Who knew living in your own head for so long would be so tiring? Though I suspect it wouldn’t be quite as bad if I hadn’t written that last novel. I’m actually quite tempted to get on with the edit and then publish it before the end of June. Three novels published in three months – now I know lockdown has made me a bit funny in the head. But I’ve had a first read-through and tbis one is actually going to require a lot less editing than the previous two, so perhaps the intensive writing spree has had some benefits.
I even have the cover ready for the latest novel.
For the first time ever, I’m planning to write non-fiction for July’s Camp NaNoWfiMo. It’s a project that I keep putting on the back burner although I have been researching it for years. I’m going to write up my family history under the title ‘A Very Scottish Family’. In this particular case I already know the only people who are likely to read it are members of the family. I hope they won’t leave too many one-star reviews!
We haven’t had anyone particularly famous or wealthy in my family (so far!) but there have been some interesting characters, ranging from a sailor from Fife whose children were born at various places round the coast of Britain from Norfolk to Aberdeenshire and from Dunbar to Galloway, to a farming family in the Angus glens who lived in the same small place at least from the time records began, and quite possibly from the Dark Ages to the mid 20th century. There have been miners, stone masons, soldiers, teachers, actors, engineers, textile workers of all kinds – handloom weavers, yarn winders, colour mixers, pattern cutters. One of my great-aunts was sent to prison for rioting at the House of Commons with a suffragette group. My grandfather ran away from home in 1900 to join the army, giving a false age. One of my grandmother’s uncles worked in India building canals, and named his house Hyderabad when he returned to Scotland. My great-grandfather worked on the construction of the Forth Bridge.
Many of my relatives, like a lot of other Scots, have migrated a long way from home. When my brother did a y-DNA test for a ‘clan’ project, we found that our closest connection in the male line lived in California and was descended from a man who had emigrated from Perthshire to New York state in 1775, just in time to fight on the American side in the war of independence. Thanks to my research and modern DNA tests I have made contact with long-lost family members from various corners of the world, and only last summer I spent a very entertaining evening with a distant relative from Utah, descended from my great-grandmother’s cousin who had left Fife in the middle of the 19th century and trekked across America with the Mormon missionaries So even a very ordinary family can provide material for a writer.