Until we meet and my hand fits snugly in his, I am on a different kind of Cloud 9 tonight after a man said he was amazed not by me, but by my story. A young man, most likely in his tweens, sent me this message on Facebook yesterday:
Warm greetings, ma'am! I love your book "The Yellow Paperclip With Bright Purple Spots". It's got vivid colors and drawings. The story really amazes me of [sic]... the story goes back and forth. I was really amazed when the paperclip asks by the end of the story: "The next time you need a paperclip, I hope you choose me -- the strange, out-of-place, yellow paperclip with bright purple spots. I'm excited to start my next great adventure. Where will you take me?" If I found him, I would keep him for my important documents. I was already reading the story you wrote since I was grade 4 and got the book before grade 5. Your story is a great masterpiece!
Wow. I'm still blushing and happy and humbled. And amused that my Paperclip is a "him"! :-) I immediately sent him a reply to thank him for inspiring me to write again.
His message could not have come at a better time, ie. NOW. A few weeks ago, I asked my inner critic to stand in the corner (I may soon have to show her the way to the door). Sometime last week, I started a diet in an attempt to eat healthier and lose my extra flab and bulges. Three nights ago, I shared tears with a friend and it helped to lighten a somewhat heavy heart. Tonight, I chose to show up at my writer's table instead of packing for a trip (I still have tomorrow evening before my 6 a.m. flight!). Tomorrow, I welcome a new month and continue counting down to when I can place big fat check marks on my Life's Wish List: visit India, take a creative writing course, and experience Paris like a local. Now is the perfect time because I feel the veil of blah-ness has finally lifted and I am re-energized by a spirit of trust and hope and yes, of courage.
This unexpected Facebook message also reminds me that yes, I do have good (even amazing to some people!) stories to write and share with others - we all do. I am as unique as The Yellow Paperclip, with my own bright purple (or red) spots, with my own experiences of being lost and getting found - as we all do - so I should create and put it out there, if not for them, then definitely for me. "Don't write about what you know; write about who you are," shared children's author Candy Gourlay at last year's Asian Festival for Children's Content.
But what is more amazing is how much of a jolt-me-up wake-up call this has all been; actually, it was more like a whack on the head that I so badly needed. Realizing that I was feeling the way I did (and seeing how I responded to my friend the way that I did) confirmed that I had indeed stopped dreaming and praying the way I used to, and my bliss had slowly, gradually turned into blah. It felt like one of those crazy alarm clocks or ice-cold water being dumped over your head: you just have to jump out of bed and get going with the day. In this case, I just have to get back on track and get going with living and dreaming, with a lot of love to share and with a heck of a lot more courage than what I've shown in recent years.
Bon courage to me!
|In the office elevator|