Monday, September 14, 2009

A Chest Full Of Treasures

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw

I'd like to welcome my friend, Adina Pelle, to Over Coffee. Adina is a debut author of Ghost Words And Other Echoes. A book that New York Bestselling author, Warren Adler, calls "A true exploration of a woman's emotional and erotic life."

Ghost Words is a wonderful collection of short stories based on Adina's philosophical and geographic wanderings through life, and as a way to make sense of the many echoes of her memories. It's beautifully written and almost poetic in her use of imagery and the rhythm of her words.

Adina discusses what made her decide to write these thoughts down and then publish them. Her journey, so to speak.

I bow, like a pauper, before a chest full of treasures in front of all the writers and their books, with all their marvelous characters enchanting my imagination from an early age. Just like the small and insignificant creek later becomes the mighty Mississippi, the books I read and loved as a child started with a gentle prick to my imagination and blossomed in the splendor of my intellect later in life, especially when I started fancying the idea of being a writer myself. And honestly, as I type the word “writer” now, the surrealism of the concept makes me stop and scratch my head.

As I remember, when I was a kid, besides being extremely weird, imaginary friends and all, I hated going to sleep at night. I was absolutely convinced that everything remotely interesting in the world must happen after I go to sleep. It made perfect sense since life was boring and annoying during the day. Nobody liked chores or, creamed spinach, or scary Miss Chloe with her ugly mole on her chin flunking everybody in her chemistry class, so the way my mind rationalized it, all the fun things must be happening during the night.

Thirty or so years later, I maintain the same philosophy even though I do not mind creamed spinach now and Miss Chloe is but a vague memory. I don’t sleep at night and instead I wander around the house trying to look busy and efficient. Intellectually efficient at least as I usually write my stories at night...

And seriously, the story of my coming out from the folds of being a lonely insomniac and becoming a writer, packs in slightly more than lack of sleep.

I embarked on this road mostly by mistake: out of sheer boredom and some selfish therapeutic need to stare at my thoughts on paper or relive memories long buried away in my middle-aged cortex. This way I thought I spared my husband or my therapist, who, between you, me and the internet shivered every time I walked into his office, the agony of listening to my ramblings and trying to fix me.

I remember the face and calm voice of my shrink while pointing out an escape into fiction as a possible panacea to all my psychological distress and boredom, be that through reading or writing.

So, immediately following that session, I went home and stared for a couple of minutes at a blank page. Soon, I managed to put some order in the chaos of my thoughts and I was flabbergasted with the result. I wrote a short essay on the art of living and I could not get enough of the sight of my own words, orderly and rather coherently lined up against the white screen of my laptop.

From that point on, the monster I created needed to be fed. My entire life has been a social and geographic pilgrimage and it didn’t take long for me to realize my true self revolved around my travels and my imagination.

Born in the same town the roman poet Ovid lived his last years and died I came to be inspired by the written word and its power from a very early age. Ovid’s Metamorphosis was always on my desk even if for a couple of years his words made little to no sense to me.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.”

So there you have it. I quickly realized how I lived my entire life with the secret hope of learning the words of the universal language of human expression. How everything I did and do now starts with words and returns to being words after reaching their destination.

Just like a perfect storm, with all the details of my chagrin into place, I slowly became a committed translator of my very own and different perceptions of reality.

It is a tough road to travel. I am aware of it and I am fully expecting disappointment alongside success, but the way I see it, any disappointment, any amount of it at any point in time is preferable to a life of error.
What do you think? How have books opened worlds to you? How do they shape your perceptions of the world?


Adina Pelle was born in Constanta, the same town the roman poet Ovid lived his last years and died. Ovid’s Metamorphosis ignited her love for the written word from a very early age.

As a lonely and rather peculiar child, she was engulfed in books most of her free time. From Russian, British, French literature, love, pain, and social justice became reflected through an astonishing amount of reading.

She lived in many places all over the world before moving permanently to USA twenty years ago. This pilgrimage gave her a unique perception of the world.

She worked for years in the Art business managing Art Galleries in Philadelphia, Chicago and Pittsburgh and later became a business analyst for an insurance company. As a result, when crafting her stories she combines the dispassionate attitude of a scientist with the sensitivity and psychological understanding of an artist.

She now lives in Connecticut with her husband Stan.

You can read an excerpt:

Visit Adina's Blog: