Thursday, February 23, 2012

How I put myself in my books

I was just working on my latest manuscript (revising-- I love revising; so much easier than actually creating pages), when I reached a tiny event in the story. In the novel, my heroine's father has left her his journal, and she treasures it not because of its contents but because of the handwriting. Here's where that incident originated.

My father never went shopping for Christmas presents early. He was notorious for going out  the afternoon of Dec. 24, and coming back with the coolest presents for my mother, my sister, and me. But in December 1989, my father died about two weeks before Christmas. Several months after his death, my mother gave me a Christmas present that my father had bought for me (he purchased one for my sister as well) early that year.

Apu (that's Dad in Hungarian) was a mechanical engineer, and one of his last projects was designing a nut or bolt--I don't know which--for the stealth bomber. Lockheed Martin made silver coins available for purchase to the people who helped in the production of the bomber. My dad bought one for each of his daughters.

I collected coins as a kid, and still keep interesting ones. When I received the commemorative silver coin, it wasn't the coin itself that held my attention. Tucked into the box, written on a tiny card made from the cut-out corner of one of the extra invitations from my wedding (my family was nothing if not frugal) were the words, "Love you, Apu." I have the coin to this day, but the treasure in its official box isn't the silver, but that piece of repurposed paper with three simple words in my father's handwriting. I would recognize that script anywhere.


Books I'm reading now:
The Other Guy's Bride by Connie Brockway
Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

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