When I wrote Annabelle’s story, I was not worried about making her perfect, because the whole point of her voyage was that she was a mess, a beautiful mess, and was trying to repair some of the damage in her past before she could press forward with her future.
To begin with, I wrote from my own experiences, but over time, I drew inspiration from the stories and experiences of close friends. Annabelle emerged as a fictional character who embodied real life women, both myself and three of my closest friends.
I am so sad that one of my friends who is very much a part of Annabelle has recently passed away, and I am heart broken. I have been feeling quite lost and useless the past couple of days, but last night I stayed up really late going over the passages in my books which had parts inspired by my lovely friend. I felt that I had to urgently improve and perfect those parts of her story.
At the same time, I had to remind myself not to overdo it. Annabelle is fictional, but the real women behind her, none of us were perfect. We all faced challenges and had to voyage through storms. The whole point of Annabelle is that we LEARNT. The series became the LEARNERS AT LOVE series, because love was such a fundamental part of our journeys.
I know this might sound stupid…but that feeling of helplessness….that I could not protect my friend from illness and death….I suddenly felt as if I had to protect Annabelle, I had to wipe away anything that might make someone critical of her, judgmental of her. But loving someone with their weaknesses, their failings, their disappointments, their efforts, their struggles, their endurance, their courage, their victories – journeying, travelling, voyaging through life and in love with someone…I cannot take that away from Annabelle. She deserves all the authenticity that is the very real life inspiration that made her.