To blog or not to blog? I seem to continually choose not to blog. I’ve had a lot to keep me busy and away from the blogging key board. I bought a house and the search, closing, moving were huge time suckers. Now that I’m in my new home, I have to say that as difficult as the entire process was at times, it was all worth it. I sit now in my new office in a beautiful row house in Baltimore. A place I plan to spend countless hours in working and creating. More on all of that later.
The biggest task that kept me away from blogging was finishing my first published book. For more than a year, I have been working on writing the memoir for Shoshana Johnson which chronicles the story of the ambush of her convoy in the early days of the war in Iraq, her capture and her 22 days in captivity. The book also covers her return home, her treatment in the press, her difficulties with the military medical system, and the challenges of trying to live a normal life after such an extraordinary experience. It’s a powerful story. It’s hard to believe I was given the opportunity to help tell it.
When I received the pages from the line editor I thought someone was joking. The pages were covered in red. Every single page, every single one, had red all over it. Sometimes there were as many as 10 corrections on a single page. It was proof that, any English training I may have had in the past, simply didn’t take. It was humiliating. I kept picturing that poor editor as she corrected the same mistakes over and over again, cussing me out and shaking her head and thinking, “We paid her to write this crap?”
I made the corrections and returned the pages and just weeks later; I was looking at the pages as they would be type set in the book. It was beautiful. I loved the titles for each chapter. Loved the way everything seemed to read differently now that they weren’t simply words on a page I created. These pages had been printed, by someone in a publishing house, had been read by editors and line editors and the guy in the printing room who was responsible for printing the thing so that it could be wrapped in a hardcover and bound. Heady stuff.
I had been thrill to see the printed pages. What I really wanted to see was what they had planned for the cover. I imagined many different possibilities. None of my imaginings came close to how great the cover really is. I love it. Simply love it!
Shana likes it too and that’s the most important thing. She loves the book. Her family, well, I know there are things in there that are hard for them to read, but I they appreciate that finally, her story will be told in its entirety.
Now, I wait for February when it will finally come out. Its hard to believe that I‘m done with it. In the mean time, I’m back to work on the second novel in the Master Sergeant Harper series. I found a new writing group and I know they will be helpful. More, much more on them later.