Interested in learning more about the writing field and carving out the time to write? Join me in my upcoming workshop that I will be teaching!
Here is the course description:
“Discover the world of writing with Award winning author Catina Noble in this lively, interactive and informative course. Explore everything from character building, story genres and editing to submission tips, self publishing, grant submissions and so much more! Learn from someone who has been published more than 200 times and will give practical support and guidance. Participants will also receive and work from Catina’s course book Letter Rip.”
Start Date – Tuesday April 18 to Tuesday May 30, 2023
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $185 plus HST
Location: Glebe Community Centre – 135 Third Avenue, Ottawa
Phone Number: 613-564-1058
Looking forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Glebe Community Centre or you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My book Finding Evie has been getting a lot of attention lately and I am grateful for that. I thought this weekend I would include the first chapter of the book.
I WAS SEVENTEEN. Things had become steadily worse for me since my father had moved back in. You would think, after everything, he would have tried to make an effort. It was the complete opposite. It was as though he couldn’t stand the sight of me or even handle being in the same room with me. I couldn’t understand why.
My mother did nothing to help foster even a semblance of father-daughter relationship between us. I was tired of her pretending that nothing was going on, but I guess that was her way of coping. I do believe she feared him at times. But that did nothing to help me, or defeat my fathers inevitable wrath. He would get annoyed with my two younger sisters, and even yell at them, but for some reason, I seemed to be the main focus of his anger and abuse.
My father was a short main, but taller than I was and he had lightning-fast speed. He was such a force, he could smack you and it would take you five minutes to figure out what had just happened.
On this particular night, something was different. My father had been drinking yet again. I could see the rage building in his piercing blue eyes when they locked with mine. I don’t know how to explain it because this kind of thing had been going on throughout my entire childhood, but something was off this time. I had to make a decision. And fast.
I honestly didn’t have a plan for how I was going to get out of this particular situation, or how it might end, or whether this night might change anything, or if it might change everything. None of that mattered right then. I just knew something had to be done. Things weren’t going to end well, that much I knew. I had this bad feeling.
I turned to my mother for support. Surely, she had to realize how dangerous the unfolding scene was.
“Mom, can’t you see I need help? I can’t take this anymore. It shouldn’t be like this.” There was no way she could just sit back and watch anymore. She had to do something.
She was sitting at the kitchen table. She was wearing her pale-blue long-sleeved nightgown with the zipper down the front and she was working on one of her word search games or crossword puzzles. She didn’t react in the slightest at the sound of my voice. It was as though she were trying to ignore me, and everything else that was going on.
This time, I wasn’t going to let her do that.
“Mom. I know you can hear me. Turn around.”
She turned and her eyes met mine. She spoke quietly. “Evie, you know better than to upset your father. You know better than that.”
The thing was, I hadn’t done anything. It was the same as it always was. I was being punished for something I hadn’t done. My father hated me for things I didn’t do. There was something wrong with him. He needed help.
How could she even think for a moment this was my fault? She was sitting not even six feet away from us. I was the kid here. They weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing. I tried to recall the last time I had seen my father this upset. I couldn’t.
All I had wanted to do was sleep at a friend’s place because Dad was completely drunk. My sisters had already gone to spend a night with their friends. I didn’t want to be his punching bag. That’s what it basically boiled down to. He seemed to be on a fresh wave of rage. I thought I might vomit. I glanced at the back screen door where my friend PJ stood waiting. Just outside. She was fifteen. I’m sure she could hear every word. I had no time to be embarrassed about what she might hear. I would worry about that later. Right then, I had to keep my wits about me.
My father had noticed my eyes looking toward the door. He took another swig form his Molson Canadian beer-I can still picture that bottle-and through his gritted teeth he spoke.
“I’ll give you one warning and only one.” He pointed his beer bottle at me. “You try leaving this house and I will slice your fucking throat.”
I could feel my eyes bulging. This was not happening. This wasn’t real. I looked over in my mother’s direction once more, my eyes pleading for help. She never even looked up. She continued sitting there, immersed in her all-important puzzle.
My father sucked down the last of the beer then smashed the bottle against the door jam. His hand reached down to the shards of it and taking the biggest piece, he lunged at me.
I ran for my life.
PJ was right there with me and together we ran to her place. My parents knew that she and I were friends, but they didn’t know she lived in the same neighborhood, two buildings over from us.
PJ’s mother was super sick and had been for months. I had visited PJ several times and every time I was there, her mother was in bed, too stick to come out. (And no, her mom wasn’t a drug addict like many parents in our neighbourhood were.) Once we got to her place, PJ explained what had happened and I was told that I was welcome to stay at their place as long as need be.
Half an hour after arriving at PJ’s, I heard the phone ring. PJ answered. It was my mother. She wanted to talk to me. I refused.
There was nothing my mother could say to convince me to come home. I didn’t want to hear anything. I needed space. There was a lot to process. My father had just threatened to kill me. My father had come after me with a chunk of broken beer bottle to slice my throat. My mother had sat there ignoring the entire thing. Was this another of my nightmares?
“No.” PJ had assured me.
Had I asked that out loud? No. I wasn’t going crazy. PJ had been there. PJ had heard everything.
So this was really happening.
My mother informed PJ that if I weren’t home in the next fifteen minutes, she was going to call the police. My own mother was going to call the police on me!
I decided it was not in my best interest to go home. So I didn’t.
Book review by N. N. Light’s Book Heaven for my book Finding Evie
“A powerful book that brings a bright light to a terrible problem. The character of Evie could be any child who has been subjected to the unforgivable crime of child abuse by a parent. There will never ben any excuse or reason for a parent to mentally, physically or even the worst part of abuse on any of their children.
This book is well written but stark in its content. Your empathy will pour out of you as you read the hell a little girl is put through. The goal to stop the cycle of abuse is admirable. If this book can help someone who has been horribly victimized, then it has done its job.
In a perfect world, the little girls who are victims would be able to get free and become MMA fighters. Once they are fully trained and unstoppable, they would visit their dad. they can do the innocent things they did that made him so furious and then he can TRY to abuse them…and he can find out what an MMA fighter does for a living.
If you have been a victim of child abuse, this book could be very helpful for you. If you want to really feel for the suffering of a victim, then this book is for you. A very powerful book that has the power to help the innocent.”
Thanks to N.N. Light’s Book Heaven for doing the review!
A few of them leap from the ledge of the tub. Fuck, they can fly! I scream when at a least half a dozen land on my naked body. Others fall on the floor and slide underneath the door. Now the ugly things are everywhere. There will be no way of finding every single one of them.
This has to be a nightmare. I’ll have to stay in a hotel fora. few days until I find another place. Everything I own will have to stay right here. I am not taking any chances.
They touch me. It’s so gross. I want them off! They feel slimy. I scream as they skitter all over my body.
“Hellllllllp!” I yell as the ugly buggers bite into my naked, vanilla-scented body. Seriously, now is the time to wake up. This has to be over. The water is completely drained from the tub. I shake and kick my feet, still screaming. I want these fucking things off me! The uglies continue biting me. I’ve lost count of them, there are too many. They bite hard enough to draw blood. I’m scared and in pain. I think I’m going to faint.
I can’t stand anymore and fall over. As I lie on the floor, uglies continue crawling and jumping out of the tub. I sob and try crying out for help again. I’m at their mercy and no one can hear my pathetic voice. Several dozen uglies patrol my body. Each of them seem to be in for an ounce of flesh. I’m soon running out of tears. Tiny steaks of blood stain my body, the tub and the egg-white tiles. A scene from a horror movie, but the true horror is I’m the star. Yes, now would be a great time to wake up.
A couple of uglies have fallen off of me but there are still at least a dozen that have yet to give up. My eyes widen in pain and fear. I look down. One of the uglies has bitten off a small piece of my nipple. I try gingerly to pull the damn thing off but I can’t. It’s like they are stuck on me with glue. Some sort of mutated leech possibly. I should try and keep one as a sample. I could bring it into a lab; maybe even make someone money off my discovery.
A half hour later I pass out. As I lie on the cold bathroom floor, naked and vulnerable, the uglies team up and work together. Six of them half-slither and half-jump their way up to my mouth. Using impressive team-work, they slowly start to pry my mouth open.
Suddenly my eyes burst open. I watch in agonizing fear as they climb inside my mouth. It’s slimy. I start to gag. I’m going to retch for sure. I scratch and claw at my face trying to pull them out of mouth. I can’t tell how many of them are trying to suffocate me. I swear a few of them are whistling some sort of happy tune. Or maybe I’m imagining it.
My eyes grow wider. All I’ve managed to do is scratch up my face, there’s blood on my fingers, a couple of broken nails and get the uglies are relentless. It feels like a huge, slimy jaw-breaker inside my mouth and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. I try to spit them out but this only seems to aggravate them. Surely this isn’t really happening.
Slowly my oxygen depletes. My body starts convulsing. Thump. Thump. Thump. For a moment my mind briefly fills with memories of Olivia. Silence.
The month of October is around the corner. My book Vacancy at the Food Court & Other Short Stories is perfect for this time of year. It has a couple of interesting stories in it. I am going to share two here. The first up is my short story titled Take a Bite, Leave a Bite. The first half of the story will be posted today and the second half on Sunday October 2, 2022.
Take a Bite, Leave a Bite
It slowly half climbs and half swims out of the drain in my bathtub. Its body glistens, with small green stripes and it is ugly. Just like something from a scary movie. the best way to describe it: it resembles a garden snake. Except it’s a smidge shorter with at least a couple dozen legs or more. It’s the size of my hand. I’d count the number of legs but I’m too busy in my own world.
