Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome, Kelly A. Harmon

Thank You, To Those Who've Gone Before

Among the many hats I wear is "Family Genealogist." For many people, this means collecting names and dates and seeing how far back they can trace the family line.

But, I'm a story teller, too. And for me, genealogy isn't just about the names and dates, it's about the people, and their stories.

For instance, it's a fine thing to know my great-grandad on my father's side was mechanically inclined. Is that where my father get's his ability? I could leave it there, but it doesn't really tell me much about the man.

I have a newspaper clipping from 1937 where in it he refused to accept a million dollars for a machine that he built. In 1937. Was he crazy? If he had invested it, do you know the kind of life
I'd be leading now?

Let's just say I'd probably be able to write full time without the added benefit of a full-time job.

(And yes, I think he qualified as crazy: he spent time in Leavenworth Penitentiary for "moonshining," after being told the revenuers were traveling door-to-door in the neighborhood. He offered those suited fellers "...one fine distillation..." and they cuffed him and took him away for his hospitality.)

Old Mirt may not seem like much of a family to be thankful for, but he was good looking, from what I can tell from the newspaper photo, and that's got to be something to feel good about. Any woman will tell you that good genes are always something to be thankful for. His life was another: you can bet bits and pieces of it show up in my writing from time to time.

My great-great grandmother came over on the boat to Baltimore from Russian-Poland in the late 1800s. She nursed hundreds of people in the great flue epidemic in 1918 (called "The Blue Death) before succumbing herself. Her selfless devotion enabled others in my family as well as perfect strangers-- to pull through. She was barely forty.

Every generation of my family has members who joined the military, and it's them I thank most of all. I wish I knew why they joined. Was it a spirit of patriotism? For those whose parents came over on the boat...did they feel a need to prove they were Americans by enlisting? I don't know...but every son in my grandmother's family joined up. My great-uncles were Army and Navy men. My maternal grandad was a Navy man. My paternal grandfather, along with his two
brothers, enlisted in the Army.

Oh, the stories! From a writer's point of view, I've hit the mother lode.

Let me tell you the one where Uncle Walter arrived back in the states on Christmas Eve...with a donkey...and brought it home to his sister in Baltimore City. Grandpa traveled around the world
with my Mom's baby shoes in his pocket.

I'm also thankful for their service: not just because they kept this nation strong and safe, but because they did a job I didn't have to.

Maybe that's why they joined: to provide a better life for their families. After all, they had already left one country for a better life in another. Maybe it was all part of their plan.

And so, I'm thankful. To them, and to all service men and women of today. Thank you for keeping me and mine safe.

Kelly A. Harmon
Blood Soup, Eternal Press


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What They're Saying About Blood Soup:

This is a medieval tale about a kingdom destined for certain dire ruin if the King's heir isn't a girl. The characters in the story work together AND against each other as they secretly manipulate, scheme, hope, and react to the surprising birth of the King's heir.

Filled with murder, mystery, and very dire consequences, this is a fast paced Novella with vivid portrayal of events and characters, pulling you into this harsh world the author has created and no
doubt leaving her with new fans eagerly awaiting her next book.

2 comments:

Maggie Dove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie Dove said...

Kelly, you come from such a colorful family full of handsome,brave men! I can see why your books are so interesting!

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