Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Seven-Year Project

I have accomplished something seven years in the making. I have finally published the letters I wrote almost daily to my friends, family, and Casey while I was studying abroad in Oxford, England in 2001. When I was writing these letters (emails, actually) I was not thinking that they'd be like a journal of my four months in England or of the traveling I did while I was there. I was just writing to let everyone know what a fabulous life I was living! When I got home and saw that both Casey and my mom had printed out all of my emails in chronological order, I realized that my emails were something I wanted to hold onto. And now, of course, I am so glad they saved the details of my experince for me.

Almost at once I knew I wanted to have these emails printed...and not just a binder of loose-leaf printed sheets as was their form at the time. I've kept this two-inch stack of paper clipped together since 2001 and have just put off the actual process of having it published. Soon, it became apparent that to do it the right way, I would have to retype every one of those emails. Thank goodness I paid attention in typing class in school.

Last year (2007), I finally began typing and finished much quicker than I'd thought I would. While typing, I realized I'd have to do some editing. My two biggest offenses were using a inexplicable amount of exclamation points (as if everything is worthy of exclamation) and dashes to seperate thoughts. At the time, of course, I was just writing emails, but for these to be bound in a book, it was clear that they'd need some mild revising. This took much longer than I thought it would.

While editing, it became clear that I needed some visual representation of the things I was writing about to capture the whole experience. Luckily, that semester, my dad had lent me his Nikon digital camera, which I carried around with me as diligently as I carried my umbrella and wallet. And if you've spent any time in England, you know how essential it is to carry your umbrella with you everywhere no matter how sunny the skies are. In any case, I got some great pictures. So, these needed to be sprinkled into the mix. This part was actually fun for me.

And now, thanks to blurb.com, yesterday I received my hot-off-the-press journal. It's a book by me, for me (because it's probably not that interesting to anyone else - well, maybe my great-great grandchildren will like it). I'm so proud it's done. Finally.

12 comments:

Becky said...

awesome!
It looks so beautiful.
I know you will always cherish this, and I have a feeling, as you do, that future generations will cherish it as well.

Stephanie said...

Yay Rachel! How exciting! It looks great, and will be a great keepsake. I obviously like to use exclamation points also!

jocelyn said...

What a great idea! I have a huge pile of pictures from our time in Oxford and I've always wanted to do something cool with them. Same with our pictures from Croatia. Maybe I should put them together in a book! And I might be the one other person who would like to relive those experiences, since so many of yours were the same as mine!

PePe said...

Amazing!!!!!

Kristi said...

That is really neat! It looks amazing and seems like such a special thing to have and share with your children.

mindy said...

Rachel, That is so neat! It's so sleek and professional looking:) I'm way impressed. What a cool keepsake from the trip and from a special time in your relationship with Casey!

Heather said...

How cool!!

Anonymous said...

who is Pepe? It is a pretty cool book!

Dara said...

Wow! It looks amazing! What a wonderful keepsake from your time in Europe!

Emily said...

How cool! I love that, so creative. I'm definitely going to utilize blurb.com.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rachel. This is so awesome. One thing I have learned through life is that memories are the most important treasures a person could have. I love the blog spot!! I feel like I get to stay in touch with you, although it is very one sided. You look beautiful!!!Michelle Horton

Jacque said...

Rachel...that's such a great idea. Looks beautiful and will be such a keepsake to treasure for your family.