A few years back, Victoria Washuk began reading the WWII diary kept by her great grandmother, Ruby Side Thompson, during the London Blitz.
Washuk has long taken an interest in the history of her family in Europe, "My grandmother Frances Wood was an artist living in Paris from 1931-1937 and exhibited in Paris and other parts of France," Washuk explained. "She had a child with Frank McEwen OBE, artist, teacher, administrator, and the founding Director of the National Gallery of Rhode who is the nephew of Lucien and Orovida Pissaro."
Washuk went on to say that her grandmother had friendships with Brancusi, Braque, Matisse, Picasso and Leger. "She became friendly with writer Henry Miller," Washuk said, "and is one of the characters in the book Tropic of Capricorn."
Blogging and Publishing
Beginning the project as a blog, Washuk soon found the demand for her great grandmother's writing to be overwhelming, with the blog receiving over 50,000 page views. This led to the diaries being published by Amazon in print and kindle forms, with Washuk serving as editor.
Three volumes of the diaries have been published so far, including, World War ll London Blitz Diary (A Woman's Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) (1939-1940), as well as volumes 2 and 3, which deal with the years 1941-1942, and '43, respectively. Volume 4 will be published in 2012.
Washuk's story is an example of the reach that blogs can have, sometimes leading to publishing in book form.
Even for a Milford resident who just wants to share her great grandmother's story.