Writing Challenge: day 10

The Key West Citizen

Today I hoped to find some online newspapers for the Key West area from 1954 to 1957. I learned that the “Key West Citizen” has been around for a super long time. I found copies of the paper for earlier years but none for the years I want. I expanded my search to include the Miami area but the only thing I found for that time was a Jewish paper that seemed to be very tightly focused on World War II crimes. While certainly important it isn’t any help in my project. I spent almost an hour and a half and there may still be something out there. The closest I found were on microfilm in a library in Florida. I don’t think that is going to help either. I’ll keep my eyes open and maybe do some more checking but It is time to move on with following Lynn’s suggestions in The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge.”

Next up is the story arc. While my goal was to start writing on Monday, I think the story arc is going to take me some time to figure out. I’ve been thinking about it but don’t have any idea how I’m going to plan this out. So Monday I’ll be focusing on the story arc and hope for an aw-ha moment.


Writing Challenge: day 9

I didn’t make my goal for today in my plan following The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo. I did get a chance to talk to my Dad about his Navy experience so not a complete failure. Plus I spent a few minutes looking for newspapers etc for the 1950’s in Key West but didn’t find anything yet. I’ve been thinking about the story arc which is the last step in preparation to write but haven’t got a clue yet how to put that together. I’ll try to catch up by putting some time in tomorrow and reporting on my progress here. Have a great weekend and thanks for sticking with me through this challenge.

Dune: dear


Another class started this week and Dune is not apart of it. She has now been in phase 8 for 5 weeks. There were 12 dogs in Oregon in phase 8 last week and with 6 dogs per class, Dune had a 50/50 chance of being chosen. No such luck. I spent some time (too much probably) analyzing the phase reports since January. 80% of the dogs that make it to phase 8 are either career changed or in class by the 5th week in phase 8.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I truly want the right match for Dune more than a quick graduation. I friend’s dog spent 9 weeks in phase 6 and she finally moved on to phase 7 this week. I am so excited for her. That was a long wait. It is much easier for them to have them waiting in phase 8 for the right person and Dune needs the right kind of person that will love and appreciate her for who she is. But this is a patience building stage of being a puppy raiser. While we wait for the next dog day in Oregon on June 9th, enjoy another page from Dune’s puppyhood book.

Bill does the morning relieving and feeding. When that is done he likes to get on the floor with Dune and play with her and then spend some time snuggling with her. He does the same thing when he gets home from work. Dune gets a bit silly sometimes in her pleasure at playing with Bill and getting his undivided attention.

Writing Challenge: day 8

Key West Timeline

my timeline for Key West 1954-1957 created in Scapple

For today’s challenge I work on putting together a timeline as suggested in The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo. It took me while to do the social history part of it. My Dad was at the Navy’s UWSS School from 1954 to 1957. It was interesting to learn the types of events and advances that were happening then. I included the few years leading up to Key West as a reference for me.

At this point I don’t really envision how it is going to help me in writing but I trust that it will. I used Scapple to put together the very simple timeline above. I think I should see if there are some local newspapers or historic events for Key West to add to it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m supposed to be doing the story arc tomorrow too. We will have to see how it goes. This is the first of the prep goals that I haven’t really met but I’m still feeling good about my progress. I put in 2.5 hours today, the most this week.

Writing Challenge: day 7

from UWSS.org circa 1950’s

It has been more than a week since I started following The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo, to help me write the narrative for a history for my Dad’s time as an instructor at the Navy’s Underwater Swimmers School in Key West, Florida. My goal is to be ready to actually start writing next week. So far I seem to be on track. But I’m so new to this kind of writing that I might be way off. Only time and moving forward will show me where I’m lacking. So forward I go.

Today I finished up organizing my sources. Since my Dad is my biggest source this wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. We will see if I’ve done the job right down the road. The good part is as least the need to organize my sources is now on the radar. I found a website with information on citing internet sources. Maybe someone else would find it useful too.

