As you probably already know, my latest anthology, Saltwater Sorrows came out earlier this month. One way I’m celebrating that is by sharing a series of blog posts by myself and some of my authors.

Today, I am pleased to share this guest post by Lea Storry where she talks about mountains and water, fiction and non-fiction and how it is that her story, “Seaweed and Gossip” came to be written.

By Lea Storry

As a Maritimer living in land-locked Alberta, my fiction writing usually doesn’t feature the ocean. Instead, rocky crags with snow-capped peaks are my main milieu. When I read Rhonda Parrish’s call for stories about women and the sea, I saw an opportunity to combine my two worlds: the mountains and the water. It was also a chance to write about something that has been crashing around in my head for almost 20 years.

Around 2004, I lived in Sackville, New Brunswick, home of Mount Allison University. One of my roommates then was a student from Havre Boucher, an oceanside community near Antigonish, Nova Scotia, not far from Sackville. On her way home for the summer break, she told me that she was looking forward to heading to the beach.

“I go with my mom and her friends for some seaweed and gossip,” my roommate said.

The words seaweed and gossip dove into my brain and floated around for a bit. It created images of a group of women treading water in a cold navy-coloured ocean, over forests of green kelp, trading stories and barbs and well, gossip. Then those figures in my mind plunged into the depths of my imagination, only surfacing from time to time when I was looking for something to write about. But it was never the right time to let these women swim into their own story.      

I own a memoir writing, editing and publishing business so usually, I’m writing non-fiction. Crafting other peoples’ stories is rewarding, too, but it’s nice to take a break and shift into writing fiction. It’s here where I can push the boundaries of my imagination and create new characters and worlds. It’s here that I finally got the chance to bring the women and their laughter and their woes alive through the Saltwater Sorrows anthology.

In my story, I take the main character, who had been living in the mountains of Alberta, back to her Nova Scotian roots. I gave her some of the experiences I’ve had, ones I might not have had 20 years ago when the title of the story was given to me. This is where fiction and non-fiction get all tangled up. Sometimes, living life is the best way to get material. Read it yourself in Seaweed and Gossip. 

Deep, mysterious, beautiful . . . dangerous . . .

Women and the sea have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Tales of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

But what mysteries lie beneath the sparkling placid waters? What power drives the wind and waves crashing against the shore? There is transformation and exaltation—magic—in the ocean and women alike. And both know that while the sea gives, the sea also takes.

Sink into the icy depths of the ocean with these stories by: E.E. King; Natalie Cannon; Morgan Melhuish; Paul A. Hamilton; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Sarah Van Goethem; Adria Laycraft; Dino Parenti; B. Zelkovich; Lisa Carreiro; Lea Storry; Nikoline Kaiser; Elin Olausson; Chandra Fisher; Hayley Stone; V.F. LeSann; Catherine MacLeod; and Jennifer R. Donohue.

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Or ask your local library to order it in! 🙂

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