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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #033 – Life Caching
September 24, 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

September 24, 2006
Issue-033 – Life Caching

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: Hello, Old Friend
Featured Article: Life Caching
Resources You Can Use: Your Life Changing Event, Family Legacy Video Workshop, the MemoryGrabber
Closing Info

Opening Remarks: Hello, Old Friend

My friend, John, called me the other day. He and I go back many years. We were college roommates and we also worked together in radio broadcasting. We know each other well and even if months go by without speaking once when we reconnect our conversations become engaging dialogue. We’ll talk about everything, including our love of music, our wish for radio formats that are truly creative and challenging, humor over various life situations, and discussions on philosophy. It’s just easy to talk to John, and I sense the same is true for him.

Longtime friends are treasures in life. We all need people we can be honest with. It’s also important to have friends who can do a little “straight talk” and help us get the perspective our sometimes self-centered blind spots block us from.

In many ways John and I have traveled a similar path, even though we’ve been separated geographically for many years now. His story is his and mine is mine, but our stories intertwine. Maybe this is why talking with John ends up being so rewarding. We get to talking and we recollect the road we’ve traveled.

Keep in touch with your friends. Pick up the phone, send an email, or better yet, write a real letter.

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: Life Caching

By Tom Gilbert

"I'm just wondering why I feel so all alone Why I'm a stranger in my own life" — Sheryl Crow, from Everyday is a Winding Road

"The unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates

I addition to working as a personal historian I have a job in radio broadcasting. It has been a career for me for over thirty years. I believe this experience helps me both with how to interview people and also to spot trends in our society. I am plugged in to the media and I’m on the Internet (a lot!), so it is a natural part of each day to see information that continues to point at the growing interest people have in recording experiences and memories.

"Life Caching" is a term I’ve recently found being tossed around on the Internet (see this article at People love to collect and it is not limited to possessions. While a more common way of collecting and preserving memories in the past has been photo albums and scrapbooks technology has now made it possible to essentially record our lives on the go. Cell phones can take pictures and record videos. iPods can play podcasts featuring everything from music to lectures and seminars to rambling stream-of-consciousness thoughts. The advances in digital video recorders and the accompanying software to make your own DVD’s is mind boggling considering the type of equipment we were using just a few years ago. You can store much with digital devices and digital storage is the future of preserving our memories, be it web sites or your computer hard drive.

The success of You Tube shows that some people are willing to share their life history with complete strangers, as evidenced by the 79-year old man in England who goes by the "handle" geriatric1927. He’s been posting videos (see here) relating his life experiences and has struck a chord with many people who are posting their comments and sending him email feedback.

Now I admit I use some of today’s technology. Most of it is out of necessity, such as a notebook computer complete with recording equipment so my interviews with people are recorded digitally right to the computer. However, I sense that many people might be intimidated with all this new technology. And even if you are talented in using recording devices you can still benefit from those who work in the personal history field to assemble your story. A professional end product is a great keepsake and legacy, although even do-it-yourself efforts are better than not preserving your story at all.

Emerging technology will impact future generations. Never before has the opportunity to "tell your story" become so quick and accessible. I also think there may a growing nostalgia for the "good ole' days" when people wrote letters by hand and hung out chatting on their porches. I, for one, would like to see both flourish. We need the new tools. But we also need to stay intimate and willing to spend quality face-to-face time. Sometimes writing down your thoughts and memories in a journal adds depth to cherished memories and times together that a video or recording will fail to capture.

I’ll continue to watch this trend of life caching. I hope that you will strongly consider how to tell your story. High tech or pen and paper – it matters not as long as you do something to share your life with others.

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

Resources You Can Use

Your Life Changing Event

I’ve noticed an increase in interest in life changing events and life changing stories by visitors to my web site. Writing a short book about your life changing event can be quite revealing. It will give you insight into your life values and it will also share a powerful part of who you are with others. Life changing events can be a personal milestone, 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 and feel free to contact me for more information.

Family Legacy Video Workshop

A lot of people own video cameras. Wouldn’t it be great to learn how to create your own video biography? You can and Steve Pender will teach you various techniques to produce a professional quality video biography at his upcoming workshop to be held November 10-12 in Tucson, Arizona. The three days will be filled with hands-on techniques that take you through the process from pre-interviewing, to actual recording techniques, lighting and staging, and then how to edit properly utilizing your computer, adding music and much more. You can get details here at Family Legacy Video.

The MemoryGrabber

I continue to use Michael Boyter’s great MemoryGrabber resource. It’s just fantastic for getting you started on writing an autobiography, memoir or life story with lots of great questions, ideas for stimulating memories and tips. I frequently use it when working with clients to help write their stories and it’s a "steal" at just $12.95. To find out more visit Family History Products .

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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