The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If There's No Chocolate Around, Seduce a Lemon Lozenge

            Recently there was a call for patriotic story submissions. I had two story ideas---my dad, who just missed going to Iwo Jima, and my Ukranian cousin, who spent part of his childhood in a concentration camp.
            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.


  1. Now that's telling it. And that was inspiring. Thank you.

  2. condolences on the loss of your Dad. My Daddy was also sick (heart & lung disease) for a number of years prior to his death. Knowing it looms doesn't make it easier when it happens. I'm deeply sorry for your loss.

    As to the meat of your post---you're on a roll! Great analogy, and boy are you ever right. Your cousin's story sounds amazing, and maybe one day he'll open up to you. In the meantime, you polished up what you had, and I'm sure it shines bright. Good luck with your submission.

  3. Lint covered?

    Excuse me, did you say,



  4. You crack me up, and yes, you take what you have and you work with it, lint or not.


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