"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Marilla, how much you miss!"
-- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
It’s 12:53 AM. My apartment is quiet, my room is dark, and I’m staring at my laptop thinking of a small, red-haired heroine from Prince Edward Island. Anne Shirley has always topped my list of favorite fictional characters, a fact that hasn’t changed as I’ve grown older. She dyed her hair green. She invented mirror friends. She wanted desperately to be called Cordelia, a name to this day I don’t find half as wonderful as Ann…with an E.
Like Anne, I’ve always been a dreamer. I spend most of my time in my own head, drifting in and out of reality, because, frankly, nothing I’ve experienced in my own life quite measures up to the swirling dramas and fantasies I’d imagined for myself. I began to believe that certain people were meant to have quiet lives. Not lives of quiet desperation as our good friend Thoreau would have us all believe. Just…quiet. Sad, yes. But I found no evidence to convince me I was wrong. My life has never been particularly interesting or adventurous. I had no plans (or funds) to travel the world, no epic romances on the horizon. My day to day life was the definition of monotonous, and the bitter truth was that it was a label I’d inadvertently rewarded myself with.
So I wrote. I wrote to give the stories of love and tragedy and adventure I saw in my head an outlet. I’d think of a joke, I’d write it down. A character appeared in my mind, he got put on paper, every crooked smile and missing button. Every place and person I imagined was suddenly brought to life. And I kept writing. One page became two, two became a chapter, then another, until one day, without warning, I finished my first book.
It was a personal victory, nothing more. I never imagined anyone would want to read it. Yet, here I am. Thoughts and ideas, when kept to oneself, are never in any danger of being judged. But my words are no longer only for me. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they might not even always make sense, but the ramblings of a woman bored with her life are now available to the general public. It’s frightening, sure, but freeing as well. If I can share the madness of my imagination with at least one person, maybe that’s all I need. The adventures and stories I once dreamed of become the slightest bit more real, leaving the doldrums of everyday life to fade away.