Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

A CALLING, NOT A JOB

(Written on the 12th July, 2019, back when I couldn’t see)

It often surprises me when people think I am younger than I am, or when I am in the company of people my age and I feel younger than they are. Not physically, mind you – the face reveals everything. No matter how much we may try to hide it. But younger in spirit.

And then a day quite like this one takes place – the results of high-level English exams arrive, for children I’d worked with  since their kindergarten age, and who are now 18 or so. And in all that excitement and enthusiasm, I suddenly realise that those children will not be attending lessons again, that those children are not even children any more, and what’s best and most important, I know how much they’ve grown up, and how much still lays before them. And they are so well-directed or life and simply wonderful.

For some people it may seem strange for anybody to get attached to other people’s children like this, children you’d only seen maybe once or twice per week, but this connection is extraordinary and magical, filled with emotions, severe turbulence, changes and progress. And it lasts. And this is where I reach my key point – how this relates to my feeling of youth.

When there are such amazing young people growing up around you, you feel proud that life has given you a chance to be at least partly their guide, their teacher. And now that they are setting out on their journey of adulthood, it gives you a feeling of hope that the world will be a better place, that there will still be good, caring, kind and smart people around. Because you know that they are. And this hope makes you young at heart.

(There is lots more written on this paper, but it is empty and only shows traces of me moving my pen – the pen had run out of ink, but I could not see that then. Never mind. All is well now.)

#teaching #education #love #joy #work #cvrcak

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Parents’ Alert

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Not so long ago, a friend of mine found her son in front of his laptop, in bitter tears and literally afraid for his life. An older boy from his school was sending him threatening and hurtful messages over a social network, on behalf of himself and a bunch of his bullying buddies. Her son was not only afraid to leave the house, but sat there as if paralysed in front of the screen, his fists clenched so firmly that his knuckles were white. No amount of consoling, coaxing or even threatening helped my friend – her son would simply not reveal the real name of his abuser, masked behind a clipart avatar and a fashionably misspelled username. But most mothers whose children are attacked don’t just back out, and very few obstacles manage to slow them down. Single mothers even more so, and my friend is one.

Like a proper lioness, she gave her son a chocolate bar, some cocoa and a pep talk, gently stroked his hair and put him in bed, playing his favourite music really low till he fell asleep. She acted calm before the storm. Then she sat at the desk and opened her son’s profile. A couple of hours later, having done some online detective work she had never deemed herself capable of, she had the bully’s full name and surname, his home address and his private cellphone number. And she hadn’t even broken any laws. The problem with bullies and all criminals is their ego; they are never really ashamed of their actions and always secretly want the whole world to know them for their deeds. So they leave a trail of breadcrumbs one only has to follow. She did exactly that. Looking at her son twitch and sweat in sleep, mumble defensive phrases in his nightmare, and unconsciously cry despite his early teenage years and strong body, she grabbed her cellphone and typed in the bully’s number. Before tapping the call button, she left her son’s room and closed the door behind her.

She phoned the bully. He answered. She introduced herself and then, with all the raging storm she had in her, she spoke her mind, letting the bully know she knew who he was and where he lived, ordering him to stop contacting her son, and threatening what she would do if he didn’t stop. I don’t know exactly what she said, and I guess neither does she any more. Protecting loved ones, especially children, brings out the best and worst in us, and controlling that is usually impossible. The point is – she succeeded. She never spoke to the boy’s parents about this. It turns out she knows from the neighbourhood; they are exactly the behavioural matrix their son so loyally copies. She never told her son what she did. But he is not bullied any more, sleeps well and goes out with his friends, like all happy children should. She is not happy. She is alert.

What would you do? There are so many options for parents in this case, some depending on the laws of your country, some on the culture and tradition you come from, but what it all comes down to is your definitive parental decision. You are the one who chooses to act and faces the results.

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Would you tell your son to ‘take it like a man’ and fight back? Battle a group of bullies, bigger and older than him, all alone and empty-handed? Would you resort to violence yourself, get a gang of thugs and beat the boys’ senseless and their parents as well? Would you go to the press or the Internet and make the story go viral, dragging you and your son through the merciless scrutiny of the public eye, which only seems to feed on the negative and rarely offers any real help or solution? Would you tell your child to talk to friends or call a helpline, washing your hands of the responsibility?

