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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #032 – After the Storm
August 29, 2006

"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

August 29, 2006
Issue-032 – After the Storm

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: August Gusto
Featured Article: After the Storm
Resources You Can Use: Your Life Changing Event, Write from the Inside, iMemoryBook
Closing Info

Opening Remarks: August Gusto

This month seems to have flown by! I’ve had lots of work and various projects all going at once and it’s been a full month. But it is still good (and important) to pause, be grateful for the moment, and re-connect with the important things like friends and family.

I had dinner the other night with a fellow writer. Lissa Ann Forbes was down from Colorado on a book signing tour for her new release, Write From the Inside. This book contains many great tips and ideas on how to get your story down on paper and she uses personal experiences and lots of helpful suggestions and encouragement for you, the reader. The inspiration for her book came from her regular email newsletter. Every three weeks she writes and sends out an e-zine with thoughtful writing that I look forward to. We really enjoyed breaking bread and talking “shop”. We both share a passion for people’s stories and the importance of the personal/family history genre.

September and the Labor Day weekend loom on the horizon. Before you know it the weather will cool, the leaves will turn colors and another change in the seasons will be upon us. However, we must all take time to pause and remember that a year ago today Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I hope you read this month’s featured article, After the Storm.

I thank all of you who are reading this newsletter and visiting my site about life story writing. I hope that you are finding helpful information and motivation. You can always 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. It is a special thing to share with you life story writing and personal history tips, resources and thoughts. If you like what you read here, you can pass it along to a friend. 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: After the Storm

By Tom Gilbert

August 29, 2005 one of the strongest hurricanes to hit land in United States history crashed onto the Gulf Coast shores of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The destruction was massive. The levees broke in New Orleans and flooded the Crescent City with widespread destruction. Biloxi, Mississippi was also devastated. Close to 2,000 people lost their lives in the storm’s wake. Many more had their lives uprooted by Hurricane Katrina. A year later there have been memorial services and stories about what has happened since. Certainly there is frustration for those still trying to get their lives back on track. The burden on government agencies, insurance companies, schools and hospitals is immense. However, through it all there are the tales of courage that give heart and inspiration to us all.

After the Flood: Stories of Survival by Abe Louis Young includes survivor stories she recorded over many interviews as part of an oral history project for Katrina/New Orleans evacuees. She is an Austin poet, but a New Orleans native, who felt compelled to do something after Katrina and has dedicated countless hours to gathering these personal histories. You can discover more at

Others have written and commented about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast regions battered by the hurricane and they give us a greater insight. You can search the Internet and find sites like Heroes of the Flood by Aaron Freeman and the RememberRebirth Virtual Media Center.

Sharon Keating is a life-long resident of New Orleans and she provides travel and tourism tips to web visitors of with her Go New Orleans features. One of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans was the Ninth Ward and Keating’s memories of this district speak fondly of the culture and history. I had to smile at one of her recollections. “I went to high school in the ninth ward. Most of the buildings of our high school pre-dated the civil war, and once my friend Jean and I spent a whole week in detention for sneaking into the attic to read diaries from young girls who lived at the school with the nuns during the civil war.”

Spike Lee, the acclaimed director, has created a documentary, When the Levees Broke . Lee structured the documentary in four parts that includes the approach of Katrina, the emergency response and failures, a look at New Orleans culture and then the recovery efforts. Currently airing on HBO.

It will take many years for the physical and emotional recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast areas. The powerful stories of survivors and others affected are part of our country’s history and tales important to tell and preserve.

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

Resources You Can Use

Your Life Changing Event

The one year anniversary of the devastating Hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, are a reminder that there can be significant events in our lives that impact us in life-changing ways. They don’t have to be a tragedy, although they can be. They might also be a personal achievement, a career highlight, the love of your life or a spiritual awakening. A short memoir-styled book can be a great way to record, preserve and communicate your personal “life changing event”. If you are interested in how I can help you with this project visit this link.

Write From the Inside

Lissa Ann Forbes has just released a book that encourages everyone to look inside and find those memories and special times in your life and get them down on paper. In Write From the Inside Lissa is your guide and she shares her personal experiences as well as providing good prompting and suggestions on how to do the same with this delightful “language of the heart” book available from her at The Elemental Press.

The iMemoryBook

A great way to share your life story is with the iMemoryBooks. It’s very affordable and easy to build your story online and then have it printed with a beautiful hard or soft cover and with the artwork you want.

There are a couple of ways to do this. You can buy the main package for less than $200 and your story will be online forever as well as getting one hardcover book. Plus, you can affordably order additional books and because your story stays online (password protected so you can share it only with those you choose to) you can update it in the future. Or you can use the Heirloom package for just $49.95 that allows you to follow the same process. Plus, you get a $37 coupon towards the cost of your project that gives you a 25 page full-color or 150 page black and white hardbound book. For more information and to get started visit 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

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