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ButterflyWe went out last night

And within that mojito-induced whirlwind, I met a guy, M. who works down the road from C at a shop called Uggs & Kisses.

“What did you want to be when you grew up?”
“An author.” I replied. And after a slight hesitation, I said, “At the moment I’m working on….”

I ended up having a conversation which lasted a good 10-15 minutes, explaining what I’m trying to do, M asked questions about how I feel about character development and made suggestions to help progress the plot. It was really good to talk to someone in “real life” about this again to get it out of my head. We are now FB friends so that I can share what I’ve written so far. 4 months ago

ButterflyI've been

working on this lately! I’m making steady progress and as long as I’m moving forward with it, I’m happy. I can see where I’m going with it clearer now and have spent some time writing and some time researching. Did you know you can buy anti psychotic drugs online? 7 months ago

ButterflyI think what I may need to do

is to print out what I have written so far and find a nice location to edit and write in. C’s man cave is not proving productive so far!! 11 months ago


50 pages seems to be my stopping point. I get to page 50, realize I hate what I’ve written and stop.

I’ve done this twice! 13 months ago


My friend asked me if she could borrow what I’ve written so far so she could read it at home. She’s a big talker, so she couldn’t talk and read at the same time. Hoping for feedback this Friday. 15 months ago

ButterflyI think

I’ve just completely confused myself. Going to leave it for a short while, give this story a rest from me! I’m being overly critical as I’m writing I know, which is blocking the story from being told. 16 months ago

Aliza BWell..

I went a long spell without writing but I’ve been at it pretty intensely the last couple of days. I’m not really sure where or how it’s going to end. But I’m fairly certain it’s going to be pretty AWESOME!!

So far:
Page 9
5,565 words

My goal is 200 pages or 50,000 words. 18 months ago

ButterflyControl: chapter four

Here’s a few things they don’t tell you before you make the decision to have a family. The child you make won’t necessarily be the one that you dreamed of. There will be times when you look at the hatred in your daughter’s eyes and wonder how you came to be the one to put it there. Sometimes, the patience required to raise this child will leave you with little leftover energy for anyone else, let alone yourself.

Sasha scared me today.

Talking to people who are not there belongs in horror movies, to those dressed in child-like clothing stared at on trains. It is not an affliction that I would have ever associated with my life. I am uncertain as to whether I am meant to pretend that I share her hallucinations or if I should prove to her that they don’t exist. If I act as if this is a real person that Sasha has formed a friendship with, does that not encourage her to continue this behaviour which is clearly abnormal? On the other hand, if I discourage it, is that removing from her the one thing that seems to be ensuring her happiness?

Blue orchids stand luminous within a glass vase upon a varnished wooden table. The peculiar nature of the flowers immediately puts me at ease. Surely those who are employed here are accustomed to treating those who are different if they select such unusual blooms for their office. With slightly more confidence, I walk up to the front desk. There always seems to the same type of woman guarding the gate to the inner sanctum. Ruthless bob of blonde hair, fierce red lipstick upon a base of over-done foundation. This one could have been swapped with the one in Dr. Carasco’s waiting room and no-one would have noticed.
“Hi I’m here to-
“Sh!” the secretary holds up a finger bearing a perfectly polished fingernail to match her lipstick. Tapping her pen irritably against the desk, she scribbles a note and then seems to remember that I’m standing in front of her.
“Oh, I’m, that is my daughter, is here for an appointment with Dr. Capella.”
“You’re late.” she responds abruptly.
“Oh, you know how it is with teenagers.” I laugh shortly.
She does not even bother to grace me with a smile in return, but instead replies,
“You’ll have to wait five minutes, the doctor is with another client at the moment.”
“That’s fine.” I say calmly.
Inside I’m planning to take all of the magazines from the rack and leave them spread across the table with the best recipes torn out and hidden within the depths of my handbag.
“Here is the paperwork which needs to be filled out and which you and your daughter need to sign.”
“Thank you.”
Wearily, I take the seat next to Sasha, who to my surprise, does not object to my sitting so close to her.

Okay, don’t get any ideas that I’m going to go around playing happy families or anything now. It’s just that I’m so exhausted from controlling Tyler that I need to collapse onto the chair. Through bleary eyes, I note the differences between Dr. Carasco’s office and this new one. Flowers on the table. Interesting choice of vase, I can determine just from the glass that people whose heads don’t reach the top of the table don’t come here. There is an absence of fingerprints. Quite impressive really given the nature of the lacquered wood. Maybe there’s someone whose only job is to polish the table. The same rag-tag pile of magazines dumped on a side table. Sometimes I think that the stack of magazines are sold as a torn, complete package specifically for doctors’ waiting rooms. (Now with NEW germs!). Squishy couches facing each other to supposedly encourage conversation. In my brief experience this has been an unsuccessful endeavor given that there is another parent and teenager sitting across from me and we have been avoiding both eye contact and conversation. The dad wears a navy blue shirt which camouflages him against the couch. The teenager leans forward, music blaring, head bobbing. I’m not sure if he is so comfortable here that he is doing this or if he is so uncomfortable that he wants to escape. I know exactly which one I’m feeling.

