Albatross (Fragment 2)

There’s nothing worse than a good man – a good man who thinks it’s enough to be a good man.

She touches the words on the first page, fingers taking in the essence of their own writing. Has he started with the first page or has he pried right in the middle of her inky thoughts? Continue reading “Albatross (Fragment 2)”

Advertisements

Freedom (Fragment 1)

The inheritance was the desperately needed answer. However, the question only dared word itself the moment I found the solution. Of course my first impulse was to flee. For so long, I had dreamt of seeing and experiencing places without having to tailor my desires in order to fit a schedule, a person or financial considerations. Continue reading “Freedom (Fragment 1)”

Ana Linden: Albatross

Thank you for your wonderful review, Carol! You always have insightful, supportive words for your fellow-writers and you share your own experience so generously. ❤

Carol Balawyder

albatross

In her collection of stories Ana Linden refuses to have her characters see through rose colored glasses or have happily ever after futures.

Don’t expect extraordinary individuals, always able to make the world a better place, when they can hardly save themselves. This world is not one of untainted, selfless, righteous spiritual leaders either, just as it is not one devoid of violence, crime, pain or punishment.
https://analindenblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/albatross-the-big-day/

In Albatross, the opening story, Linden gives us an honest perspective of husband and wife regarding the staleness of their marriage.

Then there is the single woman’s paranoia and fears that accompany what it’s like to live alone after being robbed.

And the story about the affair. “The moment we met, we knew the week spent together would be one of those times so essentially shallow, that it can have nothing less than a profound effect on both of us.”

Ana Linden…

View original post 185 more words

Mother (Fragment 1)

He puts his hand between her legs… she needs to prove it…. Her tensed muscles try to stop him, but he’s much stronger. He pulls her near, his left hand on the nape of her neck, in her hair, pulling and squeezing. His mouth finds hers and for what feels like an endless moment she lets him do whatever he pleases… because she doesn’t know anything anymore… or maybe it’s because she’s a girl and that’s what girls like her are supposed to do. Continue reading “Mother (Fragment 1)”

Neighbours (Fragment 1)

People come together under most unexpected of circumstances. Sometimes love unites them; but there are also those times when hatred and revenge forge the strongest connections.

***

A moan escaped from the thrashed creature, but no eyes turned into that direction.

“He killed them…” the professor cried. “Do you think I have any moral holdback about hurting a man who can’t defend himself? I don’t give a fuck, not after that night. He killed them… he killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child… that’s all I have left, the hope to get my hands on him…”

The heart-breaking lament died out, the professor’s voice breaking down in tears as the officer’s wife stood in front of him. Her big, kind, motherly eyes were somehow controlling his glance, he realized, bringing it back from the object of his rage, bringing him back from his own blinding pain. Continue reading “Neighbours (Fragment 1)”

Grey (Fragment 1)

Note – Grey is the story closest to my heart from Albatross…. because Grey is a part of me. While all the other short stories are pure fiction, this one is based on some of my childhood memories. It’s a personal touch, a glimpse of nostalgia, a part of me that I wanted to share with my readers. It’s also the story that sparked this book, the one I was referring to when sharing what started this particular writing project.

***

It wasn’t bad. It was happy. It was life. We were children and we were never told grey was supposed to be bad. Grey was childhood. Grey was us in our purest form. We never denied it and we never minded it, because we never knew it.

We became grey those lazy, endless summer afternoons. Continue reading “Grey (Fragment 1)”

Albatross (Fragment 1)

When a relationship gradually suffocates the partners’ identity, the two can either find individual ways to survive or fight as a couple. Deciding what kind of betrayal is worse or whose fault is greater may not always be an option.

***

“The albatross still haunting her as she was heading home with her newly purchased purple notebook, she could no longer fight the fact that it was still too early. The time for her to forget and to give up on life hadn’t come yet. She was still young. There was still time. All was not lost, she was not lost… Continue reading “Albatross (Fragment 1)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – …Or For Worse (Fragment)

The woman in the mirror wasn’t the one she remembered. No matter how hard she struggled, she would never see that reflection again. Time had a perverted way of leaving scars on her body in spite of all her best efforts. Turning slowly, analysing every particle projected in the horridly honest mirror, she felt her spirits lifted by the image of a still beautiful, mature woman. Her thighs were almost cellulite free… and her stomach, almost flat again… her behind was no longer as firm, but the right pair of jeans made it look just as luscious… her breasts had definitely seen better days, but she would do something about that as soon as possible. It was a game of make-believe these days, she thought to herself. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – …Or For Worse (Fragment)”

The Magic of June

I always loved the beginning of summer. For so many reasons – some deep, others more superficial – June has always been a special time of year for me…

