For 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.