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:


~Sia McKye~ said...

Adina, welcome to Over Coffee. I'm so glad you could visit with us.

I've read many of your stories both in this book and others you've shared. What a wonderful cache of story gems. I have to admit, one I liked and chuckled over was the Epilogue. There are many others.

So get comfortable, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea off the coffee bar and chat with us. :-)

Adina said...

Hi Sia,
I am delighted to be here.Thank you for inviting me.
When I wrote Ghost Words I did not know if my slightly quirky sense of humor is going to seep through, but I had friends who read my book telling me the same thing: they chuckled through some of my stories and the interesting part of course, is that everybody laughed at different things and teared up or became thoughtful at other stories. I guess I am happy I wrote a book that crosses over many lines of thought.

Kat Sheridan said...

Good morning, Sia and Adina! I'm thrilled to be reading Ghost Words and Other Echoes right now. This is a book to be read in small, bite-sized pieces, each one savored, and pondered, and digested before moving on. I'm particularly enjoying the chapters having to do with Saul and Matilda, which sort of repeat and echo throughout the book--these are the "Don't Mind the Naked Man on the Couch" chapters. There is fiction in this book--stories, and truths--essays, and musings and philosophy. Adina's wrting style is both light and dark--it's rather like finding the sweet-tart heaviness of apples under a froth of meringue. Unexpected and satisfying.

Sia, I apparently have pie on th brain. Any to go with that lovely coffee of yours? LOL!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hmmm, there is is now, Kat. must keep my guests happy...

I've enjoyed the Don't minde the Naked Man too...

Adina said...

I am delighted you’re enjoying the book. Writing and releasing it threw me on a journey never, in my wildest dreams have I imagined I would travel on. Like I mentioned above, organizing all my thoughts and recollections therapeutically soothed me and made me have a bird’s eye view over my life …
The Matilda and Saul story is very dear to me . I poured every once of emotional zest left in my memory in it. Every flavor of every word reminds me of a past time or a dear person.

Adina said...

Thanks Sia,
I should load up on more coffee, the "once" above should have been "ounce" .

Ken Coffman said...

Of course, I have read this collection many times, including another pass yesterday in the constant, never-eneding quest to erradicate typos. What gets me is not the individual stories, but the overall effect as they steer the mind through landscapes of absurdity, pathos, love, history, death and reflection. Adina has given the world a great gift...we'll see if she can find her richly-deserved audience. I remain a big fan of Adina and her work. Period.

This essay is outstanding, well-written and thought-provoking.

Adina said...

Ken, your role in the final result, the printed version of Ghost Words, is crucial. With the patience of a saint you went through my cluster of words and made them shine. They say “Tell me what words accompany you, and I’ll tell you who you are. “. I’d go further and say “tell me who’s editing your words and I’ll tell you what your writing will be like “

Ken Coffman said...

"never-eneding quest to erradicate typos." That's almost funny. I should pretend I did it on purpose.

To me, the interesting part of the editing process is the effect it seems to have on your current work. Maybe it's only between my ears, but your more recent work is cleaner and even more beautiful. It seems like you've taken a big step forward with writing mechanics--power and control. Is that they way it seems to you too? Frankly, it's thrilling to watch.

Terry said...

I loved reading this blog today and will definitely look for this book. I can't wait to read it!!!

Adina said...

Absolutely ! I went through such a humbling process while watching your cleanup work that it taught me a lesson for my future work. As much as I hate editing myself, I try harder to deliver a cleaner writing.

Adina said...

Hi Terry, I am so happy you liked the entry. Sia runs such a successful blog that the bar was high already :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Adina,

Thoughtful post.

Words and travel are both important in my life. Like you I loved to lose myself in a book during childhood and eventually decided I wanted to tell stories myself.

Best of luck with your book.

James Rafferty

Adina said...

Hi James,
I am a fan of your travel notes on your blog. I think we have a better understanding of our world when we’ve seen many other surroundings governed by different laws and customs …I believe we share a common denominator through our sympathy to French culture.

Pat Bertram said...

Adina, your book sounds wonderful, not just what you've said about it, but what people I respect have said about it. I wish you a lifetime of sales.

Interesting question, how books have shaped my life. Books are my life, or at least they used to be. If one has no life outside of books, one gets a completely skewed idea of what life really is -- it seems so much bigger, more important, more heroic in books than in reality -- but I don't think that's a bad thing. If everyone had a more idealistic vision, perhaps the world itself would be more idealistic.

Adina said...

Thank you Pat. I am a big fan of your work and looking forward to the next one, "Daughter am I".

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Adina,

Nice post. You write lovely prose. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Sia for introducing yet another great author. I have added this book to my tbr pile. Love that pile!


Adina said...

Thanks Nancy, nice to meet you :)

Sun Singer said...

Books change me, daily, in ways I notice, and in ways that are probably subliminal or long to bear fruit. I enjoyed your post, hearing that another person found therapy in committing their words to paper rather than committing themselves to the slings and arrows of external therapy. Best of luck with the book, and the continuing journey.


Adina said...

Hi Sun Singer,
I heard that the statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from some form of psychosis . So if your three best friends are okay, then it's you.

I heard a comedian say once and it made me chuckle :
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.

Other Lisa said...

I can't imagine a life without books. Thanks for the lovely post, Adina and Sia - and yes, I need to add GHOST WORDS to my TBR pile!

Judi Fennell said...

Adina, that was just a beautiful post!!! And I'm happy to say I've held that wonderful book in my hot little hands. Yes, your publisher *just might have been toting it all over DC a month and a half ago...

Much success!

Adina said...

Thank you Lisa and Judi :)

aries18 said...

Good morning Sia and Adina,

Adina, so nice to see you on Sia's blog. I've got your book on my ever-growing TBR list. Books have been my saving grace for as long as I can remember. I could escape reality by living in the world of books. I loved the worlds I found to live in and soon I decided I'd love nothing more than being able to create new worlds of my own to share. I've read some of your works and loved them and can hardly wait until I can enter your worlds.

Great blog Sia. You always bring the best to us. Thank you for doing it once again.

Sending you both lovely days and sunshine.

May your work touch many lives.

Jill Lynn said...


Your writing is mesmerizing--rich, unique, thoughtful. I hope "Ghost Words" brings you the wide audience you deserve.

Helen Ginger said...

Very interesting post. Sometimes I think I change as a person when I write fiction, incorporating characters into my own memories and person.

Straight From Hel