You could choose not to act. Just sit tight, waiting for the whole thing to pass on its own. It seems easier to do anyway. But it isn’t easy, and it won’t pass. Dirt piled up under a rug doesn’t go away, it doesn’t dissolve, and nobody else comes to clean house. Sooner or later, you or your loved ones stumble over it and fall flat on your face. Unresolved bullying only gets worse, spreads to more people, leaves your child out there like an open target, a sitting duck, with an invisible ‘open season’ sign hanging over his head. And your child remains a victim. Or, for better or worse(which do you think?), becomes a bully himself, vindicating his own suffering by tormenting others.

You could do exactly what my friend did – go directly to the source and deal with the bully. You could get lucky, exactly like she did, the word ‘lucky’ used very loosely here, because there is no win-win situation where violence is concerned. She could have been in trouble though. The bully could have told his parents, they could have attacked her, they could have sewed her for contacting their underage son without their knowledge and threatening him. They could even have won in court, depending on who had the money for a slicker lawyer. Her son could have been badly hurt by the bullies for having his mummy come to the rescue. But if you weigh all those options before your parental instinct kicks in, you are probably late already.

You could contact the school authorities. It is their duty, after all, to handle such issues on school premises. They have trained professionals for such situations. It would take time, you would drag your son and his friends through questioning, the bully’s parents would be contacted, and then it would be just like a trial all over again. Or maybe not. Maybe the whole team of adults involved int he problem really would work together in the best interest of all the children, and the bully would get help and stop being a bully, whereas the bullied would relax and heal, and future similar situations would be prevented or, at least, reduced. Well, you never know until you try, right?

What would you do? What do you do?

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Representing my poetic triplets

These are three Versus Verses poetry collections, each focusing on a slightly different angle:

1. Feel – deals with just letting out your emotions into poetry, using poetry as an almost healing, meditative process, not being ashamed to show when you feel down, tired, empty, drained, frustrated, angry… For me, it is so effective that I rarely go back to those poems once I write those feelings out of me, but I must have written the bad moods out truly well, because I’ve had readers ask me after reading it if I was all right.

2. Love – Not sure if you’ve noticed, but these subtitles are not nouns, but verbs. So don’t expect swooning, sweating or googly-eyed poems from this one. This is about learning how to love, focus and channel it, express it, even the for those you don’t like but have to bear in life, and even, or especially, the love for yourself. Loving yourself enough to admit you don’t like some people but will not let it eat you up from inside. Loving your partners, children, work even…

3. Imagine – Aaah the stuff imagination can provide! Imagine if you could see the world differently, see the beyond, both the bad and the good, the magic we mostly consider unreal… Imagine also being able to identify with a wolf, a drop of water, a deep well… You can, you know. Imagine. Anything is possible.

#amazon https://author.to/AnitaKovacevicAmazon
#BarnesNoble https://tinyurl.com/ybfpg9gb
#RakutenKobo https://tinyurl.com/ycxuds4g
#iTunes https://tinyurl.com/ydfyn8hq

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Wearing our daily masks…

Today is the final day of carnival season in my country, and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Seems appropriate, doesn’t it, to take off all masks before admitting you love somebody? It reminded me of the part of The Forest of Trees, when a loving married couple falls into the routine of wearing a happy mask to spare each other from their own sadness. I cannot stress enough how important it is to share your pain with your loved ones, how much that honesty and trust can strengthen your relationship. I am so glad Emma and David found their way. Here is a glimpse into their daily masks…

“It got to the point when hearing the word mummy was one of the biggest horrors in her life. She loved the scent of Jeremy’s ginger hair when she held him, she adored his big eyes gazing at her with expectation, waking up early not to miss a second of their time… and it made her heart ache that it was not enough for her. She missed reading a good adult book, having some time to herself, talking to an adult person about something other than rashes, the cost of diapers, prospective kindergartens and the danger of pedophiles everywhere. She missed dressing up to go out with her husband and be a woman, not a nanny. But she felt guilty, so she kept the smile on her lips, and buried the sadness behind her eyes.
David had been working almost non-stop, stressed by trying to preserve his job at the executive level and earn even more money, so Emma could stay home with Jeremy. Emma had put on a happy front to avoid hurting him, he’d put on his to avoid seeming selfish or lazy, so they slowly drifted away into pretence and lies without even realizing it and only with the best intentions.”

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I will be sharing two of my favourite scenes from their lives, but also another couple. Nothing sleezy. Real love.

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Writer’s Gift 4U from Phoenix Rainez

To end this challenging year, there is nothing like having a guest over. A romance author with a kind heart, Phoenix Rainez will make this transition from 2017 into 2018 smooth and gentle! Here she is, sharing with you some of her latest poetry:).