It’s that time of year which makes me feel everything is possible. Years keep passing, yet this sensation is a powerful constant every early summer. Together with my love for fresh cherries and strawberries and that unbelievable fragrance of blooming linden trees, it’s something I hope to always love, a part of me I hope will never change. It has always been a promise of new experiences, unexpected options and lots of fun. With that come the itch to run away and travel, the desire to try something different, and the somewhat self-destructive wish to rock the boat. Continue reading “The Magic of June”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – For Better… (Fragment)

The frantic scrolling stops abruptly as the busy fingers’ and blue eyes’ attention is now required by the buzzing phone. A large smile lights up Regina’s face, a languorous sigh accompanying her reply. She had spent the entire morning trying not to think that the text might never arrive and now her patience was finally being rewarded.

The picture on the desk caught her eye in spite of all her rushed gestures. It had been such a wonderful day! Everything she had ever dreamt of, really… look how beautiful she was, she had the most expensive dress and most extravagant wedding anyone in her group of friends and acquaintances had ever seen… and on top of everything, the man she was marrying was so wealthy and handsome… A real prince had come to finally rescue her from an average existence and she would not let this one get away. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – For Better… (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and the Engagement Rings (Fragment)

The key didn’t turn and she opened the unlocked door without giving it any thought. She often forgot to lock it, so… Clickety-clack, clickety-clack on the hardwood floor and then the high heels flew in a corner, preceded only by the laptop case, which landed with a thud. Oh well, it’s just the work computer – what are they going to do if it breaks anyway, give her a newer and better one?… Her personal mobile phone was another story though, that one found a nice, cosy resting place when carefully placed on the hall table. Curling and stretching her toes happy to have escaped the restrictive pumps, her feet started blindly feeling around the cold floor, reaching for the comfort of those favourite slippers. They weren’t there. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and the Engagement Rings (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Driving Regina (Fragment)

Damn it, it’s all his fault… But the person Regina had in mind in her state of shock was not the driver of that other car. Now I won’t get to see him again, not this night… Or will I? An idea occurred to the woman as her trembling fingers were fishing for her work phone in the purse on the seat on her right. Involved in an accident on my way to your place. Need you. Pls. This should get him to come over and see her… Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Driving Regina (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina Gets Engaged (Fragment)

Like any other long-term couple, they had discussed marriage. The fact that they had spent more time apart than together, bickering and disparaging each other was generally an irrelevant matter to both of them. They’d swear to never reconcile again, professing their mutual loathing and would occasionally yell out their indifference in hurtful, offending words. But everything would be forgiven and forgotten in a few weeks, when they’d be back together again. Behaving as though nothing had happened came naturally to both of them. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina Gets Engaged (Fragment)”

Albatross

There are no villains and no heroes, only people caught in a pivotal moment of their existence. Nothing is absolute, no one is only good or entirely evil. One’s life course can be deviated in an instant, and choices are often made instinctively, unconsciously, not only rationally, under socially acceptable terms. Imperfect, damaged characters struggle with their duality and evolution. Their reactions are the product of violence, physical and emotional abuse, neurosis, depression, but also of love, hope and melancholy. Fear is what they all have in common. Continue reading “Albatross”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and the Nice Guy (Fragment)

It was a particularly beautiful summer when they met, one filled with sweet poetry of hope and unrequited dreams, when the remains of old loves become the seeds of new ones and the magic of a sunset can make everything seem possible… even for a beautiful, intelligent and independent young woman like Regina to fall in love with a Nice Guy like him. Tall, with deep, dreaming blue eyes and a kind smile, elegant in his middle management suit, he couldn’t resist consoling Regina right after she presented her resignation two days into the trial period for a new job. Who could have resisted those beautiful doe eyes of hers, mystified by tears of despair she was trying so hard to stop from rolling down her pale, silky cheeks? Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and the Nice Guy (Fragment)”

Some Stories Have to Be Told

Idea notebooks, random scribbling on post-its, notes on your phone, various drafts on your computer… if you’re anything like me – that is, if you enjoy writing – then you’ve probably accumulated all of them. I’m not as bad as it sounds, really…. It’s a neat mess I’m talking about here, I know where everything goes. I also know which nonsensical drafts/ideas might stand a chance to become something more, so I keep them… sometimes for years. Continue reading “Some Stories Have to Be Told”

Glass Slippers an Stilettos – Regina Experiments (Fragment)

