The Songline of a Great Wish

            The Songline of a Great Wish is about Heather, a thirty-two-year-old woman with a significant hearing loss from a childhood illness. After a startling incident involving the DC Sniper, she decides to do whatever it takes to find happiness. She gives up her soul mate to move to her home state Montana, where she fails at everything—losing two professional jobs and no love life. Instead of continuing with the white-picket American Dream, she decides to walk the Camino de Santiago. She is a modern woman looking for answers on a twelfth century pilgrimage and legend has it that one Great Wish will be granted to her upon completion.

           

            Against the beautiful backdrop of Northern Spain, find out how Heather’s hearing loss shapes her views about herself, religion, and relationships. Along the way, she meets a colorful community of walkers, including a Brazilian Rosalie, who speaks no English. Rosalie brings Heather face to face with a heartbreaking decision from her past. Meanwhile, Heather also meets a very good-looking Italian man Giovanni who reminds her of a lost soul-mate. Heather is told that “Giovanni is walking the Camino for her.” Heather must decide if she is going to walk with Rosalie and face her past or walk with Giovanni and explore the possibility of a romantic future. The decision she makes will ultimately change her Great Wish.

            The story is interlaced with Songlines, which are essay-like chapters that weave emotional growth to a particular aspect of the day. The idea was inspired by Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines, about the sacred paths that aboriginals walk. The Australians made mental maps in the form of songs. Each particular walk produced different rhythms to describe the topography, eventually marking actual borders. The words also described a Genesis of the natural world, a way to describe the ancient mountains, rivers, and trees with a new narrative, a birth. Heather wants a new Songline. She is walking out of her old life looking for a new words, a new song.

*completed manuscript