Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Sister, My Reader, My Friend

Recently, my sister Barbara visited from Milwaukee. While in my home, she  was looking around for something to read. I suggested that she start reading through our father's letters to his parents when he served in World War II. There are hundreds of them that need to be organized:

Henry Federlin's WWII mementos and letters

"No," she said. "I'd rather read your book."

"It's not in very good shape," I said. "Especially towards the end. It needs a lot of work."

"That's OK," she replied.

I shrugged and brought her a stack of papers.

Barbara Federlin beginning her big read

Up until now I have shared the premise of Half-Truths with the experts I have interviewed and with an handful of writers.  No one except a few friends has read beyond the first fourteen chapters.

No one until Barbara insisted.

In three days, interrupted by trips to see our mother and to local museums, my sister read the entire manuscript.

Now I have someone who understands my purpose, who "gets" the scope of my story, and who has a mental picture of my entire book.

Now I have someone who I can ask if a scene should be deleted or enlarged upon, or if a character has stayed consistent from beginning to end.

She didn't stop to correct grammar, word choice, or tenses. She just read, and gave me the gift of not being able to put it down.

When she finished with tears in her eyes she said, "Good job."  

That's high praise coming from my big sister.

                                        The Federlin resemblance is unmistakable
Our father, who taught us to love stories by reading aloud to us when we were little, would be pleased that she took such an interest in mine.

So am I.

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Elisabeth said...

Carol, I'm so glad your sister is such a sweet reader-friend. I loved that she had tears in her eyes at the end!! Looking forward to reading it :)

Linda A. said...

Hi Carol,

I'm so glad that your sister insisted on reading your manuscript. Aren't you? How wonderful that she couldn't put it down. I know you have a winner in both--the manuscript and your sister.

Linda A.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...


I know how much that means.

Write2ignite said...

My sister and I have that kind of relationship. She is my bestest best girlfriend. Isn't it wonderful that we have that safe and wonderful person in our lives we can call, "sister?"

Jean said...

Wow! What a gift. Isn't it thrilling to know that somebody else finds your work worthwhile? That somebody else "gets it?"



elysabeth said...

Way to go sis Barbara. It always makes the getting to the end that much sweeter when you have an early reader who can't put the story down. I'm sure it will be a big hit when it's published. Keep up the great job of getting it polished, Carol. Se eyou in the postings. E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Where will the adventure take you next?


Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, friends for commenting on this blog. Yes, as you all can imagine, this did mean a lot to me and I was happy to share it on cyberspace! I still have a mountain of work to do--but at least someone else in the universe has read my story! Thanks again Linda, JOyce, Elisabeth, and Jean for stopping by and giving me a virtual hug!

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Where would we be without our sisters? It's wonderful that you have this special bond. Enjoy your time together.

Carol Baldwin said...

Yes, Clara and (I assume) Donna-- there is definitely a special bond between sisters. I kept asking her if she was biased and she said "no." Hopefully my eventual readers will agree!

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