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I am a well-travelled business woman and young-ish single mum (i.e. super hero). I have an overactive imagination. I love going on adventures and write about them. Big trips, small observations, I pour them all into my writing machine.
I write children’s books, journalistic articles, novels, and short stories. My articles have been published (The Independent, paper version and online), and I am currently working with a famous Argentinian illustrator to publish my stories for the little ones.
On a personal level: I am a vibrant, gifted, highly sensitive person, full of love and compassion, and I think that there is one yummy ingredient I would not like to live without, and that is humour.
Loving my son is like the purest of seas on a white, sun-dappled beach. Palmtrees sway calmly in the cool breeze in the backdrop. The warmth on that beach hugs you. Your toes tickle the silky soft sand, there where it meets the turquoise water. You gasp and your tummy registers butterflies - purely from enraptured happiness - because you see brightly coloured fishies and stingrays and sea turtles glide contently underneath the water's surface. You're in touch with nature, in the here-and-now. You feel peaceful and calm, you want for nothing and everthing you need is there, in that moment. The sun glistens on the water, sparkles richly like diamonds: God's Thousand Wonderful Winks. You turn around and the few people you love so dearly smile at you. They offer sunscreen, an umbrella, a seat, a cold drink and freshly prepared fruit (and, of course, some chocolate and a pizza). You breathe in and out, all stress and worries drifting off into nothingness. In the far distance, you hear music; your body slowly tunes into the beat, your hips wiggle along. You hear the leaves rattling rhythmically in the wind. You smile back at them. A single tear trails your cheek, your lips, and disappears down your neck. It's a tear of the happiness that the intense love you feel gives you. That is how I love my little boy, laden with pride, selflessness and extreme gratitude.
We say we don't read, us, big people. No need for writers- it's a dying occupation. There's no time for dreaming, bills must be paid. Writing is a thing of the past, reserved for lazying bohemians. Who needs good grammar, idle spell-checks? After all, we're too busy living our everyday lives. Creative jobs, pish, there's no money in it, people say. But that's just not true, is it? We yearn for stories, all day long: how else do we connect? How else can we learn about our present and from our past, from each other's mistakes, and thus grow? How else do we escape for a while, relax our mind-muscles? Truth is, we want stories. All the time. We secretly need the magic in our lives, we thrive on hope that the best is yet to come (even though only hard work can pull it off). Stories are all around us, like wi-fi. We want to know how our loved ones' days have been. Did our children enjoy school? What happened there? What did they learn? We miss our friends, please, PLEASE recap all that's been going on; Pick up where you left off last time; How's that weird new neighbour settling in; Are you going to take that job halfway across the world; For the love of God, have you STILL not broken off that affair; No, I don't like that politician, do you know what he's done? It's a big conspiracy, let me tell you... ready...? We dive into them, these stories, whenever we can. We may not realise it, but they're there, like little angels, and we grab them from books, newspapers, magazines... perhaps more so through TV, Netflix, the cinema, radio, Social Media and the whole rest of the infinitifely wide web. In the world of education, teachers use stories to trick kids into fun and effective learning, just like adults prefer stories to memorising stone-cold facts too. When it comes to business, think of marketing, advertising, sales pitches. A concise and poignant story is the blood that runs through the body of business, it's what keeps it alive. Where would lawyers be without a tale to tell in court? Without context? And don't forget our heroic therapists...they need stories like the water cycle needs condensation. They need parables, analogies, metaphors, comparisons, to spin all the yarns they can spin. How else can they get their angst-ridden patients to snap out of their traumatising miseries, see their reflection through someone else's eyes? Stories: writing, telling, reading, sharing, learning, connecting. Stories: our lives depend on them. Please, let's never forget the importance of stories.
