I'm experiencing a bit of a lull this week. The new book -- Damned Yankee -- is getting a final few corrections made, and the printer now says the final proof copy will be ready by April 15 -- a week from tomorrow. Then I'll be back into it again as we kick off a launch, order books for a small book tour in South Carolina, and start marketing full time.
But what to do in the meantime? I already have plans for a new book, based on my mother's family of eight sisters. I've always been fascinated by their lives, but have been hesitant to write something that would offend family members. Now I've decided that a fictionalized version will work -- with enough details changed (and the names, of course ) so that folks won't be finding grandma's dirty laundry being hung about.
And with that thought in mind, I've been exploring old family photos and scanning them into my computer for guidance and inspiration. Some were taken in my own lifetime, but most go back well over 100 years. I'm amazed at how clear they still are. Here's one example:
It shows my grandmother on the left, with her sister, her second oldest daughter, and her first grandchild. It was taken about 1898. And what a different world it reveals.
Then I can jump ahead to 1915 and see the whole lineup of grandmother and her eight daughters. They're still very old-fashioned, aren't they?
And for another change, I found this portrait of my mother (the youngest of the girls) in 1935 -- looking quite modern.
I'm going to enjoy exploring that time at the beginning of the 20th-century and its enormous changes.
It's now Tuesday morning, and I'm still wallowing in old family memories, some of which only originated in listening to my mother tell stories of her girlhood. She looks lovely here, but she wasn't always so happy.
I can' resist including this picture of her one-room schoolhouse. Obviously she was not pleased with having a class picture taken! That's her in the middle of the front row, arms folded and a ferocious scowl on her face. The picture is even scratched, lokking as if she tried to cross herself out.
Oh, and by the way, I'm scowling, too. The blog trolls have been at it again, leaving their ads in the comments section. I tried leaving comments open but requiring my approval before they appear. However, there are so many of the annoying ones that I've closed comments. You can always e-mail me, instead, if you want to comment.