It’s all been written before

I was around seven when my teacher encouraged me to write a short story for our school’s yearly magazine. I wonder now if she knew I was going to turn out a writer, or if maybe I, being the fast learner and worker I was, always had too much free time in my hands and she just wanted me to be busy. I wish I could ask her now, but whatever the answer is, the fact remains that I did and loved it. I wrote a very short piece (I was seven!) in which I took a character from a book I had just read and wrote something about her. (Yes, a fanfiction!) After that, I just never stopped.

I wrote my first novel at 12, my second at 13. Even back then, some of my now usual themes were already present. In my first novel, I dealt with the supernatural, the leads were all young girls, and two of them had the biggest crush on each other. The second one centered on a girl from a very conservative family who fell in love with another girl. I delved into fanfiction after that, and for a long time, that was all I wrote. Even after I tried my hand at original fiction again, I didn’t finish a novel until November 2015, when I completed my first NaNoWriMo with 53,000 words of urban fantasy. Now I’m back in the I can’t stop zone.

Writing is something I’ve never really stopped doing. When I wasn’t writing original fiction, I was working on fanfics. When I wasn’t doing that, I was working on the blogs I had at the time, churning out 4,000 words of diary entries or at the very least writing down ideas that I hoped one day would become something. I have, however, found myself stuck many times, and it has often been because of that one little problem.

It has all been written before.

Continue reading

What will people think?

There’s a thing about blogging and I, I and blogging that- wait, is that even proper English? I’m typing this at 2AM local time, on a whim, so please bear with me. Anyway, back on track! There’s this thing that happens every time I start blogging: I am actually terrified to put my posts out there. A friend told me exactly the same the other day, that she wanted to blog badly, but found herself scared of letting her pieces of writing out into the world. I’ve since realized that’s also the reason I take so long between posts: I need time to gather the courage to do so. It does not come as a surprise.

When I was a teenager, there was a time I didn’t wear skirts, and for most of it I didn’t even dress how I would’ve wanted to. It took many years for me to actually dare to buy those shiny, golden shoes, or the high-waisted shorts, or the not-really-leather super skinny leggings, or that gorgeous dress with a back neckline that I now love. My ongoing battle (because it seems that there’s always one) is about bras: by falling in love with tops that don’t really work with bras, I’ve learnt I’m too self-conscious to go out without a bra. That’s ridiculous! Or it should be! Yet it all boils down to the same problem: what will people think? Will I look ridiculous? Am I showing too much? Maybe I don’t have the body to show this much? Oh my god my stretch marks!

Continue reading

Book Review: Do you believe in reincarnation?

A couple of months ago, I joined an online book club. When the time to choose our first book came, I thought I’d have a hard time, until I spotted on the list a book called The Incarnations. Could it be, I asked myself, that it was what I thought it was? Spoiler alert: it was. I’m sure I’m right to believe we all have these little things that will pull us towards a book no matter what, and reincarnation is one of my things (somewhere in the list you can also find bisexual ladies and spaceships).

Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.

theincarnationsSusan Barker tells in The Incarnations the story of two souls chasing each other through Chinese history. As a reader you will meet Wang, a married-with-a-daughter taxi driver in present day Beijing who starts receiving letters from an unknown source. The letters will talk him through the adventures, despair, love and betrayal of his (their) past lives, from his first incarnation during Tang Dinasty to their roles in the Cultural Revolution, stopping along the way in the times of the Mongol Invasion or the Opium War. As you read these letters with him, you will also be allowed glimpses of Wang’s past and his loved ones’, their secrets, their lies, how their lives are connected and how they came to become the people you meet in the book. Before I dig any deeper, let me say that it’s quite an intriguing ride.

Continue reading