Life Lessons In Your 20s: Smiling When You’re Sad

I don’t know if many people have ever felt the need to look cheery and happy when in reality they are wailing and sobbing inside their hearts. Probably. I’ve never met someone in real life who has experienced such a feeling. They either smile to show they are happy, or look miserable to show they are sad, or if they have trouble hiding their sorrow but are desperate to do so, look down at the table or the floor. It’s something else, I think, to  smile as brightly as sunshine when you feel like a dead moon.
Funny thing is, though I can remember doing this several times during my life—smiling so wide I wondered if my lips were about to break and then ducking away into some dark and lonely corner to cry my heart out—when I look back on the incidents that caused me to feel the need to twist myself into a contradition, I wonder why on earth I turned into such an emotional mess over nothing.
Well, in retrospect, it was nothing. At the time, it was everything.
My memories are vague. I think they were so traumatic my brain has actually tried to block them out. Isn’t that ridiculous? Other people block memories of the horrors of war, of horrifying occurrences like rape—and I block out silly moments of childhood and adolescence. Maybe I was just a vapid, little drama queen, desperate for attention, like so many young female teenagers in the world. Or suffering from some kind of deeply-buried childhood trauma I truly don’t remember. I actually don’t know.
I remember…
I remember seeing a boy I liked start loving another girl. Ouch. I smiled so hard that time, trying to make it seem like all was right in the world while was wrong inside of me, that I honestly think I twisted my soul out of shape and it hasn’t been the same since.
Another time…
Another time, I was extremely lonely. I think it was after my father exited my life. I was desperate for male affection. But I was too shy to go seeking for it—I was only seventeen, after all, and socially awkward. And when a friend of mine started dating a lovely, kind boy, I was so overwhelmed with bitterness and jealousy I had to put on my brightest smile as I gushed about this new development of her life with her. It felt like my eyeballs would fall out of my head from the strain. It’s not fair, I remember thinking, some people live such charmed lives, I can’t bear it. She had a caring father, who still loved his family very much. A tall and wonderful brother, so kind he once spent more than fifty dollars once just to buy her a tiny little memorabilia from a franchise she liked. A handsome boyfriend. A wardrobe of beautiful dresses. Beautiful and intelligent, gifted with the written word, lots of family and friends. Popular and adored. Her name echoed down the corridors of the school, spilling fondly from the lips of students who were greeting her or wanted to talk to her. I didn’t hate her. She liked creativity and words, just like me, and I could never hate someone like that. I think I hated myself.
One time, it was because someone else won an award I had been desperately wanting. I would have felt so proud, standing up on that stage. What made it worse, was that everyone thought I would get it. My entire class. But instead, a girl who had never treated me nicely got it instead, and she stood proudly next to another girl, both of them popular and well-liked. Extroverted and beautiful. Like lovely celebrities. And I stood in the crowd, in the shadows. It was the moment I realized sometimes being liked by people is more important for getting ahead in life than trying hard.
Another time, it was for a silly reason. I was nine, I think, and had my birthday party in the park. This was before the divorce. I had been given these strange and lovely balloons, all sorts of strange patterns and shapes. I wanted them all for my party, only, but my cousin started handing them out to other kids in the playground. Suddenly, my party wasn’t special at all, anymore. I remember feeling spiteful, filled with tearful rage. It was strange. I didn’t mind sharing things at school, or with my sister. For some reason, the balloons struck a nerve, but you wouldn’t have known it, looking at me, dancing and skipping on the way home.
I think if someone can see past your smile to the awful tears seeping like blood from a wound behind it, then they deserve to love you. If someone believes your smile when you are actually in agony, you should do yourself a favour and stop letting them fill your precious time.
I still have never dated anyone, I haven’t won any awards except for one writing competition four years ago, I forget my birthdays, I don’t lead the charmed lives some people do, all the men I have found likeable so far have had girlfriends or been married, I’m not the least bit popular amongst my acquaintances and still keep to myself a lot…
…but I am no longer unhappy. For years, I have never had to stretch my lips wide and crinkle the corners of my eyes in false happiness in front of anyone, when I truly want to scream out a neverending vortex of darkness. I think discovering God helped me. He soothes me all the time. Writing, daydreaming, movies and films, anime, music, studying—these fill my days, and make them bright, like the sun. I like to watch people, and the way sunlight slants through the clouds. I like animals and children. I like vegetables and fruits, they are nature’s jewels. I know everything will turn out okay in the end, even if it doesn’t, because God wilk always be there to catch you when you fall. I really believe that.
And the misery only comes once every blue moon, but when it does, I make sure to show my true feelings at the time.
Because the only one forcing you to smile when you are unhappy is yourself.
PS: I’ve recently realised how very INFP one of my main characters I write about is—she is often quite, and reflective, and full of shattered dreams. And in the end, instead of choosing love, to live happily ever after with her prince, she decides to sacrifice herself to save the world. A sweet flower, falling into the fire, so the forest won’t get burned. There is something so brilliantly romantic about martyrdom.

