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Your Life Is Your Story, Issue #004 -- Horn Toads and Journaling
January 28, 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

January 28, 2004

Issue-005 - Horn Toads and Journaling

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer

Opening Remarks: Your Story Continues

Typically in January we start thinking about our plans, goals and dreams for another year. This is good. But, don’t get so caught up in planning for the future that you don’t live for today.

Keeping a journal is a good way to stay in touch with your present while planning for the future. I find it a wonderful way to track my progress and also just to process what I’m going through. If you aren’t journaling you should start. If you already do, keep doing it. If you like to use your computer be sure to read about "The Journal" software below (our current life story resource featured on our "Highlight Site" page).

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: Your Story Continues
*Featured Article: Hot Horned Frog
*Resources you can use: "The Journal"

Feature Article: : Hot Horned Toad

Many people want to write about their life in some fashion. I want to encourage you and remind you that the process begins with taking small steps. For instance, practice free-writing about certain times in your life. Pull out a memory and let the creative juices flow. It’s not hard – it’s fun.

Here’s an example from my life:

The world of a ten year old is mystical and awkward at the same time.

I remember being all elbows and knees that summer of 1966. We were stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, which wasn’t in Little Rock at all, but in the nearby town of Jacksonville. My brother, Doug, younger by a year and a half, and I would spend most days running about the neighborhood. Sometimes we rode bikes, other times we’d pull the beat up Red Flyer wagon. The horned toads would ride along in the wagon. I found it was too hard to keep them in my pocket while riding the bike.

One day we left a horned toad in the wagon and discovered to our shock (and fascination!) that it had fried on the hot metal. I felt a bit bad about it, as we didn’t intend for it to meet such an ignoble end. Yet, it did look pretty cool, all flattened and shriveled. The smell was not welcome around the house, so I think we buried it in the woods behind the house.

The Sullivan boys were our main companions. Their dad was a full-bull colonel and ours was still a major, but we didn’t bother with petty ranking systems. No, we were more interested in who could do the best funny voice impersonations. The Sullivan twins always won for the Irish brogue. It was no contest! I did a fair English cockney and a passable LBJ. I think it was LBJ. Then again, this could be my imagination inflated by age and the past 35 years.

I do recall the puppet shows. We’d transport the simple cardboard box set in the wagon and we had a couple of goofy marionettes. If you’ve ever tried to make them walk and move with any grace you appreciate the challenge. Still, we’d do our own version of a "Punch and Judy". Our best audience was always our three cats: Snoopy, Peanuts and Susie. Mom would applaud, of course, because she was, well…Mom.

(You can read more of my "life story writing" at the Sample Writing page.)

Resources you can use: "The Journal"

The Award-Wining Journal Software

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 started using it a few months ago 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.

What makes "The Journal" different and better?

It’s really much more than just a diary. This is a powerful personal journaling tool. I like to write and I’ve kept a journal for years on my computer as just a word processor document. When I started using The Journal I realized how much more productive and organized I can be because of this software.

It’s really easy to use and comes with some great templates for writing, journaling and other types of prose. These templates even give you some helpful writing prompts. There are some other practical templates like a simple daily log and a food log (track those calories!).

The Journal is well-organized. You can find your entries easily with a superb calendar feature and create multiple categories (work, fun, spiritual, creative writing) limited only by your imagination.

An added benefit is the version of The Journal that incorporates the fantastic Memorygrabber that I also use and frequently endorse. This makes it especially useful for family historians.

Try it free for 45 days. You can get more information here.

You can also find out more about the award-winning The Journal software by visiting our Highlight Site page.

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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