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Sim Carter

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WRITER A novel is in the works but for now … Sim Carter’s publication credits include  Beach Music   in the  Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine ,  Last Dance   in Purdue U's   Skylark Literary Journal,  The Arab boy who took out his eye  (published under the title Double Vision) in the  South Bay Reader.  7 Reasons Older Women Love Older Men  was featured online at The Good Men Project,  Doing Nothing   in Children. Sim  was a regular monthly contributing writer to 805Living Magazine for several years  while various other pieces appeared in LA Family, Parents, and the Daily Breeze.  For more see  Out of Order . Find me on Twitter @simcarter On Instagram at Instagram.com//SimCarter.com About the work available to read here   While you'll find mostly  memoir , Sim also has those moments when she writes about whatever she wants to write about. It is, after all, her space. A mishmash of rants and raves, odes to Britain, love letters to France, reflections of living in Lo

#13 Working Girl [memoir]

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This story begins in the bedroom I shared with my sister in the apartment we lived in with our parents  on Twelfth Street in Santa Monica. It's  #13 of my   " On the Street where I Live Stories ."  Yep, I've got many miles to go.    Miss Mouse Goes to Work  I woke to the ringing of a far off phone; I knew without opening my eyes that the light beyond my bedroom window was still grey, the sky and the sidewalk matching shades of slate. Too early to even think about waking up. I burrowed deep into my pillow, desperate to stay in that sweet half-sleep state when the morning can be anything you want it to be. I’d stay in bed until about ten, then, like most days that summer, I planned on hitting the beach with my best friend.  It wasn’t just the ringing phone barging in uninvited from the living room of our apartment or the daylight’s insistence on pushing past the window, my mother’s voice was breaking through too, the musical tones of her English accent g

Queen Me

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I haven ’ t lived in England for years and years. And years. Basically a very long time. The kind of time you cough into your hand over, trying to hide the exact humungous number of years. Long enough ago that any reasonable person could be forgiven for calling me an American. But beware, should you say anything negative about the UK or Queen Elizabeth, my British roots will start showing and my British blood will start boiling. I ’ ll start flapping my British passport in the air, and put on my best True Brit voice. While I ’ m very much an American, I ’ m British by birth, born in 1953, in —as I ’ m fond of saying and saying—a scene right out of Call the Midwife. I ’ ve got a thing for the Queen from being born so close to her coronation day that my parents gave me Elizabeth for my middle name. Just a few days shy of being named Elizabeth Simone instead of the other way around. A few days days shy of being a Liz versus a Sim. Liz, Lizzie. I don ’ t mind the sound of that.

An Undying Love ... just an old love story.

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You know those couples who say they can’t live without each other? What if it was true.  Undying Love The coleus under Bob and Helen’s front porch window are looking a little scraggly, nothing but tall leggy stems bending in their bed of dry cracked earth. I think how the gardener wouldn’t let them go like that if Bob hadn’t been so sick. If he’d been up and around, those plants would be standing tall, their leaves firm and perky, the ground blanketed with a soft, moist layer of mulch. Well tended, that was the best way to describe Bob’s garden, and come to think of it, Bob too. I try to remember if I even saw the gardener this past Wednesday, his usual day to come mow and blow. After all, who will notice if Bob’s plants die now? Not Bob while he’s sick in bed. Not Helen who uses a walker and rarely ventures outside. Bob told me once Helen wouldn’t allow him to get her a wheel chair, she couldn’t stand the idea of looking like an invalid. That sounds like Helen, the kind of

My Mother’s Voice

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Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died on Friday the 13th in 2012. My real mother —not the stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder—Enid Maude Good nee Hayden,  was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between Deborah Kerr and Judi Dench, there was something warm and welcoming, layered with a cool crispness, in her voice. She charmed everyone I ever knew when she called

Fallen Woman

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My daily three-mile walk in the morning keeps me in passable shape, clears my head, and gets me going. I start each day, after coffee but before breakfast and writing by heading out to the park where I walk in circles. As a writer, I'm seeking inspiration for my novel, working out plotholes. As a human being, I sometimes need to blow off steam. The Jacarandas shading the pea gravel pathway are a beautiful distraction, stunning in springtime when they bloom in deep blue purples, and mandatory in the summer when Los Angeles heats up early. Today as I near the patio sitting on the perimeter of the park, I see the gardeners have hosed down the cement. The entire surface is still wet and puddled. Slick. Without my permission, my heart starts pounding, bringing me crashing to a halt. Wimp, I think. That's in the past. Shake it off. I can't. I’m afraid. I'm fifteen years old again, walking along a sandy road near the beach in San Juan with my best friend. We're both

Throwback Thursday: One Second of Fame

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Throwback Thursday: One Second of Fame  The set was the interior of an appliance store plucked right out of the 1960’s. As usual on a movie set there was a dull whirr of background noise, crew hammering, people yammering. There were a lot of people milling around, associate producers and set assistants who didn’t need to be there. Hair and makeup artists, the prop master, the gaffer, the script supervisor, who did. Oh yeah. And the director, the director of photographer, and the lead actor.  I was so nervous, they were all a blur to me. I tried not to stare at Tom Hanks conferring quietly with his DP, Tak Fujimoto. I knew Fujimoto was a fairly big deal, he’d worked with Tom on  Philadelphia , shot Jodie Foster in  Silence of the Lambs , Molly Ringwald in  Pretty in Pink  and Matthew Broderick in  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . And now, he’d be shooting me and Russell, for our one second of fame, in  That Thing You Do. [ Read the rest of the story ...]

#9 OF BRASSO & BROWNIES: coming of age in the 60's

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# Cherrygrove Road, Niagara Falls, Canada It’s daunting to move into a new house and make it yours. A never before lived in house seems more than new as it stands before you, untouched, immaculate, strangely virginal. The difference between new and brand new can be an almost empty hollow feeling. No ghosts live within those walls. No child’s smudged fingerprints have been wiped away. I was ten years old when we moved into our new house in Niagara Falls. We moved in the spring of 1963, the season of change in what would turn out to be a decade of change. In a house without history it fell to us to write the first page. Our old house was a two story red brick rental in the part of town where chestnut trees lined the streets. It was a gloomy house inside, made darker still by the ancient maples outside its windows, leafy branches casting ghostly images against the fading floral wallpaper. A dark oak door outside my bedroom led to a musty attic, too scary to think about, l