Thursday 12 May 2016

Hippo sized hints


Hazel hones our histories.
Hazel’s hints help.

What works as a title? I settled on Hippo Sized Hints for this post.
I’m practising what I’ve learnt today. Three word titles  - preferably with some contrast or a conflict of ideas. This was just one example of the hints and tips received by an enthusiastic audience at Cooroy Library this afternoon.

Hazel Edwards, an Australian author of over 200 books presented an entertaining and informative session on Writing a Non Boring Family HistoryAnecdotes, book promotion, writing hints and techniques were interspersed with practical exercises each limited to 2-3 minutes. These were designed to ensure that family historians should concentrate on avoiding “chronological boredom.”

In small groups of three we took the role of an ancestor and were interviewed by the others to relate that ancestor’s story in the first person. This provided an excellent focus for revealing gaps in known information. Other exercises had us concentrate on including all five senses in describing a place or room of significance.

Whilst I will probably never aspire to actually publish a family history, I came away with some excellent ideas for improving my blog posts. By the way, I can’t ever imagine a hippo providing me with hints but the hippo is a very famous character in “There’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake
Writing a Non Boring Family History is available as an ebook from Hazel’s online store.


  1. I used to have a link to rate my titles but gave up when I found I was spending to much time checking out my posts and making blogging more stressful trying to be perfect. The talk sounds interesting.

    1. Yes, I spent far too much time in April A-Z checking posts and hence did absolutely no family history that month. The talk was interesting and fast paced, lots of book promo of course as authors do, after all how else do they get sales nowadays. She generously gave us all a copy of the ebook too.

  2. I really need to "get with the program" to know what's on locally. Sounds like it was a great day and an interesting way to reveal ancestors' stories.

    1. Time enough, I always used to say it took me a good 6-8 months to really get my feet on the ground, we moved around so much. Shauna is talking on Qld resources 1 - 2.30 Noosaville library 8th June


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