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Monday, June 14, 2010

welcoming myself back on my own blog

It's time to return to this blogspot because of the upturn in my writing adventures. Having just signed a contract with All Things That Matter Press, I am now stepping feet first into a new world of publishing unlike anything I've done before. Previously I've self-published four books, and had lots of fun and challenges with that effort, but very little know-how on marketing. I give away a lot of books . . .

This time it's different: a real publisher and thus a book that might actually make it into the marketplace and be somewhat successful. Rachel's Children: Surviving the Second World War is my title, describing the experiences of those who were children during WWII. I was one of them, although never in the deep trenches of warfare. It affected me even so, and many years later made me realize that for someone who had been only peripherally involved yet having life-long effects from that time, I must understand that children whose life was surrounded by the battles, the hunger, the fears, the dangers of war carried those memories with them for their entire lives. Many have died since the war ended, but for those who are still here, my hope is that somehow by telling the stories, describing the lives, healing comes.

I was 8 years old. My father was an Army doctor, a pathologist, stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii (at the time the Territory of Hawaii) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I spent the first few days feeling fear in the pit of my stomach. Eventually what had at first seemed disorienting about a new pattern for our days became routine and I began to settle into a sense of normalcy around me even when I knew it was not normal. I describe some of this in the book.

My father remained in Honolulu until the Japanese surrender at war's end, but my brother and mother and I left the spring after the war's beginning. My other brother, a student at Princeton University, graduated early, as did my other brother later, and entered the service. My mother and I stayed in North Carolina near my father's relatives until his return and our move to Ft. Hamilton in New York City.

As we faced more wars in the years since, I grew convinced that we must find a way never to have war again, but the efforts for peace continue to be elusive. The pain and the loss of something essential in our psyche prevails until we face a world in chaos, without direction, and with an abundance of disasters both natural and by the acts of our own human species.

Thus it is that by writing this book, collecting stories, reflecting by way of my poems, I have been able to feel at least some glimmerings of personal healing and wholeness, but I continue to grieve for all the lost children, the lost hopes, the lost futures of those who never survived any of our wars.

May this book be a healing journey for its readers.

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