Tag Archives: Spain

#atozchallenge X is for Xenophilia


by Lillian Csernica on April 27, 2019

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Welcome to one of the more unusual days in the A to Z Blog Challenge. X is a tricky letter.

My apologies for this post going up a bit later than the others. My in-laws from back east have been visiting and I got a bit behind.

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I have a confession to make: I am a Xenophile. This will come as no surprise to folks who have read this far in my A to Z. I love foreign people, places, and things.

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When did this start? I was in first grade. A family from Japan moved into the apartment across the big grassy yard from where I lived. Hiro Takahashi joined my class. Getting to know him, his sisters, and his parents gave me my first glimpse into a whole new world.

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From age 16 to 18, I worked as a professional Turkish-Moroccan belly dancer. My teacher, a marvelous lady from Saragossa, Spain, taught me so much about her part of the world. I still have the coin belt made for me by a Turkish man. 144 diamond-shaped silver coins, all stamped with the Venus di Milo.

As my high school graduation gift, my father sent me to the Netherlands. I spent the summer with the family of the girl who had been my Physics lab partner on a student exchange program. While I was there I took a weekend bus tour to Paris, France. I am now all the more grateful for that trip, given that it allowed me to see Our Lady of Notre Dame cathedral in its full glory.

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My fiction has been translated into German and Italian. (Ship of Dreams became In the Spell of the Pirate.) I’m looking for someone to translate a novella into Japanese. If you know anybody, drop me a line, won’t you?

And of course I’ve had some adventures in Yokohama and Kyoto.

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Why am I so attracted to the Other? People fascinate me. How they think, what they think, and why they think it. Just the single concept of life after death has given rise to so many different schools of thought. The pursuit of happiness involves such a broad spectrum of effort depending on how one defines happiness.

Writing allows me to take apart some aspect of life and put the pieces back together in a new way. Am I trying to make some sense of what I’ve experienced? Probably. Am I trying to bring order to a chaos that leaves me frightened and bewildered? Probably. It’s not all one-for-one, of course. By the time I get to the final edit of a story, the pieces of me I’ve used undergo quite a process of transformation.

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adrienneasher.com

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The Greatest Job I’ve Ever Had


by Lillian Csernica on September 17, 2016

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Yes, that’s me. Granted, I was all of eighteen.

Once upon a time, I worked as a Turkish-Moroccan belly dancer. My teacher was a delightful lady from Zaragoza, Spain. I had a genuine, 100% authentic coin belt made by a  man from Turkey. The belt had 144 diamond-shaped metal coins stamped with the image of Venus on the Half-Shell.

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I performed in my high school talent show. The audience actually threw money at the stage. That in itself was funny. Then the stagehands gathered it all up and brought it to me backstage!

My teacher often took me with her when she’d been hired for a party. During the holiday season, we appeared as part of a steady stream of entertainers at a bachelor party. Just one piece of art on the walls in that house could have put me through college. That was the night I got the biggest tip I’d ever received. Some generous soul stuffed a $10 bill down the back of my coin belt!

Ah, the places I’ve been and the things that I’ve seen….

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Reblog: Cunning as a Serpent, Innocent as a Dove


by Lillian Csernica on September 10, 2016

Many thanks to Sarah Zama at The Old Shelter for sharing an excerpt of my short story included in And All Our Yesterdays.

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Thursday Quotables – Cunning as a Serpent, Innocent as a Dove

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Thoughts I Can’t Stop Thinking


by Lillian Csernica on June 10, 2013

Seven Things That Cross My Mind A Lot:

ONE: What it’s really like to make your living as an actor.  It seems to me the business demands much more of actors than ordinary moviegoers like me really understand.  Actors in America are held to a standard of physical beauty and perfection that has to take up a lot of time in terms of maintenance.  How do those people find that time?  Personal trainers and home gyms must help.  Then there’s the memorization of lines, sometimes newly changed lines every single day.  That would make me crazy.  To be an A list movie actor seems so glamorous, and I’m sure it is at times, but it’s got to be something such people work at 24/7.

TWO: My weight.  My body image.  What I eat.  Why I eat it.  How much I enjoy dining out.  What diseases am I setting myself up for, i.e. hypertension, diabetes, and whatever genetic dispositions I’ve inherited.

THREE: What love really truly is, under all the hype and the philosophy and the hormones.  I know about agape, eros, philia and storge.  Those are descriptions of manifestations of love.  What is love at its absolute core reality?  Does it have one?  Or is it a psychological chimera?

FOUR: The battle between me owning my possessions and my possessions owning me.

FIVE: Whether or not I’ll get to be a grandmother.  I think I’d be good at it, given all my travels and my stories and my costumes and the weird stuff I’ve collected over the years.  This is in the back of my mind as John enters high school with its heightened social interaction between boys and girls.  I will watch John’s progress with interest and no little trepidation.

SIX: How people can be really smart in some ways yet at the same time be really stupid about certain specific matters.  I’m not just talking about love again, for example.  I know somebody who has an astonishing grasp of worldwide military history, yet one day he was incapable of finding chocolate ice cream in a town with two grocery stores, two gas station mini-marts, two drug stores, and half a dozen restaurants.  I’ve heard Southerners use the expression “brilliant but not very bright.”  I think that means some people can absorb a lot of “book-learning,” but in everyday practical matters they haven’t got a clue.  Comments?

SEVEN: All the places in the world I want to visit before I die.  Japan, England, Ireland, Greece, Russia, Spain, Italy, Polynesia, and more of the U.S. too.  It’s sad to live somewhere and know too little about its history and attractions and people and noteworthy local buildings, handicrafts, cuisine, etc.

One life is just not enough, know what I mean?

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