A Message from the Other Side?

Do you believe in ghosts? In “A Message from the Other Side?” Shelley Sturgeon tells how her attempt at communication with the dead might just have been heard on the other side!

In the spirit of Halloween and because I’ve decided that on Fridays I will blog about whatever topic I want to, today I thought I’d talk about things that go bump in the night. Well, I mean ghosts and I suppose it would be more accurate to say things that go bump at any time of the day because my experiences, if that’s what they indeed have been, with the other side, if that indeed exists, have happened at various times of the day.

Intrigued yet?

I am very intrigued by the subject and have been for as long as I can remember. Do I conclusively believe in ghosts. No. But I believe in the possibility of their existence. I believe that there’s a possibility that there are more things to be known about what happens when someone dies, about what happens to their soul or their spirit or whatever you want to call it depending on your religious beliefs.

I also believe that it’s easy to dismiss things we don’t understand or can’t see. I mean, come on, they used to think the world was flat, right, and that you could fall off the edge? At that time there was no way to see the world as a whole so that conclusion was based on the information that was available at the time. So, is it so impossible to believe that maybe, just maybe, there is more to understand about what happens to a person after death?

Okay, okay, I suspect some of you are snickering by now and shaking your heads at my ridiculous theory.That’s okay. I’ve been laughed at before! And, in fairness I should also say that I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine tonight as I write this!

So let me tell you about one of my experiences. This happened this past summer and I swear this is absolutely true – no exaggeration or embellishment – cross my heart and hope to… well, you know how the rest of that goes!

Background

But first a bit of background. My husband and I have done a lot of genealogy research over the years. And as anyone who has ever done any genealogy research knows, you often need to go to cemeteries as part of your research. Our poor kids were dragged to cemeteries regularly during their childhoods – even before they could walk! And, when I served as president of our local genealogy society, I was actually interviewed on television–in a cemetery! It was my 15 minutes of fame, edited down to about 90 seconds, broadcast to the nation!

We’ve come across some great stories about people in our families and made some fascinating discoveries. About twenty five years ago, while doing some work in a local cemetery here in town, we discovered the graves of my husband’s great grandmother and her daughter. Elizabeth (the mother) and Susanna (the daughter) had died on the same weekend in October 1918 so that in itself was suspicious and warranted more investigation. Was it an accident, a fire perhaps, or maybe a contagious illness? Continue reading “A Message from the Other Side?”

What Scares You About Blogging and Using Social Media?

What Scares You About Blogging and Using Social Media? by Shelley Sturgeon addresses common concerns people have when they start blogging and using social media.

Authors are advised to create an author platform, an online presence which includes blogging and using social media, to help them to network with others and build an audience for their books. But, many find themselves suffering from paralysis by analysis when they think about starting out online. So, I’ve attempted to list a few of the worries and concerns I’ve heard and attempted to put things in perspective.

You’ll make a mistake and EVERYONE will see it!

Newsflash! EVERYONE makes mistakes so of course you’re going to make mistakes! Even seasoned bloggers and social media experts screw up from time to time. I’ve received numerous emails that were missing attachments or links. I’ve clicked on links that go nowhere or go to the wrong place. I even once accidentally clicked on the Publish button on a blog post instead of the Save Draft button. This of course meant that a half finished post was suddenly out there for the world to see! That was a big oopsie that required some pretty quick back peddling to fix it. But nothing ventured, nothing gained!

You don’t know what you’re doing.

We’ve all had to learn the ropes and at first we don’t know what we’re doing. Research and read. Create an account and observe what others are doing. Take baby steps but do take them. Before too long you’ll be confident and will have it mastered.

No one will see your efforts and you’ll be wasting your time.

It takes time to build an audience or following with any social media platform. Be patient. Offer quality information. Share your sparkling personality with the world. Learn how to attract people to your blog, find followers on Twitter, etc. It will happen if you work for it and research how to find your audience. Don’t just shrug your shoulders after a week and walk away because no one is acknowledging that you’re there.

You won’t know what to blog about, tweet about, comment on, etc.

Do research on the social media platform for ideas, observe what others with big followings are doing, promote others and share their information, don’t try to sell your product or service, at least not until you have a significant following and have built trust with those followers. Sign up for my newsletter for more ideas.

