Author Topic: The World According to Maggie  (Read 809 times)

Mairead Harker

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Re: The World According to Maggie
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2019, 12:50:01 AM »
Personal Vlog - 26 Sep 2019

Gran always says that every new baby should have a special welcome. Some of us are going over to see Aunt Marissa’s new baby, Dai, after school on Friday. We don’t want to wear her out, so, it will be small groups every couple of days. The mothers in the family have made it clear that baby birthing is a tiring experience and rest is needed afterward. Da says while Mama did the hard work of pushing us out that waiting and supporting someone through their labor is not exactly a picnic.

We gathered up some food and all to help make things easier. Some people might think bringing food and all along is telling people they can’t provide for their own family. That’s not the case with us. We’re a big family, Aunt Marissa, Uncle Emrys, and their kids are part of it. As Gran says, “We take care of our own.” What I think she means is we take care of family first because she tries to mother most of Rhydin with the projects she supports. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just how she is. 

I went baby shopping!  Why not? I make my own money from guest roles at the Shanachie and from the sale of sports memorabilia.  Got some plushies, blankets, and sleepers. I thought of giving Dai a future Baby Baron shirt, but I had his name put on one instead.  Maybe it can go in a keepsake box when he outgrows it. Then again, there are plenty of quilts with those things sewn into them. That would be more practical, can always use a comfy quilt. I got a couple toys for the older kids, too.

There are other things going on, but I can’t change that Gran seems a little lost. Baby Dai’s arrival has lifted a lot of spirits, so, we’re all going to enjoy the time his parents allow us and spoil him just a bit.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 12:57:48 AM by Mairead Harker »
"Then again, what do I know, I'm a kid."

Mairead Harker

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Re: The World According to Maggie
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2019, 10:35:16 PM »
Personal Vlog - 5 Dec 2019

The camera clicked on, The Shanachie Theater's backstage area was where the viewing had begun. The sounds of the voices speaking or songs being sung faded as Maggie entered one of practice rooms and closed the door behind her.

Lately, I spend a great deal of time backstage and here in the practice rooms.  I hand out props and otherwise make myself useful. No one complains as long as don't get underfoot. In the theater, that can have whole other meaning than simply being in the way.   You can literally be under someone's feet if they are dancing!

I enjoy dueling and I've been doing it for a long time, but unlike the majority of duelists, the people at the theater have been welcoming to having some kids and teenagers working among them. They want us to learn our lines, our songs, and the dance steps. In short, we're expected to put forth our best effort like any other member of the cast or crew. It's a team effort and if one person is off, it puts everyone off.  It's a family in that way that families should support and help each other. Maybe the reason I feel happy here is that's how my one family works. Families have their squabbles, that's normal, but underneath it all is a sense of belonging and feeling like I'm home. I don't feel like I'm on the outside looking in

The STARS helped me to be comfortable with speaking publicly. Mama says I don't lack confidence and never have, but there's a difference in being able to talk to people and giving a speech about some cause or other.  I think  Doran and I might have been the first kids to have applied to play children's roles. I like watching the little kids practicing their poems and all. Madison is a lot less shy thanks to STARS. Abby, though, is a born ham! Catie is concentrating on dance, she lives and breathes it.  Rick seems to like that whole speaking thing.

As for dueling, some people are just ... well, the phrase I once used to explain was something like, they act like cranky babies with a mess in their diaper that no is coming to change for them. They don't have any idea what it's like to be in my shoes, but want to be critical of everything. I suppose one day they might understand, but some adults are pretty self centered and never will get it.

Then are people like Rachael that have made the effort to learn why I'm different and help me cope with some parts of it. I've been able to help with some of the missing children cases and to identify some of the unnamed victims. I don't go to the morgue, not because I can't cope with seeing dead bodies, but because I don't want my visitors frightened away. It's hard to get some of them to accept that they are dead, I really don't want them to be forced into remembering how they got that way. I do work with artists that create pictures of the spirits that visit me. Some can give names and details. They sometimes name others that are still alive and in need of help.

I keep asking myself if that's what I'm supposed to do. Why should I have to limit myself to only one thing?
"Then again, what do I know, I'm a kid."

Mairead Harker

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Re: The World According to Maggie
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2020, 07:55:39 AM »
Personal Vlog - 14 Mar 2020

I have a fancy title, now! I think it's a cool thing.  I got it because someone almost killed my grandmother, not a cool thing!

I get to sign official papers and call myself Lady Knight Marshal of Navarra.  One of these days, I should write a book about all of this!
"Then again, what do I know, I'm a kid."

