‘Finding Magic In Me’ by Haylee Ward

Haylee Ward has published the children’s book Finding Magic In Me and would like to share it. 

It’s about the healing power of unconditional love – that’s something we can all get behind. 

Want to read it? Click on through.

https://www.photobox.co.nz/1xC8C8A7/creation/5370053922?cid=puksecs001

“Previously I’ve struggled finding FUN kids books that express morals, how to be one’s authentic self, to truly love one’s self, non-judgement, finding passions and how healing unconditional love is,” Haylee says, “So I wrote “Finding Magic in Me. It’s worth reading until the end which is the powerful part.”

“I began writing Finding Magic in Me when we moved from the city to the country, living offgrid in a caravan with our three adventurous kids, amongst 10 hectares of land with two random horses. Initially we had no power or water. I used torchlight to write my storybook. Our family cleaned ourselves in the sea or refreshing waterfall. Did we need all those luxurious items in the shipping container? We worked out the most important thing is to love oneself and each other whilst loving experiences that are presented to you.”

Literature in Northland, NZ: Who’s writing up north? 

Literature in Northland, NZ: Who’s writing up north? 

By Michael Botur

 

Tiny Rawene hosts the Hokianga Book Festival on September 14, but Tai Tokerau’s biggest literary event of 2018 was NorthWrite. It was a two-dayer and held at Whangarei’s polytech (Northtec is the only place offering tertiary creative writing in Northland, although the classes are mostly online and many students are from outside Northland.)

Exciting new High Spot literary agent Vicki Marsdon appeared at NorthWrite; a queue of hopefuls lined up afterwards to pitch their manuscripts.

None of the NorthWrite presenters were Northlanders, which is one failure up here: the region’s writers don’t know each other well enough. There are literary fiction novelists, flash fiction writers, page poets, performance poets and playwrights, but they’re siloed and hardly interact.

The local branch of the NZ Society of Authors does what it can to welcome all types of scribe, and spreads its monthly meetings around the region – sometimes in pretty remote places like Ahipara (the next meeting is at short story author Karen Phillips’ place; those attending the meeting are asked to bring their slide-in plastic name tags from previous events “to help cut NorthWrite costs.”)

 

 

Mangawhai Kelly and her critters

One writer with no need of the NZSA, though is a member, is Kelly Ana Morey, who says that the NZSA, “administer a number of writing grants I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to,’ but admits she’s never been to a meeting.  Kelly Ana Morey

Kelly (born 1968) has published five novels and three non-fiction books over the last 15 years. When I speak to her at her Mangawhai home in July, she’s just ditched her museum research job and given herself what she calls “a self-funded six months’ writers’ residency at home.”

She’s happier at home, anyway, with her two Italian greyhounds, six cats, three horses, and two chickens. “I have a lovely warm sun-filled office and I can whip out in the middle of her work day and put a load of washing on or whatever. And I can go to work in my pyjamas, which is optimum work conditions for me really.”

Literary fiction doesn’t pay a lot, so she’s doing up a “big old kauri bungalow” to sell and make a few bucks, “and then I’ll probably do another. I’ve discovered I’m really good at living in chaos and builders’ noise.” After a two year break where she tried doing the commute down to Auckland to work at Auckland Museum as their oral history curator – “four hours there and back” – she’s returned to writing fiction. “The travel was killing me – I was going down twice a week and had short hours, but that road – SH1 – scares the living bejesus out of me.” Meanwhile, she’s writing 1000 words a day on an interwoven collection of urban Auckland Māori short stories from 1947 to the present day which she’s just realised is not dissimilar to her award-winning debut novel Bloom. “But with a taniwha rather than a ghost.”

Kelly admits she rarely attends literary events, ‘and I have said in the past that I would rather go to a horse show and listen to horse people talk incessantly about their horses than go to a book thing. But having said that, I haven’t been to a horse show for years which is pretty telling. I really need to get back on a horse.” Her ally in creativity is director/writer/actress Katie Wolfe who she’s known since high school. ‘We don’t talk about writing really, more about storytelling and we’re fascinated by the same fucked up things. We don’t see each other a huge amount, but it’s alway good when we do. But other than that I’m on my own – but that’s my choice.”

Kelly’s feeling optimistic about her own stuff when I talk to her. She’s excited her 2016 Phar Lap book Daylight Second might find an audience amongst North American horse-lovers when it’s published there by Harper Collins in November.

