We may not admit it, but, deep down all writers want readers. I have told myself that my readers will be the "future generations" of my scattered, extended family. Whatever your expectations one thing is certain, we want our readers to read more than the first paragraph! We want vindication that the stories we tell, matter. Did you disagree with my opening statement? Whether you agreed or not is immaterial My goal was to make a statement that would you, the reader, carry on reading
Have you ever wondered what it is like to write a novel? Well, here is your chance to find out. I extend to you a once in a life time offer! You are invited to join me on this "Warts and All " evolution of Fact to Fiction Have you ever wondered what it is like to write a novel? Well, here is your chance to find out. I extend to you a once in a life time offer! You are invited to join me on this "Warts and All " evolution of Fact to Fiction. The story will based on the journey my Great Grand Uncle, took when he emigrated from Norfolk, England to Kapunda, Australia in 1852. The research provides my facts. My questions become the fiction. From first draft to last your feedback, support and contributions will be acknowledged when (and if) we reach our successful conclusion.
Nothing is more likely to turn your family off genealogy than showing them than the much researched lineage of your 4x Great Grandparents and your 3rd cousin twice removed! I extend to you a once in a life time offer! You are invited to be part of a collaborative writing event in which we will journal the evolution of Fact to Fiction. From first draft to last, your feedback, support and contributions will be acknowledged when (and if) we reach a successful conclusion.
The year is 1881 and my Great Grandfather (Theophillus Adcock) is 30 years old and his wife, Sarah, is pregnant with their 5th child. Queen Victoria has been on the English throne for 44 years and the Crown Hotel, which takes centre stage for this story, has already been serving the locals for over 200 years.
How do you turn your words into a family history? You write about them! If flashbacks to tortured school essays are the first images that come to mind have probably already decided that this post is not for you. But, it can be if you ignore words, like "autobiography", "memoirs" and "family history". Generations from now a simple sentence may offer an insight to your great great grand daughter that far outweighs any object wrapped in tissue paper or displayed in a cabinet.
Researching your family history usually begins with finding names, dates & places. It doesn't take long before you have a list of births & baptisms, deaths & marriages, occupations & residences. The thrill of the chase keeps us searching and our lists grow longer. But who wants to read lists? Now is the time to take those lists and turn them into something else. Something your family will enjoy reading!
In Downsizing Family Heirlooms I warned that you should "be prepared to be disappointed!" I wrote about "what is", "how to" and the history of family heirlooms. The more I wrote the more dissatisfied I became with my ramblings and explanations. It wasn't until I began writing my conclusion that I understood what I really wanted to write was the stories behind my own family heirlooms. Now, any blogger will tell you that if you make your reader scroll too far down the page you are in danger of them missing the punch line of your article. There is no way my mother's flying brass ducks were going to be relegated to blogger oblivion! In this post, family heirlooms are given back their stories that will go with them into the future for as long as those stories are remembered.
With it's roots in English Law, an heirloom is described as an item that is passed down the generations through family members. As heirlooms go, the Crown Jewels of the Queen of England have to be right up there alongside Monet's, Chippendale's and the Kohinoor diamond. They are perfect examples of how their history and their value guarantee their longevity as an heirloom. Ordinary family heirlooms, on the other hand, have a far more checkered existence. For some the emotional connection and life circumstances will see these treasures survive as family heirlooms. But, when the emotional connection is not shared and lifestyles change what then?
Be warned, if your goal is to research how to podcast your short story then typing "digital story telling" in the task bar is going to be somewhat disheartening as its use as a either a marketing tool or a classroom activity takes the lead in search engine results. Advertising, television and gaming are so well established in our 21st century digital age that it's not surprising that the media of choice for digital story telling is overwhelmingly visual. However, with today's baby boomers and their offspring taking up the fastest growing hobby of genealogy (not to mention the impetus derived from the publication of Alex Hayley's "Roots" in the 1970's) there is always room for new "players" in the form of story tellers who want to podcast their short stories.
Anyone engaged in writing family histories will understand the challenges in uncovering supporting documents. But, the bigger challenge we face, as amateur family historians, is finding the hidden stories behind those "facts". I can now declare that finding hidden stories in military records is a whole new ball game! During WW1 my Great Uncle Arthur Ilson moved around, a lot! Different battalions, different countries & various hospitals. I know all this because somehow, in all the chaos and mayhem that surrounded him, someone kept hand written records that have been saved for me to read 100 years later!