Bringing Hope: A Disaster Relief Journey, is finished. Well, I've finished writing it. Mostly.
This book is a memoir about my national disaster volunteering after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, flooding in Northern New Jersey, and Hurricane Sandy. It is the daily journals I kept after each of these events. At these disasters I came across some poems and put them in my journals. Since I want these poems in my book, I needed to obtain permission from the authors to use them. Fortunately all of the poets did provide their permission.
On my day off while volunteering in New York City after Hurricane Sandy, I had the unexpected opportunity to visit St. Paul's Chapel. This small church at the base of where the World Trade Center buildings collapsed in Lower Manhattan, remained unharmed despite the ruins crashing nearby. The new 9/11 memorial is located just across the street. This chapel became a place of respite for the thousands of volunteers doing search and clean up in the months after terrorists brought the buildings down. Today, in addition to this being a Chapel it is also a museum recognizing the heroic work of thousands of volunteers.
After 9/11/2001 one of the volunteers wrote a poem, about the chapel, which has made its way into my book with his permission. Through our email contacts he has invited me to the upcoming memorial for the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11/2001. I am honored to be able to attend this event. I'll be in New York City this coming weekend to participate in what I imagine will be an emotional, solemn, and moving experience. I will be bringing the names of some of the individuals whose families I assisted, so that I can look for their names on the ledge surrounding the reflecting pools that stand in the footprint of where the World Trade Center building stood.
While in New York, I am thankful to be staying with a friend and colleague who I worked with many years ago at Marquette University. It will be great to have a chance to catch up with where our lives have taken us over the past thirty years.
Once I'm home, I will write the last chapter of my book - Remembrance. In this chapter I will reflect on what this memorial experience means to me now and for the future. I will look back and remember all of the families I helped after 9/11.
Now that I've completed the majority of the writing, my book is in the editing process. Which means my editor is making suggestions for some content changes and corrections. It is then up to me whether or not I want to follow her suggestions. Then she will look at it again and probably have some more changes and edits. Once the editing process is complete, I will then see if I'm able to find an agent who will find me a publisher. This may take a while. I'll keep you informed as the process progresses.