My characters Tom, Ben and Maggie don’t belong to me anymore.  But they trust me to tell their story, and I promise I will do my best to get it right.

The Texas Women’s University has a fantastic archive of letters written by WASP’s written to their families and friends. They have provided a sense of the rigors of training, the camaraderie between the women, and the pressure to succeed.  

The Japanese American National Museum has also been a great resource.  I discovered a series of letters written by children interned at Heart Mountain in Wyoming to their librarian, Miss Breed, in Los Angeles.  They’re a great insight to conditions and life in the camps.

I didn’t really have to go any further than Ken Burns’ “The War” to understand Tom’s story.

Meanwhile, to remind and rejuvenate, I’ve opened my notebook back to July and found these notes:

“Trust the reader to know the truth of your story.”
“Trust the ‘non-writing’ time.”
“Can I draw a picture of this sentence?”
“Take responsibility.”

            Take responsibility.

            I’m at the stage where it would be easy to wrap things up neatly but the issues for Tom, Ben and Maggie are too complex.  How has war changed them?  What will happen when they see each other for the first time in three years?  

            I need to be responsible and to honor their story.  I cannot rush this process – it would be a disservice to them and to me.