What is NaNoWrMo, you ask?

Let the writing begin
Let the writing begin

NaNoWrMo starts today. What is NaNoWrMo, you ask. It is National Write a Novel in a Month. It was started by a group of College friends in Berkeley, California in 1999.

Before I let them tell you about themselves, I want you to know that this is my third year to participate. I feel the most organized and ready to write my novel.

My novel is called; “They Paved our way: Ancestors that helped shape a Nation.”

I will be posting snippets of what I write over the next month; about the journeys of some of my ancestors that help grow this  nation to the country it is today.

Now here is NaNoWriMo’s story in their words.

They can tell their story best. Hers is what they say from the NaNoWriMo Facebook page.



You’re in for a month of literary abandon with NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program! Are you up for writing a novel in 30 days? We think you are, and we’re going to help you get there.
Company Overview

One month. One book. An adventure you’ll never forget. There’s a novel inside you waiting for you to discover it, and we’re here to help. Join us for NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program, and we’ll guide you through the whole process with pep talks, encouragement, and a literary party the likes of which you’ve never seen.

Sign up today to become part of the largest writing community in the world. You won’t believe the things you can accomplish with a deadline, some friends to cheer you on, and occasionally excessive quantities of caffeine.


National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 on November 30.

November not a good month for you, or have more than one novel wanting to get onto the page? Join us at Camp NaNoWriMo, our newest event, where all the encouragement of NaNoWriMo meets the light hearted whimsy of a virtual camp.

Working with students under 18, or a student yourself? Come on over to the Young Writers Program, where we’ve got flexible word-count goals, a community just for kids and teens, and curriculum and resources to help you teach NaNoWriMo.


Genealogy Organizational Challenge

Genealogy Organization is a Challenge

Old School Files
Old School Files 

My partially organized files.


I spent Saturday with two very organized people, Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee. Their “Getting your Genealogy Groove Back” Boot Camp. It was a very information and helpful presentation.

I spent Sunday attempting to familiarize myself with some of the organizational tools they discussed. It was a mixture of “old School” and new Technology, at least new to me.

This morning I spent it organizing the old school way. My thoughts were, How can I use the new technology if I don’t have myself organized with what needs to be entered into the computer program.

In the photograph above the top bind holds my webinar folders that still need a little tweaking. They were mixed in with the folders in the lower draw. The lower draw is now organized with my family folders only. I have decided to continue my Surname way of organizing.

The major Surnames for each of my family lines include the sub-surnames by married. I organized this way as a reminder of who married into the family line and where. (To date I have 99 surnames in total, with 349 shaky leafs on Ancestry to research.)
My husband Major Surnames are:
Parental side:

Maternal side:

Misc.: Two Unknown Surnames (one for each line) I still need to verify before adding to my list

My Major Surnames are;
Paternal side:

My Maternal side:

Computer Files to date

My computer files to date

Now I’m off to organize the familiar computer technology I currently use. I will take the save items and place them into the correct family line folders in the same manner I did with the old school files. Once this is completed I can then take one old school folder and one computer folder; compare the information and enter it into the research log that I learned about during “Boot Camp.” Once I have entered all my research, I will find the gaps I have in my family tree. Those gaps will become my “To Do” List.

Yes, it is time consuming to organize these records. In the long run I will be saving time. I have already found duplicate name records with different information in them. I will be able to grab the correct file, find the information I’m looking for without hunting and pecking throughout my paperwork or computer. I will set up my Research Log by major surnames: Consistency, Organization and staying with what is familiar will be my organization tools from now on.

Thank you Lisa Alzo at http://www.lisaalzo.com/ and Thomas MacEntee of Hack Genealogyhttp://hackgenealogy.com/ for all the little tidbits of information on how to organize.

Bye for now. I’m off to organize and get ready to Post my next #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog about Arthur W. Place, my great grandfather, one of my great grandmother, Tina May Hutchins, four husbands.