“Waiting to exhale”–thank you, Whitney Houston

I think I might have found a format for the next book. This search can best be described as similar to hunting for the non-existent snipe in junior high. But, I think this format will work.

I’m probably going to follow the same style as Lemonade. I will write about my experience of taking my adoption story and genealogy to the old country of Ukraine. I will detail the search in the Krakow, Poland archives and traveling to Warsaw, Poland to research there. I’ll talk about my findings.

This aspect of the story will not cover as much time as the first book. For that reason, I’m concerned that this book might not be terribly interesting. Lemonade chronicled a lifetime of search and discovery along with the juggling of relationships. There was a dynamism that followed me throughout the decades involving everyone and taking me to new places emotionally and geographically.

Charting my birth mother’s family is (in my mind) less fascinating. Yet there are still so many interesting aspects to that side of my identity. My maternal grandfather immigrated from Austria-Hungary to Canada right before World War I broke out. My grandmother and infant aunt were left behind and suffered the horrors of war. My grandfather found work difficult in Canada because he was “Austrian” and was the enemy during the war.

It was a full eight years before my grandmother and aunt (and an uncle born eighteen months after my grandfather’s departure!) arrived at the Port of Ottawa to be processed and reunited with my grandfather. The rest of the family, including my mother, were born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

So how do I incorporate all this past information into the book? Flashbacks? Historical fiction? The latter seems implausible. The former more realistic.

Who knows? Perhaps this book will only be half a long as Lemonade. That might be a good thing. I’ve received feedback suggesting that Lemonade was too detailed and covered too much time. I must admit I disagree, but I must consider whether or not my disagreement is objective.

When I look at the whole of the next book, it overwhelms me. I need to quit doing that. If I consider the next book chapter by chapter, it feels more doable.

I don’t know, perhaps it’s too soon to be attempting this project. I only started the search a year ago. And, like everything else in this journey, all the details and information fell into place quite easily. I waited thirty-two years to write the first book and it took me two and a half years to finish it. Sometimes I feel that I should wait longer for this one.

But I won’t. Despite some of the reticence I feel, I am enjoying the work of this next book. I have told people it will be another year before it’s finished, merely to give myself time. Truthfully, I have a feeling it will be done quite quickly once I get my motor going.

That sigh you hear is from me; I’ve been waiting to exhale for months.


5 thoughts on ““Waiting to exhale”–thank you, Whitney Houston

  1. As to the feedback you received on Lemonade (“I’ve received feedback suggesting that Lemonade was too detailed and covered too much time”), I completely disagree (meaning I agree with you). I found Lemonade to be a real page-turner, just the right amount of detail, and covered the appropriate amount of time. A great read, as far as I’m concerned. I was completely caught up in what you had gone through in your life…at times, in near tears at some of the things you had gone through, feeling terrible that I hadn’t been there to help you when needed. Just my two cents worth… The next book sounds even more engrossing than your first. I look forward to purchasing an autographed copy of it as well.

  2. Do you ever just write about a topic or a time or incident, then move to the next? Then you at least get started and can begin to weave then together adding bridges and more detail. That’s what I used to do with huge research papers and other papers for university. Sometimes doing it that way, ideas and emphasis and strategy were formed just through the act of writing the segments. I couldn’t even begin when I’d think of the whole thing! Good luck. I’m sure it’ll be stunning!

    • That’s pretty much how I write. For the first book, I wrote it exactly how it was printer. First the Prologue, then Chapter One, etc. For this second book, I’ve recently written the first chapter and I think I’m on a roll. I have a good idea how to write this book. I’m going to pull a Nike and “just do it”. Then go back over it and determine if it turned out okay. Of course, I’ll have my proofreader and editor check it out, too.

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