Pages

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 + 1 Year Blogiversary for the Accidental Genealogist

Normally people don't make it a point to celebrate the 11th milestone of anything.

For wedding anniversaries, steel (which represents strength), is the traditional material of the eleventh anniversary. It is not shiny (like gold, silver, or diamonds), but rather it is a practical, sturdy material.

Today, I mark 11 years posting as The Accidental Genealogist. Last year I completely missed acknowledging my 10th blogiversary (ten is one of those milestone numbers). I don't know how I forgot, but the date came and went without any post from me.  So this year, I was determined to remember and write a post marking my years blogging.

However, while searching online for information about the number 11, I came across some interesting information, including about how the number is recognized in numerology. Apparently,  11, 1, 11, 111, and 1111 in "Angel Numbers" all mean: "Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts are manifesting instantly into form. Focus only upon your desires and not upon your fears."

So I have chosen this as a sort of appropriate theme for my 11th year of blogging--a decade +1 year of blogging and still going strong.

As a brief retrospective, I have selected the following 11 posts as my favorites (not necessarily in any particular order).

1. Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month (The very first post launching my popular blogging prompts series I have hosted every March from 2010-2017; posted February 28, 2010)

2. Sojourn in Slovakia (Series about my first visit to Slovakia, posted June 15, 2010)

3. Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel (series about my return trip to Slovakia, posted July 01, 2012)

4. Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Mother (posted May 10, 2015) 

5. Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Father (posted June 21, 2015).

6. Ten Things I Miss About Dad: Remembering John Alzo 1925-2005 (posted  November 27, 2015)

7. Free Video for The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History(the post I wrote about celebrating 25 years as a nonfiction writer, posted March 20, 2015)

8. Family History Writing on the Go! Review of Scrivener for iOS (posted July 20, 2016)

9.The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive Returns! (posted February 23, 2017)
For more information on my popular course, click here.

10. Advent Calendar: December 1, 2009 (my first post for the Blogging prompt series Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, posted December 1, 2009)

11. No Looking Back: Why I'm Choosing Myself in 2016! (posted December 31, 2015)


Even though an event (such as my 10th blogiversary) passes without recognition, there is no harm in revisiting it.  Also, as I move on from year 11, I am looking forward to what new topics about genealogy and writing will inspire future posts for this blog. 

Copyright 2017, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Scanning with Friends: I’m Joining the Family Curator’s Genealogy Scan Along. How About You?

For the past month, I have been sorting through what seems like an endless collection of personal and family photographs. My goal is to preserve those images I want to keep and purge those that don't hold as much sentimental value (by purge I don't necessarily mean "destroy" but rather give photographs to family members or perhaps donate some to hometown historical society).  

So when I learned about the Genealogy Scan Along from my colleague and friend, Denise Levenick (aka The Family Curator), I knew this was the perfect opportunity to jumpstart this endeavor. Starting this week, Denise will host a Genealogy Scan Along at The Family Curator website with tutorials and tips to create a family history photo book. Denise calls it a "virtual scanning bee." For four weeks, participants will each work on a scanning project (and connect via a Facebook group) following a weekly tutorial and instructions for creating a family history photo book step-by-step.

Image courtesy of Denise Levenick


The Genealogy Scan Along begins on June 21, 2017, so I have a few days to decide what my first scanning project will be. Likely, it will involve photographs from my mother's side of the family since we are holding our 50th family reunion next month. I have a huge collection of photographs taken in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, (basically up until when I started taking digital photographs).  The first step is to scan them all and then possibly make them into keepsakes or albums. I look forward to learning from Denise, who is the author of How to Archive Family Photos. Plus, it will be fun to scan with friends!

I have already joined the Genealogy Scan Along Facebook Group. I believe this will be an enjoyable and productive way to tackle this important project. Won't you join me?

Thursday, June 01, 2017

When is the Right Time to Tell Your Story? Write NOW! Save 30% on Popular Writing Course

Do you have a family history project on the back burner? A novel inside your head you have always wanted to write? A half-written nonfiction manuscript stashed somewhere on your computer’s hard drive?  Why not start now?

Writing is not just for the winter months. In fact, I think summer is the perfect time to tap into your creativity and finally get that first draft in place! With your laptop, tablet, and writing software, you can write anywhere--at your favorite outdoor cafe, the park, the beach, or even your backyard!



If you are ready, here are three tips to help you to stop dreaming and start writing.

1. Keep it simple. There is no rule that says you have to write a 250-page book or write about everyone in your family tree. A series of profiles or smaller stories about significant events are more likely to entice the non-genealogists in your family to read what you've written. Pick your favorite ancestor, memory, or family story and create a mind map. A mind map involves randomly listing your ideas on a piece of paper or inputting them into a software program to create an initial picture of what you want to write about. [You can read about Mind Maps here]. The next step is to create an outline or storyboard to plot out your project. My favorite software for this task is Scrivener by Literature and Latte. It is available for purchase for Windows or Mac, and there is a 30-Day free trial available. [Note: I am a Scrivener affiliate, so if you click on the Scrivener for Windows or Mac links and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  This does not increase the price you pay as a consumer, it simply helps to supplement my income].

2. One page at a time. You may have heard that old adage: "When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time."  The same applies to writing. Tackle it one page at a time! Even if you just wrote 500 words per week, you would be making progress. Begin with a small time commitment such as 15 minutes per day (come on, we can all find 15 minutes!) and then work your way up to longer sessions. Schedule this time on your calendar, block out all other distractions, and set an alarm or timer. Write until the alarm or timer sounds. The goal is to write something—anything.  Remember: You can’t edit a blank page!

3. Get a push from your peers. Are you having trouble committing to writing your family history or your memoir?  Perhaps a summer writing course where you can receive feedback from a writing instructor and interact with fellow writers? Well, I have just the course ready and waiting (continue reading below). 

Need some motivation?  I can help. I bring over 30 years' experience as a widely published nonfiction author and a passion to coach those who aspire to write a family history!

For you my loyal readers I have an exclusive special discount to inspire you to start that family history writing project!

[The course advertised below is part of my business as a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer]

Save 30% off The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive through June 4, 2017!

First 15 Registrants receive a FREE consultation!

My popular family history writing course has a new format. It's now self-paced and available anytime you wish to start. 

Here are the highlights:
  • The course is self-paced with no start and end dates. You choose when to begin, and work through each of the five assignments according to your own schedule. Working on one assignment per week is recommended, but it is up to you.
  • There are five instructional videos, plus a bonus video on top writing tips.
  • You gain membership to a private Facebook Group, which is only available to those who purchased the course. Whether or not you choose to participate is for you to decide, but the group serves as a "virtual meeting room" and the hub of activity.  If you submit your assignments to the group, I will provide my feedback, and others in the group may also choose to comment. 
  • It is a collaborative environment where we learn from each other.The Facebook Group will remain open and you will have indefinite access to the group and all the materials posted there.
  • If you are one of the first 15 people to sign up, you will receive one 15-minute consultation with me either over Skype or telephone.

To learn more and register, click HERE

Enter coupon code writenow in the coupon code box to save 30% off the $129 regular course price.

This is the perfect way to jumpstart a family history writing project!

HURRY--Offer expires 4 June 2017 AT 11:59 P.M. EST.

[Disclosure: This blog post contains links to products I either produced or am an affiliate for, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I will receive a commission.]