Books Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: Melissa

Like yesterday, when we ‘had’ to do potato printing (his words), and there were no potatoes, no paint, we’d even run out of paper.

Letters from Elsewhere

Book Cover.


I’m delighted to be visited today by Melissa. I loved reading her story in Stella Hervey Birrell‘s novel, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? published by Crooked Cat.







Dear Bella,

Letters from Elsewhere picture 1The wee one is napping on me and all I can reach is this piece of paper and a pen, so I thought I’d write and say hi. How are you? What’s new in Edinburgh? I miss it – I miss you!

I’ve been really tired: he keeps waking me up in the middle of the night, bad dreams. About his Daddy mostly. I don’t know what to say to him, but I can’t sleep with him in my bed either.

Then in the day time he’s into everything, every minute has to be filled with something: by the end of the day there’s playdough out and drying, pens scattered in a jumbled rainbow, cereal crunching under my feet. Sometimes I just shut the kitchen and the living room doors, and go straight to bed.

Letters from Elsewhere picture 2How’s the new flat? And what’s it like, finally living with Darren? You looked so happy together at the christening, thank you for coming and for the gift. Ornaments are all very well, but your Boots voucher will be much more useful and I’ll never have to dust it.

I’m sure I’m meant to be a grown-up now. I feel I’m just pretending to know what I’m doing, parenting this wee thing. I miss just hanging out at the pub. And going dancing, although I can’t imagine staying awake for long enough. You want to see him sleeping on my shoulder, you would never think he gets up to any mischief. I’ve got a dead arm now, where he’s sparked out on it. I don’t know whether I should let him sleep just now either: will he be awake at night again? I’m just making it up as I go along.

Letters from Elsewhere picture 3But maybe that’s all any of us does. And maybe it’s better to wing it; if I don’t have a plan, it doesn’t matter when it all goes wrong. Like yesterday, when we ‘had’ to do potato printing (his words), and there were no potatoes, no paint, we’d even run out of paper. Lots of wrongs. So we went to the shops, and I looked up how to make them, and we did it together, after arguing about whether I was going to let him use the sharp knife. Maybe I am getting it right, some of the time.

Letters from Elsewhere picture 4I hope potato prints and cereal and rainbows are enough. I love him and all that, but sometimes I’m just too tired to show it!

Come and visit soon?






Stella Says

17.11.2015. Stella Hervey Birrell.
Stella writing at home.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to find out what happened to Melissa, all is revealed in How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? which is available from UK Amazon US Amazon Kobo Nook and iBooks.

How to find me: please come and say ‘hi’ in one or more of these places.


By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

2 replies on “Letters from Elsewhere: Melissa”

Loved this letter, Stella, it reminded me of one I wrote portraying a young Irish maid working up at the big house. I like that very personal interaction. You really captured all of the new parent’s thought’s and feelings. A massive adjustment and learning curve.

Huge Apologies Brownsunroom, having just found this lovely comment on 13th September! So glad you enjoyed the post, and felt I’d captured accurately the huge adjustment that comes with being a new parent.

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