Jul 23, 2010

Primary Sources

by Tanya Parker Mills

I'm on a 10-day vacation, visiting my parents and two siblings and their families mainly to catch up on what's going on in everyone's life, enjoy a couple of plays (featuring my sister and two of her daughters), and relax away from home. Yes, that's right. My wonderful husband let me have this time to myself with my family.

But I can't turn off the writer in me and, since the new novel I've started is set in Beirut, Lebanon (where my family spent a few wonderful years), I'm also using this vacation for research. My memory is only so good (or perhaps I should say "so bad") and I intend to cull every little detail my aged parents can call up about our experiences there concerning our home life, neighborhood, etc. Then I'll excavate the memories of my brother and sister for their recollections of school and other social gatherings. Primary sources are always best! The trick lies in turning those facts into credible fiction (without offending anyone).

Wish me luck!


  1. What a wonderful opportunity, Tanya! Here's luck!

  2. I think it is smart to use those unusual experiences and best to mine parents' minds as early as possible. Also have a good time and a nice visit.

  3. Enjoy your time that you have been allowed to have! Happy writing!

  4. How great that "write what you know" for you is Lebanon. Not many American writers can claim that. And that you have your parents to draw on too.


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