I started the Emmett Wilson book blog three years ago, about a month before my first research trip to Pensacola.
The blog wasn’t my idea, but my husband’s. He thought I ought to get the project out there, ‘market it’ (his words) so that when the time to publish rolls around, the word would already be out there.
I wasn’t thinking ‘marketing’ at all; rather, I was hoping to make connections with far-flung family members, genealogists, Florida historians and other researchers who might be able to fill in the many gaps I was finding in reconstructing Emmett’s life story.
It has all been beneficial — while the publication date of Emmett’s first book is still unknown, I’ve been privileged to meet many Wilson family descendants, and descendants of Emmett’s friends through this blog. Some of the information holes have been filled in, I’ve made wonderful new friends, I’ve learned so much about a distant branch of my family that has become precious and dear.
It has been rough in places, too. Data trails go cold. Sources don’t always prove useful. The writing muse neither speaks nor wishes to bother with me. And of course, a dear friend I met through Emmett’s research died of cancer this past January.
Still, the discovery process of piecing together Emmett’s life intrigues me like nothing else I’ve ever encountered in my life. And the writing — well, sometimes, I have to will the damn muse to work with me.
It’s all good; it’s all wonderful, really. And I am so grateful and humbled by the opportunity to tell Emmett’s story. When I think about it, I’m always a bit surprised at how this has come together, and thankful that I paid attention to that voice I heard in the middle of the night four years ago, when I was looking through an archive of photos, and found Emmett’s.
There is a lot more work ahead of me on this book, but I welcome it. I may complain and vent my frustrations about the process from time to time, but I wouldn’t give this up for the world.
And to quote my dear friend Nancy, who left us in January, “We’ve got this. It’s going to happen.”
Thanks for your interest in the continuing saga of uncovering Emmett Wilson’s story. Stay tuned; it is just getting interesting!