Found, please click here.

Paul McGovern’s review:

Lost & Found

I love the concept of dualism, the two sidedness of everything that exists. It is one of the fundamental principles on which the world in that we live is based on. The rise & fall, the ups and downs, the good and the bad. As far as I’m concerned nothing is one thing or another, rather everything is in a state or perpetual flux. Lost and Found then is poetic dualism, a contradiction that explores the darker side of humanity and the subsequent flip side.

The author, Violet Yates, wrote the collection over a number of years, quite often at low points in her life. The poems conjure up images of isolation, desperation and despair. It often makes for bleak reading but there is a uncompromising truth at the core of every line and I for one felt moved and touched by what I read. I have gone through my own fair share of emotional turmoil and reading these poems I empathised with the harsh realities some of us have to face.

Each of the poems is accompanied by a yearly date entry identifying when it was written. This serves to reinforce the progression of the author over time. The book certainly encompasses her personal journey and one can identify abstract grief transforming into a perspective of hope. I makes for very good reading instilling hope in the reader while illustrating the personal depths that Violet experienced. There are many stand out moments, Pain from 2004 is just one:

This pain…
Too excruciating.
This pain…
I told myself:
Never let yourself feel again.
So why did I?
Wanted to feel the love without the pain…
Torture,
Exquisite though it may be.
Still too awful to be perceived by anyone but me.
Reality.

It’s personal, beautiful and eloquent if such things can be described as such.”Thinking of you as I lie alone in this room. Trying to blot out all feelings of doom.” High Hopes, suggests that the writing process perhaps offered some degree of catharsis or outlet for pain and in turn offers some hope to the reader that similar solace may be found in their own lives. Reading the collection I can’t help but feel reminded of Sylvia Plath. I don’t like comparing and writer with another because each has their own unique style and approach but I think it’s fair to say that comparisons can be made. I could award no higher accolade, Plath’s poetry remains the benchmark for me in many respects.

Lost and Found is the most engaging collection of poetry I have read since discovering the art form at school, it appeals to me on so many levels, not least in it’s exploration of the human condition when faced with adversity. Violet may have done through a lot to stimulate the creation of these poems but what she has produced is something beautiful to be proud of. Redemption in conflict, dualism. Lost and Found is available now on Amazon.

Short Story~ Grace by Violet Yates

I had always pictured Chris and I together forever. Nothing could ever break us apart, not even time. But one day, things just sort of dissolved, until I woke and there was nothing left. I sat and studied his face for hours while he slept the day before I left, searching for find a resemblance to the man I loved. I saw a stranger.

So I left. Yes, there were times I looked back. I had to. But not because I regretted leaving-rather, because I wanted to know what I’d done wrong, so I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. At least my part was covered that way. I only had to find someone who didn’t have too many faults of his own.

We met for coffee a few weeks after the split. Chris had called me and wanted to talk.

I pushed my way into the café, scanning the area for Chris. Spying him in the corner, I walked over to him and after we had greeted one another, took a seat on a vinyl-covered chair.

I told the waitress I wanted a light, decaf, with no sugar. Chris raised his brows, and with a pleasant smile, he said, “Oh, are we on a diet?”

“No, but I’m trying to live a healthier lifestyle now.”

“Why? You weren’t ever concerned with that before.”

“Well, I just figured…” I trailed of, not knowing how to complete the thought without hurting him. Instead of going on, I fiddled with a coffee stirrer.

“What?” Chris asked.

“Nothing. Never mind. So, what did you want to talk to me about?”

“Us. This change I see in you, in the kids, in everything. Oh, I don’t know. I guess I just want to know what happened.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Why, Grace? Why did you leave? You never told me why, not even when I asked. You just left. Was it me? Did I do something?”

“Okay. Money. It was the money.”

“What money? We never had any.”

“Exactly. I couldn’t keep up. You were so hungry, there was never enough for the rest of us.”

“And now?”

