Me! I’m having a first-time experience of someone reading my entire first fantasy fiction novel within five days. This is after working on it for six years, meeting with writing groups where readers consume it piecemeal over time. It’s quite exhilarating to take the next step.

Simmering on my back burner is a different kind of project, which has been percolating since I learned about my father’s lineage. Online genealogy sites and writing to historians in Tennessee have allowed me to finally piece together a family past that none of us knew of, including murder and other dark secrets extending back to Northern Ireland in the 1700’s.

Photos: 1) Carl and wife Zelma; 2) Carl and Zelma with his mother and step-father. My father is on Great Gramma’s lap; 3) Carl Porter Gray (CPG); 4) my father and 5) CPG (sailors).

My father’s father, Carl Porter Gray, killed himself, in Portland, OR, when my father was five years old. Such a thing casts a shadow over subsequent generations. I think, as well, the shadow always has its beginnings in the past. I’m imagining writing a creative nonfiction saga, traveling to the South and Ireland to gather more clues, weaving psychological depth and most likely drawing on artistic license to imagine–or channel–unforeseen aspects of their stories.

 

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