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Your Life Is Your Story, Issue #006 -- Mining Music Memories
February 29, 2004

"Your past is your story up to now. The future is the story yet to come. The present is where you live with that experience, your hopes and your dreams."

Your Life is Your Story Newsletter

February 29, 2004 Issue-006 - Mining Music Memories

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer

Opening Remarks: What’s all this “Leaping” About?

Today is one of those rare, once-every-four-years kind of days. An extra day for the year, tagged auspiciously to the end of the shortest month of the year. Perhaps who ever made the decision felt sorry for February?

I looked up “leap” in the Dictionary and Webster’s has a number of definitions, but they all pretty much boil down to jumping or springing quickly over something, or acting quickly. “Leap year”, on the other hand, is defined properly as “a year in the Gregorian calendar containing 366 days with February 29 as the extra day”.

Ah, there you go...and the point you are wondering? Well, primarily that it gave me the final opportunity to get February’s issue out. I’ve got a new article on music and memories and another free bonus just for being a subscriber. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it.

– Tom

I want to extend a warm welcome to all our new subscribers. Thank you for subscribing. If you like what you read here, pass it along to a friend. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting our signup page . Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter – simply reply to this email e-zine.

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: What’s all this “Leaping” About
Featured Article: Striking a Chord for Memory
Resources you can use: Our Blog, a new Powerful Writing Resource and The Journal Software.

Feature Article: : Striking a Chord for Memory

You have experienced this many times in your life. A song comes on the radio or stereo and you are instantly transported back in time. For some people the memories resurrected from a well-loved song are so powerful that your senses participate. Again you see, hear, smell, taste and even touch the time the song evokes.

Why all this happens probably has something to do with how our brains work, but I'll leave that to the scientific community. All I know is music can be a great way to help us reminisce. There are countless songs from my past that always heighten my recall of days gone by. This is especially true when the songs are about relationships and events that speak specifically to our stories.

The next time you hear "Remember When" by Alan Jackson, one of country music's biggest artists, you'll walk back in time. How can you not?

Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookin' back, it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when

The song is sung over the backing of a softly strumming mandolin and the bittersweet lyrics are as good a tug on heartstrings as you will find from country music's vast collection of tear-jerkers. However, the song is not maudlin. It's a tribute to a life lived with all its ups and downs and the good and bad.

Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart
And broke each other's hearts
Remember when

Ultimately Jackson sings of the full circle satisfaction that a long life of marriage can bring.

Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when

Musicians and songwriters, just like writers and anyone answering the call of the muses, understand the power of eliciting memory through verse and note. Precisely because it activates our senses and memories in such a vivid way is why you should consider songs an important part of your life story process. Go through your CD's, tapes and even (gosh!) vinyl records and just pulling out some of those old favorites will start activating long dormant recollections. Make a list of your favorite songs and then assemble them on a cassette tape and go for a drive. I guarantee this will help you discover more of the story you want to preserve.

Of course, music plays a bigger part in the lives of some than others. I've spent most of my career involved in the radio industry and I make no bones about the major motivation. I wanted to work where I could play music I liked and I'm just not a good enough musician! So, being a radio DJ was the next best thing.

It doesn't matter whether the songs are by big band swing crooners, heavy metal rockers, country twangers, classical pianists, alternative-post-modern-grunge rock or contemporary pop hits. If the music was, and is, part of your life, it's valid.

Often when you take just the lyrics you'll be surprised what the music genre is:

Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test
and don't ask why.
It's not a question
but a lesson learned in time.
It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Unless you are familiar with Green Day, or maybe the TV series Seinfeld, which used the song for one of their highlight episodes, you might attribute those lyrics to someone's poetical memoir.

These songs are all around us. You've got a great story to tell - you've heard it from me before. Let the music take you there.

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

— The Beatles "In My Life"

One of the greatest joys I've had from playing music on the radio - or even on the stereo and making tapes for friends - is taking a musical journey. It's extremely rare for radio to have freedom like that anymore, but there are still some of us who can "take you there". If you want help finding songs that "take you back" feel free to drop me an email.

More articles on About Writing and Preserving Your Life Story here.

Resources You Can Use

Blogging on My Mind

If you spend much time on the Internet you’ve no doubt encountered a blog. Blogging has become a big deal on the web. It’s a way of ongoing news, opinions, and ideas exchanged by various individuals, pundits or even companies.

Well, then! It was high time to have a blog as part of the Your Life is Your Story.

It’s updated frequently with tips, links and thoughts on telling your story, writing a biography, autobiography and various other personal history methods. Come visit.

An “Unexpected” Writing Resource

The primary focus of the “Your Life is Your Story” web site and this e-zine is about the various “why and ways” of telling your story. However, once in a while I come across a resource that can help your writing, even if it’s not primarily concerned with telling your life story. The Netwriting Masters Course is one such resource and will show you -- anyone -- regardless of the type of business, how to write copy that attracts targeted visitors, and that gains the trust and confidence of those visitors beforehand, making them more receptive to your sales message. Then, and ONLY then, does it show you how to write the sales copy that "closes" whatever your monetization model may be.

If you happen to have a web site or online business then this course is going to help you enormously. Even if you don’t, you know someone who does and you can give it to him or her. Or, maybe you are thinking about starting your own online business. Plus, it’s got great tips you can apply to any writing (hint, maybe to help market your life story!).

I’m giving this resource to you. It’s available as a .PDF download from here.

No cost. You don’t have to buy anything. I want you to have this valuable information as a gift.

It’s just another way to thank you for subscribing to the “Your Life is Your Story” e-zine. Again, go here to get all the information and to download The Netwriting Masters Course.


The Award-Wining Journal Software

Now featured at our “Highlight Site”. The Journal software is a great way to keep track of the events in your life, record insight, preserve memories and grow from the journey is by keeping a journal.

I really like the award winning The Journal from DavidRM Software. I use it all the time and it is a great tool. It’s easy to use, customizable, has some built-in templates and even a version that incorporates the Memorygrabber.

You can even try it free for 45 days,

What makes “The Journal” different and better?

See more here.

Thanks for reading and here’s to writing your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell!

Any comments, ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated. Just reply to this ‘zine and tell me what you think!

Until next time – keep your story alive!

Tom Gilbert

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