I figured, if I sent in two stories, perhaps one would be accepted? I also knew that my cousin's story was so dramatic, I could really botch it up and the story would still sing...
Unfortunately, my cousin refuses to talk about that part of his life. So I was left with my father's story, which I pieced together with pictures and interviews with my mom. (My dad had Alzheimer's for many years, and died this past December.)
I was not thrilled with the story I had to work with. It was a simple one. I kept kicking myself, thinking 'What if Serhij had agreed to open up? What a phenomenal story it would have been...'
|photo by .leila|
But I didn't have that story of a boy sneaking into a field and getting the left-over vegetables to feed his family. It wasn't my story to tell. So I worked with the materials I had. I revised and scratched out and rewrote, until my dad's tale was the best it could be.
If you don't have a decadent truffle...if all you have is a lint-covered lemon lozenge, savor it. Caress it. Finesse it. Seduce it until it's as alluring as you can make it...And if you do it well, everyone's mouth will be watering for your lozenge.