Fantasies INFPs Like To Have


When you like to daydream more than I like to live in the real world.

  • Romantic fantasies

If you are a female INFP:

A romantic fantasy, for you, generally involves wearing something extremely pretty, and wearing a hairstyle you generally never wear in real life (or even know how to create), and bumping into a fantastically kind, handsome and beautiful stranger at a place where you are feeling lonely, sad and full of desire, who understands you completely. For instance, you are invited to a masked ball, and are insulted by some people—so you leave, in tears, to go and explore the rest of the mansion, and find yourself with a stranger in the library. But, really, as long as it’s swoon-worthy, anything goes.

If you are a male INFP:

Okay, as I have never met a male INFP in a real life, and am female myself, this is more guesswork and imagination. However, I believe male INFPs have romantic fantasies that generally involve watching a beautiful woman from afar, while quietly reading a book, and thinking they would never be interested in you—only to find out she has, in fact, noticed you quite a bit, and though she is outgoing and popular, she likes the same things you do, like reading and philosophy, and the two of you become close friends, then something more. A little less elaborate, to account for the differences in gender, but pretty much the same.

  • Heroic Fantasies

You save this [insert: cat, person, child, city, country, world, universe, flower, bee, mother, sister, father, friend, man, woman, table, chair, spoon] from being destroyed by destruction and evil, in front of everyone, risking your life to do so, cradling them to your chest with love afterwards, and are seen as a gracious, beautiful person by everyone forevermore.

  • Bad-Ass Fantasies

The definition of a “bad-ass person” is to be edgy, brave and outspoken in your words and actions. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what an INFP is. We are most of the time never bad-ass in our everyday lives, and if we ever do somehow manage to muster the strength to do be, afterwards we feel like we are having a heart attack and need to retreat into fantasy for several months. Fortunately, we have our imaginations, and female INFPs like to imagine themselves as women who fight foes with a kick of a high-heeled boot, and make others cower in fear with just a lift of a perfect eyebrow, while male INFPs might like to imagine themselves as quiet but dangerous types, who lean against walls and in shadows, ready to strike at any moment, such as suddenly appearing out of nowhere to grab an offending fist in mid-punch.

  • Friendship Fantasies

We’re not the most social or extroverted types—in fact, a lot of the time, we can be downright loners—and even for those of us who have some friends, they are often not completely to our liking—so what better way to find the perfect friends than to create your own, inside your own head, am I right, INFPs? No? These often involve being a part of a group or team in some fantastical world, like a military faction of a planet besieged by aliens, or a travelling party crossing through a desert on a magic carpet. Point is, these people are your perfect friends—kind, caring, brave and strong, who love and understand you, and together you go on adventures for all eternity. I may or may not have watched a little too much Fairy Tail.
Sensual Fantasies

Before you start asking me to put a PG rating on my blog posts, hear me out: I’m not referring to anything lewd here. Instead, for INFPs, it’s about pretending you are someone sensual and outgoing, not afraid to drape yourself over the handsome fellow who has caught your eye, or lure in a beautiful woman with your devilish wiles. Why? Because, to be honest, it’s very, very hard for INFPs to be alluring and sexy. Sure, we can be attractive, pretty or good-looking—but we’re only ever attractive and pretty in the way flowers or kittens are. Even if we made to look sexy—though take it from me, no INFP would ever willingly parade outside in the world in something horribly revealing that would draw unwanted attention, we don’t have the stomach for it—our personalities will never match up to it. Instead, we can only imagine ourselves being such daring people, a femme fatale, a player who gets a woman to fall in love with him in just a couple of days, with a wistful look on our face.

  • Kitten Fantasies

A old house with an attic and lots of stairs and secret rooms and doors—ENTIRELY FILLED WITH KITTENS.

‘Nuff said.

