A life lived isn’t subject to change

A life lived isn’t subject to change

I write to affect change, to explore internally and to make someone laugh. Days like today have me staring at the blank page and excavating the deep recesses of my thoughts to put words to screen.

Last week I was sitting on a terrace overlooking the ocean as I wrote, and this week finds me at my kitchen table. I’ll take both places as they nudge new things off my lips to fingertips with the traveling away from home and the returning of.

An update on my book: I have found an editor and am moving forward. My hopes and dreams were to have a small but stellar publishing house read my manuscript, love it beyond measure and want to publish it.

For several years I’ve tried this route but to no avail. This does not mean I’m giving up. What it means is that I’m going to self-publish and put everything I have behind it. Success and moving forward, I’ve found, sometimes need to start small. It might have a tiny bit of spark that needs blown on, nurtured, so here I am.

I am so excited to finally be moving on that the breath falls quickly away from me. My husband had nearly given up the thought that the book would be published, but I told him to believe in me for a while longer. (He always believes in me.)

My goal up until September, when the editor will take over, is to refine my 75,000 words. When I read back through, an electric tingle shoots up my spine: Is it good enough? Will anyone read it? And this is when I want to pull the covers over my head and sleep.

Authoring a book is hard. It took blood and brain cells away from me that I really needed. Writing a weekly column each week is a piece of cake compared to an entire book.

I know most writers are critical of their own work, micro-managing each word to within an inch of its life. The thing about the book I’ve written is that while it tells my husband’s story, it also shares things that run along the currently charged political climate we’re living in. The thickness of it can feel stifling.

The releasing of it will be like taking the heart out of my body. I can only write it as it happened, and when I finally let my hands off this bundle of prayed-over words I’ve knitted together, I would want you to read it through George’s eyes: to feel and hear his terror, his joy and the actions he took to make his life what it is today. I love him more for everything he went through than I can express.

So I sit here at my table, the ice in my cup making melting sounds, and think about the revisions I must make before I place it in my capable editor’s hands. What do I take out? What do I leave? What do I rewrite to make sound better, more coherent? What do I change to convey the heart and soul of the story without making it a glossed-over version of events?

If I take out too much, it becomes fluff, nonsubstantive, something I would never read. And that’s what I don’t want to do. I’ve written it in plain language. There’ll be parts you cringe at, some parts you’ll cry at and some parts you’ll be angry at.

That’s OK. It’s how the story goes. And I guess that answers my inner turmoil — that’s how the story goes. A life lived isn’t subject to change.

I’ll keep everyone informed the moment it’s ready for purchase. As for me, I’ll be under the covers, biting my fingernails and hoping you read me.

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