Lately, I've become aware of a different schedule, one for stories, I've been digging around to fill in the blanks in family histories and I've discovered a great resource in the google books project. Much as this open book project worries writers that their work will be e-published without compensation, the books I've found are from the late 1800s and they contain information on my far removed ancestors that I've not discovered in any other place. The reason? Someone took the time to interview living people and write down their stories. Those living people are now long dead, but these collections and transcriptions contain many interesting stories - embellished or not - and connections to ancestors I couldn't make on my own.
My take away from this is that I need to be writing down my own memories, the stories I was told by my parents and grandparents, and collecting stories from my still living cousins, aunts, and siblings. We have the information in our heads that our grand-children and great grand-children may want someday. So I've started a new project - writing a family story per day. These are either ones that I've discovered (these date to the time of the earliest European settlements in North America) or ones that I remember - which are from a bit later time period :) I'm not sure these snippets will become anything publishable yet, but they may.
I wish, when I was studying history, that I'd known how many of my own ancestors were represented in the dry paragraphs in the very thick, and dry, history book. I liked history, but it didn't seem personal then. It does now. And my own memories have an expiration date - sometime. Maybe you have to reach a certain age to feel the reality of history as life. I'm there. Or maybe, if you read great historical fiction, you can achieve the same realization as a child or young adult. What historical fiction books gave you the feeling that history was, in fact, about living, feeling people that you cared about? Comments please. . .