By Meiling Colorado
Forward by Michael W. Howell
Forward: At Fighting the Tyranny we have the honor of covering many stories in exposing the myriad of lies facing us today. We also have a deeply rooted love for the liberty lovers and truth tellers out in the world not being divided. Those are the people we support and want to help grow. It is with the same respect that I wanted to pass along an article my friend and author, Meiling Colorado, wrote about her new novel titled, Aftermath.
Meiling Colorado is an author to watch out for with a passion that can be felt in her words. Her personal story is just as beautiful as the person she is that parallels her storytelling in her novel. Read her story below in well-written telling of a true friend’s journey to her – Aftermath.
Original article starts here and can also be found here on her site as well
I imagine it is a common question, yet when I am asked if my personal life experience was a source of inspiration when writing, I find it thought-provoking, since my debut novel is a post-apocalyptic fantasy, after all.
As a professional flamenco and Classical Spanish dancer, I have lived outside the system most of my life. I was brought up in a multi-ethnic family made up in large part of artists. My mother was half Chinese, half Dutch, born in Indonesia. My father was Spanish, which in his family’s particular case meant being part of the melting pot of Gypsy, Arab, and Jewish blood and culture prevalent in that country. My parents were also dancers, which meant I was home-schooled and spent a great part of my childhood on a tour bus.
Either way it went, it panned out between reading anything and everything which fell into my hands, lurking backstage in mysterious corners among a jumble of imagination-sparking props, and long hours riding the tour bus, village to village, looking out of windows at landscapes that were always ready to hint at fascinating stories, which I would then weave into some fantastic tale or another.
And oh! the people I met, so many people… Some, like the members of the dance companies we toured with, were to become part-time residents of my itinerant existence, but so were those I would meet for a few hours, even minutes when the bus stopped at some forgotten hamlet for the night, or for a quick meal at a roadside inn. All these places, these characters, carved themselves a small niche in some part of my inner dreamscape.
I consider myself privileged. I grew up on the fringe of society where my diversity was embraced and seen as a source of strength rather than a disadvantage. My perception of who I was had little to do with what society chose to project onto me.
As an avid reader, books brought to light a different reality to the one I lived in of course, a different world to my own. A world where the colour of your skin decided your reality, where the tour bus had no more stops, and people were not even aware different realities existed. Though I had travelled through a great part of Europe by the time I was ten, I cannot claim to have suffered any serious prejudice due to my appearance, at least none that I was consciously aware of.
Needless to say, my family was considered very strange. Spain was a very conservative Catholic country at the time, fully under the weight of the Franco dictatorship; my parents weren’t married and I wasn’t baptized, nor did I go to school. We had very little money, so yes, we were probably considered the dregs of humanity, and surely bound for Hell. Yet, who cared? We lived outside the system, constantly on the move, and as a child all I knew was there were good people, bad people, and downright nasty people, which I made darn sure I kept away from.
My physical appearance can be somewhat confusing to those looking for labels, so I often have to answer the usual gamut of questions about my ethnicity. I still remember the one question which absolutely floored me as a teenager: ¨So, what does that make you? White? Asian? Latina?
What the heck? My roots were deeply embedded in countless cultures, and I had never even felt the need to consider my racial identity before.
That was the first time in my life I looked, really looked at my skin colour. ¨Errr… maybe yellowish, in winter?
Then I traveled to America. I remember staring at my visa application in bewilderment. Here we go again, Black, White, Asian, Latina…I did notice Native was not even on the list. What did any of that have to do with who I was, anyway?
None of it fazed me.
For some reason I still cannot fathom, after my first child was born I listened to the system’s siren call and decided to get a ¨proper¨ job, stop touring, and lead a ¨normal¨ life. All those ¨invisible structures¨ I had been largely unaware of suddenly slammed down on me. Hard. I had suddenly become aware I had wings, now that I was unable to use them!
Queue a downward spiral from there…
Pretending to be something I wasn’t, trying to fit in, I lost sight of what had been so clear before. Who and what I really as. A back injury ended my dancing days, and deep-seated depression took over. It still amazes me how fast the disconnection worked itself into every fibre of my being, and into every layer of my existence. The only thing that kept me going on was my growing interest in Permaculture, the understanding that here was a tool that could help my children find a way to avoid the very trap I myself had fallen into.
Maybe it was desperation that led me back and forced me to seek a sanctuary I had all but forgotten for a while, the inner space from which I was able to start writing again. A platform from which I was able to send out a search party to find myself, too.
It was definitely a blessing.
Aftermath has allowed me to explore a series of concepts in which I have been interested for quite a long time: the possibility of human survival in a more sustainable manner, and the so-called supernatural powers which we may have latent within all of us, waiting for the right situation to trigger them. The fact my children are young adults now also lent an edge to my curiosity. The world I am describing could be the one they will inherit, and yet young adults’ perceptions tend to be diametrically opposed to those of the very people who have caused the mess we are in in the first place. Namely us, the adults. When it comes down to the crunch, how much impact will the generational gap have? This is a question which I find fascinating and, in light of the recent student protests demanding gun control in the States, appears to be of current relevance.
Years have gone by, yet I feel I am back on the tour bus, watching the landscape fly by, making up stories as I go.
Not a bad place to be.
You can also find me on:
Be sure to visit the Fighting the Tyranny website for more articles
Follow Fighting the Tyranny on Facebook