I live life in a perpetual state of feeling like something is exciting is going to happen, only it never does.
Lately, I’ve been sending my precious, little book to publishers left, right and centre, hoping one of them lands a hit. I think it’s fair to say I’ve sent my book to at least six different publishers. Hoping. Praying. And waiting—-I will have to wait for months to receive a reply, if there is any at all. In the meantime, I read my manuscript over and over again, obsessively, picking at its flaws, wondering if the writing is too simple and concise because I wanted it to be accessible for children, wondering if I should just jump off a cliff and be done with it (not literally, but you get what I mean).
I can taste publication. I can taste it, the way a bird can sense freedom when you lift the latch of its cage. Right now, my fate is in God’s hands—and in the power of the words I wrote. I think it’s fair to say I’m not a complex writer. That’s why I write children’s books—my writing just isn’t complicated enough to write adult fiction, at least the kind that publishers want to sell. I just have this feeling, this awful, drowning feeling, that I’m not good enough, and never will be. That the subject matter of my children’s book, that of a little girl who is hit by her father, is too sordid and ugly for kids to read. That everything I have worked for, up until this point, has been for nothing.
What do you do when you’re not good enough? What do you do when salvation is the only hope, when the wall in front of you has to be broken through or else you starve to death behind it, and you can’t break through it? What, then? Death. Death and death. In the non-literal sense, of course: if I don’t ever get published, the truth is, slowly, over time, I’d turn into a living corpse. Walking through the days with a lumbering gait, my heart dead in my chest. A zombie, of the worst kind: that of a person whose greatest dream has eluded their grasp.
Not good enough. Sometimes, the pressure of it is enough to make me scream. I don’t actually scream, though. I don’t have the energy to. I’m quite a placid person, on the outside. Outsiders don’t seem to understand what publishing a book means to me. Since I was five years old, I have wanted to be an author. Five. While other children dreamed of being ballerinas or princesses or superheroes, I dreamed of one day writing a book and seeing it on a shelf at a book store or a library. When others worshipped basketball players or famous singers, I worshipped Roald Dahl, who is, by far, my most favourite author in the whole entire world, and whose steps I hope to follow, big shoes to fill though they may be. This dream, of becoming a writer, is so firmly embedded in me, that to kill it would be to kill my soul, too, my heart and my body and everything in between.
I wish I could sit down with a world-famous publisher and editor, and have them go through my manuscript with me, to point out all of its flaws, to show me where I went wrong. And then to tell me that, of course, with some work, they can publish it! My daydreams involving being a writer are numerous. I imagine myself selling the movie rights of the book, travelling to America to meet the movie producer, seeing my book as a film (I can already imagine the entirety of the book perfectly as a film), seeing my book on shelves in libraries and book stores. You can’t imagine what it’d be like to see my book on book store shelves. I would cry and collapse, almost as though someone had stabbed me in the heart.
What if I’m not good enough? What if wanting something isn’t enough? What if?
These are the questions that are slowly starting to kill me.
I feel half-drunk.
In reality, I’ve only been medicating myself with gummy lollies. Every time any bit of depression sits in, I pop another lolly. Not great for one’s teeth or blood sugar, but it’s better than other substances I could be ingesting.
Good news, though! As you can probably tell from this blog post, I have officially reached 350,000 views or “hits” on this blog, Dreaming. Living. Loving. Or dreamerrambling.wordpress.com. It’s certainly a milestone, and to celebrate, I’ve been scrolling through my own past blog posts. If you’re new and don’t know much about this blog, I’ve been blogging for six years. Yep. Six years. WordPress even sent me a notification telling me this.
It’s a funny feeling, looking at my past blog posts—I started writing this blog when I was around fourteen or fifteen (more likely fifteen), and now, I am officially twenty years old, turning twenty-one in two months, yay for me (not), and, re-reading over the posts, I feel as though I’m reading the words of a stranger. Sometimes, I remember writing the words, how I felt when I wrote that particular post or that one, but most of the time, it feels as though someone else wrote them entirely.
But most of all, I read over comments and my heart was filled with this overwhelming joy, that I was, have been able to, and still do, manage to connect with people all over the world just by typing my heart out onto a laptop screen in my little bedroom in some small suburb in Australia. That, my friends, is something quite special.
