Dark Bread and Dancing is the first book I’ve written. That is to say, the first book I’ve finished. It doesn’t count the three first chapters of others that are languishing somewhere in the same closet that held my mother’s journals for five years. Never mind. The thing is, I’m now experiencing the wonderful afterglow of having written it through the eyes of those who read it.

It was very personal, writing this story in the middle of the night – just my mother’s voice, then my early childhood memories, then the fullness of my growing family over the decades. I’m not sure who I was addressing when I wrote, “By the end of July the copious harvest from Claudia’s little garden was supplying fresh vegetables to friends and family and complete strangers who happened by. Little Nathan complained, ‘I hope we’re not having those little green balls again.’”

Now I know. Almost every week I get a letter or email from someone who has just discovered Dancing and wanted to share their own personal little bonfire of memories that it ignited. “…brown sugar sandwiches, goofy Christmas trees, piano lessons for fifty cents, Saturday night baths. I didn’t want the book to end. Thanks for sharing!” “My mom also kept dozens of spiral bound diaries which, although not nearly as artfully written, I have and treasure. By Chapter 17 the tears were streaming and continued off and on to the end.” “Finished your book last night - Awesome!! I laughed, I cried, and enjoyed every minute of it.” “I also memorized and recited ‘The Leak in the Dike’ but I came in second as another girl recited the same poem with more expression. My mother also left each of her daughters a crocheted bedspread and an afghan. I still treasure them. Thank you for the book.”

Let me tell you, that is the best part of having written a book.

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Published on May 25, 2013 16:01 • 457 views
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message 1: by Dawn (new)

Dawn A sign of a successful writer, when you evoke such emotions in your readers. Dark Bread and Dancing is a wonderful glimpse into the past through the eyes of a spirited woman, who left behind a priceless legacy ~ children and grandchildren who have the courage to "follow their bliss" and enjoy amazing adventures such as walking around the world for breast cancer awareness (Polly Letofsky, granddaughter), or making a documentary about an obscure Russian director (PJ Letofsky, grandson), or culling through years of their mother's diaries and weaving it into an enjoyable, well-written book (Rosemary Rawson, daughter). Personally, I'm hoping for a sequel, would love to see a book written about Sue's later years, when she was on her own, traveling and visiting around the country. Anybody in the family up to that challenge?

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