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Banana me beautiful: Two weeks to go…

25 Jun

Banana me beautiful

In a couple of weeks I launch my first book, it’s called Banana me beautiful.

Most of the time I’m too busy to notice how I’m feeling, so I’ve stopped today to write a bit about it.

The book is a journey of poems I wrote as a child, teenager and adult and there’s artwork and photography too (find out more here). It’s a risk to reveal yourself through writing or art. But at the same time, it’s wonderful. Even if no one reads or sees it, you’ve created something new. You’ve taken something from inside and given it a physical form. I feel most alive when I’m creating. Saying all that, this book is scary for me.

Here’s why…

One day I’d like to get married. I’d like to find someone I’d happily spend the rest of my life with. The problem is, I dread an entire day of people looking at me. And this book is like that but worse, I’m inviting people to look at my lifetime. So why would I? Just don’t bother and stop whining (I hear you say). Well here are two good reasons:

1) I’ll use it to run storytelling and writing workshops. I want to encourage people to see themselves and their stories as unique and valuable. The younger they hear this the better.

2) I’m publishing with Chipmunka, a mental health publisher. One in four people struggle with mental health issues in their lifetime but often they suffer in silence. By sharing some of my journey in this book, I hope people will feel less alone and more able to talk.

I struggled on the inside growing up. I created the image above at age 15, it’s huge (81cm by 60 cm) . That’s me sitting on the floor with my knees up (yes I’m represented by a banana). There was a happy sunny world out there but I wasn’t part of it. I was trapped by the bars in my own head.

I’m nearly 30 now and in the last three years I’ve found freedom. Freedom to be myself and enjoy it, freedom to write and freedom from fear. As a result I’ve had the courage to do things I’d never have dared to imagine I could do. I’ve read a poem to the Queen, started writing for Greenerleith, I’ve written and presented a CBeebies pilot with BBC Scotland, I’ve been commissioned to make films and podcasts. I’ve written poems about energy saving lightbulbs, puffins and wanting to pull the emergency chord in the disabled toilet. My book’s on the way, I’ve started this blog and I’ve written stories for children like the Little Oak. He stops listening to the taunts of the other plants and sings:

Wonderful, beautiful,

There’s only one like you

And only one who was made to do

The things that you can do

That’s what I want to say to you too. That’s what ‘Banana me beautiful’ is about.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Banana me beautiful, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Banana me beautiful: Two weeks to go…

  1. Milo

    June 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Nice to find out the background for the book Emily, and so great that you’ve managed to overcome your internal barriers, I know I still struggle with that sometimes.

    p.s. Mel and I were both terrified of that ‘everyone looking at you’ thing for our wedding, but all our family and friends were so supportive that it was amazing. I’m sure you’ll find an appreciative audience for your book (and this blog). And if there are any haters – ignore em!

     
    • auntyemily

      June 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Milo,
      Your wedding sounds ace. Looking forward to seeing you and Mel at the book launch,
      Emsx
      PS You’re my first blog comment! You win a slice of banana cake, to be redeemed on 11th July (;

       
  2. FruitlessWork

    June 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    That’s an excellent heartfelt summary about the drive to be creative, not sure I could have summed up my own desire even half as well. Personally, what is most inspiring is that I turn 27 in the next few days, so your recounting of what you have achieved in three years since that age is a boost to the confidence that I might reach some of my own goals.

    Paul

     
    • auntyemily

      June 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks Paul,
      Go for it!
      I was telling a writer friend I felt frustrated that it’s only been the last 3 years I’ve started doing the things I love, like I’d wasted 27 years. He reassured me that some folks don’t find what they love until they’re retired and some never do so don’t be too hard on yourself. From what I’ve read you’re doing great! Plus your best is always yet to come, I think that’s a pretty exciting prospect (:

       
  3. Emma

    June 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the post 🙂 It sounds like you’re quite nervous about putting yourself out there, but you’ve achieved so much that you don’t need to worry about what any haters might say. Thank you for sharing your stories (including this one in the blog post!) It means a lot to those who may be struggling through similar things, or just want to read about somebody else’s life for a change, or who need help tapping into their own.

     
    • auntyemily

      June 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Emma,
      Thanks for your encouragement. I’ve ‘liked’ your facebook site, really interesting, I’m impressed.
      Can I ask how you found my blog?
      Looking forward to following you in the future.
      Emsx
      PS I’m a tad scared but I’m OK with that, courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s knowing that something is more important than the fear and doing it anyway (:

       
      • Emma

        June 28, 2011 at 12:18 am

        Someone RTed your blogpost on Twitter & the name intrigued me, so I read this post. I’m glad I did because it’s so refreshing to have somebody else out there with the same worries as I have. When I’m actually with the ‘fans’ or whoever promoting my book or acting it seems so natural and I love it all so much, but other times I feel so shy. I think that’s a good thing, if I don’t have those nerves then I don’t think I would be a “proper writer” (if you know what I mean!)
        Also, I love that quote 🙂 I think I first heard it Neil Gaiman’s Coraline! It’s my fave part of the book – if you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it!

         
      • auntyemily

        June 28, 2011 at 12:24 am

        I heard it on the film ‘The princes Diary 2’ (not as cool as where you read it!) I’m glad you stopped by and thanks for sharing (:

         
  4. Marianne

    June 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Emms, love the blog! The writting is really good. I like the way you’ve been honest without it being to the point that it feels uncomfortable, and its moving and inspiring without being overly sentimental. Also the message is amazing! I agree that children need to grow up knowing they are unique and special. The creativity bit is interesting too, I always thought I was not creative, but have come to the conclusion that we are all creative and that we were made to create- just in different ways. Very good- well done!

     
    • auntyemily

      June 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks so much Maz (:
      You so are creative, you’re always making beautiful things. I love the advent calendar you made me. And the chord bag with a bird on it, and the butterfly bag, they’re totally gorgeous! I’m always showing off to friends that you made them for me. And you’re creative in loads of other ways too so I’m glad you’ve realised that now.
      Can’t wait to see you at the launch! xxx

       
  5. Hannah

    July 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Great post Ems, I’m proud of you and I look forward to reading the book. Apologies that I cannot make the launch… but think you’ll have a fabtabulous time xx

     
    • auntyemily

      July 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      No worries Smiffy, London is a long way away. Thanks lady (: xxx

       

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