I shrugged. At least now, I had no one to be angry at. If I was broke, it was because there really wasn’t enough money. Not that it got squandered on meaningless things, like jet skis and boats. Before, it was all I could do not to explode every time I balanced the checkbook. We had a good income between us, and I was always waiting for things to even out, for him to stop wanting this, or that, for the bills to get caught up and to feel secure for once. But as the years sped by, it was only more of the same, until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I left, and I took the kids with me.

“What about this… change? Grace, was there someone else?”

As I shook my head, I thought of the times I had wished there was, just to take the edge off of my irritation towards Chris. Truly, I don’t think I could have done something like that. Not that I wasn’t attracted towards other men at times. It just wouldn’t work.

The waitress brought us our coffees, and we sat stirring for several minutes. I thought of odd, comforting remembrances, such as the times we would argue, then I would drink, and the next day, we would make up by making love and going out to eat. This often happened when the money was low, and a bill would have to be paid late so we could afford such an extravagance.

Each time we would get a lump of money, like when we filed taxes and got a refund, we would sit and talk about what we wanted to do with it. Chris always had high dreams about his share of it (we usually split it up, so that each member of our family got an ‘equal’ amount). The problem was, Chris always wanted the big ‘toys,’ so if he went over on his estimation, as he invariably did nearly every time, it would cut into mine and the kids’ shares.

“Are you happy?” Chris asked.

“For the most part, yes.”

“And the kids, are they content?”

“Ask them, Chris. Don’t ask me.”

A pained look creased Chris’ forehead, and he exclaimed, “How do you sleep at night?”

It was then that I noticed the dark rings under his eyes.

“Sleep?”

“Alone? How do you do it?”

“I don’t know. I just do.”

 

 

 

Review of “Excuse Me, Where is the Exit?” by Stella Deleuze

I loved this book! The writer uses the 2nd person point of view to put the reader into the character’s shoes and it works. Women who are reading can identify with the main character in these cute stories. What woman hasn’t gone shopping for clothing only to find that nothing looks good or fits right, then finally finds the right fit after numerous attempts, only to have something else snag her? Who hasn’t planned a shopping trip, only to have the realities of life interrupt throughout the trip?

I especially loved the story about starting a blog, since I myself have just recently begun blogging. For those who aren’t technologically smart, it can be quite a challenge, especially when it comes to dressing up the place to make it look attractive. You have an idea in your head, but just maybe that idea is hard to achieve without technical know-how.

Good job, Stella! I look forward to reading No Wings Attached!

If you’d like to read Stella’s hilarious book, click here.

Just This Once

This is a short story (more of a skit) I wrote about 10 years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

