Friday, October 9, 2009

I squashed a Fairy

My family believes in fairies; not the sort who live in the garden, under toadstools and behind cobwebs, not the sort who fly through the night carrying bucket loads of baby teeth and chinking coins. We believe in the true fairies; the strong, tough, dependable ones, the ones who never let you down, the ones who don’t forget to leave a gold coin under the pillow. (Sorry Peter.)

Our fairies are real and they accompany us wherever we go. They especially like travelling, whatever the mode. When we took the kids to Europe, UK and Canada in 2006, our Travel Fairy came with us and she is a delight to journey with. Travel Fairy weighs nothing, never tires or complains and is always available.

This was lucky for us on the day we knocked at the door of our rental ‘gite’ in Haute Provence, France. Monsieur Chauvel had never heard of us, let alone received our booking. With a hot supermarket chicken and two tired little bodies simmering in the back seat of our car, my husband and I were gutted.

This is where Travel Fairy stepped in. She quickly turned my frown into a smile and dropped at least ten words of fluent university French into my head. As Mr Chauvel struggled to pull a shirt over his white singlet-clad tum, his wife appeared and Travel Fairy set to work charming her with expressions of praise for the lovely house, the delightful garden, the wonderful view – deftly slipping in a request for bed sheets.

So you see they are real.

But my most loved fairy of all is Parking Fairy. She has a twin who lives at my sister’s house. Just last week my sister found a free parking space right near an entrance at three different shopping centres in the one morning. True.
Of course I don’t want to compare Parking Fairy with my sister’s. You see, Parking Fairy achieved a major coup on the Sunday of the ‘Swell Sculpture Festival’ at Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast. We wanted to have lunch at The Deck Café on the beach front. Parking Fairy organised for someone to pull out of their spot at that moment and then Café Fairy found us the last table.

What? You don’t know Café Fairy!

You don’t have one?

How do you arrive last minute for unorganised get-togethers then?

Look, I’ll see what I can do. Perhaps Café Fairy has a cousin.

A new fairy arrived to live at our house on the weekend. She just crept up on us while teenage daughter was fretting over Year 12 assignments, getting her P’s and buying a ticket for The Big Day Out. Teenage son was holed up in his room, connected to a virtual world, too engrossed in a game of strategy to notice a little fairy creeping up the hallway. And hubbie, well, some footie game was on.

Sitting at my desk, making plans, writing lists, plotting stories and feeling overwhelmed, I did not hear her come in. She was silent. I continued to focus on writing my junior novel; an urban fantasy with a young teenage protagonist who goes on student exchange to France.

I stopped.

I glanced across the desk at the rejection letter I had received that week from a publisher. It had been a positive one, full of hope and personally written.

But that is when the fairy pounced.

She landed on my back.

Her prickly skin rubbed against my neck. Her mocking laughter echoed around the room. Her cold breath froze my heart. I looked up at my reflection in the window and there sitting on my shoulder, delicately swinging one ever-so-small leg crossed over the other, was

a Doubt Fairy.

She laughed again, a sparkling laugh, and the bells on the end of her green, pointed boots tinkled.

A Doubt Fairy had arrived to fill my head with negative thoughts:

‘You can’t write, no one will publish it, you don’t know what you’re doing, your word count isn’t high enough, your characters are cardboard, your plot has no arc, the stakes are not high enough, your participles are dangling…’
She just went on and on for two whole days. I couldn’t shake her or that stupid little laugh, those ugly little boots, that annoying tinkling noise.

On the third day I forced myself to sit back at my desk and fiddled around, not achieving anything. And then there on my desk was the answer… a packet of positive affirmations given to me by a writing friend, my first creative writing teacher. That day’s affirmation read:

“You do not need to leave your room…remain sitting at your table and listen. Simply wait. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." Franz Kafka.
With one quick movement I slipped the thong off my foot and...


The Doubt Fairy was no more.


Anonymous said...

Angela - I just loved this - it was just what I needed to read's to swatting that pesky DF.

Great post,

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Ah yes, the Doubt Fairy. She's been squashed once or twice at my house too. Unfortunately, I think she comes from a rather large, extended family of Doubt Fairies that seem to multiply inside the stamped-self-addressed envelopes that return to me with rejection letters. (Maybe the dull, yellow envelopes are the problem?? Maybe there's a market for a particularly bright envelope for manuscript submissions? Just a thought :) Anyway, thank you for ridding the world of one more Doubt Fairy. We authors have to stick together on this one.

Anonymous said...

Haha, fantastic, Angela. I recognised that Doubt Fairy too - she's been having a holiday down the Gold Coast obviously.
Do you think there's a 'Finding my lost holiday notebook Fairy too? If you see her tell her to look in a Qantas plane over the Pacific. She might enjoy the trip. :)

Marion said...

Oh Angela, the photo is a real clincher. I was doubting the Doubt Fairy was really dead! have proof!!! Shame there IS more than one out there. One of her siblings has visited me too. Must try the flicking thong trick. Thanks for the tip!!
Marion x

Angela Sunde. said...

Thanks girls. Remember to always wear your thongs :)

Oh, Sheryl. That note book is still missing? Try the Travel Fairy. Didn't she go with you to the US? She found you lots of serendipitous places to visit.

Tina C said...

Oh Angela

This has to be one of the best fairy stories ever!

Photo or did you draw that picture - man its great!!!!!

Bye 4 now

Unknown said...

That was just great! I love the photo.

I don't think a doubt fairy would get anywhere near my home office. My MC lives there and she's always ready to poke me with a stick if I doubt my writing.

Anonymous said...

Love the photo, Angela! Is that the one and only doubt fairy? Are we all free now?

Anonymous said...

You know I was so sure we were going to meet the Creative Fairy... But perhaps she's flown in now that you've rid the room of her nemesis?

Oooh! She did. I just felt her flutter over my fingertips.


Angela Sunde. said...

The Creative Fairy is hard to pin down, Kat. She comes in on a wave like a GC surfer.
Trudie, from other post comments I think there may be more than one. We have to be vigilant.