Writing a story it’s always intimidating. You start asking yourself:
With all the material around on the Internet nowadays, how can I make a difference? What is in my story that makes it so original?
Then, all of a sudden, a character knock at your door. In this case, it was a small man with a big nose. He introduced himself. He was a chairs’ mover.
Yes, he said precisely that name!
We sit down, and while I started writing on my computer, he moved the first chair.
But you could see from his face that he wasn’t sorry at all. He enjoyed moving the chair and startled me. But what do you expect when letting in a chairs’ mover?
Where a character comes from?
This character, as many others, comes from everyday life. Who has never heard a chair moving in their apartment when they’re alone? Yes, there is an explanation, and it’s our small friend.
In general, what I like about writing for children is that they thoroughly enjoy the story. They get engaged and laugh, and cry sometimes. That’s why, in the end, I decided to write this story. To have a chance to make a child smile.
When I first started writing this short story, Go back to the future, the situation was really complicated, to say the least. In Italy, a substantial majority considered the refugees a problem that had to be ‘eradicated’. Yes, like it was a virus or a plague (just saying). Where that majority ended up? Oh, they never left, if that’s what you’re thinking. They just changed their clothes.
The Italian politics
If you watch the Italian political scene from three-step behind, you’d probably think something changed. Then you get one step forward to find out the stink of the same old propaganda.
When you speak to people in the street, you can sense that that propaganda, the ‘eradication’ of the ‘problem’ propaganda, is still alive and well.
“Why we’re supposed to help them when we cannot help ourselves?”
“Do you know they’re living a better life than us?”
“Do you still believe they’re poor? Come on, open your eyes!”
And the war between the poor continues, over and over
What my story had to say about that?
I simply gave another perspective. Imagine a near future (100 years from now, perhaps) and imagine a striking crisis that leads your country in despair.
Now, follow me, imagine a time-machine like the one in a H.G. Wells book or in the comedy movie Back to the future. Everyone will try to escape their helpless situation coming to our present. And what will happen? We will call them ‘aliens,’ and we will look at them while they’re drowning in front of us.
As we’re watching them dying in front of the cost of Italy every single day.
Sometimes we find ourselves alone at home, ready to go to bed. We brush our teeth, we put on the pajama and finally, we get under our sheets.
Then, a small sound comes to our ears. Somewhere, outside the door, something or someone is moving.
What is that?
Who is there?
Terrorized, petrified even, we don’t dare to go outside. When we finally do, we switch on the light, as our small 7W bulb could help us against a possible assassin. Yet, we feel reassured by this light because we’re not expecting real killers, but some ghosts with long chains. And we know they must disappear with the light (yes, ghosts hates 7W bulbs).
Glovy and Nodo
That’s why I imagined a world in which all these sounds have a funny reason behind. As Nodo and Glovy, some small characters are ready to scare us, but without harming anyone.
In my concept, children will be scared, but at the same time, those characters will reassure them. They won’t need the light anymore, because Nodo and friends can hide in plain light. They can respect their fears and even smile at them.
The horrific hanger
When I was a child, I was terrified by a clothes hanger my parents had in their room. It was a simple hanger, but in the night, it mutates into a monster. It comes in my nightmares, preventing me from using the toilet in the night and generally stressing out me so much.
Something happened one day when I decided to imagine that hanger-monster as a funny thing. I imagined it was a fluffy gummy character, yellow in color, with no bad intentions whatsoever. It was from that moment on that I can say I didn’t fear the dark anymore.
See, the problem is not dark or a clothes hanger. The issue comes from deeper inside us, as Goya would say,
“The sleep of reason creates monster”.
In the silence, it’s in the dark that we feel strange sounds, and it’s there that we panic. On a sunny day, outside with our friend, it’s more likely to happen something terrible (some drunk person starts shouting, someone insults you, a car bumped on you) and still, you feel protected by the amazing sun and the good feelings you have.
So, let go of that horrific sleep of reason that creates monsters and start searching for a better explanation. Fear, a moment later, it’s just a bad memory.
