The Redhead Bibliophile

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Update on Memoir

Well, not a lot, to be perfectly honest.

We spent a week with our family in Germany this summer and I tried to write down everything I heard and saw while we were there. But, most of the conversation was in German and my notes are a bit incomplete.  We are sharing information with the help of other family members. All of us are busy with our daily life and haven’t had time to do much research.

This book is always on my mind and I dream of sitting down and writing away. But, I have my job, school and my family to take care of and this book keeps getting pushed aside. I feel bad that I haven’t been able to write anything at all and I am beginning to wonder if I have enough creativity and writing aptitude to pull it off. My class in Creative Writing didn’t go very well this last semester and it was disappointing to say the least. I was truly too busy to put much effort into writing anything. I tried to write out a scene from the stories I had heard my father-in-law tell, but it didn’t come out well. Makes me wonder if I can do this.

I know family members are counting on me to get this done and written correctly. But I feel time is running out on some of the main characters and getting information from them is getting more and more difficult.

I thought the trip to Germany would help me write the book in it’s entirety when we got home. Silly thought, I know.  I think that the only way to get this done is to take off a full year and do all the research and writing without worrying about school and a job. Right now, that’s not possible and it drives me crazy.  Since Christmas Break is nearly over, I know I won’t be able to do much more on the research for a while.  I get Spring Break off and a two-month summer break in June and July.  I should have good blocks of time to research and write during these breaks.

The good news is that I sincerely want to write this book for the family and for me. It will show me that all of the dreaming I do about being a writer one day and writing a family history that the family approves of, is not just a dream. It can happen. I want to read more memoirs and write a few more. There are more stories to tell, not just my husband’s family’s story.

Well, that’s it for now. Not a lot of information yet, but rest assured, I am working on it. For now, just know my heart and soul is ready to start, I’m just waiting for the opportunity.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the street signs we saw in Germany while we were touring the places that my husband’s father was born in and grew up in.

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Getting closer!

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This is my son and my father-in-law enjoying their first beer in Germany when they went in 2011.  I will be enjoying one soon!

We are almost ready to go!  Germany here I come!  There is so much left to do, laundry, packing, cleaning, oh and shopping!  Thank goodness I have a big suitcase, with wheels of course.

I have been researching German history and finding great information on the family.  Thanks to one of my husband’s aunts, I have names and birth dates to go on.   There is so much more to find, but I think the trip to the places that my father-in-law grew up in will help.  I’ll get to see the places that I am writing about.

I am excited to eat great food, do some serious shopping and taking amazing pictures.  All while making sure I am writing down everything I see and hear.  Italy is going to be amazing.  I can only imagine the pasta and wine that I will have to try.  Germany boasts the best beer.  I will be doing my part to test that theory.  According to my husband, the Biergartens are exactly how I imagine them.  Did you see National Lampoon’s European Vacation?  Where Clark dons his liederhosen and dances with the Germans in the Biergarten?  This is how I imagine it will be, exactly like the movie.  Lots of people dancing and drinking beer, loud conversations with happy laughter, and of course great beer!  I can’t wait.

I will be off the blogosphere for about a month, but you can be sure I will update with everything we did.  This is going to be one great trip!

 

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Memoir update

This is the Stehle family:  Oma, Alex, my husband Scott, and our son Blake, four generations in one picture.  This picture was taken two years ago before the Stehle men took their first trip to Germany together.  Oma is no longer with us, but she left a wonderful story behind, and we believe it is our job to make sure the story of the family’s immigration from Germany to the US is told for future generations.  The memoir I am writing will tell their story.  There is so much research to do and facts and details to get right, but with another trip to Germany scheduled this summer, I hope to have a lot of the story by the time we get back.

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I have started with birth, death and marriage dates by researching on Ancestry.com and other sources.  The next step is to develop the questionnaire that will be sent out to the family members that remember their time in Germany and mail them out.  I hope to get some responses back over the summer.  I also need to develop a timeline and do more research on the history of the war and the citizens of Germany.  This is an important story and I want to get it right.

Ancestry research is fun!  Has anyone else tried to find out their family history?  I saw the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” and found it inspiring.  There are so many websites and resources out there and I hope to find and use them all.  The final piece will be to put it all together into a format that people will want to read.  I don’t want it to read like a textbook.  How boring!  It has to be accurate and the family will be the editors of the rough draft I complete.  It’s nerve wracking to have such an important project to complete for so many people.  But as I said, it’s important and I want to do a good job.  It’ll be difficult, but so rewarding.

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Germany trip progress

I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband and I are going to Germany for our 20th anniversary. This trip will also serve as research for the memoir I am writing of the Stehle Family.  So, here’s our progress:

We have purchased airline tickets to Germany, with a short jaunt up to Denver.  Why Denver?  Well, we found out this weekend that my husband’s father would like to go with us.  So, we will fly to Denver to meet him so we can all fly together to Frankfurt.  I know what you’re thinking, this was supposed to be an anniversary trip.  But, I think it’s going to be great because my father-in-law knows the German language as it is his first language and will be a great interpreter and since he grew up there, he will also be a great tour guide.  He is getting older and his traveling days are numbered.  It will be an honor to have him go with us and share this experience with us.  We are brushing up on our German but it’s been since high school since we met in German class and we have forgotten a lot.   Oma Stehle had a thick German accent and occasionally swapped out English words for German words when she spoke, like “mit” for “with”.  I loved it when she spoke.

We have also made plans to stay with some family in Bad Buchau, the southern part of Germany and Idar Oberstein, not too far from Frankfurt.  The question is, if the family you are seeing has said the door is always open for us, do we take that as Please stay with us while you are here?  Or do we not assume and get a hotel room without offending them?  We are still trying to figure that one out.

We will fly to Frankfurt and then to  see the cities that my father-in-law lived during WWII before he immigrated to the US while I furiously write down every word he says to capture it correctly later in the book.  Then we will visit Anne and her family in Bad Buchau for a week and even going to a German festival.  I’ll have to write about her side of our family story and how we all came together in another post.

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Then it’s off to Rome for a couple of days.  I can’t wait to see the Vatican, Coliseum and Pantheon!  There’s going to be a lot of walking.  I better get some good shoes and build my endurance.  Then back to Munich and see the Deutches Museum and up to Idar Oberstein to visit more family.  Of course there will be shopping in all of these cities!  Finally, back to Frankfurt for a flight home.  In all, we will be in Germany for 22 days.  I can’t wait!

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Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Head In The Clouds, Heart In The Books

Dreaming And Reading Through Life

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

planted oak

glimpses of God in the everyday

poisonedpenbooks.wordpress.com/

YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE.

J T Weaver

And in the end the love you take, is equal to the love you make. -- The Beatles

The Usual Foolishness

It's what I do

What's Broken

Madness, Magic, and the Writing of my Memoir - What's Broken, What's Breaking Down

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My life in images, books, and words

The Day Dreamer & Candy Eater

Dreaming, Munching and Reading...

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Continuing adventures of a true bookaholic...

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What are you reading?

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.