There is a sign, of course, at the foot of the drawbridge: “Welcome to the inside of my head”. Ah yes... take in the brilliance of my Disney-like castle. The palatial grandeur, the iridescent colours. The bricks are units of time: from small second-bricks to huge year-ones. And those turrets? They're decades. The fourth one is still under construction. Do you see how my castle shimmers on a sunny day? When the skies are warm and blue, marvel at the French doors that swing open to the sound of music. Out pop amazing stories of wild adventures, daring encounters and breath-taking journeys. Out dance passionate affairs dripping in salacious details, followed by hilarious conversations, endearing anecdotes. Inside my Castle of Time it's like one of these multi-screen cinemas where rich assortments of films are playing simultaneously, in various languages and with different subtitles. There's upbeat jazz music – the quick tempo a perfect remedy for the chaos of my ever-spinning thoughts. Fairy lights are a-twinkle and the scent of freshly baked bread magics a smile upon your face. “How clever, how witty!” visitors say. “Super creative… fabulous imagination.” “Aren't you tired? There is SO MUCH going on here,” says a kind soul. “Inspirational.” “I can't stop laughing. Do you do this professionally? No? Well, you should.” “Those psychedelic dreams!” “So capable,” says a tourist, clapping me on the back. “Great potential. When is your book coming out?” But suddenly, thick clouds set in and drown out the sun. The drawbridge creaks and heaves as it clanks down. There, in that muddy moat that hugs the castle, live terrible traumas. Hideous monsters that rise from the murky depths. The tigers crouching under the drawbridge are males who touched me, uninvited. The dragons hiding in the rye are the screamers; dominant men who must be in control at all times. There are more demons in that pond, lurking in the shadows of the Castle. The snakes are the cheaters, the scorpions the contaminators. Worst of all are the piranhas; the loved ones that simply upped and left. They wake up when my castle is stressed, scared or worn out. That's when the CP (Condemning Priest) who rules the place spews his poison, his Sect of Smug Women screeching that nothing I do is good enough. “My book,” I tell the tourist, breathing away the tension, “Oh, I don't know. I…” By now, the grey sky is pressing down on me. I feel exhausted. I want to run inside the donjon and hide in a room marked PRIVATE. It has a sofa with a warm blanket, a TV, books, and mountains of chocolate. “You'll never amount to anything,” the CP sneers. His Smug Women snigger. They've caught up with me, loving the torture. “Others write better, more poignant stories,” they mock. “They're successful. You're not.” “You have no energy to pull it off, a book on the market? You're always tired. Loser!” “Failure!” “You've got wrinkles. Time's up.” “Your body is flabby, you can't stop bingeing.” “You say you work hard but you have only ONE child. Pish.” I try to ignore their scorn. Grunting, I shove the CP and his haters in the pantry and lock it. I have another tourist to show around. “And where are you from?” I ask as I throw away the key. “Macedonia.” “Great,” I smile, opening the golden doors. “Здраво. Јас сум Сузана. Како си? добро или лошо? Мило ми е.” The woman's mouth falls open. “How did you...?” “I learnt some Macedonian whilst studying in Barcelona.” “Which languages do you speak?” “Oh,” I say shyly. “English, Dutch... and to varying degrees, French, German, Spanish, British Sign Language, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin and Turkish. “Can you read the Cyrillic alphabet?” “It was amazing to read signs in Moscow,” I say excitedly. But in the distance, I hear banging and clanking. The CP and his army of Smug Women. They're breaking out of the room. I feel anger bubbling inside. “What about Arabic?” the tourist asks. “Love reading and writing from right to left.” “And the Chinese one?” “Don't push it.” Grinning, the tourist picks up a memory. “Wow,” she breathes. “You covered this posh hotel in the Seychelles? You're a journalist? A writer?” Before I can even reply, the CP comes galloping up, flanked by his faithful followers. “She was,” he barks, “but now...” BAM! My fist hits him square on the nose. He slumps on the floor, clutching his bleeding face. Did I just do that? The tourist is too wrapped up in pictures of tropical trumpet fish and gorgeous Creoles to notice. She grabs a Huge Fact off a shelf. “Who's this handsome little prince? You're a Mum too?” “Lazy sloth…” one Smug Women starts. "She..." But I don't let her finish. “Oi,” I say, yanking the Smug's hair. “I am the Queen of my castle,” I bite at them. “No one else. Shoo!” “That's right,” I tell the tourist as I glare at my retreating demons. "And I do both well.” Yes, I've got some fight left in me. But how do I banish the baddies from my castle forever? Time will tell.
