When I was around five years old, I went with my father to work sometimes, and I always loved that they offered me a typewriter and paper.
That white paper... all those possibilities! A year or so later, my parents gave me a light-brown typewriter made out of plastic. One of those things that was made for children. With it I typed stories and fairy tales and used my imagination. Later I got a real typewriter (still not electric, though) and I kept typing. My biggest dream was to become a writer. High-school killed my imagination, but I discovered a new-found love for writing non-fiction. For several years, though, I almost didn't write. I worked in a bank for six month, studied medicine, worked in a supermarket, worked as a childminder, as a secretary and book keeper for a lawyer, before I finally dropped my day-job for good and started to write books. My books were non-fiction books, and they were published through a couple of Danish publishing houses. I also sold two short stories (out of the three I wrote) to two of the biggest Danish magazines. Until recently that was the only fiction I could boast about, because I struggled to write a novel. That's all over and done with, luckily. I grew up in Denmark (and Germany for 3 years), but in 2000 I left to live in France. We stayed there until June 2011, where my husband, son, cat, dog and I moved to Israel. When I write today, I have a view over the blue see, the blue sky and the ever-shining sun.
You know how, as an author, you're allowed to write a crappy first draft, right? The first draft only has one purpose: To catch the story. From there, you edit and polish, until your story gets interesting.
Last night, while discussing this with a writer friend, my main character Amber got a hold of my manuscript.
Oh, shit!" Amber leaned back towards the wall. "Who wrote this crappy scene?"
Mike eyed her from the door. "Some horrible writer for sure, but can you do better?"
"That shouldn't be too hard." She dropped one of the pages to the floor, bent down to pick it up, and dropped the rest of the stack. Papers formed an unorderly fan around her, but what worried her most was the smug smile she imagined would be on Mike's face. She peeked through her silver white hair. Oh, yes, of course he hadn't missed such a great opportunity to gloat.
"Then do it. Write your story as you think it should be."
"I certainly will." She tossed her hair back, got up, and kicked the papers. Who needed them anyway. Then she headed for the table where a computer stood, waiting. I will write my true story, as it really happens.
Five minutes later, she leaned back, proud of her work so far. This was much better than what the crappy author had written. She would just stretch for a moment and then continue.
Her back got warmer. Mike must have walked over to her without she'd heard it. Then he was bent over her shoulder, looking at her screen. "This was just another ordinary day for Amber Shapiro," he read out loud.
"While fighting seven demons, the stunningly beautiful angel managed to have breakfast with her boss and tell him what she planned to do that day. 'So you're off to save the world from another world war?' Her boss nodded approvingly. Amber didn't waste a second. To the sound of a thousand trumpeting angels, she descended to earth in one elegant jump, and began her fight for world peace." Mike smiled. "I'm so glad we got rid of that crappy writer."
What do I want, what do I want?
I’ve never thought about it. A grand-dad? A grand-mother who aren’t so mysterious and silent about what happened?
Somehow I always run into the wrong guys. They start out being oh, so strong, but they always end up running for their mother’s skirt.
So what do I want? Nothing. Nah, that’s not true. I want a strong, handsome and interesting man. A man who isn’t afraid to contradict me. A man I can trust. Faithful. Loyal.
Santa Claus, in other words. Such a man doesn’t exist.
I want my neighbor to be safe. I’ve heard her boyfriend yell at her in a strange foreign language. Or ex-husband. She says they were married, but she left him, and he doesn’t accept it.
Another unhappy marriage.
That’s about it. Easy. World peace, a strong, handsome and loyal husband, and for my neighbor to feel fine and free.
What am I afraid of? Let’s see:
- driving too fast
- handsome men
- not being believed
- a threat to my family
- losing my mind
- getting old
- not getting old
- being bitter
- doing something clumsy
I can’t believe I was stuck in traffic that long. We only moved one inch at a time, and it was steaming hot inside the car.
How I hate driving.
It makes me nervous when we’re on the highway, because they are all driving so fast. One little mistake, and they can start digging a hole for me. Like they did for Grandpa.
I wonder what really happened back then. Grandma said that he was a good driver. And that she warned him to stay home that day, but he’d laughed and told her not to worry. That he would be back within an hour and it would be bad for the baby if she worried.
But he never came back. Never.
Grandma raised her kid alone and did well. But I wonder how things would have been different if Grandpa had been alive to see Mom grow up? Would it have changed anything?
Maybe it was meant to be?
How much of what happens is fate and meant to be? And how much is just sad - or happy - coincidents? We’ll probably never know.
But I’m sure that if traffic was meant to happen, God would have given us wheels instead of legs and a steering wheel instead of hands. And that’s not how I looked the last time I saw my reflection in the mirror.
Speaking about mirrors... don’t they just always make you look fat? Especially the ones inside dressing rooms. You’ve finally found a nice dress, but when you try it on, you look like a hippo in ballerina dress.
I should cut down on the sugar in my coffee. One day I’ll do it.