A few years ago, I got inspired to put my Mom’s writing into a book for her. I used the print-on-demand site Blurb for this.
It turned out great and she loved having a book with her name on the cover. Actually “loved it” is rather tame. She was ecstatic.
If you want to make your mom really really happy, start today putting together a book for her. It can be photos from her childhood, a collection of family memories, or so many other topics. It may not be done by Mother’s Day, but start it and see what you can accomplish.
It’s amazing the variety of busy work I can distract myself with when I have a big project to do. All sorts of minor activities, from writing a letter to finishing my library book, get my attention. What I should be doing is working on my great-great grandfather’s life story.
I suspect that “writing a book” just sounds overwhelming. What I need to do is break it down into chunks that aren’t so daunting. Airing my concerns to my writing group helped me sort out my thinking a bit.
Here’s how I’m currently picturing the book layout:
Abraham’s early life/growing up in southern Indiana 1837-1860
Nancy’s life while Abraham is gone to war
Abraham’s prisoner of war experience – Andersonville
There’s a ton of research still to be done. I’ve visited southern Indiana and Andersonville in Georgia. I’ve read dozens of diaries of Andersonville prisoners. Connecting with descendants of Abraham and Nancy has turned up further anecdotes and vintage photos. I know there is so much more out there waiting to be found.
I need to give myself some structure, maybe a daily checklist.
one hour genealogy research
one hour reading (Civil War history, pioneer history, etc.)