The Link magazine will be publishing my short story "Invicta", wherein a love of books carries a woman through all the difficult days of her life.
"Invicta" was inspired by my mother's tales of her thirst for books at a young age and her first visit to a library when she was in her early twenties. She vowed to read every book on the shelves and made a very good go of it.
In light of Toronto mayor Rob Ford's attacks on the public library system, the story is a timely one. (Follow this link to read Margaret Atwood's defense of the library system.)
Below is a poem my mum keeps framed in her room. Something else that kept a woman going through all the years and their trials.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)