Friday, December 21, 2012

Virtual Advent Blog Tour 2012

Welcome everyone to A Piece of My Mind!

This is my fifth post for the Virtual Advent Blog Tour. I came across it in 2007, my first year of blogging. In the five years since then, it has been a favorite tradition for me here. So it's with a special sense of excitement that I share with you the most incredible tale of wishes coming true.

Many people, including me, like to usher in the new year with intention. I make a point of including symbolic hopes for the year to come in our celebration. For example, even if our fun is casual and includes just my mom, my husband and myself, we deck ourselves in bling and use the best china and crystal, toast in the new year, open the front door to let the new year in and the back door to let the old year out. That's my mom, below, welcoming 2010. 
Last year the three of us had a Russian New Year's celebration. Why Russian, you may ask? I thought you were French Acadian.
Well, once upon a time - 28 years ago, actually, my sister and I made friends with a Russian cadet from a marine college who sailed into Halifax Harbour aboard the tall ship Kruzenshtern as part of the 1984 Tall Ships Festival. 

You can read about this romantic tale here:

13 Things About the Most Romantic Story You'll Ever Hear

The Iron Curtain was a pretty big obstacle, back in the day. Although we made plans to visit him in his home town of Yaroslavl, he wrote that he’d been drafted into the army and would be there for two years. This was in the late 80s during Russia’s conflict with Afghanistan.

After that, we lost contact with Rashid Kamalov and could only wonder what had become of him.

My love of Russian culture (which had brought us to see the Kruzenshtern in the first place) continued unabated over the years. Of course my passion for all things ballet can never get enough of Russian dancers. I love Russian films, Russian actors, Russian singers and the Russian language.

This led to discovering the completely magical set of New Year’s films, Ironiya sudby and the sequel. So last year, we rang in 2012 with a duplication of the feast shown in those films with a combination of my mom cooking up some dishes, and with us ordering dishes from a Russian restaurant across the harbor in Halifax.
Then we watched the movie.

We used all the best dishes, the best crystal, the best prosecco from the imported wines store.


In my mind was the intention that I would one day make my way to St. Petersburg in Russia to see the Mariinsky Ballet perform at the Mariinsky theatre.

The unspoken longing to hear from Rashid was just a part of me. It was part of everything Russian that I loved.

Fast forward to the late spring. I stumbled upon a fantastic Russian historical series Bednaya Nastya on You Tube which I then watched on with subtitles. My husband became utterly addicted to it and watched it with me. It was awesome.

My comprehension of Russian really grew. I bought a few learn-to-speak-Russian books, kept watching Russian films, made a Russian-song playlist and listened to it constantly.

In August I appeared as an author at Fan Expo in Toronto with my two releases, SAINT SANGUINUS and BOUND BYDRAGONSFYRE. I held a contest for local Toronto book store gift certificates and contacted the winners by email.

I kept checking my spam folder in case the whole contest thing was driving their replies into that folder.

Otherwise I never would have checked my spam folder.

I never would have seen this staring at me:

Рашид Камалов Hi my dearest girles!!! I very happy get your m...

That’s right. The word that looks sort of like ‘pawned’ is really ‘Rashid’ in the Cryllic alphabet.

All my blogging and all of my longtime readers’ hopes that we would one day reunite, all of the searching online and sending out hopeful ‘Is this you?’ messages


Rashid is now my Facebook friend.

For realz.

My holiday wish for all of you this year: meet 2013 with intention. The universe is listening.


Julia Phillips Smith said...

My apologies to Marg and others who left comments - in my enthusiasm to clear my blog of a spam infestation, I inadvertently wiped my Virtual Advent Blog Tour.

Thanks for dropping by and I did enjoy hearing from you!