“Sasha Cliffe?” the secretary says in a clipped tone.

Wearily I get to my feet and drag them one after the other until I reach the door. Every time it’s the same. The drive. The stifled conversation between my mother and myself which clearly indicates that I don’t want to go. Her insistence that she wants what’s best for me. My firm reply that I don’t need help. The only thing that has changed is the person I am now required to control. She smiles patiently at me. Her eyes are kind and framed with a heavy fringe. Unlike Dr. Carasco, she actually dresses in clothes from this century. A floaty top matched with snug-fitting jeans. She tells me to call her Kate. Well, it doesn’t matter what I call her does it? Soon I’ll be controlling her. As soon as she says those dreaded words.

“Well Sasha, shall we start-“
I don’t let her finish the sentence. She sits across from me, smiling serenely at a place on the wall. Good. Now I can daydream until the time is up. I stretch my legs out on the couch and close my eyes. Memories of the afternoon spent with Tyler make me grin like a fool. I love the way his hair flops into his face as he pushes it away impatiently like it’s interrupting what he has to say. I love the look he seems to have only for me. Most of all I love that we can talk to each other. He just gets me, you know?

18 months ago

ButterflyControl: chapter three

I glance hesitantly at the small slip of paper on which Dr. Carasco has written the name of this child psychiatrist. Kate Capella the note informs me in barely legible writing. Supposedly I am meant to yet again hand over my daughter to strangers. I have to admit that I feel better that this subsequent so-called specialist is a woman. I’d hazard a guess on her being much younger than Dr. Carasco as well, which can only be an improvement. Hopefully she’s of better use. Sighing, I reach for the phone with one hand and pick up a paperclip with the other.

“Daniel?” I say tentatively.

“Yes, who’s speaking please?” he says with that authoritative tone of voice I used to find so attractive.

“Oh for God’s sake, can’t you recognise the voice of the woman you were married to for fourteen years??”

“…Jennifer. How are you?”

“Oh fine Daniel, I’m just fantastic. Did you happen to remember that you actually have a daughter? Because if you did, or happened to ring her at some stage, you may have noticed that she’s not doing so well.”

“What? What do you mean? What have you done to her?”

I grit my teeth and bend the paperclip, concentrating on the feel of the bend and not letting the words slip out instead.

“Absolutely nothing Daniel.” I say guardedly.

“Then… what is it? What’s wrong with her?” he asks nervously.

“I…don’t know. Neither does the psychologist she was seeing.”


“He felt that he could no longer meet Sasha’s needs.”

“So, what happens now?”

“Sasha’s been referred to a child psychiatrist who specializes in working with teenagers. I’m going to take her and hope for the best. I just thought you would like to know.”


Okay? In disbelief, I stare at the earpiece of the phone which no longer has a voice attached to the other end. The paperclip breaks in two.

I’ve had a smile plastered on my face all day. I feel like a sixty watt light globe. An idiotic-looking one at that. Surely if this was effective advice it would be working by now. Stupid Wiki-how. I don’t even know why I bothered; surely my powers should be enough? Although, I wonder. What would happen if I combined the two? I conjure up a perfect Spring day, the sort that makes couples act in nauseating ways and single people hang their head miserably at their aloneness. At the same time, I focus on altering Tyler’s feelings. Finally, something works. He turns to me smiling and starts walking towards me. A shiver runs along my arms at the extent of my power. He steps out from the huddle of guys, who tease and push against his shoulder so that he stumbles slightly. He brushes them aside, crumbs flicked from the table. Then, before I know it, we’re sitting beneath a ghost gum, talking and laughing as if we’ve known each other forever. Which I guess in a way we have. He is, after all, exactly what I wanted.

In the late afternoon, I pull up to the front of the high school. While I wait, I take a few minutes to admire the grounds. Simple brickwork forms seating areas for the teenagers to sprawl on, grassy grounds and a range of different species of gumtrees. I roll down the window and breathe in deeply the heavy scent of eucalyptus. For just a moment, it calms me. But there is an underlying tang as well-what is that? It can’t be weed? Suddenly I’m fifteen again, hiding behind a friend’s shed at a party, alternating between coughing and giggling. Panicking, I search the slump of teenagers for her. Past the couple making out, past the group of guys kicking a footy, past the girl leafing through a textbook; my gaze swiftly travels. I finally settle on a form that I think is her, but I can’t be sure. Using my hand as a shield against the brilliant sun, I squint into the distance.

