Happy Anniversary to Me

Can you all believe that it has been one year since the publication of my book? Now that it is done after so many, many years of writing and researching it, I am wondering if you thought I would ever complete it.

What are your opinions about the story—not the quality but what you learned about Grandpa and the rest of his family? Did it explain anything about the way he acted knowing now what you do about his life, and did it alter your opinions of him?

For me, it certainly explained why he did not want to go on that family cruise and why he never hesitated to pick up the phone and call anyone—even Uncle Mart in the middle of a job interview. It makes me understand why I never knew his politics until he was much older.

Thank you for taking the time to give me suggestions on how to improve the book during the writing process and to read it in its entirty once it was done— even though you had read it in pieces over and over so many times.

What are your thoughts about me trying to write another book? Do you have what it takes to go through the process of listening to me discuss it once more, and do you have any thoughts on what you would like me to write about this time? I have thought about turning Mommymeanderings into a book about stories of the Baby Boomer Generation. Although it’s just a thought, I am considering this as an option.

But back to my book. As someone who you all know loves competitions I can play by myself, beginning on Thursday, May 25 and continuing until June 4, I will be doing my second Goodreads Giveaway for people in the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I targeted those countries based upon where I know this blog is being read and where I have friends. (I’m so worldly!)

As someone who loves competitions with myself as exemplified by my license plate game, I am turning this into another game. (See Mock Me if  You Must for Details) The goal is to beat the number of entrants to my other Giveaway of 961 people.

Game on!

 

A Lollapalooza of a List

Mock my word list no more, girls. I am in good company. The list I am referring to is my “good words/bad words” list that I have been accumulating for a while now—a list filled with a plethora of luscious words.

My book club is currently reading the book “My Reading Life,” which was written by the very well-respected Southern writer—the late great Pat Conroy. In one fell swoop, I felt vindicated by the comment about his list of words he also created to be used in his writing. While you may all believe this to be a dubious statement, I kid you not.

I do not want my writing to become boring, and I want it to sound as if I have a modicum of intelligence as I record these stories. Dad and I began creating this list together—a fun game which has become quite whimsical to us, but for the most part this is my creation and I am not in cahoots with him.

At night when I begin to discuss my words, it is sometimes difficult for Dad to get a word in edgewise as I engage in what may seem like a filibuster to him.

But now, as I look at the clock and see that dinner time is approaching, I must go down to the bodega and pick up the ingredients for our dinner. I was thinking of making gazpacho and some chimichangas, so I need to get in my car stat and head out, copy that?

Thanks for the Help and Encouragement

I would like to thank all of you for putting up with me during the last seven years while I wrote the book about Grandpa. You all had to tolerate me, particularly Dad, while I disappeared into my dark hole of writing and researching while I tried to uncover the details of Grandpa’s life—all stuff I could have learned if only I had sat down and really talked to him years ago.

If I could roll back time, I would ask him how he and his siblings felt when they learned they were moving from New Jersey to Russia. You were unhappy when we moved to North Carolina, so I am sure that gives you an idea how they felt—just so, so much worse.

“Tell me about the trip,” I would ask, now knowing that they traveled on a luxury liner from New York to London.  Then I would ask about the remainder of the trip as they journeyed on a small Finish steamer stopping first at Copenhagen and then Helsinki.

I want to know exactly what the living conditions were like in that apartment that they shared with a Communist party member. I am interested in knowing precisely what it was like to be an American boy growing up in the Soviet Union.

Then I would question him about the long ride home across the Soviet Union on that train. What did he eat, and who did he hang out with on the Trans-Siberian Railway? Was he scared to be returning to New Jersey alone—only twenty-two years old–during a time when much of the world was at war?

I would wrap up the conversation inquiring about all those years trying to get the rest of his family home, and ask if he really spoke with the Secretary of State on the phone. It was clear from the letters I found at the National Archives that Secretary Hull knew Grandpa.

So many unanswered questions that I never asked but spoke about in my book. I wrote it from Grandpa’s perspective to try to put you all in his shoes. I wish he could read it and tell me if I did a good job telling his story.

Now it’s done. It’s out there and I feel proud, relieved, and fearful. It is like the naked dream, because while my book was sitting on my computer, I was safe. Now my words are exposed and that is a scary feeling, but I have no regrets.

I am grateful to your suggestions on what changes to make on each revision. You encouraged me when I had doubts about continuing. You all have busy lives, which makes me all the more thankful for your help.

So it’s available on Kindle now and in paperback tomorrow. (Don’t worry. I will give you each a copy) In a month or so, it will be available online at other booksellers such as Barnes and Noble and Books a Million.

Do Svidanya Dad- The Story of an American Family Trapped in the USSR

The End!