Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products,
...and whatever else catches our fancy
It's not unusual for any of us to be self-centered, at least at times.
The cure is to do something to help others. As we
age we begin to recognize the importance, and the value, of giving back.
May 8th is the eighth annual AARP
Day of Service (more here). You can join
with thousands of other people around the country who want to make a
difference by volunteering time and effort to help their communities.
AARP has created a "50 Ways to Make a Difference" to
give you some ideas.
"Let's Make History Together" proclaims a banner across the top of the
home page of www.footnote.com. This
is a wonderful site to do research and find original documents online.
A great deal of the focus is on American veterans who've
served in various conflicts. The site helps you access
archival material from a variety of sources.
The site is more than a source of documents for your research. As they
describe it, "Footnote.com
is more than just an online repository for original documents. In
addition to hosting millions of records, Footnote supports a community
of people that are passionate about a variety of topics relating to
I've bookmarked this site and I'll be exploring it some more.
Here is a good example of how the Internet is continuing to
help us with valuable resources for our life stories.
I've pondered myself the difference betweeen an autobiography and a
memoir and I've been asked the question. The differences are
not that apparent at first. But I came across a blog entry by
Susan Eberling at the WOW!
Women on Writing Blog discussing the subject and I thought
she made some good distinctions.
She wrote, "The purpose of autobiography is to highlight events, people
and places. The purpose of memoir is to take an event and make the
writer’s feelings and experiences real and relatable to the
reader. If a person’s life stands alone and they tell a story
about themselves in terms of history, that seems to be an
autobiography. If the story is the author’s retelling of
their life circumstances, replete with how they felt in the moment and
how they felt afterwards, then this would seem to be memoir."
You can read the full entry here.
If you have never journaled regularly you might wonder what people find
to write about, especially if they are doing it daily. Well,
journaling for me has become a great way to process life, personal
development, have an inner dialogue about life and events, and a
chronicle of my spiritual journey.
Journaling can be quite valuable as reference material for your memoir
or life story writing.
Chartier, a self described Life Style Mentor and Entrepreneur, wrote an
interesting article about how journal writing can be part of your
development strategy. You can read the article here.
I don't know about you, but I find that I can frame many of the aspects
of my life through music. When I hear songs that speak about
life experiences I can often relate to it in a deeper way.
Maybe it simply helps me process my life experiences with
So, throughout my life I've gravitated to those artists who can sing
about the various aspects of life we all experience.
There is a current song by Brad
Paisley that fits well within the
sphere of personal history. In Letter to Me
about his youth and shares in the song what he would say to himself if
he could send a letter back in time to the days of his youth. Do you
remember those times as a
teenager when your emotions and hormones were heightened and you had yet
benefit from the perspective of life experiences you'll have down the
road? The opening lines is, "If
I could write a letter to me and send it back in time to myself at 17".
The song goes on to speak about the importance of living with love, of
not being afraid, hanging in there because things are going to work out
in ways we can't imagine at seventeen. It's a wonderful song
and gives me pause to reflect on my life. There's a lot in this song,
but I especially like these verses:
got so much *up* ahead
You'll make new
friends, you should see your kids and wife
And I'd end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life.
you search bookstores and online you can find lots of resources to help
you compile your life story or some family history.
Naturally, I like to think this site qualifies in providing
some helpful information. Since I spend more time on this
than many of you I am continually coming into contact with other sites
One of the consistently best and most affordable resources (in my
humblie opinion, but echoed by many satisfied customers) is the MemoryGrabber.
This downloadable PDF e-book was created by Michael Boyter of Family History Products
and has been used in university classrooms, in workshops and by
everyday people. Boyter has just updated his fine product and
MemoryGrabber has been re-written with fresh and useful
content and the ability to even include your answers right into the PDF
forms of the e-book if you use the free Foxit
Mental walkthrough exercises, fill in the blank
methodology, life timeline construction, a quick-response
questionaire (which gets the memory juices flowing right away!) and
much more. The MemoryGrabber
is a quality produce and will help you create a "snapshot" of your
life. I like to use it with the clients I help to write their
life stories. And you can't beat the $14.95 price - it really
We all have dreams. Some of us dream of living in harmony
with each other. We dream of a world that celebrates equality, justice,
dignity, compassion and humility.
Forty years ago on this day in Memphis, Tennessee a sniper's bullet
killed a man who had such a dream. Martin Luther King, Jr.
has been celebrated as a man who held high the values of civil rights
and human dignity. Sadly so many dreamers are killed, but
their legacies are not so easily cut down.
You can discover more about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at
the website, www.thekingcenter.org.
Were you a prankster growing up? Maybe you still are? Today
is your day, April Fool's Day.
I'm not big on creating April Fool's jokes, but I enjoy it when I come
across a good one. There have been a number over the years. MuseumofHoaxes.com lists what they
consider the Top 100
April Fool's Hoaxes of All Time. Remember the "Swiss
Spaghetti Harvest" or Taco Bell buying the Liberty Bell?
I was a young teen I scared my mom half out of her wits by telling her
there was a black widow spider behind her in the kitchen. She
nearly collapsed in a panic. Turned out she had been on some
pain medication which made her jumpy with my little prank. I
didn't know that at the time and instantly regretted giving her such a
fright (although her initial reaction was funny).
here's to all of you pranksters on your special day!