In 2018 I attended two memoir-writing sessions at the Princeton Library given by well-known memoirist Mimi Schwartz, author of When History Is Personal and co-author with Sondra Perl of Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, Second Edition. I wrote about photos of my maternal grandmother, Rose Entel Perlman, and her older sister, Sarah Entel Bayewitch. One photo was a tintype of the two of them in white shirtwaists. Two others were their wedding photos, one from 1917 and one from 1918. For Snapshot 8, I leaned on this 2018 writing and added material about the differences between a younger and older sister.
This week, inspired by reading Libby Copeland’s The Lost Family, I’m writing about DNA analysis and the family I’ve found through AncestryDNA. I will hint at some surprises, but since they’re not surprises within my immediate family, and therefore not my secrets to tell, I will offer no details.
Other Work in Progress
I’m about to send out my “boys go off to war.” I’m beginning to question whether I can realistically keep up this momentum of writing a snapshot each week. I have eight snapshots so far; most need some level of revision. But then I checked Sonja Livingston‘s book, Ghost Bread, which she wrote in “snapshots.” Turns out her snapshots are about 250-400 words. Mine have been essays of more than 1,000 words. This is my “aha” moment to not expect so much of myself and to ease up.
Are any of you attempting these #52snapshots?