Though the concept is great – it still sucks for my kind.
It conjures up images of glitter and happiness with the glitz and glamour of a chocolate advertisement but tough luck if it makes up your very identity.
Though I don’t mean to sound cruel (even if it is) here’s a reality check for you – crickets will be getting more attention.
Diversity – such a great buzzword with the oomph of a derelict forgotten martyr even the history books couldn’t be bothered teaching us about. Everyone’s talking about it.
Diversity this, diversity that but that’s about all that’s happening.
Everyone’s saying it because it’s the cool thing to say, what the in crowd’s talking about but no one’s actually doing anything about it or even understands what the hell it’s all about.
Diversity sucks but only if it’s part of your core and more importantly, only if you revel in it, brandish in it with all the glory you can possibly muster.
I’m a writer – perhaps a self-declared one, but a writer nevertheless. Perhaps a mediocre one, but a writer regardless and I’m what many would term as a lucky struggling writer because it’s a great time for someone like me to be born apparently – a great time for a diverse writer.
But what does a diverse writer even mean?
That’s a great question because though most know what diverse writing means (as opposed to diverse authors) – very few actually bother about my type.
I’m not going to lie, it’s quite annoying existing in an age where there is so much hoo-hah about diverse characters (many of which are fictional dare I say) when no one really gives a crap about their very factual diverse creators.
This is mainly due to two reasons – one, authors are rarely as interesting as the characters they create (I can attest to this personally) and two, most diverse characters being created aren’t really being written about diverse authors in the first place.
Because let’s face it, who would know better about a brown girl coming to a foreign land and dealing with all the trials and tribulations of modern day western world attitudes and stereotypes against the backdrop of very real cultural boundaries than a white writer?
As a “diverse” author who has written a novel (or a poorly cloaked semi autobiography) about just that (hello people, welcome to my life), do I find it torturously disconcerting that many of the countless literary agents I have reached out to say that my story isn’t quite real enough?
Of course I do.
In fact, I find it so agonisingly painful I actually pondered on writing a thank you reply to the one literary agent who responded by saying that though the premise was good, it just wasn’t the right time for my “type” of tale when adult colouring books were all the rage in the literary world. I thought it would be presumptuous to send him the dictionary book definition of literature when I actually like colouring in.
Others said my book just didn’t strike a chord with them because my main character was too well, normal.
Of course a “normal” brown girl is just out of the question because who would want to read about a normal diverse character? Um – maybe diverse readers like me.
It’s unfortunate that during my teenage years I had to choose between a normal white girl to relate with or a crazy, brown one with a horrific juxtaposition of identity crisis’s that outnumbered the amount of times I change my underwear (which is regularly by the way).
Clearly there are no normal brown people on the planet because we all wear hijabs, struggle daily with radicalism and have a secret life our parents would commit suicide upon discovering exactly twenty two point five years later. And let’s not mention finally participating (while not in undercover) in romantic relationships after securing our parent’s reluctant consent upon finding out about our blatant “western influenced” unlocking of our chastity belts in our late teens. Please note, this is actually supposed to be sarcastic.
Being diverse and actually understanding what that truly meant for many of us diverse teenagers growing up in a world where no one really got us is what continues to make diversity so sucks.
“Normal” for us diverse, immigrant children meant tepidly tip-toeing the tightrope of immigrant versus adopted land issues every single day. It meant explaining why your parents had to meet your “friend” before they let you date him before he even asked you out. It meant you’d get tired of hearing your own voice every time you droned on about how “discovering” yourself after high school on that once in a lifetime gap year before you joined university was never going to happen if you wanted to live past eighteen.
You won’t find novels on how you spent the better part of every weekday morning airing your school uniform out of that undeniable, wicked curry smell that lingers like a bad memory days after you devoured it. Or why you can use your forehead to corkscrew even the mightiest Foster’s beer bottle thanks to the countless afternoons you spent rubbing the elusive bindi off after your weekly prayers. All this just so you could rush off to see the latest movie at the cinemas without having to explain the red dot on your forehead for the millionth time. You won’t even find stories on the absurdity of forgetting French kissing when your people came up with the manual on having sex.
