May my hands remember the power of my pen-sword | publishing journal day 15

After a month, I am finally back to editing my book, and I must say it has been a way more chaotic and timely process to get back into, than I presumed.
But before I take you with me on my current journey, here’s the result.

The updated final chapter of the first volume of my retro diary:
When Your Innocence Dies | 1995 series { final chapter Volume 1, 1994-1995 }

So if, like me, you are disoriented getting back to in this series, the chronology is as follows:

On the last day of 2023 my affair stranded after 9 years, and although he has never committed, and has frequently drifted out of my life, this cut immediately felt more severe, because he moved away.
He sold the condo.

I translated this breakup into my vintage diary series, where it is always 25 years ago. So on 31st of December 1998, Lauren’s lover “Bear” moves away.

In the final month of 2023, I had also started editing and publishing the first two Volumes of this retro diary:
1994-1995 A Letter From A Stranger
1995-1996 Dear Nikki

Diaries which also revolve around a breakup; Around our first and only other one, in December 2019, which translated to December 1994.
Today’s updated diary entry was from May 1995, so half a year after our first breakup:
When Your Innocence Dies | 1995 series { final chapter Volume 1, 1994-1995 }

So ironically, because that breakup also happened in a December (2019, time-travel vintage version 1994), this time of getting back on my feet in January and February feel like one big Deja Vu.
Even when the breakup is more painful, because it was not done in friendship. It wasn’t “done” at all. He just left and pretended nothing had changed.
He acted like he owed me nothing after 9 years of not having a recognized relationship and maybe he didn’t.

Still, it was far more hurtful than December 2019, when he showed up to finalize it.

Luckily for me, and for the vintage diary, we did get back together, and the sex became otherworldly good. It was almost like it was worth it, to have things shaken up!

Until February 2023 and upward;
I could feel him withdraw, and we never had sex again. To be finalized on December 31 by him casually mentioning he no longer owned the house, his home away from home, close to where I live.

Eager to not let this get to me, I returned to editing this series as soon as I could.
I did not want to lose touch, publishing these books!
And for a while, it looked like I made it, as I published 3 or 4 posts here, containing 3 or 4 edited diary entries, in January.

Only to then let the publishing drop after all, and now it’s almost Valentines Day.
The hours behind my desk, finding the Word file with the master diary, digging for the blog version of the old diary post, and logging into this very old website for this publishing diary;
It has taken ages, and my mind was scattered.
Even “just” making a Canva took 90 minutes…..

So in retrospect, me muscling through it in January, and thinking I had beat “this thing” called falling off the wagon, because I was sad, was not the end of it.
I would still, drop off the wagon.
I would still, be clueless getting back, and need half a Saturday to copy-edit the chapter in my masterfile, copying it into the old diary post, and then writing this post, a publishing journal post.

It feels so strange to be here now. Lauren Harteveld is not my real name, it is my alterego. It was never invented to cover up for Mr.Big/ Bear: My alias is much older than that.
But because the affair with him was so intense, and I would never have been able to sustain the tension of being a mistress, had I not been able to write about it;
My Lauren Harteveld work, became synonym to my affair to him.

Being on this blog, rereading the diaries?
It all feels like wandering through the empty house of our affair, sorting through boxes of memorabilia.
But they no longer contain life.

I so, so very vividly remember the urgency of writing, when our affair started. Writing was my breath, my shield, and it was my sword.
It became incredibly potent, because my very life was at stake.

Without writing, not only would I not have had these juicy retro diaries, starting in 1994 and running all the way up to January 1999, where Lauren 1999 tells of her lover Bear moving away;
Without writing, I would not have had him, and without him, I would no longer be writing.

I was able to go on the adventure with him, because I had this powerful weapon of the pen. I knew that regardless of how much I was in love, and how many hearts he had broken, that I was not defenseless.

But it wasn’t until long, that the roles flipped;
Instead of needing my pen, to be with him, I started needing him, to be with my pen!
The sword only wielded when it had a worthy adversary, or at least a worthy sparring partner.

Since 2015, my best writing, my most powerful writing, has been the one invoked and inspired by him.

I do not wish for him to return. In particular not, because it was his choice to leave.

But I do wish my hands to remember the power of their sword;
The pen.

~Lauren/LS Harteveld
An unexamined life is not worth living

* An About section, on this diary project, has been added to the bottom of this post.

since 2018 my official blog is:
This is also where I write my Lauren 1998 diaries.
Plus letters to my coach Sara.

publishing journal is a stand-alone project, written on my oldest blog, which has software I do not master (explaining the light grey or blue color of the links; I cannot (yet?) change this);
And it also does not have a “Subscribe” button, nor would I know how to install one.

But you can follow publishing journal on

This blogpost was about the publishing process of

A letter from a stranger  
diary 1994 – 1996
including book 2, Dear Nikki

There are currently (I may have missed a chapter, which will be added as we go)
13 chapters in book one “A Letter To A Stranger”, 1994-1995,
and 22 chapters in book 2 “Dear Nikki”.
These first two Volumes will be published in one bind, and are expected to be for sale March 2024.

The books I’ll be publishing next are:
1.Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2019

All my other diaries and erotica are readily available in my BOOK SHOP

* ABOUT THE DIARY 1994-1996

In summer 2019, I started keeping a fictionalized diary, as a 25 year old younger version of me. Events that happened in 2019 found their way into the diary, translated to their late 20th century reality.
And I also absolutely, intended to LIVE, like it was 1994!
But this is a hard thing to do, I feel I am still (2023) learning there…. but that is my endgame;
To LIVE like it’s the turn of the century.

It was/is an amazing project, and to this day I consider the diary entries it produced on my main blog, my best and certainly my most interesting work, because it combines performance art (living in the 20th century) with diary writing, leaving ample room for fiction.

In 2021, I harvested the diary posts I had so far, with the intention of creating a published diary out of it. Two actually, volume 1 and 2, but I decided to put them in one bind.
But I abandoned the project in spring 2022, losing complete touch with the project….

December 2023, I have picked up publishing this amazing work, of vintage erotica.