Everyone has a story. Mine began as a journal. On the 1st February 2006, my husband arrived home from work and unexpectedly confessed his love for another woman. Over the following year, he spiraled downward in depression and talked persistently about ending his life. I spent that year torn between my own heartache and trying to save him. My journal was an outlet. In February 2007, after several suicide attempts, he took his own life, leaving me widowed and grieving with our two young daughters, aged six and four. After he was gone, I neatly rewrote the scribbled tear-stained pages of my journal so that my children would one day know the story. As I continued writing, I realized that I had the beginnings of a book.

Three months after my husband died, I crept into a dusty little bookshop on Long Street in Cape Town to visit my first psychic. My intention was not to try and contact him, I didn’t really know why I was there, I had simply followed the signs. I sat in the tiny room, across from the jolly-faced psychic lady, with a dead-pan face so as not to give away any clues. Her reading was long and surprisingly accurate and real. One of the things that stood out to me was when she said, “The book that you want to write, you’ve got to continue, that’s going to be a best seller… Try Hay House Publishers.”

I found the encouragement I needed to continue to write. In the year that followed, more words poured onto paper as the story expanded and became a part of my healing process. Another year went by as I worked for hours every night, the book growing and evolving as I filled in all the spaces. Finally I have a draft, a book, my story. It Rains In February: A Wife’s Memoir of Love and Loss is a memoir of around fifty chapters. I have begun editing and working towards getting it published.

Imagine my surprise when after two years, while cruising the internet, I came across a page that had little to do with what I was searching for. It read ‘Hay House invites you to participate in the I CAN DO IT Writers Workshop I CAN PUBLISH MY BOOK’. The workshop was being held on a cruise around Alaska and as I read further I saw ‘One workshop participant will be awarded a contract’. I sat for some time staring at my computer screen. How had this page found me all the way in South Africa and why? I had never forgotten the psychics words. So I headed for my therapist and trusted friend. She laughed about how I always go to her with my crazy ideas only because I know she’s crazy enough to support them wholeheartedly! Three days later, I booked the cruise. I withdrew the last of my husband’s life insurance from my savings. Every last cent. I had to be on that cruise for whatever reasons would unfold.

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One Response to Book Beginnings

  1. Wow Leila you have a very compelling story to share. I wish you the best in the steps towards publishing your book. I get a sense it will be a best seller and very helpful to many people, particularly women and mothers. I am writing out the memories from a very tumultuous childhood and would love to compile them into a memoir to share. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog and will keep checking in to see how things evolve for you.

    Best wishes

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