So, I decided to write a book

by Nov 14, 2016

So, I decided to write a book but didn’t have a clue of how to get started.

First of all, I knew the 100 letters exchanged between my parents over eight-weeks needed to be included. There were another 100 letters that followed that period written by my dad to my mom but I chose to postpone reading those. In my mind I had the story and doubted they could add anything. I was eventually proven wrong.

My parents, separated as a result of an event, wrote to each other daily. Their handwriting was a challenge to read, even by me. I had learned to decipher their scribbling over the years but this took it to a whole other level. My mother would often write late at night in bed after putting me down. Sometimes the words would become more slanted and compact as she progressed. Her letters were not just more difficult to read but were usually longer than my dad’s.

Fortunately, most letters had the date or day written at the top of the page which along with the postmarked envelope and a 1955-1956 calendar, I was able to pull together some semblance order. There were some days that one or both of my parents wrote more than one letter. However, usually the time of day would be mentioned letting me know which came first.

I was floored by how long it took me to type out 100 letters not to mention the two or three times I neglected to hit “save” causing me to start over.

And Lord have mercy! The terms of endearments were never-ending. Each paragraph began with “Honey,” “Baby,” “Sweetheart,” “Darling,” etc. Plus my mother would sprinkle two or three more sweet nothings within a paragraph. My dad had his fair share but not to the extent of my mom’s. Of course, it was sweet but I thought it would be overwhelming when reading 100 letters back to back. In time, and with professional advise, I began to eliminate a few here and there. And then I eliminated a few more. Although there are still plenty left,  just know when reading the book, every time you see “Honey,” or “Baby,” you could easily multiply it by 4!

J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.

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