“Enjoy your journey to Greenland.”
I haven’t ever been to Greenland, but I’ll be going soon. I won’t be flying, I’ll be traveling by ship – a Viking vessel, to be exact. Stormy seas are sure to engulf me, but I have every confidence I’ll make it to shore. In fact, I know it.
My journey began in a coffee shop called The Fine Grind, where I heard author Judith Lindbergh read some tantalizing passages from her book, The Thrall’s Tale. Trained as an actress, she brought dramatic verve to her reading, capturing the voices of three different characters: a girl, a woman, and a seeress (great word!) — a female with second sight. Almost as exciting as her reading was the tale behind the Tale. Inspired by the sight of Viking ships floating in a harbor in New York, Judith embarked on her own personal voyage of discovery – meeting with archeologists, traveling several times to Greenland, and vividly imagining the lives of women in a period when Viking men roamed the earth. What a story!
Oh, the joys of a writing life: traveling, imagining, creating, and sharing!
After her reading, Judith told me that she had spent six months researching before she sat down to write, that she “spoke” her characters into existence as she walked around her house, and that she had 85 pages of notes which became the core of her novel, which took her eight years to complete. We talked about balancing historical findings with the fictional lives of characters – and how some people object to blending the two. You’re never going to please everyone she pointed out; all you can do is be true to your vision and the voices you hear.
“In the end,” Judith said, “the tale you’re telling is yours.”
The voices Judith heard were strong and lyrical, and I’m glad I’ve reached the end of this blog because Greenland beckons and The Thrall’s Tale awaits!