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Allyson's Blog

Wordless Wednesday: February 15, 2017

 

©2016 Allyson Latta

Scroll through more of my photos here.

And check out this week’s Wordless Wednesday contributions from some of my Canadian writer-photographer friends, coast to coast:

Allison Howard (PhotoAlly)

Barbara Lambert

Carin Makuz (Matilda Magtree)

Cheryl Andrews

Elizabeth Yeoman (Wunderkamera)

 

To subscribe to my blog and receive occasional posts, click HERE.

 

Recent posts on writing

Suitcase of Memories: How a treasure trove of family photos led to a published novel

The Mirror That Is Memoir by Dace Mara Zacs-Koury

On Creating a Goal, and Other Tips for Travel Writers

Quotables: “At some point in my life I decided that I was going to write like hell”: 15 excellent writing tips from Nick Ripatrazone

“Warm life preserved by the pen”: Memoirist Laurie Lee and the valley he loved

Wordless Wednesday: January 25, 2017

 

Scroll through more of my photos here.

And check out this week’s Wordless Wednesday contributions from some of my Canadian writer-photographer friends, coast to coast:

Allison Howard (PhotoAlly)

Barbara Lambert

Carin Makuz (Matilda Magtree)

Cheryl Andrews

Elizabeth Yeoman (Wunderkamera)

 

To subscribe to my blog and receive occasional posts, click HERE.

 

Recent posts on writing

NEW: Suitcase of Memories: How a treasure trove of family photos led to a published novel

NEW: The Mirror That Is Memoir by Dace Mara Zacs-Koury

On Creating a Goal, and Other Tips for Travel Writers

Quotables: “At some point in my life I decided that I was going to write like hell”: 15 excellent writing tips from Nick Ripatrazone

“Warm life preserved by the pen”: Memoirist Laurie Lee and the valley he loved

Quotables: Dani Shapiro on the Serial Memoirist’s Plight

Suitcase of Memories: How a treasure trove of family photos led to a published novel

 

Guest Post by Susan Johnson Cameron

At a family reunion a few years ago, one of my cousins entrusted me with this suitcase, packed with old photos, postcards, and mementos, some preserved since the last century. This collection of keepsakes sprouted the seed of an idea for a story and nurtured a creative writing process that led eventually to the publication of my historical fiction novel, Home Fires.

Inside this suitcase I found a photo of a platoon of men in First World War Canadian Army uniforms. On the back my grandfather had written “No. 5 Platoon, 159th Batt. Haileybury.”

There is a pack of postcards from 1917 showing the devastation from the bombing in Arras, France. My grandfather was there with the Canadian Army, fighting in both France and Belgium. We were blessed that he returned home whole in body, unlike so many others.

As well, in this assortment of family treasures there is a picture of a handsome man dressed in a Cameron Highlander kilt and tunic. He was my grandmother’s younger brother, George. I know that, tragically, he was killed in battle at Passchendaele.

I discovered a photo of another great-uncle, Alfred. In it he is wearing a smart suit, one hand tucked behind his back. My father told me years ago that his uncle had a prosthetic hand. The family story is that after a serious work accident, Alfred received a monetary settlement for his injury. That money helped my grandparents relocate from England to Canada, where they pioneered in “New Ontario.”

Tucked in with the First World War photos and postcards is a more recent colour picture of a summer-dry ditch, filled with white wildflowers and lush green grass. On the back my uncle recorded, “where we spent hiding from the great fire of 1916 with only a tablecloth to protect us.”

All this I wove into my story. Home Fires was published by Iguana Press in November 2015.

Wordless Wednesday: January 18, 2017

 

©2016 Allyson Latta

©2016 Allyson Latta

 

Scroll through more of my photos here.

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The Mirror That Is Memoir — a guest post by Dace Mara Zacs-Koury

Woman Looking at Reflection

 

My father’s death and burial in 1994 in Latvia, and my subsequent discovery of a dark family secret dating back to the Second World War compelled me to write. I knew little of his or Latvia’s past, and so I set about talking to relatives, revisiting overseas, learning Latvian, and digging into historical research, finally turning up Father’s war records. Little did I know when I began that I was embarking on a twenty-year writing journey.

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Wordless Wednesday: January 11, 2017

 

 

©2016 Allyson Latta

Scroll through more of my photos here.

Read the rest of this entry »