Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Long, Literary Day

Just got home from a long, literary day.

First, I went to the Thursday-morning-write at Barnes & Noble. I didn't actually get much writing done today, but I won't say it was unproductive. We chatted to catch up from the past two weeks and worked on my friend's query. I kept telling her to "slash and burn," tighten it up and tighten it some more - and I hope she does the same for me when I'm ready to try. I also worked a little on my timeline, going through genealogical records and jotting dates and background people into my manuscript.

Before I left B&N, I picked up a Writer's Digest special on getting an agent. I also found a novel that had tempted me in New York for about $25, The Day the Falls Stood Still, on the bargain table for $4. Score!

In the afternoon I went to the Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College. Instead of my usual family research, I was digging for the oldest photographs and paintings for an article I'm writing. There's never enough time in a great genealogy library, so I'll probably have to go back next week. It's amazing how many photos exist of our ancestors; but if you try to go back before the Civil War, finding anything gets harder.

I met up with a fellow member of the Publications Board, who handed me a large box (and thoughtfully, a luggage carrier to wheel it around). As I mentioned in a previous post, a fellow Quaker genealogist had died and left his cemetery research to the yearly meeting. My job is to go through the files and answer the questions: Can we publish it? How much work would it take? and What next?

After stopping at Jason's Deli for dinner, I went to my nonfiction critique group, which meets monthly. Only one person brought writing to critique, which is fine for the time period we have. But everybody is doing something: writing memoirs, transcribing old family letters, marketing a published book. One lady had just published her memoir and brought a copy to show.

It's after 10 p.m. I'm tired. But someday I'd like to be a full-time author/genealogist, with lots of days like this one.

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