Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Forward . . .

The New Year always brings about changes. I don’t do resolutions, but I do try to set goals. One of mine for this year is to revamp my blog (and to be a better blogger.)

I’m going to redo the banner so watch for that. I haven’t even made a final decision yet, so it will be a surprise for all of us. Lol

The next decision is what direction to take the writing. In the past I have tried a variety of things: travel, art journaling, “remember when” about my family history, and just stuff about me. What I’d like to do is have departments.

If you are an avid blog follower you have probably noticed things like “throwback Thursday” when people post photos of themselves or their family from the past. Or maybe that is just Facebook, I’m not sure, but you get the idea.

With all the other writing I plan to do I can’t do a blog post every day. Most people don’t have the time to read that much anyway. I would like to do some regular type posts.

So, here’s your chance to tell me what you would like to read about. Here are a few of my ideas:

“Remember when . . .” family history, memories, and an idea to write your own stories.

Journaling prompts for self-awareness OR prompts for fiction writing OR both traded off?

Art journaling ideas and prompts. For those not aware of the art journaling craze it is taking a journal or book, and using mixed media (collage, paint, markers, stamps, stickers, etc.) to PLAY and journal about yourself and your life.

General life: my travels, pets, photography, reading, and life in Arizona. 

As you can see, there are a wide variety of possibilities; mainly because I have such a wide variety of interests. Perhaps this would be a good time to list some of my activities:

I lead a writing group based on the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I was part of another group for 11 years and have moved on to start a new group. We meet weekly to write a story from a prompt and then we share what we’ve written.

I write Arizona and Old West history for various magazines, journals, and an upcoming book.
I journal daily in either an art journal or regular hand-written journal.

I attend a variety of writing groups and attend conferences and workshops. I have also taught several workshops on research and writing.

I’ve been doing my own genealogy since 1976 and, also do some research for others.

I read constantly. My goal on Goodreads for 2016 was 65 books and I have exceeded that.

I am involved in learning vibrational healing. I also work with therapeutic grade essential oils.

My husband and I do paranormal research with various groups.

I do some sewing and other crafts. I’m getting the itch to get back into making 1/12 scale miniatures. (I have a huge Victorian style house with three stories and the big doors that open in the front.)

Okay, Dear Readers, what do you want to read about? What have been some of your favorite types of posts in the past.

One other comment, many say they can’t make comments on the blog itself. I have it set up that anybody can leave a comment, however I must moderate the comments so your comment won’t show up immediately. I hope this fixes the problem. (For my FB friends, I will be back after the holidays.) 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Busy Writing the Old West

My poor blog has been languishing in the background again.

However, I have been getting a lot of Old West writing done.

I had an article in the August issue of Wild West magazine about W. A. Clark who founded Clarkdale, Arizona and left his mark throughout the West. If you read the book Empty Mansions you will know about this fascinating character.

My latest article in Wild West magazine is about a hanging in Goldendale, Washington where my husband’s ancestors settled. Here’s a link to the magazine and this particular issue:
The Presby Museum and Historical Society in Goldendale, Washington. 

As a genealogist and historian I have long wondered about those somber photos in my collection. I’m not the only one, so when True West publisher, Bob Boze Bell, asked about it I happened to be researching that subject and it led to an upcoming article which he discussed on his blog:
(You can go to each link or just scroll up from the first one.)



One of my favorite family photos. Mattie and John Keith with their daughter, Dottie. When I began my genealogy I corresponded with Dottie. That was back in the 1980s.

I’ve been writing for the Tombstone Times for about eleven years. I write a monthly column about the buildings, people, and history of the historic town of Tombstone, Arizona. The publishers have archived a couple of my articles here:  

The Birdcage Theater during our visit to Tombstone in October. 

Another place I’ve been published is the historic Epitaph National Edition. The Tombstone Epitaph was first published in 1879. It has been continuously published ever since; sometimes as a weekly and sometimes a daily. The local edition is put out by the journalism students at the University of Arizona. The national edition deals with the history of the town and the Old West. They don’t have any of my articles archived but you can learn more about the paper and the museum here:

I’m working on more articles for some of these publications. My latest major project is a book based on some of my Tombstone Times articles. The deadline I set for finishing the first draft is the end of January.

Yes, by putting that out there I’m putting the pressure on myself to meet that goal.

That’s part of my excuse(?) for not keeping up the blog. I’m working on a schedule of posts on things like writing, reading, genealogy, art, travels, and whatever else might come along. Like the phone call I received last night from a distant cousin who lives near where our family first settled before the Civil War. Intrigued?