“I can hardly read this.”

IMG_8315I just read that sentence into my audio book. I was so choked up by the painful moment in the book when…oh no, I can’t tell you. Suffice it to say, something dreadful just happened and sent all the main characters of Divided Loyalties reeling. My voice caught in my throat and tears stung my eyes as I read those sad words. It seems like it was only a moment before when I had chuckled at a touching moment between two young and innocent lovers.

I’ve spent the past two weeks reading each chapter aloud for an audio book. I thought it would be a chore, a boring bit of work–for a very good recipient. I was glad to do it but I didn’t expect the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on.

It’s been exhilarating … to read beautiful words and know I wrote them.

It’s been humiliating … to read a sentence that has a typo, error, poor word choice.

And it’s touched my heart and soul … to relive moments in the story that recall the sacrifice, the suffering, the torment delivered to families in the days of the Civil War. And every war.

I haven’t even gotten to the chapters that take place during Christmas 1862. Those were difficult days, no doubt. And yet, here I sit, in the shadow of a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments, lights and an angel. Its a far cry from the quiet of a country Christmas in the middle of the war, almost too festive as I read about a place that had so recently seen a golden autumn day turn into one of the bloodiest battles in American history.

As Selma Diamond said once in “Night Court” (who remembers this?) “I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.”

And it has. I left the story of Maureen to others once the final draft was sent off to the publisher. But in reading it aloud, it has become part of me once more.

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