Monday, June 19, 2017

Let Me Tell You a Story About Enid

In my middle grade story, Sign of the Green Dragon, I finally had a chance to write about Chinese mythology. It fascinates me because I fell in love with China and her ancient stories a long time ago. 

When I was about six, a woman named Enid Mihilov took me under her literary wing. She had an amazing library with many books from all over the world, but the Chinese ones were distinct. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those books, which she allowed me to hold, were very old, one-of-a-kind, and in retrospect, must have been printed on handmade paper in a long-ago century. Enid read them to me in Chinese while I looked at the pictures. Misty mountains. Dragons streaming through the sky on important business for an emperor. Exotic silk gowns and palaces of gold.

Dragon on a Canal Barge

This person opened a lot of things about the world to me. In the center of her library was a globe in a wooden cradle that was bigger than I was. I still remember her turning that globe, tracing the Yangtze River across China and telling me about the beauty of the Three Gorges. When I was older, I understood how much this Russian woman had traveled, that she spoke several languages, and knew more first-hand about geography than my teachers. 

When I finally did land in the Far East, I was primed to absorb as much about that culture as possible. I climbed the Great Wall, explored palaces and finally went up the Yangtze through the Three Gorges before the dam was completed and closed off one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

At the Top of the Great Wall with Two Friends

Enid and I kept in touch for years, even after my family moved. Unfortunately, when we returned to see her, she had died, so I never had a chance to tell her how important our time together had been to me. Someday I’m going to write what I remember of my afternoons with Enid Mihilov. And having written that, I think I have a title already.





This month I'm featuring another writer who loves to travel. J.H. Moncrieff jets off to far away places to soak up the settings and get ready to write her next story of suspense or horror. She has several out and I've read one so far. I'll be reading more in the future. 

Here's my review of The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave.






AMAZON




". . .a web of conspiracy, betrayal, and murder."












Don't forget that SUBMISSION are open for the next #ISWG Anthology. You have until July 31 to submit.
Title: Writing for Profit
Word Limit: 500-1000 words
Submission: admin AT insecurewriterssupportgroup DOT com








Quote of the Week: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” 
 ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

45 comments:

  1. Afternoons with Enid Mihilov is a wonderful title, how could I not read it? I so enjoyed reading about your memories in this post – more please!
    I’m away to have a look around J. H. Moncrieff’s blog now.

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    1. That's wonderful, Barbara. I'll put on my list to tell when I finally gather that book into some shape. Enjoy J.H. She has some creepy tales to share.

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  2. Sure the perfect title indeed. To have books that old she must have collected diligently.

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    1. I think she came from some royal family in Russia. I think as I try to dig into the past that her husband was a high-ranking diplomat in his country, but he was either killed or died and she wound up in the U.S.

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  3. That is a book you need to write. It would be a wonderful tribute to your friend.

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    1. It will be the only way to repay her, that's for certain.

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  4. Your Enid sounds like my Charlotte. We are so blessed to have had these women in our lives.

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    1. I'm trying to pass on my love of books to the children in our family and anyone else's who might be interested. That's part of Enid's and Charlotte's legacies.

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  5. Enid sounds amazing. What a life she must've lived.

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    1. This is one time I can say I wish I'd been older. I would have asked so many questions, but at six, I had zero experience with the world outside my neighborhood and school. Alas!

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  6. It would've been something to know Enid.

    Yay, JH! :D

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  7. pffft, if you was any smarter, she could've left you her library :P

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    1. I know it had to be very valuable. I hope whoever did inherit it took good care of it.

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  8. Ancient China has always fascinated me. How could it not?
    Enid sounds a very, very special teacher and I would love to read 'Afternoons' with her.
    Congratulation to J.H. And all writers.

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    1. I'd just hung up my pen to dry and here come another lovely notion. Thanks for the good wishes, Sue.

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  9. That's lovely. <3 It's amazing to look back and see the influence kind people have had on our lives. So glad she inspired you. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. Good teachers are everywhere if we're lucky.

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  10. What a lovely woman. You were lucky to know her. I really agree with Twain's quote there. I feel a lot of people who carry prejudices have never interacted with those they have a problem with.

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    1. Twain hit the bullseye with that quote, all right.

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  11. I've never know anyone named Enid, but I've been to Enid, Oklahoma a number of times. Once while I was killing an afternoon there I had to go to the bathroom so I went to the city library to use the restroom. Sorry, but that popped into my mind when I thought of Enid.