Your work won’t look polished enough.

Sometimes we are too critical of our own work because we want it to be perfect. Relax. Do your best. Your blogging and social media efforts don’t have to be as polished as published books. Books need to be professionally edited. Blogs are more like newspapers, often with a very short time between idea to publication. In time, you will be more at ease, more confident and your efforts will reflect that.

It’ll take too much time to maintain.

Yep, blogging and social media can take a bit of time. Won’t sugar coat that. But, if you’re marketing a book or business you most likely need the exposure that they provide, and for the most part these platforms are free. It’s always an option to hire some help. Virtual assistants can build you a mean WordPress site, format and schedule your blog posts, schedule your tweets, etc.

It keeps changing and you can’t keep up with it.

Yeah, this scares me about blogging and social media, too! LOL We don’t like change, do we? And, yes, there seems to be continual change in functionality within social media sites sometimes it seems just for the sake of change without apparent benefit, new social media sites, old ones falling out of favour, and so on. The more you learn, the more fluent and comfortable you are with blogging and using social media, the less this will bother you. Sure, you might still grumble about it (I do!) but you won’t be shaking in your shoes. It’ll be more of an annoyance than something that will keep you up at night – promise!

Agree or disagree with me? Did I leave any of your worries off the list? Let me know in the comments.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici | Freedigitalphotos.net

5 Elements of a Good Ghost Story

5 Elements of a Good Ghost Story by Shelley Sturgeon offers five things to include when writing a ghost story if you want to keep your readers awake at night!

Do you like ghost stories? I do.

This weekend we watched The Secret of Crickley Hall. The mini-series was based on a book written by James Herbert and was adapted for television by the BBC. If you’re looking for a ghost story with a good storyline, you might enjoy this.

I have a big collection of ghost story DVDs that I dust off at this time of the year. It’s my way of celebrating Halloween now that I’m too old to go trick-or-treating (and have been for some time!)

Other favourites in my collection include:

But, I think my absolute favourite ghost story is The Changeling. This is an old movie, made in the late 70’s I think, starring George C. Scott. I just think it checks all the boxes for a good ghost story.

So What Are the Checkboxes for a Good Ghost Story?

A good ghost story has all or at least most of the following elements:

  1. There is a good setting.
    A creepy old house, an out-of-the-way location, isolation… The Sixth Sense might be an exception to this characteristic of a ghost story, but Crickley Hall, The Others, The Awakening, The Changeling, Insidious, and An American Haunting all check this box. And, the idea of spending a long snowy winter in a hotel in the middle of nowhere cut off from civilization as the family in The Shining did? That’s the stuff goose bumps are made of even before anything scary happens!
  2. There’s a good back story of some tragic event or unresolved issue.
    The story needs to be something interesting and at the same time something we can almost all understand to be a justifiable reason to come back and haunt the living–if, of course, that is an option! Some of these back stories would be good stand-alone stories without the ghost story factor.
  3. There is an absence of blood and gore.
    With the exception, perhaps, of The Shining and maybe The Sixth Sense I could say this of my favourites. A good ghost story relies on the story, not the special effects. We don’t need a “slice and dice” / “slash and dash” bloodfest to be creeped out by these stories.
  4. The suspense of the story builds slowly.
    A creepy location, a bump in the night, a tragic story, very subtle at first, parsed out in bite-sized pieces like a mystery.
  5. There’s a twist, a gotcha!
    I’m not sure that you could say that all of my favourites, or all good ghost stories for that matter, have a twist, but I think the best ones do. The Sixth Sense and The Others are classic examples of this. Readers/viewers love to be outsmarted but the gotcha needs to fit in logically with the storyline to work. The readers/viewers need to be able to review the lead up to that moment and realize that the clues were there all along.

So, if you want to write a good ghost story, be sure to include these factors.

What is your favourite ghost story – book or movie? Let me know in the comments. Maybe I can add it to my collection!

Photo courtesy of hyena reality | Freedigitalphotos.net

Thoughts on Being a Canadian

I don’t want to make a point of getting too serious here on my blog. Ideally I want to keep things light and write about the adventures of writing and social media marketing. But, the events here in Canada this week that unfolded while the whole world watched, were not ideal.