“Daylight Second is coming out in the USA on November 20th with Harper Collins USA. It’s taken a year to get me on the publishing schedule which is quite fast.”

With the weather starting to warm up she’s frantically getting a rough draft up and running before the tradies descend on her once more with their ‘infernal nail guns and Radio Hauraki” so that she can finish the house and sell it. To keep up the pretence of having cash flow she does a little bit of minimum wage waitressing, writes the occasional story for Stuff and does the odd bit of communications for NZ Thoroughbred Racing.

Roger Steele once created a writers map of NZ with only Kelly and Hone Tuwhare on it, she recalls. The map’s a whole lot busier these days if you factor in romance writers.

 

Mills & Boon & Maungatapere

Born Daphne Williams in Dargaville in 1939, Daphne de Jong has become one of the most-published novelists in the country, selling nearly 80 titles, all but three of them romance. She’s such a big part of NZ romance writing she has the Daphne Clair de Jong First Kiss Award named after her. She’s also known by the pen names Daphne Clair, Clair Lorel, Laurey Bright and – once – Clarissa Garland. That’s how it works when your books sell hundreds of thousands. Daphne De Jong

Daphne lived most of her life in the dairy town of Maungatapere, west of Whangarei. In 1978, Daphne got her first novel A Streak of Gold published by Mills & Boon and could soon afford to stop working as a librarian. Demand for writers at the time was strong. “During the 80s before the big crash, people were throwing money around – fortunately some of it got thrown in my direction,” Daphne recalls. It took just a few novels before she was attending massive Romance Writers of America conferences and meeting publisher Alan Boon himself. Back in Maungatapere, Daphne got her five kids to help with cooking dinners and ramped up her book production, putting out two 50,000 word manuscripts a year.

Daphne’s titles include His Trophy Mistress, Her Passionate Protector and, er, Carpenter’s Mermaid. “We don’t invent the titles for our books, unfortunately. The editors decide what they’re going to be called.”

Daphne says she’s become wary of talking about Mills & Boon “Because people like to make fun of it.” No one’s laughing at the success rate of the writing classes Daphne and friends used to put on in her Maungatapere home, however. They called it The Kara Veer School of Writing; the most successful graduate was Bay of Islands romance writer Fiona Gillibrand aka Fiona Brand.

“[Fellow romance novelist] Robyn Donald and myself used to do weekend tutoring… We lost count of the number of our students who successfully published after going through Kara Veer.”

Surprisingly, selling 80 books doesn’t make you Northland’s most successful fiction writer. The aforementioned Robyn Donald (born Robyn Kingston, 1940) has 500,000 copies of some of her books printed at a time. Look out for ‘Bride At Whangatapu’ and ‘One Night at Parenga.’

 

The small stuff

Flash sells nothing, but people go crazy for it anyway. Plenty of writers Bay of Island writers drive 80 minutes down to Whangarei for flash meetings where they hunch over a table in the public library. Some of the first proponents of the 2012 flash phenomenon were Northlanders. Flash took off nationwide after occasional-Whangareian Michelle Elvy and friends published the first Flash Frontier magazine in 2012 (Michelle has most recently been living on a boat in Tanzania, but has come back to NZ to launch Canterbury University Press’s 2018 Bonsai: small fictions).

 

 

Wild Side: Wild Sales

Ray Curle with Janet Balcombe

If you can publish from a boat in Tanzania, you can publish from anywhere – including Ruawai, a bend-in-the-road town 30 minutes south of Dargaville. There, Wild Side Publishing is becoming a pretty big deal. WSP took off in 2014 after meth memoirist Janet Balcombe met Ray Curle at a book convention. The two married soon after; WSP was their baby. Janet’s book The Wild Side was toured around the country from 2015 to 2018. Shortlisted for the Ashton Wylie Awards 2015, Janet’s memoir remains the company’s biggest seller and has helped sustain WSP. Ray brought to the company marketing experience from his background with Radio Hauraki and Christian Life magazine; Janet has done much of the writing of WSP’s best-sellers. Wild Side now distributes 45 titles and has published ten, primarily in the Christian publishing niche. “They’re mostly memoir, and all inspirational,” Ray tells me.

