Welcome

 

Hello!

I’m an emerging writer starting to get published. I want to share with you, Dear Reader, how my completed work is making its way out into the world and where you can access it.

I also invite you to read excerpts of my novel projects below. If you’d like to leave a constructive comment, understand these are works-in-progress. Helpful comments at this point: What do you like? What do you remember? What stands out?

My characters emerge from my wild imagination and lead the way in the writing. It’s a continual process of discovery for me. Often my characters are people facing what comes after loss and finding more life in small and large acts of healing, creativity, and connection. This echoes my work at Deep River Healing. May you find some sense of new life after loss in these pieces.

Thanks and Blessings, Carol

© All rights reserved by Carol Harada for all material on this site.cropped-IMG_0522.jpg

 

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Magenta by Carol Harada

Lying on her back and doing her shoulder extensions, slowly raising her arms above her head until the back of her hands graze the sheepskin rug, Delia imagines the long slow wave of aloha, hello and goodbye, or a rainbow emanating out from her fingertips. When she sits up, she is startled by a flare of magenta by the bay window. In the planter with the dragon tree, a delicate clover-leafed volunteer has sent out magenta flowers, seemingly overnight. It’s as if the oxalis knew the moment was ripe for a new flash of color, a reminder of the persistence of nature showing up right in her living room. Tiny bell flowers dangle and catch the light, ringing in midwinter. Spring is coming after all.

In the airports, strangers lay down impromptu prayer rugs, made from large demonstration signs that read, “We Are All Muslims” and “Welcome, Refugees!” and “No Ban, No Wall”. It is like the faithful laying a path of palm leaves before Jesus to soften his walk into Jerusalem. Knees drop, heads and bodies bow, hands cup ears in this holiest of moments. But it is loud. The impromptu mosque dome is made of the cheers of strangers, strangers who want to be kin.

The cheering goes on for the laptop lawyers sitting on the floor, plugged into outlets and plugging away to secure safe passage for weary travelers. The ACLU brings in 24 million dollars in donations over the weekend. This is our heart, exposed at last. This is who we are and how we turn love into virtue and verb.

Delia at midwinter, this underground time, alternates between retreating into herself, blotting out the news with Netflix binges and making soup for herself and her friends. She then rallies to send emails and make calls to Senators and Representatives, so-called leaders inside the collapsing system. But her heart is in the streets with the people, the We the People people, whose love for our young experiment in democracy burns bright.

Delia drives to the office of her older Senator, annoyed by full voicemail boxes and constant busy signals. There she joins a line of hearty citizens, waiting outside the building to calmly deliver their messages to the staffers, earnest young people with good eyeglasses and better political savvy, who come out to the streets, as if this business is too big, too vital to be contained in a lockdown building. When it is her turn, the senior staffer named Manny looks at her with cocoa eyes, patient and loyal like a dog, as Delia tries her best not to scream at him about the racist sexist xenophobic power-mad shitheads being vetted to join the cabal cabinet. Manny assures her of the Senator’s wanting to know where her constituents stand. He vows to pass on her concerns, that the Senator help prevent even more atrocities. As he scribbles down the gist of it, Delia believes him.

She drives home, where the magenta flower is glittering, its tiny petals catching early afternoon light. She cleans the house, thanking God that her shoulder has healed enough to not have vacuuming and dusting pains. There’s life in this old girl yet, she thinks. Her granddaughter Marta calls and tells her all about the airport demo over the weekend in New York. How a young Iraqi father and husband, who risked all as an interpreter for US troops, was detained for seventeen hours. His dazed, young children handcuffed by the upper arms, pulled behind their backs because their slender wrists would slip free. The terror in his wife’s eyes, even as the exhausted family was  released into a new and almost welcoming world.

 

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Kiku in the Cafe – from Heart Medicine Bones

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Kiku knew well how to hide in plain sight. She was not interested in drawing men’s attention, so she figured that she just did not emit the pheromones or what have you that made men swarm. Yet appreciative glances bounced off her often as she traveled through her days. She dressed sharply to please herself and to live up to her own standards of order and beauty. This meant clean lines for work, no-nonsense structures in black, white, and strong colors that went ‘zing’. A stark boldness that went with her exacting nature. In her off-hours, Kiku was a little softer, more flowing and casual. Her favorite outfits were designed by a woman who once worked in a parachute factory and carried forward the soft seams and structure. She was lucky to look much younger than her years, despite her silvering hair. She enjoyed when her female friends complimented her outfits, especially Joni with her painter’s eye or Cassandra, who always could name the mood of an outfit. But it shocked Kiku whenever a man would approach her. She never expected it. Continue reading

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Home Again – from Heart Medicine Bones

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Josh will never go back to South Philly again. He will never again have espresso and crunchy hazelnut biscotti with old Mrs. Primanti. He will never again show Bill Fisk at the camera shop his latest black and white photographs, as he did as a kid. He will never again order a pepper cheese steak with provolone at Pat’s to refresh his local boy accent. He will never again hear the tarantella at Termini Brothers.

He will never again feel the crumbling in his gut as he counts how many tiny front yards feature Mary on a Half Shell. The greater the display outside a worn out row house, the greater the need for Mary’s divine protection for those living inside. He will never again look for the trace of bloodstains on St. Nick’s playground, where he threw his first punch defending his young boy self for not having a Catholic first name.

He will never again see his parents.

Continue reading

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Truth and Beauty – from Three-Headed Man

Vita Amber is a photographer, deep in grief for her dead husband Davis. As she winds up one of her gallery exhibitions, she questions her very identity and consults with her daughter Dvita.

Vita stares at her name in large letterpress on the now spacious gallery wall. In the first year of widowhood, she is visited at odd times by the searing pain and bewildering relief of losing her man. She was glad for dry eyes at lunch. But when the tears do come, she’s learned to surrender to the monsoons. Vita’s friends now carry tissues and little else when they meet, their arms free to envelop her.

When Vita’s internal weather forecast predicts torrents, she hires a half-deaf Sikkh cab driver to let her moan and sob as he carries her through the odd corners of the city touched by her long and mostly happy marriage. Teddy Singh listens to his own joys or sorrows and rolls up the windows, catching glimpses of the ever-changing face of loss in his rear view mirror. He is touched that his humble chariot offers this public sort of privacy. Continue reading

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