Telling Narratives

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Memoir isn’t the summary of a life, it is a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition… its a deliberate construction. – William Zinsser

So, you’ve decided to turn your geneaology research into a publication but there are missing pieces of the puzzle. That concerns you. Don’t let it stop you. You could search till doomsday and never find what you are looking for. Move ahead…

Sometimes you have to narrate a story with only the facts as you know them. The creative part of memoir writing is what is fun! It allows you to fill in the blanks as best you can. But make sure you create missing content that falls in line with your fact gathering.

And don’t forget to add a disclaimer in your book something to the effect that  you have created a narrative based on the facts as you have them. That’s the best an author can do when resources have been exhausted.


Next week on  Things Fulfilling we will give you some good resources to help you identify where and how to begin writing a family story.

This blog is brought to you by 2014 EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

The Lady in the Choir


laughing sistersWhy is it that when you have a twin sister, everything is doubly  funny? I swear my sister and I can have more fun laughing at something that might not strike anyone else as being one bit funny.

A good hearty belly laugh is only annoying if it happens in inappropriate places. When we were kids, it always happened in church. My sister and I didn’t dare even glance at each other when the mezzo-soprano in the choir started singing. There was something about her voice that made us listen but we found her inflection hysterical. If we even saw one anothers faces in our peripheral vision, it was all over – we’d lose control and laugh so hard we’d have tears running down our cheeks. Then our little brothers got in on the action.

Somehow our parents always knew exactly what started it and struggled to keep their own joy of hearing us twins laughing together in check and in cheek. Someone had to be the adults and keep order in the family. Week after week we vowed to our parents that it would never happen again, but oh, how we were telling a story.

Since I have been taught that God is love, I knew I’d be forgiven and not be struck down by the devil. Our scolding often came from someone else who you’ll learn more about in my memoir. Whenever she got word of our childish antics, her words had a more powerful effect than anything our parents could have ever uttered.

“Lord a Mercy,” she’d say “What is you? A bunch a heathens, laughin’ in da Lord’s house?” Have you ever noticed how carefully one listens to someone who is speaking a different dialect?

“It was the funny lady in the choir’s fault,” my sister and I’d say, taking no responsibility for our inability to control ourselves. After all, we were just children.

That’s another family story that wasn’t included in my memoir from All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by