 

Profanities from Most-Published Poet

Not far from Ruawai you’ll find poet Sam Hunt. I caught him on the phone briefly between chopping kindling and doing interviews with mags like New Zealand Listener, promotion his new Potton & Burton poetry collection entitled coming to it (lower case, Sam tells me, though it doesn’t look that way on the cover). Sam, 72, begins in a cheery mood, having had some good medical news that morning. Having a journalist phone to ask him about his place in Northland writing kills his buzz, though. 

“I don’t call myself a writer for a start. I don’t sharpen my pencils at half past eight in the morning.”

“Writer and Wanker are fairly closely together. I’m not saying all writers are wankers. I’ve never called myself a poet, never called myself a writer. If I happen to be in Northland, I guess… .”

I attempt to ask Sam when he moved to Northland. “That’s a dumb question. 16 years ago. Actually I don’t want [my town location] being blasted around.”

Sam doesn’t interact with any Northland writers. “I’m not into that league. My closest friends around here are fishermen and boat-builders. I’ve got more in common with them, and musicians, than literary people. I’ve never found the literary scene interesting. I’ve published 28 books of poems, or 25 or whatever it is, I haven’t counted, but I don’t hang out in a literary scene.”

We talk about Vaughan Gunson, who lives in Hikurangi, north of Whangarei (Vaughan would love you to check out his website vaughangunsonwriting.com). Sam admires Vaughan but reeeeeally doesn’t enjoy being asked if he interacts with other Northland writers. “For fuck’s sake, Hone Tuwhare I did [know] but he’s dead. These writers, I couldn’t give a fuck. It’s like W H Auden when he took the chair at Oxford, I told students I don’t want to see your poems, if they’re any good I’ll get to hear them eventually.”

Sam finally thinks up one Northland writer he admires. He urges me – following more swearing – to check out Oturu School principal Fraser Smith’s children’s book Awatea’s Treasure – then demands to see this story and his quotes. Sam adds that he’s friends with Steve Braunias and will be following up if the draft of this story isn’t shared with him. I ask Sam one last time if he knows of any other Northland writers and Sam thinks of half. “Someone at Russell… someone Heke?”

 

 

Poetry – paper and performance

Vaughan Gunson worked with Michelle Elvy and poet Piet Nieuwland to put together one of Northland’s first zines, Take Flight, in 2011. Take Flight included adverts and arts reviews; it was 2013 before Piet Nieuwland went solo and published the first purely Northland poetry collection, Fast Fibres. Piet’s passion for poetry dates back to 1983 when he was inspired by Poetry Live in Auckland, which he would drive to from Kaikohe. “I never knew of other people from Northland,” Piet recalls. He interacted with Hokianga poet Christian Martin the largest city, Whangarei, was pretty much dead in terms of poetry at the time (except for the annual bachanalian Northland One Act Play Competition.)

Piet names Riemke Ensing (Dargaville), Stu Bagby (Te Kopuru) Peter Dane (Russell) and Kendrick Smithyman (also Te Kopuru) as notable poets from up north.

“There are probably more people than we can ever be aware of who whakapapa back to Northland,” Piet estimates. “There was Māori oral culture which goes back as far as you wanna go. That was not written down – it speaks through whakairo and carvings.”

Northland has a population of 180,000 people and just one town with more than 10,000 peeps. There are few groups and movements, but tonnes of solo people doing solo stuff. Kerikeri’s Bianca Staines has won two Purple Dragonfly Awards for Children’s Books; NorthTec creative writing head Dr Zana Bell has published six romance and young adult books; Peri Hoskins got his second memoir a bestseller on Amazon; and I’ll get told off if I don’t mention Diana Menefy, who has had success publishing young adult historical fiction through Scholastic and One Tree Press.

So yeah, nah, Northland’s got heaps, bro, heaps – but apparently not Sam Hunt.

STAY TUNED AT WRITEUPNORTH.CO.NZ FOR ALL NORTHLAND WRITING NEWS

Hokianga Book Festival Essay Award: Results

Kia ora Koutou – it was exciting to spend the day at the Hokianga Book Festival on Saturday . Rawene was a true bibliophiles’ paradise with every interest attended to, from poetry and  publishing, to illustration.

