MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

A little shameless self-promotion…

toxamenofws-cover-510x760The most exciting moment for any writer – or even wannabe writer – is the time when they see the realization of their dream. That time when they receive the printed version of what had previously only been imprinted in their minds. The publication of their first book.

I have been lucky and privileged enough to see this dream come true. My collection of ten short stories, following the adventures, thoughts and daily happenings of a bunch of characters that could easily form a part of our own social group, our friends and family. They are stories that aim to bring light into our busy and often stressful lives. To make you think of your problems in a different glow, to view life in a different perspective, to cause a smile to form on your pretty face.

It is a book that encompasses stories that have moved from the fantasy realm of my mind into the printed wonder of the published word. And I would love to share them all with you. Just like you share a good book, movie or wine with friends, unleashing all the while an inner secret that would otherwise never be heard. Because a good book always reveals an unknown inner part of its author. And in this way you gain both an entertainment and a new friend!

The book is in Greek (for now) and is available here.

Bottled Message

Tmessage in a bottlehere Andre was, sitting on his luxury soft blue towel, soaking in the last of the summer sun’s rays and enjoying the massaging feeling of the small white pebbles on his back. Routine would strike him sooner than he could expect and he was determined to make the most of every carefree moment he still had. When he got up to turn around – the secret to sunbathing is to roast on both sides equally – his eyes fell upon a glistening object at the water’s edge. At first, he thought it was a reflection that the waves had caused as they foamed ashore. He got up to quench his curiosity. It was a glass bottle. And yes, there was a message inside.

As Andre uncorked the storm-tossed bottle, he carefully unrolled the yellowish creased paper inside. It had four words scribbled on it in panic: “Help! SOS! In danger”.

Andre looked across the sea, towards the horizon. It was an unconscious act. Perhaps in his mind he believed he would have seen the shipwrecked letter-writer emerge and he could run (or rather swim) to his/her rescue. But there was nothing out there. The water was tranquil and not even a sailboat was apparent at the coastline.

Andre took out his tablet – because everyone has one form of technology or other available at all times, even at the beach – and began to search the news for shipwrecks. It took him a while, given the increased incidents of Middle Eastern migrants risking their very lives and abandoning everything in search of a better life in a new continent. But he finally found it. It was a small boat cramming 200 migrants. It had been found just hours after it sunk having completed over half of its perilous journey. All of its passengers, downtrodden humans just like everyone else, with a story of their own to tell if they could, men in their thirties and forties, women who seemed so much older than they really were and children who had had the innocence of their childhood stolen away from them, all perished at sea. All that remained as a reminder of their existence was this scrawny paper.

Andre got up. His holidays had just ended. He spent the rest of his time before returning to work, and as much free time as he had after that, volunteering in shelters and centres that were constructed especially for people who had nothing. Not necessarily for refugees who had come from afar, but even for people in his own country who were struggling to survive. A message in a bottle had changed his entire perspective. If he could have the same influence on someone else, imagine how much change could be brought about.

Also part of Daily Prompt: SOS

Witch Wars

spells potions witchcraftGisella was a witch. But she didn’t know it. Not until when she was 22 years old and fell head over heels in love with a boy. A boy who, however, had another girlfriend. That is when Gisella realized the power she had.

For days she ached for his attention. She longed for the moment his eyes would meet hers, for when they would exchange a few words and he would make her laugh so easily. But then, she would show up. That dyed-blonde, tall, I’m-so-pretty-and-I-know-it type of girl who was always hanging off his arm. Gisella was jealous. Inside of her, a green-eyed monster was brewing with rage. All she wanted to do was get her out of the picture in some way, so she could be the one to enjoy the young man’s attention. But how?

She suddenly remembered that on her 18th birthday her great aunt had given her an old leather-bound notebook. She had told her that she would know when she would need it. The aunt passed away three months later. Gisella searched for it at the back of her closet and finally opened it. Inside were hand-written psalms, spells, recipes for potions and remedies for all sorts of “illnesses” – heartaches, diseases and the like, both good and bad. Obviously, her great aunt had been a witch. Or just very insane.

Jealousy had taken over Gisella’s entire being and all she could think of was how to conquer the young man. So she decided to try out a spell. After all, what was the worst that could happen?

