An agent has requested the first 50 pages of my book, Breaking the Code-A Daughter's Journey. You know, writing is a funny thing. You pour your blood, sweat (ok...yuck, not sweat) and tears (definitely tears for this project), into writing with hopes of publication. But then when it comes to letting someone else hold your baby, you get scared, or at least I did. My first order of business was to let my dad read it. You'd think that would be the easy part, I mean, I interviewed my dad for the book; he is at least 50% of it. But somehow this part was super difficult.
I went over to his house with the first 50 pages, handed them to him and ran. Well, not exactly but that is definitely how I felt. What was so difficult about it? I'm not sure I can put it into words, but I'll try because I think I must.
When my father gave me the letters he'd written during WWII more than five years ago, I began transcribing them. The transcription lead to questions so we met every Wednesday so that I could get my questions answered. And as he answered the questions, I began writing the answers and the process into a book. My book is about that journey we took together. Here is a short exerpt from Chapter One;
"I found myself on the other side of the line he'd drawn in the sand. I stepped over cautiously, then looking into his eyes; I backed up in silence, deafening silence. My questions unanswered, I wanted to scream, "What is this? All these years you've had these [letters] and you didn't tell me? Why? Tell me now. Tell me everything." But instead I stood on the other side of that line. He bowed his head and walked away, into a dense ocean fog."
You see, this book is not just me telling a story about my father. It is very personal. It is my story too. And the story I tell is emotional. It's personal. My father and I don't talk that way. I don't share my feelings and he doesn't share his. We talk about "things." We talk about "stuff" but never feelings. It's like after 40+ years, I am opening up my heart and letting him see what's there. We went through this journey together and we are closer for it. But until now, he didn't know how the experience affected me.
So there you have it. You, my blog-readers, forced me to put into words what I barely understood in my head. And I think it helped. Thanks! ~Karen
nanowrimo word count: 5,366