Writer, author, memoir teacher. I write about the connections we find by giving each other the time and space to be heard.

In Search of Regina

This afternoon, I printed out the manuscript of my novel about my ancestor, Regina Culisz. She lived in the 18th century in the Austrian Empire, in what is now Poland. I’m a memoir writer, but I know very little about this woman, so I’m going to have to tell her story as fiction. In other words, I’m making it all up. Mostly.

I read James Michener’s Poland and James Conroyd Martin’s Against a Crimson Sky, which takes place about the time when she was alive. I have books on Polish customs and folklore. Now I need to go there, to stand in Wojtowa, where Regina was born in 1778.

Steve and I loved our Georgia elderhostel last year, and so we signed up for a weeklong trip to Warsaw and Krakow with the same group, now called Exploritas. We planned a side trip to Wojtowa, which we heard is not far from Krakow, but we were the only people who registered, and the trip has been cancelled.

We’re now looking into a two-week tour of the entire country in July. Today, we discovered that it will cost ten thousand dollars! Do we spend the money, knowing we’ll see and learn a great deal with this organization? Or do we put it off (again) and look for a cheaper way to go?

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