Robert Burns asked for the gift to “see ourselves as others see us.”
Every author wants that same gift and yet trembles before the awful throne of reader judgment, hoping that one’s private thoughts made public will be held with respect, maybe even with tenderness and love.
A writer needs to earn that trust. Selecting the right words makes the most difference. No one else can help us with that except the editors and a few trusted readers prior to publication.
However, photos also help tell the story, set the tone, and suggest sources of meanings behind the words.
They can also be shared with a wider audience and are therefore perfect for social media.
In the three-year course of writing this memoir, I engaged my niece Joy Rittenhouse three times to take photos. First, I needed a set of photos for the blog and other social media. Then, when I went from brown to grey hair, I needed new photos. And, most recently, as I finished the manuscript and needed a photo for the author page. I also wanted a group of photos that would highlight one of the main “characters” in the book — the farm called the Home Place that is now a bed and breakfast called Forgotten Seasons.
Just crawling around the familiar house with both my niece and the current co-owner, Kathy Wenger, made me deeply happy.
The people who have “liked” my page on Facebook have been generous with their thoughts about the ten photos I shared there. What I enjoyed seeing, and learned from most, were not only the “likes” each picture got but also the comments.
From the ten photos I shared on FB, I have selected seven, all transferred to greytone for publication inside the cover.