Mairead Harker

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The World and Other Things According to Maggie
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2020, 03:39:41 PM »
″‘A precocious child,’ Miss Honey said, ‘is one that shows amazing intelligence early on. You are an unbelievably precocious child.‘”

Before each rehearsal and performance of Matilda, Maggie spent time in one of the Shanachie’s practice rooms. First, it was time with her fiddle; it helped to settle her mind. Her elder sister, Pearl, came in to play piano and sing the other part of a duet that had become an anthem for the teenager. 

“Can we take this from here and in the key it’s written?” Maggie gestured to the place on the sheet music. Pearl started with a few chords before beginning the piece as Maggie sang. Her young mezzo-soprano voice was clear and strong.

I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know


In recent days, she had come to understand her grandparents more and more. Her Harker grandparents represented what was normal for her human side. They had encouraged her to play the piano and violin when Maggie was not so sure of her own abilities. Richard Harker relished bragging about the medals his grandchildren were winning in equestrienne events. Sports were a way of life for many a Londoner. Catie’s gymnastics and dancing prowess were a topic of conversation at the ladies tea circle; she was the sensitive, artistic one. Rick was quickly becoming a chessmaster and loved kicking a ball about the field. Like his Uncle Bertie, he had a head for math and figures. Aunt Tilly enjoyed boasting about the children as well. After all, her son had a hand in their upbringing. As a first child and grandchild, more had been expected of Mairead. It was true of most first children as parents never knew if it would be their only chance to get things right. It was Colleen and Tass that encouraged her to embrace the nonhuman part of her being. It wasn’t that her parents didn’t, it was that the elders had been through it before with others.

Despite her penchant for dueling and using weapons, the theater had become one of her happy and safe places. No one ever told her she wasn’t capable of giving a good performance because she was too young. Her best was always expected. Unlike sports where one competed as an individual, theater productions were a team effort. If one person was off, others were off or needed to compensate for the change.

And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me


Maggie paused in her singing to study her elder counterpart. “Pearl, how did you get them to understand?”

“Which who do you mean?” Pearl slid her hands from the keyboard and turned her upper body to face Maggie.

Maggie made air quotes with her fingers. “Adults.”

“Oh,” Pearl said quietly, “some never will.”

“Somehow, I thought you would say that.” Maggie chuckled as she traded places with Pearl. The elder of the pair did her dance warm up as Maggie played the piano. Her favorite classical piece was  Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20. The music flowed into a more modern tune called Could It Be Magic.

“Age is not a true constant, Maggie. Take Aunt Mara for instance. She was born like most humans are, carried within her mother. But.” Pearl held onto the barre for balance as she went through her routine.

“There’s that infamous big little word again.”

“Mhm.” Pearl nodded. “After being exposed to a certain type of magic, she was no longer the baby her mother was planning to raise.”

“Which is how she became our aunt.” Maggie nodded.

“Right, but my point is that chronologically she was a few months old, but physically, she was about sixteen.”

“Gives a different meaning to growing up fast, doesn’t it?”

“It does, but how should she have been treated? Like the few months old person she truly was or like the sixteen year old body she was inhabiting?”

“I guess that depends.”

“On?”

“She would still have had to learn to read and all.” Maggie had a puzzled look on her face. “I guess it would be expected that she would have already known how to walk by someone that didn’t know her story. It’s like a newborn foal that has to learn to run or get left by the herd.”

“Now you’re getting it.” Pearl nodded. “You can’t actually tell how old a horse is by looking from afar.” She finished her stretches. “I know the issue isn’t that you want to be treated like an adult, but I’ve already lived through that.”

“Lucky you,” Maggie quipped. “You’re right, it’s not about age. It’s about having my accomplishments diminished because someone thinks I’m too young or because I’m female.”

“Ooof.” Pearl chuckled. “Don’t let Gran hear you say that bit.”

“You know as well as I do that it still happens, even in Rhydin.” Maggie began to run her fingers over the keys again. “I guess that’s why this show means so much to me.”

A wry smile drifted across Pearl’s lips. Dahl’s Matilda had been a childhood favorite. “Go on.”

Maggie’s laughter filled the practice room. “You know the book as well as I do, maybe better! It’s that whole, I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it business that’s the problem. So, I did something about it, but not to prove anything to them, to prove it to myself.”

“Which is, as we were taught, all that we need to do.” Pearl did a few slow spins. She talked while she did as it helped with her breath control. “For some people, it will never be good enough.”

“For some people, nothing ever is.”

The rapping of knuckles was heard. “Curtain in ten, Maggie.”

“Thank you!” she called back. “It’s showtime!” Maggie grinned and tied the bright red ribbon into her hair. Before leaving the room, she paused to give Pearl a hug. Once she hit the stage, she would bring the precocious Matilda Wormwood to life. If anyone understood how Matilda felt inside, it was Maggie.

((Lyrics are from the musical, "Wicked" and the opening quote is from Matilda by Roald Dahl))
"Then again, what do I know, I'm a kid."