Family Diaries and Documents


Family Diaries and Documents

Recently I've heard from several people who have diaries, journals, poetry and other documents from ancestors. Let's share what treasures we have, what they teach us about ourselves, and how we can use them as the basis for our own writing.

Location: #Nonfiction, Identity
Members: 52
Latest Activity: Nov 2, 2016

Discussion Forum

Preserving and Archiving

Started by Lisa Rivero. Last reply by Judith van Praag Mar 23, 2013. 28 Replies

How do you preserve and archive documents and photos? What are some good ideas and resources for keeping these items safe and making it easier to work with them?I had planned to look for a hand…Continue

Pitching a Book About Yourself When You're Not Famous

Started by Ali Berlinski Jan 12, 2012. 0 Replies

Does anybody find it frustrating that t.v personalities like Snookie and the like, are getting book deals while others with actually compelling stories aren't given a second thought?  As a person who…Continue

Tags: marketing, non-fiction

Sharing Blog URLs, Twitter and other info

Started by Lisa Rivero. Last reply by Lisa Rivero Sep 12, 2010. 12 Replies

Hello, all! Since many of us are working on projects having to do with family diaries and other documents that we may want to publish, I thought it may be useful to exchange social media info so as…Continue

Tags: support, writer, media, social

Novels with a Genealogical Thread

Started by Sarah Pinneo. Last reply by Lisa Rivero Sep 11, 2010. 7 Replies

My favorite is Possession by A.S. Byatt. I'm willing to be that the author does not see this book as a genealogy novel. But I do see it that way. It's a terrific meditation on recovering information.…Continue

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Comment by Nancy MacMillan on December 7, 2012 at 10:45am

Packing to leave for Australia tomorrow. Sorry I've been gone so long, I've missed all the wonderful writers and friends, but I had to FOCUS on my book release. It happened Wednesday after many delays and I'm thrilled. My post yesterday, "PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife Appeared on my Doorstep!" will fill in the details.

I hope to be on SheWrites while in Australia and connect with all that has been going on in my absence.

Self-published with BookLocker. AMAZING people and product. My blog leads to my author page on their site. Take a look at their great work. The cost is the best and they handle the pains of distribution, Ebook, etc.

Have a blessed holiday season with family and loved ones. Hard to believe 2013 is weeks away . . .

Nancy MacMillan @

Comment by Nancy MacMillan on November 8, 2012 at 12:36pm

My blog this week is entitled: PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife / Where's the Book!?!.  It shows my frustrating dilemma as I struggle with the book cover for my memoir, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Another lesson learned on My Journey into Publishing My First Book.  I’m hoping to hold the galley in my hands within two weeks.  After all these years, I'm waiting with bells on.

Comment by Nancy MacMillan on July 18, 2012 at 8:03pm

Within a month, my self-published memoir will be out the closet. My new post, PTSD / "Diary of a Vet's Wife"/ Sneak Peek at the Cover, leads the way. It's rather scary. Would love your comments.
Nancy MacMillan @

My Memoir, taken from personal journals, will continue on to future generations, even if only my own gene pool. Only time will tell.

Comment by Nancy MacMillan on June 14, 2012 at 8:31am

Hello, I’m back! I didn’t get lost, only buried beneath this process called “Self-Publishing.” Getting frown lines from thinking so hard.

Today’s post is entitled:  “PTSD / Vet’s Wife Self-Publishing / Chapter 33 Excerpt,” where you'll learn what’s causing my frown lines. :)  

Nancy MacMillan

Comment by Marcia Fine on May 1, 2012 at 8:56pm

I did an interactive talk in So. Fla. this past week called, "Why Your Family History Matters." My novel, Paper Children, based on my grandmother's story was the springboard. So many were influenced by grandparents. I saw the continuity of female generations. We keep the record.

Comment by Julija Sukys on April 23, 2012 at 5:09am

Julija Sukys Talks Epistolophilia on CBC Radio

Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of making a whirlwind trip to CBC’s studios in London, England, where I had an appointment record an interview with Michael Enright, the host of CBC Radio One’s Sunday Edition.

I’ve heard other writers talk about what a pleasure radio interviews can be. This certainly was the case for me. The cocoon-like atmosphere of the studio appealed to me, and the intimacy of the conversation was heightened by the use of headphones. I had a bit of feedback (an echo of my own voice) in the beginning, but this disappeared as we started to talk.

I’ve always loved radio, and grew up with a constant soundtrack of documentaries, newscasts, interviews and even radio plays in the background. Now, my son is experiencing something similar in his childhood. What a weird pleasure it was for us (even though I would have loved to go back and erase some “umms” and finish a few truncated sentences) to hear my voice coming through the box in the kitchen that delights and informs us each day.

Thanks to Michael Enright and his producer Peter Kavanagh for making the conversation happen. You can listen to the interview here. My part starts around minute 26:15.

Comment by Julija Sukys on March 20, 2012 at 1:50am

Of the publishing industry’s four major trade (the other three includeKirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal) magazines, Adelle Waldman writes at Slate that “Publishers Weekly, or PW, is the biggie—it plays Coke to Kirkus‘ Pepsi.” A “'starred’ review in PW still increases a book’s chance of getting media coverage and showi... These also determine which books Amazon promotes. A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality.

Imagine my pleasure when I came across a starred review of my book. 

Comment by Julija Sukys on March 8, 2012 at 9:49am

As some of you know, my book Epistolophilia recently came out. It's based on a collection of thousands of letters and scores of diaries written by a Holocaust rescuer. Recently, a writer asked me how she should tackle her own collection of letters for the book she's writing. After mulling over this for a few days, I drafted an answer. Come read: "On Chrnology and Necessary Abandonment: Working with Letters and Diaries" at

Comment by Nancy MacMillan on February 20, 2012 at 3:43pm

This week I posted “Self-Publishing Nitty Gritty / Copyright / Excerpt, on my journey into publishing my memoir, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It gives a snippet behind the scenes in the life of a writer, and some of the bars we must hurdle along the way.

Nancy MacMillan

Comment by Julija Sukys on February 16, 2012 at 6:05am

Now that my book is officially out, I should perhaps celebrate. But I've been here before, and I know that this is simply another beginning. Just as a manuscript has to be tended and cared for, so does a newly published book. And switching from an introspective and solitary way of being (that writing necessitates) to a bold, confident, and even crassly self-promoting one (that a newly published book requires) can be hard. Really hard.

Come read my post called "Epistolophilia: A Few Thoughts on the Occasion of a Book's Birth." It's about how the publication of a book is really another point of departure, rather than an ending. (You'll also find a discount code to use at the publisher's site, should you want to buy a copy.)


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