A born story-teller, that is how my friend Kim would most likely describe herself if asked about the process of writing her novel “Greek Red Tomatoes”. And a story-teller she is.

I do not remember a time in my life when books (paper or otherwise) were not present, when reading was not part of my daily routine. I owe my survival of the most turbulent teen age years to pretending to be somebody else, some fictional character in the boring story of my life. As I grew older and more discriminating about the reading material I would devote my precious time to, I couldn’t help feeling in awe of all those men and women who spent countless hours at a desk weaving stories, creating characters for my personal pleasure and enrichment. If the connection between reader and writer is anonymous and unseen, it is nonetheless one of the most intimate relationships two human beings can have.

And I am in awe of my friend Kim who, over the course of seven months, set out to write the story that had been dancing in her head for years. The book, revised three times and still looking for a proper home in the publishing industry, is a multigenerational story steeped in Kim’s Greek heritage. In her words….

“Thea* Mylopoulos-Rosten—like so many women—is perpetually unsatisfied. She is thirty-one, healthy, attractive; has a home, a career, and a loving mother. But she’s not content, and it’s not because she is single and childless. A Greek-American woman born and raised in the U.S., Thea has always been searching—searching for love, for country, for that elusive thing in life that will make her happy. Thea tries to understand her life and choices by escaping to Kythnos, a tranquil Greek island. There, in solitude, she begins writing reflections about her life; then delves into her grandmother’s and mother’s histories. She recounts her yiayia’s experiences in 1940s Egypt, her mother’s in 1960s Athens, and finally, writes her own story.

This novel, which spans Thea’s life from thirty-one to thirty-six years old, puts her in situations that challenge her concept of the ideal relationship. It’s a story of dynamic women, mother-daughter relationships, and ultimately: learning to love oneself. What Thea also learns though her dire explorations is that romantic love can happen in the most unexpected places—or not at all—but only she can make the choice to be happy.”

If you are curious and want to know more, I encourage you to log onto Kim’s website where you can read an excerpt, which is going to whet your appetite. I have no doubt that, through Kim’s determination and sheer stubbornness, I will be holding more than just a sheaf of copied pages sooner rather than later. And I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.





1 Comment

Filed under Books, women's issues

One response to “WEAVING STORIES

  1. kim robeson

    Dearest Claudia and fellow writer–

    I am so often in awe of your short, but poignant pieces. It means so much to read your words in regard to my writing.

    It’s been an interesting journey, and one that is far from over. Last month I went to the SDSU Writer’s Conference and met many admirable people who write into the wee hours of the morning after working a full-time job, making dinner, and putting the kids to bed. I, unfortunately, am not one of those kinds of writers. I need total silence in my life to create. Since Jan 10th, I have once more become a teacher. I do adore my UCSD students with their bright smiles and great attitudes, but for the next month, the only hat I can wear is my teacher one. Then, after April 1st, I will have six months to myself again (till Fall semester starts) and will revise my manuscript—again. After having had some distance from it, and considering the feedback from the editors and agents, I am excited to change it and make it better. For those who know me, I am certainly a Type A person who likes to get things done quickly, efficiently. I like to make things happen—and fast. This is really stretching me as I know I must be patient if I want to do this right. I will not be sending anything to agents for a few months, which means if I were to land an agent and a book deal this year (best case scenario) my book won’t be out till 2014! How’s that for patience? I will keep plugging away and hope to one day make you proud.
    with love,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s