Mariana Diaconu came to Spalding with a dream in her heart.
A nurse in her native country, when she was younger Mariana dreamed of finding a cure for cancer, prompted by the death of a grandparent.
If she had given up thoughts of finding a miracle cure by the time she came to the UK in 2004, the Romanian had a more realistic hope: of gaining valuable experience and expertise that she could then take back to her own country.
The reality came as a huge shock.
Mariana’s nursing diploma was unrecognised, and so she ended up working as a carer in Spalding, hundreds of miles away from home and all that was familiar to her, and with no friends.
She says: “I was so upset and sad and I remember I just had days when I worked, went home to eat and sleep, and had no friends. It was a hard time.”
Life has improved vastly for Mariana over the years: her qualifications have been recognised and she now works in Spalding as a nurse, she has friends and, best of all, she married Englishman Matthew in 2009.
Having turned her life around so successfully, Mariana’s thoughts have returned to another long-held ambition – to become a published writer.
She has enjoyed writing stories and poems from being a young girl, and success in a national magazine story-writing contest as a 13-year-old only fuelled her ambitions. As she grew up, she continued to write, and had work published in magazines and newspapers.
However, once she began work, the writing stopped until it was re-kindled recently by the eight-year-old daughter of friends, whose dream is to grow up to be a fairy.
The concept of fairies is not one that is familiar to Romanians, but Mariana decided she would write a letter supposedly from a fairy to the little girl. It was so well received that Mariana wants to work the letter up into a longer story, and has ambitions to start writing regularly again.
However, she is concerned that she may unknowingly make errors in her written English and is looking for people willing to take a critical interest in her work. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.