Tag Archives: writing

Q&A With the Turtleneck Lady

Greetings from the cafe!


I’m going to do things a bit differently today, it will be as if we’re having a chat, except that the conversation is going to be alarmingly one sided, because that’s how most of the internet works.

Oh, and I wanted to run a quick idea past you, if that’s alright?  I’ve gone out and sent away for a lovely and fantastic pastel pink, short, curly, synthetic lace front wig! Which I am aware is a lot of words to describe one thing. But anyway, I was wondering what everyone thinks about the two options for its use.

Option 1) Is to use it for Vlog posts, as a confidence boosting alter ego of sorts?

Option 2) I would bust it out when I embark on my next travelling adventure (this is assuming I get my funds and ethics in order) so I would be not only extremely recognizable out and about, but it would help with how nasty my hair gets when I travel. Let me explain.

I’m thinking a serious backpacking excursion across Europe, and even when I go to England for a few weeks at a time, I ALWAYS have a hard time finding somewhere reliable to wash/style my high maintenance hair while couch surfing. There isn’t enough dry shampoo in the world to sort out that mess on my head. Seriously…hear me out…This way I won’t have to deal with nasty, greasy, ratchet hair as often. Assuming this works, it will make me feel all that much better leading to a generally better experience. I clearly would still shower, but I would be less concerned with how my hair dries, or having to shower just to fix it…which, let’s be honest, is 100% why I shower every day or so when I’m at home. Not for cleanliness…but so my hair doesn’t look stupid. Cleanliness is a convenient by product. This is what my life is.

Let me know your thoughts…or any other ideas you have for the use of this marvellously colourful coiffure. Either way, I’m super excited, even if I only get to use it once, to channel Courtney Act at a friend’s Drag Queen Party. You know you love the idea. 😀

Question time!

Why Coffee and Turtlenecks?

“This is a very legitimate question, because it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. In truth, they are two things that I enjoy thoroughly that are also a great comfort to me. I wanted this place…this imaginary space on the wide web…to feel cozy, inviting and warm, which describes my chosen title just nicely. It’s also got a bit of a ring to it, which is a plus. I do feel like I don’t talk about turtlenecks enough, particularly because of the number of turtleneck related search terms sending people here. To be honest, there are only so many things you can say about a type of shirt before people stop listening and start worrying about your mental health, and I wouldn’t want to give too much away.”

Why haven’t you done any more Vlog posts?

“Also a legitimate question. It has a simple answer that can be narrowed down to the fact that my spontaneous two weeks of self confidence seems to have vanished, and I will get right back to making them as soon as it returns in the mail.”

Do you think Blogging is a self centered and narcissistic pastime and promotes those ideals in the current generation?

“I absolutely do, (betcha’ didn’t see that one coming!) and I am reminded of it every day when my boyfriend sees (catches) me Blogging. I push past that guilt with ferocity because I like to write, and I hope that what comes out is actually beneficial to the world or at least enjoyable. If you don’t think you’re good at what you do, then no one else is going to. And hey, even Van Gogh had a thing for selfies.”

Van Gogh

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start Blogging?

“I’m not exactly the person with the best collection of tips in this department. I would still call myself ‘starting out’ and I’ve been doing it on and off for nearly three years. Just update with thoughtful posts that you are proud of regularly, and see what happens. It’s luck mostly. My most popular posts are one’s that I’m not the most thrilled with, they just happen to have a thing people are searching for in them, like Spermaceti, Ian McEwan’s Atonement and PG Tips. Who knew the world wanted to know so much about whale oil, modern English Literature and tea.  Why do I know so much about whale oil, modern English Literature and tea? I guess I’m just awesome.”

Do you have Instagram?

“No, Apple products are dumb and I don’t believe in them, like unicorns. BBM me anytime though!  Also…on that note, social media sites kill SO much of my time and steal little tiny pieces of my soul daily. Lately the slow internet at home where I’m living has rendered tumblr useless, which is actually kinda refreshing. I imagine that’s what quitting smoking feels like. I am no longer a slave to the never ending roll of gifs and benign fandom updates. Now I just need to get off of Pinterest, Facebook and crack. Crack might be the easiest.”

What’s your favourite band?

“Right now, I’m in love with this English group from Norwich called Box of Light. I’ll link a video for you. It’s delightful and Melon is the bubbliest rockstar I’ve ever seen. I just want to snuggle her. They’ll be huge, I can feel it.”


Best book you’ve read this year?

“By far it has to be Nabokov’s Lolita. I didn’t just read this book,. I destroyed it. I wrote essays in the margins, I went back searching for passages to re-read. I watched several Ivy League lectures on the subject just to figure it out. I am now a Lolita expert! It’s so much more than what people think it is…Read it, you won’t regret it. If I get the time, and find the words to describe how magical it is justly, then I will do a post on it for you.”