Thanks to Nodo and Glovy, it would probably be like that for some children, one day.
Every day I meet people from all over the world (yes, even now that we’re living in Covid-19times). The question that people ask me more often is:
How comes you have your own language in Sardinia?
Yes, believe me, this question has been asked so many times that if they gave me 1 penny for each time I heard it… well, you know Bill Gates? He would be just a poor guy selling shoes if compared to me.
A complex island
The answer is yes, obviously. Sardinia has its own language, an history so complex and different from the Italian one, not to mention it is enormous. I mean it, it’s huge. When I think that the most famous nations-islands in the Mediterranian Sea, as Cyprus or Malta are respectively 9251 square km and 316 square km, I think it makes sense that we have a peculiar language in Sardinia (which is over 24 thousand square km). This idiom is called Sardo, or Sardinian.
I’m not going through with the history of Sardinia and its language. There’s so much literature about it that it would take my entire blog just to start the topic. Let’s summarise what Sardinian produced culturally in the last 100 years or so.
Let’s start with the star: Grazia Deledda. She was born in 1871, and in 1926 this amazing woman received a Nobel Prize for literature. If this information doesn’t shock you, think about the fact that at the time she was only the second woman ever winning the prize. Furthermore, she was the first Italian woman in history to receive it. Interesting, huh?
Furthermore, these fantastic writers wrote in Italian, considered for a long time a second language in Sardinia. When I was a child (not so long ago), it was easy to meet old people speaking broken Italian, but fluent when they had to talk in Sardinian. Even though Sardinian was considered illegal to be used in schools for a long time, it was still used in everyday life. Nowadays, Sardinian is coming back to life, thanks to the hard work of many historians, linguists, and intellectuals.
What it means to come from an island?
As everything else, being from a fantastic island as Sardinia brings positive and negative outcomes. One of the negative ones is to be isolated from everything and culturally marginalized. The percentage of Sardinian with a university instruction level is one of the lowest in Italy, and with the crisis, the situation would only get worse.
That said, I hope next time you’ll hear in Sardinia they have their own language you won’t ask the same, one- penny, question.
A few months ago I was surfing on the ocean of the Internet, lost somewhere between the Island of
“How to improve my writing”
and the Archipelagos of
Then, by chance, I entered in a blog called Reedsy.
I thought before taking a better look at it.
I started reading and after hours I didn’t finish half of the material inside this website. From daily writing courses to weekly contests, everything seemed to be everything I always dreamed about. And everything with that special human touch that lets you forget for a moment to be on a website.
A sacred place
I felt like I was in a sacred place, a safe place in which you can express yourself, study, read and ask other experts for help. I stopped surfing in the Ocean of the Internet and I started to swim lightly in this small sea. The water was warm, but not hot enough to make you feel dizzy. It was refreshing and it gave me the strength to start my writing with a renovate energy.
My first short story
Last week I sent my first short story to the website. It’s not my first story, since I have my stories published on my Flyingstories website. But if usually I decide the theme of my stories, this time I had to follow a path, and it wasn’t easy.
“Write about two strangers that keep meeting each other”
This was the prompt.
And for me, accustomed to write mostly fantastic stories, it wasn’t really an easy task.
A story about a shepherd
So I sent Reedsy a simple story about a shepherd of camels. It comes from my experience living in Dubai and the chats I had with hundreds of taxi drivers all around the city. Sometimes you forget to be in a big city, when you turn your head to the desert and meet “wild” camels around.
I decided then to write a story about a man lost in the desert, a man that doesn’t feel human anymore, but more one of the animals he’s trying to help grow. A lost man in a period of pandemic, when everyone feels lost for a reason or another.
A way out
And he finds himself a way out.
As we, every one of us, is supposed to do.
Thanks Reedsy for the opportunity of discovering a story, hidden somewhere inside myself.
Every now and then I was thinking if it was right to put new stuff on this big ocean called Internet. With flyingstories I decided not to put anything else if not some stories from our travels around the world, some languages courses and some stories coming straight from my fantasy. What else? Just have a look!