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How we write

The Mysteries of Early 18th Century Living

Last weekend institutional buildings and private homes were generously made available to nose around as part of the annual London Open House 2014.    With so many choices I settled on a private house in Soho; 68 Dean Street built in 1732 to help give me an idea of the house and living conditions that … Continue reading »

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Where to next with Joseph?

I have just come back from the dentist who cheerfully informed me that the chipmunk bulge on the right side of my face was an abscess and a tooth will need to be pulled out as well as removing and remaking the neighbouring tooth’s cap to fill in the space.   I am lucky.  My … Continue reading »

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Is it never finished?

Researching one’s family can be a lifelong hobby – especially as there are so many different branches of any family to trace back.  But most of us aim to have a finished ‘product’ which we can circulate within the family or a wider audience.  So when to stop following up those distant relatives?  My family … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Where to Write

“Where do you like to write?” – That is one of those favourite questions that some brave person nestling in an audience enjoying a writer’s workshop or interviews at literary festivals always asks, often hotly followed by,  “How do you organise your writing day?’ and “Where do you get your inspiration from?” Usually the writer patiently … Continue reading »

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Engineering dynasties – The Lighthouse Stevensons

  I have just finished reading Bella Bathurst’s “The Lighthouse Stevensons”, the story of the family of engineers who built Scotland’s lighthouses.  The book was our reading group’s choice for June and I began reading it as an well written, engrossing family story but then started to find it an unexpected source of material, both … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, How we write | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Where do I write

At the moment the question that is most exercising me about my writing is not what to write, but where to write.  This has been prompted by a small but significant leap, having done some writing recently that could be added into my project on living in the bush and starting out  married life far from home. … Continue reading »

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What next, when it’s finished?

We are each taking stock of where we have got to over the past three years of working on our family history and I think now have realistic goals and a lot more confidence about the next stages.  I have finished my writing, bar filling a few holes in research, and am receiving feedback on … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Legacies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

14 Women and a Man

I signed up for an Faber Academy writing course to help me to find time in my regular working week for a writing commitment while I prepared to start a part-time MA at City University in narrative non-fiction writing later that year.   The course was billed as concentrating on research and technical aspects of writing … Continue reading »

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Three years on

A little over three years ago, without quite knowing what I was letting myself in for, I arrived at the Faber offices in Bloomsbury for the first meeting of their new Writing Family History course. I had signed up the summer before and had not given it much thought until the day arrived for that … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Journeys, Out of Africa | Tags: | 1 Comment

Where do we think we are?

At the group meeting in April we discussed re-assessing our writing projects – what we’ve achieved so far, and how we think we might progress towards a conclusion.It is three years since we did the Faber course and I think we have done well to keep the core of the group together, supporting each other … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write | 2 Comments