Just This Once
By Violet Yates

My hands flew to my mouth, inspecting my lips for damage. I could feel a few hairline cuts and blood, the salty, bitter taste of blood.
“Let me see. Come here,” he said. His previously enraged voice had tapered off into a consoling, professional tone. ‘So now he’s a doctor,’ I thought, repulsed.
Yet I allowed him to examine me. He dabbed my bloodied lips with a discarded tissue, careful not to press too hard. It was easier to give in than to refuse.
“I’m sorry,” he cooed. ‘You’re sorry,’ I thought, staring at his fingertips, coated with my blood, when only moments before, they’d been a part of the mechanism that had brought the blood forth. ‘I’m sorry. As sorry a woman as there ever was.’
Then I stood before the bathroom mirror, checking the damage. I peered into the glass and saw a stranger stare back at me: blank-faced, a sallow complexion, bloodshot eyes. A frown where once there had only been smiles. Eyes that once had lit up with love, now only knew grief. ‘I’m sorry,’ I repeated, a tear traveling down my cheek.
Knuckles rapped on the door behind me.
I turned around and muttered, “What?”
“Everything okay in there?” he asked.
“Yeah, sure. Just great.”
I gazed back at the stranger once more, reaching to touch her pitiful face, before I exited the bathroom.
“Let’s go to bed, hon,” he winked. I shrunk away from him. ‘Not again,’ I thought. Another roll in bed after a night in hell. I felt dirty. But I didn’t refuse. What does that make me?
To bed we went, where we simultaneously removed our clothing as if performing an ancient ritual. Even when we fight, it’s like this.
I removed my shirt, torn in the fray, exposing my naked flesh beneath. He turned to me, his eyes caressing my skin, my breasts, burning a hole into them. ‘You’re mine,’ they seemed to say, ‘every inch of you.’
Stepping out of his pants, he kicked them to the side and closed the space between us in one stride. I began to breathe deep, hesitant breaths, steeling myself for the inevitable. Yes, I allowed it to happen, and it’s my fault. But there’s no other way. ‘Just this once, just this last time. That’s it. I swear.’
He ran his work-roughened hands up and down my goose-bumped arms, instantly warming them from the chill of winter like a blazing fire chases ice from cold feet. ‘Just this once,’ I reminded myself, because I knew I could falter.
Taking my hair down from its ponytail, he weaved his fingers through my hair, gathering it in a lump with his fist. He then twisted it and tugged my head back, leaving my neck exposed to his mouth. ‘Just one time,’ I told myself.
Lowering his lips to my neck, he opened his jaws and nibbled the nape, sending chills down my back. In spite of myself, I began to respond to his ministrations, my breasts becoming taught and alert, awaiting his next move with a mixture of delight and awkward longing.
He folded my body into his, whispering apologetic words into my ear as he pushed me gently onto the bed.
“Aww,” I sighed. Then I realized: I live for these moments, after the fights. That’s when he really loves me. Who says it won’t work? Only me, and maybe I’m wrong. I drew him closer so we were skin on skin and flesh on flesh, a tangle of erotic pleasure. Maybe there won’t be a next time.
There we copulated, all actions and words forgotten like so much dust, as time passed by. Just this once, he and I are one person, one body, one soul. Just this once, that is all that matters.
Afterwards he climbed off of me, his sweat mingled with the leftover remnants of blood on my lips. I rolled toward him and smiled into his eyes. He covered my face with kisses then slapped me on the rump.
“Hey, thanks babe. Love you,” he slurred, sleep already closing in on him.
“You too, hon.”
“Nite.”
“G’nite.”
Minutes passed in silence as I stared at the ceiling of our tiny room, the moon casting a glow across our motionless bodies, while thinking, ‘Just that one time. That’s all it took, to start it all over again.’
Turning my body away from his, I laid cupped in sleeps’ embrace, trying not to think of the next time I’d pay to have a moment like this.

Review of The Second Duchess

“The Second Duchess” by Elizabeth Loupas

Review by Violet Yates

First and foremost, I must say, “BRAVO!” I absolutely loved this book. Elizabeth Loupas did a brilliant job knitting all of the pieces of this story together, accomplishing something a lot of authors only dream of being capable of doing.

The story, set in the 16th century Italian city-state of Ferrara, surrounds the mystery behind the death of the stunningly beautiful and youthful first Duchess of Ferrara, Lucrezia Medici; the Duke, Alfonso d’Este, was rumored to have murdered her. The Duke has married again, this time taking to wife Barbara of Austria, a twenty-six year old woman who is not known for her beauty. From the moment of her wedding, Barbara is subjected to the intrigue of the court- there seems to be no end to the gossip of the Duke’s first duchess, and she is the target of not only that, but veiled threats as well. Spurred at first by curiosity, then by necessity, Barbara takes it upon herself to discover what actually happened to Lucrezia Medici and therefore vouchsafe her own safety. Her husband the Duke is at first kept in the dark about his wife’s sleuthing, and treats her rather cruelly for her disobedience when he discovers her secret investigation. As the story progresses, however, we begin to see a change in his demeanor and he becomes redeemable. Throughout the story, we are given insight into the character of the first duchess, Lucrezia, in the form of an inner monologue from the woman’s ghost.

This story is rich and full of life, true to the Renaissance Era. The mention of the English legend of Tristan and Isolde (Barbara receives beagle puppies from Queen Elizabeth  and names them Tristram and Iseult), endeared me further to the story. Loupas put a lot of work into this novel; her knowledge of the Italian Renaissance Era is apparent. Her ability to use that knowledge to create such a wonderful historical mystery puts her on par with the likes of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory. I hope to read more novels by Elizabeth Loupas.

