News Archives

Dear Darling – Being Yourself

How are you so free? You are always yourself, no matter what anyone thinks of you. Every time I try to be myself, people tell me exactly who I should be and what I should do with my life. It feels like I’m twenty different people trying to please fifty. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even know who I am anymore. It’s been the cause of my depression for almost two years and I don’t know what to do. I just want to make everyone else happy.
-Emily
Anytime people try to tell me to be less me, AKA less AWESOME, I just watch their mouths move and replace all the words with “Wah wah wu-wah wu-wah” and nod until they walk away.

 

Haters gonna hate man! As long as the you YOU are isn’t unkind or destructive or harmful to anyone else – DO YOU! You’ve exhausted yourself trying to make other people happy; it’s time to get rid of 19 of those 20 people pleasers and pick the person you wanna be. It’s not gonna happen overnight either. Finding the happiest you can take time. Imagine if Goku stopped at Saiyan and never went Super Saiyan?

 

Just do me a favor, put yourself first sometimes. We shouldn’t put ourselves first all the time – that’s a one-way ticket to I’m a Jerk Town. But if you always put yourself last and try to be someone just to make others happy, you’ll be the number one resident of Bummed Outville. So take a deep breath and start tuning out anyone that says who you are isn’t enough.

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on August 19, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 8/18/15

The Love Edition

We all know that Neverland is a magical place, and not just because of fairy dust and the Forever Gardens. Quite simply, Neverland brings lost souls together. One wouldn’t expect a small, relatively quiet town like Neverland to attract so many people from so many places. Usually you find such melting pots in big cities like New York or Los Angeles, where wandering people are drawn like moths to a flame and all too often get burned. But, those who venture to the heart of the country instead of away from it will find in the middle of Ohio a haven like no other.

The idyllic beauty and small town charm of Neverland allows those lost souls to become whole. Here, they can be whoever they chose – an ice cream maker or a detective, a book shop owner or a gossip columnist. And when they can express themselves the way they want to, they are open enough to attract the kind of love they deserve. Being relatively new to Neverland, I am still getting used to this new way of being. However, I can’t help but be inspired by all of the love I see around me. This week I want to focus on the couples that are the heart of Neverland.

#MEli The romance of Mia Rivers and Eli Traynor is especially dear to my heart, because I totally called that sh*t from the very beginning. Some might say they are an unlikely pair, a sweet bookworm and a horse-loving cowboy, but you know the saying. Rhymes with composites contract. After a slightly rocky start punctuated by some misunderstandings and cross-country crises, they are back on track. Or should I say, back on horseback?

#Tabri Bri Valdivia and G. Harrison Lestrade (nicknamed Agent Tacos) had your everyday, run-of-the-mill workplace romance. They just happened to be super-spies with the FBI while they were doing it. Both have since given up glamour and danger for a more settled life here in Neverland. Bri owns Neverland Books and Agent Tacos has become Deputy Sheriff Tacos. Yet no matter how normal their lives have become, their love is the stuff of fairytales (or spy novels).

#Jodie Jo and Freddie Wentworth may have been keeping a low profile this summer, but they have good reason. As new parents to baby Lillian, they certainly have their hands full. Having just celebrated the first year of their marriage, the couple is going strong. Their little family is a joy to behold. When will little Lillian have some playmates, hmmmm, other couples?

#TheifSlayer Teresa Delacruz splits her time between Neverland and Cleveland, attending to her slightly mysterious slayer duties. So, it would make sense that she would date somebody from outside the Neverland circle. After attending the Midsummer Ball with a red herring of a date, Teresa announced that her heart had been stolen by someone else. He was a charming thief (figuratively and literally) named Neal and the two have been inseparable ever since. Guess it’s her sacred duty to keep an eye (and some hands) on a possible threat at all times?

#Jesley Juliet Carpenter and Wesley Parsons may have the most soulful connection here in Neverland. They have fought valiantly through distance and demons (just figurative) to be together. After meeting in a very trying set of circumstances (Juliet saved Wesley from a violent kidnapping), no one knew if the two could make their love last. But finally, after much debate, Wesley made the brave decision to give Neverland a chance so he could be with his Juliet.

