Recent Writerly and Otherly Goings On

Frank & Julia

Since last time I posted some photos of WWII era photos of other people’s grandparents, etc, I thought I’d post one of my own. These are my grandparents, Frank & Julia, in front of my grandfather’s family store in Detroit circa 1942. It’s one of the ones I’ve actually scanned. One of eventual goals is to gather ALL these photos and get a digital archive going–as in bringing the laptop and scanner to Grandma’s house and go crazy. Not sure when that’ll happen. But it’s a goal.

One of my goals I did reach in conjunction with watching The War was finishing the transcription of the interview tape a couple of my brothers made with my grandparents in 2004. Last summer, I went through the tedious process of listening, playing, rewinding, etc, to get it all down. Last month, I went through and re-listened to some trouble spots, reformatted the document, did some fact and spell checking with my grandmother, and got it all together. Right now, it’s a simple word document laid out in standard play script format. It isn’t anything too fancy right now. When I do get more of these photos scanned, I could do something shiny with a publishing program or something. But I did get nerdy and include web links within the text to give some background info on various names, places, etc. That was fun. Next up is going through a tape with my uncle about my mother’s side of the family. That should be another trip!

Working on this also inspired a couple new story ideas which I’ve done some free-writing and thinking about. One is inspired by my grandfather’s bathroom at the basement at their last house in Detroit with all his golf magazines. I also had to laugh at one point while listening to the tape while my grandmother talked about driving through New Mexico with my uncle and some friends and how it was hard to find just “plain food” without all the spices. My grandmother’s head explodes if there’s an ounce of any kind of flair. I say this lovingly. 😛 It just made me think about where I come from and how this meat-potatoes-n-carrots diet translated into other things.

Other short stories are in various stages of development as well. I’m really digging the short stories. Not that I’ve never considered them before, but they are what my writerly brain is focusing on–and that’s not a bad thing. Trying to read more of them, too.

In familyness, our “Baby Tour ’08” is now complete. Earlier this summer, we spent some quality time with our niece, Morgan. I’m also her godfather–that was a special weekend for us. Ernie and I just got back from our trip to North Carolina to visit our nephew, Will. Yes, two of my brothers are daddies. Crazy! Will’s my buddy and I wanted to hide him in my suitcase. Since he’s further away, we don’t get to see him as much. The babyness inspired an assignment for my Creative Nonfiction class last semester, a piece called Progeny. I knew it was a piece I really wasn’t going to develop further until after they were born and I’d met them. So I’ll have to revisit the piece again. I do still have Australia photos to sort through and perhaps a few more posts.

The semester is starting up again in a couple weeks! It’ll be busy, but different for me this time around. I will get into all that next time.

Hoping your August is brilliant….

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