Hello and welcome to the blog. My name is Tiggy Johnson and I will also be blogging here once a month. I am a relative newbie to genealogy, though I have now clocked up more than three years. I’d like to suggest what topics I might blog about, but I’m going to leave that as a surprise (to you and me both!).
One thing I’m keen on, for genealogy and non-genealogy, is poetry. I am a poet and I’m writing my family history in poetry. I know the word ‘poetry’ can be a little scary, but please don’t run away. I want to share something pretty cool, and I invite you to have a go at it. Anyone can do it. It’s easy. I promise.
It’s called a visual poem. Here’s one I made (I don’t think ‘wrote’ is really the right word in this case).
|My family tree|
I had the idea for this for a long time and spent too much time cutting and pasting (literally, not in Word) before giving up. Then I came across this visual poetry generator.
If you follow the link and read through the brief instructions, you’ll see it’s quite straight forward. Even so, I’ll run through what I did.
First, I opened a new Word document and typed (or copied and pasted from other computer files) the names of as many ancestors as I could think of. I wanted to have the important (favourite) ones early, as I wanted to be sure they featured. It’s a good idea to save your file, as it might take a while before settling on one you’re happy with.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to launch the generator.
For step 2, I didn’t make any changes, but definitely play around with size and colour if you want to. Going faster or slower when you draw will also change the size of the text.
From my Word document, I copied (Control C) my text (all those names), then pasted (Control V) it into the ‘Text’ box in the Visual Poetry Generator (top right of screen).
Then, Step 3, it’s time to draw. You can either draw in one long line, or stop and make many lines. It’s as simple as holding the mouse down and releasing it when you’re done.
Have a good play, and draw until you’re happy with what you have. If you use their ‘clear’ button, you may want to paste your text back into the program before starting again, or else it will continue where you left off. This depends how important those first names/words are to you.
When you have a picture you like, press the save button. From here, I found it a little fiddly, but this is what I did. Right click, select ‘Save image as…’ and save the image as usual (ie, on your hard drive, a USB stick, etc). I wanted my image in a Word file, so I opened a new document, typed a title/heading (ie Family tree) then, from the ‘Insert’ menu, selected ‘Picture’. From here, it’s a matter of selecting the saved image, and adjusting its size and placement to suit.
If you post a visual poem on your own blog, feel free to include a link to it in the comments below. Have fun.