For the first time in the four and a half years since I left work to write, I took two hours off during the day to watch television. I’m a huge Studio Ghibli fan and saw one of their latest movies, When Marnie Was There, advertised to be on over lunchtime. I hadn’t seen it and don’t have pay tv. Now, I’m rigid in my writing hours, eight until four, but I had to watch it. I’m so glad I did. Sometimes, a break is as good as a rest, and today it was. A truly magical film. As with all Ghibli films, the art was incredibly beautiful and the story more so. If you haven’t seen it, you should, it’s an advert for fantasy at its best. A tale of family and living life with a smile despite hardship, the film was superb. A good moral to take from a story, I think, something we should all consider more.
There are few things in life that make me reminisce, fewer still with affection. I often envy people who recall a memory plucked from the aether and expound upon it; that just isn’t me. I think that’s why when I do it means more than being one of many such moments in a life lived. Today I had one such moment.
Hungry and tired, I sat on the sofa with a sandwich, turned on the television with no preconceptions of what might be on and there was Dorothy and Toto. Judy Garland was breaking into Somewhere over the Rainbow and for a few seconds in time, I travelled back; back beyond being a writer; back beyond my old job; back even beyond school. I was just Richard the little boy watching one of the four channels we had to choose from. It was Christmas.
There was always something about the Wizard of Oz, not just the music, but the sheer perfection of the casting, the colours, the dreams, innocence and pure unadulterated fantasy of the whole thing. I remembered the wonder, the wishing it was true, the endless possibilities of living in such a world where witches flew around on broomsticks and good conquered evil, always. I remembered the tears when it finished, the hoping above all hope it would be on again the following Christmas and nothing else on the box matching its brilliance. As a person who struggles with memories, I almost didn’t want to return, but of course I did.
Later, after my sandwich had gone, washed down with a cup of coffee and I had time to reflect on my diversion before the headache I have grew too bad to type this out, I had my eureka moment: I want to write a story that does for somebody else what The Wizard of Oz did for me. I know I’m on the way to doing so. I know that little boy with an endless imagination is still in here and I just need to draw him out. I will. It might take a month or it might take a year; it might even be the last thing I ever do, but I WILL do it.
This revelation has made me smile and appreciate just how important it was I left work to write. If I hadn’t there could be another little kid in this world just like the boy I was that will feel as empty inside as I would’ve without it. I’ve been climbing that rainbow for a long, long time and am only now approaching its brow. The view’s going to be spectacular. I hope one day, I can share it with you all.
Richard M. Ankers
Author of The Eternals Series
Into Eternity (Soon)
Ageless: what’s her secret? Olive oil!
Ghosts: past; present; future: new man.
In childhood we heard her.
Somewhere over the rainbow
And for a time
And, whenever we’ve heard her since
Singing that most magical song
That makes adults children,
And hearts young,
For those few wonderful minutes,
We were again.
(Image courtesy of fanboy.com)
I was addicted
From the very first moment
Right until the last
Inspired by the Jarell Perry song (Win) from the film Addicted.
Don’t leave without me,
This stage a space unbridled,
Lost in a set of loneliness.
No props to express
My lack of words,
Only the sad eyes you left me with
And my false personas.
The dividing line between life and illusion,
Whose mantelpiece holds the awards.
Is this real,
I’ll know if no one shouts cut.
(Image courtesy theguardian.com)