The Book

Somewhere I thought I should put down some words about the development of Bernard’s diary into the novel, “Pro Patria.” This diary has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and for some reason, the task has fallen to me to “make something of it.” I have many notebooks, books, dichotomies of topics and hours and hours of thinking of how to divide and tame the 247 single spaced pages that came to me from my father and are being delivered to my family and the world in a few weeks as a novel. I finished a Master’s Degree in order to understand writing more fully. I made many drafts as I struggled with several “careers” at once. I found the best editor possible purely by accident at a Chicago Women in Publishing event. She helped me find an interior designer and proofreader and so it goes. We are within weeks of publishing and I am wading through a minefield of emotions. I have made a friend of anxiety and learned to smooth over other’s minor needs and yet keep their major needs addressed. I have tried to keep an even keel despite upheavals in emotion. It doesn’t make for a balanced situation but it is nearly done. Am I happy? Yes, I believe I am but I’ve never been the best judge of that. Do I feel as though I’ve done something I was meant to do. Yes. Is it a good novel? Yes, it is a good story and one based on the only truth I know about my Uncle Bernard and World War I, which are his words. So that’s it then. Soon I’ll have a published historical novel. When I think about it, it’s pretty exciting and feels right and good.

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