A few years ago, I watched a program where modern families lived as pioneers on the prairie–and I was fascinated, entranced, and absolutely riveted. So I jumped at the chance to host pioneer writer, Linda Hubalek and her book, Trail of Thread.
Linda has always loved the prairie–she graduated with an Agriculture/Horticulture degree from Kansas State University–but never so much as when she moved away from her beloved Kansas. She started writing then, about her home and the pioneer women who tilled the soil. She’s since moved back to Kansas, where she keeps bison(!)and once again farms.
Trail of Thread is her first book in a series, told in letter form, from the women who not only survived but thrived out there on the prairie, women who were, in fact, Linda’s ancestors, tilling the Kansas farmlands. I asked Linda to share with us her thoughts on writing for our descendants. Because maybe there’s a riveting book in your family!
What will inspire my descendants?
My mother gave me a page-a-day diary for Christmas the year before I got married. She thought that I could record the planning of my August wedding in this little hard bound book.
I started on January 1st, my fiancé’s birthday, telling of what we did for his special day. And I continued to write short bits of my daily life, besides the intended lists of preparations for our wedding.
Thirty-five years later I’m still writing in a page-a-day book. I sometimes get behind and don’t write for a week or two, but the majority of my life is recorded the 35 books that are stacked in a file cabinet.
The neat thing is I can go back to any given day in any of those years to see what I did, or what the weather was like. I can go back to remember a special person’s birth or death, and be drawn into the same feeling I had that exact day.
My family knows I’ve written down my life—and theirs— through the years. I haven’t written down anything that will embarrass anyone, but I think the entries will give the next generations a good glimpse of their ancestor’s lives, and the times we’ve lived in.
Will that inspire them to keep their own diaries? I really doubt it, although it would be great if someone was motivated to write and pass down more of the family history.
What I hope my diary entries would do is to inspire descendants to remember family members as I mention their birthdays, to learn the history of the family pieces they inherited, and to give them a sense of whom their family was— and did during their lifetimes. My Trail of Thread series, written in the form of letters to other family members, gives the reader a sense of the character’s lives and the history that was happening at that very moment.
Please read the books, and then think how you could pass on your life story to your descendants. How will you inspire them? It’s up to you….
Linda’s giving away an ebook of Trail of Thread to one lucky commenter (and remember, you can download a FREE Kindle reader at Amazon if you don’t have a Kindle!). Oh! And if you’re a quilter, you’ll love that Linda includes quilting patterns in each book, including Trail of Thread!
Find out more about this pioneer series at Linda’s website. And she’s on Facebook, too, so you can keep up with her and her books over there. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ll be reading Trail of Thread. (Comments will stay open through the weekend for your chance to win a copy!)