Families – Real and Imagined

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

– You remember last summer when I kept you up to date on these two guys’ impending arrival. Well, here’s Matt (left) and John at about 11 months old. Aren’t they cute?

– I’m so excited about finally figuring out how to post pictures that I’m wanting to share. I’ve already been sharing over on Facebook. How many of you are social networking there? It’s a nice way to keep up with far flung family members and check in on old schoolmates.
– When we start counting our blessings, family and friends are generally right there at the top. I have a great family including some sisters that I count as friends. I think sisters can make the best friends because they know you and they love you anyway. At least most of the time. I dedicated my new book, The Believer, to my sisters both by birth and by marriage. Since I was writing about a society, the Shakers, who valued that sisterly tie, I decided to celebrate my own sisterly ties. Thank goodness we don’t have to wear bonnets or caps. I’ve always hated wearing scarves and hats.
– Family is important to my fictional characters too. When you think about a lot of the conflict in stories – and a story has to have conflict – it centers around the relationships between family members. So it’s important that I know about my characters’ families. Were they loved as children? Did their parents love one another? Did they have sisters and brothers? Were they the youngest, oldest, or one of the ones in the middle? There are so many questions to ask about your characters to make them real enough in your mind so you can tell their story. I’m going to start rounding up my new characters before long and deciding when they were born, how they lived. And then to really help my main character come to life, I’ll probably let her tell me about herself in a journal.
– Next week I’m giving away a couple of books for my birthday. As I said on Facebook, a kind of reverse birthday present. But you readers are a gift to me, so this is sort of like a boomerang gift back to you. Leave a comment here or on Facebook. I have a fan page now. Not sure I know what I’m doing, but if you keep hitting buttons, something happens. Sometimes something not so good. Darrell’s e-mail is down on his computer now. I hit one wrong button somewhere. Now I’ve got to beg somebody for technical help. I’ll start with my son and work up to those guys on the phone in India or wherever. Wish me luck.
– I hope all the buttons you punch this week will be right buttons.