Meet the Author ~ Violet Yates

Hello to Everyone!

I am Violet Yates, 38 years old and born and raised in Hawaii. A recent divorcee, I live on the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. I often feel as if I’ve lived several lives! I have three children, two of whom are grown. My kids are my life and my solace. I am an author of several books, short stories, essays and about 100 poems. I own more books than I could ever read, but I keep collecting more.

I lived in Upstate New York for 10 years, and during that time I went back to school and earned my Bachelor’s degree in English, as well as my Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. During that time, I wrote prolifically and am just now starting to edit and publish a lot of it. While in New York, I worked at MetLife as an accounting representative, I co-managed a Domino’s pizza and freelanced for a bi-monthly newspaper (in addition to being their circulation clerk).

I love, love, love to read, and I have wanted to be a published author since I was eight years old, when I wrote and colored a story and sent it in as a submission to Highlights magazine for children. This was my first rejection letter, the first of many. My first real novel, Beginnings, was really rough and contrived, and it did not get published, although I still have every single rejection letter (numbering in the hundreds, I believe!). Following this total rejection, I put myself back into college, determined to become a stellar writer.

After my husband and I separated, I stopped writing much of anything for years and drowned my sorrows in alcohol. Two and a half years ago, while living in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, I got into recovery. The last two years have been a journey of self-discovery. I have published a book of poetry, “Lost & Found,” as a tribute to that journey, and to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. While the struggle was indeed awful, I learned so much from those years and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I have just published Lost & Found (last week), as well as a short story, “Forgotten Forest of the Innocent.” I wrote Forgotten when I was in college, as an escape from the drudgery of endless papers and reading assignments. I had this thought: what if a telephone found its way into a magical forest of fairies? What would the inhabitants’ reaction be? And Forgotten Forest of the Innocent was born. It wasn’t a conventional fairy tale; rather, it was a way to explore the affects of technology on our world, good or bad.

I hope to meet many of you and make friends during our time here! Thank you for reading!

Violet Yates

* I posted this on Amazon.com’s Meet the Author Forum and thought it would be a good idea to post it here, as well. 🙂

My Book, Lost & Found, is now available in print!

I did a lot of research and found Lulu.com. They offer print on demand. This is something I’ve known about, but wasn’t sure about the details, for about a year. I am glad I investigated, because now people can buy my book in print as well as electronic. I was worried about this because some of my friends and family either don’t like reading on a computer, don’t have an ereader or just plain want it in print. Now, I have to see how I can sign the books they buy since many want signed copies!

If you’re interested in a print edition, please click here.

Aloha~

Hawaiian Violet

Just Don’t Give Up

About ten years ago, I began writing fiction. I had a baby girl at the time, as well as a full-time job, but I wrote whenever I had time. I made time. I thought I was a great writer.

Then I started submitting my first manuscript to publishers and agents. The rejection letters began piling up. So I decided to go back to college, in part to learn how to write. Even then, I thought I was a good writer. Perhaps I was, but I wasn’t polished. One of my first university-level English classes proved that right away. I received my first assignment, and did what I always did- wrote what I wanted to write. I got a D.

I went to my professor and complained that I obviously didn’t deserve a D. People were always telling me I was a great writer- how could this happen? Simple. I didn’t understand the basic rules of writing, because I hadn’t finished high school, and the community college I’d transferred my grades from didn’t teach advanced English writing.

During my years at SUNY Albany, I learned how to write, and write well. I wrote prolifically; I have a huge folder full of short stories, poetry, and a few novels on my computer, as well as numerous papers and essays. I plan on publishing most of this work.

Then I suffered writer’s block. I had some personal problems in my life. I went through a divorce. I stopped writing for a long time. In recent years, I’ve been blogging. A lot. Only in the past year or so have I begun to dust off the shelves and consider publishing again.

If you’re a writer and your dream is to write and sell your books, don’t give up. It may take a long time, but as long as you’re trying, you will eventually achieve your dreams.