  • Magical Fantasies

I am a fairy, dancing in the moonlight, a child trapped inside a clockwork house, a princess who falls in love with a peasant boy, a star who comes to life…

…which year is it, again?



A Childhood Wonderland


There are things inside my heart that have never seen the light of day, but are as gentle and miserable as a butterfly trapped inside a glass cage.

My yearning to return to the happy days of my childhood, a desire so powerful sometimes I feel as though I will be choked by my sadness. Bits of memories, that flash through my mind. Restaurant outings before my family split in two, laughing and talking around the table, walking home together under the stars at night. Days and nights spent at my father’s bakery, where I grew up, a tiny wonderland of delicious pastries and desserts. Fireworks against the sky. The feel of my father’s hands, the shape of his nails.

It all comes back to the happiest period of my life: a childhood spent inside a world of sugar and flour, fruit and egg, milk and chocolate. I tell a lot of people about my father being a baker, but no-one can truly understand how happy I was, living upstairs of that scrumptious establishment. Tasting the chocolate goodies and biscuits, eating them with a bowl of milk before bed. I would always choose the Chocolate Hedgehog, and my sibling the Happy Face, a biscuit dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, and with Smarties for eyes, a chocolate mouth.

I would help my father clean the steel tables after he’d made pies, scraping away the flour, some of it hardened so it was extra tricky, and afterwards he would reward me with a bright, $2 coin. Under the kitchen tables, there were boxes filled with plastic sacks of dried orange peels or sultanas, which I would eat, gathering up a handful. At night, when the shop was closed, I would go out into the front, in the dim lights, with the display cases all filled with pastries and sweets and gently glowing, and my sister and I would play, pretending we were maidens lost in a forest, casting flowers out of her baskets onto the grass.

Vitamin C tablets in a jar on a wooden shelf, so tasty and acidic. The Mario games my father used to play, with the diligence of a mastermind, in between his work hours. Machines whirring deep into the night, rolling out dough, oven doors being slammed open and shut. Flour, everywhere. The time I stuck my tongue on some ice in the freezer because of something I had read in a book. The big freezer at the back of the bakery, filled with all the frozen goods, which my father always, jokingly, threatened to lock me up in, if I kept on misbehaving.

The snails I kept as pets. The rock sugar lollies, the gummy fruits. Watching my father decorate cakes, piping the icing into beautiful swirls, decorating them with his chocolate script, little carrot sprinkles and tiny silver balls. Cherries glazed in sugary syrup, which I found absolutely disgusting. Treats, delicious food, left, right and centre. The way he would play rock, scissors and paper with me, while I sat on the table, swinging my legs.

The make-believe games I played with my sister, using pencil cases to whack a balloon back and forth across the room, screaming “Lifesaver” if we hit a balloon upwards just before it touched the carpet. The endless movies and cartoons. Trips to McDonalds and KFC, coming back on the train. A shop that sold trillions of buttons in all different designs and shapes, as numerous as there are people on this planet, and fabrics in tall, towering posts. Lying in bed at night, and feeling the train passing by make the floor of the bedroom I shared with my sister gently rumble. The jelly my father used to always buy me, because he knew it was my favourite food.

You know, there might be a reason why I love fantasy so much. It’s because I practically grew up in one.

And then it all ended. It was like a room going dark. No, worse: it was like a busy house, full of colour and people, suddenly empty and grey. I was thrown from a beautiful wonderland into a cold, barren winterscape. One moment I was clothed, and alone in my room; the next, naked, and standing in front of a crowd of people.
I lost my father. Not in the physical sense, technically. He is still alive. If I wanted to, I could go see him. But he has changed entirely, in ways that are too traumatising for me to put into words. The last time I saw him, I felt like I was meeting a stranger, and the feeling—of loving someone so completely, and having them change like that—was nearly darker than anything I have ever felt before. I was a coin that had been flipped, and fallen into the gutter. I cried on the bus ride home, and then forgot about it. I didn’t even really know why I was crying. Crying because I had lost something, I suppose.

I will never have any of it back. I will never find it again. Not for as long as I live. Even if I forge a new life, full of my own magic and wonder, that tiny world of magic, of my childhood, is locked away, forever beyond my reach.

In this life, heartbreak is common. People talk about healing from heartbreak.

That’s not true. You never heal. Not for as long as you live. The people who say they get over things, like deaths and divorces, are lying, and probably in too much pain to admit it to themselves. Instead, you just keep walking around with the pain inside of you. Sometimes, you forget about it. In fact, most of the time, given long enough, it even seems to not even be there—you are laughing, joking. You are jubilant.