Eeeh! That hurt! The high-pitched moan escaped her lips as soon as the woman in a white uniform removed the first strip of wax. It’ll be worth it! Pain followed by pleasure, it’s always worth it, she had to remind herself. As the wax touched her skin again and again, she felt the need to congratulate herself on the wise decision of taking the day off. She needed a few hours of pampering before the big trip, a reprieve from all the stress, so she could get ready to fully enjoy the weekend’s pleasures. But time was also required to clear her mind and figure out the optimal plan, that perfect balance between delectable debauchery and worthwhile, career-oriented depravity. Experience had taught her men were more open and supportive of her cause in an intimate environment and she was relying on this opportunity to reacquaint herself with an old friend. Continue reading “Glass Slippers an Stilettos – Regina Experiments (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and Selective Memory (Fragment)

It starts off light, little things here and there, which only make you believe she is simply a more forgetful person than others. An assignment not carried out in time leads way to an almost hysterical reaction as she is blaming everybody for not telling her she was the one supposed to do it. Nobody can possibly imagine she would react that way if indeed she had known and forgotten about it. That is, until the situation becomes a recurrent event… because she does indeed forget, she forgets she was told in the first place, then she forgets having forgotten. Therefore it never happened. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and Selective Memory (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Belated Introduction (Fragment)

cover1

She is friendlier than anybody would have expected a pretty girl to know how to be. She is incredibly hardworking, even when she doesn’t really do anything right. But most importantly, she is so deliciously vulnerable. The one everybody expected to be so smug and conceited is actually so surprisingly modest and demurred, even insecure at times, her big eyes filling with tears when she does something wrong. So nobody can resist helping her, nobody can bring themselves to criticize her, thus risking to cover that delicate doll face of hers with a dark shadow of regret, insecurity and fear. It’s ok, don’t worry, we’ll fix this…. No, no, no, it’s not your fault, you’ll learn, we all make mistakes, especially early on. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Belated Introduction (Fragment)”

Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and Separate Beds (Fragment)

Alone once more, with nobody to share her tragedy, having to face and accept the separate beds situation, Regina also has to accept taunting memories that refuse to stay selectively lost. Inconsiderate has no knowledge of it, but when initially leaving her for not being appealing enough, he became an influential factor in Regina’s evolution. Non-revealing, somewhat blend, often boring outfits used to be her signature style. That’s how you get a husband, she had been taught; she was also quite sure her mere existence would be reason enough for any man to reach ecstasy. On top of everything else, she had the upper hand, she looked the part of the moral compass she believed herself to be, thus feeling entitled to pass judgement on any other woman. Continue reading “Glass Slippers and Stilettos – Regina and Separate Beds (Fragment)”

Self-Publishing Decisions…

Since I opted for self-publishing several people have asked me if my books were available on Amazon as well. My answer has invariably been that they weren’t, but I was considering the option. Yes, I was occasionally considering it… most of the time, I was reconsidering considering it. For many reasons, it hadn’t been my first choice – I preferred having complete freedom over pricing options, scheduling giveaways as often and for as long as I chose etc. Continue reading “Self-Publishing Decisions…”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 105

It was her way of saying a final goodbye to the man who could no longer bear her independent attitude and her refusal to hide the fact that she was doing better than him. Amalia had been there for the beginning of each of his projects, yet she could never bring herself to see them through next to him, because the woman knew he was no longer able to succeed. The man who constantly failed was not the one she wanted, the same way as he could not tolerate the woman who constantly competed with him in every respect and kept not only winning, but also thoroughly enjoying her victories over him. For one final afternoon, they could honour each other and their past with the petty honesty they deserved.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 104

The spell had broken the moment the scent of his skin stopped having an intoxicating effect on her senses. They were not a perfect match anymore, either chemical or rational; and now material things started to matter, as she couldn’t stop thinking about his shoes, that embarrassing symbol of his constant failure. She wanted a man who could earn and keep her respect, one she would feel proud to have in her life, not the weak shadow of such an individual making her feel ashamed of him. She was neither ready, nor able to submit to Adam and give up all she thought she deserved, she was still too young, too stubborn and too strong for that; she was not yet able to give up any faint hope for the slight possibility of success, happiness, power or glamour in favour of certain dull shabbiness next to him.

