If the last time you wrote a pen portrait was at school then take a look at my earlier post to refresh your memory! The digital version is not that much different but it does have the added advantage to easily add photos, newspaper articles or copies of letters etc. Pen portraits also make great presents for those "hard to buy for" members of your family.
Last week I posted a photo on Facebook of my mother on a "Charabanc" I was surprised to see the comments & "likes" rolling in so quickly. Experiencing my Mother's history like this had me hooked!. The research began & in the process I learned a little more about her life. The questions I should have asked her have been answered. From start to finish the journey has been a happy one. It seems I have found a formula for writing that works for ancestry blogs. It's time to share!
Writing stories about our family history is not the same as writing a novel. Our characters already have their place in history. Their life events have already been written. If we don't want our ancestors relegated to column of numbers we have to ignore that persistent voice in our head that whispers, "You're not a writer, you have writers block, stick to the records!
With any family history research there will be times when the only records you have are a list of dates, names and places. Hardly the material need for a story that will encourage your family to feel connected with. The sort of connection that Theophilus Adcock provided! Without records we must fall back on what we do know. Oral stories, photographs, intuition & assumptions all have their place in a writers imagination. Trust yourself and write from your heart.
The dictionary tells me I am a genealogist because I am person who traces or studies lines of family descent. But, like many others who have surrounded themselves with dates, names, records, photos and dog eared scraps of paper, we are so much more! When your are a family historian the emphasis is always on the word, "family". Medically we are connected by our DNA. But it is the life stories we uncover that makes a real family!
After my first blog failed miserably I made the decision to find something else to write about. For some reason "Fermentation" was going to be it! SEO was perfect, monetization was practical and my chosen new theme was perfect, if a little expensive! There were two problems to this well researched choice. I don't like fermented food and I live on a boat where space is at a premium! So, here I am doing what I have been quietly doing most of my life, writing stories. Only this time the stories are not hidden away in boxes!
I'm pretty sure I hold the record for procrastinating. Even as a senior citizen I remember starting to "write a book" when I was 12 years old. I was the heroine of the story and my name was Molly Molone! The opening scene was me pushing a barrow which was obviously a memory I "borrowed" from my mother.