Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been absent for a while. In fact, I believe this is the longest period of time I’ve gone without posting since I started my blog three years ago.
It’s been a busy summer. There have been lots of fun times with family, I’ve been tending to my vegetable garden, preserving summer’s bounty, and finishing my memoir.
Oh yes. I finished my memoir!
Well, it’s finished but not yet finished, if you know what I mean.
I’ve been working with my most-excellent editor on revisions over the summer. Kathleen has been invaluable in helping me refine and reshape my manuscript. In many ways she has also helped me to clarify in my own mind the message I am trying to convey. My manuscript is back with her for copy editing and I am turning my attention toward finishing my book proposal in preparation to begin the query process.
Over the course of the past three years not many people have been privy to the details of my story. Oh, I’ve shared a few pieces with my critique partners, my daughter has read a few snippets, and I’ve read aloud a fair chunk of my work to my husband in recent months. But, aside for Kathleen, no one has read the entire manuscript.
With the book declared to be finished it was time to allow my husband to read it in its entirety so over the past week or so, as the two of us sat outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, Gerry read my book. Sometimes he chuckled, sometimes he paused and looked at me, sometimes he harrumphed.
And always I asked “What part are you at now?”
I’ve slept fitfully this week. Some nights I woke both of us up with my screaming; other nights I woke only myself up mumbling and talking as a dream slips from sleep to wakefulness. You see the story is not all a happy one and, while I’ve worked through a lot as I’ve written the book and found peace about circumstances, it’s something else to sit beside someone while they read it.
One thing I’ve learned over the past three years is that memoir writing is not for the faint of heart. Aside from the time, sacrifice and discipline that the craft demands, you have to be willing to dig deep within yourself and shed light in those shadow areas you would just as soon leave in darkness, to relive experiences that were sometimes very difficult. The rewards have been many as I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve gained insight into situations and people that I might otherwise have not gained had I not taken this journey.
Ultimately I hope Two Hearts: An Adoption Memoir will foster deeper understanding about the complexities around adoption and what makes us part of a family.
So, I am setting out on the next leg of my journey. The journey toward publication. I hope you’ll come along with me.