Stories and books held a fascination for me as far back as I have conscious memory. By the time I was two years old, my parents often read my favorite book to me at bedtime, T’was the Night Before Christmas. My sister was born when I was 2 ½ and I recall the day she and my mother came home from the hospital. I remember sitting outside her door as she slept that afternoon and “reading” that Christmas book to her. Of course, I wasn’t really reading, I was simply reciting the lines of the poem that corresponded with the pictures on each page.
Several years ago, I rediscovered the product of a very early attempt at book writing. I was six or seven when I created the tiny book that my mother put way for safekeeping. I had cut up pieces of paper no bigger than three by five inches and folded them not quite in half. The pages are uneven, which matched well with my uneven style of forming letters. All my words and stick figure illustrations are in pencil. This very small document is decorated with sporadic laciness on the page edges, likely the handiwork of silverfish.
The title is something catchy like A Boy and a Bear. I probably thought of the story as being an adventure. Little did I imagine how comedic it would be several decades later. Even when I read it while alone, I laugh out loud. When I read it to others, it can be slap the table funny, gasp for breath and laugh until we cry hilarious. Mother, bless you for holding onto this little gem for me. Who knows, maybe it will become Kindle-ized one of these days, surely an Amazon bestseller.
Fast forward fifty-some years to a warm July evening, 2011. While waiting for a friend to meet me, I was reading an article about the final play written by Lynn Redgrave, Nightingale. Her own mother was a key figure in the plot. In one of those rare and exciting lightning bolt flashes of inspiration, I became aware of a plan to gather stories of mothers and daughters to publish in electronic book format. I felt as if someone had handed me a paper with the major steps outlined.
• First and foremost, contact Max, my writing coach, who knows all things book;
• Invite members of our writing circle and other friends for true stories;
• Learn how to self-publish an eBook.
Oh, right, and the other element I knew immediately was that regardless of what difficulties or messiness might be part of any of the memories, Love would show up somewhere along the way. Love would be revealed. It might be due to the passage of time since the original events. It might be from reflecting on the occurrences or as part of the writing process. Or, it might be a subtle or an obvious thread of the actual actions. That very night, Mother-Daughter Memories was the main title. Within a few days, the subtitle, Love Revealed, became known. Within six months, Love Revealed was the name of the series-in-progress, it would be the subtitle of many future books, and it became key to the website, www.LoveRevealedStories.com.
As of late February this year, I have published three anthologies in the Love Revealed series. The authors have written beautifully of their actual experiences and memories, I am so proud of their work. Their true stories are healing hearts, one reader at a time.
What stories have touched your life? What childhood memories of books read or written come to mind right now? Do you like to journal?
Look for my future post: If You Love to Write, You Are a Writer.
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