Thank you, Lynn, for your honest approach! This is what I was looking for.
When I organized the photos I used to build the scene(s), I categorized them: Meet & Greet, Breakfast at the Hotel, The Boat Ride, The Banquet, Piney Grove (church), and At Hattie's House. My intention is that all through these reunion events, there is a tension within myself of getting to talk with Hattie. As stated in the piece entitled "Hattie's Call," she had requested all of the siblings to attend before she would discuss the land deeds. I had expected her to come to the reunion, which she was unable to attend because of her health, but I did not know that at the time. The conflict appears as small instances...the tension...to build to the visit at Hattie's House following the reunion. I intend to go back later and insert my personal conflict...thinking...but, as I wrote this, I found myself trying to be careful of how I characterized the cousins...especially the male cousins, especially the Nathaniel George branch historian. There has been conflict there to this day...about him being so open with the family, but so secretive with me, the family historian. We just went round and round over the past couple days about his line, and he finally divulged which son of Nathaniel he descends from (Nathaniel had 16 children).
That Monday after the reunion, we visited three of our senior family members. One of them was the cousin in the purple and white pants suit who "sat carefully" beside Dorothy.
This first part of the book leads to Hattie's ultimate challenge...for me to write my personal memoir of our daughter's death. Part I of the book is about the reunion leading to her challenge. Part II is my personal memoir. Part III is the aftermath of the reunion...the deaths of our senior family members we had visited, and how that has effectually ended family reunion.
The apprehension at the reunion is also my personal inner conflict with being in groups of people I do not know...wanting to fit in, and not feeling it. I agree, there is more that I can do in this area. Just want to get the "bare bones," on paper, as I have read Bettyann write before about her Korean War piece.
Thanks for the idea for the end of this section. I will definitely use that to guide me in my re-writes!
I do not know if any of you are familiar with the author, Jay Neugeboren. He was one of my writing professors at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst back in the early 1980s. This is a quote of his to my mother (my mom was the Undergraduate English Secretary there, but after I had graduated.)..."writing is a gift, but it does no one any good until it is published for the world to read." I guess part of me wants to prove to him that I have finally completed something worthwhile. So, that is part of what drives me. He is the sole surviving writing professor from the University who instructed me. At that time I was working on my very first attempt at family historical creative non-fiction based on my mother's Jewish ancestry from Vilna, Lithuania (then Russia). Perhaps one day I'll be able to go back to that and write it as well. I still have my note cards from those early days of research, but the 100 pages I wrote for my senior project were discarded years ago in an act of frustration.
This writers' challenge and forum has truly helped me get back into the writing after so many years of being dormant! Thank you, all!!!