AUTHOR : Phoenix Rainez

GENRES : Romance, Erotica, Poetry

BOOKSITE LINKS : http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501022539

                                http://www.amazon.com/dp/1515302156

SOCIAL NETWORK LINKS : http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

                                             https://phoenixrainez.wordpress.com

                                             https://twitter.com/phoenixrainez

1. Do you have a favourite winter holiday story?

No favourite winter holiday story, but my favourite holiday film would have to be LOVE ACTUALLY.  I have so many books in my collection still to read, I honestly don’t have time to re-read any of the books I’ve already read.

2. Which character from a holiday story would you like to be?

I think I’d love to be Elsa from Frozen.

3. What is your ideal way to spend Christmas Eve this year?

Curling up with a good book all day in my pj’s and a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

4. If you could travel anywhere this winter, where would it be and why?

I’d love to visit Lapland during a winter holiday season.

5. What would you like to ask your readers?

I’d like to ask my readers if they think a companion novella is a good way to introduce other characters in the story.

Do share a sneak peek into your current work in progress.

My present work in progress is my poetry book.

Give us a riddle to your wip. 

When you need to share a secret quietly you ….

Where can we follow your progress? 

 http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

What’s the blurb for your work in progress?

No one asks to fall in love, but sometimes it happens, and the timing is all wrong.  So, they wish upon stars for a love they can’t hold, and whisper their love on the wind, across oceans that keep them apart.

Sneak peek, please?

1st poem from my new poetry book:

You’re the whisper on my mind

Wrapped around my heart

I see you in my dreams

And touch you when I sleep

Your love is like a whisper

From a time so far away

Caught in a moment of silence

On the tail of a shooting star

We dare in dreams to share

A whisper of love so soft

Like the feathers on a breeze

Of a lover’s dream in thoughts

Sailing those intimate waves

Of a secret love lost in thought

We touch only in dreams

Our love just a breath

A whispered I love you

MY HOLIDAY WISH for my readers is that they find the time to read all the books they want to, not only over the holidays, but all year through.


Thank you, dear Phoenix. May your 2018 be a happy beginning to a new adventure!

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About love

Sometimes I even surprise myself.

New #poetry book – my #Christmas surprise – #ebook is #free 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/anita-kovacevic/versus-verses-love/ebook/product-23425193.html

Just

No words are needed

Your smile

Your touch

Your scent

Your glance

Just the thought of you

I hear music

I am happy

And free

And home

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#love#respect

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Anita Kovacevic

Why I love Priscilla Parker

To start off the series of posts by guest authors I admire, let me share one of my own favourite characters from my books. Mind you, as every author will say, choosing your favourite character is sort of like picking a favourite child, but this will do for now. Apologies to all my other, well-loved characters who wil get their turn.

Priscilla Parker is an average young woman from my light-hearted chicklit, romantic comedy Average Daydreamer. She is a smart, funny, kind, silly, self-sufficient romantic; all in all, a contradiction in terms just like most of us.

She came to me one summer, after I had just finished writing a very difficult novel (which is still cooling on my shelf), and she was the complete opposite to what I had been writing by then. She kept whispering in my ear, saying: “I know I am just an ordinary girl, but give me a chance, relax, smile, let me fall in love, let me live, and I promise I won’t haunt you.” And then she kept haunting me till I started writing her out of my head. The first ten chapters were on paper in ten days, believe it or not. She was relaxing, made me smile, laugh and find the charming feeling of falling in love again.

Priscilla is funny, clumsy, ambitious, insecure, charming and slightly self-delusional, but she knows the true value of friendship, family and love. She made me feel good about myself and the world, which is so difficult in these times. And I love her for it.

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Lulu
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Barnes&Noble
iTunes

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Why authors ♡ their characters

So excited to announce I will be hosting quite a few authors in February, ranging from children’s books to SF&horror authors. And no, they will NOT be posting their Valentine’s Day wishes.

They will be explaining why it is they each love one of their characters. One? True, they were not happy I made them choose, but you, my dear readers, will be able to read such fun and interesting posts, as each author takes on their own twist on the given task. 

What a quirky Valentine’s month this will be!

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There is no such thing as too much Love actually…

Just finished watching Love Actually. Again.

Pure perfection every single time I watch it! I can’t help but wonder if all the members of the cast and crew were aware at the time that they were creating a classic masterpiece! And just seeing all those actors pull off their parts, and seeing them from today’s perspective… A single extra touching moment – seeing Alan Rickman. 

This is and will always be my Christmas movie destination, for the humour, the music, the ‘cheesy’ stuff we all yearn for, the love of the story Richard Curtis and his colleagues have poured into every single moment of this film. Even when I am 80, I hope my family is around to ask me if I can really still watch this movie. You know what I will reply, right?

Always.

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