Observations: Judy Russell on the KDP

[Readers: I found this draft deep in the list of my blog postings and felt it still had some great content to share. I decided to update it and post it.]

elgin watchBeing “on the clock,” I decided it was prudent to listened to Judy Russell ‘s presentation on the writing of the Kinship Determination Project (KDP) given on 15 October 2014 and sponsored by BCG. [1]   (We who live on the west coast find the presentation time is right after work and so I had my ear buds in as I walked the mile to the bus stop only to find I had just missed the bus—but that’s another story.)

More importantly, I want to share a few major “take-aways” from her presentation on this major component of the portfolio.

One: Consider doing the report as a Lineage Narrative
That took about a nano-second to agree with this recommendation! I decided to write my KDP as a lineage narrative.  It is easier. The KDP is a narrative of three generations of a family.  A lineage format focuses on three generations and gives only the basic information about the siblings.  I really don’t know how I missed this–I usually take the path of least resistance.

Two: Look for the best stories
I looked at a fan chart of my family, drew circles around those family groups that might work (there were 4). I then placed all four into a possible outline and one family stood out.  My family is boring compared to Judy’s.  In my family, there is no gunfight at the Rhododendron Lodge; no one spent time in jail and no one was a Revolutionary soldier.  I am thinking about calling the narrative “Unexceptional Lives: Three Generations of _______”.  We would not make good reality TV material.  Thanks goodness.

Three: Get inspired!
Judy inspired me to work harder on the KDP which I will do. See KDP Writer’s Block Busted!, a previous post where I committed to writing 500 words per day.  I think in the past couple of weeks since that posting I have only missed one or two days at the most and some days certainly made up for the lack of writing on another day. I am committing to work on the KDP 6 hours each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I do find, however, that the number of words is deceptive….I can spend an hour working on a few footnotes which amount to about 75 words.  So I am not devoting time, not word count—both important, but it depends on what you are doing.

Four: Have fun!
Judy kept exhorting us to “have fun.”   While I view writing the KDP only slightly above cleaning the bathtub, some have noted the bathtub cleaning is looking better and better!  I outlined the story and then write where I feel inspired to do so.  I am working on generation 3 now but this morning the introduction fell into place. The paper looks very chaotic and will probably get even more chaotic this long holiday weekend.

I am now putting some serious time toward the KDP.  And, amazingly enough–I am enjoying it–sort of.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  talked to my friend Michael Purcell who writes fictional mysteries and who is working on his second book.  I wanted to know about his process of idea generation and translating that into a book.  He is considering hiring a “book coach”.  I did not know such a person existed but it is logical that it does so.  We had fun brainstorming his next book.  We started with a common knowledge of a terrific boutique hotel called the Tabord Inn in DC.  We then brainstormed that something happened there.  It has to do with the Mayor of DC and some clandestine meetings involving his inappropriate use of funds.  (and if this sounds like reality for DC—it is!)

[1] The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) stated it will post these podcasts on line but to date they have not yet appeared. Keep checking their website.  I am sure it will be soon.  Two other presentations have been given:  Tom Jones on the new/old Standards Manual for Genealogists and Michael Hait on Probate records.  I missed Michael’s but caught Tom’s presentation.


One comment on “Observations: Judy Russell on the KDP

  1. Dana says:

    As I consider becoming certified a few years down the road, your posts are very helpful! Thanks for sharing about Judy’s presentation!

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