My sister-in-law Jo Kirsch read the last chapter, "HUMMING THE OM OF THE UNIVERSE," posted on February 10, 2021.
We had the following exchange, by text message, almost immediately after she read the chapter.
JK: "Cool. Forgive me for asking. Who is Leah? Feels like you?"
CR: "LOL. I've written a lot of the book in the third person with a 'character' based on me named Leah. My friend Peg and I figured out after about eight months into my writing that I chose the name without realizing that the reverse of LEAH is HEAL!
"The reason I wrote in the third person according to Peg is that I haven't yet OWNED THE HEALING IN MY DEAR DEEPEST SELF but maybe NOW I HAVE NOW gotten to the point of joining the healer with my innermost heart. All the CHANTING is bringing me closer and closer. I should let you read more of the book but I'll wait."
JK: "It's just soooooo apparent that Leah is you and it irks me a bit that you are not saying I. Hope that's OK for me to say! I feel like shouting, 'why don't you just say IIIIIIII or me me me me!'"
CR: "HA! So I think this exchange between you and me is actually very important, I think it's going to be a chapter in the book, one which is happening right this minute between us. Jo, this is GREAT FEEDBACK WHICH I NEED/NEEDED in order to move forward. I think now, I can finally say:
HOW EASY THAT
JUST WHAT I
THANK U THANKS Jo
CR: "But you understand the reasons it has taken me so long to merge myself into Leah is that I am still dealing with painful healing episodes, from the depression, and the cancer of 1820 years ago and I'm constantly trying to heal myself and worrying that I'm not healed you get the picture! I wrote 1820 and that kind of tells you that there is no such thing as time because it is the book I started in 2020.
JK: "That's it! That feels MUCH better. I felt the angst flow away."
A couple days later, I sent this exchange to Peggy, who has read every single word I've written in this book, "ANGELS KEEP WHISPERING IN MY EARS." Here is what she wrote back to me:
PW: "I think this is interesting what your sister-in-law says. But here is something to think about for the book -- your sister-in-law KNOWS you, so yes, to her it is obvious that Leah is you. But a reader who does not know you may not see the connection until the characters come together."