#Salfie This nickname is unofficial, but it works perfectly for a couple that is constantly in the media. Sarah-Jane Lakewood and her fiancé Alfie live the high-life as celebrities who jet in and out of Neverland. Alfie likes to keep a low profile, but Sarah-Jane is very active in the community. Everyone became a part of their romance when Alfie proposed to Sarah-Jane on the dance floor at the Midsummer Ball. They will be having an engagement party later this month!

Next up is the sexy single’s edition…unless everyone’s already paired by then!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on August 18, 2015

Dear Darling – She loves me…not?

How do you get over someone who you liked but didn’t like you back?
-PersonNeedingMichael’sWisdom
Well, PersonNeedingMichael’sWisdom, first of all…What an awesome name!!! I mean, how crazy is it that your mom named you PersonNeedingMichael’sWisdom?? What are the odds?!?! There are no coincidences, only things that happen by total random chance, so I am excited to be the Michael that offers the wisdom you need!

Second of all, this is rough. I know it’s hard to believe, because I’m so muscular and handsome and funny and charming, but this has happened to me. (GASP) We don’t have as much control over how we feel as we’d like to think we do and sometimes you see someone and BAM! Feelings just pounce on you, like a…like a TIGER! But we have even less control over how other people feel.

The most important thing to remember is that it isn’t a reflection on how good or bad you are. Sometimes our brains are jerks and tell us that if So-and-So doesn’t like us, then we shouldn’t like ourselves. Well that is dog poop! Don’t listen to it! You take that thought and you throw that right in the trash! Who knows what the other person is thinking, don’t over-analyze it, don’t get all macho (or girl-cho?) and become angry at them. They are not required to like you back. And odds are, there is someone around who does like you and hasn’t told you yet, and seeing you deal with rejection badly might totally turn them off.

Chin up. Literally. Walk tall, walk proud. Realize that you will be enough, NAY, you will be excessively awesome for someone else. And until that time comes you’re just gonna keep getting better and better. And maybe that person who wasn’t into you will come running crying “Wait! Wait! I see it now, you’re the most amazingest, there will never be one more cool, give me another chance!” and you’ll just tip your sunglasses and say “Sorry, that ship has sailed” and walk away in slo-mo.

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on August 12, 2015

Pity Party Canceled

Dear readers, I’ve read over the editorials I published in the past couple of months, and I’d like to take a moment to apologize for how myopically angsty they are! I guess when you look at your life and you find enough areas wanting, it’s easy to get lost in a veritable quagmire of self pity. What’s more, after a while that kind of bleak outlook can become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. This irrational fear of failure, this unflinching belief that the bad parts of your history will inevitably repeat themselves, can relegate you to a life of stagnating inaction. And I don’t think I realized just how introverted and work-obsessed all of this had made me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a workaholic at heart; I always prefer being busy to the alternative, and you know what they say about idle hands. But I think that many of you, my stalwart friends, have recognized in me something that I’m only now starting to grasp; In recent months, I’ve withdrawn even deeper into my work to distract myself from all of life’s other problems. My work life is something I can unequivocally control. There’s a certain safety in that. But it’s entirely too easy to focus on work to the expense of… life! And I’m hoping, with your help, I’ll be able to see that from now on.

I’m realizing finally that, more often than not, it’s best to confront problems head-on. Case in point, I let Wendy’s lack of correspondence fester in my mind, creating a nightmarish (and entirely fictional) scenario in which she was moving on without me. For the longest time, I avoided confronting her about it because at some level I believed that doing so would confirm my greatest fears. But after finally hashing things out with her, I understand that her lack of contact had almost nothing to do with me, and that, in the final analysis, a life without her siblings in it is as terrifying a prospect for her as it is for me.

What’s more, I know that you loyal readers have had a front-row seat for the saga of John Darling’s romantic journey, or lack-thereof. Well, on that front, I’m happy to report that maybe, just maybe, the axiom of “you’ll find someone when you least expect it” may finally be bearing fruit. It’s really too early for me to tell, but suffice to say I may be coming to all of you for advice in this area in the not-too-distant future. I know someone’s love life may seem like a particularly unusual thing to crowd-source, but, honestly, I feel like I’ll need all the help I can get. And I do so very much value and trust all of your opinions.

