Trying to Make a Pound out of 15 Cents
A few months ago I was accepted to a Creative Writing PH.D program in the UK. This opportunity allows me to bring my children, myself, my dreams “across the pond”.
I have always been moved by words. Moving across the world to follow them seems—right. Two decades ago I moved to Baltimore because the books I read led me to believe my story would also be written there. These books—I should mention—were fiction. And they were wrong: my story was being written even before I was born.
I didn’t know that then. And so, I moved to Baltimore to follow words.
Today I hope to move to the UK to live another chapter in my life and to write a chapter in history. My project is to write some of the stories of mothers searching for their children after the Emancipation: stories of rebuilding family after slavery.
The stories I imagine are colorful, powerful, and while most are sad—I have to believe there will be some happy endings.
The stories I write will be historical fiction based on creativity and history. They will be stories of journeys seldom considered. They are stories I think about often and so I am led by words yet written.
In my pursuit of words I am doing things I never thought I would do. I am asking for money. Not merely in the traditional ways students seek money: applying for financial aid, scholarships, and grants; but in the ways of artists; well, modern artists who use platforms like Kickstarter hoping for investments in our dreams.
My friends support my venture—at least I think they do. When I post updates to my profile—they “like” them. The support I need but don’t quite ask them for is monetary—I was raised not to ask people for money and so my endeavor feels already hypocritical. Still, the support I want is in words. Comments, responses, words of encouragement go even further than “likes.”
I have already asked that they stop by and leave comments—or that they stop by and review my project.
Perhaps “likes” is the new support and so I grow to appreciate them—or to accept them graciously.
Words move me—“likes” seldom do.