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Born and bred in South Africa, I have lived half of my life in South Africa and half in America and I thrive on being ambicultural. I also enjoy making up new words. 

I remember at nineteen being hungry for life and all it could throw at me.  I dramatically spread my arms 'a la seconde', threw back my head and said, "Give me all the living I need to make me interesting." 

Somebody must have been listening because I feel I have lived on a sensory-enhancing drug: I have loved with all my heart, I have loathed with every fibre of my being, I have relished every taste, I have memorized every sight and smell, I have cherished every touch, I have tried to listen and sadly I have lost. Part of my heart has never healed, but somewhere along the way, I have learned.

My goal from the start of my conscious journey was to never regret anything.

“War Serenade" started during the "afternoon-quiet-time" instilled by my mother, herself a true product of Colonial South Africa. She would tell me a story so I had "something to think about" whilst next to me, she slept off her post-tennis gin and tonic, shared with other housewives over lunch. My favorite of all the true stories she imparted, was that of  lovers on the opposite side of WWII. Their story was so vivid to me and their love story so poignant. It far exceeded the glitz of a boring one hundred year sleep and a prince. 

Aunty May and Uncle Greg's unusual romance became my afternoon staple, and I begged for it to be served up at least four afternoons a week. For decades I saw their unique romance in my head until it morphed into a dramatic moving picture. I was compelled to spend years learning the craft of screenwriting in an attempt to bring their beautiful story to life. 

But when I marketed my script, I found that the story was 'far too happy' to entice the masses. "It needs more conflict," they cried from Los Angeles. "Make her Irish, the Irish have movie money now." "South African? Make her black." And after years of angst, I thought to hell with them all and decided to tell the story my way

I found once I changed their names, I no longer owed my revered aunty and uncle their truth, and with the freedom of fiction I enjoyed the liberation of free storytelling.

So! Good, bad or indifferent, here at last is my very own "War Serenade." I only hope in some way I've paid tribute to the dynamic couple who've entertained me all of my life.

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