This week we welcome Dina Sleiman to Author Memories.
Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Dina is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace.
19th Century Family Treasures
by Dina Sleiman
I have such fond memories of this old man. Toward the end of his life I started cleaning his house. He would pay twelve-year-old me an exorbitant amount to dust and vacuum. Of course at twelve, such things are actually fun. And his treasure trove of a house made it even more fun. The lovely antiques I dusted with care. The ingenious mechanical stairway leading to the attic that he'd invented himself. But perhaps most precious were those moments when, through a glimpse in the mirror, I'd catch him watching me clean. The beatific grin on his face as he leaned back in his recliner with his hands crossed over his ample belly was priceless. Then afterward he would take me out to eat, which, if you've ever driven with a man in his eighties, you will understand was quite a harrowing and exciting adventure in and of itself.
We never got Great Pop Pop's stories down on paper. But when he passed away unexpectedly, we were left with the treasures at his house. I inherited an antique bedroom set which legend claimed belonged to a Pennsylvania governor, and I still use pieces from it today. My mom claimed an old chest filled with even more treasures. A 19th century family album and an authentic Victorian gown. These treasures told stories of their own, and I'd like to share some of them with you.
Here's a great one to start with. I'm guessing Civil War era. Union soldier. Love the sword. Not sure how many generations back that would be. Maybe six. Likely his name was John Scutter Dickey, as there were several of them around that time.
Have you ever found any family treasures? What are some of your favorite keepsakes? What sort of stories do they spawn in your mind.
Leave a comment with a valid email address by midnight, January 29th
to be entered for a free ebook version of Dina's debut release,
Dance of the Dandelion
Note: If the winner already has Dance of the Dandelion,
they can use the promotion code for any WhiteFire novel.
Dance of the Dandelion, WhiteFire Publishing, Oct 2011
Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more. Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William’s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache.
From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings. Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?