So thank you, all of you, for the constant support and words of encouragement. If ever again you see me teetering on the precipice of unchecked self pity, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Sometimes a dark outlook change comes on so gradually it’s difficult to acknowledge just how unclearly you’re thinking, you’re too close to your own life to see it. And I want all of you to know that I want this to be a two-way street. I’m not the only person in Neverland to become mired in a bog of uncertainty and self doubt, it happens to all of us from time to time. In those moments, when you have questions, concerns, or just simply need a friend, you know where to find me, and I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out. We’re stronger together than we are apart, and I expect I’ll be seeing more of you as I begin to crawl out of my self-imposed exile.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 6, 2015

Dear Darling – Healthy Friendships

Dear Darling
I have recently undergone some changes due to health issues and I am having a hard time communicating how difficult it is to my friends. These health issues have required a complete lifestyle change and adjustments in normal activities requires forethought and planning and adjustments which I don’t feel I am receiving from my friends. What should I do? – Vicky Knowledge
It sounds like you’re dealing with TWO things! Possible even THREE THINGS! But don’t worry, my dearest Darlingite! I took an online night class on multi-tasking!

First off, you’re probably still adjusting to your new health conditions yourself. Sometimes when we undergo personal changes it can be stressful and we can feel alone. Second, you mention communicating has been hard. There can be a lot of reasons we have a hard time talking about medical problems, it can be very personal and the words can be very hard to pronounce. Third, you’re not seeing your friends making the effort to adjust.
You know what I think? (Of course not! If you did you’d be psychic!!!) I think there all CONNECTED!


Because you’re having a hard time telling your friends how hard your new life is, they don’t understand how much you need them! It might be difficult, but you need to have a heart to heart with them. You should open up about your struggle, maybe have a get-together at your house specifically to talk to them and answer questions, make it a party! You can call it: Vicky Knowledge’s Awesome Friends Awareness Party!!! And be ready Miss Knowledge, not every person is as cool and amazing as us. Some of your friends might not make the changes as quickly as others, some might not compromise at all. But think of this as a good thing, you’d rather have a few truly amazing friends than a bunch of jerks who are only thinking about themselves.

Medikidz.com
PS- If you’re having trouble finding a fun way to teach your friends about your health condition, check out Medikidz. It’s a comic book series designed to help people understand and teach others about a bunch of different medical conditions! It’s fun and educational (which sounds like an oxyclean moron, but it is fun I swear!). They’re written by some nerdy kid named Shawn DeLoache…his name sounds kinda familiar. Maybe he was in my night class online!

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on August 5, 2015

Dear Darling – Long Distance Friendships

Hello! Long time reader, first time writer. So, how do you manage to stay close to people when long distance is a problem? A lot of my friends are going off to college far away, and I am terrified of growing apart because of distance. Thank you!
-Ysabelle
@fandomfeline

 

Hey Ysabelle! I too have been reading a long time so we’re basically the same person, I shall now call you Michael 2. Ironically, which is the correct use of that word, Michael 1 (me) has been having a very similar problem. My sister moved away because she got a job making oodles of money doing what she loves. Which is great, for her, I guess. And your friends are probably super excited about their new schools. It’s important to give the people we love room to be happy. Sometimes that means seeing them less and even talking to them less.

You can only control you Michael 2, so do your best to stay involved! Social media has given us the ability to be close to people we’ve never even met (did you know you can tweet @ the president??) so use those super powers to stay up to date with your friends! And don’t forget the mailman! Or woman. Mailperson! They don’t only deliver boring things like important looking tax papers addressed to your brother than you keep forgetting to give him. They also deliver packages!!! There is LITERALLY nothing more exciting than getting a package. Fill a small box with a few of their favorite things, little things to remind them that you still care, and mail it out.

But at the end of the day, the easiest way to make sure you don’t grow apart, is to talk. Answer your phone, return missed calls, reach out to them, and I promise Michael 2, it’ll make a big difference.