There once was a princess, in a land far away Who wasn't the youngest, she'd started going grey Her name was beautiful, though the rest of her less so Aurelia wasn't married- had never had a beau Her features weren't aweful, it was just her attitude Her face had grown sour, from being arrogant and rude Like other royal ladies, she had to wait for a prince Unfortunately, seeing her, made handsome princes wince The old king spent years trying to convince Posh princes such as John and Vince That his daughter was lovely and smelled of mints Petrified princes galloped off, yet the king took no hints The king couldn't wait to see Aurelia hitched In every town he visited, he made sure she was pitched As any young man's dreamy wife With whom they'd have a fabulous life He needed her to marry off well So he could live in luxury and dwell His old days in the castle, swimming in dough Thus he needed Aurelia to score a rich beau She was shown many a pretty polaroid Though no one seemed to fill the void The princess felt deep inside her heart Scrap that, in her every body part Despite the king's best efforts, nothing really paid off To every prince she met, she said “Do YOU know what I love? Horrible words, like ‘blast!', ‘poo', and ‘bum'” The princes ran and cried, “That's not why I've come I want a fair lady!” They stamped their feet and screamed That this mean princess Aurelia was not one they deemed A lady they'd take for tea along with their precious Mums “She looks as though she lives in the dirty slums,” One disgruntled prince yelled Want to know how Aurelia felt? Smiling, she shook her hair out over the balustrade And demanded the king arrange a date With the bum who lived out in the street She said, “That bum doesn't mind my smelly feet He doesn't care about wrinkles or grey strands He doesn't need Prim and Proper, or manicured hands This man likes me for who I am inside, Unlike those arrogant princes, for whom I have to hide My flaws and the profanities I daily use One broken fingernail and those princes would pop a fuse!” And so Aurelia married, the homeless guy next door The king was forced to move into their shack, all poor For there was a strict rule in their land A princess who doesn't accept a prince's hand From the castle, the royal family is banned A rule is a rule, no point taking a stand But for the very first time in his life He saw a smile on the bum's wife He'd never seen his daughter not look grim The light in her eyes was no longer dim! She was happy; she'd come alive Even though they now drank - not from crystal -in a dive They all lived happily ever after On tins of beans and laughter
Dear men, According to my Kurdisch-Swedish friend, a woman is like a friendly volcano. “She really is,” he stresses. “I'm not,” I huff, “but I see your point.” Indeed. A woman is beautiful and serene: one truly amazing sight that stands out. Like a volcano. Until she errupts. Her volcanic ash, along with her conveniently aligned pyroclastic and mentstrual flow, can and will destroy everything dear to you. Including your upcoming dudes-trip, tickets to the match of the century, or your precious porn mags. Especially those. I'd like to say I'm the exception. That I am, although womanly and girly at the best of times, more like ‘one of the guys'. I can burp for Britain, fart for France. I nod and say I understand perfectly well how men drool over a gorgeous woman's body, without a hint of jealousy on my part, knowing “it means nothing”. I claim to find women annoying, how I detest nagging, how women never really seem to know or say what they want. And when they do, they change their minds. I state that I don't get them either. I say that I am this serene and beautiful volcano too, though a dormant one. One you can easily take on your man-cation. While you try to drink me under the table, I will banter until you're totally tongue-tied. The exception. Me. Sure. I burp, fart, and banter. But the exception? Nah. Don't tell porkies. For I am like all the others, just as all the others are like me. Women are NOT docile little creatures that agree with you eternally; who scrub your floors; cook; raise your gaggle of kids; wriggle a soft, manicured hand down your trousers to warm and tickle your yearning third leg. Even the most devout of nuns, calm and chock-full of self-restraint as she usually is, has her boiling points. At times she grows so angry and frustrated that simple gardening won't suffice to diffuse the situation: a radish will perish from her ferocious and terrifying screams, cucumbers will curl up in fear. She too encounters moments when she's so pent up, she'll lock the monastery door, shut the curtains, stick her Bible in the fridge and sinfully masturbate for six solid hours until she gives herself carpal tunnel syndrome, just to find some form of relief. So, yes. That thing about women being like volcanoes? It's true. For all of them. Be warned. Best wishes, Volcanic Female.