“I may be a criminal, but leaving her behind is by far my worst transgression to date.”
-A snippet from our currently work in progress. Coming soon!
“I may be a criminal, but leaving her behind is by far my worst transgression to date.”
-A snippet from our currently work in progress. Coming soon!
December brings with it the end of a year, and I woke up this morning feeling an overwhelming urge to reveal who Turner Collins really are, to put an end to the secret. My best friend and I began writing together three years ago, but writing under the pseudonym a year and a half ago, back when we started this blog. We were new at the whole writing thing and we wanted to post without judgement. Sharing our work with you, our blog followers, has boosted our confidence in both ourselves, and the things we create. With your support, we took the plunge and self-published a novel.
At this point in our journey, we feel secrecy will only hold us back. We want to grow and move forward in an effort to be able to connect with you all in a more personal way. So with all that being said, we would like to introduce you to the girls behind Turner Collins.
Hello, my name is Tracey and I make up the Turner part of Turner Collins. I’m 23 and live in Calgary, Alberta. I am responsible for the Jacob pieces that you find on the blog as well as many of the short stories. Okay, and maybe a poem or two, however they don’t hold a candle to the resident poetry buff, Collins. I have been writing since I was able to hold a pen. When I was younger, I went through something very traumatic that I dealt with through writing. It started as journalistic pieces, well, as journalistic as a ten year old could get. Talking about the world and current events, learning as much as I could. Once I got into high school it turned into fleshed out novels and stories. Characters have always come naturally to me, they talk to me until I finally get them out into the world.
Other than writing, I have been doing photography since I was fifteen years old and received my first camera. I am an avid movie buff and read a book daily. I am no good at art, but I love looking at it. Music is a huge part of my life and it aids in most of my writing. There is a soundtrack for each piece and book that we’ve ever written on my IPhone.
In 2012, I started a job where I met my best friend and writing partner, Christina. One day, I decided to throw an idea her way: “Why don’t we write a book together?” By the end of that day, we had an entire novel plotted and ready to write. Five finished books and many, many story ideas later, here we are. Collins and I are both big fans of lists, so here is one with points about me.
-I enjoy museums and historical sights
-I have tattoos as well as piercings and plan to get more
-Some of my favorite movies are: Moulin Rouge, The Outsiders, and Life (The movie about James Dean)
-It’s my life mission to see all my favorite bands
-I want to travel
-I was a theater kid and did a bit of acting. As well as written and directed plays.
Hello, my name is Christina, and I make up the Collins part of Turner Collins. I’m 22 and live in Calgary, Alberta. I’m responsible for most of the poetry you find on this blog. I’ve always written, but it wasn’t until high school that I really began recording my feelings. I developed horrendous anxiety that made every day a painful struggle. The only way I found to cope was with pen and paper. Shortly after high school ended I began a new job, where I met my best friend and writing partner. The rest as they say is history.
Surprisingly there is more to me than writing, I’m also an avid photographer, macro and portraiture being my favourite things to capture. I paint a ton, generally watercolor or another medium I like to call ‘organic painting.’
I could go on and write paragraphs upon paragraphs, but let’s be honest, bullet points are the best. Here’s a few facts to get to know me really quick:
– I’m a huge history buff
– My top three favourite movies are: The Warriors, Logan’s Run, and Raising Arizona
– I could spend days inside antique shops
– I impulsively get it in my head that I must learn something new and follow through. Last year it was juggling, this year it’s ukulele.
– Indie music and k-pop are and will forever be my obsessions
– I’m the descriptive type, adding enough description to Turner’s dialogue to drive her nuts!
– As you can tell by the number of bullets I chose to include, my favourite number is 7
Now that that big reveal is out of the way, we’re excited to go forward and share ourselves with all of you. In putting faces to the name, we hope to connect with you all on another level. We all feel, hurt, experience joy, fall, get back up. Our hope is that our work resonates with at least one person.
No one has ever caught my eye enough to allow my blood to flow through their veins for eternity.
A teaser from a new piece we have in the works. Enjoy!
Turner wrote another poem? Madness. Here it is.
A man of many words,
A woman of many thoughts,
Silence radiating through,
Communication a flat line,
Hopes and dreams pushed under the rug,
Fear and loathing spreading,
Resentment and pain festering in minds,
Inevitable death and dashed desires,
Never moving and never changing,
A man of not enough words,
A woman of no thoughts.
Here is a piece of our current work in progress, coming soon.
