February already

1 02 2013

And here we are in February already. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Or in my case running around like a headless chicken when not hiding in my family tree research.

Five and a half months to go to the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet in Manchester. I’ve registered and might even pay for the event soon. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do about hotels – save some money or go for the luxury option – but I can put that decision off for a while yet. I have decided on my travel option which will be train as I can catch one direct from the next station down the line, but the cheap advance tickets aren’t available until three months before time of travel so I can’t get them yet.

The UK Meet website has a blog this year and various people are posting memories of last year and plans for this year there. Maybe I should add my excitement in 2011 when I met a fanfic author whose work I’d read and enjoyed. I was already quite bouncy about meeting so many other m/m authors and being able to talk about m/m fiction without having to explain why I read it, but to meet a fanfic author and discuss, however briefly, that particular fandom just blew my mind. Or maybe I’m just a bit strange. *grin*

If you’ve been thinking about attending and worrying that it might not be as friendly as we all make out please give it a try. I can’t guarantee that everyone there will be a perfect picture of love and goodwill to all, but I can guarantee that we are a very diverse and accepting group – you’re bound to find several someones to talk to who are on your wavelength. Check out the website here for more info: http://ukglbtfictionmeet.co.uk/

The writing progress hasn’t been so good. I have written a bit, but not the significant amounts I’d intended. It’s less than four weeks until Johnny Smith is released and I’m stuck in that jittery place where I’m looking forward to having a novel published, (ebook and then print, did I mention?) but also worrying that nobody will like Johnny because he’s just an ordinary bloke trying to do the best he can. I’ll know the answer to that one in a few weeks.

I have added a lot of names to my family tree even if most of them aren’t direct relatives. I track families through the Census records and individuals through Birth, Marriage and Death lists. The Census gives glimpses of their lives every ten years and the BMD index gives me an approximate date for the events and a place. Some families are a joy to track, appearing at each Census with enough members (to be sure I’m looking at the right family in the right location) with in-laws, siblings, nephews and nieces visiting or living with them.

We tend to think that moving around the country or the world is something fairly modern and that a few generations back only the rich moved more than a couple of miles from where they were born. The ‘relatives’ I’ve found aren’t rich or famous and tend to be Agricultural Labourers more often than anything else, but that doesn’t stop them moving about and trying different things. Some do stay in the same area and stay working on farms, but others seem to flit about and have a different job every ten years. I really want to track down more about the nephew listed as visiting and born in Australia…

There are eight sets of Census records available for the UK now, so in theory if an ancestor was born in 1840 and died after 1912 I could find eight slices of his or her life. That got me to thinking about how my life would appear to some future descendant tracking me through the Census records. I think I’d look rather flighty with a different address through the first few records, then the address would settle but the job titles still keep changing. How would you measure up? Think about where you lived and what you were doing in as many XXX1 years as you’ve been alive. I think the US is neater and takes their ten year census on to “0” years – would that make your “history” look any different?

I find myself making up little stories about these poor unfortunate relatives and giving them characters on the basis of very little information. Maybe that’s why I find it so fascinating – all that speculating is great fun.

I think that is enough rambling for now.

Happy February folks!

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