I surprisingly kept my cool as I untangled my earphones to listen to the podcast of Anna Karenina. Too many books sit next to my bedside table and so I take a different route to absorb Tolstoys words. I have been watching The Beautiful Lie, a television adaption of this story and I am hooked. The characters are all so full, brimming with different emotional states.
My teacher at the writing group has encouraged me on several occasions to read this book. As with a lot of messages in my life it takes a few attempts for me to hear it. Surely if I am already watching the modern version I will be able to understand it, follow it and take something from it.
As I listen to the woman’s voice telling the story in my head. I eventually shut out all my other thoughts and hear the words. The sentences are ‘wordy’ they are poetic and have so many consequential meanings. The mood of the book is far darker than the television adaption, maybe easier to achieve with those harsh Russian names, older words and language.
There are a few similarities between my first book & Anna. In fact there are a few similarities between my life and Anna’s. As I listen hard, more is revealed that I understand, that is a truth in my world, my head, my book and my characters.
Perhaps that is why I was nervous of reading the book. Sometimes the scared little child wins my battles and I believe I’m not good enough. The ‘I can’t’ comes out to play. It really is time to tell that little girl that she can, she will and she is.
I am going into the city today on a mission to be seen and heard. The little girl wants to stay at home, watch some TV and curl up on the sofa. It is time to start believing in myself because if I don’t no-one else will. I hope when I meet other people today I will be able to shake their hand and be strong. I know my voice will quiver but that noise is just the last few bricks crumbling from the wall I built a very long time ago.
I have given the little girl in my head a tune to hum to remind myself that unlike Anna Karenina I am on the right path. Poor Anna, I am not yet at the end of her journey but I am pretty sure her tale will not end happily. I wish I could reach through to her world of fiction and hold her hand, I would listen and talk just like she did with Dolly. How true that we can be so strong for others and yet sometimes not so for the person in the mirror.
I am lucky enough to have a few people holding my hand. In fact they do a very good relay of passing the Frankie Banks baton. No small feat considering not many of them live in the same country or even know each other! They nudge me back onto my yellow brick road when I stumble into the woods. So as I hum ‘follow the yellow brick road’ walking up Swanston Street today. Watch out for those flying monkeys and the green faced witch. I am on my way to the Emerald City and about to climb into my hot air balloon.
Thank you Team Frankie Up up and Away!
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here: