Monday, July 7, 2008

Family Traditions

When I wrote THE VIOLIN, I flavored the pages with some of traditions that have passed down my family for generations. The story is loosely based on a real member of my family, my Uncle John, who died while fly fishing with his friends in May 1927.

In the book I have my characters gather at meal time to discuss the day's events and family affairs. I remember growing up spending meal time as family communication time. Sometimes it was debate time as well. Why couldn't I go out on a date in a car? Couldn't I do the dishes next week instead of this week? All in all, meals were great times to remember.

I also remember my dad's passion for wild birds. My sister and I carry on that passion. Both of our houses are surrounded by bird feeders and birdhouses.

My mother made everything she cooked from scratch. As crazy as it may be, my sister and I still make everything for family gatherings from scratch. It's probably just stupid pride because it's definitely hard work sometimes. Our clothes were all made by hand by our mother who was an expert seamstress. Although we don't sew everything we wear now, we do still sew a mean seam from time to time.

I incorporated these family traditions in THE VIOLIN because it is an almost true story about my family so I felt it was important to make it real.

For those of you who are writers, do you bring many of your family's traditions to your stories? What about you readers, do you feel more involved in a story when you read traditions woven into the story that are most likely taken from the author's own family?
Sarah McNeal

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