Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A little bit of hero worship

I have been thinking about what to write here for a long time. Twelve days maybe? I am not completely sure what I'm meant to accomplish with this blog. Do you read it? Do you care? Does it have anything to do with this book I am trying to finish revising so it can be published next spring? Am I making inroads into the prolific and well-connected online world of YA writers, booksellers, librarians et al... the answer to most of these questions is a quietly whispered no. But I'm trying...

So let me tell you about Migi. This is Migi. Yes, she is wearing an American flag on her head in the center of Rome the night the U.S. beat Italy in the World Cup playoffs. But she is Albanian and she is Migi. So she got away with this.

She graduated from La Sapienza last week. She studied organizational psychology and worked, for most of the last year, in a shelter for victims of domestic violence, while she completed the research for and wrote her thesis on the consequences that domestic violence have on women's physical and psychological well-being. Migi speaks and writes with fierce passion and great candor (and does so in no less than three languages, quite fluently). Her thesis is written in Italian which makes me a little crazy because I can't read it. But I can take depths of inspiration from her. For most of the time I've known Migi she's been studying. And she's been dedicated with a kind of force and tenacity I've rarely seen. And it was a few months into her job at the shelter, her careful and pointed observations and interviews, that she found the topic about which she would write, that it all came together. She lives in the world and writes from the inside out. And though she's not writing stories, not fictional stories like I am, I want to take something from the way she lives and observes.

Migi included me in the dedication of her thesis. So this humble post is dedicated to her. She's a hero.

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