These two tragic events, the deliberate targeting and murders of two young men in our military forces in Quebec and then Ottawa, by two crazed radicalized individuals defy logic, but the same can be said about a lot of events worldwide since 9/11, can’t it?

I won’t get into my thoughts about those responsible or the causes they supported in any detail. To do so would be to dive into the conversational taboos of politics and religion, and while I suspect that most people would be on board with my thoughts and opinions, I have no desire to waste my time or yours further discussing the insanity and evil that lurks in the hearts and minds of these rejects of society who thrive on being in the spotlight of social media as though it were the milk of human kindness.

I am a proud Canadian. We don’t often wave our flag for all to see, perhaps we should. We have our issues between citizens within our borders, but what country doesn’t?

We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and as a woman I have the freedom to attain any level of education, rank or position, or public acknowledgement that a man in my country can, if I wanted to. I don’t have to hide in the shadows or cover my face. I used to take this as a given but more and more I’ve come to realize that in many countries, such opportunities are not open to women simply because of their gender.

I am proud to wear the maple leaf when I travel and have experienced the welcoming reactions of others in the countries where I’ve gone when they’ve seen that maple leaf.

Having lived in the UK for several years, I believe that Canadians are a bit of a hybrid – part British, part American, in our thoughts and mannerisms. We “get” British humour – a lot of Americans don’t. We “get” American humour – a lot of British don’t. We spell some of our words like the British, like colour and humour and labour, but we also spell some of them like Americans do – recognize and lovable, and for the most part our pronunciations of words tend to be closer to Americans than the British. If you don’t believe me discuss dynasties, aluminum and jaquars with the Brits.

Now, to lighten this a little bit, I feel compelled to tell you that not ALL Canadians live and die for ice hockey despite what the voice over for Hockey Night in Canada might tell you. (I am a Canadian and couldn’t give a toss about it.)

And, since I know that we’re a bit of a mystery to our neighbours to our south these videos might help you to understand us:

But mostly today in light of these tragic events ,and every day, I want our friends throughout the world to know that we as Canadians thank you for your support and friendship and for reaching out to us in our time of tragedy. Thank you for crying with us, and even for making us cry this week with your words of kindness and support by reminding us that you’re there for us. In these days of turmoil and uncertainty, it is comforting to know that.

Thank you.
 
Photo credit: scazon via photopin cc

Twitter: 7 Decisions You Can Make Before Creating an Account

Twitter: 7 Decisions You Can Make Before Creating an Account by Shelley Sturgeon explains what decisions you can make before you actually open your Twitter account including which photos to use, the criteria for a Twitter username and more.

What’s that expression? Forewarned if forearmed? If you haven’t already created an account, here’s a few decisions you can make ahead of time so that you’re better prepared and not left in a panic when you’re bombarded with questions when you set up a Twitter account for the first time.

  1. Decide on your Twitter username.
    When you create a Twitter account, Twitter will suggest some possible Twitter usernames for you to use, but you are also welcome to come up with your own.

    Your Twitter username, a.k.a. Twitter handle, is comprised of up to 15 characters excluding the “@” symbol which will prefix it. Twitter usernames are unique, in the same way and for the same reasons that email addresses and phone numbers are unique.

    You can change your Twitter username at any time by logging into Twitter and going to your account settings. Carefully consider whether you want to / need to change your Twitter username because this could confuse your followers.

    When you create a Twitter username, you will most likely want to associate this with your name or the name of your business. So, for example, my Twitter username is @ShelleySturgeon and, just to confuse you, I’ve associated my Twitter username with *drum roll please* TAH DA — Shelley Sturgeon!

  2. Select an image for your header.
    The header is the long image that goes across the top of your Twitter account page that other people see.

    This image should be 1500 pixels by 500 pixels and no more than 5 MBs in size. The resolution for your header image can be as low as 72 dpi (dots per inch). The lower the dpi, the smaller the file size.

    Acceptable image file formats include JPG, GIF and PNG. Animated GIFs won’t work as header images.

    Select something that represents you or your brand, or failing that, find something interesting or just plain nice to look at.

    To add or change your header image file:

    1. Log into your Twitter account.
    2. Click on your profile picture, or if you haven’t loaded one yet, the egg photo in the upper right corner of your Twitter page.

