Of course, I haven't actually begun writing and working on my novel yet. I'm still deep in the research part. I do have a schedule and I would like to finish a portion of my novel by the end of July, if possible. Russia/Ukraine history is so dark, I'm feeling bogged down. Each day I'm thankful my great grandparents took the steps to leave everything behind in 1910, and travel to a new land. If they had remained in Russia, they would most likely have been wiped out, just because they were German. Human hatred of your own kind is a deadly sin. It sets my hair on end. I'm in the middle of watching a series of travel DVD's by Michael Palin; "New Europe", filmed in 2007. Currently in the series he's traveling through Poland. He visited Auschwitz concentration camp, and I could hardly bear to watch it. I'm a chicken when it comes to pain and suffering just because you're a certain type of people, whether due to ethnic heritage or religion.
Of course, WW II is many years after 1910, but I wished to view the countryside of the place my great grandparents left. It's certainly beautiful. On another note, an SCBWI friend and author sent me her recently published book in the mail, and I received it yesterday. "The Kulak's Daughter" by Gabriele Goldstone looks very intriguing. I read a few pages, and when I read the sentence, "They drained our once swampy land to to make a farm here in Volhynia", I became quite excited, as the only place I've seen that word is in my Aunt Pat's big history binder which she compiled over 20 years ago, which includes the history of my great grandparents on my mom's side of the family. They also lived in Volhynia, in a little village called Yelovitsa, now long vanished.
If you wish to visit Gabriele's blog, please click here: Gabriele Goldstone
By Loretta Houben