Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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April 27, 2014
I love living in New Mexico. We have a varied landscape (deserts,
mesas, mountains, rivers and incredible skies). We have over 300 days
of sunshine. And hardly ever do we have severe weather such as
tornadoes or disasters like earthquakes. Nary a hurricane.
But oh, we do have wind. Wild wind. Sometimes in the Spring it becomes
oppressive. The sustained 25-40 mph winds will cloud the sky with dust
and obscure the mountains. Tumbleweeds go a-tumbling. Hang on to your
hat, small pets and children!
Sometimes I like the wind. It played an interesting part in the
reminiscence I wrote about a walk with my son years ago (The Walk). But when it is windy like the three day
wind storm we are currently experiencing it becomes frustrating. Nobody
wants to be outside. The howling through the walls and the shuddering
of the windows (wind - ohs)
makes for some scary sounds. And because I live at the end of a
cul-de-sac, the trash and leaves from everyone up the street ends up in
my front yard.
Eventually Mother Nature will stop blowing so hard. Warm and sunny days
are ahead. Birds will sing and we will smile. But for now it's batten
down the hatches.
Projects and Tracking Your Life Events
April 22, 2014
If you are a busy person with lots of projects to keep track of, then
you need to find a way to stay on top of them. There are all kinds of
time management systems with sophisticated day planners. Many of them
Other people are good with just keeping a daily to-do list.
For me, a good system is essential. It's not that I am what of those
guys who has every little thing planned out. If anything, I have to
fight against the tendency to fly by the seat of my pants. But I've had
far too many jobs where I've needed to keep track of things. This is
very true with personal history projects.
I have mentioned some of the fine techniques I've learned, like making
a memory list. Having a list of significant events in your life that
you continually update can be extremely valuable when you are writing
about your life. A good list will make it possible to always have
something to write about. Essentially, you will never have writer's
The system that has worked for me now for several years is The Journal Software by DavidRM
Software. It is such an excellent tool for journaling, but on top of
that I can create endless categories and sub entries for projects. It
really helps me keep track of various clients and potential clients.
Additionally, I can easily review past days, months or years of journal
entries. It is a powerful and searchable software system.
If you haven't investigated The
Journal, take a look at more information I provide here. I avidly recommend this
system and DavidRM allows you to even try it for free for 45 days. Take
it for a test drive!
April 17, 2014
Sometimes we have stories in our families that are really hard to talk
about. Therefore, they are hard to write. People want to keep those
skeletons in the closet. But as another personal historian loves to
say, bring those skeletons out of the closet and make them dance!
A recent NY Times story is a
great example of a tough family story that ultimately redeems. An
alcoholic sculptor abandons his wife and daughter and then dies under
mysterious circumstances. The daughter was quite young at the time, but
as she grew up she had questions and she went searching for answer. Her
father had loved her deeply and she needed to know for herself what his
life story meant to her; not her mother's version, but hers. What the Sea Took Away, a Daughter Restores is beautifully written. A poignant
Marathon Runner Shalane Flanagan
April 14, 2015
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the tragic bombing that shook
Boston at their iconic Marathon Race finish line. Knowing what it is
like to complete a marathon (I've done two) and seeing the news
footage, it all put me in a sad and fowl mood at the time. I wrote
about it on this
very blog. But as the stories of heroism and strength unfolded, I
once again fell in love with the beautiful souls of true heroes. Some
people are not out looking for attention. These silent heroes respond
by jumping into action when horrible events happen. At the bombings
some helped rescue or comfort the wounded; others housed displaced
runners and family members. The accounts that came out of Boston
resonate with the strength of the human spirit.
A year later and there is a hometown favorite who has a real chance of
winning the women's division of this year's Boston Marathon (set for
Monday, April 21). Shalane Flanagan has running in her genes. Both her
parents were world class marathon runners. Although Shalane has only
been running marathons since 2010, she has demonstrated her ability.
And this year it is personal. Although she now lives in Portland,
Oregon, she has returned frequently to Boston to run the course as part
of her training for this year's race. As she put it in her interview
with Anderson Cooper which aired on CBS' 60 Minutes, "I am all-in with this
training. It's my ultimate dream and goal to win the Boston Marathon".
You can watch her inspiring interview here.
Modern Day North
April 7, 2014
My buddy, Rolland Love, writer in the vein of Mark Twain, expert
fisherman, and cofounder of Imastory,
tipped me to something his business partner in the Imastory.com
personal history project is currently doing. Apparently Mark Andresen
isn't just a tech wizard; he's a real life adventurer!
Currently Mark is teemed with his explorer friend, Mike Ketchmark, on a
trip to the North Pole. They are doing it with dog sleds, their wits
and blogging their journey via Imastory. So far they've encountered
bitter cold (no surprise), a large group of polar bears, uncooperative
dogs, some treacherous ice and a lifetime of memories. As Rolland puts
it, "Two men, a dozen sled dogs, a couple of tents, no bath for 30 days
and K-rations". Follow their journey at www.imastory.com/northpole/.