One last question for you dear, do you think you will ever stop writing?

“I hope not. I’ve loved keeping a journal, writing short stories, really bad poetry (which you’ll never see because it’s THAT bad) since I was in grade school, I don’t think my life would feel right without it. I’ve got a serious story or two inside me, and until I can find a way to get them out properly, there’s not really an end in sight.”

Well that’s good news!

Thanks so much for stopping by, as always it’s been a delight!

-Hailey Jane


Some Writin’ Stuffs: Untitled

Painting by Sir Fredrick William Scarborough 1896-1939

      A man fights his way through the sweat stained crowds on a creaky wooden dock at a London port. It is 1887. He is on his guard, his back is up, and he makes a point not to meet the gaze of any of the individuals in the noisy and malodorous swarm that surrounds him.  He is past the prime of his life, but incapable of behaving in a way that would suggest he was. A strong man, as it were, all of his life, and with the full intention of carrying on that way he hauls his well travelled pack over his shoulders and shoves the lingering and lost pedestrians out of his way. There is a look in his eye of abject determination, but not a soul could tell you the reason for the fire that burns behind his lids.

Yet within the layers of clothing balled up inside his pack, there lies the secret to this man’s purpose. The years that lay behind him are held close to his calloused heart, and a detailed record of events that shaped his future are tightly bound within those layers of fabric upon his shoulders.

About to embark on a long and tedious journey into his past, he is to save what he has left of himself from the darkness that is eternal loneliness. There is always a lingering fear that it is already too late, but there being nothing left for him in London town, only one choice is clear.

Finally the sight of his vessel brings him a small wave of relief coupled with the madness of anticipation. He steps onto the slippery landing board and clamours onto the ship. Not being the most grand or sizeable piece of transport, she is nonetheless, not an amateur.  Our hero offloads his pack to the deck with a quick sigh and a prickle of what feels like electricity runs the length of his spine.  He gently lifts what he has left of his life, cradles it in his arms and descends into the belly of the ship to begin his final preparations for departure.

      What seems like a lifetime away, a marooned lover stares into the face of a traitor and coward. The traitors fair and fine features conceal the depravity of the crime of passion he has committed, but he has eyes that betray his real feelings. What turned out to be a classic case of misunderstanding and sacrifice in the face of love has left our gentle and innocent lover, only half of a whole. The two faces stare down one another in frustration and anger until tears begin to well in the corners of the lover’s eyes, eventually spilling in shame onto the white wooden dressing table. The traitor hangs his head for a brief moment and then reaches out to wipe the tears from the lover’s eyes. As his arm extends towards the adjacent face, and it encounters the truth of our reality. A reflective pane of glass meets his fingertips and reveals the barrier between the forgotten eyes of our marooned lover and the hateful treacheries of the coward who, in the same instance, both saved a life and condemned that same life to the gallows of emotional abandonment.

-Miss Hailey Jane

Running Into Myself

Being nearly ready to embark on my first real vacation in almost two years, I have noticed myself thinking towards the past. In the time since my last adventure, I have started this blog, been through three very different jobs, moved twice, lost a friend, and more than likely have changed more than I know I have. There’s something really uncomfortable about being 24. I had hoped once I passed 21 all of the steaming awkwardness in life would have ended and things would start to make more sense. But they don’t. It’s worse. But people just don’t talk about it as much.

I found a journal last week that I had started when I was 17 years old. The first dated entry was on March 16, 2006, just about seven years ago. The handwriting is all too familiar, maybe a bit more loopy and teenage in style than it currently is now, but is a pleasant and heart warming sight, to recognize bits of oneself from a time when things were so different.

“Not panic, not frustration, not contempt, not happiness, not bliss, not satisfaction, no, definitely not satisfaction. It’s really not much of anything. I don’t know what to do, how to think, then again I never really do. I am an artist, need I over analyse this as well? I can’t paint a ‘pretty’ picture of this as I see it. Slightly less amazed as you can clearly see, let down perhaps, careless, that’s what it is. Careless. I said it was alright. Should I have? A little late now though, I know it’s not right, it can’t be.”

Other than the overuse of the comma it it not much different than something the me of today would come up with. Is there hope that I have not changed so much after all?

That was an important day in the making of the story of my life. Though so insignificant now, it was a dire crisis at the time. I wonder, will all of my crisis turn into the same hazy and faded memories, brought back to me in a chance thumb-through of an old random journal?

I press on, page after page, revealing temporally spaced entry’s, moments frozen and lost in the context of their time. April 2006, December 2009, August 2010, October 2010. Each it’s own little story of what I thought I was, in inconstant black scrawling letters. It fascinated me, this written record of my lowest points.

I did what felt right. I added a new entry.  February 27, 2013, another entry to forget about and discover at another time, as a different Hailey. A message for my future self, a gift of reflection. A promise of hope.

