What a great way to finish the year!
My story The Last Time I was Near a Volcano is this week’s Necessary Fiction featured story.
I started writing this story in Santorini in my notebook in 2011 when we were at Atlantis Books for their first Caldera festival. It was the first time I ever went to Santorini and we went around the island looking at the beaches and the volcanic landscapes and I picked up some of the volcanic rocks and wondered if it was okay to take them home with me.
The only other time I was on an island with volcanoes was in Hawaii and people there believe that if you take anything volcanic off the island the goddess Pele gets mad and then you have really bad luck. But in Santorini shops sold jewelry made of lava rocks. So I wrote this story which is about how every place is different and its own special little world that you have to give yourself to it to really understand it. It’s about travelers versus tourists. Insiders and outsiders. Old traditions and special rules and secret handshakes, and changing as you grow up and as you move to a new place and your past trying to hold you back. About finding new homes, and sometimes having to destroy something to make something new. By the way, I took the lava rocks home with me, because in Santorini there’s no Pele. And then I finished writing the story.
Hope you enjoy it! And here’s wishing you a happy new year, full of great stories and travels and new and old friends. Thanks for reading.
I have a story in the new issue of The Letters Page.
A story I hand-wrote and sent in a letter that was then deciphered and typed by someone at The Letters Page offices (most likely a handwriting expert.)
Download the issue to print out and read (PDF) And then put in an envelope and send to a friend. Everyone loves getting mail!
Short story collection finished. Here it is, the whole manuscript.
Celebration = Reflection at the sea
I can’t believe I hadn’t posted my Etgar Keret Polaroid here. (Or that I haven’t yet finished reading Suddenly, a Knock on the Door.) After all, Etgar Keret is one of my favorite writers. And his appearance in Nicosia last October was a literary miracle. (When was the last time a big author had a reading in Cyprus? A writer whose work was adapted into a movie with Tom Waits?)
Here he is, kindly posing with his son, in my blurry attempt to photograph him. I should have taken a tripod along with the books I took for him to sign. [Not pictured: his talented wife Shira Geffen. That picture came out even more blurry. The photographer accepts all the blame :/]
An Impossible photograph for a highly improbable meeting.
POSTED BY IOANNA
* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where Google Earth is the only Earth and the Google Truck is the only truck. And who among us is fit to speak for the truck? Only Ioanna Mavrou, a citizen of the world who, according to Google Earth, lives in Cyprus.
The Big Jewel just published my story The Google Truck Diaries. Thanks guys.
POSTED BY IOANNA