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What Emmett Saw in Pohick

It occurred to me yesterday while I was at the Pohick Cemetery that Emmett had been there. A little background: Emmett’s uncle, Everard Meade, was the rector of Pohick Episcopal Church. His aunt, Lucy, had been very close Emmett’s mother, and she likely remained in close contact with her nieces […]

Field Trip!

Today, I visited Emmett’s sister, Katie Wilson Meade. Notice Katie’s husband’s name: Emmett Augustus Meade. Emmett’s name was Augustus Emmett Wilson. Lucy Maxwell Meade (who is buried just to the right of this grave) was Emmett Meade’s mother. Lucy was the sister of Elizabeth Maxwell Wilson, Emmett Wilson’s mother. Yes, […]

A Strategy for Research: Organizing Data

When it comes to writing a major piece, such as Emmett’s book, you collect a lot of information. That’s a good thing, but it can be overwhelming. I’d mentioned in an earlier post that I have (literally) hundreds of source items, and I’m still collecting information (and probably will for […]

Creative Sleuthing

When conducting research on obscure people, you encounter plenty of informational brick walls. These can be frustrating, but you don’t have to let them stand in your way. My most recent information barrier centers on Emmett’s boyhood home. The Wilson family lived in two houses during the late 1800s. The […]

A New Mystery Unfolds

Readers, today I can report the discovery of several important answers to key questions in Emmett’s research — and a new mystery to solve. Perry Mason, where are you when I need you? I can’t spill the beans on everything I’ve found (because it would give away some of the […]

The Dud

I was revved up this morning when this book arrived in my office from InterLibrary Loan: I’ve been waiting for this book for about three weeks — which is about how long it takes, depending on the book’s availability. (I’m not great at waiting around patiently for a book to […]

The Sad Decline of Writing Quality

A friend sent this to me the other day: Sad, but true. In my 20 years of teaching in two disciplines (Communications and Education), it seems like there has been a downward spiral in writing quality for at least the past decade. I’ve never had so many instances of academic […]

Rolling Right Along…

Good news: The narrative style is working. It lets me channel the research such that Emmett is narrating his story (with a little bit of help from me in the background)! When I started writing about 10 days ago, I used a standard, very structured, academic, follow-the-outline writing method, and frankly, […]

Narrative Nonfiction

One of the struggles of writing Emmett’s book has been about how the story will come out; i.e., straightforward biography a la Sergeant Joe Friday? Or, something more akin to my personal style of writing, which is close to a narrative nonfiction style? I’ve gone back and forth with this […]