Once upon a time, when dreams were plentiful and less prone to being blasted out of existence by reality, there was a little girl who loved to sing. Morning, night and noon, she'd be warbling like the birds from sun up to sun down, and all manner of hours in between.
What do you want to be when you grow up, the teacher asked at the end of each school year, and made the class write it down. The little girl wrote 'Singer' for maybe three of her twelve-plus years in school, before she was told that fairies weren't real, that believing in fairies couldn't make you fly, and that dreams couldn't sustain you in reality.
The little girl became a big girl, and her dreams drifted further and further away, like lost balloons - till she hurt her voice so badly that she didn't think she could ever sing again. So she buried that particular dream, and went on with the process of growing up.
Years later, the big girl joined a choir, never thinking that it would be anything more than something to pacify a ruined dream. What she didn't know was that even broken dreams could repair themselves and grow bigger and bigger, till they became reality.
The choir got stronger, and the big girl kept singing just because she loved it - until one day, she was asked to sing with her friends in one of the biggest events in the world, and she couldn't believe it till she actually saw the invitation.
And that is how the little-girl-turned-big-girl came to rehearse and get ready for the Day of Choirs at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China - and also to compete in the World Choir Games with her adult choir, and the quartet she'd been singing with.
And that is where I've been for the past few months, preparing for the competition and raising funds for the trip. Which is why my updates have been so infrequent, and may be a little more sporadic than usual. Still trying to register that we'll be singing in Shanghai, I keep having to look at the invitation to believe it's real!