The Last Time I was Near a Volcano: story in Necessary Fiction!

by Ioanna

View from Kona hotel

view from a hotel room in Kona

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.