What a Time It Was

When writing a book for the first time, the tricky part is what to leave and what to keep. This is my fifth, and final draft. Editor said, more. Give me more. Flesh it out and introduce material with more surprise. Sneak up on your reader and deliver the unexpected. So I spent the morning fleshing out the first five chapters. Somehow the structure is askew, without page breaks, and the numbers of the pages have disappeared, but I am assure that is just mechanics. Keep fleshing. Pace the plot. Build tension. No info dump. Tell the story like you are the reader. The writer knows the story. The reader does not. Write it like a movie. Reel it out holding back nothing.

How would you like that to be your morning, when for the umpteenth time you thought it was done?

I am blessed with two very special, and very different editors. Both of them really know their stuff. They have very different approaches to the work, and I am the beneficiary of their massive experience. My advantages are many, including them. I have a powerful story to tell and a talent for the use of words. They have the job of marshalling the material into a cohesive read.

Because the world of publishing is so askew I will self publish and you all can find it on Amazon just as soon as I say “go”. Many of you know pieces of my history, have heard this story with some frequency, garnering much interest because of its setting and its period..

Like Amish life, which was lived around me, its rural setting and its life in orphanage, during WW2, most people I know have no familiarity with those subjects. Telling this segment of what might be a series, from a child’s point of view, in a time when kids had enormous freedom to roam, touches on the familiar, but out of the unfamiliar.

I had no idea that my life experience in my childhood was so severely abnormal, or how colored it was by the war experiences of my parents. My stepfather was a soldier in Normandy for two whole weeks before he was left for dead in a poppy field. Mama made ammo for the Navy…those forty mm rounds so often seen in film clips coming off warships in the oceans as America engaged the Japanese. Remember, this is the generation that only recently has begun to talk. In my youth, some of my experiences were the norm. Everyone knew air raids. Everyone had a victory garden. Most homes held a square banner in their front window. The number of stars on it told how many of that household were on the front or somewhere, fighting for the nation’s freedom to stay free.

Someone suggested I approach the local colleges to speak on these things since hardly anyone in the classrooms know of this part of American history, keeping the home fires burning and recording it in countless blacked out letters to and from soldiers. It simply isn’t taught. So many of those holding this history remain silent.

Me? I’m writing as fast as I can to get this thing to market before I forget my own name. None of us left standing, holding this story, have lots of time left to tell it.

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