Monday, February 13, 2006

Old Dogs, New Tricks

There seems to be no end to the interesting things one can learn how to do. Blogging is certainly one of them. Creating links is another.

Reading -- and making sense of -- legal documents is a third. Why would anyone? you ask. Good question. I ask myself that every day. Well, maybe not every day, but today I did.

It's this course I'm taking, you see. Not content to simply look for dead relatives and then try to sort them out, I wanted to learn how to do it more effectively. So I'm taking a course in document analysis. Whoopee.

Now I have this series of Canadian land records to analyze (why Canadian? Don't ask.). One of them is a mortgage. Having bought a house -- having HAD a mortgage -- I ought to understand them, right? No. I just understood that I needed to pay the money every month -- or else. These records, though, I need to understand.

Banging my head against the wall would be more useful. It would probably feel better, too. Fortunately the internet has come to my rescue by, a few years ago, having provided me with one of my husband's live relatives -- who is a lawyer.

When I was writing A COWBOY'S SECRET (which might actually work as a link, but the first time I did it, I got something warning me about My SQL. Is this some new cholesterol level I should be aware of, I wonder?) she helped me make sense of the way Lydia, my heroine who was a lawyer, saw the world. It's a very different world than the fuzzy-minded world of a writer (namely, me). Anyway, today she helped me understand the legal terminology of this mortgage. Even better she helped me be able to articulate it myself (I think). Will wonders never cease?

So . . . the old dog has learned a few new terms today. And I'm a tiny bit closer to understanding what these mysterious Canadians were up to.

That's one of the joys of being a writer -- and apparently being a genealogist -- you never run out of new things to learn that a week ago you'd never imagined you'd need to know!

Last night I learned where Chota Nagpur, India is -- and why I should care. But that's another story!


Blogger Michelle Styles said...

Anne --

I have tagged you to do a five guilty pleasures meme.

YOu can visit my blog to seethe general format. I do hope you will join in.

17 February, 2006  

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