She made a potion that seemed fairly easy and used ingredients found around the house. Plus a hair from the young man in question which she acquired with dexterity one day when she was pretending to choke and grabbed onto him, plucking out a single hair from the back of his neck. The next time she saw him, she offered him this new homemade drink her aunt had prepared. A sip was enough.

The potion was supposed to bring chaos to his relationship with the dyed-blonde. And it did. Because they soon began to quarrel and fight more often.

But a few days later, Gisella fell sick. She had constant headaches and her stomach was churning like a washing machine. She found on her windowsill a small pebble with a star painted inside a square. She flicked through the aunt’s book and found that this was a sample of black magic. It was used to make a person sick, and the more stones you used the sicker the person would become. The dyed-blonde was a witch too.

A witch war began with Gisella now focusing her power on diminishing the other witch. Spells and counter spells were fired, all the while forgetting what exactly this was over – or rather whom. The young man was perplexed, but he grew distant from his girlfriend and that pleased Gisella. She then frantically sought another plan. She made another man pursue the dyed-blonde; sooner or later she would fall for him, flattered by his passion and overwhelmed by his persistence in chasing after her. It worked. And the road was now open for Gisella to enter the young man’s heart. Another potion for that would do the trick. One that would ensure that the person who drank it would only have eyes for her.

Gisella was a witch. But she would always wonder if she could ever get her way without magic. She felt like she cheated life but justified herself by arguing that jealousy makes you someone else. Someone you never knew you were. That someone may simply just as well be an all-powerful witch. So why not use that power?

Also part of Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster

Batteries recharged

Villa Bonatsa, Batsi, Andros - ©Maria-Christina DoulamiIt’s amazing how we spend most of the year waiting for that summer month when you’ll finally take a much deserved break from everything for a few weeks, to detox your system and simply escape from the stress that is constantly hanging over your shoulders. The time arrives and you set off ready to let go of it all and just be. But then… How is it possible that these few days always pass by so quickly? Before you know it, you’re on the return journey to your daily routine, feeling as if your trip to paradise was already so long ago.

No matter how fast time passes by though, one thing is certain – even those few days helped your relax, recharge and rejuvenate your exhausted organism. They made you see how much more there is in this life, which we often waste worrying about needless things.

Sure, the city air hits you in the face like a moist sandpaper once you set foot back, but just think how much less that actually annoys you now because you’re still there on that balcony gazing into the sea and listening to the gentle crashing of the waves ashore.

It takes time to re-adjust to reality, but in doing so you know everything will be better now because you’ve recharged every single part of you.

Feed yourself with the world around you

window ocean view

Feed your life with the enjoyment of doing something you love,
That relaxes you,
That fills your heart with passion.

Feed your mind with thoughts that lift you up,
That causes a smile to form on your face,
That challenges you to dream beyond the borders of space.

Feed your eyes with the beauty that encircles you,
That triggers you to gleam with joy,
That makes you marvel with the world we live in.

Feed your soul with the enchantment that is today.
Don’t let it perish in negativity and grey.
Lift your spirits and you will rise,
To be the very person you wish to be.

How to disappear

Boat+and+Aegean SeaWhen she walked past, heads turned and whispers began to be heard louder than buzzing bees. Rebecca was the kind of woman who could not pass by unnoticed. It wasn’t just her beauty and decisive step that caused people to stop and stare. It was the fact that she was famous. And celebrities had that effect, no matter how much they sometimes wished they didn’t.

Rebecca had risen to fame quite suddenly. A quite afternoon reading session at a small town bistrot led to her being noticed by a hotshot producer who was out searching for his new (unknown) muse. She was offered a hefty remuneration and was promised “an experience of a lifetime”. Rebecca was the type of person who grabbed life by the horns and enjoyed every moment of it. So she decided to try it out. What did she have to lose anyway? Little could she expect then, that what she was giving up was life as she knew it.

The film was a huge success and Rebecca became a star overnight. She could no longer go anywhere alone as she could not fight back the stream of paparazzi following her every step. She was given a strict set of guidelines of what she could and could not do, what she should say, even what to wear and where to go. Soon, Rebecca grew tired of this new lifestyle. She wanted her independent existence back and was determined to get her way this time.

