Feb, 2006. For the past five months I have been living in a car at the edge of woods — jobless and homeless and totally unable to find a way out. I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't scream loudly enough, but I can read and write. So here I am laying down tracks...hopefully the start of an online paper trail out of here. (Update: Miracles happen....if you are reading my story I am part of your proof.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Black swans and cravings

I saw a pair of black swans yesterday. I had no idea swans could even be black - let alone seen one before. They were smaller than white swans and completely black, with long red beaks. These two looked like they were preparing to build a nest as well, in underneath a curtain of long green tassells of weeping willow down at the edge of a pond. One of them shovelling up bits of reed and dried leaves and grass with their bright red beaks, the other shaking it all out into loose piles.

Apparently it's a phrase too, a noun: 'a black swan'. Didn't know that either.

One week until Lent is over and I can eat chocolate again. It's all I can think about recently.


At 9:15 pm, Anonymous Kelvin said...

Apparantly 'Black Swans'originate from south west australia. Must be global warming if they are in England now!
Keep up the blog, it is almost a continuation of your book. It shows what a strong person you are. Well done for being brave enough to put your life story into print.

At 1:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there. I also read your story from Reader's Digest Asia.
-Jenny, Philippines

At 4:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,
I have just finished reading Abandoned, a friend lent it to me. My goodness what a remarkable woman you are. There were some spots during the read that I nearly put the book down because it made me feel sick. I'm glad I didn't....clearly otherwise I would not have been able to tell you what a trooper you are. Have you ever thought of starting some sort of foundation or charity to help others who experience the same traumas as yourself?
Cheers A

At 7:42 am, Blogger Siouxsie said...

Wish i could join you in a couple of chocolate biscuits.


At 8:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

black swan? dont know either..anyway, all the best in your life. and keep posting ur story..i love reading it

At 11:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the birds can survive then that doesnt surprise me because youwere as brave as them, you never gave up hope, so welldone for believing in yourself and living to tell the story, you are the most deserving and inspirational personthat i've ever read about in my life before, not only for me, me and my friend have read your book, we finished it sometime in 2007, i've been keeping in touch but i dont no about sunita, have a lovely Easter, and God Bless You, Ameen,

At 11:13 am, Blogger vickyh1981 said...

Dear wanderingscribe
Your book was brilliant and you diserve to be where you are now.

Vicky, Yorkshire

At 1:57 pm, OpenID stylin-a said...


My name is Lina and I read your story from February's Readers Digest. After reading it, I couldn't wait to get home, run to my laptop and visit your blog.

All I can say is that you are a very strong women and I admire you for that.

All the best!

At 1:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your book a few days ago, in one sitting - could not put it down. I found myself feeling (like every other reader, I suppose) "if only I could have been there to protect you", especially when you were a child and my heart went out to you. When you lived in your car, there really was nowhere appropriate for you to go to. For food, warmth, shelter, safety, advice etc which was appropriate for your needs and for your gender, where you wouldn't feel threatened. You highlighted a real need in our communities. I wish you happiness and peace for your future.
Sara, New Zealand.

At 5:12 am, Anonymous sangdiva said...

yes there are black swans. I've seen it in captivity here in Malaysia, though I can't recall where. Might be in some bird park somewhere.

At 6:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear wanderingscribe..keep on wandering. sooner, u'll find ur true home

At 6:07 pm, Blogger bookworm said...

Hi Anya
I finished reading your book a couple of weeks ago and i couldn't believe what your uncle did to you! the hospital staff seem so friendly and that must have been so comforting(especially the showers!). How have you been since writing the book? i hope that you have a good job and a nice flat? You've been such an inspiration to me, especially during the grief i've been getting recently from people, all i have to do is think about how well you did and i feel so much ,more lucky!

I can't imagine not being able to eat chcolate biccy's! have a good easter!

Clare 14 Suffolk

At 2:37 am, Blogger Kynance said...

Hi Anya

Yep - Black swans are from Western Australia. I don't know what they are doing in your neck of the woods, though . . perhaps they are on holiday.

I migrated from the UK to Western Australia and the Black Swan is our State symbol . . indeed - the early European settlers to WA thought the place was cursed because they saw that the swans were black and they were used to seeing only white ones.

Funny old world.

On a different note.

I have read your book, Anya.

People are the strangest breed on the Planet; they can kill you and they can save you . . and they do everything in between.

You are a truly good person, it was an honor to read your story.

I wish you happiness in your future.