We were proud to host Susy Pointon’s book launch and the  Self-Publishing workshop run by Janine McVeagh, and were especially pleased to run the Far North Essay Competition , Small is Beautiful, whose prizes were announced on the day.  Thanks to our judge Dr Cathy Gunn, Associate Prof of Higher Ed at the University of Auckland, currently enrolled on the Masters of Creative Writing course at AUT and self-confessed bookaholic.

Six finalists were chosen whose works will feature in a publication to be released before Christmas: Janine McVeagh, Seabourne Rust, Mike  Bracey, Chelsea Karl, Sandy Myhre and Mark Carey.  Of these writers a single winner was to be c hosen but Cathy found it impossible to decide between two essays, each outstanding in their originality. One lyrical, poignant and self-reflecting, the other sophisticated, astute and incisive.  The awards were made to Mark Carey and Chelsea Karl. 

Check our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/No1Parnell for the award ceremony.

Nga mihi

Linda and Lynn

Sprinkles by Rose Stirling of Dargaville

A mouse’s tale with a twist.

This is the story about a boy and his pet mouse. It is a heart warming yet slightly naughty book which is sure to amuse kids!

Published in 2013 by Dargaville journalist Rose Stirling, Sprinkles is a book about a loveable mouse… what more needs to be said? You can still catch a copy of the book or contact the author at  https://www.facebook.com/MySprinkles/

 

Check out Lesley Curnow – appearing at the Hokianga Book Festival

Lesley Curnow is a novelist and short story writer, who lives and works in Kohukohu.

The following info is from Lesley’s website. 

Born in Hong Kong, her family emigrated to New Zealand when she was eight. She was brought up in Whangarei.

In 2001 she moved to the Hokianga to study writing with Janine Mcveigh and fell in love with the harbour and its people.

In 2010 she launched her novel “Things We Can’t Untie” A story of the Hokianga, at the Geddes Gallery.

She and her husband, Peter, live in the village and apart from trips to visit family across the world plan to grow old here!

To contact Lesley send her an lesley.curnow@gmail.com or visit her website.

thingswecantuntieThings We Can’t Untie

What do you do when your world collapses−when the people you love fail you?

Catherine Jennings arrives in a remote New Zealand village hoping to start a new life. But she drags the past with her, plunging Chris, and his wife Anna, into a nightmare of old secrets and sudden death.

Both women must unravel their turbulent past before they can turn and face the future.

Things We Can’t Untie is a haunting, mysterious book that is difficult to put down.

The Novel has been well reviewed by readers on Amazon.com, gaining a four and a half star rating from thirty-three reviews.

downinginlightseasDrowning in Light Seas

It is New Year’s Eve and Leah’s Life is falling apart. Her husband, Max, is having multiple affairs and expects her to look the other way. When she confronts him, he leaves her.

Alone and grief stricken, she stumbles into an online fantasy world where people seem fascinating and sympathetic. Her increasing addiction to this world sends her life spiralling out of control.

Then the threats begin …

Why is her apartment trashed?
Who is her cyber stalker?

And is the online world any safer than the reality she is running from?

Drowning in Light Seas is a fast-paced, tense novel, which explores the many dimensions of online relationships – openness, trust, friendship, sexuality, power – and how they can affect your life.

Get your copy

kindleLesley’s books are available online from Amazon.  The Kindle version of Things We Can’t Untie can be downloaded from the Amazon website  for a modest 80 cents (US) and Drowning in Light Seas can also be downloaded from the Amazon website for about the same price.  If you don’t have a Kindle ebook reader, there is a free app for just about devices which can be downloaded here.

These links will also take you to the print versions of both novels.

kindle

Get your copy of Things We Can’t Untie at:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle UK

Smashwords.com

Deisel ebooks

Print Versions

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kerikeri Creative Writing workshop -From Inspiration To Publication

Biz Space, 3 Cobham Rd, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

Saturday 29 September 2018 10:00am – 3:00pm

Tickets: $45.00 Buy Tickets – 0212990984

https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2018/creative-writing-workshop-from-inspiration-to-publication/bay-of-islands

From Inspiration To Publication – Fiction Writing Crash Course.

Delivered by writer Michael Botur.

10am-3pm with two 25 minute breaks.
Cost – $45, including writing feedback before and after the workshop.

On Saturday September 29 Northland indie author Michael Botur will be delivering a down-to-earth workshop on fiction writing.