So here’s to you. This isn’t about me. It’s about you, all the people who have ever read a single post I have ever written, the ones who left comments, sometimes comments that rivalled the posts themselves, who have left likes, who have cared, who have listened and noticed and realised and understood and loved and dreamed and lived. Thank you.
And of course, this wouldn’t be a post by yours truly, dreamerrambling (or Anne), if I didn’t explain why I was popping lollies like they were sleeping pills. I’m not suicidal. Far from it. I’m just—a teensy bit depressed. That’s all. I recently sent my children’s book out to quite a few publishers, and hope that one of them will pick up the book and declare they want to publish it. I’m more sure of this book than I have been of anything in my life. I know it is good. “Hive”, the one I published on Wattpad, is nothing compared to this book—this book is polished, well-written (or so I think), and of publishable quality. Now we’ll just need to see if any publishers out there agree.
Since I started this blog, since the very beginning, I have expressed my wishes of becoming a proper writer and getting published. It has been six long years, but I think I’ve finally written the book that will take me to that dream and more. It’s a good book, is what I’m trying to say. It’s a unique book. Imaginative. Interesting.
Pray with me, will you?
Thank you. Thank you for everything.
No-one knew she could speak to animals. The dog-whisperer, they might call her. Other names. Worse ones. Words that would mean she wouldn’t be able to stay with her mother anymore, would have to be taken away, to somewhere where men in white coats would prod and poke at her, trying to find out the secret to her gift. Continue reading
I’m listening to the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles as I type this; it’s a very sad, trippy sort of song, and I can’t help but fall in love with its whimsical, mournful sound. In fact, it’s so distracting, I almost forgot what I was meant to write about in this post—an update on this INFP’s life. My life, my thoughts. How very interesting. Ah! Welcome to my silly, little world, dear friend, and may you find it a pleasant enough place. Continue reading
So, for the last couple of days or so, I was in a whirlwind of excitement because I received a message, after much waiting, that my book had been accepted by a publisher.
At first, I was filled with joyous elation; the sound of ringing bells echoed throughout my mind, my spirits soared, and a thousand angels seemed to be singing an aria inside my soul at once. Finally, whispered a voice inside of me, finally the day has come! This was it. My big break. All I had to do was sign a contract, pay $4000 in fees and—
Wait. Sign a contract? Pay $4000? What was going on? After a little digging, I realised I had been targeted by what is known as a “vanity publisher”. They are “hybrid” publishers, meaning they forge the path of self-publishing on your behalf, oftentimes for a hefty fee, and for doing simple things like posting your book on the Barnes and Noble website or Amazon. They take almost any legible submissions that come their way, and the money they earn come not from sales of the book itself, but from the money they can glean from contented cash cow authors.
In other words, my publishing dreams were still dust, and I had been nearly duped into handing over my life savings (yes, my life savings, at 20 years old, are absolutely measly).
The shock and horror of what had occurred to me was unspeakable: in a matter of minutes, of seconds, I plummeted from a height of great joy to extreme despair. Once more, I had to face the grueling process of submitting my book to publishing houses, face more rejections, write more synopses, edit my book even more because I’m very pedantic about things like that, and continue the search for a home for my dear, little book. I honestly felt as though the rug had been pulled away from underneath my feet, leaving me sprawled on the floor in a most ungainly position. One moment, I was the starry-eyed author of a soon-to-be published novel—the next, I was left with nothing once again. It was as if I had, just for a moment, tasted stardom and the warmth of the spotlight, only for it to be snatched away, in the blink of an eye, by some cruel and unseen hand, and left alone and cold in the dark once more.
Beware vanity publishers. They are out for not just your money, but your heart and soul. They prey on young, desperate, unsuspecting writers, who dream of having their books published, sometimes no matter the cost. If I hadn’t had the use of the internet at my fingertips, nor well-discerning family members and friends, I might have been conned by these scam artists, who want nothing more than the money from your pocket.
