To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Full Tilt

It takes a lot to write a nonfiction book like this.  I have had to take field trips to many places in the county.  I've begun to email people who can get me the court transcripts for the murder trial, always being polite and letting them know, when appropriate, that this book is to honor the memory of Asha and her baby girl, and illumine the plight of domestic violence, especially towards pregnant women.  Statistically, women have a higher chance of being murdered while pregnant than at any other time.  Sorry to be bitter, but I wonder how many murders are committed by partners who have no interest in being a parent.  Scott Peterson, who killed his wife Laci Peterson (a highly publicized case which ended in a death penalty conviction) almost certainly did not want to be a parent, but instead tried, by the most horrible means possible, to preserve his single lifestyle.  He has a single lifestyle all right, now, and a single cell in San Quentin, and a swinging lifestyle with his fellow prisoners.  The irony of all this is not lost: you get what you ask for.

 What is it with these people?  What's so frickin' great about a single lifestyle, or a lifestyle with no kids, that you have to destroy people to get it?  There are destructions great and small to get this, and it always costs the other person something.  My sister had this lifestyle for nearly all her adult life: she could travel anywhere when she felt well enough, she could pretty much do what she wanted, and buy all the things she fancied, but her life is over and reduced to a bunch of boxes in my downstairs storage, and all those things are gone, to .Goodwill and to the recycling center, to her friends' houses, and the dump.  I have her journals full of sadness, which break my heart.  There is nothing to show for the fact that she lived, except the memories she has sown in our hearts--which is good, and appropriate, but she once wanted a child, and truly, children are the legacy, or if not that, perhaps the books she wanted to write, something. There are those who treasure their selfishness above all else.  At one end of the spectrum are those who really don't care about others and who exist in a universe of one, and simply treat others with indifference and cruelty; at the other end, there are people like McClish and Scott Peterson, who destroy to get what they want.

Truly, I don't understand these things, at all.  Some things make me really glad I am raising a child again, even in a hardscrabble life.  It changes every perspective. I have so much respect for Richard Veil as I work on this book.  He would have raised Anina with Asha no matter who the father was.  He truly loved his wife; in many ways, he is the unsung hero of this story, as well as one of its victims.  I think the aforementioned people in the above paragraph can be reduced to one thing: they do not really love. They worship themselves, but have zero capacity to enter the crucible that love is, out of which emerges a finer self.  Not to say that capacity cannot be is in everyone, and of course everyone has potential to be better until the day they die.

Moving forward, I am trying to find the way to keep going with the beginning of the story.  I begin with light, and the time she disappeared, and the fear that a murderer was loose in our community, and he was.

Tunneling into this story, the focus of my creative life now.  I'm even beginning to learn Polish--just basic things, hello and goodbye, small things, because I would like to travel to Poland to meet her family (I will have a translator and my friend Mary with me, as Mary has traveled in Poland before).

She is worth all this work I am doing to write her story.  This photo was taken by her husband, Richard. It is one of my favorites of her.