Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

is creating international incidents

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About Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

Hi! I'm Sylvia Spruck Wrigley and I want to share my adventures with you. I'm a published fiction and aviation author but my biggest love is narrative non-fiction. This is a passion project, which is why I'm using Patreon to find readers. I want to tell you stories about people and places and goats.

I live in Tallinn and of course a lot of my work right now is about my exploration of Estonia, a country I wouldn't have been able to find on a map if you'd asked me five years ago. I write about culture and Google Translate and day-drinking and Russian butchery techniques. Working out whether I should take my clothes off for the sauna or not has fed my social anxiety for the past year. Public transport is its own challenge and nothing makes me as nervous as getting on a bus with a driver that I can't understand on a route that heads straight to Russia.

I want to share these things with you but I also want to interact with you. The Patreon platform allows me to present myself and my writing to you in an easy-to-access format but it also allows for comments, live chat and even video. In this way, I think it's a particularly interesting option for narrative non-fiction and memoir writing, as it offers a level of inter-creativity missing from the broadcast model of traditional publishing.

If you sign up, you'll receive at least one new essay every month, sometimes more, along with comments and photographs. I'll publish many of my older essays and photo-journals, creating series for the higher tiers as a combination of old and new work. And throughout, I will be here, taking part in the comments and sharing things I've seen and, depending on the level of support, hanging out in live chat when I should be writing.

The Back Story
Thirty years ago, I was working for an international software corporation when I spent the weekend hanging out in Paris with a guy who sang pop songs on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur. This was the year that Seal released Crazy and it was his most requested song, you know the one: In a world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn't that crazy? I wanted to fly but back then I just didn't know how. I went back to my corporate job...and then a year later I gave it up to become a tour guide in the Scottish highlands.

Twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to travel across Europe for three months with my then-husband and my four-year-old child. I emailed long missives about the places we saw and the things that we did. At the time, I wrote, "I wonder if I could do this forever, experiencing the world and writing about it, sharing everything." It was fascinating and amazing to connect with people like this, but it also made me very vulnerable. These essays showed more of me to the world than the other way around.

Anyway, I couldn't keep it up. I had a husband, a job, and a young child who needed to go to school. A million responsibilities to go home to. I couldn't afford to write.

This year I turned 51. My life is different in every way. The marriage ended, not long after that trip. My child is grown, with an apartment and a job and a whole new set of responsibilities. My now-boyfriend and I sold our house a few years ago and went on a trip, but this time we had nothing to return to. My income, such that it is, comes from freelance writing and can be done from anywhere. We decided to take a risk and stop in the beautiful city of Tallinn, in Estonia.

Soon, I found myself starting to write again about my experiences; the country that I lived in, the new places I was discovering in Eastern Europe, the people and the complications and the culture and the history. But this time, things were different. I didn’t have to go home. I didn’t have to work double-time in order to afford to live.

This time I can fly.


There's a time and a place for everything and as I stumble into middle age, I think my time is now.

But the truth is, if you are looking for high risk stories of sky diving and car races and extreme sports, then I'm not your girl. I'm over 50 years old and under five foot tall and my knee aches when it rains. I write about embarrassment and passion and anger. I write about conflict. Sometimes that conflict is not wanting to overpay for garlic, other times it's trying to enter a foreign country without any paperwork. It's unlikely to involve breaking bones or laws (at least not intentionally).

But if you want to share the laughter and horror of navigating a marketplace with me, then come and take a look. I've left a few public posts so you can see what we're talking about. I'd love to have you along for the ride.

PS: I might do the skydiving thing, actually

$256.14 of $350 per month
If we reach this goal, I will work even harder. I promise to post at least two essays to the Patreon every month.
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