My mother and I are now writing a book jointly. The premise is that of a personal memoir of my life, especially how the illness affected my nuclear family. It includes my history of bipolar disorder and her own parallel recollections of everything that happened.
If we ever get it published, I can promise you now that the plot will never be dull for an instant. Past events have made quite the storyteller out of me. Because I have never written anything lengthier than a thirty-page paper in my life, the sheer length alone is intimidating.
Because several hundred miles separates us, the two of us have been working within the confines of a shared Google Document. I add my sections, then set them apart from hers. She does the same with what she adds to the manuscript.
What unnerves me a little is the harrowing honesty of my mother's contributions. Years after the fact, they retain their power to horrify. And with every word I read, I cannot deny how much I am my mother's child. Our personalities are very similar. I used to believe that nothing could shock me and now I find much that can. I think the last of my innocence regarding parental infallibility is ceasing to be.
The book's working title is Wrecking Ball. Our work is steady and deliberate. Should an editor find it worth taking to print, I'd be most gratified. I've tried to go into this with the appropriate attitude, but I think what we've produced so far is extremely interesting.