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Posted in Dear Darling
Posted on July 29, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 7/21/15

Love Rivangle. While most Neverlandians were utterly charmed by the return of local boy turned international success Jas Hook, one Neverlandian may not be. Peter Pan has been seen and heard around town making his feelings clear about the arrival of his, well, rival. It seems a bit childish to use such terms, but we all know our Peter has a youthful spirit. Word has it he may be channeling this spirit into a theatricalization of his feelings at the Neverland Theatre. Whichever team you’re on, this event should be too entertaining to pass up.

Holy Mole-y! The Fate Stalkers have been out in full form braving the summer heat for love. (Though maybe it isn’t so brave since they carry their shade around with them.) Most Neverlandians were happy to see them out and about, but some thought they were getting a little bushy – I mean, pushy. Word has it things got heated between the Stalkers and Bertie Screever after he threw a banana peel into a shrub-covered Stalker. However, things have a way of working out. Through this altercation, the Fate Stalkers met their newest member, the recently inducted Dole the Mole. As far as we know, this is the first animal Fate Stalker.

On the Move… Neverland Books has been minus one of its own this week. Sources say Mia Rivers made a hasty trip to her hometown of Denver, Colorado. No word on when she’ll return. In other news, Neverland may have a new sheriff in the coming weeks. Apparently, the prime candidate is as one deputy put it “very overqualified for the job.” Things have been pretty quiet in Neverland this summer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Taco Time! Bri Vivladia, Agent Tacos and friends had a Taco Night this past Friday on Big Bear Rock. Sources say it was mostly couples sipping on sangria and taking in the beautiful summer night. Eli Traynor escorted Mia Rivers, Juliet Carpenter brought Wesley Parsons, Nanny Ams came with Bertie Screener (before he was scared away by some overly friendly Fate Stalkers.)

Drama Club. Neverland’s own celebrity Sarah-Jane Lakewood continues to bring Hollywood glamour and histrionics to this small town. Hearing about Peter Pan’s possible plans has sent the actress into what some people have called a full movie-star meltdown. It seems she’s as formidable an enemy as she is a friend. While she’s been declaring herself against Peter Pan, she has been pulling strings to get another friend of hers a job. And all her friends are looking forward to her upcoming wedding which will be held at the Champagne Place in New Orleans.

100 Bottles of… Jolly Roger Soda Ship’s 100th Anniversary is coming up at the end of the month. The Neverland institution announced the upcoming celebration this week. They will be hosting an all day extravaganza on July 29th from 10AM to 10PM featuring music by Fish Girl Pond. Can’t wait to see (and taste) what delicious concoctions they come up with to celebrate!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 21, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 7/14/15

Work it.  Things have settled down considerably in Neverland since the week of the ball.  Maybe it’s the sweltering heat, or maybe it’s the depleted wallets, but Neverlandians across the board have been getting back to work.  Apparently, Juliet Carpenter is working out of Wesley Parson’s accounting office these days.  Happy those two are making a go of it!  And word on the street is that Agent Tacos is looking for a job.  Seems to me any business would be lucky to have a trained FBI officer!

Chocolate-Covered Catch-up.  Wendy Darling, Neverland’s erstwhile advice blogger, is officially back in town!  Early last week she caught up with some of her old Neverland pals at the Jolly Roger.  While everyone was excited to see Wendy and her fierce new haircut, the big attraction was her fierce new arm candy.  She brought along JH Media mogul and professional heartthrob Jas Hook.  He regaled the group with tales from the city and pretty much charmed the pants off of everyone.   I mean, sources say.

Nerdy-landians Abroad. Some lucky Neverlandians traveled across the country this weekend for Comic Con in San Diego, California.  Becca Rodriguez and Drunk Austen (such a unique first name…is it Dutch?) tweeted updates from the ground so that those of us stuck in Ohio could enjoy the action.  Some of the fan favorites this year were Outlander, Batman vs. Superman, Star Wars, Supernatural, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and a little video blog about some people we know.

