Riding the Murky Waters of Self-publishing

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Lighthouse

I have to admit something. It has to do with this whole post-publishing of my novel thing. You know, what I mean? Yes, the trying to sell the book thing. So, here is my confession: I actually feel alone. I feel more alone than I can remember, perhaps with the exception of working on my PhD dissertation. I never felt … Read More

Embracing All Moments

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Luna staring at the shallow sea

Every morning, my dog wakes me up early. Very early. Unwillingly, I clamber out of bed, pull on my salt-caked shorts and sandals, pack up my bag and head for the dinghy. As I row the half-deflated dinghy from my sailing boat to the shore, Luna the dog balances on its side. She wants to be the first on land, … Read More

Spring Cleaning

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On the island, springtime is when each islander gets his kaic, batela, gajeta, pasara or any other type of traditional subsistence fishing boat out of the water for skver or annual boat maintenance. Boat maintenance on the island is a man’s job. The boat is taken out of the water. At the minimum, it is pressure-washed, sanded, and anti-fouled. It … Read More

Bewitched by Gardening

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I promised myself I wouldn’t plant anything this spring. So, what happened? The only explanation is that I got bewitched. Because who would want to plant something after spending a good portion of the fall fighting snails, mending calloused hands and aching back only to not actually be home to harvest most of the produce?! Yes, we ate some beautiful … Read More

Awestruck by Spring

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I used to live in Scotland and the problem with Scotland is that it doesn’t see much sun. Duh! Living now on an island in the Croatian Adriatic I am awestruck at the existence of a real, honest to God, sun shining Spring. The Sun has been shining for days now. I soak it in. The island is waking up. … Read More

Trees

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A few months ago I sat next to a tree and leaned my back on its smooth bark. From the top of my head, down my spine, and into the ground a long, violent shiver traveled. Tears sprung out of my eyes and I shook uncontrollably. Then with all its might, I felt the tree behind me, its roots became … Read More

Journeying

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I have always been in love with the sea. This is probably largely related to the many summers I spent with my parents and extended family on a small island in the Croatian Adriatic. There was no electricity or running water on the island. We washed our hair in the sea and drank rainwater collected in a tank during the … Read More

Joy of Gardening

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Broccoli Garden Joy Branka Valcic

When I was a little girl, I used to spend summers with my grandparents in a little cottage in the countryside of Croatia. The cottage, though nothing more than a room in which my sister, our grandparents and I slept toasty under down duvets for nights were chilly in the countryside, and a kitchen in the cellar, in which I … Read More

I am a novelist!

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After what feels like an epic journey… After 28 days of literary abandon… I wrote THE END at the end of my novel reaching thus 50051 words! I am overwhelmed with joy and pride. Branka Valcic, NaNoWriMo 2012 winner – yay!   PS Later I threw away all that I wrote during this NaNoWriMo journey, except the idea of a … Read More

You are a woman!

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Olives have been picked. Next stop: uljarnica! Uljarnica is an olive processing facility and in many of the Croatian Adriatic island villages it is the most prominent building in the village. During the olive picking and processing season uljarnica is the epicenter of village activity. Ever since it has opened its doors this season (and it has been open almost … Read More