DEAR HARRIETTE: My uncle asked me to help him write a book, and without a second thought, I said yes. My uncle was so excited that I agreed to help him, but I don't know the first step in writing a book. How can I help make my uncle's dream come true? -- Stepping Out on Faith, Chicago
DEAR STEPPING OUT ON FAITH: Good for you for agreeing to help your uncle. Make sure you tell him that this is an exercise of love and that although you will do your best, you are not a writer. You are a devoted family member, and you will do all that you can. You don't want him to think you are a miracle worker.
Going from an idea to a published book covers a vast terrain. You should read up on the format of books. There are many templates online for different styles of books and even for a book proposal. Based on the type of book your uncle wants to write, there will surely be a template you can follow.
You can help your uncle get his story out. Interview him and videotape or otherwise record him. You can transcribe his stories so that he can see what he has said.
If your uncle has never written a book, he may want to go the self-publishing route. A popular option these days is CreateSpace from Amazon.com.
Most important is to stay by your uncle's side and encourage him. Your research will lead you to options that can help him make his dream come true.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I've had a crush on a girl for a few months. I spent a lot of time with her over the summer, although now we don't really hang out. We had a lot of fun hanging out, but she has a boyfriend, and had a boyfriend the whole summer.
I've tried to play it cool, but I miss hanging out with her and wish we could hang out without my feelings getting in the way. Should I tell her how I feel to get it off of my chest? -- Missing Her, Shreveport, La.
DEAR MISSING HER: Summer can sometimes feel like being in the movies. You have fun and time seems to be suspended. Perhaps that's why you didn't allow it to register that this girl had a boyfriend even then. Now that you are both back in your "real lives," the boyfriend is more obvious.
I'm sorry, but it's unlikely your friend is going to decide to choose you over her boyfriend. She would have done that already when she had the chance. Should you tell her your feelings? Unless you are prepared to walk away if she says she doesn't share your feelings, I say keep them to yourself and keep your distance for now. That seems to be what she is already doing.