I put the little black book back on the shelf to once again collect a healthy coating of dust. And on some other unsuspecting day I will pick it up, and no doubt read all my entries then have the courage to add another.


-Miss Hailey Jane

Omorfos Aghora: Part Two

fancy line

As he stood there before her, charming and bedraggled, time was passing one second at a time. No slower than it otherwise would, but with each passing moment the present was approaching an invisible line of uncomfort.  To break the chain of inevitable silence, she put a hand into her bag slowly, and grasped her favourite blue and white lighter, tightly and in secret. Before she knew it the decision staring her in the face was already made without her actively deciding it, and with a bright flash, the quiet sizzle of the first inhale, the wave of satisfaction of its’ release and the sound of small stones crunching underfoot, he was away with little more than a nod of thanks.

She held her ragged paperback up to her face to hide the flush of emotion that felt as if it would foam out of her otherwise. She watched his form shrink down the narrow stone street, confidently striding along, with a power behind each step.  Until finally it turned a corner into a small alleyway and disappeared from sight. She thought at that last moment she could see the soft long muss of hair turn and swish to the side revealing a cheeky grin in her direction, as if he knew something she didn’t, but at this distance she couldn’t be sure. The heat of the day might have been getting to her already parched and famished mind. She gathered herself and went back into her storm beaten, customerless shop and began fussing with the latest project in silence.

After a quarter of an hour she found she could not concentrate enough to manipulate the small strands of metal into something worth looking at, or pick up and string a glass bead without allowing it to slip and bounce along the warped, uneven floor. Productivity seemed futile at this point and she began to tidy up what she had began. She stared at her once beautiful blue walls, at the cracked bubbling paint along the waterline, permanently stained with mud and silt. She felt as if all the beauty she had created in her life was washed away in that flood, and was now unable to restore it to its’ former glory. She mulled over repainting and buying and installing new flooring, but with the frequency of customers lately, she would never be able to pay it off let alone feed herself in the process. There was only one thing to do, and her sudden flush of new found confidence that was the result of the chance meeting earlier in the day gave her the nod in the right direction.


She began collecting what valuables she had left in the shop into a large cloth bag, her wire cutters, pliers, finest beads and strands of silver and gold were wrapped in a swath of silk as a makeshift kit for the road. With the tourists out of the picture, added to the collective damage that needed repaired, there really seemed to be nothing left for her in that small village on the edge of nowhere. No future, no family, no hope left. It was time to leave. She tied her yellow shawl around her waist, grabbed her bag, donned her wide brimmed hat and cleared the threshold into the street. She said goodbye to her shop on the way out, but to no one else, as she let the Aghora fade into the distance behind her. She did not so much as receive a second glance from the others passing around her. To them nothing was out of the ordinary, but to her it was new and exciting day.

-Miss Hailey Jane.

You can read Part One by clicking here. 

Nobody Likes ‘Richard Curtis Fan Fiction’

“What a world we live in, the sad state of modern society makes me want to crawl under an overpass and die! When perfectly decent people won’t get up and read 2000 words of terribly written chicky fan fiction, it’s really just not worth living any more.”

To be entirely honest, it did break my heart a little that the Internet didn’t jump all over my last attempt at clever blogging, but I’m sure I’ll get over it. As of right now, no one has even looked at my blog in the last 12 hours, and I assume this is punishment for littering the walls of the vast and terrifying internet with more useless stories about girly things people have already written about.

Well played internet…well played.

I’ll give you all a bit of justification for the never ending fluff that was the content of my last post, entitled “Richard Curtis Fan Fiction: Notting Hill and Back Again“, but I can’t promise it’s going to be a good excuse.

I’m female…as I’m sure a few of you have deduced with your clever, clever minds, so this means I occasionally think about girly things.  Girly things include (for those of you who are out of the girly things loop): Flowers, kittens, rainbows, sweets and occasional intense bouts of sexual desire for certain male specimens. If the latest literary craze isn’t proof then I don’t know what is [RE: Fifty Shades of whatever seems to get women off these days].  These bouts tend to manifest themselves in the subconscious mind of the women in question, and eventually materialize as dreams.

More to the point of my story… I am traditionally an avid and intense dreamer. One night, one of these manifestations came to me in the depths of regular REM sleep, as one of my favourite…no….my single most favourite deliciously British public figure. The scene also, coincidentally, appeared to be set in the best place pretty much ever. I do love my brain sometimes. So the following morning, I had to do everything I could to write down the experience, and capture the intense feelings with words, so I wouldn’t lose it all forever.

And then no one read the results. Serves me right for sharing.

So a lesson to you all, no matter how many buzz words you put in your blog, which happens to be never ending tome of mundane conversation, people aren’t going to bother reading it.

End of story

Thank you and goodnight!


