It’s Tuesday night of my week to blog; end of day two. Where have I been? I should say, “I’ve been writing a life affirming post, of course!”; something that describes my life as a playwright. The truth is I actually haven’t thought much about playwriting or this blog for over a month other than to stomp down my abject fear whenever it arises that people who read what I write really don’t care what I have to say.
So I forge ahead. Back in June I imagined that I would update you on my rewrite of PHISHING. However, in June I also happened to attend a college reunion, which I followed with a relapse of pneumonia when I feverishly (accidentally) burned my hand on a splashing, microwaved (boiling hot) cup of tomato rice soup. I came out of the hospital after 6 days and have spent the last three weeks recovering and worrying about how I am going to pay my bills. I go back to work on Friday, and the semester starts next Monday. Where has my summer gone?
With all of my good intentions to rewrite PHISHING and WATER CLOSET, something said to me at my college reunion sparked my return to a story that I first began as a tween. In the first two weeks of my recovery I wrote over 10,000 words toward a projected 30,000 word novella, the first of a series. Then I had a birthday. Not a milestone birthday. Yet this begins the year toward a definite milestone indeed, and I haven’t written a word in the intervening week. I have been immobilized. I have barely moved from my computer where I have spent the last week researching my family tree on the Internet (free resources, of course). Why, you ask? I can’t answer that question. I don’t recall the connection.
I do know that when I was a young girl I used to ask my grandpa all kinds of questions about our ancestry. He never answered me directly. He just sort of hemmed and hawed, which I thought was odd at the time. I was romantic in my youth, and thought that I would naturally be proud of where I come from. Over the years I’ve heard tale of being of Irish and English descent on my father’s side. However, it’s always been kind of like my family starts with me, my parents, and my two sisters, and in a way it’s turned out to be true.
Over the last seven days, I have discovered that it’s possible that my father’s family apparently “won” in the 1805 Georgia land lottery, and moved from Virginia and the Carolinas and settled land confiscated from the Creek people. There they purchased and sold Black people, farmed, mined, had many, many children, and apparently some of them intermarried with the Cherokee people. They also settled in Alabama.
There is even an unsubstantiated written rumor that in the early 1700s an ancestor of mine “married” a member of the Monocan tribe in Farnham Parish, Richmond, Virginia near the James River. They’ve fought and some died in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Indian Wars, and quite a few were Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and (at least) one was murdered.
I’ve read that my g-grandfather was so upset upon finding out that his mother was part-Cherokee that he burned her paperwork and fled to Oklahoma to get away from his family. He apparently also changed his middle name; either to escape any connection to her “Indian blood” or most likely to escape the rumor that he murdered a man for teasing his horse. Of course these are musings posted online by “family” members passing down stories, jots from family bibles, and records copied out of the State Archives.
I guess you could say, I’m incubating an idea. That may indeed be the point of this blog posting, and an affirming one after all; research, research, research. Who knows where it will lead. Unfortunately, I don’t have any children to pass my worldview on to, but I write. Maybe someday someone will care very much about what I have to say. I love serendipity 🙂