Author Guest Post
A New Twist On Upcycling
As I contemplated this art form I realized that that is exactly what I did with my parent’s love letters. Reading their letters and transforming them into a novel certainly fits the criteria of making something new out of an old object, though it goes far beyond that. I recommend to one and all reading those forgotten letters that sit in dusty boxes in the darkest corner of the basement. Here’s why:
As you read the letters you are immediately transformed into another time and place. You suspend your own challenges and concerns and begin to experience history first-hand. How could you read the following lines and not be affected:
“Have had hell scared out of me a few times and expect plenty more to come, but none so close but what it could be worse. . .Jap planes visit us all the way from 3 to a dozen or more times a day but as yet haven’t bombed us. All have fox holes for those occasions that make it somewhat safer.”
Reading your parents’ love letters on the one hand may seem rather invasive. On the other hand, you will begin to experience your parents as people, freed from the confines of their role as your parents. They become multidimensional characters who are young and vibrant, full of hopes and dreams. Here is an example:
“I have your picture sitting here but it hasn’t said a word. It’s taking some awful beatings riding around with me. The frame is a little beat up but the picture is ok yet. It’s the most valuable piece of property I have. Those lips look like they were all in the mood for a big kiss, in fact my highest ambition right now, if possible, would be to press my lips against those lips. I hope to God it isn’t too long till we can act that out together…”
Reading letters from someone who died too soon brings that person back to life. As you read about their day-to-day concerns they are far from mere dust in the ground. If only for a few moments, they live, they dream, and they hold hopes for their future. It becomes harder and harder to stop reading their letters, because you know when you stop reading them, they once again become only a distant memory.
If you have the opportunity to read some of your own letters – and here I must stop and declare a debt of gratitude to my dear departed, hoarding of “precious junk” mother, for saving all those letters I wrote home over a twenty year period. Thanks to her, I can now experience myself as a young person, not as a faded memory or what I thought I remembered, but in real-time.
Remember vowing you would one day do something with those letters gathering dust in your basement? The time is now. You don’t have to write a novel about them, but you might piece together your family history and find a forgotten story that explains your father’s fear of taking risks or your mother’s lost dreams.
After you read them invest in some acid-free holders. Letters will deteriorate over time if left folded. Place the letters in a notebook or scrapbook binder. Add some old photos that you have lying around. Before you know it you have created a beautiful family heirloom.
Go – read – upcycle your history!
About The Author
Jo Virden is the author of A Passion For Life: Ruth Marie Colville. Her first love is writing short stories. My Darling Dorothy, which started as a short story, evolved into Jo’s first novel. She is passionate about promoting childhood literacy and spends many hours volunteering in reading programs throughout the Denver Metro area. She lives in Arvada, Colorado with her husband, Bill, and she enjoys outdoor photography, long walks in the Rocky Mountains and spending time with her grandson, Cyrus.
My Darling Dorothy by Jo Virden
Publisher: Plainview Publications
Publication Date: Paperback - May 27, 2016 / eBook - June 16, 2016
Format: Paperback - 398 pages
Kindle - 531 KB
Nook - 871 KB
Genre: Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy The Book:
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour.
Based on authentic letters from the era, My Darling Dorothy is a timeless love story that transcends both hard times and the brutal impact of war. The tumult of the Great Depression and World War II provides the background for a novel about three young people; Tommie, Jack and Dorothy and their challenges, struggles, defeats and triumphs.
Tommie struggles to survive the Bataan Death March in the fall of 1941, clinging to his dream of a gratifying future with Dorothy as his bride. On the frontlines of the European Theatre, Jack experiences the horrors of endless battle. Dorothy, caught between the two, works to maintain her dream of a life beyond small-town Nebraska.
The hopes and hardships they share are reflected in the letters that they exchange. Are they remnants of lost dreams, or the foundation for a joyful future?
My Book Review:
The inspiration from a bundle of letters from World War II found in her parent's basement, led author Jo Virden to pen the beautifully written historical fiction, My Darling Dorothy. The author utilized these authentic letters to weave a timeless account into the friendships, romantic relationships, and the trials and tribulations between three young people through their letter correspondence during the Great Depression and World War II years of 1930s-1940s.
Set in Nebraska, Europe, and the Philippines, the readers follow the evolving lives of Dorothy, Jack, and Tommie, the two young men who she fell in love with, during the World War II time period. The reader is easily drawn into these three young people's lives filled with hopes, dreams, hardships, emotional traumas, challenges, struggles, love, losses, and successes that they experienced during this difficult time period.
My Darling Dorothy is an emotional and compelling tale that will tug at the heartstrings and stir the soul. You can't help but get drawn in as Dorothy, Jack, and Tommie's story unfolds. The author does a wonderful job of writing an intricate and romantic tale rich in authentic historical description of the Great Depression and World War II years, and masterfully interweave it with Dorothy, Jack, and Tommie's true-to-life experiences. This is an amazing story that will take the reader on an emotional journey that will resonate with them for a very long time.
Virtual Book Tour
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