The princess runs away, fast as her feet can take her. Chasing her closely behind, a giant thumps his feet with a booming voice preceding his every step as he tries to catch her. Their distance keeps on narrowing, so the princess opens the bag she’s holding and throws a handful of salt at the giant. Soon, a deep blue sea separates the two. Beyond the sound of crashing waves, a familiar voice calls my name.
I lifted my head from the book. The voice turned out to be my primary school teacher’s, and I spent the rest of that period standing in front of the classroom.
If I could only choose one word to describe my childhood, I wouldn’t even have to think: fantasy. My kindergarten teachers would complain that I did not pay enough attention in class. I spent almost every waking moment in the world of words – where letters build the bricks of the castle and imagination breathes life into the people trapped inside the books.
But I couldn’t help it. The ordinary world was just too dull and paled in comparison with what my brain thought it could be.
By the end of my junior high school, I started to feel restless. I felt that something was missing, something that even a full mark can’t replace. But I shushed it away and tried focusing on my exams instead.
It was not until the eleventh grade I finally realized what the itch was. School alone just wasn’t enough. What would be the best possible result after I study day and night? I’d ace all my exams. But after I got stellar marks, then what? Sure, it’d come in handy when applying to universities, but what would make me stand out among hundreds of stellar-marked students from other high schools?
One day, it suddenly hit me. Apparently, what I wanted to do had been staring me in the face the whole time: film.
Today, I am no longer the kid whom buries her head in books and daydreams the whole time. But I never really left my childhood’s imaginary world. That’s why, naturally, film draws my attention. That’s also why I decided to join my high school’s Cinematography Club.
In Cinematography Club, I learn that making film is anything but glamorous. Making film is a labor. A single thirty-seconds take can take hours to complete. There are too many parties involved: the actors, the director, the cameramen, and the producer to mention a few. For example, a mistake made solely by the actor will result in the whole film crew having to reshoot the scene all over again.
As tiring and exhausting it is, that’s part of what makes film special. It’s a communal activity that puts people from different backgrounds together – nobody can make a film by himself or herself.
But the main reason why I want to go into film is because I’m forever indebted to film. Film has helped me through my ups and downs in life; it gives me strength and inspiration when I felt like giving up. After experiencing the power of film by myself, I found my dream. I want to make films that can open up new perspectives and give people strength, just like how film gives strength to me.
Majoring in Bachelor of Arts will give me the chance to explore cinematography in depth – a chance that no other major can offer. By digging deeper into the world of filmmaking, I hope I can expand my knowledge and expertise and as a result, be able to make engaging and meaningful films. I know that the road ahead would be rough and unfamiliar. Working in the film industry also doesn’t offer much in terms of personal finance and job security, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Kristiana is marked below
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists, such as Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5