It Rains In February – Book Beginnings

Everyone has a story. Mine began as a journal. In February 2007, my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea. My story begins one year earlier when he arrived home from work one otherwise ordinary day in February 2006 and unexpectedly confessed his love for another woman. In the year that followed, Stuart spiraled downwards into depression and talked persistently about ending his life. I spent that year torn between my heartache and trying to save him. All of this, I documented in a journal. After several suicide attempts, Stuart took his own life, leaving me widowed with our two young daughters, Jane and Rose, aged six and four. After he was gone, I neatly rewrote the scribbled tear-stained pages for my children so that they would one day know the story.

In June 2007, three months after Stuart died, I crept into the dusty little bookshop on Long Street in Cape Town to visit my first psychic. My intention was not to try and contact Stuart, I didn’t really know why I was there, I had simply followed the signs. I sat in the tiny room, across from the jolly faced psychic lady, with a dead pan face so as not to give away any clues. Her reading was long and surprisingly accurate and real. One of the things that stood out to me was when she said, “The book that you want to write, you’ve got to continue, that’s going to be a best seller… Try Hay House Publishers.”

I found the encouragement I needed to continue to write. In the year that followed, more words poured onto paper as the story expanded and became a part of my healing process. Another year went by as I worked for hours every night, the story growing and evolving as I filled in all the spaces. Finally I have a book, a memoir, my story. The first draft of IT RAINS IN FEBRUARY is a memoir of around sixty chapters. I am now working towards getting it published.

Imagine my surprise when after two years, while cruising the internet, I came across a page that had little to do with what I was searching for. It read ‘Hay House invites you to participate in the I CAN DO IT Writers Workshop I CAN PUBLISH MY BOOK’. It was a cruise around Alaska and as I read further I saw ‘One workshop participant will be awarded a contract’. I sat for some time staring at my computer screen. How had this page found me all the way in South Africa and why? I had never forgotten the psychics words. So I headed for my therapist and trusted friend. She laughed about how I always go to her with my crazy ideas only because I know she’s crazy enough to support them wholeheartedly! Three days later, I booked the cruise. I withdrew the last of Stuart’s life insurance from my savings. Every last cent. I had to be on that cruise for whatever reasons would unfold.

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One Response to “It Rains In February – Book Beginnings”

  1. colleenincairns Says:

    Wow Leila you have a very compelling story to share. I wish you the best in the steps towards publishing your book. I get a sense it will be a best seller and very helpful to many people, particularly women and mothers. I am writing out the memories from a very tumultuous childhood and would love to compile them into a memoir to share. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog and will keep checking in to see how things evolve for you.

    Best wishes

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