The workshop looks at how to get fiction writing completed and self-published, in particular looking at the workflow required to get a story polished on the page so you can be confident publishing the work in a literary magazine or online.

The workshop covers voice, character, prose and editing. Botur says the bigger theme of the day is understanding that words on the page are just the start, and reaching an audience these days is about capturing inspiration, checking that the words are good enough to publish, then sharing it with the world online.

“Things move so quickly in the writing world that publication options which made sense ten years ago may not be relevant anymore in 2018 – however, the fundamentals of how to get difficult pieces of writing completed remain the same. So I’ll be offering realistic advice about how to make the most of those hours in front of the computer screen.”

“We’ll also look at the workflow required to get a piece of writing to perfection, then get it read by an audience online.”

Whangarei-based Botur is author of several acclaimed short story collections and young adult novel ‘Moneyland’ which has gained a cult following on the world’s largest publishing platform for teenagers, Wattpad – a site which has 65 million unique visitors per month. Botur will teach how to put writing straight in the hands of the audience.

The workshop will include an introduction to online publishing platforms Medium.com, Smashwords, Createspace, Wattpad, Bookfunnel and Goodreads.

Registration is essential – please RSVP to Mike@michaelboturwriter.com.
Cost is $45+GST for the day – RSVP by email and Mike will invoice you.

Mike will contact you to ask for details about your level of writing experience, and give you some feedback on your writing before and after the workshop.

Check out Mike’s gallery of writing and publication at https://nzshortstories.com/

Kerikeri workshop poster Creative writing workshop Michael Botur From Inspiration to Publication-page-001

Dargaville workshop – Creative Writing: – From Inspiration to Publication

Dargaville Town Hall, 37 Hokianga Rd, Dargaville, Kaipara

Saturday 6 October 2018 10:00am – 3:00pm

From Inspiration To Publication – Fiction Writing Crash Course.

Delivered by writer: Michael Botur

10am-3pm with two 25 minute breaks.

Cost – $45 + writing feedback before and after the workshop. For ages 15 and up. 
RSVP by emailing – mike@michaelboturwriter.com.

On Saturday October 6 Northland indie author Michael Botur will be delivering a down-to-earth workshop on fiction writing.

The workshop looks at how to get fiction writing completed and self-published, in particular looking at the workflow required to get a story polished on the page so you as an author can be confident publishing the work in a literary magazine or online.

The workshop covers voice, character, prose and editing. Botur says the bigger theme of the day is understanding that words on the page are just the start, and reaching an audience these days is about capturing inspiration, checking that the words are good enough to publish, then sharing it with the world online.

“Things move so quickly in the writing world that publication options which made sense ten years ago may not be relevant anymore in 2018 – however, the fundamentals of how to get difficult pieces of writing completed remain the same. So I’ll be offering realistic advice about how to make the most of those hours in front of the computer screen.”

“We’ll also look at the workflow required to get a piece of writing to perfection, then get it read by an audience online.”

Whangarei-based Botur is author of several acclaimed short story collections and young adult novel ‘Moneyland’ which has gained a cult following on the world’s largest publishing platform for teenagers, Wattpad – a site which has 65 million unique visitors per month. Botur will teach how to put writing straight in the hands of the audience.

The workshop will include an introduction to online publishing platforms Medium.com, Smashwords, Createspace, Wattpad, Bookfunnel and Goodreads.

Registration is essential – please RSVP to Mike@michaelboturwriter.com. 
Cost is $45+GST for the day – RSVP by email and Mike will invoice you.

Mike will contact you to ask for details about your level of writing experience, and give you some feedback on your writing to focus on for the day.

Check out Mike’s gallery of writing and publication at https://nzshortstories.com/

Dargaville workshop poster Creative writing workshop Michael Botur From Inspiration to Publication-page-001

 

 

 

Support Mike’s New Short Story Book – Give A Little

Support a Northland short story writer – earn yourself a book and a mention. 

Yo! Mike the Writer here.

I give plenty to the Northland creative arts community, putting on poetry shows, creative writing workshops and improvisation theatre fundraisers. TRUE COVER cleaned up by Sars

Now I’m wondering if you can support me to keep literature alive in Northland. I’m asking for help to pay for the printing of one of the best short story collections you’ll ever read, at just ten bucks per book.

