18471139_434890780209350_1667567502_nI recently returned from a research trip for a future book I plan on 18337444_434890773542684_1353344564_nwriting (after I finish the novel I am currently working on!)  It is a historical novel, beginning in Paris in 1939 and spanning a decade, moving from Europe to the Middle East, culminating in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.  The beginning of the book has special meaning for me, as my dad was born in Paris and fled with his parents from the Nazis through Vichy France, into Spain, eventually boarding a boat to Cuba and ultimately landing in New York City.  While the story I’ll be writing isn’t his exact history, I did make my way to find his house in Paris to use as inspiration.  Here’s a photo of me outside, and another of the courtyard that sits right behind that big brown door.  While my dad did not share all of the scary details of his Holocaust story with me, he did tell me about that courtyard, and his fond memories of the games he played there before the war.  It was an emotional visit, and it filled me with ideas for my upcoming project.  My father has been gone a long time now, but standing there, in that courtyard, I felt his presence.  And I may have sent up a private message, letting him know that I am thinking of him, doing the thing he always told me to do: I have given myself permission, Dad, to live my dream…

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