But I’ve been busy. I haven’t forgotten this blog, though. In fact, I’ve made a point to keep it and frequently jot down ideas for what I could post here that doesn’t really fit the new genealogy website. It’s just that I never seem to get around to it.
In the past few months, I’ve started and complete the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate course – 15 weeks of pure miserable delight, with only two mildy troubling breakdowns.
I did another seasonal stint as a UPS Driver Helper (you can revisit last season’s blogs here).
But I also did some creative work. I published a collection of essays written by Marvin Martin, a man I wish I’d known in his lifetime. It’s a fun collection of witty and insightful essays written by a man who always aspired to be a published writer. And now he is. Click the book cover to order your very own!
And I compiled and published a four-generation family history book with a documented genealogy. The 300+ hours of research happened over the course of the past year, but the book is finally done and in the hands of my awesome cousins.
I’m not bragging – just making sure you know why I’ve been missing in action.
So…where to now?
Have you ever been inexplicably compelled to do a thing? A thing that really doesn’t make any sense except that you must do it. I’m not talking about eating the tub of ice cream at 4am. I mean a passion project. A creative undertaking that just won’t leave you alone.
Well, that’s what I’m doing. It’s apparently been shaping up for quite some time, only I just realized what IT was in the last few months.
When I look back – the signs have all been there: Twenty years in the Navy (and more than a few deployments on aircraft carriers) despite my near-debilitating fear of water. A passing fascination with lighthouses – mostly as a destination for solo-travel adventures after my divorce. My love of Longfellow’s “The Building of the Ship” – a poem I can never get through without a tidal wave of emotion. A purely serendipitous opportunity to stay in a Lifesaving Station at Point Reyes (a post from early days). An odd emotional breakdown in front of the US Lifesaving Service display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. And finally – my second career as a genealogist and writer in search of a niche.
So…what am I doing?
I am studying the lives of the men who served in the US Lifesaving Service, transcribing and abstracting records held in the National Archives RG26, and publishing a series (hopefully) of books compiling all that I learn about the men so that family historians and maritime enthusiasts can readily access the abundance of information available (but difficult to cull) on the lives of these men.
Well, obviously, because I was a drowning sailor in a past life and I must honor those who rescued me (or at least attempted to?) Why else would I be drawn to this subject matter? I mean, it IS fascinating. So are butterflies, but I’m not writing about them.
The preliminary record survey is 98% done. The book proposal is less so – but at least it’s started. The work begins in earnest next month – at Cape Lookout National Seashore, of course! (I shockingly just realized I’ve never blogged about the volunteer work I do there! IOU!)
With any luck, a publisher will be just a thrilled with the project as I am and we’ll have something to show for my work by the end of the year. Either way, it’ll get done. In the meantime, you can catch up on all the links posted or buy a book or three to support my passion project – including this beautiful coffee table book (click the cover to go to the bookstore).
PS: Did I also mention that the room in my home-while-I’m-not-anywhere-else came predecorated in nautical decor?