Of course, I am back to square one again. It doesn’t matter, though, because I will always love writing, and enjoy the process of creating words and characters and worlds. Returning to where I began isn’t such a bad thing after all: it just spurs me to work harder, hustle with greater intensity, and follow my dreams to the ends of the earth, if need be. But no dream is worth forking out $4000 to someone who will not distribute or market your book properly, and just slap it on Amazon; every dreamer needs to look out for will-o’-the-wisps along the way, that will cause you to stumble, get lost in the woods and lose sight of what you came to find.
Today, on the train, I was thoroughly intimidated, intentionally, by a young woman, who seemed to want to rub it in my face that she was better than me in every single way. For one thing, she kept tossing her hair, and looking over her shoulder, down her nose at me, standing extra close so the level of intimidation was increased by tenfold, and smelling of such a sweet, powerful perfume it was as if her very pores stank of it. She was proud, and unforgiving, a light smile playing on her lipglossed lips, and she seemed to own the entire train carriage, giving off the impression she was, without a doubt, the alpha female in the place: attractive, obstrusive, and bold. I shrank into a corner, and tried to avoid getting hit by her handbag whenever the train tilted; in her eyes, I might as well have been an insect, crawling along on the floor.
I couldn’t help, after that encounter, to begin to analyse my fellow colleagues, and how they measured up towards being a “real woman”, someone bold and fierce, capable and unrelenting, with an attractive, charismatic air floating about them that was simply irrestitible, to both men and women. One of them, one I worked with closely, did have this aura about her: she was extremely pretty, and possessed a veneer of confidence which seemed to sparkle and shine like a jewel. A real woman. In my eyes, she was a real woman, and I, gangly and awkward, was lacking in every single possible way.
Because I certainly don’t feel like a real woman. When I am with other women, more often than not, I feel like a little girl who hasn’t even hit puberty yet. I am dark-haired, awkward, shy and a little bit of a daydreamer, who enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and penning works of fiction, strange and whimsical ones, in her spare time. At the moment, I am finding my job, as a daycare teacher, a little tiresome, because I’m simply not practical-minded enough to get some of the work done properly, or to completely enjoy it. What is more, I am awkward beyond belief around those of the opposite sex; in fact, if there was such a thing as a “disability” in terms of talking to or even looking at other men I am attracted to, then I could certainly be classified as romantically disabled. In short, I am not, do not, and perhaps will never, feel like a “real woman”.
I don’t know if this is a problem or not. I do not know what plans God has in store for me. In this lifetime, I feel as though I am just a bit of old newspaper, being blown about in the breeze—unique, special, certainly, but insignificant and small in the eyes of the rest of society. I don’t know what to do with my life, except to continue writing and playing out the notes of my passions, I am not the best at looking after children because I’m so clumsy and awkward—the other day, my foot nearly hit a child when I was crossing the playground, much to my horror—and no Prince Charming seems to be available on the horizons, and discovering and realizing I am, and indeed will never be, anything close to a real woman, seems like the dark cherry on top of a nightmarish sundae.
If only my life were a book, that I could tweak and change as I pleased, re-writing a sentence here, a deleting a paragraph there, adding in a flowery adjective over there. Over time, it would blossom and grow, pared down into something sweet and wonderful, instead of something disorganized and chaotic, as it is now.
Even my faith, at times like this, begins to wane and dwindle. In these moments of strife and trouble, when my soul sinks to the nadir of its depths, I begin to believe God has abandoned me, even though I know, deep down, that that is impossible and only a figment of my neuroses and imagination.
A real woman. What does it mean to be a real woman? If I am, indeed, a real woman, then perhaps the definition of it should be changed. Maybe a real woman doesn’t need a face of perfectly-arranged features and a whiff of perfume sweet and alluring. Perhaps she needn’t be capable and confident, poised in every possible way, like a kind of sculpture instead of a proper, human being. Men may not always fall at her feet. Just maybe, she could be shy, small, unsure, dark-haired and awkward, her mind full of fantasies and daydreams, her heart full of wistful hopes, her hands full of love, her mouth filled with stories, her feet walking a slow, zig-zag walk, never in a straight line, across the ground, towards some unchosen destiny.
To put it nicely, I am a hopeless romantic. To put it rudely, I am a desperate, young woman, who needs romance they way some people need their next hit of nicotine.
