2010: A blog is my new mystery. What will it become? When will I finish the novel I started? Should I talk about my novel? Today is the first day I share a lot about my novel on my blog.
2013: I have published 226 posts, had a few successful months in October and April. I have called those Poetry Session one and two. But I have fell short on my year-round goals for writing on my blog.
2014: My mission is completing that novel. I am about a third of the way through. I have been working on this story since 2009 and most of the progress has been made in 2013.
1994: It’s the year before of the Dayton Peace Agreement. My parents buy me Zlata’s Diary. It is a diary written by an 11 year old girl that wrote from 1991-1993 during the siege of Sarajevo. It is lodged into my subconscious.
2009-2014: Fifteen years pass and the history of the Balkans finds a place in my novel. We become close to many people through art. I believe that the research I have done for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last four years built an intimacy to the sadness, pain and confusion of the wars that have affected the area for many many generations.
The connections between that war and World War II are beyond words, a feeling I can only describe as what it is to suffer.
2014: I am reading Like Eating a Stone– Surviving the Past in Bosnia by journalist Wojciech Tochman at this time. This book is powerful. I understand that living as a thirty-five year old in suburban United States gives me no real relationship to what happens in a war torn country, though I believe we do gain intimacy and deep compassion through art. Tochman is this art. There are photographers and film makers, and musicians that go to great lengths to document what happens during war. They provide the gateways to compassion. Draw attention to bring aid. They are this art.
Because of their commitment I feel close to the women and men. There are other books by journalists that have held the same power over me. That show us the real people who live in Afghanistan and Iraq, that remind us that there are very little differences in our everyday wishes and dreams and desires. I share all of this since it is part of my plan to share these books on my blog this year.
It is often hard to pull myself back into alert happiness and engage with people in common interactions while at the same time finding that intimacy I need to keep my ghost story intertwined with the history of genocide and war.
I welcome anyone’s guidance on writing and juggling emotions.
Further sharing on my blog has been through photography. I love the lens. The point and shoot, or a more creative use of aperture and light. I am certainly an amateur but since photography is both science and art combined, I am drawn to learning the mechanics. I am also always drawn to a macro flower shot (hopefully with a bug) or my cats through the lens.
Now that I have discussed my two current art projects, I will share a bit more about where I am today: I was born in Youngstown, Ohio. A place where they have funerals and grey skies. Now I live in another city with grey skies but the differences in culture are uncountable.
Portland, Oregon. Our new home. I was raised in the southwest on hatch chile, sunshine and trying to fall in love. When the sun comes out in Portland this summer, I want nothing more than to forever be with the man that I have fallen deeply in love with at the beginning of 2011.
I miss my family and friends in Flagstaff, Arizona, and as anyone who has relocated from the town they spent most of their lives in will tell you, the change is distinct. I can only describe it by saying “my mind spins around looking for a familiar place to land.” In time that will change and this city will become my home.
I am on the top floor of the library now. Tip-tapping at my iphone as a heater rattles and the window that looks over 10th sucks the heat off my body. It is almost time to descend the splitting staircases and go back to work. I hope you will join me again as my journey continues. I hope that one day this year you will read a finished novel and I hope that many days this year you will read a lively blog. Until next time,
Peace and joy,