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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 […]

Angry at Emmett

Maybe this is all an off-shoot of the intense, compressed writing bloc over the past week, but I’ve noticed for the past several days that I have been — and am — mad at Emmett Wilson. This isn’t the first time I’ve been made at him, but this has been […]

Progress Report & Convo with Jule

If you’ve been following along the blog over the past few days, you know that the first chapter is about Emmett’s family.  (Well, my family, too. Emmett is my cousin.) The first chapter is in pretty good shape; actually, it is probably going to be divided into two more sections […]