Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

Journal

Writers in Chicago in the Summertime

Posted by on 7:58 pm in Chicago, Friends, Inspiration, Writers | 0 comments

Writers in Chicago in the Summertime

Next month, Chicago is hosting the 50th Annual Nebula Awards and Nebula Weekend! A few years ago, I had no idea about the rich resources and networking opportunities afforded by something like the Nebulas. I really wish I had known, and so I’m passing this along to writer friends in the Chicagoland area (and those looking for an excuse to visit Chicago…Come!) The Nebula Weekend is an amazing opportunity, and it rotates cities. This year (the 50th Anniversary!) and next, Chicago will hosting the weekend. (Chicago in June is so...

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Meaning

Posted by on 10:10 pm in Writing | 0 comments

Meaning

When I’m writing with a looming deadline, I tend to get hermitty, only leaving the house when I absolutely have to. I drop the kids off at school, make a pot of coffee, and start writing until I have to pick them up again. Then after I put them to bed, I’m back to writing again. I’m an introvert at heart, albeit a social one, so I can sustain this for quite a while before getting antsy. That said, I find that scheduling one coffee or breakfast during the week, or at least a conversation via skype, helps to reinvigorate me,...

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Chicago Spring

Posted by on 9:15 am in Writing, Writing Process | 0 comments

Chicago Spring

Once again, I’ve fallen behind with blogging. The year began cold and chaotic. Winter lingered and lingered. We had a few brief breaks of warmth and sunshine, but far too many grey, blustery, snowy days in March for my liking. In Chicago: City on the Make, Nelson Algren wrote, “Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.” It’s true. Chicago does seem to have a reluctant Spring–as if the season is too delicate. Chicago appears to want to go straight from the gray grit of Winter to the sunny swelter of...

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Remembering Don

Posted by on 4:57 pm in family | 10 comments

Remembering Don

My father-in-law, Donald Lupescu, passed away this morning. He had gone into the hospital on Friday evening after a fall, and they discovered severe bleeding on his brain and an infected valve in his heart. It proved too much for his body, and he became unresponsive on Saturday and slowly slipped away, giving family the chance to sit with him, talk with him, and say goodbye. One of the last things that Don did before he was taken to the hospital was pick out a birthday card for me that Eleanor later passed down. On the front it reads: “Any...

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You just might find, you get what you need

Posted by on 1:11 pm in Collaboration, Comics, community, neil gaiman, worlds, Writers | 2 comments

You just might find, you get what you need

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to Neil Gaiman read a story he had begun in 2004 and finished last year, “The Return of the Thin White Duke.” Neil was originally asked by artist Yoshitaka Amano to write a story to accompany Amano’s sketches for a fashion spread featuring David Bowie and Iman, but only the first half was published in 2004. Neil completed the piece for his upcoming short story collection TRIGGER WARNING (to be released in February 2015). The inaugural reading coincided with the closing of the David...

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Beginnings and Believing

Posted by on 6:06 pm in Art, family, Friends | 0 comments

Beginnings and Believing

A new year–the way we name one cycle of the earth’s orbit around the sun. So the old year comes to a close, and we collect the major events of those 365 days. We review them like a catalog or a library or a photo album. The years do seem to take on personalities, smaller characterizations that pertain to our selves or our circles, a larger Zeitgeist when we attempt to look at the year globally, greater than the sum of our personal experiences. Then we move into a new set of days. While I’m generally not a fan of the flashy side of...

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Winter Light in New York City

Posted by on 1:40 pm in Theater, Travel, Ukraine, Writers | 0 comments

Winter Light in New York City

I first heard about Yara Arts Group over a decade ago, when I read about its founding director, Virlana Tkacz, traveling to villages deep in the Carpathian mountains to record ancient pre-Christian winter solstice rituals and songs. In an essay about her experiences, Virlana writes: “That day I heard a beautiful epic story about a dashing young man who rides a raven black horse around Kryvorivnia turning down gold and silver, but accepting the hand of a fine young lady. I also heard one about how the sun, moon and fine rain come to...

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Appreciation is a Holy Thing

Posted by on 11:28 am in community, Friends | 0 comments

Appreciation is a Holy Thing

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing, that when we look for what’s best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does; so in appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something truly sacred.” ~Fred Rogers, Commencement Address, Middlebury College May, 2001 I’ve been called a dreamer since I was a little girl with her nose in books, staring off into space daydreaming. It’s true. I was, and I am; but I like to think that my optimism is seeing the world...

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Blood and Bone and Magic

Posted by on 8:04 pm in Chicago, community, Writing, Writing Process | 2 comments

Blood and Bone and Magic

Music is important to my writing process, and I usually end up with a collection of songs for most of my stories, long and short. When I’m starting to write, especially a novel, I like to have a song that sets the emotional atmosphere. It’s exciting when I find it—that perfect collection of words and melody and rhythm to capture the energy. I add to the soundtrack as I go, finding a song for a character or a particular place, but that first one remains important, a touchstone. I will go back to it again and again. This is all to say that I’ve...

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Congratulations to Louise Glück

Posted by on 10:12 pm in Poetry, The Silence of Trees, Writers | 0 comments

One of my favorite living poets, Louise Glück once called me on my cell phone to discuss permission for using a few lines from one of her poems in my novel, The Silence of Trees. I got the call from her as I was walking to the car after grocery shopping, and I got genuinely weak in the knees hearing her say, “Is this Valya Lupescu? This is Louise Glück.” I had never before nor since had that kind of a reaction to communicating in any fashion with another writer or artist, but her poetry had been so important to me, and her words...

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