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#41 [url]

Feb 14 13 10:57 AM

jarnspiger,   I really enjoyed your first two paragraphs.  Then, like Lynn told me I feel jerked out of the story.  I want to hear a little more before you go back into the history of the people.

Connie from WV stuck here in Florida

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#42 [url]

Feb 14 13 11:06 AM

Connie, I hear what you and Lynn are both saying.  Thank you so much for your feedback.  I feel like I need to do some more of the social researching as I don't have a clear idea of what a wedding in 1878 rural Iowa would entail.  Looking for some good online resources for that.  Anybody have any ideas?  

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#43 [url]

Feb 14 13 1:18 PM

    Janet   Wow, I never thought about a thread but that is very interesting.  I have not known any relatives prior to me who had it but my doctor did say that while not proved genetic, autoimmune diseases of one type or another tend to run in families.  My sister has carpel tunnel and a cousin has lupus (all female) so you have given me a great idea.  While I can't prove it, I can certainly imply.  Especially on the women who died young.  Thanks for the insight.  And thank you for your comments.  I shared my article with my doctor but sadly seemed to find no interest.  He has just retired and now I am faced with a new doctor so I will share with him and see what he thinks.  Thanks again for the input.

Louise

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#44 [url]

Feb 14 13 1:20 PM

    Bettyann
Thanks for your support.  I am sorry to hear about your daughter.  It seems more and more are being diagnosed these days.  Don't know if its better medical care or more environmental issues causing us problems.  Tell your daughter to hang in there.

Louise

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#45 [url]

Feb 14 13 1:34 PM

    Jarnspiger
Thanks for sharing the beginning of your story.  I liked the wedding as the intro.  Just a thought, maybe when you set the wedding you could have one of the parents of the couple reminisce about their child and how time had flown and then take them back to their childhood that way so it wouldn't seem so jumped back into the past.  Not being critical.  love the story and just sharing ideas.
Louise
 

Louise

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#46 [url]

Feb 14 13 1:39 PM

Janet
I don't know which record office you would need to approach to use a picture of the asylum records but I have found the Lancashire Record Office very helpful in this area, as long as they are acknowledged. It might be different if you are trying to make money out of it and may then involve a fee.
 Worth a try?
other Janet

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#47 [url]

Feb 16 13 8:45 AM

Louise and Connie,
Thank you for your feedback.  All ideas are helpful.  As my husband says take all the feedback you get, decide which you want to use and move forward. I appreciate any and all feedback.


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#49 [url]

Feb 18 13 8:37 AM

Thank you Deb and all. Much appreciated as this is the first time I have attempted to write any of my family history (though I do write a lot in my day job). The photos are mainly from a beautiful little photo album that one of my second cousins has. She was kind enough to send it to me so I could digitise it so we could share the images even if we can't share the artefact!

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#50 [url]

Feb 18 13 9:59 AM

Janet, you wrote a powerful story about Alice. She had a tragic life, but you honored it with great dignity.  I can't begin to imagine how long it took to do all the background work on this.  I loved it and look forward to reading more.

Linda Huesca Tully

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#51 [url]

Feb 19 13 5:13 AM

Jarnspiger,
I enjoyed the excerpt from your story, the wedding in Iowa. The way you speculated on what it might have entailed, the food, the place, etc. effectively paints the scene for readers.
Zola

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#52 [url]

Feb 19 13 8:34 AM

Janet, I agree your writing is "top notch," and I enjoyed reading the story about Alice.  I know that feeling of finally finding something you've been searching for.  My great grandmother died in her forties, and I finally found her death certificate.  What a great feeling off success!  

I also like your blog layout a lot.  I wish mine was so organized.  Got some good ideas from yours.

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#55 [url]

Feb 20 13 9:11 AM

ztnoble, I loved your narrative.   Your feelings and the details are all wonderful.  Your grandchildren (if you have any) will love it.    I perceived a similar relationship with my grandmother.  Talking to my aunt at my grandmother's funeral gave me a completely different picture of her. 

Connie from WV stuck here in Florida

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#56 [url]

Feb 20 13 9:24 AM

Zola, you're really written a lot so far! I love the way you talk about your gran'ma, your honesty about your feelings.  I'm writing about my paternal grandma, and got some ideas from reading your narrative.  Your writing flows nicely, easy to read.

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#57 [url]

Feb 20 13 10:39 AM

ztnoble - you have a wonderful style, very honest and evocative of the time your grandmother was living through. Really easy to read and kept my interest. Made her feel very real to me.

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#58 [url]

Feb 21 13 4:43 AM

Thank you Janet, Bettyann, and cshortel for you generous comments. I appreciate that you read my draft. After the first part covering my memories, I'm concerned whether the paragraphs about Mary's father Eli and grandmother Anna and her ancestors might be tiresome and difficult to follow. Several years ago, I read Family, by Ian Frazier, which is a wonderful family history that I recommend. My dream has been to write a family history as compelling as that one. But even so, I got a little lost in the names in Frazier's book, so I suppose it's natural for that to happen.

Thanks again,

Zola

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#59 [url]

Feb 21 13 6:19 AM

Hi Zola, very nice memories and narrative of your Grandmother. You have a wonderful skill at writing descriptive narrative and that makes the reader very engaged. I like that you include both your memories and your research, but I wonder if there is some way to mesh the two. There seems to be a clear line between the two and I wonder if you've considered restructuring. It feels very divided. Perhaps there some way of blending them. Just a thought. Very nice work on adding dialogue into your narrative!! 

I think the only part that seems out of place are the series of questions you insert on your Grandmother's death. You can certainly elude to all your unanswered questions but I'm not sure it's necessary to list them all. 


Since you mention Ian Frazier, you may want to read Inventing the Truth, The Art and Craft of Memoir. Ian Frazier has a chapter in this book, he discusses his approach to writing his book Family. Every chapter is written by a different nonfiction writer including Frank McCourt, Annie Dillard, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and it is edited by William Zinsser. A wonderful book for those wishing to learn from some of the greats. 

Zola, really nicely done, I'm excited to see how your writing will develop over time. 

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#60 [url]

Feb 22 13 4:42 AM

Thank you very much, Lynn. Your comments are exactly what I was hoping for. I was concerned about structure; it's always a challenge for me. I'll see what I can do to mesh the narrative and the research, and I'll reconsider the questions. Actually, I have read William Zinsser's book, Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, but it's been a long time. It's on my shelf, so I'll plan to re-read the chapter Ian Frazier wrote.
Thanks again,
Zola

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