Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's About Time

I finally emailed my picture book manuscript to Kaylan Adair of Candlewick Press.

I had until Sept 15th to send it to her.

Amazing Miss Maizy is now titled Miss Gracie and the Shiny Black Crows.

It has changed a lot since I first put the words on paper.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I still have not heard from Sourcebooks about my manuscript, Lucy of Tupper's Hollow. I sent it to them in June. It has only been two months, but it seems like it has been a lot longer.

I've started putting together The McMillion Family History. I have wanted to do this for a long time and look forward to writing it.

I think I will call it That's Okay, We'll sit the Coffeepot on it. Everyone in the family tells me that was a favorite saying of my Grandpa McMillion. He died 6 months before I was born, so I only know him from pictures and recollections of older family members.

In addition to family trees, pictures, names and dates, I will fill it with info about the everyday lives of our family. I'm going to write about our food customs and traditions (with recipes), superstitions and special abilities of family members (my grandma was a very superstitious person and my grandpa had special abilities. . . such as stopping bleeding and blowing the heat out of burns), their occupations, military records and much more.

I have found some old obituaries from the 1800s that tell a lot about the person. One tells how this lady will be remembered for her beautiful thick black hair, which came to be known by family and friends as "McMillion hair" (My mother had thick, wavy, dark hair).

There is so much we can learn from these early records.

Another one tells how this man loved to go to auctions and that he loved to work in his apple orchard, and farmed and raised sheep and cattle. I was lucky enough a few years ago to find the cemetery that this long ago Uncle was buried at in Cana, VA, and the path leading to the cemetery was lined with apple trees!

Has anyone ever written their family history? Any suggestions from anyone?

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm Still Here

Hi everyone. I just thought I'd drop by and let everyone know that I have not dropped off the face of the earth.

Summer has been so busy and I have not been able to keep up with my blogging like I would like to.

I had a bad case of tendinitis in my right arm, which after four visits to the doctor and treatment with what he calls the hammer, I was cured of.

My berry patch, bless her heart, survived freezes in the spring, a hail storm and weird weather to give us lots and lots of berries. I have picked around 160 quarts so far this summer and they are still coming on! I picked 12 quarts yesterday and have to go out again today to pick the rest. The patch has more stamina than I do. I try to pick every other day, but lately I haven't been able to pick them all at one time, so when that happens, I pick every day. I'm out in the hot sun about four hours at a time. I trudge inside with purple fingers carrying trays of berries. But, I love my berry patch. One of my favorite memories as a child is of picking berries with my mother, my aunts and my grandma.

My last Aunt on my mom's side of the family just passed away. We tried to make it to Florida to see her one last time, but she passed away just as we crossed over the Florida state line. We went down there on Monday and got back home on Wednesday night. We had never driven to Florida before. . . believe me when I say it is a long ways from up here in West Virginia, especially when you drive it without a stop over. Aunt Irma was brought back to her beloved West Virginia to be buried. We will miss her very much! I was always asking her questions about family. She'd tell people, "Watch out what you tell Janet, she'll write it down."

I haven't been writing much, but have slowly started back. I am editing my picture book again, so I can send it to Candlewick before the Sept 15th deadline. I sent in Lucy of Tuppers Hollow in June and am anxiously waiting for a response. I am still writing my columns for Two-Lane Livin' Magazine. My column is called Fun Facts For Kids.

I hope to be back to blogging on a regular basis soon.

Hope all of you are having a nice summer and are having a great time writing. Anyone have any good writing news to report?