Why would we forget the lips in the Kama Sutra people – really, why?
Why don’t you find common day stories on the very real, normal lives of brown people?
Because there’s no way that a white author has been cursed with our version of normality. Normal, non-brown people think this is comedic which is probably why Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project has done so well.
Poor Mindy had to fabricate a normal Indian girl’s life as a comedy when most of us brown chicks know that there’s nothing funny about Mindy’s life – it’s just our version of normal.
Maybe that’s what it is.
Perhaps my premise in Un-Belonging is too real for the mainstream. Maybe all I need to get a literary agent’s attention is to tag a “normal typical brown girl problem” joke at the end of each sentence so that the general public can make a parody of my protagonist instead.
Maybe that’ll get over her not wearing a hijab bit.
… for being so absent lately.
Though it isn’t an excuse, I’ll fall back on that dismal aspect of human nature and attempt to absolve myself of any wrongdoings by providing you with an adequate 3 point resource on how it’s really not my fault.
Point 1 – I’ve been so busy that if I were a Troll protecting the make believe bridge to Narnia I just made up right now, well, Narnia would no longer be Narnia – it would be the next best holiday destination. I have been writing though, about an article a week but woe is me, much of my time is taken up in maintaining active social media accounts for work.
You need a Twitter, Facebook or Google + guru right now, don’t look at me. I’m fresh out of ideas.
Point 2 – I have seriously pissed karma off and I don’t even know what I did. The amount of minor mishaps I have had with my skeleton over the past month would be enough to fill up a small encyclopaedia. Seriously. From toe injuries to wrist massacring’s, it’s a wonder I still resemble a human body. Fine, maybe not an encyclopaedia but a good weekend read in a grubby motel off Highway 5. At least.
Point 3 – I blame Trump because well, why wouldn’t you?
I don’t think history has ever provided us with such an apt “he is the cause of everything that’s wrong in this world, my life and this entire solar system really” excuse, people. Ever.
I am not kidding. It’s every man, woman and child for themselves and I can’t even copyright this one. Take it. Run with it.
I’ve been busy because Trump exists.
With that being said, I make no promises except an absolute true declaration – I have missed all of you. Truly.
I’ll try and make it up for it and write some more, or at least be more present if my fingers remain from that biyatch injury infliction.
I hope you’re listening karma. I’m a Hindu and I ain’t going anywhere so let’s try and be friends, okay? Or at least civil.
See you soon my peeps xoxo
You know those days when you realise you haven’t looked in the mirror for a while.
I mean metaphorically.
I admit it – I’ve been procrastinating. Writing the last couple of months has been nothing short of an ordeal for me, like Build Rome in a Day sort of suffering rather than incinerate it.
I’m not saying I’m cured or anything but the below video really helped to put things in perspective for me once more. It’s easy to forget the love I have in my bones for this beautiful creative piece of life and though I tend to feel brain dead most days with regards to creating words out of thin air recently, this video stirred that passionate, wanting desire I have for letters all over again and that’s got to be a good thing, right?
Don’t stop what you love people, just remember, fights are a normal part of an unhealthily healthy, obsessive, hot, overzealous love you have with something or someone. So to my writing gene, I have three words for you. Bring – It – ON.
I swear, this is a viable condition often experienced by Writer’s in winter. It’s called Frozen Writer’s block. There’s no cure except for gluttonous extreme vegetation in front of the BBC channel for inspiration.
You know that saying, one girl’s loss is another one’s gain. You’re welcome, another week free of punishment from my brain. Don’t say I don’t give you anything.
Disclaimer: For faster results, attack the virus with a never ending supply of buttered popcorn and unhealthy salt and fake cheese infused Cheese and Bacon Balls.
Let me know if you want my address or I could just lie here with my mouth open and you can pelt junk food into it. See, there’s a positive to everything – even Frozen Writer’s Block.
