The beginnings of Shifting Sands Short Stories
I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.
Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.
I started writing short stories in grade school in Stipa, Czech Republic when I won a short story contest with a story from a summer camp in Texas under the tutelage of Czech language teacher Mr. Dolezal.
But, a more coordinated and structured effort came with the creative writing program at the International Correspondence Schools (ICS) in Montreal, Canada, 1990-1993.
The first circle of stories was inspired by the early years of immigration from our homeland former Czechoslovakia to Canada, and then to the USA. During that time I wrote short stories that I now call the first circle: Honey Azrael, Danillo and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.
For 3.5 years, we lived in Montreal, and I went to the French language immersion school COFI. The French classes and the students inspired the story Danillo. I transported the character and the setting to the shores of Lake Michigan and to one of the apple farms.
The common elements in the first circle of short stories are the powerful forces behind immigration. These are loneliness, being homesick and the fear of the new strange culture. The main character Danillo longs to go back to his home country, as he struggles to assimilate into the new American culture.
Honey Azrael depicts a woman chemist Vanessa who is no longer in love with her first husband, Rudi. She loves her collection of beetles more than she loves Rudi.
In the Temptation of Martin Duggan, the couple who left Czechoslovakia due to the 1968 invasion of their homeland by the Soviet Army, tries to desperately fit into the small pretense culture of a small university town close to Lake Michigan.
Here is an excerpt from Danillo:
“He came with the warm southern winds, and the birds. On the first spring day, Danillo was 23. Young and strong, with a body designed to love. It was a body pure and perfectly cut for any woman. The skin covering his muscles was tight. The color of Danillo’s skin was the color of the sand that he was standing in.
He was half dreaming, subconsciously perceiving the light spring wind. From the vantage point, Danillo could see the green water coming in and out of the small bay. Each wave washed away some sand from underneath his feet, like small grains slipping away from his brief life. He felt cold and the chill surprised him. Danillo was counting the endless waves, as well as his years.
This was his third birthday Up North, as he learned to call it from the locals. He never quite understood the expression Up North. Every spring, he came to the beach to watch the winter birds arrive from the South.
To be continued………in the Storyteller 2017 series leading up to the release of Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 30.
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