Painting the Town. Just as this gossip columnist was about to shuffle on home and drown her slow news week in a bottle of wine and some Netflix, she spotted something that made her journalist heart go all a’flutter.  In front of Neverland Books, one Mia Rivers and one Eli Trainer were engaged in a full out paint flirt – ahem – fight.  A little spying revealed that the dashing Texan was helping Ms. Rivers hang the new sign over the shop.   Mia’s dress may have lost the battle, but hopefully love is winning the war!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 14, 2015

Neverland Underground

More than 240 years ago, our great nation declared its independence, severing its ties to Great Britain. But the road towards stability was fraught with discord. In 1861, a bitter divide between the north and the south plunged the United States of America into Civil War. And this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the city of Neverland; our town had only been in existence for two short years. Neverland was so nascent it was even money whether or not it was even going to survive, and suddenly our entire nation was torn asunder!

Only two minor battles were fought on Ohio soil, but that didn’t mean that our proud State was about to stand on the sidelines. The State of Ohio distinguished itself in a number of ways during the War Between the States. For one thing, Ulysses S. Grant, General-in-Chief of the Union army, was, himself, Ohio-born. What’s more, some 320,000 Buckeyes enlisted in the Union Army, making Ohio third behind only New York and Pennsylvania in total manpower contributed to the Northern war effort.

But Ohio, and Neverland specifically, made another indelible mark on our nation’s history, in the years leading up to the war and beyond; it was a haven for runaway slaves. The one-time pirates that founded Neverland with J.M. Barrie built a shelter that came to be called the Underground Home, which was, as the name suggested, literally underground. Former pirate Samuel Hook, ancestor to Neverland’s own Jas Hook, and a fairy by the name of Liberty Bell were the driving force behind our town’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. Liberty and her fairy friends acted as beacons, leading runaway slaves to their underground haven.

Of course ultimately, our town and our nation endured. But I’m going to take today to remember just how hard fought our independence really was, and how close we came to letting it all slip away. Our state’s significant contribution during the Civil War is just one more reason why I am, as ever, proud to be an Ohioan.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on July 6, 2015

The Importance of Being George

In honor of Father’s Day this year, I thought it was long since time I wrote a piece on the man responsible for bringing you the Kensington Chronicle 7 days a week 52 weeks a year, my father and our editor in chief, George Darling. And how, if not for a chance meeting more than 30 years ago at the Neverland Train Station, I wouldn’t even be here.

As you can no doubt imagine, it takes a certain kind of person to run a newspaper day in and day out. George Darling is driven, organized, and knows how and when to delegate. But believe it or not, my father was not always the taskmaster he is today. Though George is loath to admit it himself, my grandfather, David Darling, has imparted to me on more than one occasion that in his formative years, my father was relatively aimless. David Darling saw his son’s potential, but feared that George was in danger of squandering it. George, for his part, wanted the freedom to make his own choices, and in those days, being groomed to take over the family business was the furthest thing from what he wanted.

David Darling was ultimately able to impress upon his son the importance of getting a college education, and George begrudgingly enrolled at Neverland University, from which he emerged four years later with a degree in English and Journalism. But this was far from the last time George and his father would engage in a heated debate about the direction of his life. Not long after graduating, George and David would have the most contentious fight of this kind to date. At an impasse, a furious George stormed off, intent on fleeing Neverland for parts unknown. But fate had other plans.

It just so happened that the woman working the ticket counter at the Neverland Train Station that fateful day was one Mary Davies. To hear my father tell it, once he locked eyes with Mary for the first time, the rest of the world faded away. She was the most beautiful creature George had ever laid eyes on, and from that moment forward, he never thought about leaving Neverland again.

For much of my life, I’ve harbored the belief that romantic entanglements are a distraction, at best. But in recent months, I’ve begun to revise that opinion. I’ve seen evidence of how the right pairing can create a union that is far greater than the sum of its parts. And this was absolutely the case with George and Mary Darling in the early years of their courtship. Now, starting a family was at the forefront of George’s mind, and he decided to put his journalism degree to good use. Much to David Darling’s relief, his son finally agreed to follow in his footsteps, and Grandfather could rest assured that the dynasty of Darlings at the helm of the Kensington Chronicle would continue, unabated.

And, of course, for my money, the most important result of the union of George and Mary Darling is their three children, myself and my siblings. I, personally, have been a newspaperman from the womb, and the paper will be in good hands when my father does decide to retire. So we at the Chronicle wish George Darling, and all of you other fathers out there, a very happy Father’s Day. We owe all of you a debt we can never possibly repay.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on June 22, 2015

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