I like social media, but they steal my time. Should I write my books instead? Am I a writer? And my grandmother’s dress. A very disorganised blog post.

I like social media.

I got my connection to the wonderful Women Reading Aloud group through a friend on Goodreads, a lovely woman who I now met in the USA and became real, not just Goodreads friend with.

When I get the time, I follow twitter and Facebook entries and find them often very interesting.

However, it is all very time consuming.

And I find that instead of editing my second book and writing my book, I type emails, Facebook entries and Goodreads emails.

I need a systematic approach. Limited time for some things, extended and protected time for writing. Or is my writing just a silly hobby, easily dismissible? I hope not.

In my long American trip, I spent 3 days in Sea Girt on a Women Reading Aloud retreat. Writing to prompts. And again, like in Greece, I loved it.

So instead of carrying on with this silly blog entry, I will add one of the things I wrote.

The prompt was:

A piece of clothing in a closet at home that you cannot get rid of but you never wear

I wrote it in 30 minutes, without corrections. But I kind of like it. Do you? Here you are:

“I have a wardrobe full of clothes I might never wear, but I often thing; Well, what if…?

But there is one dress hanging in my wardrobe that I KNOW I will never wear, but I also know I will never get rid of it. Will I give it to my non-existing granddaughter one day? We’ll see. But no, maybe not. I might not have a granddaughter anyway…

That dress was made in 1922 in a very expensive salon called Rosenbaum in Prague for my grandmother. It is made of thin see-through black chiffon silk, crepe de chin my grandmother called it. It is long, mid calve length and very elegant in that beautiful fashion of that time. I can imagine cocktail parties, dances, conversations about the war that recently finished, a war that will never happen again.  A happy, frivolous time, at least for people with money. I imagine introductions of men in tuxedoes and women in similar dresses and diamond and gold jewellery. I imagine my grandmother, young, just after getting married, trying to please her formidable mother in law. She never managed to do that.

I found the dress in my mother’s closet when I was 16.I asked her what it was. My grandmother died that year. “Oh, we still have that dress? I remember mother bringing it back from the Kubicek family after the war. Not sure why she kept it, she never wore it again.” Said my mum. It fit me beautifully, it fits me now, too.

The underlying, not see through part is missing. That dress was hidden with many other things with some Czech friends during the war, when my grandmother went to the concentration camp. She got it back again in 1945 when she came back from the camps, with my mother, but without her beloved husband and son. For a while, it was too loose for her, then she put on weight and could not wear it. But there were no opportunities to wear it in communist Czechoslovakia anyway.

I do not have occasions to wear an evening gown to either. My world is more casual.

But sometimes I take that dress out, it is part of my family history. And I can remember my wonderful grandmother, that brave, kind, simple woman who coped with horrors of her life by finding positive things in a way I have never seen anybody to do. Waiting in the long queues for meat in Prague, she said how nice it is not to have a cook and to be able to walk in the street without hat and gloves, and not to behave like a lady…A woman, who, unlike my mother, did not have a manipulative streak. She was simple, in the best possible meaning. She never read books, but unlike my mum, who never read much either, she thought her granddaughter, obsessed with written words was great. She gave me the unconditional love people sometimes get from their mothers.

The grandmother I knew was dressed in casual, non-elegant clothes, a heavy woman, no make-up. A woman with a laud not ladylike contagious laugh.

But when I touch this dress, I see her as a young slim beautiful woman, smiling, carefree, with no need to find a brave face to put on. That dress is not just a dress, it is a reminder of life’s many twists. And the reminder that one can survive, change, adapt, and still be happy.

Will, I ever wear it? No. But they will find it in my wardrobe when I die.”

So, am I a writer? Maybe. Maybe not. But I will carry on trying.





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