First Life Revised

It was around 1985 -1986 when I finished and started marketing my first book, “Both Sides of the Coin,” which at that point, I believed was, “the story I had to share, the story of my life.” To be more accurate, that meant I believed the worst was behind me, all the teachable experiences from which others might derive some new perspective or knowledge were behind me.

I was happy in 1985. I was in love with a man I hoped will become my husband,  I had a good job which allowed me the better things in life: Travel, a subscription to one of Philadelphia’s finest theaters, a peace of mind I never experienced before. For once, I was enjoying the little things in life with no immediate worries. I thought I was blessed. I was grateful God has found me, or I had found Him, at last.

Many times people, who were not familiar with the publishing world and how hard it was  to penetrate this world as an outsider, told me “you should write a book.” It takes a lot of time, committment and in many ways courage  to write a book but to have someone else interested in what you wrote… that’s an amazing accomplishment. I wasn’t sure I deserved such honor, but I really wanted to share a slice of communism with others, to show this world another facet of humanity.  At that point, it wasn’t as much about me, as a person, but about how a person lived under communism, contrasting two political and economic systems.  Today that world doesn’t exist any more, but I, as a person, carry all those experiences inside of me and in many ways, who I am today is the multitude of those happenings and more.

Then, in 1985, I sent a query letter to a New York Publisher and they wanted to read the whole manuscript. I was in Heaven, I was hopeful! I mailed the manuscript and after about a month a letter arrived in the mail.  It was not signed “The Editors,” which would have been another bad sign.  It had the signature of a woman who went into details as to why she liked my book but who was actually telling me so many bad things cannot possibly happen to one person.  It was not credible. Since I was presenting the book as nonfiction, she couldn’t accept that so much could be experienced by one person, and for that reason she was declining to take on the book. I was very disappointed. Indeed, hard to believe, and yet it was all true.  I was so disappointed by the decline that I stopped sending the book to publishers or agents. I did get an offer from a movie producer who, for $5,000 wanted the rights to the story.  I didn’t want the story changed and he couldn’t guarantee me it wouldn’t. I put the book in a drawer and continued with my life which was going to be perfect from then on!

26 years later, as I evaluate the second part of my life, I am in many ways grateful the first story wasn’t published.  It would have been half a life only.

This time it’s not about a political system, or the economy, but a real person who continues to go through human experiences, regardless of the system and where I was born.

I was wrong back in 1986 when I thought from then on my life was going to be so good it would become boring and there would be nothing worthy of sharing with others.  Once again I write, but this time not from the perspective of a woman who defected from Romania, or an immigrant, but that of a woman who experienced a variety of  universal human emotions which she would like to share in hopes others will perhaps identify similar emotions and thoughts or will learn from the stories.

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