It is her. Irritated, I glance at my watch. I told her I would pick her up twenty minutes ago. I am about to step out of the car, slam the door and begin my warpath, but something makes me pause. Sasha seems to be in deep conversation. Her eyes are bright and she’s laughing. I haven’t seen her laugh like that…well, since Daniel left. For a moment I feel relieved. Look at my beautiful daughter, laughing and engaged like that. Of course there can’t be anything wrong with her. The only thing is, when I look closer, there’s no-one there with her. 18 months ago

ButterflyControl: chapter two

It stinks in here. Like lavender and something else I can’t quite determine. I suppose the lavender scent is there to calm me down or something. Well it isn’t working. I’m in this room like a tiger in a cage, kicking the wooden leg of the chair with every pulse. I’d leave, if not for my mum sitting right outside the door. I get up and start pacing the room, past the desk, past the chair, past the bookcase. Why is there no window?

On my third trek past the desk, I knock over Dr. Carasco’s photographs one by one. There goes his daughter, his wife, his dog. He sits there placidly, foot tapping to a beat I can’t hear, glasses perched on the end of his nose and a broad grandfatherly smile stretched across his face. I glance at the clock, it’s been fifteen minutes; thirty-five left. I wish I could control time. I can’t, but I can think of a good way to pass it. I stride over to the filing cabinet and turn the small silver key. The doctor is oblivious to what I am doing. In his eyes, I can do no wrong. Carefully I pull out the pile of manilla folders. A bunch of unfiled paperwork…B…C… Ah! There’s me. I slide a nail between the cards and find…nothing. I wasn’t really expecting anything and yet somehow I’m still disappointed. Then I have an idea. I pull the fountain pen out of the pocket of Dr. Carasco’s checkered shirt and flick through one of the other folders. After getting an idea of his handwriting, (Kadie has mild anxiety disorder and Julie has Post Traumatic Stress in case you were interested) I turn back to my own folder and begin to write.

Sasha is a perfectly ordinary 13-year old female and is functioning at a level suited to her age. I see no reason to continue her treatment.

There. Now I won’t have to come to these stupid sessions anymore.

It’s five fifteen. I glance up expectantly at the barrier that I have willingly placed between myself and my daughter. The door opens and I avert my gaze. Sasha and the doctor walk out, both of them look as if they can barely support their own body weight. The doctor’s tiredness I can attribute to his age, but Sasha’s worries me.
“Mrs. Cliffe?” Dr. Carasco asks.


“Can I have a word?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Uh…in private?” He looks pointedly at Sasha.

“Fine! I’ll wait in the car!” She folds her arms into herself and eyes on the ground, storms out of the office. I sigh in exasperation.

“Sorry about that.”

“It’s okay; it’s a relief to see her respond to anyone actually.”

“She…doesn’t respond to you?”

“No. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. It’s been several months since Sasha first started treatment with me. In those months, I haven’t seen any progress. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to refer her to a specialist.”

“What kind of specialist?”

“A child psychiatrist who specializes in working with teenagers. I’m a general psychologist and don’t feel that my expertise are suited to Sasha’s situation.”
“And which situation would that be?”

“Well…err, I’m not exactly certain in this case, hence the suggestion of taking her to see someone who is better suited to taking care of her.”

It has been weeks and weeks since I started bringing her here, why has he not bothered to tell me before now? Burning with anger, I leave the office.

There is no-one in the car for me to change, to control. Which only adds to my already pissed-off mood. Why am I here? Why are they in there talking about me? There is NOTHING wrong with me. I kick my foot against the dashboard and roll down the window. The sun is no longer appropriate; I close my eyes and conjure a brooding storm. When I open them, the sky is an angry purple and I have one of those moments of vivid clarification. I need a boyfriend.

I mean, how hard can it be, right? I already have everyone at school twirled around my little finger. All I would need to do is exert a little more effort. Then he- whoever he is, (I haven’t quite got that far yet) -can stand up to my mother for me. No more sitting here like an incompetent fool while others talk about me and my so called “problem”. Making decisions about my future like they all know what I want. Man. Why didn’t I think of this before! Now all I have to do is choose my future object of affection.

First of all, he needs to be taller than me. Dad, when he was around that is, was shorter than Mum and they just looked completely ridiculous. Hair should have a certain degree of floppiness, preferably blonde. Blue eyes would be a nice bonus, but I could live without them. But most importantly, he has to be convincing. And articulate enough to do what I can’t. That is, control my mother.
18 months ago

I wrinkle my forehead in concentration, considering my options, which are admittedly limited.  I mentally run through the list of names which are called out in home class each morning.  Andreas.  No.  Jayden.  No.  Eli.  Definitely not.  As important as this is, I just cannot handle a nose picker.  Tyler.  Maybe.  Actually not maybe, yes.  Surely any guy who’s on the debating team has to be at the very least mildly convincing.  Plus, he definitely meets the physical criteria.  Tyler.  Satisfied, I lean my head against the headrest and allow the sun to shine once more.

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