I wasn’t naive as to why I’d ended up where I was. I knew the lifestyle I had chosen could land me here. I was aware that my choices, my mistakes, they all had consequences. I knew all this and somehow I had still believed that the group of people I had chosen to dedicate my life to would protect me from this fate.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
The small 6 x 8 cell that had been my home for the last six months was my price to pay for those mistakes.
-Dach, The Collected
Fence post. Barbed Wire. Fence post. Barbed wire.
Flashes, flashes, and more flashes. Nothing concrete but those two images. Blurring together, creating an old fashioned movie reel playing through my head.
Nothing-ness. Blackness, utter confusion.
Are those…what happened?
I bring my hand up to my face, my eyes barely able to focus. Blood is dripping down my arm, bright crimson against alabaster.
I look down. Slices. Slices upon more slices.Tattered fabric, tattered skin. The stark white of the dermis. I loved this shirt. This shirt held good memories…now it’s gone. Like the piece of flesh I left on the wire.
Wait…I wasn’t alone. I’m not alone. Where is she?
“ARE YOU OKAY?” I scream out, finding the huddled figure of my friend.
Tunnel vision. Am I under water? I think I need a hospital.
Frantic eyes, darting every which way. How will I get out of here? Help…I need help.
“Help!” I scream out, praying the only other person in these acres of land can hear me. “Help, please!”
After what seems like ages, and more inspection of my battered body…they show up.
“Jesus, what the hell happened?”
I try to recall. I was driving the machine…up and up and up the hill. Turn, a sharp turn. I took the turn wrong? Giant rock, avoidance. Fence post. Barbed wire. Fence Post. Barbed Wire.
What happened? What the fuck happened? Am I dreaming? I have to be dreaming because I can see my own body jumping off the faulty equiptment and getting tangled in the thorny wires. Did I? I shake my head, clearing the memory, vision.
“Let’s get you guys out of here. I can take you home.”
Home…”Home? We need a hospital. I’m bleeding and I’m cold.”
They shake their head. “You’re right. Let’s go.”
I’m attempting to walk, but the ground is spinning.
This is the moment, I think. This is the moment that will impact every other moment from here until forever.
It did. It still does.
My body wasn’t the same anymore, the scars and silver lines providing a constant reminder of the thing that I lost, that I could never get back.
I ran my finger along the largest one, stretching from my navel to pubic bone. Mesmerized by the silky feeling of it. I’m not sure how long I stared at the mark, imagining my life as something different before he entered the room, silently and reserved, as he always was.
“You’re beautiful.” Is all he said. I don’t look up, not wanting to see the look of longing and loss on his face. I see it enough in my own. Instead, I pull down my top, hiding the marks of her life from us both. It’s only a nasty reminder and I’m not even sure why I continued to torture myself. Maybe because I deserved it.
I finally turned toward him, my husband, Ben. His eyes traveled up my body, landing on my own. His dark scuff perfectly sculpted, his even darker hair coiffed on top, dark brown eyes with just a hint of amber in them. He was a beautiful man, he gave me a beautiful child…and I took it away from him. I’m not sure how he can stand to look at me with anything but hate and regret in his eyes. It’s why I shifted my gaze away almost instantly. I knew I was pushing him away, but it was what he needed but hadn’t yet realized. He didn’t deserve a wife who couldn’t bare children, whose body killed innocent souls. I was evil. He was angel.
I sat down on the edge of the bed, playing with the frayed edge of shirt. Much like my life, it too had begun to unravel. The bed dipped beside me as Ben sat down. His hand grasped mine, pulling it away from the wayward strand.
“It’s okay, Hannah.” He said simply, with comfort. I didn’t feel it though, I couldn’t. He didn’t know what he was saying, it would never be okay again. I ripped my hand from his.
“Hannah…please. I’m your husband, I’m here for you but I can feel you pulling away from me.”
I shake my head, letting my blonde hair fall over my eyes, sheilding myself from him. “It’s not okay, it will never be okay…I’m..broken, useless.” I finally admitted.
His calloused finger gently pushed aside a lock of hair, relocating it behind my ear. “Never.” He whispered against my cheek, his warm breath ghosting across my face. His lips gently ran back and forth over my heated skin. A warm hand engulfed the other side, pulling me toward him. I tried to close my eyes, avoid the connection, but he didn’t allow it. “You are the most beautiful, couragous woman I have ever met. I don’t want to hear you ever speak about yourself that way again, Hannah.”
