Don't be fooled by the title of this blog. I don't discuss herbs very much here. This blog is general-purpose, although I do like ranting about politics and religion.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Book Finished! Mostly...

I haven't yet mentioned this in this blog, but I have been working on my wife's sister's book for the past year and a half, rewriting it from her original manuscript which, despite its very interesting and compelling story, was quite unpublishable.

She originally wrote the book back in 1980. I saw a copy of the manuscript shortly thereafter, but never read the manuscript until many years later. Anyway, she was never able to get a publisher interested in it. The book is about their family's experiences in World War 2 in Germany. Her family was living in the eastern part of Germany, called East Prussia, when the Soviet Army invaded towards the end of the war. They tried to flee (along with hundreds of thousands of others), but weren't quick enough. My wife was 4 years old when her family left their hometown, and they only got about 60 kilometers away when the Russians caught up. They were stuck in a town called Prussian Holland for a few weeks before the Russians got around to taking prisoner nearly all the able-bodied adults left in the town and shipping them eastwards into Siberia and other places. The four sisters (ages 4 to 10) were left in a bombed-out town with no parents or any other adults to look after them for about seven months, and only managed to survive by scavenging for food in bombed out and burned houses and other buildings. After seven months of this, all the remaining Germans in the town were put on a train and shipped west to Berlin, and the area became part of Poland. The four little girls were in orphanages and foster homes in and around Berlin or three years until their mother returned from slavery in the Ural mountains. Like many other Germans taken prisoner by the Russians, their father never returned. Their mother was extremely lucky to have lived through Communist slavery, because most of those went with her from Prussian Holland did not. The whole thing is quite a story.

Anyway, the reason this is exciting is because I have finally finished the first version that I think is in good enough shape to offer to a publisher. I have some tightening up of the writing and some error correcting to do, but now the main task is to make a good list of likely publishers and get ready to send off copies of the manuscript!

I have sent a copy of the reworked manuscript to my sister-in-law, as she has not seen any of my work up to this point.


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