Just another saying I do not get.
Isn’t this stating the obvious?
Pray tell what angle I should be looking at you from to ascertain the resemblance between your noggin and a bar of soap?
What was the person who came up with this metaphor on?
Clearly he/she was high … from all the soap fumes they had been exposed to in their obsessive compulsive bathing phase.
So, though you can find the very unimaginative (in fact this one was so bland even the author hash-tagged it #boring. Kudos to self-critiquing acceptance, I’ll join you one day. In the next life … perhaps) origins of this ridiculous saying here, I thought I’d give you the true, real version. The one everyone is too scared to tell you about because it’s made up of the stuff that inspires Horror Stories.
This saying was developed by Beetroot Beatrice; she was a friend of an ancestor. No scratch that. She was the ancestor of a friend of a friend. No one in my family came up with this one.
Beetroot Beatrice hailed from the great Aussie outback, somewhere near Uluru because I like rocks. But this is Beetroot’s story. Beatrice was nicknamed Beetroot Beatrice because she was purple. Hellllooooo!
And the kids weren’t quite as cruel yet to call her anything else. The anti-bullying programs were better those days. Plus Tellytubbies hadn’t been developed yet either.
Anyway I digress.
Beetroot Beatrice was very self-conscious about her purplish tinge and decided, against her … and her friends … and her parents’ better judgment to wash the purple “off” of her.
When a day and a half of incessant scrubbing didn’t work (in fact, it kind of had the opposite effect and made her more purple), she decided that the colour infliction must evolve from the inside of her so she decided to clean her intestines with soap and proceeded to eat it bit by bit. As a sidebar, if I had been born, I could have told Beatrice that this didn’t work and instead resulted in preposterous and mind numbing continuous hiccupping but I wasn’t. So tough luck but whatever.
Legend has it that Beatrice’s parents came back from a Fly Fishing expedition only to find a semi-conscious Beatrice maddeningly repeating the phrase, “can’t tell you from a bar of soap” continuously. Apparently, Beetroot Beatrice was confined to her bed in the Mental asylum for the next forty five years torturously repeating the words, “can’t tell you from a bar of soap”, “can’t tell you from a bar of soap”, “can’t tell you from a bar of soap”.
You get the picture.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Beatrice died on the “can’t tell you …” section and never got to finish the sentence according to her psychiatrist Mr. Bath (I know – an unfortunate coincidence).
Poor Beetroot Beatrice. Apparently she still haunts the sand dunes of which ever place is closest to you so next time you take a bath, make sure you check your soap hasn’t had a bite taken out of it.
I know. Scary stuff.
You’ll never take a bath the same way again, will you?
Those are the power of words. And soap.
But pretty much, mostly words.
Well maybe not, but I wish I could be.
I had the utterly disgusting sense to sit through half an hour of The Bold & The Beautiful the other day and well, let’s just say that that’s 30 minutes of my life I’m never getting back again -_-
Seriously, I’m not even sure what the writers of these shows do anymore, as far as I can tell, they wrote a “plot” (or a vague resemblance of one – the way a Monkey and Tiger might resemble each other) at the turn of the nineteenth century and decided to regurgitate the same stuff and stick a different character’s name at the beginning of the lines (unless you’re that Brooke character, I don’t even know how her limbs are still attached and that she isn’t brain dead yet but whatever. Another blog post. She gets to do everything at the same time).
I thought I’d feel better at the end of the half hour the way The Brady Bunch promised me I would but I just barely managed to find the remote in my staggering shock induced state to switch the TV off and curl into a miserable ball of nothing.
I mean if I thought my life was borderline boring before, boy did I have another thing coming. I wailed and yelled at my insignificance and how a ménage à trois was so yesterday and ate half a tub of ice cream.
Now, not only do I not have Brooke’s amazing love life, I look like three of her rolled into one messy, blah ball of yesteryear attractiveness.
Ugh, I hate soap stars.