Many years ago, I returned from a visit to Poland, clutching a chubby china pot which closed with its own little lid. Painted on its exterior were some stars and a cat. It was too cute to resist and it did not trouble me that I did not understand the meaning of the words beside the artwork. Later, however, I learned that the words described the little pot as “a place to keep my dreams”. How perfect. I have been thinking of this little pot recently, when reflecting about my “wish bucket”, that imaginary receptacle where I keep my dreams and wishes. Maybe in my mind I see it as less of a bucket and more like that little pot, designed especially for me to keep those dreams in. A little like a glass storage jar, but without the airtight lid. No, I don’t want my dreams to be confined. They must be able to seep out, or fly into the air. Perhaps my dreams are being nurtured in a wide-necked glass jar, amongst a pot pourri of treasured thoughts and memories. Easily accessible and ready to be drawn out or added to.
Recently I wrote about some of the dreams and wishes in this wish jar, as think I will now call it. There are a number of weird and wonderful dreams in there, jostling against each other as time and circumstance gently shake the contents:
- Meet a blogging friend in a new place (repeat as often as possible)
- Buy a picture/piece of artwork at a gallery opening and watch them put the red sticker on it.
- Book into the Oriental Bangkok for a weekend. Or maybe a night. Or maybe just have afternoon tea there given the price!
- See a kangaroo in the wild.
- Visit a country with the letter ‘Z’ in it.
- See the Aurora Borealis (northern lights)
- Get funky, colourful nail art on my finger and toenails just for fun, just for once.
- See the rings on Saturn through an astronomy telescope
- See some of my writing in print. In a book, with real paper pages!
- See an iceberg
- See a starfish in the sea
- Sail through the Norwegian Fiords
There are (and always will be) many dreams to realise, but one is shifting and moving to the surface, peeping over the glass rim, ready to be taken in my hands and released into the air. If you look carefully there is one dream which for me is a Particularly Big Dream. It is nestled just after my wish to see the rings on Saturn through a telescope and just before the desire to see an iceberg. That wish is to see some of my writing in print, in a real book with paper pages. This was clear also when I took up the baton in the recent Blog Tour and I wrote (at length) about my writing process.
Last year I saw a call for submissions for an Anthology, seeking narrative non-fiction and memoir from women writers who are, or have been expats in East Asia. How perfect was that? To cut a long story short, and one which the Editor tells here, my tale was selected for inclusion in the Anthology How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit? True Stories of Expat Women in Asia. This is a collection of stories exploring the struggles and triumphs of expat life in East Asia by 26 female writers, edited by Shannon Young. It will be available in paperback and e-book formats on 10 June 2014.You can follow the Facebook page here and read the Editor’s introduction to the book and contributors here.
Soon, I will be able to meet the other women writers through their stories and perhaps in person when the book is launched, as well as the Editor who I have worked with through the fine tuning process. Soon I will be able to pick up that book, leaf through its pages and read my own words. I can’t quite imagine how that will feel.
There will be many more details to share in the coming weeks, with reviews and the cover image, and perhaps my own experience of dragonfruit surprises!
And then I need to nurture the related dream, to produce a book which is all my own work. Something else which is being kept alive in the wish jar.
How does one dress to be a writer, I wonder?