But inside, deep inside, where the pain is, there is nothing. And that nothingness will always be there, like a hole punched right through your chest. Like an empty treasure box. Like looking at some bones and a skull, and realising they were once a living, breathing person, just like you. Like burning books. It will be there until the day you die. And I say this as someone who has only suffered an unbelievably tiny fraction of the pain some people in this world and throughout history have.

So I guess it’s lucky we have God.

PS: Still unleashing my yearning for the lofty and idealistic by writing—am currently brewing inside my imagination a love story between two people set in a clockwork, Victorian world. It’s nothing original, but it sure is dreamy and satisfying. What I love most about stories, and books, is the last paragraph, or line. It has to be poignant—they fly off, ready for a new life—or tragic, the sun shines through a window and illuminates a music box, that will never be wound up again. Does stuff like that just make your heart spread its wings and shimmer?


I’m Not Evil…I Think.


So. Dating has been on my mind recently.

And no, before you ask, I am not getting lonely, or desperate, or some needy combination of the two. With God in my life, and writing, and books, and anime, and films, and Youtube, and a potential cat and job in the age care industry in the future (did I word that correctly? The cat and the job are separate—though I would be glad to look after elderly people’s cats as well), and loving family members and a couple of (okay, I sometimes have to pretend I’m someone I’m not around them, but I’ve long ago realised that for creative, bookish people like me, who has yet to find another writer in her entire life, to maintain acquaintances and not seem cold and rude I have to put on a mask sometimes—and they’re more like acquaintances, to be fair) friends, I am not in a bad place. Anymore. Which is good.

Though everytime I feel myself getting a little too happy and hopeful with how things are going on at the moment, I remind myself that there are people in the world right now who are starving to death or have lost family members to murder and that shuts my overload of happiness right up. I don’t think it’s fair for some people to be so happy, while somewhere else in the world, someone is miserable enough to want to die. So, a tip: tone down on your own happiness, if you are fortunate enough to have it at the moment. Is that too pushy?

I ate chicken today. I hate eating meat, but sometimes my body just craves the protein, so I cave in. Today, while walking home, I passed these walls put up by the council around a building site, and they had been literally covered in pro-vegan slogans and writing, and recommendations to watch a 2005 film called “Earthlings”. I decided not to watch it. I can’t handle seeing any form of cruelty or pain. In the past, during moments of complete rage at people who I deemed had hurt me in some way, and pure malice, I did wish death on some people I had come across, but that part of me, after I have started to get closer to God, has been eradicated. Sometimes, I am surprised at how easily I could turn into a monster, if pushed far enough—never enough to actually hurt someone in real life, but enough to imagine hurting them. It’s a dark side of me that I am horrified of. That’s what comes of having a vivid imagination, I suppose.

Anyway. Back to dating. Last night, I prayed to God to wonder meet someone—yes, a romantic interest—who would fall in love with my creativity or something like that, and decide I am the light of his life, and keep me safe forever and ever. He would be tall. He would be Christian, and love God. He would like cats. Or just animals in general. He would be a writer. He would be creative. He has to be a fan of animation, whether it be Pixel or Disney or Studio Ghibili or anime. He should like books. Actually, make that a must. And then after that I prayed to get published, and then I prayed for a cat, and then I daydreamed a little, and then I fell asleep.

I’m sure you’re finding all this fascinating. This really is just a ramble, isn’t it, about my own little world. Welcome. What does the entrance of my world look like, you ask? Why, it is a fairy door, of course! A stone arch, covered in brambly white roses. Only the kind of heart can pass through, though a little darkness is allowed, of course. Otherwise it would be so boring. What was I talking about again? Oh, yes. Dating.

I actually figured out the most perfect way for a writer to meet someone. It would be for the two of us to find ourselves sitting next to each other in a library or on a train or some other public place, reading each other’s books. And I’d look up, and be like, “Hey, I wrote that,” and he’d look up, smile, and say, “Likewise.” And it would be the most romantic, to-die-for thing ever, because I am the kind of person who would die for my own writing (you think I’m joking, but if it was between my life and getting published, I’d choose the latter in a heartbeat, without batting an eye), and who would protect books and fantasy world inside books, animations and films, to my dying breath. It is the only place where I have felt truly happy, and belonged. So to meet someone that way—through books—is kind of a happily ever after for me. I calculate that the chances of it happening in real life are close to—the chance of everyone in the world deciding to stop eating meat even though it is available. Which are zero.