I scoffed, not wanting to believe anything he was saying. After what I did…what my body did, I could never believe that. “What about Julie, Ben? I killed her. I killed our daughter.” I spit at him, he flinches but his eyes don’t waver, I wish they would. I wish he would give me just a little bit of vulnerability I could feed off, so I could save him…
To be continued.
Hey, happy belated birthday to our blog, how exciting is that? Again, I’m late on the draw. But I will have you know I did a happy dance on the day.
So, just a few hours ago I asked a trusted friend for a writing prompt, help me get the juices flowing and all that, ya know? She gave me this:
“Explore the relationship between two people who are married or marrying but not for love.”
So I immediately put pen to paper…or fingers to keys, you get the drift. This is what came out. A little rough, but it felt good to be creative again! What do you guys think about writing prompts? I personally love them for times of writers block or to combat boredom. Let me know and enjoy.
My future husband was as unfamiliar to me as a stranger on the street would be.
I didn’t know his likes, or dislikes. I didn’t know if he had a good childhood or about his college experiences. I’d never heard his voice nor felt his touch.
I did know that he was forty-seven, to my eighteen. I knew that his hair was only starting to turn gray. I did know that he was six feet one inch. He didn’t have any children and he had been married once previously, before she divorced him for a much younger man. I knew that he had at least fifty thousand dollars in his bank, seeing as that was how much it cost to buy my hand. But that was all his profile said. He wasn’t an unattractive man, which just confused me more. Why would a handsome, rich man need to utilize our services?
Not that I would complain, Andrew Marshall was rescuing me from my bleak existence in eastern Europe. In turn, he would be saving my little brother from a life of crime, and my mother from the tragedy of that. Not that she agreed with my choice, but she wasn’t against it anymore. Not once I pointed out all the things that would be better for it.
I on the other hand, was terrified. I’d never left my small home. I spoke English, but not very well. I was also a virgin, I’d never been in love. As a young girl I always hoped that a young, handsome man would ride up on his white horse and save me from my life. But that didn’t happen. Instead, my Papa had a heart attack, leaving my mother with a mountain of debt and a delinquent little brother who was lashing out. I had to do something. My friend Jasmine had done this exact same process and was now living in Los Angeles, she told me all about it. How much she enjoyed her older man and the life he could provide for her in America.
It was as if all the answers to my problems suddenly appeared in front of me, I didn’t hesitate. I set up a profile, using the same formula Jasmine did only a year before and within three months, I had an interested bidder. The company I signed up through takes a percentage of the price my suitor is required to pay. The rest goes to my family. After that, he purchases me a plane ticket and applies for all legal permits before I am whisked away from my home, bought, signed, and done. Within a few weeks, I will become Mrs. Tatianna Marshall.
Who she is, or who she will be…is a mystery to me.
I only hope she is someone her Papa would be proud of.
That’s the only thing I have to hold onto.
I’m about to be thrown to the wolves, god help me.
Sometimes…no, almost always, writing is my therapy. I needed a session today and I’ve decided to share it with everyone. I hope this helps someone else out there too.
I’ve always tried to believe that beauty was in the eye of the beholder. That it came from within. That we should be looking at personality, not looks.
All the cliches, all the words of encouragement given to you by people who didn’t understand what it was like to look in the mirror and see a monster. To feel like someone, but have the reflection of someone else. A person who is unwanted, unattractive. Lumpy, large, freckled, pock marked…whatever it may be that you see. That I see.
Now, some may try to put the blame on society and the media for putting people, especially women, under a certain scrutiny. We are forced to play with Barbies with disproportionate bodies. We watch music videos and shows with young women with skinny bodies, perfect skin and long, glossy hair. Advertisers tell us how easy it is to become active, get a gym membership. Take these diet pills. Follow this. Do that. All the while raking in the cash of women who believe that what they are being told is true. That if we do this, we will feel better about ourselves. I do believe this has a very large adverse affect on our thinking, but it’s not all. Because it’s not always about our environment…
It is about us. Our sense of being, knowing who we are, what we look like and feeling less than enough. We are in constant competition with ourselves, we want to be better, do better. But our best never seems to be enough. I speak to all those women who fall victim to self doubt, lack of motivation. To those who see what I see when they look in the mirror.
I want above all things to allow myself to just be…to be who I am, not what I look like. I want to believe those damn cliches and I want to feel better. I want to fall prey to trends, I just want to let go and fall. But I don’t…because despite this all, despite the fear of reflection, fear of rejection and the all consuming grief I can feel sometimes…I know I AM better than this. I am beautiful, even when I don’t feel like I am, even when I can’t get myself into the store to try on new clothes, or when my skin breaks out and I try to turn away from people’s gazes. And you are too.
