I have been thinking a lot about ideas for my next blog post. Funny how things fall right into your lap.
This past week has been full. I’ve been editing the book, A Girl from the Hill . After my friend Lisa took the time to edit and proof the manuscript, my mother-in-law has kindly taken a second pass for me. Since I’m self publishing I’m not getting any formal editorial services. But with Lisa and Judy I have more than enough expertise and experience, not to mention heart, to get this book ready. I will sit with my mother tomorrow, hopefully, and start selecting pictures. Then we’re done. Fini.
I have been working on this book nearly every day for the past two years. It started out as a rough idea, and became a journey. I got to have some meaningful conversations with my mother, my sisters, my family. I learned a lot about my mother’s life, things I was too young for, or not even born for, for that matter. I learned how much we are alike, and realized how much I do love her, and myself.
A Girl From the Hill is my first public writing experience. It’s taken me my entire life to get enough confidence and strength to do this. Saying its a labor of love sounds trite, but all my love for my family and the journeys we’ve all taken is woven into this work.
Writing has provided me with a safe haven from the stress of my daily grind, from a world where I don’t always fit in. I’m like my mom, Auntie Phil, Auntie Alice, and my grandmother Maria. I want people’s happiness more than a person should sometimes. I’m a people pleaser. But I am trying, harder each day, to please myself first. It goes against my grain, but if I don’t do it I’ll get eaten alive, I’m sure of it.
You may notice that some of my posts, my excerpts from the book, are no longer posted. Please know that it’s not because I want people to buy the book when it comes out. While I’d love everyone to buy it in tribute to my mother, a money-making venture this is not. But because I don’t want to offend anyone mentioned in my book, and on this site, I’m taking down any potentially offending words. And I also must consider editing the book further, so that no feelings are slighted.
I never wrote this book, or posted a single word with the intention of hurting anyone. Most of the people in my mother’s memories are long departed. Many don’t care about their names being posted on the internet, some have been very supportive. From reviewing recipes from the mind of the Crow, guest blogging, helping me identify my roots. I believe in the positive energy of this book. That’s been my goal all along – to declare that growing up and being a woman means standing up for yourself and not taking yourself so seriously that you kill the spark within you.
I don’t always follow this mantra. Sometimes I let the demons slip in. Doubt, paranoia, egoism. All the comments that cause me to stumble and lose my confidence. Like a cold slap in the face they can get me. If I let them.
I do understand that some people may not like to have their names mentioned in print, may think the memories and the descriptions created are less than flattering. They are my mother’s memories. Whether they are true or not is not as important as the fact that they are her reality. Neither she nor I ever intended to malign or hurt those we love. But I do understand.
I am ever-grateful for having such wonderful parents. Parents that worry about me, care about me as a person, that always, treat me like their baby, even though I’m going on 49 in a few months. That make sure my family is taken care of, that get me the special butterfly split chicken breasts from Ruggieri’s market.
My dad said I must be strong, and not care about what others think. I am trying.
So please accept my apologies for taking down some of these posts. And don’t worry. My next book, already in progress, is a work of fiction.