I’m an International Superstar!

Haha! No, not really, but it makes an eye-catching post title doesn’t it?

But I am the focus of an article about my working experience in the UK thirty many years ago.  I first wrote about my summer working in the UK during the April A to Z Blogging Challenge in my “L is for London” post. BUNAC, the sponsor of my work abroad program happened to spot it (why you should always tag your posts). They contacted me and asked if I wouldn’t mind writing a post for their blog about my experience, to help ease anxieties of those considering the program.  I said, “Of course!”, dug out some old photos and souvenirs and sent them on.

Today BUNAC emailed informing me my guest post is up AND added this extra tidbit that still has me giddy:

We’ve also been approached by The American magazine, an ex-pat magazine for Americans living here in the UK, who want to run the blog as an article. We’ve forwarded on your story and photos and I believe they’re planning to run it in the August issue.

How cool is that?

So, yes, in the post are photos of me right after I graduated from college, taking my first baby steps out into the big, scary world that wasn’t so big after all.

Blogging A to Z: “Y” is for “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart”

I am a sucker for movie music, often making my family wait until all the final credits roll before we can depart the theatre.  I purchase soundtracks and can recognize the stylings or signature of several favorite composers. Music is often an inspiration for my stories. The ending music for the 1993 film, “In the Name of the Father,” starring Daniel Day Lewis, provided the soundtrack to a story that had been percolating in my head since my summer in England in 1982 (see L is for London).

In the early 80’s, IRA bombings were an ever-oppressive pall over London. As a sheltered, wide-eyed American, that was my first exposure to terrorism. Everywhere were signs about not touching but reporting abandoned packages. At the restaurant where I worked, we were forbidden from allowing customers to use our coat room because of this fear. Every week or so an IRA bomb exploded somewhere in the city. I myself barely missed one such explosion near Hyde Park, opting for a museum tour that day instead of strolling the park as I often did. Thus, in that summer the “what if” story formed in my head.

Back then, I was a very Irish-looking woman with auburn hair, fair skin and freckles. I often wondered what would happen if I were somehow mistaken for an Irish terrorist either because of my looks or because I unwittingly befriended a group of IRA terrorists. I was all on my own in the UK with very little money, and the thought of being falsely arrested and accused of a heinous crime so far from home chilled me.

I’ve carried that “what if” story around in my head ever since, despite never having written much fiction until late 2008.

In the Name of the Father contained a couple of similarities to my story–an innocent man framed for crimes he did not commit due to prior, almost random associations with terrorists. When I heard Sinead O’Connor’s theme song at the end, it became forever linked in my head with my story, that I have since given the working title of “Sins of Our Mothers“.

In 2010, I finally started putting words to paper. Despite the aforementioned similarities, In the Name of the Father and Sins of Our Mothers are very dissimilar. Sadly, I have yet to finish it nearly two years later. Some stories are larger than its author’s abilities. I believe that to currently be the case. But mark my words, if I ever finish Sins and am happy with it, you can say you heard about it in its fledgling stage, because it will be a bestseller. Nothing less will do for a three decades old story with a two decades old musical influence.

Be sure to visit more A to Z Blog Challenge participants today! Here’s where you can find their names and link to their blogs. Their topics are endless.