It was very likely for her to end up like him, to fail just as miserably – she was aware of it – but there was still a shred of hope for a better existence as long as she didn’t stop, as long as she didn’t tie herself to him. Settling is one thing, self-inflicted humiliation is something completely different.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 103

Robert’s words began to echo in her head – everything would be so much easier with a man next to you. But would it? Of course, so many of the current problems would find a solution, but how about the new ones? Why doesn’t anybody seem to consider the new problems such an attachment would generate? Living in a society that values the couple as foundation of a woman’s life imposes a variety of unpleasant side-effects even on the most determined independent women, one of them consisting in the occasional doubts and uncertainty regarding their lifestyle. Amalia was familiar with all of them, accepting that denying such aspects only complicates the problem, whereas questioning a decision doesn’t imply it was a wrong choice in the first place, it can actually reassert its validity.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 102

It was a sign of weakness to complain about your problems, the fact that you weren’t doing well reflected poorly on you. That was the long, dreary shadow of failure and Amalia dreaded seeing Adam exactly because she feared he would see right through the paper-thin façade she had so cleverly crafted. But meeting him the previous day settled her competitive spirit – his façade was even more transparent than hers, disintegrating that hyperbolic mirage generated by imagination when you interrupt all connections with a person, when you refuse to inquire about them, but once in a while you still think of them as a landmark, a relevant moment of your existence.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 101

Amalia’s rage triggered tirade against Robert was a flood of mixed ideas and furious regrets about the one she had considered a friend, yet who showed no compassion when she needed it from him. He was taken aback both by his reaction to her initial sadness and by her violent response, although the moment the room became silent, he began to perceive the magnitude of what had just happened. For the first time ever, he raised his voice at her, a thing that was so common when dealing with his wife; never had he thought of reacting that way towards Amalia. And never before had she managed or even tried to reduce him to nothing in a matter of seconds.

Instinctive and impulsive as her reaction may have been, it was the right one in relation to a man who devoured women if they proved to be weaker than he was, belittling and controlling them, the same way he had always done in his wife’s case. The shift in what Robert meant to Amalia happened in an imperceptible instant – it was no longer a rapport based on reciprocity and equality, on mutual understanding, acceptance and respect. It was now a matter of dominance.

“No, I’m not the one to talk…” His discrete admission of guilt in the deafening silence established her victory – victory she neither needed, nor looked for, an exhausting and saddening victory which was no more than yet another loss, when what she needed was a friendly face, some understanding and comfort, even if only for a few minutes.

“No, you’re not. But I am the one to leave. And next time you need someone to deal with your neurosis, inferiority complex and endless emotional and material failures, try your wife or your conceited friends; or even the hobo on the street, because I am no longer available to you for anything of the sort.” If he wanted her cold, Amalia knew she was perfectly able to freeze him out, although it pained her to do so after all those years and all they shared.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Read an Ebook Week

The annual Smashwords’ Read an Ebook Week promotion kicks off this Sunday, March 4th, and runs through end of day, March 10th.

Each year, tens of thousands of Smashwords authors, publishers and readers participate in this global ebook celebration, which offers FREE and deep-discounted ebooks.

When the promotion goes live on Sunday, you’ll find the promotional catalogue on the Smashwords home page. The special home page catalogue enables readers to browse by coupon discount and filter by category, bestseller status, word count and multiple other factors.

Go ahead and have a look, especially if you support indie writers. You never know what little gem you may find, your new favourite book could be waiting for you. We can never have too many books… and what wonderful early spring gifts they make 😉 .

Enjoy!

You can download Parallel Lives and Glass Slippers and Stilettos for free during Read an Ebook Week using the following links:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645454

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 100

Victor was quiet that night; and when he was watching her reflection in the mirror while she was slowly removing her makeup and brushing her hair – the way he had done every evening after her arrival – he looked old. With the odd angle and the cruel light accentuating his dark circles, he appeared the image of a man in mourning. And after all, wasn’t he? Was he not facing the need of accepting that another piece of the mirage he had created in his mind had died that evening?

Amalia looked at him, wishing he would fool around the way he had done the previous days, playing with her makeup, asking advice about a new haircut, inevitably stopping to hug and kiss her, or just lean his head on her shoulder, standing behind her, greedily looking at the reflected image of the two of them. We do look good together, don’t we? Of course we do, he would say, falling prey to the same vanity that often controlled Amalia.

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 99

Victor’s mother sighed, sipping her coffee.

“I think I would’ve been a lot like you, had I been born in different times. I envy the freedom you, young women, have these days. Back then, I was among the lucky few, I was allowed an education, my family was supportive of it, and I was also blessed with a kind, intelligent and hardworking husband. And now it’s too late to change; besides, I like the way it turned out for me. In a way some things were better, more straightforward then – women were women and men were men, they each had their roles and everybody knew where they stood. You have it so great and so rough these days… you basically need to be perfect from so many points of view, you need to cover so many areas in order to be accomplished women. That’s what I really envy about you, not only your freedom, but the fact that you’ve managed to cover so many aspects already, to stand on your own, to do and experience so many things all by yourself. You see, I could never manage without my family, the same way they couldn’t manage without me.”

If you want to read Parallel Lives, click on any of the following links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parallel-lives-ana-linden/1118140770?ean=2940045563567

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/parallel-lives-7

…. and iBooks, of course. 🙂