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.