I don’t want to have babies. Ever. The world is overpopulated enough that having children, in my eyes, is a selfish thing to do. I want to adopt. Three children. But to do so, at least in Australia, I would need to have a partner. It’s not going to be easy. I love children almost as much as I love cats.

As for things like sex…well, everyone has hormones. We all got here somehow (excluding children who are born out of horrific circumstances, like rape). I suppose, under the right conditions, I would have the same urges as everyone else. But it’s not that important to me, because sex, like all physical pleasures, is incredibly short-lived. Sure, I’ve walked into a shopping centre or somewhere and thought—golly, he’s good-looking! Then, I take a closer look at him, at the way he talks or interacts with other people, and I realize, instantly, with my magic personality reading skills, that we would never be compatible. I worry, sometimes, that I won’t ever find someone who “fits” with me, psychologically. Still waters run deep.

My last post, about animations, anime and all sorts of stuff, is probably one of the best ways for someone to understand who I am. I am fantasy. Creativity. That’s it. There’s honestly nothing else. My favourite books in the world are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. And by favourite, I literally mean just imagining what happens in the books inside my head is enough to get me high with happiness. This is probably getting a little dull, but my passion for writing, for magic, is infinite. The only thing greater than it are things I care about, like the environment and family. Animals. I might not throw my books away for animals, unfortunately, or my mother (I am a hideous person, because the absolute truth is, since I don’t feel close to her, if I had to choose between publishing my own books and my mother’s life, I would actually find myself completely stuck and uncertain—and tempted to save the former), or a group of strangers who I have never had any contact with (honestly, if someone had to sacrifice my life just so their books could exist—I would gladly die for the greater good. I’m not kidding on this one. If my death, for instance, would have allowed Hayao Miyazaki to keep living, I would do so in a heartbeat.  And after I’ve published all of my books, of course, and only if the death is painless), but if it was a choice between my sibling, who I love more than my own life, or Mother Nature itself, who is everything to me, or Jesus, I would sacrifice my books (and by books, I mean the novels I’m currently working on).

I’m not a horrible person. I don’t think so. Maybe a little obsessed and egotistical. I just love books more than anything else in the world. And this might sound completely deranged (feel free to slap me in your mind), but when it comes down to it, I could imagine myself giving the OK to kill someone if they were going to do something horrible to my books, like use magic powers to erase all my books out of existence so that they were never published, never where even there. Just a random fantasy of mine.

This is what I was born for. To write. And I’m not even that good of a writer. I trust it all to God—everything, my future published books, my writing, my literary skills, my creativity. To hard work and practise. It is my purpose. Oh, and to do a heap of charity work until all my money is gone and I die of old age, surrounded by books and cats. All this is kind of hard to explain to people. Even when I tell the people closest to me that I must get published during my lifetime—or die, deep inside my soul, into an eternal blackness, the moment I take my last breath—they scoff, shrug, laugh it off.

It’s that important to me. Not because I want to be published and go, “Hey, I’m better than you, because I wrote these published books!” or for the fame, or for the money. I honestly believe my books need to exist, because they are very unique and pretty, and people have to have this burst of creativity God has gifted me.

Ha! And I promise I am not psychotic, or delusional, or plain crazy. I just know. I just know things. And I probably sounded really insane and evil in this post, spilling my thoughts out like this, so my dear dreamers, feel free to unsubscribe from your Dreamerrambling, who I am sure you all now believe is a demon.

Oh wait. This was meant to be about dating. In case you were wondering—a man who wouldn’t sacrifice his own life so my books would get to reach people is not a man I want in my life. Muahahaha.

Half of this post was tongue-in-cheek. I promise. I’m pretty sure I would sacrifice my own books in a heartbeat if it would save a pig screaming in fear from being slaughtered in front of me. Or a human being. It’s just easier, isn’t, if you can’t see it happening.

Chinese Animations, Anime, and old Barbie films

chinese girl

I’ve been watching an anime recently, called “Fairy Tail”.

