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I hope you are enjoying the Holidays. This week between Christmas and
New Year's is a time of reflection for me as I look back over the year
and ahead to the next. But mostly I strive to remember to live one day
at a time.
I've come across a number of news items about the growing interest in
personal history. More and more people are discovering the value and
importance of telling their story. Below are links to some of these
A Priceless Gift? Your Life Story
USA Today article about the gift of your story.
The Power of Myth: The Benefits of
Sharing Family Stories of Hard Times
From The Wall Street Journal Online
How to make the past last
From the Fort Worth Star Telegram
Memory, Workmaid and Mother of the
Muses, Hits the Print Button
New York Times article about a self-published memoir using an instant
book-printing machine at a small bookstore in Ridgewood, NJ (run by a
fellow APH member).
This time of year we celebrate some holidays. Christmas is a wonderful
time of year, but unfortunately for many it becomes too stressful and
I support all relgious holidays that promote goodwill towards all
people, so that includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and even those who just
like to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
In my family we have many birthdays at this time of year, too.
Yesterday was my son's birthday and Eric turned twelve. Last week was
my 50th birthday and I was thrilled that my parents along with my
sister and her husband and two children flew in from Kansas City to
celebrate with me and my family here in Albuquerque. We had a great
time together and it was special to have that family time. Fifty years
is a bit of a marker in life and while I don't feel that age (what does
it mean to "feel 50" anyway?), I do recognize that I have much to be
grateful for in my life.
If you have a birthday around this time of year you know it can come
with some concerns - so close to all the seasonal holidays - but it can
be extra joyful, too. In my family, in addition to my son and I born in
December, my sister was born on December 24, my dad on December 25 and
my mom on December 26. Talk about a Christmas trifecta!
All the best to you at this time of year and may you find the true joy
of living and passing your story on to others.
I've been a fan of the acclaimed television show, "Lost",
since episode one. If you are not familiar with the show which airs
Wednesday nights on the ABC Network you can visit their website (here).
The basis of the show is that an airplane full of passengers flying
from Australia to America got caught in a big storm, blown off course
and crashed. The survivors are stranded on an island where lots of
strange things happen. But the greatest thing about the show is the
back stories of the passengers. Many episodes have introduced us to the
characters stories and what has been going on in their lives prior to
the plane crash. It is fascinating and an adventure and reinforces that
everyone indeed has a story.
I applaud quality TV like this show with intriguing story lines and
good writing. I admit I'm hooked on the show and it has given me lots
of food for thought.
Twenty five years ago this night I was working at a rock radio station
when the news came down that John Lennon was murdered in New York City.
My heart lodged in my throat and it was not easy to open the microphone
and announce to the audience that one of the most influential musicians
and voice of a generation had been murdered. After I got off the air
that night I went home and listened to Beatles and Lennon music for a
several hours. I was alone and sad yet I felt connected to the grieving
that others felt.
The next day I spent a couple of hours in a production room putting
together a musical tribute to the late Beatle. It was cathartic. Do you
remember where you were when you heard the news? And do you remember
how you felt afterwards? When tragedy like that strikes - regardless of
a famous person or a personal friend - we all get a glimpse at our
mortality. Live life to the fullest, because you never know how much
time you have.
I know that there are many things that compete for your attention each
day. That's even more true during the Holiday Season. However, I hope
you do take time to seriously consider what it would mean to invest in
you and your family through personal history preservation.
It does not have to be a full-blown book, although that is often the
most rewarding option. You can do a short video piece, oral history or smaller
project, like a tribute book for a wedding, anniversary or graduation.
Telling a life story is a gift that truly keeps on giving. I created
this site not just as an opportunity for me to create writing
opportunities, but to introduce and educate others on the value of your
story. Please feel free to contact
me or visit the Get
Started section for more information.
December already! This time of year seems to rush by, but it is the
time when I really want to have it slow down so I can savor the season.
Our society does tend to make it all too busy and commercialized.
Remember, it is not what you buy, but how you give.
I'm excited to finally have the finished book in my hands that I've
been working on most of the year. Jeannette's Story
is the life story of Jeannette L. Morris as told to me and we've worked
together on this autobiography for many months. During this time we've
grown close and shared a lot. The process is rewarding, but the end
product is the important thing to share with others. Jeannette wanted
to do her story for years, but it took working with a personal
historian to make it a reality.
Everybody has a story to tell!
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