As you may know, I’ve been asked to write a book about my life. Not a ‘tell all’ that includes every dirty little detail, but a literary treatise that just happens to be about my life and work. The work part I can handle. The life part, well, that’s a different story altogether and one that I will need assistance in telling.
Since your lives are so intimately intertwined with mine, I thought it appropriate that each of you should have some say in what you want me to talk about, what you feel is appropriate and necessary for you.
So, here is my offer. Over the course of the next few weeks, or months if time allows, I would like for you to write down your thoughts about our lives. Please include your own observations, memories, anecdotal stories, and dreams that you believe will elucidate the story of my life and of our life as a family. It is my belief that a one-sided story told from the perspective of the protagonist is often flat. Perhaps with a multiple telling, the story will plump with the juicy tidbits that I’ve forgotten or, in my myopic memory, have been distorted. You may use any format you wish to record your thoughts and I will work diligently to keep them whole and in context. Please send me whatever you have whenever you have it so that I may begin as soon as possible.
Please note that this book will not include X-rated material nor will you be monetarily compensated for your time, input and/or effort.
Your cooperation is, and will be, greatly appreciated.
I hate it when a book opens with a letter so I think I will insist that this letter be somehow insinuated rather than reprinted. Or, perhaps the edits could be superimposed somehow so that the reader can see from the beginning my cautions, warnings, and the potential reprimands—Garrett called them threats--with which we began this adventure. I also do not like a book that begins with, “I was born . . .” but we will see how this turns out or, more accurately, how this book begins.
My preference was, from the beginning, and still is, that a ghost writer would take over the collection of journalistic scribblings we’ve received as the basis for this book, but my editor has insisted that I be the one to glean the true wheat from the fictional chaff, that I thrust myself bodily into the thoughts and memories of my family and wallow in their reminiscences. Besides, who needs a ghost writer when the subject of the book is, in fact, a ghost writer herself, she asks again and again. It is she who decided on the title for this book as well, A Solitary Life. After spending fifty two years with my mother, father, and two brothers, and having lived my life, I have a better title: Yikes!
And so it begins.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has had a hand in the production of my life story. My family has provided wonderful support and enthusiasm throughout its production. My dear friend and editor Sophia DeMarco has guided me through the pitfalls and minefields of writing an autobiography and although I stand here on the other side bruised, battered, and scarred, I feel better for having survived it. Thank you all for this experience which is, after all, my life.