Monday, November 04, 2019

sometimes i wonder if i'm anything but a mediocre writer, but, i do very little to find out, because i have such thin skin. sure i could go out and ask people, but, since i might not like what they have to say, i generally don't, and just live with whatever i produce, checked over several times by myself, with lots of errors that i just simply didn't catch.

i'm actually not so concerned about the typos, as i've had a few in each of my books, and just couldn't seem to eliminate them entirely without spending hundreds on a professional editor. it's like, i go back through my book for the thousandth time, and all i can read into it is the work i've done, and the work i could still yet do. so i miss a few details. i'm more concerned that, for not getting more intensely into the style itself, i'm simply not getting better, or getting to where i want to be.

but fortunately, i've been taken over by a new obsession: my heritage, the leverett family. in this regard my descendants will probably be my main audience, and they are likely to be more forgiving, and grateful that i've simply done the work. as it is, it's an intense mystery involving people for whom only a shadow of a trace remains, and i'm totally absorbed in it; one reason is that google, and google books, have made a lot more information available in a lot of new places. i'm lucky, in a sense, that these circumstances have made a lot more information come to the surface right at the time i'm looking for it, and i don't have to travel to boston, or maine, or illinois, to get it. it's a kind of ongoing discovery, because, naturally, i started googling the names i knew, and then, i googled the new ones i'd learned, and then finally, i figured out creative ways to use those in combination with other things, such that i might get at some information that i'd learned.

and, with each google search, it goes back in pages and pages, pages which are usually mismatches of some kind or another, but which are also capable of turning up some gem, some book from the 1700's that google printed and put up on the web somehow. all this stuff is out there, and mine for the taking, and puts me in a different class than some genealogists of, say, 1963, who simply couldn't go to androscoggin county maine to find stuff, and maybe couldn't even imagine paying the postage to ask.

my last point is that i've done it all from my chair, and done it for free; my last threshold is actually ancestry-dot-com, which is much bigger than the rest, but costs something like fifteen a month and gives you access to all these wild documents. of course i want it. but it's almost a matter of principle not to pay that kind of money for this kind of stuff, and i haven't done it yet. i gave them my e-mail address and got a free trial, and that's bad enough, since now they'll dun me for years until i get them out of my inbox. but they, apparently, are the last word in this kind of stuff, so i have to figure out a way to get in.

enough of that for now. back to the 1700's.


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