David has gifted me with an opportunity for creative expression. I thank him.
Each client holds amazing possibilities. Story, background, relationships, vision, and surprise each play a role in my writing projects. I began working with David Bosselmann as an editor for his manuscript, a biography tribute to Penny, his soul mate, wife, and best friend. Originally, David’s audience was family and friends.
One day during a meeting, I learned that David had discovered six spiral notebooks of Penny’s writing that included Christmas poems, nature poetry, and journal entries that she had written over a period of twenty years. Additionally, David found two of Penny’s personal diaries. I asked to see her work. What a grand surprise! A gold mine, her writing shared precious memories, her observations as a “nature mystic,” and philosophy about the questions of life. The beauty of her words moved me to tears. It was then that I knew Penny’s writing could offer wisdom, humor and hope to a larger audience. Deep in her heart, Penny had always been a writer. Now I would shape a mixed genre venue for her writing gems.
As I read each piece of her work and took notes, I began to find themes of nature, relationships, humor and spirituality. I grew to know her, and she came alive. I could feel her words beckoning me, teaching me, holding me. I understood the pain and hopelessness of a deer with little food in winter, as she wrote from the deer’s perspective; felt the supreme delight and beauty created by birds with rustling angel wings, as she imagined; and learned owl spirit and wisdom, a gift from her intuition.
My intuition led me to shape the narrative by combining the voices of both Penny and David. The first half of the book used David’s voice to set the stage of their relationship, Penny’s early life, historical points, and the involvement of family and friends. And, as in every life, Penny experienced the thunderstorms and growth of change and adversity. Observing it, rather than running from it, she lived the questions of life. Why did her father die before she really got to know him? What role did an aneurysm play in her first marriage? Why, after raising two children as a single mom for nine years, did she find the love-of-her-life, only to transition in the height of her ecstasy?
I explored the relationship of David and Penny through several formats. The repartee of Chapter Nine highlighted two views of their favorite topics, showing their humor and personalities.
Chapter Ten presents Penny’s observations and feelings about death, written three years before she had received a medical diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Penny’s honesty and transparency paved the way for me to bring additional meaning to relationships. By using suppositions, I engaged people to think differently about death. Death awareness, as part of the life cycle and explained through nature, is something sacred from which both the dying loved one and the supporters could learn. Creating meaningful connections with others throughout life leads to more peace and beauty for both the loved one and mourners as the life cycle is completed.
Chapter Eleven is a monologue on the human condition. “The Five Stages of Grief,” researched by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, seemed the natural way to organize Penny’s innermost thoughts and emotions. Penny had been a dance therapist and would have been knowledgeable about these phases of behavior. There was more though. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance each demonstrated universal feelings—feelings that would easily resonate with readers and support them within their parameters of change or adversity.
Chapter Twelve completes the narrative and balances the reported, sometimes harsh, medical facts with the voice of the owl, Penny’s inner animal spirit. In keeping with the mystical threads woven in many of Penny’s writings, I found this to be an imaginative, accurate (to include researched habits and preferences of the barred owl), and unique way to present the beauty of Penny’s poet eye.
May the narrative be blessed as it wends its magic into the minds and hearts of readers.