Old Box of memories
Something triggered me to find the old box. Has anyone experienced boredom when there’s nothing on the calendar? It’s hard to believe that only a few short years ago we couldn’t go anywhere except to the store for grocery shopping and a few other places.
My brain needed stimulation. I had planned no major writing projects. My debut novel, The Other Child, published in 2017.
We’d recently moved to the Toronto area from Thunder Bay. Since we’d moved more than most people and became experts at packing, we kept some boxes closed for decades. Stuff we didn’t need, memorabilia, journals, and a few magazine articles.
I spent 2020 going through our thousands of photos and created themed photo albums. Then, in 2021, I proved to my husband that I hadn’t thrown out the letters we wrote to each other before we married. After searching in several boxes, I found them.
Divine inspiration from a box
Though I had seen a pile of letters decades ago, I thought I had discarded them. Thankfully, they survived our moves. My eighty and his seventy-nine airmail envelopes were neatly placed in a shoe box, inside a large plastic bin.
It was time after 50+ years to read them. What secrets I shared with my pen pal? As a teenage girl, who knows what I may have written, especially when our relationship remained on a soulmate status for so long! I couldn’t remember. So, I needed to find out.
First, I pulled each one out of the airmail envelope with care, and then organized them by date. I spent the summer reading letters in between going for nature walks. What sparked the idea of writing a memoir? The correspondence between us served as a springboard for telling my story—our story—of how we met and fell head-over-heels in love. Fortunately, my husband was on board with my project, and endorsed it.
Two major themes emerged—God’s faithfulness and unconditional love. God prepared our life journey. It’s been a joy to capture how He directed each of our steps, and brought us together from different continents across the ocean.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;Psalms 37:23
What I did next
I found an old box to organize the letters chronologically, then added dividers for specific time periods. Since there were so many letters, I summarized the contents in a notebook. That took weeks and weeks. After that, I highlighted points I wanted to use in the story.
As if by divine appointment, I noticed a Facebook group called “Everything Memoir.” I joined to learn how to write one. I visualized events and created a timeline from the summary notes and from my memories. Once the writing progressed, I made a spreadsheet of chapter titles and topics. This was necessary to include scenes from my family history and places where we lived and traveled.
Book baby on its way
I was determined to finish the book. So, I wrote, even on vacations to Florida. During the first year, I hired a writing coach, Susy Flory, and produced the rough draft.
Then, in the second year, I revised the manuscript, hired editors, and prepared for self-publishing. Finally, my book baby is about to be born! My second one.I’m proud to present to you, my reader: BETWEEN US a True Story of Longing for Love and Letters. It will be available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. In addition, I will have signed copies in person wherever you find me.
Here’s the cover for now.
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