A Multicultural Ghost, Fio da Meada

Fio da Meada is the first book I have published. It was the first time I got over the fear of putting my writing out there and self-published at Amazon in Portuguese from Brasil, my mother language.

Fio da Meada, Cover

The stories are about a ghost who finds himself following a woman in the Manly Ferry, in Sydney. This fiction is based on the stories I have collected from my grandfather’s real-life. He was unique, with many funny tales, he was someone who enriched his life — before mobile phones and even telephones — with pranks and imagination.

The strongest image I have of him is this handsome older man, poorly dressed, with shorts my grandmother had been begging to be thrown out for years; with the softest shirt with a couple of wholes. We are seated in the small fishing pier in front of our ranch, for hours in silence. I can smell fish scales and worms. He is like a statue looking at the tip of the fishing rod. When he gets tired he gets up, find a large rock and throw it in the water creating a large splash. He ruins the fishing for me and the others, father, sister, cousins; then he walks away laughing out loud while we scream at him.

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If you read Portuguese, note that you have to buy the book from the market where your Amazon account is registered:

You can read Kindle books in any device.

The Structure

How I structure my ideas is firstly by keeping notes in any way on my reach to put down ideas. In paper, on the phone, in voice notes and written bits and pieces. Early morning, middle of the night, and during the day.

Then I expand these notes to include the details that kept coming to me with or without my authorisation. The filling of these ideas assault me in dreams, in the shower, when I go to the toiled during my working day. But they come more when I am walking.

Next I start writing what needs to be put down, the parts that if I don’t make real will keep annoying me incessantly, these are the texts that won’t go away, that will fill my thoughts and ideas until they are resting in a physical form.

Following I have to organise where it all goes and write the other bits, the ones I had only the sketches for before.

Depending on the project it doesn’t have a pre-created structure. The book I have written in Portuguese, Simplesmente Gerva, has been created in a series of emails between my co-author and myself, and we never knew what the other was going to write.

I am now writing the continuation of this book and, although I am writing on my own, I am being faithful to the proposal. I don’t know much of what is going to happen to the character, I sit down to write and let him take me wherever he wants.

Sometimes a whole idea is born from one thought, one example is the one I mentioned in another post: what would a writer do if they didn’t have the means to write and which situation would that be.

To surmise, I impose no rules to myself. Whatever works, works.

The Technique

I write using the many parts of myself. I write using both my home language, Portuguese, and my adopted language, the one of my fantasies and dreams, English. One day I may write in French, who knows. I write using the young me that lives inside and the older one. The wise and the silly. I write using my South American style, some fantastic reality, chopping off sentences (see the one just before) while writing really long paragraphs in other times.

I write with my own sense of fun, my original abilities and I have upgraded my technique with a Masters degree in Arts – Creative Writing from UTS. I am far from a literary writer, (as far as I can, actually), I aim to write in a straightforward way in plain English (or plain Portuguese, from Brazil). This was not without challenges during my studies, it was difficult to separate what was valid feedback on my style and what was my own Brazilian flavour, or what was because of the simplicity in the style. I guess I am still searching for this distinction.

I write following mostly the inspiration and the voice I found when I was seventeen, but try to give it a bit more style and maturity. I keep honing the knowledge, keep reading, listening and viewing anything that will enrich and feed my writing.

The Positive Narrative

Searching for the reasons why I feel my writing is as essential as breathing for me, I looked at what I like in life.

I have a passion for narratives, tales, characters. In books and films, give me stories I can follow, give me well constructed characters. Give me profundity of personality and longer accounts. I love reading and watching TV series and movies; I love talking to my friends and following their lives and my favourite subjects are relationships and discussing the intricacies of how the world works.

Following that logic, I have discovered that I write to be part of the construction of people’s narratives, to influence (even if it happens to be in a small way) their choices and fate.

A fuzziness invades me every time I hear someone laughing at something I wrote, or when they say that something I created influenced their lives in a good way. I write to promote positive change and accept that sometimes it can be seen in a negative light.

I know, from experience, that changing the path of our lives is very difficult and I wish to share my stories to help creating courage in my readers to change when necessary and always move forward in their own lives.