And since, added to this pile of a mess that I am, I am also an inveterate daydreamer, quite a few nice romantic scenarios cross my mind on a daily basis, and most of them are too good not to share. For instance, today, the romantic scenario popped into my head, perfect for any rom-com or movie if anyone of you out there are interested in writing and directing one, of a girl who is revived using CPR by a handsome savior, who then wakes up in hospital with said handsome savior sitting by her bed, concerned for her well-being, and enraptured by her beauty, rather like a twist of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Wonderful, isn’t it? As I imagined it, I put myself in the place of the woman, and the entire thing was so delicious and romantic, I actually smiled in real life, right in the middle of the First Aid class. Talk about embarrassing.
Oh. And here’s another one. A young woman goes wandering in the forest, looking for her grandmother (okay, I might be basing them all off of fairytales in this post, but, you know me, I love stuff like this, where there’s a pattern to it and it’s all Disney-like). To her surprise, instead of her grandmother, she encounters an evil, bad wolf, and only with the help of the handsome huntress, who slays the wolf, saves her grandmother, and kisses her in the end, is the young woman able to escape the forest, free and unharmed. Okay, perhaps that one ran a little too close to the fairytale. Oh goodness, my fingers are flying across the page—I made the mistake of buying and drinking some Coca-Cola today, forgetting it contains caffeine, and now my insides are all jazzed up.
Come on, I know there are some more inside of me. I spend a good fifty-percent of my time daydreaming, so there’s plenty of juicy material to be had. Let’s see. Oh! If we’re going to run with the fairytale theme here, we might as well go with it. Cinderella. A poor, penniless young woman (me), somehow manages to meet a rich, handsome man, who somehow falls in love with her—together, they while away their time riding private jets and visiting hotels, and eventually, she convinces him to spend most of his fortune on helping the poor and the world’s abandoned children, and on animal cruelty, because, after all, Cinderella is meant to have a kind heart. That one is a favourite of mine, if only for the ending—and the fact that I’ve certainly never stayed at a luxury hotel before.
Beauty and the Beast. Well, to be honest, there’s nothing to work with here, because I can’t imagine a modern re-telling without some serious plastic surgery to take place, and I certainly would find it rather strange to fall in love with someone only after they’d had their face artificially altered. Let’s find another one. Usually I’m absolutely boiling with romantic daydreams. I’m lost, alone and sobbing, trying to escape a terrible, arranged marriage, to a cruel and lewd man. In order to escape, I traverse, on a suicidal mission, on a boat into the darkest areas of the nearby sea, ready to float away into oblivion, only for my boat to rock up on an island where a young, handsome stranger has been living, keeping a deep, dark secret, which I must unlock if I am to escape with him from the island together.
Then there’s the book I’m writing at the moment, called The Woodlands, which is basically, in a nutshell, and which I will eventually type up and post on Wattpad, is about a romance between a young woman and one of the fae, an otherworldly young man with vivid green eyes. But there are so many more inside of me—if I could just turn the right tap, I’m sure all of them will come gushing right out. Imagine if there was a young man, wounded and alone after a battle, who stumbles alone to my cottage—okay, I might have read a story like this somewhere, but still, nevermind, how romantic!—and, obviously, I heal him, and he happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, and after bringing him back to life, with my tender and loving hands, he awakens and falls completely and utterly in love with me! How convenient! Daydreams often are.
Or, if we go in a more realistic direction, a young man stumbles across my blog or reads one of my books, and happens to fall in love with me, and we somehow reach out to one another and start talking online and then we meet up in real life and we fall in love and get married and have kids and live happily ever after.
The dark truth is, most likely, most probably, unless some Divine intervention takes place—and I still don’t know yet if it will—nothing particularly wonderful and romantic will ever happen to me. I have lived enough years on this planet to know that real life and fantasies almost never match. Red Riding Hood might be saved by the wolf, but that doesn’t mean the hunter will fall in love with her—most likely he’s already married, and has got kids of his own. In real life, rich people tend to fall in love with other beautiful rich people; people do get plastic surgery in order to make themselves more attractive in the dating market, especially in Asian countries; and I don’t have any nursing or medical abilities whatsoever, and would, in reality, just stand by and watch as some handsome young man fell in love with some capable, beautiful young nurse. Everyday of my life, I watch other couples happy together, I see families, I see husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, and inside, I heave a little sigh, because it might never happen to me, this business of falling in love, not in this dark, dreary world they call reality.
