As I continue with laying out Patchwork and Ornament (my late mother-in-law’s memoirs that I compiled and edited), it occurred to me to print out a copy, put it into a binder, and start showing people what I’ve been working on. Show and Tell has generated a lot of response, all positive. Granted, these are my friends and family, but even so…instead of thumbing through it quickly and saying something like “that’s nice,” they want to read further. A woman in my dentist’s office read 35 pages while I was getting a tooth filled!
Even more interesting, as they read Jenny’s stories, they start telling me their own, and boy, am I hearing some great stuff. I’m thinking that, as part of my approach to get the word out about this book, I could put together a workshop to help people get started with creating their own family legacies, even if they just keep them in the family. I feel like I’m on to something special each time I share P&O with others.
Each piece of writing seems to send me on a new and unique journey, and the one I’m embarking on with this book seems particularly sweet and rewarding. Yet the manuscript alone doesn’t have the same effect…laying it out, and having it walk like a duck, I mean, look like a book, makes a big difference. I think that even if we just set up some margins in our word processing programs to make our manuscripts more book-like (except, of course, when submitting to publishers!), we may get more non-writers to take a look at what we’re doing. It changes their perceptions. It may even change our own.