At 3:29 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmmm... black swans? haven't seen them but i've heard of them. must be interesting...

At 6:07 pm, Blogger x.Irish Gal...Rachael.x said...

Helooo...Anya! im almost finished reading your book Abandoned. Its soo sad i was practicly crying reading it. And your uncle is an animal i cant believe anyone could do that to a lil girl. I thought it was cool that in the book you went to bray and to the amusements there and all because i live in bray :D lol. Im so glad your back on your feet. And i think you should write more books because your an amazing writer. Lots of Love...Rachael x

At 12:32 pm, Blogger -Lovely- said...

Hello Anya. You don't know who I am, since I'm hundreds of kilometres away from you (Singapore). But I read your book, and I really think that you're such a great person :D

You're so strong, that even when you fell, you managed to get back up again, and even stronger! I was so addicted to your book, I finished reading it in 2 days!

I hope that you'll find what you're looking for, and that you'd be your own true self again in the future :)

At 7:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just finished reading your story in Reader's Digest Asia... It just showed how strong you are to face that kind of situation...

-adrian, philippines

At 8:41 am, Blogger oldmanlincoln said...

Congratulations on your trip through time and on the book. It should change your life.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

At 1:41 am, Blogger sweety said...

hi anya!
i just finished reading your book yesterday & i was in tears realising how tough life can get.

i hope your future is gonna be better then the past.

best wishes

At 6:23 pm, Anonymous Anneloes said...

There are black swans in Holland too. We have a little childsong here: White Swans, Black Swans, who wants to go to England. England is closed. The key is broken, is ther carpenter who can make the key? And so on. The mind behind this song is birth, death and Jesus. The white swans are the angels by the birth and the black by the death. Heaven is closed for sinners, but Jesus is the carpenter and He can make a key to open the heaven for sinners.


At 9:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Anya,

I may sound like just another random person replying to your blogs but i have literally just finished reading your book 'Abandoned'.

Your story has inspired me totally.

I will email you.

At 7:13 am, Blogger Lia said...

Hi Anya, I'm Lia from Malaysia. I read about you in the Reader's Digest and I instantly felt in love with the story of your life. Then I quickly went to search for your blog online. You're such an inspiring women, I adore the strenghts you have in yourself to keep on going in life. I'm looking forward to read your book, I hope I can get my hands on it pretty soon after my final exams are over. I wish you all the best in your life and keep on inspiring others :)

At 5:41 pm, Blogger Faisal Admar said...


I went to Borders bookstore searched for your book. Sadly I've to order since the book wasn't in the store. Hopefully they a copy soon.


Penang, Malaysia

At 10:05 pm, Anonymous sarah said...

Looks like you have a lot of fans from Singapore. And here i thought i wld be the first from SG to comment, how silly.

Anyway, yr story is inspirational beyond words, and your determination to strive for the better is just remarkable. You must hear that a lot but i think you deserve to be told every single day that you are truly a beautiful woman to look up to and admire.

Best wishes,
Sarah. SG.

At 5:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,

I found your book to be an inspiration and I could not put it down once I started reading it. You made me realise the little things we take for granted. I wish you all the best for the future,

Kelly x

At 3:44 am, Blogger lookingforme said...

Hi Anya,
I stayed up to 2a.m this morning to read your book(and then my baby woke at 3am for a feed!)
I don't really know what to say but i do know i want to say something to you! You are an amazingly courageous and strong lady. You survived an incredibly traumatic childhood, i cannot even begin to imagine what you went through. I was in tears when i read the part where you found out who your father was, i felt the pain you felt for your 'mummy' for what she went through to protect her sister. The other part of the book that really affected me was when Kathy cut off contact with you, i know she is your birth mother but what a selfish person. It wasn't fair that you were so alone after everything that you had been through! You prevailed though and i imagine you don't feel so alone these days!! I haven't read your blog, i just came on to write something to you but also to wish you all the happiness in the world. I imagine you are a huge inspiration to the many people who have read your book. I hope that your life is not so lonely these days and that you are at peace.
Best, best wishes,
Lisa, Sydney
Also a Rat but not a Gemini!!

At 11:15 pm, Blogger bouncin tigger said...

hi anya,just finished reading your book, How amazing are you to come out the other side and you finally got someone to listen to you and give you a second chance in life and help you to get back on your feet. All i can say is shame on all of those charities who are supposed to be there to help people who are homeless and dont have anybody to turn to.Just because you had a car was not a good enough reason for them to reject your application for somewhere to live and some money each month to help you through.I was a little surprised and upset to read that your mummy defended you for so many years to your uncle and then she turned her back on you when your abuse came out into the open, I do think your life would have turned out so differently if she had supported you.All the best in finding trust and happiness in the future as you rebuild your life. From michelle, warwickshire

At 5:20 pm, Blogger LAUREDILIAN said...

