DNA Analysis

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to…

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and writing styles.

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post, to generate a pingback and help others find the challenges. Please make sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.

When I glance in the mirror, I see that I need a haircut and might be getting a zit on my chin me. When I take time to look a little more, I see lots of people: my dad’s chin cleft, my mom’s hazel eyes and weak jawline, my nonna’s widow’s peak hairline, my grandfather’s strong brows, my sister’s apple cheeks.

This week, let’s get a little introspective: who do you see in your face? In your personality?

Image by Erin Jang.

Image by Erin Jang.

Of course, we want more than simply a list of where each of your features come from — we’re people, not Mr. (or Mrs.) Potato Head, and are more than the sums of our parts. So take the dissection a little further, and tell us how these inheritances come alive in your life.

Your challenge is to take something intensely personal — the bits and pieces that make you YOU — and use them as a springboard for a post that makes a larger point and resonates with lots of other readers.

  • Does your mom’s quick-fuse temper get you into trouble at work? Are you the life of the party thanks to Uncle Jim’s razor-sharp wit? Did the long slender fingers you inherited from your grandmother help your hand modeling career? Explore how your their legacy made your life better — or worse?
  • Did nature overcome nurture or vice versa (or did they find the perfect balance)? Is there a trait or tendency you’ve had to overcome, or one not innate to you that you’ve worked to develop?
  • Is there something you’re hoping to pass on to your children? Something you hope not to? Something you already see in them that excites or concerns you?
  • Is there a natural talent or tendency your family encouraged you to cultivate — or one they didn’t want you to develop? How did that shape your path?

Focus on the physical or the psychological; look backward to your grandparents or forward to your grandchildren. However you decide to approach it, we’re looking forward to see the fruits of your introspection — and how you’re able to take a step back and analyze your findings. Help us understand how all your moving parts work, and help us reflect on our own lives.

(I really enjoy breaking things down to see how they work — I get that from my Zio Enzo.)

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  1. My very first post (called The Study of Faces) was about this subject. I find it fascinating, especially how those bits and pieces appear differently on different days.


  2. Coming from a family with an inherited disease, a chromosomal issue, DNA has always had an interest in my life. But then, as a fledgling crime mystery writer, DNA has become something that I now see as more than a disease that binds the family together (like eye color), but has an ability to tell a story. It can tell the story of how to find the lost, the story of why, the story of where some one came from.

    In my family, it has been a bitter legacy. Some have tried to deny it like the coat left on purpose in the coat room, Others have embraced it like a moth eaten coat. And then there are the ones who just resign themselves to it like the hand me down clothing from that distant aunt who smells a little funny. DNA has been the story of my family. The one thing that has bound us together, through the denial, the love, the estrangements, and thorough time. Doctors always want to know how far back and what country it was first found in the family. A mystery in itself. So maybe this is the reason I have been drawn to try to write stories in which this is a factor.


  3. I love this idea. It’s something I think about often, but haven’t thought to post about. Coincidentally, I just returned from a long weekend spent with my mother and two of my siblings in a setting that gave me reason to ponder this very topic.


  4. Your blog caught my eye today. I am the oldest of 8 children of the same mother. However I have a different father of which I know nothing. I am bothered no end at the fact that a father’s name on the birth certificate can be listed as “unknown” while the mother,for obvious reasons, does not have this option! It seems to indicate that there was so many candidates as to be unknown to the mother,which is so rarely the case. In the beginning, when I first needed to search, for the sake of medical options for my children, I got nowhere in terms of even a picture of my father.
    I have tried in vain to get my older generation to provide information, which is intriguing in itself.
    Imagine not knowing what your sister or best friend is doing for nine months ?!
    Of course one has to start this investigation earlier than I did. A lot of my relatives were old, but that didn’t satisfy as a reason. I am now old, and I can remember when I was twenty or so.
    I had my DNA done later and was surprised and amazed at the result, as was my siblings and my children. It seems that 26% of my ancestry puts my father in the eastern part of the world.
    This is baffling to us because non of us have any eastern traits about our faces or our
    It has lost its importance now, because my children seemed to have survived mostly, and I am an old woman having given up a seemingly lost cause-but still curious obviously-


  5. This describes the “me” I like, which isn’t necessarily the person my family would want broadcasted around the world. This is probably the first time I’ve totally owned the true “me” in writing. Several of my siblings read my blog so they may cringe at my honesty. But hey! It’s my life. I’ve earned my place in the spotlight…after 64 years of playing…”follow the leader” in a family of 9. This is my break-out moment!!! 😆


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