At Dappled Things literary journal
Dorian Speed: In the book, you interweave a chronological narrative of your trip to Sicily with memories of your husband, as well as describing the months after his death. Did you think of these events while you were at the specific locations, or did you collect them and then decide how they might correspond with experiences during your visit?
Amy Welborn: I journaled extensively during both periods. I have been a diarist and a journal-keeper my entire life, albeit not with absolute fidelity. In times of crisis, though . . . yes, I journal. I think I filled four or five notebooks in the months after Mike died. Then, of course, I journaled throughout the trip, every night for at least an hour and half. There was, of course, nothing else to do! And then when I returned and started working on the book, I made a chart. I’ll be honest. I made a chart. I went through all the journal entries from both periods, marked entries and even sentences that I thought were suitable, then made a list of each, on either side of this chart. Then I contemplated that chart for a while, and started to see connections. There were some connections that were inherent in the experiences: the last full chapter, of course, and the recurrence of “yes” – that was all tied together in that moment for me. And I’m sure, at some level, as we traveled through Sicily, I was associating our experiences with things that had happened before. But much of it came in post-trip reflection.