-Miss Hailey Jane

Richard Curtis Fan Fiction: Notting Hill and Back Again

Wandering the busy streets of London on an overcast yet warm spring day, a woman carrying a cloth bag of free used books looks up and smiles at the world. She was an interesting looking woman, but pretty nonetheless.  Her wide green eyes were captivating as well as wise and reflective, and her simple loose brown curls ensured her more striking features took the credit. She thought her head too big for her body and her arms too long, but she loved the way a patterned wrap dress fit across her flattened chest and floated down around her sharp hips. On this particular day she was wrapped in an off-white variant of the aforementioned dress type that tied at the neck, which had the daintiest green leafy embellishments along the hem.  It’s slight glint offset her gold sandals perfectly and she felt completely put together.

Years of the most enjoyable work and research left her more than comfortable at her current point in life, one might almost say she was well off. This fact did not matter to her so much as the fact that she absolutely loved every second of what she was paid to do. Because of this people were drawn to her magnetic personality, resulting in an even more successful career.

She was in London on what felt more like a vacation than work, promoting her latest book. It was a selection of mostly true short stories from her travels around the world, a guide book with an entertaining and occasionally dramatic twist thrown in for good measure. She was proud of this book, more so than any of her others, and she was thrilled that Travel Book Co. in London was putting her up to come in and do a meet and greet, slash book signing. It was a long way from her home in America, and she never imagined her works would reach so many people abroad, but she did have a rather terminal case of humility.

As she floated down the street, having just come from the event with her bag of complementary travel literature, she found herself in need of a hot drink to calm her slightly jostled nerves. It had been a surprisingly popular event, more so than she had anticipated. A line out the door and around the corner to come and meet her. She had met some very interesting and strange people, as well as a few local authors, whom she was honoured were interested in her work. The woman rolled the course of this morning’s events over in her head, while subconsciously searching for a Costa or Cafe Nero, otherwise, she was more or less completely oblivious to the rest of her surroundings.

And suddenly, like a cold brisk wave smashing against the boulders along the edge of the sea, she obliviously collided with a Demi-God. Their shoulders clashed and they both spun in the direction of the other, resulting in a fiercely locked gaze. At first glance she saw a tall, dark, high cheek-boned Adonis, and then, to her euphoric horror, she recognized him immediately. Memories of an early Disney film and the tune of “Once Upon a Dream” rang in her ears.

“Pardon me” He said, reaching out and gently touching her recently struck shoulder with his hand.

She could have died right there and then, being perfectly and completely satisfied with what life had presented her…but something deep inside her took hold of the situation, and what followed felt like a dream beyond her control.

“Uhm, Coffee…” was all that came out of her mouth.

He responded with a completely justified confused look. His proximity and long dark coat made her feel so much smaller than him. She was easily overwhelmed.

She closed her eyes and quickly shock her head to bring some sense back to her brain. “I could use some coffee, would you like to join me? There is a fantastic Cafe just around that corner I understand, my treat?”  It was a complete long shot, she knew that, but a part of her was determined to avoid regretting not taking the chance.

He looked her over, in a tactless manner but he was a man after all, all she could blame for that was nature. He pulled out his phone, thought for a moment while scrolling through what she assumed was his calendar, and then he looked up and laid a cheeky, confident grin all over her.


The Universe seemed to have decided to convince two complete strangers to go out on a limb, take a chance and make the leap. The rest was entirely in their hands. They walked side by side around the corner of the next street, she didn’t dare say anything from fear of fouling up the whole situation right off the bat and having him rum away faster than a chicken about to loose his head. She just wanted a cup of coffee in her hands and knew she would relax and come around.

They reached the door to the Cafe, and he held it open for her, she brushed past him, inhaling his intoxicating aroma that incidentally made her knees weaken. They stepped inside and she scraped up the remains of her confidence and turned to face him.

“What would you like?” She asked in a slightly too loud a voice. Damn those nerves again… “I’ll grab our drinks if you want to find a seat?” she followed up with, hopefully compensating for the embarrassing volume influx previously. He glanced up at the drinks board.

“I’d like a Irish Cream with sugar please.” Seemingly pleased at the selection.

“Mmm, good choice.” They parted and went about their prescribed tasks. She saw that he chose a seat for two by the window, which she thoroughly approved of, as she loved people watching, particularly in this wonderful city. This was quickly becoming her favourite place in the whole world, and that is saying quite a bit, as she had been just about everywhere one could think of because of her work.

She ordered the drinks, an Irish Cream with sugar for him, and Cappuccino for herself with a double shot of espresso. ‘That oughta keep me from a state of complete and utter panic’ she thought to herself. When they were ready, she carried them to the table, praying to any deity in the general vicinity, so she didn’t trip and spill them everywhere. The drinks made it to the table safely, and she sat down across from him and tried to make herself comfortable. ‘That is one damn good looking man’ she thought loudly as she looked at him, hoping no one could hear her. He was looking down at his coffee, stirring the dark liquid in the glass mug with a shiny spoon, making rhythmic clinking noises as the spoon went around. She tried desperately not to get too turned on, but at this point it was nearly impossible. she had been squeezing her legs together essentially since the moment they met. Couldn’t be helped.

