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#101 [url]

Feb 19 13 6:33 PM

Hello, everyone! I found an interesting "anecdote" to our family recently and wanted to use it as part of my writing. I don't want to spill the beans because it's just so exciting! Unfortunately, that involved some research ... and more research. Also how to relate the story was a challenge since it I wanted to  include parts of an already written family history from 1897 and the newfound information (thank you, son Scott). The main gist of the added research was to find just when our French family made the trip from France to Canada to Michigan.

Bettyann... I can totally relate. My new need is to find land records and who bought what house when.


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#102 [url]

Feb 21 13 7:11 AM

I've been absent from the board, but I have finished one book and finished all the writing for another!  So it's going well, but not much time to participate here.  I read the daily articles in email at work, though!  I'm going to try to be better about being here, though, as it makes me acknowledge all I've accomplished.


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#104 [url]

Feb 22 13 11:14 AM

I'm trying to write at least one story a day, if I can two is even better. I'm talking 400-800 word stories on the blog.  Not in-depth.   I figure I've got about a dozen stories left, and I'm done!!!  Done with this second draft, that is.  

I'm up to the 1950s now, so it goes a little faster.  Yesterday I posted about my family's parties, "West 8th Street Years," and it was more photos than words, so that was easy.  In the book, that will probably change.  The story the previous day, "Selling Sander Street," is also fairly short, the end of the Sander Street section in the book,  the conclusion probably.  I'm sure I'll add more words.

As we come down to the finish line, I have to say I've made great strides, more so even than last year, when I was writing the bare-bones first draft.  After the Challenge, I'll be going back over the early chapters, the 1800s ancestors' stories and rewriting according to my changed theme.  I just felt like I wanted to keep going forward with the more modern stories before changing gears.  And actually "knowing" I'd changed the theme helped a lot as I continued to write new stories.  

The story about my uncle and the Korean War is really, really bare-bones.  I'm leaving that until I can do a little more research about that war.

All in all, I feel good about the book, and I've been so impressed with all of the other challengers' stories and blogs and ideas!  What a great group.

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#105 [url]

Feb 22 13 7:48 PM

In creating my next post, I was looking through my source information and discovered that I had passed over the parents names in a ggrandmother's death certificate information.  The irony is that I've been researching for a few days to find out what the mother's name was.

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#107 [url]

Feb 23 13 7:41 PM

Well, I've fallen off the bandwagon with my grandfather's biography in the past two days or so. I've kind of run out of stories from his dictations to me and from his own writing of his story. There are still holes, but my father is away on vacation, and my uncle says he would like me to come and have a night at his place so we can talk face-to-face about granddad rather than over the phone (which is definitely a good idea), but he's got a house-guest until April. So, I'm a bit stuck for now. Also, I still haven't tackled the "meatier" parts of his character, just don't know what to say or how to write it. Instead, though, tonight I worked on an essay about my other grandfather. I know a lot less about him, just enough to write maybe two or three pages. I found the newsletter on essays and memoirs to be really interesting, and I think is the type of thing I need to write about this other grandfather.

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#108 [url]

Feb 24 13 4:55 AM

nicb, one idea is not to worry too much about what to say or how to write it but just to write it, almost without thinking about it. Then file it without reading for a few days and let it settle in your mind and on the page. If you're not happy with it then you can start again, but often there is a kernel in there which can be developed.

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#109 [url]

Feb 25 13 11:02 AM

My nose has been to the grindstone.  If I'm not writing, I'm reading.  

Currently reading three books at the same time.  This week's guest Ryan's book Reunion,on  Kindle, makes the third.  The other two are How to Write Interesting Family History, and Tell it Slant, after Lynn mentioned it.  

Deep into the writing process now.  Grateful for the three guys who live with me, husband and two grown sons, who are more than independent.  

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#110 [url]

Feb 25 13 4:07 PM

Have had a few days off as I was at a conference and it turned out to be too intense to do anything much at all in the evenings. But I have been reading - on Lynn's recommendation (I think it was Lynn) Steven Luxenberg's Annie's Ghosts. Beautifully written and gripping so far! I wil hopefully start back to writing tomorrow. From Friday I plan to write something daily and family history at least 3 times a week.

