Today is my 36th birthday. I feel the same as yesterday. I don’t really feel 36.

Anyway, I am enjoying my life as a writer. Yesterday I went to the movies and watched 3096 days, the story of Natasha Kampusch. It’s really strange because earlier this year when I was unemployed and hoping for a good job, I was also considering becoming a writer, but I really lacked confidence back then.

The difference between now and then is the belief I guess. Because of facebook and my writings which have been well received by both friends and strangers, I now know that I can write and write well enough to pull an audience.

So back to the movies and Natasha.

When I found out that this movie was showing, I knew I had to see it and it doesn’t matter that I had to go to Midvalley Megamall, which can be a pain when it comes to parking, although I must say yesterday wasn’t that bad at all. There was still plenty of parking available at 11am.

Earlier this year, when I was full of doubt but considering writing as a career, I decided to look at the top 10-20 best sellers of 2012 and most of them were pretty normal fiction stuff I think, nothing really caught my eye until this one book titled “Memoirs of a stolen life” came up. My heart stopped. There was a picture of a pretty little girl on the cover. I read the synopsis and decided I couldn’t handle the truth, and so I ignored it.

But something inside me was stirred. I kept thinking about that little girl and the brief story of what had happened to her. I needed to know more, obviously she survived to tell her story, but how is she now, what has happened since? So I found myself googling her story and the story of others like her. She was Jaycee Dugard and her story was tragic and heart breaking, but as a person, she sets a very fine example of forgiveness in my opinion. What a nice person she is, truly. I don’t know if I could ever be as forgiving.

Then there were related stories of other girls and boys who have survived equally horrendous experiences of kidnapping and abuse. Amongst them was Natasha. One difference is, when Natasha was found I actually remember reading her story in the People magazine. Maybe I didn’t read her story but I remember the headline was something like “I always dreamt of chopping his head off” or something like that.

I also read about Amber Hagerman and the beautiful Elizabeth Smart, and many others. But I wonder also about the many lost and unaccounted for children and people all around the world.

So when 3096 days was out, I had to see it. I know that there were parts that Natasha said didn’t happen, I think she always maintained there was no sexual abuse but I’m not sure of the finer details. All in all I did ‘enjoy’ the movie, if that is the right word. It is about the triumph of the human spirit. This little girl endured something not everyone would be able to survive, maybe for adults its different, you can deal with psychological abuse. That man was a monster. And to think that he had planned everything, for months, is scary.

Before the movie I made a quick visit to one of my favourite clothes brand stores when I was in Dublin, I do love the special material and quality of the clothing compared to what you find in the departmental stores and the prices too are absolutely great. I bought one pretty black and blue skirt and I was so happy, the other clothes I tried were great too but just not for this months budget.

Then I went to my favourite part of the shopping complex, the bookstore and bought several books on my must-read list. I had to enquire at the information counter for Khaliza Khalid’s the Wedding Speech. I am no fan of weddings but I am a fan of writing and later I had an appointment with Liz so I knew I had to bring the book to be autographed.

Liz was just like in her pictures, petite and pretty, very casually dressed in top and jeans. She speaks with a lovely accent and to me she is one of those persons who I just click or connect with. Its that simple.

We talk a bit about ourselves, I was very impressed with her axe pictures and the story about her husband and her taking up maths at MIT. Then we talked about her books and I am so glad she shared with me her experience writing her first book. I cant be grateful enough. She also gave me pointers on how to write my Book #2, and gave me a great perspective on why my Book #1 was probably not excepted by the publisher. Being a novice, all these advice is priceless.

I can now start writing Book #2 and make improvements to Book #1.

I owe a lot to facebook. Facebook helped me discover the writer in me, and facebook helped connect me with all the people that have helped so far, although my journey has only just begun.