• Stephanie Hammond

In the beginning ...

I was conceived a twin but born as a single. Not an uncommon occurrence. Although I was unaware I was a surviving twin, I was aware I was alone in a way I didn’t want to be. I felt like a half of me was missing. And I spent a lot of time searching for that missing bit of ‘Me’.

Over the years I’ve come to a greater understanding of how this feeling has influenced my life actions and choices. This understanding was gained through various techniques like counselling, re-birthing,kinesiology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

At this point in time, I find my experiences very interesting and can view my processes quite dispassionately and with compassion. It was not always so.

In the warmth and security of my mother’s womb I did not feel safe. As a foetus I was so afraid, aware of a grey smoky vacuum where life used to be. A life, that of my twin, was snuffed out. How safe was this place then?

This feeling stayed with me and moulded me. As a little girl I was very quiet. So quiet my mother was concerned and took me to the doctor. He confirmed there was nothing physically wrong with me. In his opinion I was a dreamy child, content to play with my dolls. Maybe that was so. But I was afraid to make too much noise. Except when I was alone, or with my cousins.

What a blessing siblings and cousins are. And I was blessed far above the norm. My brother was 18 months older than me and was my champion all his life. He was the person I was first aware of who loved me unconditionally. That’s how it felt for me. He loved me first.

My family lived in a street with my father’s parents and four of his siblings. All had children. And our non-family neighbours had children as well. With them, my fears were offset by the joy of being with other children who were willing and capable of living in a world of fantasy and adventure. With them I felt safe.

But in my alone times I would creep through a hole in the back fence and climb as high as I could into a tree and scream out at the top of my little lungs: “I want to go home!”

Where that home was I don’t know. I never knew. All I knew was that it wasn’t there, over the fence, in amongst the nice garden with the hen house.

Life gives you experiences for a reason. And my life is full of them. Some of these that were shared with my brother and sister are of the most unspeakable horror. Many others not so bad. Always, throughout the good and the bad, we grew to depend on each other and found our way to share lives of joy and trust and love and support - in amongst the pains and trials of life we were always there for each other.

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Last Days in Atlantis. (Young Adult Novel)

Mari is thrust into a position of responsibility as the warrior leader of the Atlantean Hill People before she's ready. She strives to make choices that are best for her and her people against a backdrop of deception and intrigue. She becomes entangled in the power struggles between her people and the rulers of the City of the Golden Gates. 

Events test her trust in the traditions of her people and her confidence in those who are dear to her: the Elders, her mother, and the young man she is expected to share her life with.  Mari believes she has failed the task and struggles to overcome her feelings of grief, guilt, and betrayal as her very survival is threatened. 

I have written two children's stories about Beatrice, a young angel-in-training with one large wing. The first to be published, Beatrice Learns Compassion, was illustrated by my granddaughter, Bella, when she was 10-years-old. Bella is currently illustrating the secon book, Beatrice Spreads Joy. 

The Beatrice book is available on Kindle. It's suited to young children. Print copies are available to purchase through the contact page