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#111 [url]

Feb 25 13 5:09 PM

Welcome back Janet, and yes I thought Annie's Ghost would appeal to you based on your aunt's similar story. Nice to hear you have a plan for after the challenge is over. Anyone else have a plan for after the challenge? 

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#112 [url]

Feb 26 13 5:24 AM

I intend to keep working on my mother's family history.  I'd really like to get it done for Christmas, though I'm not sure yet how I'll publish it.  

I know I want to put a bunch of the pictures I've collected, together with the stories in a scrapbook too (but that's the real fun stuff).

Connie from WV stuck here in Florida

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#113 [url]

Feb 27 13 8:06 AM

Hi all, I've been writing and researching and reading a lot during this month. Although there weren't a lot of postings from me, there's a lot of beginnings. My stories were all posted on my blog. I thought I had everything I needed for many of the stories, only to find out that more information was needed. There's been some high days and low days and days where I'd tell myself that "I'll write as soon as I get this (or that) done." I'm sure you've all been there. Family story writing is so important... especially when you know you're the oldest of your generation and there's no one in the previous one left or who remembers the past. How will our descendants know what came before? I currently have six grandchildren who occasionally ask a question about the family. I want to give them the stories of their ancestor and urge them to write theirs when they become older. I'm enjoying everything I read and it urges me on when I see someone's memories that trigger mine. I'm keeping on with the writing forum after tomorrow and hope to see many of you there after Feb. 28.

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#114 [url]

Feb 28 13 3:12 AM

Bettyann, I caught up on your blogpost today, and enjoy the way you write. Keep up the good work, and I have written down a few book titles that you have written about - something for me to do more of - READ!  

Lynn, thanks for the recommended book list yesterday!

This has been a slow writing week for me.  Some of it is working on taxes, but most of the distractions have been a result of my "in progress" migration from one genealogy software program to one that is native to my Mac, which I started at the end of last year - before I knew about the Writing Challenge.   Just last week I converted my online genealogy database to be fed from the new software, and wracking my brain trying to replicate look and feel that the old software export provided, and determining how to recover the source citations that did not transfer smoothly.

So this week while working on my stories, I kept running into these distractions - the need to resolve technical issues, which took me off the path of writing.  I plan to keep writing, but today will be spent at the local Family History Center looking at German Church Books on microfilm before they get sent back.  

Writing is a priority now for me, so I will continue, and I will stop by the forum in the future and let you know of my progress.  But writing this month has also uncovered some holes in the way I manage and store all of my recently found information that has not yet been digitized - i.e. I have source photos and emails, but they are not yet in my database.  

I was concerned that this past week of little writing was going to causes me to miss my commitment of writing 500 words, but I just tallied up the word count of the 20 stories I did write, and at 15,053 words, I find my average over 28 days to be 538 words per day.  So I feel good about that.

It has been a pleasure reading and responding to the group.  Best luck to you all.


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#116 [url]

Feb 28 13 1:57 PM

Thank you very much Lynn for all your hard work in putting this together. The challenge has given me the kick I needed to tackle some things in my 'too difficult' section.

Thanks to all the forum members who have been kind enough to comment on my work. Your encouragement has encouraged me to take steps to promote the website locally and in history fora, something I hadn't got the confidence to do before this.

The main lessons for me have been the role of a theme and the role of narrative. I don't 'do' stories and it has been challenging to read many of yours and to think about how narrative can enhance the reader's engagement.

All the best to everyone, and would love to read more of your work in future.

Janet B
Springhill history

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#117 [url]

Feb 28 13 3:28 PM

I would like to add my thanks to Lynn for another great challenge. I cannot believe how much I accomplished in this 28 day time period. I have nearly 36,000 words in Scrivener! I enjoyed the daily newsletters which proved helpful for inspiration on story lines I had not thought to include. Best of luck to everyone, and write on!

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#118 [url]

Feb 28 13 5:59 PM

Well...I didn't finish the way I would have liked...but you can see on my final Challenge blog post what happened. I am a bit frustrated with the lack of scheduled time right now with my work, this is something I need to find a way to work through.

I've enjoyed reading everyone's work...and am so happy for those who were able to accomplish so much during these 28 days! Bravo!

Hope to keep up with a few of you...and best wishes to all!


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#120 [url]

Mar 1 13 4:47 AM

Looking forward to staying in touch with you Deb and watching your book progress. 

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