Well, I haven't gotten much reading done lately for my project, but I have been reading extensively in hopes of solving one of life's great mysteries: Who am I? I have found some answers, acquired some incredible evidence, and am collecting information to find more answers.
I stepped away from my mother's family (where I have made extensive progress) to spend some time with my father's side. It's a sad mission as they were Jews in Latvia in the late 1930's - I have very little information and it's hard to research because every time I start trying to research, I am assaulted by images and stories of such unimaginable brutality and horror that I start crying and have to stop. I understand why my grandfather in particular never talked about what happened.
Still, I ran across a website dedicated to providing information about the particular town my grandparents came from - it lists the names of the victims, along with specific details about them such as what they did for a living. I was able to put some dates together with the few names I had and add them to my tree, along with a few photos - and it felt good to give these people their place in my history.
I made an odd discovery, though - one of the people mentioned on part of the website, listed as living in Israel, is my great-aunt. I was surprised to see the name as I had no idea of having any living relatives on that side. I assumed that they, like my granparents, were long since gone. I wrote to the webmaster to see if he might have further information - and to my amazement, he wrote back within an hour, providing me with contact information for that woman's son.
I wrote to him immediately (my cousin!), explaining who I am and asking the first few questions. Are there others of us? How did you survive? What were my great-grandparents names? What were my uncles' names? What can you tell me?
Within ten minutes, I had an email in reply: "SHALOM JESSICA! KEIN ENGLISH."
I'm working on it.
I'm also working on Tongues of the Dead and without giving away too much, the plot concerns an ancient manuscript that no one can read, except one small boy. I could sure use that kid right about now.