      Finding Settings

    3. Click on Settings.
    4. Continue reading “Twitter: 7 Decisions You Can Make Before Creating an Account”

20 Tips for Dealing with Procrastination and Distractions

20 Tips for Dealing with Procrastination and Distractions by Shelley Sturgeon offers tips for writers to avoid or overcome procrastination and distractions.

I was sitting here at my desk yesterday afternoon with the intention of cranking out a half dozen or so blog posts. There’s been absolutely no reason why I couldn’t do this in theory. My family was otherwise occupied so I had the house to myself (if you don’t count the four legged menagerie!) and there was nothing else burning a hole in my social calendar or to-do list.

But, instead, I shopped, did some DIY, ate lunch, surfed, checked email, called my sister, checked email again and then called my husband. I think you get the picture. NONE of that was priority so why did I do it? I have no idea.

Have you ever noticed how we tend to avoid things that we’re not quite sure how to tackle, things that overwhelm us because we don’t feel confident or comfortable doing them or we don’t know where to start? We tell ourselves that we’re just psyching ourselves up for the task, and sometimes I even tell myself that I work better when I’m pressured to meet a deadline, almost as if I’m intentionally building that pressure so I will work better, but the only problem with that is that when it comes to writing, I set my own deadlines, and well, I also tend to “adjust” said deadlines when it suits me. Do you ever do that?

So, to get the juices flowing, I started writing about how to manage the writer’s worse enemies: procrastination and distractions.

Tips for Dealing with Procrastination and Distractions

  1. Instead of thinking of a project or task as a whole, try itemizing the steps involved and concentrate on one step at a time. So, instead of writing about “25 Ways to Describe a Character” aim to write about one way, and then another and another and so on.
  2. You can try establishing deadlines. It might work for you, but personally I usually struggle with self-imposed deadlines. I do, however, find that it helps to know someone is waiting for something. If I had a beta reader drumming his or her fingers on a desktop waiting for my next installment I’d meet my deadline.
  3. Attach time for your writing to another task that you will never forget to do. For example, I could add writing to pouring my first cup of coffee each day and change my routine so that I always go to my computer and start writing when I’m drinking my coffee. That’s how I remember to water my hanging baskets of flowers in the summer. While my Keurig machine is brewing my cup of coffee, I fill the pail with water and carry it out to the front porch to water the plants.
  4. Aim for results not perfection. I think too often we forget that we can tweak things later but it’s more important to get a first draft down.
  5. Ever hear the quote by William W. Purkey “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” Well, I’d suggest we add “Write like you’re a bestselling author” to the list. Our inhibitions – fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what our mother might say! – can often hold us back from our writing.
  6. I read an article once a long time ago that suggested writing the climax of your book first when you are excited about the project and energized. Then, the article went on to explain, you could go back and write everything up to the climax. Your writing would be more focused, in theory. The same could be said for a blog post. Write your tips or main points, then complete it with your intro and conclusion.
  7. Maybe you really do need a change of pace to inspire and rejuvenate you? This is a dangerous one because we often deceive ourselves into thinking this way, but if you’re working hard, maybe you do need some time off. All work and no play, etc.? Live in the moment. Give yourself a break and enjoy the moment then really and truly get on with your writing.
  8. If you’re experiencing a brain spasm about a project, consider talking to a friend or colleague to get their feedback. Sometimes a fresh perspective or a show of enthusiasm from someone else can make all the difference and get you really excited about following through on something.
  9. Set a timer. Ever visited the Flylady site? This site is all about helping people organize their time so they can clean and organize their homes. It’s a great site full of helpful tips. Yes, I know that doesn’t have a lot to do with writing blog posts (stay on topic Shelley!) but they’re keen about setting timers to chip away at tasks so instead of setting timers and alerting a search party to rescue you in 20 minutes if you don’t emerge from your son’s bedroom, why not set a timer and start chipping away at the next chapter in your book? You may not finish it in 20 minutes, but it is a step in the right direction.
  10. Figure out what time of the day suits you best for writing. I know for me, when it comes to exercising, if I’m going to consistently do it, I need to do it first thing in the morning before I talk myself out of it or end up spread too thinly during my day to find the time to do it. Maybe writing at night before bed when the house is quiet works better for you?
  11. Try practising free writing. The more you write, the easier it gets and the less likely we are to procrastinate!
  12. Continue reading “20 Tips for Dealing with Procrastination and Distractions”

Sleep Authoring – Write it in your dreams

I tend to suffer from insomnia and have for many years. If you’ve ever had this problem, you know how frustrating it can be to toss and turn, try to count sheep, count backward by 3’s from 500 or whatever particular number you select, etc.

