Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So, new project

As if I don't already have enough on my plate, I've started this, titled "Helen Webster's Diary." Helen Webster is, I believe, a great grandmother of mine, who was a teenager in the 1890s. Beyond that, I know nothing. My grandmother's sister (great-aunt? I can never keep these things straight) found this diary probably ten years ago and photocopied it for everyone in the family who wanted a copy. My sister passed it along to me, as a curiosity of sorts, and it's been sitting in a portable file cabinet ever since. I'd long planned to transcribe it, but frankly, the job seemed overwhelming, especially since the handwriting is small and has gone through the photocopier a few times.

But then I saw this story and was inspired. I'll just start a basic blog and post a new diary entry every day. And I find myself approaching this not as a task, but as a joy. I've had to force myself not to transcribe more than a day at a time, and in fact, I find myself deliberately delaying the transcription so as to increase the pleasure I'm getting from it so far.

I've put three entries up so far, and plan to run this until it's done. It's a way of making the diary more permanent, I guess, and if other people get a kick out of following Helen Webster's diary, that's lagniappe.

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