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Sep 28, 2014

Baseball Season and Jeter Era End

Derek Jeter is a rare breed in baseball these days. Not only did he play his entire career with one team, the storied New York Yankees, he also played with incredible passion and integrity.

The regular season ended today and the post-season is about to start and there are great stories for the teams that will continue in the playoffs.

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Sep 23, 2014

Personal Historian Libby Atwater Has Helped Others, Now Finally Tells Her Own Story

Yes, of course, people should tell their stories! This is the rallying cry from just about all personal historians. We encourage, motivate and inspire others to tell their life stories. We work hard to gather material, interview, organize and help put the finished product together for those willing to hire us. And yet, many of us fail to do the same thing for ourselves. Hmmm, practice what you preach, anyone?

Nice to see that Libby Atwater (, a Personal Historian and longtime member of the Association of Personal Historians, has finally finished and published her memoir, What Lies Within. And it turns out that after ten years getting it done she realized there is more to tell and she is hard at work on a sequel.

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Sep 16, 2014

Going the Distance

Going the distance, be that a long distance run or accomplishing any goal in life, is important to me. I know from my own experience that the times I've wanted to quit or give up, yet persevered, have been some of the best learning situations.

Sunday I ran another half marathon. That's 13.1 miles. Running and going the distance is part of a theme for a memoir I am working on.

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Sep 11, 2014

Dog Days of 9/11

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 I am in a reflective mood. Of course, I am not alone, as all of us who remember the horror of that day of terrorist attacks can't help but recall where we were when we saw or heard the events that unfolded on that morning.

What always moves me each anniversary is learning more of the heroic tales of those who helped amid the tragedy. Today on the Today Show (NBC) I learned about a service dog that is believed to be the last surviving search dog who worked at Ground Zero in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Sep 09, 2014

Laughing Matters

I have continued to think about how important having a sense of humor can be, both in life and in our life stories. The recent death of yet another celebrity, Joan Rivers, certainly keeps this top of mind. Joan was fearless when it came to comedy; no subject was off limits. Her brash approach could offend, but she also found truth in the "brass tacks".

A post on the blog of the Association of Personal Historians speaks of the importance of humor in personal histories. In What's So Funny Ruby Peru expresses her views of how humor is important in our stories, but warns against approaching it as "the funny parts". Rather, she encourages storytellers to recognize the part humor plays in our lives.

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Sep 03, 2014

Humor Helps

Humor in a story can help in a number of ways. For one thing, it can create common ground. We’ve all had suffering. But don't we all enjoy a good joke or a funny antidote?

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Sep 01, 2014

Your-Life-Your-Story - My Life Story Blog Archives, August, 2014

An archive of previous My Life Story blog entries from August, 2014 regarding personal history, life story writing and more.

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Aug 25, 2014

Flights of Fancy Storytelling

Hiring a personal historian can be a significant investment. But can you put a price tag on your own family story? Many people think of it as priceless.

The Washington Post published an article listing some very good reasons for hiring a personal historian to preserve family history. In particular, they highlighted how the Lanning family used their intergenerational history of piloting planes across the wild blue yonder to preserve their stories.

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Aug 18, 2014

Doing Life Without Parole

For the most part the stories of people's lives tackled from the motivation of preserving personal history have a self interest, either by the subject of the story or the family members who crave to know more about loved ones.

Today I read about a reporter who is interested in getting the stories of lifers, people convicted of life sentences without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years. I think this can yield an interesting perspective.

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Aug 13, 2014

Helping the Elderly Preserve Memories

Everyone has an older family member who has told them stories of the past. If you grew up listening to grandma’s tales of war and wash days, you may have shut your ears off because you’re more interested in the present. But stories passed down through the generations leave an important legacy for families.

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