In my case, I tend to nod off at a reasonable time but then I wake up and it’s almost always 3 a.m. by our clock radio when I wake up. I’ve never figured out why 3 a.m. It isn’t like in the Amityville Horror where that house’s occupants claimed to awaken repeatedly in the middle of the night at exactly the same time as the murders occurred. Usually in our house when I wake up in the middle of the night, the scariest thing happening is my husband’s snoring!

The last two nights have been particularly bad for me waking up and then struggling to get back to sleep. In fact, I wouldn’t be here upright right now writing this post if not for the big mug of coffee sitting on my desk beside me. Out of desperation last night I grabbed my tablet which lives on my night table and I searched the web for tricks and tips to help people get to sleep and I found an interesting site called Sleeping Tricks.

Among about a dozen other tricks, this site recommends a technique they call Story Authoring which involves doing just what it says, writing a story instead of counting sheep. It suggests settling into your bed just as you normally would but if you can’t sleep, close your eyes, imagine a scene, come up with some characters, and so on.

What I find quite interesting about this suggestion is that this is what I have been doing off and on for years. To this day more of my novel, so far, exists in my dreams than in my computer. I just didn’t know that this was a recognized technique for coping with insomnia!

Personally, I started out with the premise for my story while I was perfectly conscious and got some of it down on paper before I started building on it at night. I didn’t randomly create a setting and characters for the sake of nodding off to sleep.

With our busy lives, maybe this story authoring technique is a perfect opportunity for writers to “write” their scenes, develop their characters and devise the twists and turns in the plots of their novels when their distractions are few.

I still use this technique many nights to actually fall to sleep, but unfortunately I’ve found that for me it doesn’t work very well to get back to sleep at 3 a.m. I often repeat a particular scene over several nights, refining the details, going a bit further into the story some nights, incorporating new ideas influenced by daydreams (or brainwaves if you’d prefer to call them that) or something I read about in the news for example.

So now you know my secret. Why not give it a try and see what you think?

photo credit: Alyssa L. Miller via photopin cc

Flex your muscles: Write a journal

Singers do it.

Musicians do it.

Athletes do it, too.

So, what exactly is “it?”

I’m talking about warm ups, flexing muscles and practicing to help them get up to speed before their respective concerts, races and games.

Why shouldn’t writers do it?

And, how should writers warm up?

Write a journal.

Notable authors known to have kept journals include:

  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Beatrix Potter
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder, did they keep journals because they liked to write books, or did they write books because they kept journals? Did keeping a journal warm up their writing “muscles” and help make them successful?

I remember a million years ago in high school, at the beginning of every English class, we had to write in our journals for 10 minutes, and when I think back I now realize that that was when I found creative writing the easiest of any other time in my life so far.

There are various types of journals that you can keep, but from a writer’s perspective I think a free form journal where anything and everything can go as the inspiration takes you, is probably the best. Fill your journal with whatever is on your mind at the time. Write stories in it, or on days where your brain is in a spasm and you can’t think of anything else to contribute to your journal, just write about the weather or what you had for breakfast so that you don’t get out of the habit of writing in your journal every day.

There are mental health benefits to journaling as well.  Writing a journal daily can:

  •  Help you clarify your thoughts and focus on your priorities
  • Get a clearer understanding of yourself
  • Put things in a better perspective and reduce stresses and frustrations

So, how to keep a journal is the next obvious question:

  • Decide whether to write in a book or on your computer. I prefer to write my thoughts on good old fashioned paper for this. For me, it just seems easier to put thoughts to paper quite literally.
  • Find a place free of distractions. If you’re writing on a computer, unless it’s a laptop, your options here might be limited.
  • Find a time when you can have a few minutes without interruptions. My best times are first thing in the morning before I have to start into my work and routine, or last thing at night after all the critters around here are fed and the television is off and I’m just about to crawl into bed.