I just wanted you all out there to know, that I see you. I feel you. You’re beautiful, we all are.
Cliche, yes please.
Newest Jacob piece. Enjoy.
It’s time for family dinner. I haven’t attended in quite awhile and my mother was becoming bothersome. I’m here to appease her, to keep up appearances and to warrant another four months without coming.
Not that I don’t like my family, I do. As much as I am capable of. Besides Angel, my emotions have never been a large part of who I am. I’m merely indifferent. Although hate is a feeling I am much more accustomed with. But I digress.
I smooth my hair back one more time before knocking on the door. Father always insists I just walk in, but that doesn’t seem right. Especially with my lack of communication as of late.
“Ah, my sweet boy, you made it!” My mother croons. Her short gray hair tucked behind her ears, her large blue eyes with the crinkles in the corners regard me with what I assume is affection. Actually, that’s not true. I know it’s affection. My mother is the most boisterous, charming woman. According to Angel, at least. I take her word for it.
“Mother.” I respond. She gestures for me to come in, rubbing her smooth hands across my cheeks before giving the left one a light tap. I want to cringe at the contact, but I school a smile onto my features. Evelyn does this every time she sees me. So I remain ever the actor.
I walk into my family home, the one where Angel and I would have play dates. Where we would read books, and play hide and seek. It might seem strange, that I would have had such a typical childhood, only to turn into what I am today. But it’s true. I wasn’t always this way. I had normal experiences. Loving parents. And an annoying…
“There you are, you little shit.” My older brother, Keith, says, grabbing my shoulder and trying to put me in a headlock. I want to stab him in the thigh for it. I restrain myself. He finally lets me go when he realizes I’m not going to take the bait and wrestle him to the ground like I used to when I was younger. I’ve gained much more control with age.
I nod my head. I really have nothing to say to him, I feel like I should. I should probably look up to my pre-med older brother, with his beautiful girlfriend and lavish predictable future, but I just don’t. His eyes turn down at my dismissal.
I head towards the dining room where my mother has a full spread out with all my favorites. I can hear her bustling in the kitchen, always the perfectionist. It’s the one thing I have inherited from her. I walk past to the den where my father is sitting, watching Wheel of Fortune, calling out the correct answers each time. He hasn’t noticed my prescene yet, I take in the room that hasn’t changed in twenty years. Same faded yellow couches, same creaky rocking chair. Same bay window with a view of the house of horrors that was once Angel’s home. I feel my pressure rising the longer I stare at it. I itch for my blades, their smooth metal between my fingers. The spray of blood as I bring it down into my victims.
“Dad, guess who’s here.” Keith says coming to join us in the living room, garnering my fathers attention. He plops his ass into his usual spot on the couch, throwing his arm over the back. I take my spot on the rocking chair.
“Well, long time no see, Jake. Where have you been? Your mother has been beside herself with worry.”
“I’ve been busy.” I respond, turning my attention to the T.V.
“Busy, too busy for your family?”
With that, Keith turns to me. “Yeah, what gives? You know Yvonne really wants to meet you.” Yvonne being his blonde, bimbo girlfriend. Whom I’ve already found every piece of dirt on. Luckily, her family line is clean, she is just a few nuts short of a bolt.
“I have a lot of clients. I’m busy, working, making money.” Hopefully that appeases them.
Dad shakes his head. “Money ain’t everything, Jacob.”
I ignore his response. And my brothers glare.
After only one more puzzle, my mother announces that dinner is done. We all gather around, piling our plates with our favorite foods. This is one thing I do indulge in whilst here. The food. My mother is a great, fantastic cook.
It doesn’t take long for the questioning to start. “So…how is Reina?”
And there it is. One of the biggest reasons why I never come here anymore.
“Are you ever going to bring her back? We miss her around here.” My father says.
My fork stabs into my pot roast, pulling away pieces, before I shove them into my mouth to avoid answering.
Keith nods, speaking around a mouth full of food. “Yeah, I miss the little squirt.”
“I don’t know.” I whisper. Hating how weak I sound, how weak she makes me feel.
This is bullshit.
“What was that, Jake?” Mother asks.
My fork is displaced as I slam it into the table.
“I said, I. Don’t. Know.”
And with that, I’m done. Because I have no answers when it comes to her and I can’t stand to be reminded of it.