I’m oblivious to this thing because I’m comfortable in the sudsy tub with my eyes closed. I’m thinking of my beautiful girlfriend. We’ve been together six months. Actually, tonight we celebrate our milestone. Olivia and I have spent enough time together to be over the honeymoon phase. Long enough to know we want to build a future together.
I lover her. in fact, I’m hoping gases will pop the question tonight at dinner. today is a special occasion. I mean it’s clear we are meant to be together. the warm and fuzzy feeling starts to fade. Instead I feel something against my leg. Maybe it’s just the bubbles tickling my skin with kisses. I wriggle my body gently. I mentally play out the future movements of my evening to be. I’m so looking forward to seeing Olivia, I can’t wait. I let out my tiny sigh of joy. Life is good. It can only get better from here on.
At the age of thirty-five I’d started to lose the hope of ever finding someone special. Then Olivia walked into my life. It’s silly how it happened. I ended up in the emergency room in excruciating pain. Olivia was the lucky nurse who ended up treating me. Inevitably I had to have my gall bladder removed. That part wasn’t fun at all but was a small price to pay for finally finding true love.
SLOWLY I sit up and open my eyes. I temporarily set aside thoughts of Olivia’s lips on mine. I feel something on my legs again. Whatever it is, it just won’t go away. I wave my hands frantically to sweep the bubbles for a better view of the situation. Perhaps I dropped something, a bar of soap or a shampoo lid. I search for several minutes and come up empty. I can’t see a damn thing. Annoyed, I breathe deeply and try to let frustration go and bring my thoughts back to her.
A week after my life-changing moment with Olivia, I went back to the hospital with a dozen roses and asked her out to dinner. Lucky for me she said yes. We’ve been together ever since. It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that. Once in a while taking a chance does pay off.
I stretch out my right leg to shave myself smooth for Olivia. I turn my head in search of the shaving cream. Suddenly I scream and jump up. I see it! There are several of them. They are on the side of the tub, floating in the water, or climbing over the tiles. But what the fuck are they? Ugly! As I stand in shock, they start moving around the tiles and bathtub like they have consumed a week’s worth of latte’s all at once. This has to be a bad joke.
I quickly pick up the heaviest bottle of shampoo in my reach, and throw it as hard as I can at the ugly things. the bottle makes a loud thud as it crashes against the tiles. I completely miss. My angry assassination attempt is futile. I never did have good aim. Zero damage.
This can’t be happening! Oh my. What if they get out of the bathroom and take over the house? I can’t let that happen. For sure they would attack Piper, my big fluffy calico-cat. Once they had her down on the ground there would be no way for her to get back up. Come to think of it, maybe now would be a good time to put her on a diet. Something I should ask the vest about at her next appointment.
Unsure of what my options are, I decided the quickest fix is to pull the plug and watch them all go back down the drain. Simple enough. Later I’ll call someone to come and find out what the hell was going on. This isn’t normal; it seems more like something out of one of those crime scene TV shows. I quietly count to three and pull the plug. For a brief moment all I hear is the sound of water slowly going down the drain but it seems to be moving at an exceptionally slow speed. Actually, now that I remember it, this drain issue was apparent last time I soaked in the bubble bath. I forgot to follow up and see what was clogging it. this time I won’t forget.
Pitter-Patter. Pitter-Patter. Pitter-Patter.
The ugly buggers are still coming out of the drain. a few dozen have now taken over what was supposed to be my peaceful retreat. It can’t be but my eyes are wide open and I am witness to this horrific event. The ugly buggers spot me. They scurry toward me.
Once again, as with previously read writings from Catina Noble, she has you captivated from get-go in her storytelling.
It’s vivid, heart-felt, convincing.
One is riveted and it resonates, whether or not one has experienced similar circumstances, so forth.
To be able to visually and sense / grasp the written words is a true gift of creativeness , and intertwining all facets of emotions, perspectives, realistically told as though one is actually a part of the literary odyssey journey when reading.
This is what makes Catina’s Gift of Creative Written Word go beyond and above , to get of top notch caliber from the depths of her mind , transfer onto paper, digital format, etc . Simplistic yet complex, approach but with a touch of familiarity essences that eminate ever so passionately effective and vibrant .
The story told , generates a stirring, an awareness to take notice of.
Kudos to Catina , on this most recent literary creative marvel , Worthy on all levels.
I hope your week is going well. I have some exciting news! Read on…
I am looking for 5 lucky readers who would like a FREE PDF copy of my latest book Finding Evie in exchange for a book review on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com Here is the link to the book for more information:
If interested, please send me an email at email@example.com with FINDING EVIE type in the subject line. The PDF copies are limited to the first 5 people who contact me.