Hidden in the back behind the rolls of socks a pile of paper with
scrunched up corners laid in secret, possessing the childish stories only a 7-year-old could comprehend. The collection grew bigger and messier until the grownups could no longer stand the overflow of rubbish poking out from her top draw. Her mother - a neat woman, pulled each piece from the cave unfolding it and pressing out the crinkles before stacking them one on top of the other. Two industrial staples held the collection together - her first book.
“No more paper,” her Mother said handing her a metallic gold notebook. The first page already had writing on it:
‘When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies – J.M. Barrie.’ A quote from her favourite story - Peter Pan.
This girl never made it to Neverland, instead she grew into a Woman, a Mother, an Author. This woman, is me.
I grew up in a town filled with artists and explorers, inspired by every inch of its beauty. The inspiration was not lost on me and from a young age I experimented with my creativity. I filled every white space in countless journals with stories of adventure, fantasy and magic.
My mother had once told me that fairies were not only found in Neverland; young fairies fought the pirates and old fairies lived out their days sheltering from the sun under flower petals. Only those special children who believed would ever see one. I’m sure I saw countless - although I have no memory of them now.
For a short while I lost my inner child as adult life took over. No more papers with Loopy stories spilling from my draw. I wrote only of sensible things in sensible books.
I did meet some lost boys once though, at University; a whole dorm of them! They played dress ups with face paint and fought endlessly, all while swinging from the ceilings! The dorm manager (it’s possible his name was James) was always in a battle with them.
Everything changed in May 2010 for this was when my daughter was born, and when her first laugh gave light to a new fairy I knew my stories must find their way out of the darkest corner of my wardrobe. It wasn't too long before my passion for writing took over my spare time - Loopy Lucy: Flying with Hubble was born. Still, my work remained hidden in the shadows, in journals, and in simple yellow computer files.
Two beautiful baby boys later, I knew I must don my pirate hat, change course and set sail into the depths of my imagination - for they must learn too, there will be crocodiles lurking, waiting to snatch up their childhoods!
I resigned from my job and decided to put all my heart into doing what I loved – telling stories. I created new Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages under my author name C.V. Aramakutu and went to work networking, seeking advice from the most engaging creative minds I could find. I wrote and wrote between hours of working on my own website www.cvaramakutu.com. I constantly wondered if I was mad to follow this loopy dream but thankfully the thoughts always lead me somewhere positive.
I once wondered (as I do alot) … Why do we see flashes of colour and magic when we close our eyes tightly? Well I found the answer: I was “A lucky one” - James Barrie told me:
‘If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire’.
I feel blessed to be ‘a lucky one’; it took me 30 years to understand this. It’s mad really, to spend my days writing down the stories that emerge as colours behind my closed eyes. But, I decided that I didn’t want to be sad and grown, I wanted to be a Wendybird - flying around inspiring the dreams of children.
On those warm summer nights I leave my window open. One evening the breeze may blow in and take my dreams to Neverland. It’s a funny thing, spending your young years trying desperately to grow up. For me, my adult years will now be spent making up for lost time, finding those fairies, and writing the stories I was always meant to tell.
‘The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another.’ ― J.M. Barrie
My debut Junior Fiction novel Loopy Lucy: Flying with Hubble is available in bookstores throughout New Zealand and directly from my website www.cvaramakutu.com.