I met Blanka when I was fifteen at her apartment in Massachussets when some old friends and I were visiting her younger sister. Tall, lithe, devestatingly gorgeous. Mysterious. Her demeaner was suggestive, she carried herself with courage. We met again at a town fair that year. I don't think we ever actually spoke to each other.
After that, we never met again. I heard updates from mutual friends from time to time. Usually when they were in disbelief at her decisions. A transient person, I thought about her many times while growing up. Someone I had never known, she had made such an impact on me by just gliding through the room. She made me wonder about her secrets, about her stories. A fleeting vision of confidence and beauty that imprinted on me at such a young age.
Years later, returning to my home town of Canton, Massachussetts, we met again. This time in the bathroom of a friend's house. This time meeting the eyes of a fellow journalist; with a similar intrigue in each other, with the recognition of the whole-souled, kindred spirit in the person standing across from us.
In the months that followed, she has
been one person who has impacted my writing. Pushing me to write honestly and has inspired my mind more than anyone I have ever met. It has been a chase, a pleasure, and a pride developing our friendship and watching her transform into the writer/ muse/ teacher she is today.
Finally published Years Becoming: the Novelized Memoir of a Veteran Harlot, is the elegant and fearless debut novel where Blanka shares her stories with the world. I urge you to pick it up and read this incredible journey this woman has made.
Here is the Press release:
One wrong move sends a U.S. Army combat journalist's life spiraling dangerously out of control in Years Becoming: The Novelized Memoir of a Veteran Harlot - the true story of a professional liar and the consequences of losing one's life for love.
After Blanka Stratford is discharged from the military for violating the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, she is convinced she had made the right decision to be with the woman who seized both her heart and her career. But Blanka soon finds out that nothing is fair in love or war. In vain attempt to maintain both
a writing career amidst a faltering economy and the affection of the one person who had brought her to her knees, Blanka sells the last item she has left to offer - herself. As she enters New York City's underground world of drugs and high-class prostitution, she struggles to remember the person she had once been. Her lies become further entwined by the betrayal of an old military acquaintance, a charming sycophant who proves that not all that glitters is gold. With vengeance in mind and the aid of three friends, Blanka implements a profitable scheme to con the world. When she departs for Europe to fulfill her plan, however, three obstacles stand in her way: a wacky Polish family, a Spanish woman bent on winning her love, and an eccentric Russian rebel, who brings Blanka back to life at the same moment he aims to take it away. Split into two halves symbolically placed side by side: Part 1 "The Truth of the United States" and Part 2 "Lies in Europe," this first-person account - covering timely topics such as the Iraq War, GLBT issues and Russian espionage - will leave the reader in laughs, in tears and in
Best of luck, Blanka. We are all waiting with baited breath for the movie!!
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