Hello there :)

I also read your story on Reader's Digest.

I was pretty surprised when I read the URL to your blog. I dunno, it never occurred to me that Blogger's known worldwide.

But anyway, I found your story very fascinating and it made me realize that life's not always easy. I'm heading out to the nearest bookstore and buy your book so I can learn more about you.

Your story sounded similar to that of one of the people who auditioned for "American Idol" just two months ago, I think. He's only 17 and he ran away from home and lived in his car.

I do hope your doing better now.

I'll be keeping an eye out for your updates!

Take care!

Lui - Philippines


At 6:49 am, Anonymous kelly said...

I am so happy (and sad) to read your story in READERS' DIGEST ASIA!!! (Apologies that I found that issue a month late!!) Happy I found you, and sad you were suffering. You are truly an inspiration to those are down and out.

I am similiar to your past....but I have no degree, no car. And I have a roof over my head although I don't own this place where I live.

I will be heading to Borders bookstore to grab your book (since I am meeting a friend near there).

Oh by the way, you deserve a link in my new blog (started in Feb 2008) because I think more people should know and understand that sometimes 'poverty' is not simply due to laziness. This world needs to have more compassion with people who may not be living "the good life".

And I think our Singapore libabries should offer FREE internet access!!!!

I will visit (your blog) again soon. Meantime, please do take care of yourself....you are in my prayers.

One day, I want you to sign the book. :)

At 2:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Wanderingscribe,

i've just finished reading abandoned and honestly, I was so touched and at that point of time I felt anger, sorrow and pity at the same time!

I know may have heard this many times but you are a truly stong,admirable,courageous, and a brave lady. People should take you as an example. You have indeed shown what life truly is. I'm not being superficial here. I truly admire you, hats off, Anya.

Good luck for the rest of ur life Wanderingscribe.
See ya!

A fan from sg:)

At 11:09 am, Blogger Kuanny said...

I read your story from Reader's Digest too... Black swans originate from Australia and were introduced into New Zealand.

At 12:54 pm, Anonymous debbie from w yorkshire said...

hello anya i started reading you book yesterday and i just finished it i couldnt put it down.first i would just like to say you are a very strong woman and an insparation.i realy hope your proud of yourself for hanging in there so long and coming through the other side. as i know from experiance it dosnt always happen like that.
and second i hope your doing well and living in a nice place and keeping well anya i realy hope you have a wonderfull life now live life to the full.
one thing i was realy disgusted about is that not one of these homeless shelters even tried to help you im just glad you had the strenth to help yourself.
i realy hope you have a good life anya you deserve it
well done with the book its brilliant good luck for the future anya
all the best
take care

At 11:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Anya, I've just finished reading your book 'abandoned' Well done my darling for 'surviving' what must have been the worst ordeal a little child could ever endure, dished out by a sickening animal who was still allowed to live. I wish you well in all your endeavours and look forward to perhaps reading a sequal to your life.
Good luck for the future.
Lots of love

At 5:49 am, Blogger amanda said...

Hi ya Anya, just finished reading your book and what a book it is, you are a remarkable young woman to have gone through what you have an to come back with the strenght to carry on.An inspiration to everybody'you go girl'.Just want to say thank-you for letting all your readers into your life.with much love amanda xx

At 3:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello anya.
iv just finished reading 'abandoned'. as i got towards the end i kept thinking that i'l come find your blog on the internet, so was pleased to see you'd written the link at the end. but i wish id found it earlier, as i could have given you the support you needed through your ordeal. iv spent the last two nights reading some of your blogs, and you really do fascinate me. i honestly cannot believe how much you have pulled through, i dont think id have the will to do it, you really are an amazingly strong person.

i read quite a lot of books like yours, and they have kind of decided my future career. im only 17, so thinking of uni courses, and am considering being a social worker, physiciatrist, or something else so i can help people who are in situations like you were, as i hate to think of people suffering unknown like that.

anyway, so much luck for the future and hope you find peace and happiness.
lots of love and support.