The GiveALittle fundraiser is here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-a-northland-author-one-book-at-a-time

TRUE? is a brand new collection of sixteen short stories. They’re tales of people working through shame to make their lives better, set in the milieu of Kiwi millennials. I’m one of the few people out there giving up hours each month to capture realistic stories of straight-up true blue Kiwis you’ll recognise. Previous book reviews have said I’m apparently one of the most original short story writers of my generation (Takahe #86) and my last short story set was a “remarkably satisfying collection” (North & South January 2018).

So can you support me to raise $1000 to get this bad boy printed? The goal is pretty modest. Put in ten bucks and you get a presale book, AND you get thanked in the acknowledgements.

Copies which aren’t pre-sold can be given to younger Northland writers to inspire them to write fiction.

 

What to expect when you’re expecting a copy of TRUE? short stories:

– 216x140mm printed book with 350gsm silk art cover and 90gsm white offset pages printed at JOP in Whangarei

304 page book. Cover = gloss laminated

COST: $920 ex GST, or $9.20 per book.

 

Love and thanks

Mike Botur

 

 

‘11.42’ by Jo Danilo – a taste from the new book

11:42

by Jo Danilo

Coming December 2018
One boy, one girl, one road, one long night, one long nightmare…
When a girl waiting outside the nightclub on Baker Street asks Noah to help her get home, he reluctantly agrees. He has no idea that she, Baker Street, and this one dark night, will be his whole world for a very long time. 
Category: Paranormal Romance
**
Jo profile
Jo is author of ‘The Blackwood Crusade’, ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’ and ‘11:42‘. 
 
Jo writes stories for children, young adults and older young adults. Though she is essentially a Yorkshire lass, she now lives in the Far North of New Zealand – decidedly more tropical than the north of England – with her husband, two sons and several furry creatures. She likes nothing better than a whole, uninterrupted day of writing, which she generally gets on her birthday. Hurray for birthdays!
 
Her next book, ‘Foxfires’, is about a World War II pilot who crashes his plane on desolate, snowy moorland. He is rescued by just the wrong sort of people – a family bound to their lonely farmhouse for centuries by an age-old curse they have never been able to break. Until now.
 
**

Prologue to ‘11:42’ by Jo Danilo

 

NOW

. . .

She sits beside me on the sofa, close but not quite touching. Her clenched hand rests on her knee, inches from my own. I daren’t reach for it because I know she’ll flinch. The lights from the TV illuminate her face and flash like fireworks in the darkness of her eyes, reminding me of another place, different lights. I lean back so I can watch her without her knowing.

We’ve only been officially seeing each other for a few weeks and I’m trying my best to act cool about it. It’s incredibly difficult. She sets off explosive charges inside me with just one look. My heart is constantly stuck in my throat. Every rare smile I win from her is a small victory.

She’s still cautious in my company. When we kiss she’s always the first to pull away. She guards herself to the point of coldness. Understandable after what happened to her. Excruciating after what happened to me.

“I don’t want to watch this anymore,” she says, turning her face to mine.

On the flickering screen, a woman walks alone down a street full of shadows. I swear under my breath, and reach for the remote. There’s no point looking for anything else, so I turn the whole thing off.

Maybe this is my cue. Maybe it’s time to tell her. My parents are out with their friends. My brother is at his girlfriend’s tonight. We have three or four hours of being completely alone. It might just be long enough.

Before I have chance to think up a billion reasons not to do what I’m about to do, I drop the remote and reach for her hand. She flinches, as I knew she would, and I quickly claim her other hand too, before she can pull away.

I need her full attention for this, and I have it.

“Noah…” She tugs back and wriggles her fingers, but I’m not letting go. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to try to explain something to you, and it’s going to take a very long time. And you’re going to think I’m crazy. You’re going to want to leave. But I need you to listen right until the end.”

“You’re scaring me.”

But I bet I’m way more scared. If she doesn’t believe me, I’ll lose her, and I can’t bear the thought of that. If she does believe me, I have no idea where it will take us. It’s a gamble I’m willing to take because I can’t keep this secret to myself any longer. I thought I could, but it’s too big and too difficult for me to contain.

And I can’t tell it to anyone but her.

“Remember that night…,” I say.

Immediately, she knows which night I mean. Her pupils enlarge with fear. “I don’t want to.”

This is not going to be easy.

“Listen…”