27 October 2011

My Mother's Voice

Anne Whitney-1980
I have a wonderful mother and I've been thinking about her this month. On 24 October she would have been 85 years old. Sometimes I look at older women and wonder what Mom would look like if she were still alive now. I never saw her when she was old because she died when she was only 54. That seems very young to me now that I'm 10 years past her high water mark. Mom isn't forgotten though. She's still alive in her children's hearts, all 10 of us. Many of her grandchildren weren't alive when she died, but they wonder about her too. This month my sister and I dedicated our third family history podcast to her. You can view it here.

In my sociology studies, I focused on "voice," specifically women's voice--how we are allowed to or take the opportunity to express ourselves. I've been thinking about my mother's voice. Though she was "only" a stay-at-home mom, she had a strong voice. It is because of that strong voice that we still remember her and know her today, 30 years after her death in 1981. I wonder if I will be remembered. I wonder if my voice reflects who I am and what I think, feel and believe. When I write the stories of my life and the lives of my family members, my voice is heard, and it will continue to be heard.

21 October 2011

I haven't gone away--Just thinking

My son is getting married in 2 weeks. I'm excited for the trip to Florida. I'm working day and night on his heritage quilt that I'm making. (More about this in another blog--with photos) But I'm here. My head is also in my family history writing. I'm pondering the list of babies I just transcribed for Family Search indexing. In 1871 they were in prison with their mothers. I'm answering emails from inquiring cousins. I'm doing some copy editing for a blogging friend.

I'm reading a wonderful book by Tristine Rainier called Your Life as Story. This is an older book, available as a bargain book from Amazon. I love it. I'm reading it with one of my writing friends and we are discussing it. I wake up in the morning with my head buzzing with writing ideas.

My sister is taking a class on family history writing from the university and I want to take it with her. In the meantime, I found this free course on writing family history from BYU.http://is.byu.edu/courses/pe/999015075002/public/start.htm. There are several free courses there. They look luscious. There are also numerous free courses at FamilySearch.org, with some interesting things on family history writing. Oh my, I want to investigate these further. Only 24 hours in a day????

There are also lots of great websites to explore and use. Here are some that I read or that I want to investigate further: http://www.mapyourancestors.com/https://www.familysearch.org/techtips/http://www.storytree.me/http://1000memories.com/http://www.saveeverystep.com/default.aspx. These are just a few of the latest ones.  I'm still reading my old favorites too: Dick Eastman at http://blog.eogn.com,  Marian Pierre-Louis at http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com/, Dan Curtis at http://dancurtis.ca (check out his list of resources too), the wonderful National Association of Memoir Writers at http://www.namw.org/, (they offer some terrific free webinars) and of course Nina Amir at http://howtoblogabook.com as well as several other places. I am taking her WNFIN challenge next month--write a book of non-fiction in November! Who will join me?