For those of you who have been living under a rock (sorry, that’s mean), anime is a kind of Japanese animation usually targeted at kids or young adults. It’s quite whizzy and wonderfully creative. There are all these wizards, who are part of a guild titled “Fairy Tail”, who go on all sorts of adventures fighting evil. The currency in the world is jewels, and each wizard has a unique ability; Lucy’s, for instance, is a young woman with the power to open doorways to let celestial spirits come through to the human world to fight on her behalf, Natsu is a dragonslayer who uses fire magic, and Grey an “ice-maker” wizard, who can block attacks with walls of crystalline ice conjured out of nowhere, and generate a multitude of ice-centred assaults. And there is Erza, of course, a lady with scarlet hair and fiery with determination, who can fight with a host of different equipment, re-equipping with the ease of a bird flying in the sky.
If my poor summary of the brilliant anime sounds a little appealing to you, I would recommend you check it out on Youtube; the first episode is HERE.
You know, it occurred to me that I have never really shared with my viewers some of my favourite animated shows, even though they form such a large part of my daily life and happiness.
I mean, there are the obvious ones, like the famous Hayo Miyazaki movies. But there are others, some of which many Western viewers may not have ever heard of, and which I grew up watching.
Alright, so here are some of my favourite animated movies (just click on the titles to get directed to the movies on Youtube): Barbie as Rapunzel, Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, Barbie in Swan Lake, Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. I know what you’re thinking—Barbie! As if I would ever watch anything so childish. But trust me, I grew up on these animated films, and they are literally works of art, that have age-old themes, such as the importance of bravery and kindness. Also, talking animals are always a good thing.
Oh gosh, I can’t believe how excited I am to tell you about these animated pieces of bedazzling beauty. Growing up, my parents also let me watch a lot of Chinese animations—we would put in this old-fashioned VCR, the animations were on CDs—and it really is a shame they are not more well-known outside of China. One of these is a short animation whose title, directly translated, is “The Snow Child”, though “The Snowman” would also work. HERE it is. Everything that happens is so easily understood you don’t even need to know the language to get what is going on. A little rabbit helps his mother to pick mushrooms. And a snowman comes to life. It is the most tragic, exquisite thing ever. My mum told me I cried watching it as a kid.

Another beautiful animation is called “Ne Zha Conquers the Dragon King.” HERE it is. Up until recently, I thought Ne Zha, the heroine of this story, a child, was a girl—but in fact, she’s a “he”, a boy. That was an unpleasant revelation for me—there’s a lot of Chinese animations about little boys, a reflection of the gender gap that still exists—but it made a good impression anyway; I mean, she’s a girl blessed with magic, who fights dragons, after all. And there’s a beautiful deer.

“Monkey King”, or “Sun Wu Kong”, who is the monkey in the film Journey to the West, is the old, original Chinese animation of the story, and it is absolutely brilliant. HERE it is, and it has English subtitles, and though this is only the first of many—it is a long journey—it was the only one I was really able to find on Youtube. I would upload them myself, but I have long lost my old CDs, which makes me very sad. It’s about this monkey who is bestowed with heavenly powers, has quite a mischievous and fiery-tempered personality, and decides to take on the entire heavens and its rulers all on his own. The music is astounding.

Mewmewpower is a Japanese anime about these girls who can, effectively, transform into cat-like people with superpowers. HERE it is. Honestly, typing that, it sounds rather lame, and the target demographic is young women, or girls (I watched it as a child), but it is still quite a pretty anime to look at.

Last of all is a Chinese animation series called “The Calabash Brothres”. HERE it is (seriously, just click on it for the opening music). Calabash means a type of gourd, and in this whimsical yet high-stakes story, seven boys are “hatched” out of calabashes each a different colour of the rainbow, each with different powers, to fight an evil monster who can transform into a serpent and takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman. The animation sparkles—literally, you’ll see what I mean—and the music is the kind of music that is beautiful but entirely different from anything around in Western countries.

It kind of kills me how little recognition these animations, especially the Chinese ones, get around the rest of the world—and the little widespread award recognition old Barbie movies and some of the beautiful animes floating around get—so please, do yourself and both the creators of these works, many of whom are long gone, a favour, and have a peek at some of them. They are too beautiful to disappear beneath the morass of modern day entertainment.

To be honest, sharing these animated shows with my readers is kind of the most wonderful thing ever, because they formed such a great part of my creativity and psyche. Without these movies and animations, my heart would be cut out. I would not be who I am. I would not be a storyteller. I would not be a writer. As I girl, I sat in a living room and sat glued to the screen, entranced by the magical worlds unfolding before my very eyes—and some part of me alresdy knew, at that point, who I would want to become.