Well, November is over and so is National Novel Writing Month. The goal – write a 50K word novel in 30 days. I wrote 43,716 words. The old, and rather ridiculously competitive, me would have beaten myself up because I didn’t hit target.
You failure you!
But the even older, and thankfully much wiser Me is proud of hitting target in some other important ways like -
- Tackling my first work of fiction since college. “Good Googley-Moogley”, as Dad would have said!
- Mucking around in the recesses of my imagination where dinosaur-size dust bunnies lurk and creating story out of an obscure 17th century historical event that’s grabbed hold of my attention and won’t let go;
- Thrashing around with my characters (some fictional, some real ancestors), the scenes, the action, the “he said, she said” to wrestle out the beginnings of a plot;
- And, maybe most importantly, not giving up on those days when everything – the story, my brain and my confidence, had turned into the mush my characters would have eaten for breakfast!
With NaNoWriMo at an end, now comes the massaging and revising of this first raw draft of my novel, The Wethersfield Diaries. God willing and the creek don’t rise – I just might end up with a novel you’d enjoy reading one day.
But for now, I’m celebrating a win – 43,716 words and some serious personal growth.
Not a bad way to spend 30 days of my life.
I have never served in the military. But on this Veteran’s Day, I’m proud to honor ancestors and family members who have given service in this country since the earliest days of the American colonies. They fought for land, political power, freedom and sometimes just sheer survival.
Although I might not have agreed with their methods and strategies, the ongoing commitment of people in my family, ultimately contributed to the freedoms I enjoy today, including being able to sit down and rant away every now and then on this blog.
So here’s my family’s military roll call. Mind you – this is a list in progress as part of my ongoing genealogy research. Thank you for your service, one and all -
King Phillip’s War
Joseph Petty, Massachusetts
One thing doing genealogy teaches you is that you are NEVER exactly who you THINK you are. For over 36 years, I’ve researched my roots. On my dad’s side of the family, my journey has taken me back through slavery and slave-owners in Georgia and North Carolina. But I’ve only been able to get back to great-great grandparents and not on every line.
I’ve had far more success researching my mother’s line which has taken me back to known ancestors from Bermuda, England, Scotland and Germany. As of now, there are some lines I’ve gotten back to medieval times in England!!
For years, I’ve thought about taking a DNA test but just got around to doing that recently. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is over …
My grandmother was an amazing lady. She was born Beatrice Parker in Fortson, Harris County, Georgia – the grandchild of both former slaves and slave-owners in the neighborhood. Gram, as I called her, grew up as a tomboy who used her trusty slingshot to supplement the family groceries with the rabbit and squirrel running around in her rural neck of the woods.
Our family didn’t have much in those days. They were sharecroppers making a meager living growing cotton on someone else’s land. Life was simple. In fact, it was an accomplishment to get any kind of education since everyone who could work needed to help bring in the crop.
But my grandmother finished the 8th grade. She was pretty proud of that but sad that she …
My great aunt Clara was my maternal grandmother’s younger sister. She was born on December 1, 1894 in Cleveland, Ohio to my great grandparents, Prince Albert and Jennie Hood Weaver. Aunt Clara and Grandmother had a brother and sadly, 3 other sisters who didn’t survive childhood.
Aunt Clara was a “pistol” – outspoken and her own person in a time when women were struggling to even have the right to vote. Depending on who is telling the story, she was married 5 times although by the time I came along, I don’t remember any of the husbands being in the picture.
I would see Aunt Clara every summer through my childhood when we took our annual trip to visit my mother’s family in Cleveland. Every day, Aunt …
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