    Your mentor sounds like a wonderful person to have had in your life. I've had a few people kind of like that and they vanished from my life. I should have kept up better, but new people and things kept grabbing my focus. But life is like that.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I know Enid, Oklahoma. I didn't pass an afternoon there, but I did pass through.

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  12. Enid sounds like a lovely mentor. You were quite fortunate to have someone like that in your life!

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    1. It's interesting how as time passes, I've come to appreciate her more and more. I know she planted the seed that turned me into a traveler.

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  13. What a wonderful gift to have had someone who so inspired you.

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  14. Chinese mythology is definitely cool, although I really like Japanese mythology myself:)

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  15. Lovely post, Lee. Reminds me of some of my mentors and how I don't know where I'd have ended up without them. I think any mythology is rich in context. I love how it doesn't really matter whether it's Chinese, Japanese or Native, there is profound wisdom that can change our lives.

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  16. Amazing how just talking about someone can generate a story.

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  17. Awesome that Enid kindled your love of China. I have seen some of the places that you have too with my daughter and they are amazing. Though we went in the winter and it was cold.

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  18. What a very special woman and what a blessing to have known her.

    J.H., Ghosts looks very intriguing.

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  19. Hi, Cheryl!

    You were very fortunate at that young age to have an enlightened, well traveled person like Enid take you under her literary wing and open up the world to you. Having her as a mentor and role model set you on a course of travel, learning, discovery and adventure that continues to this day. Immortalizing her in the pages of a book would be poetic justice.

    I appreciate creepy mystery, suspense and horror tales. J.H. sounds like my kind of author.

    Thank you for your patience while I took a much needed three week break from blogging to mourn the death of a great friend. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Cheryl-Lee!

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  20. China is such a fascinating country. I love your story of Enid. What a wonderful thing she did, opening up that world to you.

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  21. Your friend sounds like she was a fascinating woman. A book about her would be most fitting.

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  22. What a special woman! I have a feeling she knew what a difference she was making in a child's life....

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  23. Enid sounds like an amazing inspiration. She must have had such an interesting life. ^_^

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  24. What a wonderful story and memory. I have a few old friends that did that for me that passed. Always an inspiration and missed.

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  25. I just lost my post, :(

    I hope to see Enid's story!

    As for the Twain quote... I think that's from "Traveling the Equator" as he had plenty of bigotry in "Roughing It" and "Innocent's Abroad"

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  26. Gosh Lee - what a wonderful experience to have had as a youngster ... and that now you're going to write up your memories of her and title them up. I hope she has other contacts you can tap into to get some more back story -she sounds an extraordinary woman - an entrepreneurial traveller, a searcher into life ... what a woman. How extraordinarily lucky you both were to encounter each other ... those books, those illustrations ... and then you were able to see China too and the three gorges before they were deluged by the dam ... fantastic ... cheers Hilary

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  27. What a blessing to have spent time with such an amazing literary role model. I love those moments in life where you realize an adult let you do something you wouldn't necessarily trust a child to do now that the roles have been reversed. I don't imagine any harm came from you touching those precious aged books. Still I wouldn't even let anyone breath on them!

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  28. A fascinating story, Lee. Looking forward to the story you write. You have such wonderful memories of other countries. The farthest away I've been is Mexico. I can read about foreign places though in great books like yours. My granddaughter taught in China for one year. She loved it. She has taught in other countries too, but is now back home teaching here.

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  29. Those people with the important impact on our lives--for me, they are few. I'm sorry she left before you could share that, but she definitely knows the effect she had on you. Good personal story, Lee.

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  30. Yay for Enid and her mentoring! We are all blessed with those special voices in our early lives, but I'm glad you plan to share more about her.

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  31. A huge "Yes!" to that quote. Enid sounds like an amazing inspiration and wonderful woman - a blessing to know and meet. Thanks for sharing a bit of her with us, Lee. And yes, write that story!
    Hooray for J.H., too!

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  32. Hi, Lee,

    We must treasure those amazing people who influence our lives both creatively and spiritually. So many amazing emotions to explore. At some point I will get to writing that book Melissa Bradley wished to write with me. Like Enid, she is no longer with us, but their spirit will always be alive through US and the many others they touch within their lives.

    (I have a new piece I wrote for the WEP... hope you have a chance to drop by and read it. Love to know what you think....

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  33. Very cool post. It's sad when there's not time to go tell someone how much of an impact they had. It's a great idea to honor those memories with a book.

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