In the real world, there are no fairytales. There are only nightmares. So far, at least. My life is devoid of anything romantic whatsoever—even my taste of it, when I ventured into the world of dating for a little while, was bitter and uncomfortable, because the kiss I shared with the man was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was enough to make me wonder if I was, in fact, lesbian (I’m not, just to clarify).
So, handsome, young men, looking for odd, kind and creative daydreamers, where are you? Are you actually out there? Do you really exist? Maybe you are reading these words right now, in which case, call me, my number is — just kidding, I wouldn’t make my number public on the internet. Either way, if you are reading these words right now, just know there is someone out there who yearns for you just as much as you probably yearn for me, and I know this is but a shout in the darkness, an echo, but maybe one day we’ll meet, in real life, and maybe the person behind these words will be close enough to touch and maybe we’ll love each other and everything will be all peachy and fine.
And then again, maybe not.
There are sometimes moments in life where everything feels strange. Early in the morning is one of those. I feel as though I am dangling on the precipice of something, my heart hanging out of my chest, on a tangle of threaded veins and arteries.
Strange. I don’t know how to be myself sometimes. It’s hard. I try to hard to be myself, I find myself becoming rather forced in my words and actions. Strange, isn’t it? Ha.
There is no particular point to this post. I am a rather complex person, so whatever ends up splashing itself across the page when I write tends to be wistful and romantic in some way; that’s something you should expect, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while.
As per my adventures into the realm of sexual exploration, I have been trying to watch a movie with Anne Hathaway in it, called One Day. It’s a sexy movie, rather lewd for my tastes, but I can’t help but be a little bit fascinated by the sensual world the director manages to create using a handful of backdrops and actors. Someone else I have been listening to lately is Lorde. Oh, and a little known fact about me: I love eggs. Love them. To death. Not that I would actually die for eggs—although you never know, when it comes to people.
Even more lately, I have been thinking about all the people who I have been wronged by. It’s a fantastic subject matter. It makes you feel all poisonous and vindictive—for a little while. Let’s say, a good ten months, depending on how deep the wound went. But after that, forgiveness starts to seep in, like some unwelcome paint in water, turning the lovely clearness into some annoying sort of colour. Forgiveness. Imagine forgiving someone who murdered your child. I don’t think I’d be able to do that. But, then again, I have never experienced such a thing before; although I’m sure there are, in this godforsaken world, some people who have. All they have, in those moments, when it comes to it, is God.
I am not afraid. That’s not true. I’m not afraid to speak my mind, a lot of the time. I’m afraid of other things, like talking to handsome boys and giving speeches. I’m odd like that. And besides, it’s through this blog that I get to truly be myself, and voice whatever opinions and thoughts catch my fancy.
Life is incredibly complex. So incredibly complex. In order to keep up with it, you have to keep getting smarter, all the time. It’s exhausting, this business of growth and change. Exhausting, but exhilarating.
I don’t where this post is going anymore. I suppose posts like these are for the die-hard fans of my blog, of which there are a few—-just a handful—of you out there, of whom I am very appreciative of. Through my blog, I have met and talked to numerous wonderful and lovely people, a young woman from India, a young man from Britain, another from America, and it is such a blessing, to have made friends like you through my blog. I can’t possibly put it into words. It’s as if you’ve invited me into your home and given me a full course meal, and then hugged me good-bye afterwards—it feels very warm, and wonderful.
You know who else I like? Neil Gaiman. His books, The Ocean At The End of The Lane, and Neverwhere, are two of my all-time favourite books. I am re-reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Don’t tell anyone, but I plan on naming my children Charlie and Cordelia when I’m older and find a man and am ready to have children and do whatever it takes to rear them. Obviously, I can’t stop you from using these baby names, but use them at your own discretion—God sees everything, after all. Shhh. Let’s keep it a secret.
I’m continually publishing my book The Hive, chapter by chapter, bit by bit. It’s coming along rather nicely. I’m rather proud of it. It took me a long time to write, even longer to plan, and overall, I am happy with the end result. So far, only 72 people have read it, but that’s okay, I can take that: I didn’t expect it to become massively popular immediately, or anything even close. If, in my lifetime, it hits 1000 views, then I will be happy, because that means around 800 or so people read it.