At 4:50 pm, Blogger anthony and trudy said...

hello there anya , how are you doing ? i hope you are well . i have just finished reading your book it is one of the most raw overwhelming overpowering book that i have read in a long time .
i just wanted to wish you every happiness and that you find your belonging you truly are one remarkable lady .
take care xx
and never stop wrighting xx

At 9:35 pm, Blogger freakyfeet said...

I have just finished your book and all I can say is what an amazing woman you are. To go through everything that you have in the past and rebuild your life is fantastic. You must so so proud of yourself. I hope that your situation is improving and you are now not so alone. Take care of yourself and keep on writing, such a talent

At 4:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How Bizarre! I just finished reading your sad and inspirational story and decided to look up your blog. I'm from Perth in Western Australia where the black swan is a native to our Swan River. My mum said in the old days there were many swans on the river making homes in the reeds. There only seem to be a few, in small pockets of the river these days. I don't know why, maybe it's because Perth has grown so much in the last 50 years and domestic animals have driven them away. Anyway I thought it funny your last blog was about a bird that is native to my home town! Wishing you a Happy and Lucky future Anya, I'll never forget your story.Judi.

At 1:07 am, Anonymous Tricia said...

Hi Anya Got ur book for a christmas present and never got time to pull it out and read.Im awful glad i did or i wouldnt be able to say how much it touched me and that u are inspiration to others in that situation. You are a remarkable writer and your book is the best one ive read so far with one of the best out comes. Take Care x

At 3:59 pm, Anonymous Jen said...


Like so many peoploe who have left comments for you i have just finished reading your book. You have been through so much in your life, more than I can possibly understand, and I hope and pray that the rest of your life is filled with happiness, love and laughter. You deserve all the good things in life. You are an amazing woman, don't ever doubt that. Your story is proof that no matter what life throws at someone, you have the ability to get through it and rebuild your life. I wish you ever success, in every area of your life, for the future. Look after yourself and hold your head up high - you're amazing! xxx

At 6:29 pm, Blogger Naomi said...

Dear Anya,
I think you are a true inspiration! I have just finished reading your book and I thought it was brilliant. I couldn’t believe some of the things which had happened to you when you were a child and how strong you have grown from it you are amazing. Abandoned is one of the best books I have ever read, I just couldn’t put it down. Some of the feeling and emotion in your book really touched me and I felt as though I was there with you and that I wasn’t really reading the book but that you were reading it to me. I also think its great that you continue to write on your blog so you can keep all of your fans updated and also continue on being a scribe even if your not still wandering. : ) It was amazing to see the way you managed to pick yourself out of situations and continue to remain strong even if you didn’t feel it. Anya Peters you are a true inspiration to people all over the world, I will never forget how your book made me feel it has truly touched me. All the best for the future and good luck with your blog. A fan from Newcastle always. x

At 4:45 am, Blogger bulhaa said...

hi from Maldives :)

stumbled here via a reader's digest.

and i just wanted to tell you how incredibly brave u are.

wish u the best of luck.


At 11:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i just wanted to say you are amazingly brave you are, you are a survivour that has inspired thousands of people through throughout the world. Not many people would survive what you went through but you survived. Your an amazing writer, once i started your book i could not put it down. I will never forget you and your book.
Best look in the future.

At 6:19 pm, Anonymous linda said...

Dear Anya,
I have just finished reading your book, Abandoned. I cant begin to imagine what you went through, but your such a strong person to be able to have made it through everything that life through at you. your an inspiration women and you deserve the best in life.

good luck for your future,

love linda x

At 9:24 am, Anonymous lana said...

yesterday before im goin to bed i read ur story in reader's digest.
its really interesting and so that i keep read and read.
ur such a strong woman and i really proud of u
ur story juz remind me of one of my friend
she has home to lived but she feels like nowhere to go cos her parents passed away long time ago.
after that, she used to live with her aunt.
recently her aunt was passed away cos of da breast cancer.
she has home to live but no home in anyone heart
yea she is very strong juz like u
nway im enjoyed read ur story.

At 11:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi. i read your book and it was amazing. i couldn't put it down, it took me 2 days to read. you have really amazed and inspired me by your courage and bravery throughout your life. your such a strong woman.

At 9:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your description of the black swans made me curious and so i looked them up on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Swan

in german that breed is also called "trauerschwan" which would directly translate into "grief swan", probably because of the color.

best wishes from austria

At 5:12 am, Anonymous Lisa said...

I'm in Australia and never seen a "white" swan here. They are all black with red beaks.

At 2:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i know everyone else has said this but you book was great. Thank you for sharing your story xo


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