“So, do you have a name my dear, or are you just a pretty face?”

She did her best not to turn to mush right there, trying to keep her composure, remembering the eternal words of Bridget Jones, ‘ “I will not get upset [flustered] over men, but instead be poised and cool icequeen.” Yes, that mantra would do just nicely. I’m a professional woman for fuck sakes…’ She realized she had been thinking too long and quickly snapped out of it and tried to think of something clever to say.

“Nope, just a face… made for getting a passport rather difficult though”… ‘Oh God, please laugh, please think it was at least slightly humorous’

“I have the exact same problem, yeah.” he laughed, then took a sip of his coffee that was too hot, and tried to look like he wasn’t flinching in pain.

“I’m sorry, I hope you didn’t have to be anywhere at the moment, I’m sure you’re up to your ears in press related whatnots and that sort of thing.”

“Naaa, sort of a day off. Seems you know who I am though. Doesn’t seem fair really, as I don’t know anything about you, not even a name. What is it you do for fun Miss Mystery Woman?”

“I am a writer actually…”

“I said for fun..”

“Oh I don’t think you can get much more fun than flying around the world, causing shenanigans and getting paid to write about them.”

“I guess so” he paused “So are your and shenanigans worth reading about?”

“No it’s all Crap,” she grinned widely wile narrowing her focus, waiting for an amusing reaction. When she got one she finished with    “Naw, It’s funny, amusing and all that but people love reading about misadventures, and if I can throw in a bit of helpful tourist hints and educate my audience even a little bit the end product is worth it.”

“Sounds fantastic, so what are you doing in London, you’ve got that sound about you that hints you’re from America”

“I am, actually, I’ve just come from a book signing at that Travel Book Shop in Notting Hill….you know, the one from the movie, actually come to think of it, it’s a wonder I didn’t spill orange juice all over you.”

“What?” He looked rather concerned, thus clearly hasn’t seen said film…

“I wouldn’t worry, you’re safe. Anyhow, they’re putting me up to do a bit of customer relations stuff, so to speak. I’m here till Tuesday then I fly to New Zealand to do another event.” She took a long sip of her Cappuccino, trying not to get foam all over her face.

“Well it’s terribly unfortunate that you’ve got to leave again so soon.”

“I know, this is just so surreal”  ‘Can’t believe I just said that’ she thought. ‘Thank goodness he won’t catch the quote, whatever you do, don’t say “surreal, but nice” and offer him honeyed apricots’.  She grinned to herself, yet felt slightly ashamed. ”

“At least tell me your name so I can find your book.”

“Here.” She reached into her bag and pulled out the copy she had on hand. She grabbed her pen and scribbled something on the inside cover for him and handed it over. “It’s all yours, with any luck it’ll be worth a fortune when I’m dead, 1st edition and all.” She rolled her eyes sarcastically and giggled. He grinned through his coffee mug, tilting it up finishing the last few drops.

“I’m very glad I bumped into you, Miss…” He paused and looked down to read the cover. “O’Brian, but I’ve got to get going, I’m so sorry. Thank you for the coffee, I’ll have to remember this place.”

“Yes, it is very lovely. As are you, and I’m so happy I got to meet you.” They got up and collected their things. A sharp feeling of sadness washed over her, thinking she may never see him…well…in person, ever again. But she will be eternally grateful for this opportunity. They cleared the doors of the shop, and stood on the sidewalk outside for a moment, facing each other.  Something was drawing her to him, and he couldn’t help but reach out and put his hand on the waist of her white dress. She stepped closer to him, so he could feel her breathing. With his other hand he clasped hers and pulled it to his lips for a sensual yet innocent kiss.  He held it to his lips for a moment longer, looking into her eyes, feeling like he had missed something important. He raised an eyebrow and lowered then released her hand. She stepped away from him, her heart beating  as if it were ready to explode.

“Goodbye” She said with unimaginable confidence, and turned to leave up the street.

“Wait!” He called after her. “How do I know this isn’t your pen name?”

She turned her head in his direction and smiled a cheeky and devious smile.

“It’s just a chance you’re going to have to take.”

As he walked away he opened the cover of the book to read what she had wrote, assuming it would just be a signature. As he did so he stopped mid-stride, turned in her direction, his mouth agape. his heart both floating and sinking simultaneously. She was gone. Lost in the sea of people on the street. He needed to find her again, no matter what it took.

‘Well, if anything this little adventure has made it’s way into my next volume, that’s for sure.’ she thought to herself as she skipped down the London streets, beaming with perfect happiness.”

