When people ask me, "How are you writing this book so quickly?" my answer is, "I swear it is writing itself. It is like Emma is sitting next to me enouraging every word on every page". It really does feel like that. From a logical point of view, she is next to me as I always write with her scrapbook opened to the gorgeous 8 x 10 image of my baby girl. (If I ever get a scanner that works I'll share it with you!) But, aside from the obvious physical representations of her I still hold dear, odd things happen when I write.
I have always been forthright about the hard-to-swallow fact that there are chunks of time and specific days recounted for me, that I have completely blacked out. Bits and pieces come back to me when someone is very detailed in their description, but it is a forced memory and doesn't stay long.
In addition - before I lost Emma I didn't put much stock in this "world-to-world" connection stuff. I was a hard core you gotta see it and touch it to believe it. After she flew it took me a while to accept the feeling / sensing connection, but Emma is part of me (not to mention persistant and patient with me) and so I came to see what was real and true in my life, using all my senses.
I have to admit for the first year I was addicted to the John Edwards show. I would dream about going on the show and having him single me out on the first round..."Ohhhh" he would say sporting a seriously intense look on his face, "I feel a STRONG presance around you. Your daughter, right? An infant...Yes, she wants you to know that her death was always part of the plan and she is with you all the time." And just when I thought he was done and dissolved into tears, he would add, "E. I see the letter E. She insits that I tell you she is proud of the work you have done to deal with your grief." Indulgant? Of course, we all want to hear the words that we believe will settle our heart, but that is the beautiful part of fantasy...we get - exactly that!
Anyway, lately, when I arrive home from dropping the girls to their respective schools and open the computer, time disintegrates and my surroundings become hazy. It is like a portal exists in my dining room (for that is where I do the bulk of my writing as the office is too messy...I'm working on it!) and when the time portal opens I am back in 2000 re-living the pregnancy, discovery of her death, and delivery of our first daughter. Ok, maybe that's not so odd for writers, I mean, you do have to immerse yourself in the storyline regardless of it's basis in fact or fiction, but here is where the really odd stuff happens.
I'll be writing along occasionally amazed by the speed that a thought can fly through me and take form on the screen, and my fingers take off. They develop a mind of their own (or of a spirit in the chair next to me) and begin creating text that had not passed through the mental scanner I like to call "my brain". This all happens in the span of seconds and when I stop to look at what I have written I am shocked to see that names I could not recall have appeared on the page, hospital scenes I only vaguely remember are mapped out in intense detail, and insights between mother and child appear that are so novel to me, they bring tears.
I don't think publishers go for dual authorship when the second party is deceased so I'm not even going to approach it with them, but with you, the circle of other "dead baby mothers" (by the way I love that you call yourselves that with pride!) with you I will always share the credit for my words with Emma Grace. I know sceptics might challenge me and say that my perspective of the events are skewed by maternal love and grief, but they would be wrong! I know what I know and she is with me when I write. She is around us often (see previous posts - "The Burning Bush" and "The Eve") but when the room is filled with only the computer and classical music, our connection is stronger, fueled by a dual desire to reach out and spare other hurting mothers even one second of their pain.
Emma has a message she has shared with me and it is my job to share it with the world, or at least with the population of the world who is ready to hear it. To the skeptics, I say "Be skeptical, but it will only keep you from really living in this world for YOUR perspective is the only one that matters. Mine keeps my heart wide open at all times!"
I tell you tonight...believe.
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