The End of the World and the Land of My Childhood.

How Ukraine had a role in one of my favourite novellas set in a nuclear apocalypse about two people driven together by destiny.


By John Irvin

            I can’t believe we’re already halfway done with August. Dude, those Romans sure knew how to make the calendar seem like time was racing faster and faster!

            Here is this month’s YouTube episode!

Anyone who has known me for a little while, will begin to notice, sometimes I start spouting what sounds like mumbo-jumbo at random times. Usually, I try to explain what I’ve said and in what language I’ve said.

            Usually, I get weird looks.

            What can I say, I’ve lived in a different world than most Americans.

            This language that is dear to my heart is native to another land that is dear to my heart: Ukraine.

            I was gifted with a childhood in Eastern Europe and the majority of those years was spent in the nation of Ukraine—the breadbasket of the region. Though it’s been over a decade since last I saw her, I spent enough of my life to always cherish that beautiful country.

            The first year my family and I lived in Ukraine we spent it at the Capital of Kyiv. We then moved to the western major city of L’viv (City of the Lion). There are many statues of lions all over that history-rich place!

            One of my favourite spots to visit in L’viv was an ancient castle ruin at the crest of a mountain in the middle of the city. We found many castles on our road trips in Ukraine.

            There’s another place, the Carpathian Mountains, we could see just a tiny bump of their chain from our bedroom window where we lived. We lived in a two-story stucco house with a metal roof. It was seated on about an acre of land in the middle of a village outside the city of L’viv.

Carpathian Mountains

            I am proud to say, I grew up a country boy and I have stories—though I’m only thirty years old at the time of this blog writing—that I can relate to stories from American grandparents. There have been many times, a group of elderly people will be chatting about “back in the day” and I’ll jump in. They’ll look at me and comment how I’m too young to have such experiences.

            I get to say, “I cheated, I grew up in a third world country.”

            Thankfully, I can say, Ukraine is no longer third world and has seen much prosperity. That was until Russia invaded her a few years back. But, this isn’t a political post.

            Because I miss the land of my childhood, sometimes it will pop up at random intervals in my book journey.

            Like in the short novella, Pochatok, which is set in San Fransisco and stars a young man who is the son of a military leader and is thrust together in a life-altering-world-ending experience with a high school flame who happens to be a Ukrainian transplant.

            Her name is Lynda Brodunvich and she’s got red hair. Her parents brought her over to these United States and she remembers the hero from high school.

            The attacks take our young couple deep into the bowels of an old war bunker where they wait out the nuclear holocaust. In the intensity of the situation, the old flame is reignited. Will it be up to them to repopulate the world? Are they the only humans left on the planet?

            Check out this crazy little book here:

            Speaking of links, remember that Author Book Tour Fundraiser my team and I were talking about recently on social media? You can click through the photo or link below to go join our supporters and help us realize this dream for Spring 2021!

          Until next week, y’all have a great life.

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