Swaying coconut trees pushed around by the salty breeze and a mango tree with leaves kissed by the tropical sun provides shade for one of two survivors on a deserted island. With her husband and solar-powered laptop (don’t question it; just work with me), she has been able to overcome the trauma of being shipwrecked, passing her time creating stories that surpassed the normal imagination. Being a long way from Hualien, Taiwan, she was still able to enjoy the variety of mangoes that the island had to offer which was similar to what she grew up with. Her mouth still being sticky from the sweet nectar of the delectable fruits, she reflected on how grateful she was that of the two items she was able to get from the ship, toilet paper was one of them. (C’mon…you must know what eating many mangoes can do to the digestive system.)
The sky was overcast, and the thunderous rumblings matched that of her stomach. Though she enjoyed eating mangoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, she knew what it entailed and wished that the wreckage could have supplied her with some Benadryl. The bright lightning that flashed never fazed her; she actually loved the way it etched across the sky, writing something in a matter of seconds for those with insight to understand. This was a reminder of her favorite moment of her childhood, when the lightening spoke to her and she spoke back. Instantaneously, she sighed, remembering the time her parents contributed to her most embarrassing moment, when they made her stay back a grade because they thought she looked unintelligent in the class graduation photo. Who would have thought that being hot, thirsty and dizzy would make for a hilarious situation? Opening her mouth to suck in air to cool down her dry burning throat sealed the deal.
There were so many memories to look back at but trying to accomplish one thing on her bucket list resulted in this catastrophe. So, there will be no trip to all the countries in Europe, nor would she be able to publish all the book ideas she had in her head. There would be definitely no way she would learn to swim, not in the shark-infested water that surrounded her new home. With her family as one of her inspirations for writing, she would have to make do with nature; the ocean will now be her new muse.
Would they ever be rescued? She wasn’t sure, but she thought it best to write her last will and testament. This will be her legacy of an unplanned permanent romantic getaway with her husband on a lush green island that offered all the pleasantries in life that a bustling city couldn’t. She wrote:
“Growing up in a home without any books, and suffering from a reading disorder, Allison Hong Merrill becomes an accidental writer. She is a testament that persistent hard work will eventually pay off. She thought that the best advice for upcoming writers is to be kind, encouraging and supportive to those entering the fraternity. Writers all need loving writer friends who understand the challenges that come with writing and publishing, and are willing to support one another on the journey…”
She hoped that what she wrote would be published and laughed as she thought of how even after her passing, she would be peeved if an editor never responded to the manuscript. She doesn’t like to work with the silent and deadly kind of editors, agents, and publishers who don’t respond to submissions––not even a rejection letter. “I understand that everyone is busy, but I once worked with an editor who responded to my submission a year later. It was a “yes.” I would’ve appreciated her taking the time to send me a message, even if it was a no,” she thought.
All said and done, Allison still had books out there that readers would enjoy, and she smiled at how she had contributed something to the world.
Well, you must have realized by now that this is fictional to some extent. Allison Merrill may not be trapped on a deserted island, but based on an interview with her, I was able, through her fun, witty personality, imagine that this is what it would be like if she were. With an imagination that supersedes mine, she writes to captivate the readers through all senses. I encourage you to read Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops, A Memoir which tells the story of how Allison’s choice to break the Chinese cultural expectation for women to submit to men’s will allows her to create her own path.
Want to know more about Allison and her work, check out her contact details and social media handles below.
Instagram: Allison Hong Merrill — Writer (@allison.hong.merrill)
What do you think your experience would be like on a deserted island? Feel free to share it in the comment section.
Sheryl : )