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Blogging about things that matter to me. Photographing things I love - Instagram @debcyork. Writing about both. Only wine and chocolate can save us… You can also find me on Twitter (@debcyork) and Facebook. If you like four-legged views, try @missbonniedog on Twitter

Friday, 25 September 2015

Best for a while

I can't post a lengthy missive this morning.  I have done my back in so badly that I just can't sit in my desk chair very comfortably for a long time!

However, I did just want to comment on Frank Gardner's Who Do You Think You Are? last night.  I have enjoyed all of the programmes in the last couple of series but it was really great to see an episode which really pushed the genealogy line rather than just concentrating on one or two ancestors' stories.

Who would have thought anyone who is not currently royal or "landed gentry" could trace their ancestry to William the Conqueror himself?  There is hope for us all!  It was just a shame that the programme was not long enough to show the paperwork route to the Tudor ancestor.  I personally have stalled with my own tree in the late 1600s.  I am proud of having got that far but it spurs you on to want more!  Human nature.

I was terribly envious of Frank Gardner's visit to the heraldic college too.  Even if it was not my tree, to have the chance to visit such a place and handle those documents would be amazing.  Weird genealogy crush, anyone??!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

To Be A Writer

Back in the land of the living!  Well, in school hours anyway.  Eldest has started at secondary and it has been quite a learning curve this September.

So what to write about?  I must admit that genealogy work has completely taken a back seat.  I have, though, been maintaining an interest in my creative writing.  And I have decided to try to write up some of the stories gleaned from my family tree and integrate them into fiction.

I do make it sound so easy don't I?  Well it isn't, I can tell you.  There are possibilities whirring in my head but making myself just start writing and stop overthinking is another matter.

This morning I was reading a writers' blog about entering writing competitions.  It was talking about how long to continue trying to make it as a writer before accepting that maybe fiction is not where your talents lie.  I do agree that, at some point, I will have to admit defeat if this is the route I decide to follow and I am unsuccessful.

However, this summer I have been reading all sorts of books that I would never normally read.  A tutor had mentioned the merits of reading books that we considered "bad" in an effort to pick out what we thought was "wring" with them.  And very entertaining, it has been!  A couple of awful romances, a dreadful thriller and currently a best seller that I just can't get into.  But all of these people have reached the holy grail and been published.  So it is a bit chicken and egg.  You can  break all the "rules" given out by the creative writing tutors and still get published.  So are you writing for a genre and do not care what the quality is like?  Or are you writing and believing that you are writing great books?  If you get published, you must believe in your work or at least, your work is believable for a certain audience.

I mentioned this debate that I have been having with myself at our last book club meeting and the point was made that actually, we all do, or have done, jobs that we don't believe in - because they pay the bills.   An age old problem.
To round off with a genealogy point, I think there are probably two or three people on my entire family tree as it stands who found vocations rather than ways to pay the bills.  And they were all connected to religion.  So maybe I had better train to write some lucrative genre of fiction that will make some cash rather than holding out for critical acclaim.  52 Shades of Grey, anyone?