Newsletter, Pitten, Niederösterreich, Austria, Pressburg, Austria-Hungary

Where is the Love?

Last month, one of my readers commented on my newsletter that readers are an audience, and that I can do what I want without consulting them. Please don’t get me wrong, it is valuable advice for many blogs, but when I started Stories From the Past, I meant for it to be something bigger than that. I wanted this to be a place to revive the stories of “average” people who slipped out of this life and into obscurity. While their lives may have seemed unimportant and mundane to them, following generations don’t necessarily agree. There are stories of heroism left unwritten, lessons to be learned, entertaining insights, and great ideas that are otherwise lost to the world if they are not put into words and made accessible, so input from my readers is extremely valuable to me.

For history nuts like myself, reading and telling stories of bygone days is fun, but I am repeatedly told that telling the true stories of past generations is a valuable service. There are plenty of biographical tidbits all over the internet, in books and other published media, but I wanted this to be a place where otherwise untold stories could find a home.

What I really want is for this to be an interactive site where I am not only telling stories from my own family’s past, but incorporating stories from readers, collecting stories from friends, inviting others to submit their own stories, and reaching out in search of lost stories. It’s done well by me so far, and I want to do well by my contributors, so the monthly newsletter will continue to act as a way to reach out to family, old friends, new friends, and new-found cousins for feedback and more stories. And, of course, it will always continue to function as foundation for accountability on my part.

What am I Doing Wrong?

Last month I set up a Go-Fund-Me fundraiser to help me get to Austria. I was so excited when less than five minutes after publication I had a $100 donation. Great! I thought, I’m on my way. Then nothing. I posted to Facebook, LinkedIn, made an individual Facebook message for many of my friends, and still got nothing other than that one original donation. I would really love for someone with Go-Fund-Me experience to give me some advice. I must be doing something wrong . . .

Click here to visit my Go-Fund-Me page.

In the meantime, my Fundraiser will stay open until I have received enough donations and/or saved enough to go to Austria. Even if I have to go later. I may miss the museum inauguration, but I can still go when I can afford it.

Still in the Race

I didn’t get a whole lot done last month, but I am still plugging along on two or three hours a day, five days a week. I’m definitely not moving at Stephen King pace, but I am happy that I’m still going.

Photo by Michelle Yorke on Pexels.com

February 2019

February 5 is Chinese New Year. I don’t want it to be forgotten. In fact, I intend to include a series of stories for my husband’s Chinese family. However, I have rarely mentioned my husband. This is mostly due to the fact that my husband is a high-functioning adult with autism. Anyone with autistic family members may be quite aware that people with autism have little to no interest in thoughts, ideas, activities, or events that do not directly affect them, so when I brought up the idea of researching his ancestors, he told me, “Why don’t you just leave them alone? They’re dead. They don’t care.” LOL. I ignored him and kept on researching and writing.

So in honor of my husband, I intend to make this month’s Raising Voices about something that directly affects him: disability, and the misuse of terms like idiot, retard, and even disability. In the future, I’ll be focusing more on stories from his Chinese background.

So here’s what’s going on this month:

January Review:

  • Mary Eynon ancestor profile page (not a post) -incomplete
  • The Second Wife’s Story, Chapter 1, Wales
  • The Second Wife’s Story, Chapter 2, Aboard the Clara Wheeler: from Liverpool to New Orleans
  • North American Slave Narrative: the story of Isaac Johnson
  • Tante Rosa and Tante Rosa’s stories

February Preview

  • February’s Newsletter
  • Your Village Called (February’s Raising Voices)
  • A Valentine for the Last Man Burned at the Stake for Heresy
  • Complete Mary Eynon ancestor profile page (not a post)
  • The Second Wife’s Story, Chapter 1, Wales
  • The Second Wife’s Story, Chapter 2, Aboard the Clara Wheeler: from Liverpool to New Orleans

Tentative upcoming stories for 2019:

3 thoughts on “Where is the Love?”

  1. I agree—we need to remember the lives of those who were not famous or infamous, but just ordinary people living their lives just as almost all people do. That’s my goal as well—or at least one of my goals.

    Your husband sounds like my husband in his attitude towards genealogy! My husband is not autistic, just worried that I will dig up something he doesn’t want to know. So far I’ve only done a bit of his genealogy and haven’t written about it all. I am interested in seeing what you’ve found about your husband’s Chinese ancestry—that must be challenging research!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I have to admit, I really haven’t tried to do much in the way of my husband’s genealogy yet either. I have actually been told that Chinese genealogy is actually easier due to cultural veneration of ancestors. I am hoping that I’ll be able to get some insight from a Cantonese couple in our Latter-day Saint ward. It’s also been difficult telling many of my own family’s stories as well, for the same reason. Both of my parents are still alive and there are stories both are reticent to make public. However, I know they agree that we can’t have a different future without examining mistakes of the past.

      Like

      1. Mine as well. I don’t write about my life much at all or my parents. In fact, I don’t write about living people at all (except to credit them with pictures or information shared).

        Liked by 1 person

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