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Monday, June 23, 2014

The Writing Life Blog Hop, Week of June 23rd

Earlier this month a good friend of mine, and fellow author, Jennifer Holik asked if I would participate in a Blog Hop for authors and writers.  Well, I couldn't just past that up!  I mean really, a chance to talk about what I am writing, what it’s like, and get to tell you about some of my other writer friends?  That just sounds like a win-win situation to me.  Plus, it’s going to be fun!

Image from the Library of Congress
This particular blog hop started in April of this year by Ellen Barone on her blog The Internal Traveler.  Let’s just say that it’s been going gang busters ever since.  This blog hop has covered a variety of writers from a number of different niches, so if you follow links backwards you will see a wide variety of areas represented.  If you Google “Blog Hop Ellen Barone” you can see a sampling of what I am talking about.  Also, you can read Jennifer’s post about being a writer on her blog and the other writers she featured there too!

On that note, let’s get started!  Let me tell you about writing from my perspective and hopefully you won’t get bored.

What am I writing or working on?  Currently I am working on a handful of projects that range from writing to lecturing.  This fall I have several larger speaking engagements that are taking quite a bit of my time.  I like to compare one of these lectures to a book since I am telling the story of a man as seen through his Civil War pension file.  The audience will get to hear the story instead of reading about it.

In addition to that I am finishing my second genealogist’s guidebook (this time on the Washington, D.C. area) and a book on how to apply to lineage societies.  If everything works out the guidebook will be out in July 2014 and the lineage society book will be out before the holidays later this year.

Currently I am in the outline stages for a third publication on genetic genealogy.  As a researcher with a passion for genetics I see a need for a simple pamphlet explaining the basics of genetic genealogy to the everyday family historian. The idea was suggested to me by several people who have attended my lectures on genetics in my local area.  It seems the training to be a biology teacher may show through from time to time.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I am just now branching out into my genealogy business but I can see a difference in what I do and what others in this field do.  Last year I fell into writing about lineage societies for the In-Depth Genealogist.  These types of societies have always fascinated me and as I learned more and more about them the curiosity continued to grow.  Few people speak about what types of societies are out there, let alone giving tips and advice on how to get your paperwork together. 

To be honest, I think that my work will continue to evolve and grow the more I do.  Ask me this question in 5 years and see how it changes.

Why do I write what I do?  Plain and simple, I write what I like and what is interesting to me.  That is what this blog is about and always has been.  For me to be successful at a writing project I have to be enthralled, intrigued, and even pulled to do it. Without that drive I just sit there and stare at the screen.

Also, I like to think that if it interests me there has to be someone else out there that would find it interesting too.  Right now I am writing about my family, DNA, lineage societies, gadgets and gizmos, plus anything else that gets thrown my way.  I’d like to think that it will evolve and be refined the more I write.

How does my writing process work? 
I am a big believer in mind maps, drafts, and doodling.  Everything I write starts out as a sketch or an outline.  From there I flesh it out with key points and items that I want to touch on.  Next I start adding the flowery bits and words. 

If you came to my house you would see lots of colored pencils and markers.  I create in full color.  Each topic is a color, lines are a different one, connections a third, and so forth.  It helps me visualize where I am going and what I am doing.

Also, I keep a small notebook with me for when inspiration strikes.  Sometimes I can be standing in line and a sentence, thought, or idea will pop into my head.  If I don’t stop what I am doing right then and there to take the time to write it all down I will lose it.  That is part of my flighty creative side I am sure of it. 

To keep the blog hop going I have invited the following writers to participate.  Their posts will be out next week and I hope you will “hop” on by to see them!

Cheri Hudson Passey has been researching her family and helping others get started with their own research since the early 1980’s. Born in Camden, SC, the majority of her lines come from many counties in SC, including, Aiken, Berkeley, Clarendon, Darlington, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Kershaw, Lee, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. A line also comes from Iredell County, NC. Truly a “Carolina Girl” for many generations!  

A love of History and Genealogy has grown into collecting not only names, dates, and places, but family pictures, stories, and ephemera as well. Her mother calls her “The Keeper of All Things”.  Cheri is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, The NextGen Genealogy Network, South Carolina Historical Society, South Carolina Genealogical Society, several SC County Genealogy Societies as well as her local Grand Strand Genealogy Club. 

She is also active in the Genealogy Community via several social media platforms including Facebook, Google +, Genealogists in Second Life, and Twitter. Her Blog “Carolina Girl Genealogy” has been instrumental in connecting with and sharing information about her family and the research process.  

Julie Goucher has been researching her genealogy and family history since the late 1980s. Her ancestry is predominately within the United Kingdom, although Julie is half Italian and has genealogical links to Italy, Canada, Australia, India just to name a few. A founder member & former vice chair of the Anglo Italian FHS and a member of the Guild of One Name Studies (for the surnames of Orlando & Worship). More recently Julie has been involved as a founder member with the Society for One-Place Studies, and is currently

Following a career in pharmacy management & training, Julie is the writer and developer of The Book of Me, Written by You, which is currently run both as a series of workshops and via online methods. A book to accompany the program is due to be released during 2014. Julie is also working on a further book project which is due to be published in Feb 2015 by Pen and Sword Books and writes a regular column, Across the Pond for The In-Depth Genealogist.

You can keep up to date with Julie via various social media
Twitter -@juliegoucher
Website –
Blog –

G+ -

Michelle Roos Goodrum is a researcher, speaker and writer with a passion for research in land records, organization, photography and genetic genealogy. She writes about various family history topics on her personal blog, The Turning of Generations and pens the column Timeless Territories for the monthly digital magazine, Going In-Depth.  She is a ProGen 14 graduate and administers the Gen Proof Study Groups studying Mastering Genealogical Proof. Michelle became involved in family history in the early 1990s when she realized her ancestors collectively had saved over 130 years worth of the family’s history. She is now the caretaker.

Raymond Johnson is a former criminal investigator and lifetime resident of the Chicago area. His love of Chicago history coupled with his natural curiosity and research skills fuels his many articles on the less well known aspects of Chicago History and two published works.

He conducts historical research for clients through Johnson Research Services and runs various historic tours in the Chicago Area including Elmhurst’s Voices from Beyond Tours and White City Tours through his non-profit “Friends of the White City” and blogs for the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow as “Chicago History Cop”.

He is a past Chicago Area Representative of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has done research work for various television production companies, authors and historical societies. and has been featured on the WGN morning show, WGN news radio, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is a member of the Hyde Park Historical Society and Jackson Park Advisory Council.

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