Writing about the trip we took this summer has been so much harder than I thought it would be. Usually, when I have some ideas and the source materials to back them up, the stories almost write themselves. But not this time. I’ve struggled so much with this! And it’s not like I’ve been sitting in front of an empty screen with a blinking curser burning a hole into my retinas either. No. I’ve typed page after page and handwritten probably 40 pages in a spiral notebook. Yet here I am with nothing ready to post.
The problem is that I tend to want to write linearly. But the history stuff doesn’t follow the same geographic lines as our trip. And then some locations need some historical context to make them into the kinds of stories I usually tell. So my mind is a big, jumbled mess.
I’ve got 3,757.1 miles and 23 days of adventure to organize. Within that, there were 13 states, more than 4,000 pictures, about a dozen cemeteries in which we visited something like 20 great grandparents of varying degrees of “greatgrandness,” at least 10 archives/libraries/museums, and all kinds of miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t fall into any specific category. My credit card statement was THREE PAGES LONG (on a side note, if you want to paypal me some money… I’m only kidding!).
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice that the stories about the Geekout Summer are going to be a little different from the stories I normally write. Instead of the story and all the historical setup and tidbits from every angle, I’m going to write about everything independently. (And since my ultimate goal is to write a book, I don’t want to show all my cards all at once.)
OK, I’ve been procrastinating long enough. Time to start getting Kansas ready. Right now, it’s a 14 page, single-spaced, rough draft that only gets to the second day. I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Oh, and if you want to know what the pictures from the donut shop have to do with this, I’ll tell you. Writing about this summer feels a lot like when I went into Amy’s Donuts in Columbus. Thousands of choices, but since I couldn’t take them all home and eat every single one of them, I had to choose the ones I thought were the prettiest and most unique and had the best potential for tastiness. The fact that I gained 13 pounds on this trip is totally irrelevant. Mind your own business and focus on the metaphor.
© Julie Dirkes Phelps; Photographer, Author, Researcher, Archivist, designated “Keeper of Stuff,” and Storyteller. © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, reposting, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission. Be cool, don’t plagiarize. If you want to use something, just ask me. I try to make sure to attribute all images to the appropriate sources, but sometimes I get mixed up or inadvertently leave something out. Please contact me with any corrections or concerns. Thanks.
I’m hyperventilating a bit just reading your recap, Julie. But take as much time as you need — I will be here, eager to read!
I love your recounting of the trip and have an unique idea: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trip in reverse😉
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