Valerie Anne Burns
2 min readJan 3, 2024

“Jumping a Train” just published in Grande Dame Literary

An 8th essay, “Jumping a Train” from my book, Caution Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter has just been published in Grande Dame Literary. Here is the beginning of the essay and please click on the link to read the rest. Grande Dame is a journal of poetry, short story, and memoir (my piece is memoir):

Dad told a story where I imagined the blackest sky with millions of stars surrounding and cradling his bedroom. It left an indelible impression. When he was a young boy during the Depression and living on a farm in Indiana, he would lie in bed at night listening to the distant train whistles calling him. He would dream of leaving his home and hopping on that train to embark on fascinating world adventures where he’d meet unique people on his travels. Dad was a history nut and very curious about cultures.

But dad’s first chance to travel overseas was at the age of nineteen, when he went off to war. He was a gunner for the Army Air Force stationed with maneuvers all through Europe, as well as Africa. It was not the magic he longed for and dreamed of; it was a miracle that he stayed alive. His back was injured in a near plane crash. Pain would flare up from time-to-time, but his spirit was marked forever. His war experiences rendered him a tortured soul with nowhere to go but alcohol for relief.

Click below to continue. Thank you.

Valerie Anne Burns

Author of Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Blogger; Breast Cancer Survivor; Hollywood Survivor; Workshop Leader; & Beauty Seeker.