The End

Miss Hailey Jane

Omorfos Aghora: Part One

She awoke in total darkness, with the last fleeting memories of a dream that had filled her nights sleep, escaping out the window with the hints of a new dawn. A dream of exotic pleasures and the wonderful company of a man that she would never have the pleasure of meeting.

She stretched through the length of her body and wiggled all of her toes, thinking about whether or not it was worth getting out of the bed on this rather unimportant day. She thought about the arbitrary amount of time it takes for her planet to rotate once, which for some reason governs the pattern of all of the lives on this rock, and then thought about what it would be like living here if the days were shorter or longer. She decided that because of the extreme improbability of her existence alone, that it was worth getting up. She sluggishly rolled around until she could be sure all of her body parts were in fact present, and she braced herself for overcoming another day.

She turned herself toward the sky, sat up and splashed water on her sleepy face from the small bowl next to her bed. She then reached for her bright red cotton shawl with yellow tassels and her black wide brimmed hat, slowly feeling the texture of these two items, remembering all those others that she had loved that were lost in the flood. She sighed with longing for an easier life, and wrapped her shoulders from the chill of the morning air and covered her head with the anticipation of another hot afternoon. She stood, finished dressing, slipped on her sandals, grabbed her walking stick and shoulder bag that held a small coin purse, cigarettes and the novel she was reading, and then headed through the cloth door on the front of her wooden framed tent where her house used to be, out into the unforgiving world.

She walked down the path as she watched the sun rise above the trees, the little bursts of light popping  up past the tips of the spring leaves. She smiled, not knowing why, but she did. Through the twists and turns of the wide dirt path she planned and prepared for the day. What to say to the people who had come to see her, how much she thought she should sell on this particular day and worst of all, what to do with those light fingered children decided to make her day miserable. She eventually came upon the aghora, and she heard it before she saw it, the unmistakable noise of children and animals bustling about, making much more noise than they need to. She walked through the noise, deep into the heart of this small  collection of civilization and found the small shop where she would spend the next twelve hours. She walked up to the blue door, remembering all of her hard work when the resident stray dog came up to her like he did every morning, looking for a good scratch. She obliged with another smile and then unlocked the creaky door and stepped into the darkness.

It was a small shop, with only one room in it, but she was immensely proud of it.  Last year she had finally saved enough to redecorate the inside, and so had painted it her favourite shade of blue. It looked lovely with the green/blue tiled floor, and contrasted with her sparkling fare. She had been selling her handmade adornments for ten years now at this market, making beautiful necklaces, bracelets and anklets out of the most spectacular coloured beads with silver and gold accents. She was almost to the point of calling herself a successful business woman when the flood came, but that seems so long ago now. It wiped out so much of the surrounding village she was lucky to still have walls standing around her. She lost a large amount of her merchandise but not as much as the fabric vendors or bake shops that surrounded her who seemed openly bitter about it. She was able to save much of her work but the beautiful new paint job was ruined, along with a large part of the floor and her displays.

All the vendors were told that business would pick up again once everyone got back on their feet so be prepared. What they didn’t tell her is that when times such as these got tight, no one would be looking to spend their precious pennies on frivolity such as her jewels. She watched as people came and went from the cloth shop, the bake shop and the other stalls in the market, but scarcely there was a man or woman that would come to visit her. And since the flood tourists had diverted to another more prosperous village on the north side of the island, leaving her with hardly enough money to feed herself, let alone buy a proper home or repair the inside of her shop again.

All seemed to be lost, including hope, but she stuck to it knowing it was the only way to get herself back on her feet again. She would think about the earth, rotating around the sun, in the vast solar system in an even more vast galaxy. She knew it was unlikely that she was alive, so she clung desperately to that thought to keep herself going. When lunch time rolled around she stepped outside and lit herself a cigarette in lieu of not making enough to justify buying lunch. It was one of her two simple pleasures, that along with reading.  A long drag on a cigarette plus the escape into another world while reading a novel made for a near-perfect lunch hour, near-perfect only because food was out of the question. She was content.

As she was standing outside her shop, oblivious to most of the world with her nose in an old book she was approached by a man who, unknown to both of them, would change the course of her life forever.

He coughed in an obvious manner and she poked her nose over the top of her book, raising an eyebrow at his striking yet unkempt appearance.

He gently waved a cigarette in the air and asked, “χετε μια λυχνία?”

She had a light, but the question was whether or not she was going to give it to him…

-Miss Hailey Jane

The Man in the Silver Challenger

It started a few months back when the weather began to improve and the mud and grit of winter disappeared from the streets. Since moving to the big city a year ago, this was her first real spring in the heart of the bustling metropolis. She watched from her balcony as the snow and ice melted, and the people began to come out of wherever they chose to hide throughout the winter months. She watched as ladies in short shorts on rollerblades skated along the riverside, and she wondered if they had a real destination or of they were just skating for the purpose of skating, which in her mind seemed irritatingly circular and irrelevant. And then she figured it was an attention seeking gesture, she hated gratuitous attention seeking gestures, it had to be, no one bothers buying shorts that short without wanting to be stared at.  But judging by the general male reaction to the undulating flesh, there is shallow success to be had.

