Welcome to Wonderland excerpt: April Showers

Avril in NYC_fl

Meet Avril a colleague at the NYC based publisher Olivia is transferred to. This extract begins with Olivia’s morning start then Avril’s…

Mornings in Queens: purchase pastry en route to subway. Gloves always on, germs everywhere. Blended faces, swivelling bodies a whirlwind of humanity dashing in all directions with the same ambitious palpable energy.

Same white mocha, an almond croissant. Why not get donuts for the department?

donuts coffee

Timex watch looked at in 15 minute intervals awaiting the subway ride. A clamouring of bodies. Finally, on board. Trainers still on, black French Soles inside the black leather backpack. Once on Manhattan streets slip into chic footwear.

Wipe off crumbs on scarf. Mad dash to the offices, another stop over at a coffee house to grab another morning drink this time a hazelnut latte and one for Avril too.

Already on the island is Avril. Her morning is less rushed as at age 26 she still lives with her parents in their Manhattan townhouse. You’d never think that someone wearing a yellow Alessi watch takes a town car takes but Avril is our resident contradiction in terms. Typically, Avril doesn’t wake up until 8:30am as work starts at 11am. Obviously she’s only part time she doesn’t actually need to work. It’s just a ginger peach tea and a gluten-free lemon and ginger slice for breakfast.

Mom still lectures at NYU, Daddy is still at Liberty street. Edmund her eldest brother is at Goldmans Sachs and baby brother Tim is studying a useless subject at NYU.

This morning Avril decided to paint her nails after she got dressed and continued to daintily nibble breakfast and gather her belongings for work without leaving a dent on her newly polished nails. She checks Tinder and OKCupid as she’s due a couple dates tonight hence varnish application. It’s just her usual base coat applied twice then three coatings of Essie “Mademoiselle” polish. Once read in a magazine that Melania Trump uses the same shade. Avril’s dream in life is to marry a Hedge Fund Manager and have his babies. Though tonight she’ll be hooking up with Sid a Grafitti artist in Brooklyn at night; by day a freelance video editor at Vayner Media.

The other date is Mason an entrepreneur.

She’s met Sid before but this’ll be a first with Mason.

Both girls arrived at their desk, Avril skimming though her personal messages to check that neither date cancelled, Olivia opening up her file to work.

First on Avril’s after works activities is seeing Sid over in Brooklyn at Toby’s Estate (a Coffee Roaster in Williamsburg.) She succumbed to her third coffee of the day and Sid went on about work.

cafe lights

Enter Sid.
“Are you on snapchat,” he asked.
“I’m not actually.”
“I manged to get quick vid with the CEO today – check it out.” Enter a 10 second video of Sid and Gary doing V’s with bold text across it saying WORRRRK!!!!
“That’s so funny, whoa you got to meet the CEO?”
“Yeah most of the staff get to he’s not typical at all. I literally show up to work like this.” Sid wears a Basic white tee-shirt, navy hoodie, cargo pants and Vans.
“Where I work the women are pretty much expected to always be in skirts or work dresses, trousers are frowned upon.”
“Sounds like Mad men.”
“Yup.”

Next up burger and fries with Mr Unemployed…

burger lights

Mason had incredible energy and the kind of guy us Brits would call a Cheeky Chappie. His dimples blinded Avril to the fact that he was only 19, he’d recently dropped out of NYU and already knew her little brother. The two had met skateboarding. Mason wore A.P.C jeans with a navy crewneck sweater. You’re standard Wunderkind. A Collarless Hustler.

Unbeknownst to Avril he had already been featured in Inc’s 20 under 20 Brainchild’s Transforming Tech as he and a friend developed an on-demand app to locate nearby professional organizers in Manhattan. The app is called “@YourService” the co-founders are looking to branch out into a wider pool of consultants and advisers in business efficacy to housekeeping.

Mason’s knee started to jerk up and down, he keeps breaking eye contact and looks around the room. “I don’t actually have a job as such.”
“I figured.”
“I’m a free agent, I’m back and forth to San Fran quite a bit as that’s where my investors are based.”
“What do you like to do there, outside of work I mean.”
“Umm… Skate, surf, just cruise really.”
“So where are you from originally?”
“NJ.”
“Are you still there or?”
“Yup, with my parents.”
“Me too, no wait not in Jersey. Manhattan.”
“Did you go to Dalton?”
“Yeah me and my brothers did, Timothy and Edmund.”
“Fancy names,” he turned his head once more then eyes diverted up to the ceiling.
“So, are you all in with your business?”
“Pretty much.”
“Don’t you wanna go back to school?”
“Nope.”


CatherineVaughan.com
Welcome to Wonderland will be my first novel. Publication date will be announced on my Mailing List. Join here.

