Lipstick on the Collar by Traci Kenworth

The Lipstick on the Collar

Traci Kenworth

Betrayals come in all forms. Your best friend believed a guy she’d barely known for months over her friend she’d known since elementary. Friendships that splintered when it was discovered both were dating the same guy. Losing a friend when you couldn’t admit because of your shy, awkward self that you really liked her brother. Phone calls from those you thought were friends rubbing it in that the brother in question had shared laughs with her over you. Moments, you wish you could take back.

The heartbreaking, dizzying crush of your soul that is youth. Nothing seems like it’ll ever be the same again. You’ll never have another friend like the one you lost. A guy turning his head in your direction that’s actually as decent as the one before. An opportunity come through that you’d worked hard for. In truth, the world sucks. Then it gets better. Then it sucks again.

I’ve always tried to stay positive, upbeat about things but sometimes that’s tough. People around you move against or in tune with you. It just depends. I always thought the friendships I cultivated would last forever. And to be truthful, you do miss and think fondly of those who’ve gone on from your life. Those that mattered anyway. Others, you discarded like old memories. That might sound harsh but how many of you remember everyone you’ve been friends with unless, of course, there’s a reason such as a grudge or a sense of loss.

I can keep up with classmates and past friends via Facebook but it’s not the same as having them in your life on a day-to-day basis. As the years go by, you try and hold onto what friends remain but still, somehow, they slip through the cracks. Some marry and move away. Most are too busy to share a cup of coffee. A few send cards every now and then. It’s just sad that life turns that way.

But lipstick on the collar is a killer. The way it breaks apart lives. How it drains the heart. I’ll never forget that moment, that heart-shattering instance when I saw the truth. It wasn’t the notes that hurt. Nor the phone numbers that washed away in the laundry. Mostly, it was in doubting yourself. When you’re groomed to accept, to dismiss things, and then proven correct, it’s like you’re suffocating.

You were told that worries were nothing. That you were overreacting. But you knew. Deep down. Something wasn’t right. It’s a chill that you’ll never forget when the truth dawns at last. The dots seem to connect in your mind. Everything begins to make sense. Where before you hesitated, now you react. Anger burns through you. Pain so deep it haunts you. You lost yourself because of the denials.

Time to set things right. Time to fight for survival. For your children. For yourself. No more sweeping things under the rug. Now, you must expose the darkness beneath. Now, you must tell your story. Because in not doing so, all is lost. I thank God every day that those days are over. The courts listened. Those that mattered, listened.

These days, we live freer. Better. With a brightness, we didn’t have back then. There is hope. There is patience. Some things long lacking in life before. You can’t imagine what that first breath of freedom is like unless you’ve ever been a prisoner through no fault of your own. The manipulation, the lies are buried now. Truth spoke and brought us to resolve, to forgiveness for our pasts, and to blessings for a future to come.

Some products you might like. I may receive a small compensation from the sellers.

Some links around the web you might like:

  1. Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris Listened to this on my subscription to Good Story Company. Very well done.
  2. Killzone by Terry Odell

A recent read dealing with the way a debut author dealt with characters’ thoughts triggered this post.

This author handled things differently from my preferences, which pulled me out of the story. Not to say the author was wrong, but it slowed the read. The subject has made it to these pages before, but here’s my take. (For courtesy reasons, I’m not using examples from the author’s book.)

I’m a Deep POV person. Doesn’t matter if I’m writing first (rarely, but I’ve done it) or third (where I’m most comfortable, and which is almost first), I want readers to be inside the characters’ heads. The basic 5 senses are obvious, but how do we show what they’re thinking?

**Note: If you’re following the one POV character per scene “rule”, the reader should be well grounded and know who the POV character is, making it easy to know who’s thinking, but there are still techniques that can help. I used to overload my stories with italics but using them sparingly I found is the way to go. tk

3. Writers in the Storm by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

How can you tell when it’s time to stop editing your work and start sending it out?

We’ve all been through that question. Sometimes every few days, sometimes every few books. But for just about any writer, there are times when it’s hard to know WHEN the work is ready to go.

It doesn’t matter whether this is your first manuscript or your fifty-first. It doesn’t matter whether the recipient is your first mentor or the agent of your dreams. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a contest entry, a novella, a full-length novel or a trilogy. At some point you have to decide:

Yep, this is ready to send. I’ve struggled with this problem over and over. Just when I feel ready to send the wip, I hesitate. Here’s hoping I can break that curse.

4. Teri Polen

Welcome author Shelley Wilson to the blog! Her latest novel, The Last Princess, releases today, but it’s not only her book’s birthday – it’s also Shelley’s 50th birthday, so it’s a double celebration! Just take a look at that stunning cover. And who doesn’t like a good Viking tale?

Shelley is an English multi-genre author. She has written nine young adult/middle-grade supernatural, fantasy, and historical novels, a children’s meditation book, and six motivational self-help titles for adults.

She is a proud single mum of three and lives in the West Midlands, UK. Shelley loves travelling in her VW camper searching for stories. She also enjoys paddle boarding, Tudor and Viking history, supporting Leeds United, and obsessing over to-do lists!

Her latest book, The Last Princess, is out on 24th May 2022, published by BHC Press Books.

5. John Howell

“Using this photo (below) as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm on Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next time.”

The photo.

7 responses to “Lipstick on the Collar by Traci Kenworth”

  1. Thanks for including my interview, Loleta!

  2. Thank you for the link, Traci

    1. You’re welcome, John!

  3. Thanks for including Shelley’s post, Traci!

    1. You’re welcome, Teri! Glad to help!

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