She watched more and more as the sun began to make the few city plants grow again. She missed the green of the country and found the pathetic attempt at bringing nature to the streets of downtown dismal and ultimately ironic. They had destroyed all the original environment to put all this steel and concrete here, bringing small bits back seemed sort of mean. She saw more and more people taking tiny pets out for walks, riding strange low-riding bicycles and even started to hear the ringing of the ice cream truck. It’s a weird wild and wonderful world she thought. But she didn’t see herself in it; she was watching it like a film, waiting for the plot to become slightly more interesting. And then one unsuspecting day, it did.

Spending afternoons sipping tea or coffee and reading at the cafe downtown was one of her favourite pastimes. It had dark brick walls on which hung beautiful local art, and relaxing music played over the speakers that she found she loved more and more each time she visited. The cafe also had a big open patio that allowed her to look out onto the bustling street through a couple of lonely trees planted in the sidewalk. The dark lighting inside the cafe made the bright strip seem ever more like a screen where the world was being projected for her. She watched the crazy locals walking by, mothers and children, invalids on their motorized scooters, and on Friday afternoons everybody seemed to want to walk up and down the main drag.  Soon she began to notice the cars going by, or more so the people in them, as with the warmer weather people drove happily with the windows down with their music cranked for the world to hear. She always wondered why people did this, as if whatever it was they were listening to was so important and the best thing ever composed, that it took societal precedence over what the people on the street were trying to think about.  She hated having her thoughts interrupted by some young thing with the latest spleen shaking, bass loaded, autotuned disaster they have the nerve to call music, booming out of their car. She wished just once someone would be listening to Wagner or Tchaikovsky, but that was never the case.

One early weekday afternoon as she was reading a book not worth mentioning, and a Silver Challenger with black racing stripes cruised past the cafe, windows down and with the music at what couldn’t possibly have been an audibly pleasing decibel. She mentally “guffawed” at the happening and made note of strange people like that for future conversation. She went back to her book and vanilla nut coffee and that should have been the end of it. Not even several minutes later, she could hear the booming bass of another attention seeking vehicle approaching from the same direction. She paused from her book to mentally curse the driver for interrupting her novel, and as it rolled past and stopped at the light she saw that it was the very same Silver Challenger, with black racing strips. This time round she had a change to see the driver, fully expecting it to be some arrogant self possessed twenty-something looking to pick-up some unsuspecting pretty young thing with the IQ of a potato, but no, this was not the case. Turns out, he appeared to be a middle-to-late aged frumpy man. Now, this is not the first time she has seen a middle-aged man in a mid-life-crisis car, this was not a shock to her nor would it be to anyone, but the music that was coming from inside it was the appalling gut wrenching rap music popular among boys with pants around their knees and hats not quite on right. This man had both the mid life crisis car as well as the tunes. She made her mental note more detailed and then decided he was perhaps just lost and had to circle around twice to get his bearings.

Throughout the next thirty minutes she remained in the cafe, the Silver Challenger circled around another ten times. At which point she had had enough of trying to read and then getting interrupted every three minutes by the booming monstrosity, packed up and left. On the street he passed again, not noticing her, but she got a better look at him from behind her dark sunglasses. He wasn’t anything special to look at, just your average dark haired, medium build,regular height man. His repeated presence bothered her, but she wouldn’t let it ruin her day. She scurried home to the safety of her apartment and tried not to dwell on it too much and get on with her day. “People drive around all the time” she said to herself. “It’s not that abnormal” she repeated. She tried all evening but she could not satisfy her curiosity about the strange socially obscure happening. “Does he not have a job? a family?…Why is he driving around town in the middle of the day?….He’s not going to pick up someone at that hour…better to wait until midnight when they’re all hammered…maybe he’s afraid of the police catching him trying to scam girls at night…maybe he’s a sexual predator…maybe he’s looking for his next victim….”.  She could not quiet her mind, and it kept running all over the place trying to figure out why this one person in such a populated city was causing her so much distress. Maybe she was paranoid, but it didn’t fit with the way people work, and the recognized pattern of how life is supposed to go. Eventually she got to bed and through the miracle of sleep she forgot about it and went on with her days.

Three planetary rotations later, once she had completely got over the Silver Challenger incident and pushed everything to the back of her mind…it happened again. She was on her way to the drug store in the morning and there it was, windows down, music playing same blank look on the drivers face, watching the road. She dove into the closest public establishment she could find and hid in the shop for a while, thoughts running through her head about what he could possibly be doing out again, was this just a coincidence and had he not been out since the last time…or was this a regular thing. Over the next week, every single time she went outside it seemed, her was there…in that Silver Challenger, just driving around…and around and around, never stopping to get out of the car. WHYYYY!?!?! It was starting to drive her crazy. Was this what he wants? To drive poor curious girls absolutely crazy by repeatedly performing a perfectly mundane task obnoxiously with absolutely no purpose! Well it was working!

