What Happens When You Finish A Book? You Think About It…

I found myself dealing with a slight touch of sadness last Thursday.  I realized that, after reading the final entry of the “Imaginary Family Project, 2011” there would be no more entries.  No more stories created to bring the characters in forgotten photos to life, with new dealings, new thoughts and new nuances.

In order to deal with my slight touch of sadness, I sent my brother who created this series an e-mail.  I think it had the word, “Wahhhh…” within the text somewhere.

So now that the project is over, I’m thinking about it.  I’m thinking about each photo, each author, the author’s writing style and plot, and what might have gone into influencing that particular story line.

Some of the stories I really, really liked.  When I finished the story, I smiled.

Others I appreciated but something about them didn’t fit my reading interest much.  I argued in my head with the twist or the approach or the character’s action…as would anyone with literature outside their niche interest area.

And others stuck with me for several days.  A few I wanted to hear more about.  And a few, I wanted to hear a great deal more about.

As I think back through the fifty-two entries in the Imaginary Family Project, I have a few thoughts I decided I’d like to share with you.

First, I wanted to thank the creator and organizer of the project, Quentin Bomgardner.  It took a great deal of work to find volunteer authors, help them select “the” photo they wanted to write about, get the story in by deadline and communicate with the author throughout the process.  Sometimes it was downright difficult – occasionally authors would change their mind.  That’s a fair choice, for sure, but rough to work with when putting out a story every week.

Second, I was especially glad to see the project get picked up and noticed by an art group, and by one of the interested parties connected to the Library of Congress.  And, although most of the authors were from Oklahoma, we had quite a few from other states covering the expanse of both coast lines.

Finally, I want to THANK the authors.  Each and every one of you created new life for these photographs and have helped them live on when they might have otherwise been forgotten or tossed by the wayside.  The characters are now “living” all over the U.S. with histories, flaws and hopes…and they cannot be taken back.

What I’m struggling with right now is to AVOID rehashing my favorites within this post.  There are about ten of the 52 that I absolutely adored.

But because I appreciated all of them, I think I’ll simply say to all the authors and to Quentin, “Thank you.”  I appreciated the reading, the effort and the overall result of “The Imaginary Family Project, 2011” very, very much.  I look forward to seeing the bound copy of the completed collection, and to meeting the authors when the get-together happens.

Wonderful job, all of you…Brava! Bravo! Bravissimo!




9 thoughts on “What Happens When You Finish A Book? You Think About It…”

  1. Dear Kelly, I’m sorry it took me so long to follow up on the remainder of the stories and your final entry but better late than never! I was a co-author of week 33, and it was a great experience. I am really proud to be a part of such a cool and original project. And I was honored to read your comment on my story and that it personally resonated with you. Thank you for sharing that. Thanks also to you and Quentin for the opportunity and for doing such a great job in executing and completing the project.

  2. Kelly, this is an amazing project. I’m keeping it bookmarked so I can go back and read through the whole year. I often find old photos at one particular antiques dealer I like to browse, and while I frequently want to buy some, I couldn’t imagine what I’d do with them. (I have enough old photos of my own family.) Your project is absolutely inspiring.

  3. That sounds like a really neat project. It must have been really good reading for you to feel that sadness or void… I have felt like that before after finishing a good book and suddenly I find myself missing the characters and the story line. I find it really annoying when I get to the end I I’m left with a tun of questions because of details they didn’t tie up….. or sometimes I just wonder…. what would have happened if…. ugh. Do you use goodreads.com? If you do you should add me. I know too many people who don’t read.

    1. Donna – I have a goodreads account that I set up for one reason…once. I think I even get their monthly updates. I should check that out this summer and start renewing my reading again. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Wow, what a fun, interesting, cool project! BTW, I always get that mild sad feeling after finishing a work project.

    It is like people watching at its finest or by the pros! I only looked at one but I bookmarked – love it!!!

    1. Indeed, Ann – – I think I’m going to have to go back through them several times. Thanks!

  5. I always feel a bit of emptiness when I finish a really good book or in this case a very touching or great project.

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