That’s all from me for now. Oh, wait, one more thing. About forgiveness. I have met some truly horrendous and petty people in my lifetime. The kind of people who would steal candy from a child. Who would break your bone and then ask to sign the cast. But somehow, over time, I have realised that there is something inside of me that is purer and brighter than the darkness they are and will always be, and for some reason, that makes all of the pain they caused me nothing but clouds floating by in the breeze.
I take myself out on dates
And the only one pays is me
And I buy myself jewellery
And give myself hugs
‘Cause only someone who’s loved can love
I give myself a crown
A tiara of silver
‘Cause I’m a queen
Living the dream
And it goes well with my hair
And I know what you’re thinking
She’s a little bit crazy
But if you knew the life I’d been living
You wouldn’t judge me
I bought my own wedding ring
And I like it
Less than you think
I’m a girl who…
…needs a guy
A prince to be mine
One without a crown
And no kingdom
I wear a dress and look amazing
The prettiest girl alive
I’m covered in jewels and bling
Even if it’s not bright
And I’ve got a sharp mind
I know how to calculate
Exactly like a mime
The people all stare at me
In my imagination
They all gaze openly
At this beautiful specimen
And I have no pride
I’m kind and pure as they come
Please someone come for me
Someone tall and nice-looking
You won’t regret
I’m a champagne glass of prettiness/I love myself too well
Click here to listen to this: https://vocaroo.com/i/s0FQP9R1ZGtC
I wish I was someone dazzling, someone people marvelled over.
Stunningly beautiful, sharp-witted, elegant, gorgeous in any dress, with smooth, tanned skin and shapely legs, with a handsome man by my side who has the ability to make my knees weak with a kiss.
I wish I was the popular girl, dark-haired and beautiful, strutting down the aisles of the school like I owned the place, grabbing boys by their ties and kissing them behind lockers.
I wish I was brave, fearless, wild, someone so lovely and fierce only a hunter would fall in love with me, and a handsome one at that.
I wish I was a princess out of a fairytale, who sees her prince from afar, while seated in the bevelled window of her tower.
I wish I was a gorgeous lady, going out clubbing every single night, tossing back drinks like candy, and getting men to eat out of the palm of her hand.
I wish I was a flapper’s girl, with flirtatious red lips, ready to enchant any man that comes my way. I wish I was anybody, but me.
No, that’s not true. I love being me, and it has taken me a long time to reach this point. I love myself. I just wish for something more exciting, and sensual, to enter my life; it’s something every young woman with a mind full of daydreams wishes for, secretly yearns for, even if on a subconscious level. Why do I love being me? I love how deeply I think about things. I love my own insight. I love my own beauty, I love my face, with its relatively big eyes, rather large nose and big lips. I love my body, even where the fat rolls up around my waist. Heck, I even liked the cheese-flavoured popcorn and prawn chips I ate today, as unromantic and ordinary that might be.
The day will come when all my romantic fantasies come true. Actually, I don’t know if they ever will, but I hope they do, and I have a feeling they will come true, so, for the purpose of this piece of writing, yes, it will all happen to me. Until then, I have to find a way to live with myself. Lately, I’ve been working on being a kinder and less vain, self-absorbed person. Writing a blog post about yourself might not be the best way to do this, you might think, but, in actual fact, while being understood is one of the reasons I write this blog, I also want to make others feel less alone and comforted through my words. If I can do that, I honestly think I can die happy. If there is someone out there who religiously checks up on my blog, and hangs on my every word, and is brought to tears because they resonate so strongly with my words—then, I think I have achieved what I wanted to achieve here.
Let’s see. What should it be like? The perfect romantic moment. Indulge with me for a moment. Perhaps it will be with a handsome man, underneath the boughs of a tree. No. It doesn’t have any sparkle to it. Maybe he should crawl in through the window of my bedroom, like Edward the vampire, and surprise me with sweet-smelling kisses! I’m joking; that would be terrifying. No. Let’s think about this properly. On a boat, on a lake. We’re getting closer. I just paused for a long moment to think. In the rain.
In the rain.