Internet Citation Guides for Genealogists

I did a little work ahead today on tomorrows goal of putting together a timeline. Lynn suggests using a mind-mapping tool. I’ve been interested in trying one out for a while now so I downloaded Scapple by the makers of Scrivener and watched the tutorial. I hope that it is fun and helpful to use this type of tool. That is all for today. See you back here tomorrow.

Writing Challenge: day 6

First UWSS Class – 1 November 1954

Day 6 of following the plan in The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo and on to organizing sources. I feel clueless about this but decided to start with the photos I have. Most of them are from my Dad’s personal collection so hopefully I don’t need any more information than that. I few of those are official Navy photographs that need to be credited as such. I have a few other sources for photos and so I decided to add that information to their metadata, so I’ll always have access to it. InDesign also has a captioning feature that you can use to put an auto caption from any field in the metadata. I’ve never used it before but I thought it might be very helpful.

If you are interested in the photos I’ve found on the internet, here are two sources.

There are some photos on flickr that I need to check out too.

That covers my work for today. I’ll check back in tomorrow and share my progress.




Writing Challenge: day 5

“All Hands” from March 1959

Continuing my plan to follow the advice in The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo, today’s task was organizing my photos and documents. I was pretty sure this was mostly done but I checked through the folders on my computer and the hard copy materials I have and everything seemed in order. I might find that my organization scheme needs adjusting but it is the best I know how to do now.

I also spent some time searching on the internet for more information on the setting up stages of the Navy’s Underwater Swimmers School. I came across the “All Hands” magazine from March 1959. It has some information on the UWSS. I think it is interesting because it is contemporary to my Dad’s time in the Navy.

Tomorrow I’ll be attempting to organize my sources. I’ll need lots of luck on that one. I’ve allowed myself two days to get that done. I hope it goes quicker than that.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #22 – wind chime

Mason Jar Chimes by Johnnie Collier via Saved By Love Creations

This is a pretty involved project that takes tools that not everyone has but I love it so much, I had to share it. I can imagine sitting on the porch or deck and listening to the tinkling sound of the glass. You can pick items for the hanging parts that have some sentimental meaning. This could be a great gift for dad. Then hang it up and spend sometime together listening to the chimes and reminiscing.

This would be a super fun project. There is a very good and detailed tutorial by Johnnie Collier on SaveByLoveCreations.com

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos23

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

Writing Challenge: day 4

For today’s writing challenge I went back through The Companion Guide to The Family History Writing Challenge” by Lynn Palermo, to check Chapter 4 – Creating a Work-Flow because the next things I need to do to prepare to write are part of the work-flow. Two of the three steps seem pretty straight forward but the third one is new ground for me.

First off is gathering my research. I think that I have most of my stuff already gathered and organized in folders on my computer. I’m going to make sure and check through my physical stuff for more items.

Step three is identifying where I’m going write. I had already decided to use Scrivener. I’ve heard about from several sources. A few weeks ago I downloaded the trial version and did the tutorial that comes with it. Lynn also recommends Scrivener. It is designed for writers and I’m excited to try it out.

The second step is bibliography and citations. Lynn recommends using a citation manager. But I just can’t wrap my head around it. So I have to do it by hand. Hopefully I won’t have too many sources outside of my Dad and his personal documents. I may have to change my mind on this in the future but at this point I’m not going to embrace it. Maybe it is just too much for this non-writer, designer brain of mine.

Next step is make sure that all my documents, photos etc. are logically organized and ready to reference during the writing process. I’ll check back in here on Monday at let you know how things are coming.

Dune: dashing


The next dog day in Oregon is on Monday. I hope I’m not as anxious about it as I was the last one. I really do want the right match for Dune not a quick match, but I’m excited to see her take the next step on her journey. In the meantime, here is another page from her puppyhood book.

Dashing up and down the hall in our house is one of Dune’s favorite things. This usually happens after she has been out socializing and has had to manage herself and keep her excitement in check. When she gets home she just needs to let loose for a bit and dash up and down the hall. Just before bed she also likes to do this. Dune and Emma are quite the pair of labs when the too of them running up and down the hall way. I call it the Indy 500. Her cohort in these races was usually our 8th puppy in training Emma.