I haven’t blogged in a month. There’s been a lot of distraction in my life. A lot of noise.
Despite the noise, I have some good news to share. With 5 hours and 34 minutes to spare, I submitted my short story to the CBC Canada Writes short story competition.
This blog and the support of my friends and even strangers who have taken the time to follow me or hit the like button, help me to not give up. Each week that I didn’t write here, I felt disappointed. Mostly I took a break from blogging because I could not stand the idea of writing about how I wasn’t writing. That’s a one note song I was sick of sharing.
The block was getting me down, the calendar had flipped forward. I realized I had 2 weeks left to get the story done. The story of Serafina had become something huge. Actually sitting down and writing the story scared the hell out of me. The story is very loosely based on a story my mother’s mother being forced to give away her wedding band for Mussolini’s economic campaign. This story was precious to me. What if I got it wrong?
Then I took a trip to Washington, DC with my husband and my sister and brother-in-law. I had never been before. This trip and the Smithsonian Institute specifically, helped me to finally understand how deep a passion I have for history. Not sure why this came as such a surprise – I have a degree in history. At one point, I terrified my husband by saying I should go back to school to get my Masters in History.
He can relax. I’m not so much intrigued by the dates and the events. I came home inspired and motivated to want to learn more about the people behind the history. And, I want to tell their stories.
So with the deadline looming, I took my time and crafted Serafina’s story. It took me about 20 hours and 6 drafts and the editorial advice and encouragement of 4 people. My favourite tip: “My son is 5 years old and he is significantly taller than a rooster.”
In about six months, I’ll be able to share it with you. I don’t think it will win any awards, but it will tell the tale of a little girl, grief, a gold ring and the kindness and love of a stranger.
Now… I do believe a I have book to research.