Monday, January 31, 2005

Writing my Family History

Yet another project I have in the pipeline. As a historian, I've always been interested in genealogy. Over the last fifteen years I've worked on my own family's history - building a family tree (with the help of some relatives) and scanning photos.

Then a friend in a writer's group to which I belong began reading her family history narrative to the group. Talk about inspiration! Now I'm doing research into organizing and writing a family history as well. But wow, what a lot of work. And I know it will take a lot of time. Still, it's important and definitely worth it.

I'm fortunate enough to be able to travel to Salt Lake City this coming spring where I will attend the Historical Novel Society Conference. The organizers of this conference are extremely canny - fans and writers of historical fiction will likely also be interested in genealogy/family history, so they've arranged for a tour of the Family History Library, with time for private research as well. With the recent acquisition of the marriage certificates of both sets of my maternal great-grandparents, I hope to unearth some more details.

However, just as with any other form of research, genealogy and family history can be extremely addictive. I've been known to spend hours tracking down information on the internet. And it has paid off (in finding the marriage certs), but it's also taken time away from my fiction writing. So I have to learn to balance the two.

I'm working on that. At times the need to devote a lot of time to the family history seems especially pressing. This may have to do with the fact that none of us is getting any younger and I don't want to lose momentum or the opportunity to talk with relatives about their memories and other family history details. But it's not always easy - not everyone wants to talk about these things, nor do I want to give the impression I'm expecting the older generation to expire any time soon.

So I work on it from time to time, while also continuing to write my historical romance fiction.

Tomorrow's topic - multi-tasking!


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