Over the next month, she kept seeing him, morning, afternoon, evening, and she was sure he was out at night, yet she was too scared to wander the streets at night alone.  She seriously debated asking shop owners who worked on the strip if they knew what was going on, but at the risk of sounding absolutely insane and stalker-y she decided against it. She would think about the reality of the situation…he likely had no idea who she was if he drove around so often…but she, on the other hand, began to panic the second she saw a Silver Challenger anywhere. How is it that you can recognize someone so easily, see them on such a regular basis, yet they have absolutely no idea who you are. Tis the nature of modern society she supposes.

The remainder of her summer was spent on constant lookout for the offensive vehicle, wondering if and when she would see it next.  When she looked left and right to cross the street she was secretly checking to make sure that the Silver Challenger was not there. She could not wait for the cool winter weather to return and force all the leisure vehicles back under their protective winter covers, freeing her fragile mind for a time.

And so for the rest of her life this unsolved mystery would be present in the corners of her mind, every time she saw a Silver Challenger her stomach would jump to her throat, and it would anger her, with thoughts of “WHY!?” because this mystery is never solved. He never leant his head out the window to explain why he was there, never even hollered a hello, just drove around like it was the last day of his life and couldn’t think of anything better to do. This is why life is such a mystery. Because things like this don’t get solved. Because people no longer talk to each other to communicate, just use confusing gestures, accessories and actions to paint a picture of themselves for society to see. He wanted to be seen, he wanted to be noticed, in the flashy car with the loud music, but WHY!  He never stopped to talk to anyone, was never on the phone, just alone with his loud and aggressive musical anachronism. This is the future of society, and through the wonders of societal evolution we all will be left wondering about everyone else, trying to communicate without speaking real words, and most people won’t even notice.

The End

-Miss Hailey Jane

You Can Blink


A world gestates denial,

of encompassing truth.

Ideals forget, drifting apart from

a necessity from youth.


Monstrous cubes, organized paths,

percolate gusto and skill.

Lonely steps, meaningless greetings,

lives carry along solitary will.


Caffeinated enthusiasm,

dollar sign views.

Canid nourishes canid,

no air for feline blues.


Golden orbs arc, never relent

time quickens, space shrinks.

An ultimate goal, entitled reward,

collective unconscious thinks;


From solitary success, The Universe blinks?







-Miss Hailey Jane


WANTED: An International Pen Pal

Hey there people of the Internet! It’s a bonus Thursday post!  (Making up for the failure that has been the past couple of weeks…my bad)

This is a call to the people of the world! I’m looking for a good old fashioned Pen Pal! That’s right, the paper, pen, envelope and stamp kind! As I’m currently living in Canada, I would love to get to know someone interesting from another country via the good old fashioned pace of snail mail! There is almost nothing better than finding a personalized piece of actual handwritten mail waiting for you on the floor when you get home, check your mailbox or however bills are generally delivered to you (carrier pigeon?)

I miss the days of writing back and forth, Jane Austen style. It’s so EPIC! That’s the only way to describe it…letters that would change the course of a person’s life arriving on a silver dinner plate! (Oh my…must keep current heart rate at normal levels….breathe…whew). But it’s even more exciting when it’s to someone you don’t really know from a different country!  Before the days of the Internet, when I was a small, enthusiastic sponge for knowledge, I used to have a pen pal in school.  I think she was from Canada too, but Canada is big…so it still counts.  It was almost magical, seeing the physical evidence of a person who you’ve never met before, who knew your name and other random things about you. To be honest, by now I’ve forgotten what her name was, but that’s not the point.  Point is, it was awesome so I want to do it again. My little sister was also corresponding with a little girl from Germany while in Grade 1, which I thought was great.  So with her inspiration, I want to re-live some of those exciting experiences, and also learn a bunch of fascinating things about a different country!

So for those of you interested and serious about becoming an international Pen Pal, here’s what you’ll need to do:

-Write about fun and exciting things that happen in your life occasionally

-include scenic/artsy pictures every so often

-Be awesome, have humour, don’t be creepy.  (The last of those is imperative…)

I’ll be sure to get back to you regularly with fun and fancy hand written letters, and knowing English well isn’t a necessity either. My translating skills could use a brush-up that’s for sure! So if your interest has been peaked by my rant, and you think you are also awesome enough to embark on such a worldly journey, leave me a comment or send a message at the email provided, and I’ll be in touch so we can start the process of snail-mailing tidbits of what our world looks like from where we see it.

-Miss Hailey Jane