April 24, 2013. With my daughter’s work as editor being essential to the upcoming publishing process of the two series of books currently under construction it is part of my job during my break from writing until May 3rd to make my decision and my choice about how her most valuable and scarce time will be best invested. It may be that she will soon be able to take one full week of vacation off from her demanding career to edit. Where will she begin and in which direction will she move forward in this brief period of time?
By June 1st there will be ten books in manuscript form ready for her edits. Which ones need to be published first? I need to think through my preferences completely so I can let her know my suggestion and my desire about where she is to begin her work — and why.
Ultimately the goals of the final publication of these books need to be perfectly clear both to me and to my daughter. I am involved in that thinking process today.
If the future of these books was in the control of a big publisher I would not be making these decisions. As it is I think my daughter and I are working within an arena that has not existed before. We have no guide to tell us how to proceed. We are working with the barest of available or possible resources. At the same time we hold every right regarding how this saga will unfold.
One 7-volume series whose manuscripts have been ready for edit for months now contain the nearly 500,000 words Mother left behind at her death. Those words do not talk about Mother’s psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mental illness or about the severe abuse of me it created. Those books to be published in the Mildred’s Mountain series would be simplest for my daughter to edit when she has any available time to do so. But is that what I want to happen first?
The other series to be published as The Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain contains my serious commentary about Mother’s mental illness, about my story of her abuse and about what infant and child abuse does to its survivors. I am writing all of this within the framework of my perpetrator’s words. This series is an expose that seems most useful and important to me.
There is also a manuscript ready for edit, Story Without Words, that is meant to be the first book of both series within which I describe Mother’s childhood as I believe it influenced her becoming psychotically mentally ill and therefore psychotically abusive in the first place. This book absolutely needs to be published before any other.
How do these two series interact with one another? How far into the publishing future are we able to look at this point to project how these books will be published, in what order, and when?
How much editing work can my daughter possibly finish in one week’s time? Which books of which series should immediately follow Story Without Words? Why?
The choice I would make today would leave all 7 of Mother’s manuscripts for the Mildred’s Mountain series sitting and continuing to wait for some time in the future when their edits would then take place. Unfortunately these books would be easier for my daughter to edit and would not take the kind of focused thought and time it will take her to work through the far more complex text of the other Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain series within which I expose the truth behind Mother’s words.
By June 1st I will have the first two manuscripts of the Dark Side series ready for edit. Given the very short period of time my daughter will have available at most it is probable that she will get through Story Without Words and these two manuscripts. I think this is all we can reasonably expect to move toward publication form at first.
There is an entire other branch of complication to this process. At present there are 400 photographs meticulously sorted that await scanning and repair. Nobody in my family involved in this process has a computer capable of managing this work. Edited or not, no book can be published until this huge job has been completed. By whom? How? When?
At present we have no answer.
I do know that before my daughter has finished her edit of Story Without Words and the first two manuscripts belonging to my Dark Side series I will have completed the 3rd volume of that series. That would sit next in queue for edit.
The 4th volume of both series will most likely be the same book. Within that book an Alaska homesteading venture that took place on a mountainside in the dead of winter is presented. I was 8. I remember it all. Mother’s words tell that story.
I cannot currently anticipate what would happen after that 4th book in both series. I have always believed that I would write my own story in the Dark Side series of horrendous abuse until I left home at age 18. I am no longer convinced that there is any benefit to my writing that story. If I do not see any additional benefit to the expose of Mother’s illness and her abuse past what I have already written I will write no more.
I do not have to make that decision today. Through writing this post I have found the clarity I needed to make the choice of which books I want my daughter to edit first: Story Without Words and the first two manuscripts of The Dark Side of Mildred’s Mountain.
That these are only three of what could eventually be fifteen books is not my current concern. I do not choose that Mother’s own words be published first even though that would be an easier and faster choice. Her words can wait. My priority is to begin to contribute a body of information about how Borderline Personality Disorder can manifest with psychotic infant and child abuse. These first three books will do exactly that.
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