My Grandfather's Diary

Last week I finished splicing together three interviews I’ve done over the last two years: My grandmother, my mother, my mother’s godfather. They now alternate with the contents of my grandfather’s diary. From here, I write the script, and this is a big moment. I’ve started, paused, stopped and restarted this project so many times that if I can’t say now that I’m ready to complete it, I never will be. Tomorrow I meet with the colorist I’ve picked out, but we won’t be discussing color, we’ll be talking grants. I made the decision a few months ago that I am not the person who should be the artist on this book. It’s just not the look I want to go for, and maybe more than that, it’s too massive to be undertaken by someone who can’t devote full effort to it. I need to pay an artist and a colorist, and so I’m looking into grants. A book detailing the experiences of two WWII prisoners of war sounds like something a grant might go towards, especially since I’ve got all of these photographs of the Japanese prison camps from the inside and I can’t remember ever seeing that kind of thing in print before.

What worries me the most about this book is how inadequate I feel towards the material. Beyond what is in my grandfather’s diary and the interview with his best friend, I really don’t know that much about WWII. I couldn’t claim to be a subject matter expert on the war or begin to discuss the war on my own with any reasonable authority. What the artist researches for context will be as much a learning experience for me as for him. Should anyone ever read this book, will they dismiss the author right away? I might if I were them. I can say at least that I am a subject matter expert on the family and the person.

I’m going to be blogging about it occasionally to keep myself on task. I’d like to chronicle the effort, to see how long this is really going to take me.

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