Something special has taken place in the past few months, and I thought it deserved a mention on this blog.
Here’s a little clue about what it is…
Rather exciting, isn’t it? 🙂 But before I tell you more about it, let me take you for a short detour in order to understand how I got here.
While going through the archives of this website, I stumbled upon a little personal gem, a wink from my past. Over three years ago, I was writing the following on here:
‘[…] Many things, so many things are happening to me, so many adventures since I have left. I am in South Korea. Gosh, how nice people are here. Which just shows that I am not crazy to believe that humanity can be good by nature. […] And the smiles, and the generosity of perfect strangers… I am lucky. I must never, ever forget my luck. Especially in the bad moments. It’s crazy, I really have no red line in what I write, it’s just good to get it all out. I would like to write something more structured. I always dreamt of writing a book. One day, maybe. In the meantime, this notebook will keep collecting my thoughtless words. Good night.’
I also remember this time when, sitting on the terrace of an old building in Balata, a village in the West Bank, I was philosophising in the company of Numan, my eyes busy watching the evening lights illuminating remains that were thousands of years old. Facing all of this greatness, filled with love and ambition, I solemnly announced to him: ‘I will be a writer.‘ This wasn’t a new idea, far from it. Only, confronted to a place where freedom is not as granted as mine, I remembered an old childhood dream that I had buried deep inside, after hearing so many times that it wasn’t feasible. Since I was a little girl, I vibrated through my passion for words. And I think that by telling him that, part of me wanted to reclaim and honour the freedom I was given, the privilege to explore the depths of the universe and of humanity. At that moment, we were two artists in front of the beauty of the world, him dancer and me writer, and we admired the infinite field of possibilities that life was giving us. We may have been laughing very loudly, the both us, but we were extremely serious about the realization of our dreams, because we knew that it might be the most important purpose of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, life in this case had its own agenda, and it cut Numan’s dreams short, he who was only still a big child. He nevertheless pursued them until the end, and he gave me an amazing gift before he went on to keep dancing in the stars: his passion, his determination, his will to destroy existing barriers and the ones we create for ourselves. The courage to believe in his dreams and faith in a better world that we will all build together, cemented by the same love as the one we shared. I have never forgotten the tacit pact we made that night, on a roof. And here I am, a few years later, holding in my hands the fruits of my hard work. It’s official, I am an author. For real.
Okay, before I go any further, I don’t want to get you guys too excited, because if you’re reading this in English, there’s a big chance you don’t speak French, the only language in which my book is written (for now). The reason I am still making an English version of this article is because I wanted to share the exciting news with you anyway, and I also wanted to pique your curiosity. Because I am definitely considering translating my book. However, before I do so, I would like to know if you guys would be interested in reading it, so don’t hesitate to leave me a message if that is the case. With that said, here’s the rest of the text I wrote for it…
‘En route vers d’autres mondes’, which can be translated to ‘On the way towards other worlds’, is a book that explores the journey of the young, 20-year old woman I was when I decided to take part in my first long-term solo trip. Five years ago, as I had just finished high school and I was timidly entering the intimidating universe of ‘adults’, I decided to go look for the answers to all of my interrogations somewhere else, beyond the mountains that had seen me grow. Without knowing it, I was taking my first step towards an infinity of worlds different than anything I had ever known until then.
An adventure that will have marked the beginning of a life-long quest, that of a curious mind which never stops to be amazed by our planet’s beauty, but also to be outraged, to search to understand why such a difference exists between all of those worlds. This journey, that I narrate through the carefree eyes of youth, only constitutes the genesis of numerous other adventures. However, I wouldn’t be where I’m at without those few months that have changed everything. Therefore, I wanted to honour this part of me that has grown so much in so little time, by telling its story. This is what I would like to share with you, today, through my first novel. Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Singapour, Australia. Five months, eight countries, three continents. A life changed forever.
Nothing is over, there is still so much to do, so much to write. One day, I will sign the book that traces back what came after those life-changing months. It will be the result of a long exploration of years of adventures and emotions that will have led me straight to that terrace where I reconnected with my dreams. It will show the love that I have shared and that continues to animate me. My love for the world, my love for Numan and for all the others, and the one that has been the most painful to learn: my love for myself. This little piece of me that I hold in my hands is a bit of a witness of this, an unexpected result of the resilience I have learnt to built through all those ups and downs. To write my story, to share it with you, has turned out to be an indispensable part of my healing and my will to move forward.
It’s very exciting and a bit terrifying at the same time, to give you a key to the inner depths of my soul. To be completely honest, this fear has kept me until now from gathering the courage I needed to publish this page, and to believe in myself enough to undertake the necessary steps to advertise my work. It’s really not the part I prefer doing. However, I know that I have messages to share and I am ready to take the risks that comes with this vulnerability. Actually, I’m not too worried; in fact, it has been years that I regularly spill my guts to you and for wonderful reasons that I can’t always explain to myself, you’re still here. All of those emotions that overflow from my head towards the tip of my fingers and into your screens…. even into your hands, this time.
Therefore, through my book, I invite you to relive those initiatory experiences by my side, as if you were there with me. Moreover, I offer you fragments of a story that you won’t find on this website, because Sowanders was only created later.
Please know that it is a great honour to invite you today to embark on this journey by my side. You are all a part of my story, as much as the words I write. After all, you’re the ones reading them. 🙂
I therefore dedicate this book to all of you, my dear readers, you who inhabit all those worlds I’m on my way to explore until the end of my days.
You can find it here. Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you wish to receive directly a signed copy (or, for my non-French speaking readers, if you would like me to translate it!)
Edit: I received a prize!! 🙂