Thursday, February 3, 2011

Form & Formatting

Recently my genealogy research has been slowed down due to winter life in the ‘great’ northeast. From every window in my house I see only white (snow, snow, snow) and grey (the trees & sky). The woods, my gardens, the bird houses and feeders and my pretty new potting shed are all covered in snow. Not a sprinkling of snow, the kind that glitters on the cover of a Christmas card. This snow is like a thick meringue on a lemon pie, higher than the tops of my boots, taller than my legs. It’s the kind of frigid snowy winter that makes you feel isolated from even your nearest neighbor. My research trips to archives, libraries and cemeteries are on hold until spring.
My genealogy, of late, has taken another form. I am wrestling with Microsoft Word 2007, putting my Mark family research into book form (almost 400 pages). This can be very satisfying. After carefully reading the instructions in the help menu and watching on line tutorial videos I have a terrific Table of Contents (a manual table with three levels) and classy page numbers (in the Conservative Footer, centered). Formatting can be tedious when I make sure each fact is footnoted accurately. (I have well over 1,000 footnotes.) Formatting can be fun when I insert photographs of relatives, sometimes long gone or far away, into the neat sidebars (cubicles side bar) of the book. My latest formatting step has been frustrating. I’m attempting to correct errors I made in my index. The help menu is no help. I’d like to delete it and start over but can’t figure out how to do that. As my husband struggles to keep our long driveway clear of ice and snow, I struggle to keep my book clear of typos and glitches. Perhaps by the time the daffodils in my gardens raise their heads to look for the sun I’ll be able to raise my head from my laptop and look for new family discoveries in the archives again. Until then, I will  have another cup of tea and fight with that **!** index.

1 comment:

AJP said...

I think your professional editor is being a slacker. Maybe one of these days she can finally help you out!