During her few days of forcefully obtained summer vacations, Rebecca managed to secure an hour for scuba diving off the coast of the little island where she was staying. She had everything prepared days before. Her oxygen was enough to last a couple of hours. She had stuffed some money inside her diving suit and had already planned the route she would follow so as to “drift away”. And thankfully it all went smoothly. Rebecca went scuba diving on a windy day when the underlying currents were too strong for an inexperienced diver to deal with. She was carried away and her body was never found. Her mysterious disappearance dominated the press for a couple of weeks, but, like so many other cases, was soon forgotten.

That was exactly what Rebecca wanted. To escape from the media spotlight.

She changed her name and thus identity and continued to live a “normal” life somewhere else. Somewhere where people recognized her need for privacy and respected it.

Because sometimes all it takes to truly disappear is the will to actually do so.

Do undocumented lives make an existence real?

FakeSocialMedia_grande“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Who would know. But that doesn’t rule out the fact that the tree fell. Similarly, if we live a life without posting every single moment of it on social media, are we really living? If there is no (public) proof, how can you demonstrate you are doing the things you do?

There are so many artificial “lives” floating online these days that we are called to distinguish between what is true and what is not. People nowadays feel the urge to gloat, to advertise, and to boast every single – usually happy – moment they experience. But how can you really engage in that moment when you are so busy taking photos, filtering and editing it, coming up with the appropriate hashtags, and picking your brain for the best comment to accompany it with, and then striving to find a proper internet connection in order to upload it to all your followers who in your mind are waiting at the edge of their seats to find out what you’re doing? Does this seem like a life you are enjoying to the fullest?

What about all those people who lived before social media (yes, life did exist before the advent of the Internet)? What about all those Roman emperors and Greek philosophers? We don’t even have a picture of them, yet we know they lived and they accomplished greatness. Are our lives evolving towards pettiness? Towards being so superficial that it matters more to publicize that we are doing something than to actually do it? And what does this say of people themselves?

We are supposed to evolve so that we make our ancestors proud. Instead, the way we are progressing, we will only make our descendants ashamed (provided that they don’t turn out to be even worse).

Whispers Three

three ice creamThree is a number that symbolizes completeness, the union of two opposing parts to form a whole. The one that sees the world as idyllic as we would like it to be; and the one who views the reality as it is. In three, we see reflected the right mix of the founding elements that construct who we are. For many, three is the number of good fortune. I choose to believe so too, because it’s been three years already since I first started this blog. And it has opened up so many more perspectives for me than I could ever imagine.

It is through this very blog that I discover who I am, what I can do, and what I would like to achieve.

It is by writing incessantly here that I can find refuge, experiment with creative freedom, record memories, share a travel log, and find a friend.

This blog has also opened up opportunities to explore all sorts of writing that is not simply limited to fiction, but goes beyond, to reflections, critical thought and political analysis. It allows me to believe that the world has no borders, and neither should your imagination and determination to do something great.

I am so grateful for all the followers I have gained (and continue to) during this journey. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am and like me, you’re looking forward to more.

Keep whispering those thoughts in your head; sometime they might turn into actions that may lead to significant change.

Helping out a friend with a guest post

guest-post-blog-dream-creativity-love-joy-tantra-gift-economy1It’s always great to help out a friend. Especially one you share a blogging passion with. Jackie asked me to write a guest post for her wonderful blog. And of course I accepted.

So head over here to find out exactly how weird writers and translators are, especially when they are mentally grappling alone with the multitude of works that are muddled up in their heads.

Thanks Jackie!

Tracing fire

water drops on faceIt all begins at the head. Most things do. It is the source of everything. The thoughts, the images, the fantasies, the emotions. And when something like that sticks to it, especially on a sizzling summer day, everything simply heats up even faster.

It forms on the sidebars of your forehead. It appears without you even knowing it. You never even realise it is there until it starts to move so slowly you can barely feel it. It trickles down your cheek, caressing your neck like a silken scarf. It tickles your shoulders as it continues to seduce its way below, licking every inch of your burning body. It rages on its downward path, tracing fire as your body burns, ready to explode. By the time it embraces your legs it is has almost disappeared, evaporated in the mist of your vigor.

And you are left steaming under the scorching temperatures, wondering how a single drop of water can have such a powerful effect on your entire being. The greatest things, perhaps do indeed come in the smallest packages…

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