Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

Casting About in History

1 Comment

books-56For a couple of months, I have been casting about for a new project to engage.  The reason is that my short story well seems to have gone dry.  There are only so many “woman-has-paranormal-experience-and-reader-wonders-if-she-is-crazy” stories that one can write.   Writing Japanese poetry?  Meh….  And art-making?  My place is already a mess, I don’t need to make it even messier with paint and whatnot.    So what to do?

When I was in high school, I read a lot of James Michener novels.  Recently, I decided that I wanted to re-read The Source which is novel about the history of an archaeological site in Israel.  I have always enjoyed historical novels, though I would probably never write one myself — just too much research involved.  But then again…..  I do have a background in history and I was trained to do research.  When was the last time I engaged in any research?  So am thinking maybe I could at least flex some of my researcher muscles again even though writing may be limited to research notes jotted in my journal.

Ah, but where to start?

Last year a relative shared a list of my ancestors who had served as soldiers during the American Revolution.  (I wrote about this last year).  I don’t actually care so much about names and dates of a genealogy.  I do care about what these people did.   So I am thinking — even if I don’t actually write anything — it would be interesting to see if there are any written records that speak about these individuals.  What can I glean from the historical record?  Who were these people and what part did they play in history?

I don’t know where this will lead.  Like I said, I am not up to writing an epic history about anyone, let alone my ancestors.  But at least for a little while, I will get my lazy creative butt off the couch and into the book stacks.


One thought on “Casting About in History

  1. Great idea Lori. The stuff you wrote about your four soldier ancestors has stuck in my mind. It would be interesting to see if it takes you anywhere deeper. My advice though – for a project to really fly your heart must be in it, regardless of whether or not it makes intellectual sense. To turn research into a story (or art work) there must be something about the subject that feel passionate about. Good luck 🙂

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