Back to Back Issues Page
Your Life is Your Story, Issue #049 – Two Paths
January 22, 2008

"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

January 22, 2008
Issue #049 – Two Paths

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: Clapton, Bradbury and Prophet
Featured Article: Two Paths
Resources You Can Use: Your Life Changing Event, MemoryPress, MemoryGrabber

Opening Remarks: Clapton, Bradbury and Prophet

Eric Clapton. Ray Bradbury. Chuck Prophet. You’ve probably heard of the first two. Eric Clapton is a legendary guitarist, musician and rock n’ roll icon. Ray Bradbury is an amazing writer of science fiction, novels, poetry, plays and visionary essays. Chuck Prophet is one of the most interesting and talented singer songwriters around today.

My opening thoughts are on this three as they have all been powerfully motivating and inspirational to me this past month. In December my family gave me Eric Clapton’s new autobiography and I read it with great interest and I comment more on it in the main article of this issue. Ray Bradbury wrote a sensational little book, Zen in the Art of Writing, a series of essays about writing, and more importantly, about living life with zest, gusto, joy and purpose. I received that book as a Christmas present. And Chuck Prophet. Well, I’ve been a fan for about three years. He’s released a number of CDs over the years and I’ve become enamored with his unusual hybrid of rock, blues, and other influences to carve a sound uniquely his own. And I got a chance to see him live for the first time the other night.

What do they have to do with the January Your Life is Your Story newsletter? All three have become important to my life, passion, writing and enjoyment of the arts and they all converged in a one month period. Good things do come in threes. And I like sharing about good things in my life with you.

Thank you for the opportunity to present another ezine issue to you. Feel free to email me with questions and comments. I welcome the feedback.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. If a friend DID forward this to you consider subscribing 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.

While the main focus of this newsletter is to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on life story writing you should know that I offer various services and also mention some products and services that can be helpful. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if any of these products or services are helpful and you decide to utilize them then I am most grateful.

Thanks for reading. – Tom

Featured Article: Two Paths

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright January, 2008

I vividly remember listening to Eric Clapton when I was in High School. In fact, often I would listen with my Dad’s high-end headphones on his stereo in the living room. That way I could crank it loud and catch the nuances of his guitar riffs without hearing “turn that down” from my parents. Rock music, teenager – you get the picture.

Eric Clapton has always been one of my favorite musicians. I’ve reveled in his records, seen him perform live several times and followed his life of success and tragedy with great interest. In some ways I feel we’ve been on similar paths. Granted, I’m not a virtuoso guitarist (or any kind of guitarist short of strumming a few chords). But I love the blues, love rock music and I went into a career in radio broadcasting because I wanted to be around music. In college I had the freedom to pick what I played and I would exercise this creative freedom by rifling through stacks of vinyl and striving for the ultimate song sets and segues. The radio show was my stage and the records I played by the musicians, bands and songwriters was my “set list”.

As I continued on, working in various cities for various rock radio stations, I discovered the ups and downs of the business. There wasn’t always creative freedom, but it was still a blast to turn people on to music, to meet artists, to go to concerts and to always be around the music.

The rock n’ roll lifestyle permeated my radio days (and radio daze). I fell into a life of drugs and alcohol. It took hitting my bottom to surrender to my problem and get help. Recovery has been (and still is) a trip, but it is real life and I’ve found a purpose and meaning. This includes helping others and writing, sharing and discovering the stories of our lives.

Eric Clapton has been through the wringer and he shared his journey in a very honest and revealing way in his new book, Clapton: The Autobiography. Yes, you will find out about his music career, from the beginnings to today. But Clapton also delves into his past, his childhood, his family, friends and the wild ride he lived through. It’s ironic that some of his life has been as tragic as the blues genre he dearly loves and excels in playing. He suffered through the deaths of musician friends, a young child, and some of the family members who raised him. He had heart-breaking romances. And he very nearly died from drug and alcohol abuse before finding a sober path that he still walks today. In the end he’s discovered that the best living is the kind that gives back and helps others.

This was an insightful book and much more than the saga of a rock star. It’s about his life and his story that includes, but then transcends, the music. And reading it brought me insight into my own journey as well as profound memories growing up and finding my own path. That is the gift of a well written life story. You might not have lived the life of Eric Clapton, but then again, you probably do have meaningful life experiences. And you have a story to tell of those experiences that can be beneficial to others, if you honestly examine and share it.

You can read other articles on life-story writing here.

Resources You Can Use

Your Life Changing Event

Chances are you’ve had at least one life changing experience with an impact so great it has altered how you live and how you view your life.

Your Life Changing Experience is worth writing about. Whether it was your marriage, recovering from a life threatening illness, the birth of a child, an incredible adventure, life altering career change or spiritual awakening, this seminal event in your life holds the key to unlock your life lessons and values. You could write about this in a few pages or as the basis of a book. Read the article here.


MemoryPress Books are a great way to share your life story. You can create beautiful books that commemorate a wedding, anniversary, graduation, career, your life story, funeral book or for any worthwhile reason.

You can start your MemoryPress Book process right away and for just $50. When you purchase your $50 publishing credit, you use MemoryPress FREE. It’s an incredible and user-friendly online way to build your story into a book. Upload pictures, invite others to contribute writing, select a cover and revise, edit and proof your book and then a turnkey process binds and prints it. Your entire $50 will go straight to publishing when you are finished with your memory book!

You can do the whole thing yourself with great customer support and instructions. If you find you need more help, like a writer or editor, I am available for hire to assist you and get that long awaited story to print. You can find out more at here.


Do you want to start writing your story but you’re not sure how to begin. The MemoryGrabber is a great tool full of thoughtful suggestions, memory jogging lists and ideas on how to begin.

Michael Boyter of Family History Products created the MemoryGrabber and I often utilize it to help clients develop their life stories. You can order it and download it immediately at the tremendous bargain price of $12.95. Get the details here.

Closing Information

That’s it for this month’s issue. Thanks for reading. Be sure to visit our blog regularly, and here’s to telling your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell! Be sure to see the Get Started section.

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

Back to Back Issues Page