Saturday, January 28, 2012

Taking the Challenge

No new stories have been bouncing around my brain struggling to get out. I don't have a new book idea on my list of 2012 New Year's Resolutions. (Actually I don't have a list at all, but that is neither here nor there.) The point is that I don't know what my next project will be. So when I saw a post for The Family History Writing Challenge it sort of grabbed me by the throat. I have been researching my family, as well as my husband's family, since 1989. I have lots of names, dates, places, documents, photos...well, you get the picture. Pardon the pun. Other than having a public tree online that family members can look at if they so desire, all these materials in my file cabinets really don't do anyone too much good. At the moment I don't see anyone who will even want to take care of my treasure trove once I am gone. Compiling the information into a family history would ensure that things (at least some of them) are put together in one place.

So the point of The Family History Challenge is to write your story for 29 days in a row - basically the month of February. You set your own goal of how many words you would like to write each day. Inspirational reminders will be emailed to the group daily, and there is a forum where we can ask questions and offer support and encouragement to each other. I have decided to take the Challenge.

At first it seemed an easy decision to write the history of the Crusham family (my mom's) from Tuam, Ireland to Cincinnati, Ohio. After all, I traveled to Ireland to find out the REAL name of this family (Crisham), and have lots of photographs and some interesting documents. But as I have been giving this some thought I realized that while I have a lot of facts and figures, I'm not sure I have many stories to tell. Sure, I can fill in with historical information from Tuam and Cincinnati, but is that enough? I began to fret that I really would not be able to come up with 250 or 500 words a day on the family.

That led me to consider writing my own story; my memoir. I have no illusions that anyone besides me would be interested in this topic. A Crusham family history would perhaps appeal to the hundreds of Crusham folks living in Cincinnati. But the point of this exercise is not to come up with a book at the end - though that would be a nice bonus. So I am stumped at this point. I'll take the next couple of days to pull out all my Crusham materials and really see if I have a story to tell. Then I'll decide which direction to go with this Challenge.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

That is a difficult challenge! I'm sure you have plenty of facts, but anecdotes are the glue that pulls them along. If you have a memory treasure trove of those, go for it!