At first it might seem strange to write your random thoughts down, but with practice, after you’ve warmed up those writing muscles, you’ll find that it gets easier and easier, and I’m willing to bet that the rest of your writing gets easier, too.

Do you journal? If so, tell me more in the comments. I’d like to know about your experiences.

 

Photo credit: Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Internet Outage: Book Promotion in the Dark Ages

Our internet went out the other night. Well, it wasn’t just our internet, it was all of our internet service provider’s clients in southern Ontario and eastern Canada and because of the vastness of the outage, I started to wonder if we were dealing with a cyber terrorist attack, you know, like they keep talking about in movies and novels and even sometimes on CNN.

After the initial realization that our internet could be down for quite a while, I started to think of how we did things “in the old days” and how much the internet has changed our lives.

Because of the internet and the opportunities it provided and the connections we made online, we moved to the UK and back to Canada again sorting out houses and jobs in both directions, travelled extensively, and made friends throughout the world, many of whom we’ve actually met “offline.” My daughters even met their husbands because of the internet.

The internet has also opened up opportunities for me, and many many others, to start businesses as virtual assistants, web designers, and a host of other related businesses.

But think for a moment about how the internet has changed the world for authors.

No internet = no Amazon, no BookBaby, no Smashwords. Of course, this is only a sampling of the online book retailers. And, obviously if there was no Amazon, there would be no Kindle. I’m using that as an example but I’m sure you get the picture – no e-books or need for e-readers, at least not how we know e-books to be now as an available alternative to almost any hard copy book.

No internet = no blogs, Facebook, or Twitter (or the million other social media marketing tools that are out there.) Imagine how much smaller the market becomes for a self-published author trying to sell his/her book without these online tools. Imagine how difficult it would be to create an author platform and network with potential readers for your book and to learn about self-publishing and marketing in the first place if not for the internet.

I can’t really think of one negative when it comes to authors using the internet to promote their work.

But, fear not. Our internet service resumed after a few hours and there hadn’t been a cyber terrorist attack, just a malfunction of some damaged equipment owned by our ISP apparently. All is well and authors can continue to explore all the amazing options and opportunities available to them in cyberspace!

Photo credit: Image courtesy of mikumistock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don’t sink your ship! Check your facts

Earlier this year, you would have had to be hiding under a rock to miss the daily news stories that were reminding us that the Titanic sunk 100 years ago. Mention the Lusitania or the Empress of Ireland and people may scratch their heads, but EVERYONE has heard of the Titanic!

As part of a school project when I was about 10, I had to interview grandparents and create a family tree. At that time, little was really known about my mother’s side of the family – a long story maybe fit for another day, but I sat in awe at my paternal grandfather’s knee as he recounted how his mother, Agnes MacPherson, was supposed to be on board the Titanic when she immigrated to Canada.

Even then, as a young child, I’d heard of the tragedy of the Titanic and the mere thought that my great grandmother had very nearly gone down with it was horrifying! But, once I got over the horror aspect of the story, I was delighted to write up this fascinating fact of family history and add it to my project knowing that not many of my peers could have such juicy content to share about their families!

So, fast forward about 12 years. By this time, my grandfather had passed on, but my interest in genealogy remained and I started gathering facts from archives and record offices. Little was still known about my mother’s side of the family, but my father’s side of the family, particularly his father’s side, had been United Empire Loyalists and had been given land grants for property in Prince Edward County, Ontario, not far from Kingston, at the end of the American Revolution. There was a virtual cornucopia of documents available for that branch of my family to be discovered, recorded and analysed.

And then, as if an iceberg had ripped my childhood genealogy project wide open, after all those years, I figured it out. The facts just didn’t add up. Sweet Agnes MacPherson, an orphan from a home in Scotland, could not possibly have just “missed” the Titanic as my grandfather had told me because Agnes MacPherson was already here, living in Ontario, married with children and probably tucked safely into her own bed on that April night in 1912 when the Titanic sunk on the cold and calm Atlantic. You see, my grandfather had been born in 1910 and he had an older sister who’d been born a few months after her parents married in 1908. Continue reading “Don’t sink your ship! Check your facts”