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Exclusive! Extracts from my forthcoming debut novel “Welcome to Wonderland” published on this blog!

fic ext W2W CVW typewriter red roses

Did you know that I have a forthcoming novel coming out?

There’s still a long way to go with it. It is called “Welcome to Wonderland” and will be Book 1 of a trilogy of novels revolving around a Bohemian Love Story. I usually post the latest news about my fiction on my official site CatherineVaughan.com and the publication date of this novel will be first announced on THIS Mailing List from my official site: http://eepurl.com/cxzD1D Kindly share this 💌Mailing List💌 link to any friends and family you think will LOVE the sound of this book series.

Like all my other writing this book series is something I have put my heart and soul into. There are moments I’ve cried as I’ve typed the paragraphs.  It’s a very personal story, certainly not autobiographical but an intimate imprint of all the things I wished and longed for in life that could only manifest in printed words…

freestocks-org-206394

You will meet Olivia Mariam. (She looks just like me.) Her best friend Serena Johnson, complete opposite in looks and temperament. Then there’s Tom and Jack Bodenham. I definitely have the song “something like Olivia” to blame for our main character’s name choice. Serena’s name is a slight homage to Whit Stillman’s debut film and of course Gossip Girl.

Serena sit hat

Naturally the story is set in England, Serena is off at University (studying English Lit) and Olivia works for a publishing press. Having previously turned down a job post at Cheltenham because that was where her life was b.c. (before crisis as in the 2008 financial collapse.) Her father Bill Mariam was a hedge fund manager who lost everything in ’08 and the family haven’t been back since. Olivia lost everything and has dedicated herself to reclaiming back her former life at any cost. Her plan? Creating an app.

Then she meets Jack. 

Jack is athletic and a writer. He’s dreamy but there are ups and downs in store…

Christmas comes along and she’s finally in a place of true happiness… January arrives with a new year and a new job offer elsewhere.

In the meantime Serena has ditched her risque reputation and meets Tom.  The girl’s lives change. New friendships and entanglements ensue.

people cafe

As Olivia aggressively pursues her career she encounters everything she has ever dreamed of with irresistible suitors distracting her along the way. She faces a crossroad yet again and is all too aware of the fragility of life and is uncertain how to proceed in affairs of the heart.

Evelyn wants Nathaniel. Nathaniel and Jacob are enemies yet know Bill Mariam all too well. As luck would have it Jacob and Olivia’s paths cross and attraction arises. Enter temptation and disillusionment…

As she prepares to return home she has thorns in her heart one for Jack, another for Jacob and others thorns pierce her heart from other sources.

Lastly she has doubts whether it’s best to walk alone after all, but can’t but help wonder who her true soulmate is…

NYC skyline tower viewer

Book 1 is all about choices and the uncertainty of our paths in life and love. I can’t wait to announce the publication date to you all on 💌  My Mailing List 💌 !

Reading Howl for the first time…

Howl 1

It was a Tuesday (13.6.17) evening and my 22nd print edition (1969) of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and other poems” had arrived via Priority Mail. I had been meaning to own this for a while.

I opened the book at random, enter Howl. I Youtubed Allen and searched for his reading of this poem on my phone. I hit play and sat on my bed reading his words and hearing his words. Beat Consciousness streamed through my being…

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked…

 

Source

 

…Who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to 

Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the
stoops off fire escapes off windowsills of Empire State out
of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming…

#GinsbergGlasses

Ali-G SQ13.5.17_SQ_3

 

 

 

 

 

…Who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to
Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver &
brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find
out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each
other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul
illuminated its hair for a second…
I’m with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rockland

It was lengthy punch lines, knocking me out. I continued listening as he read Footnote to Howl.

Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!

 

It was almost 30 minutes of voyeuristic poetry, vulgarity, profanity and some moments had me wincing at the blasphemous lines: “The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and [insert hidden body parts].” It’s controversial but it drastically shifted the art form of poetry forever.

In his dedication Ginsberg states his and his friends books were published in Heaven. This irks me severely because he’s practically summoning Moloch in his poem…

I like The Beat Beneration because they were pure poetry and they had that enviable university-to-death friendship that I never got to have. I arrived at University and I don’t think anybody knew Burroughs/Kerouac/Ginsberg.  It seems romantic looking back and very literary though I’m sure if I was alive when they were I’d have ran off after the poetry reading as they drank their way into despair and havoc… It’s always hard to champion these Bohemians because they’re so flawed and there’s always a dark side to artists either they are drunkards/insert addiction of choice, had horrific upbringings/lives due to others cruelty or are just plain rotten because we are all sinners. But it’s the art, talent and image I’m shining a light to… Not them as individuals.