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For those of you familiar with my site you've probably explored the
journal writing ideas (here).
One of the resources I endorse is Doreene Clement's 5
Year Journal. Doreene is
both an excellent writer and a good motivator. Much of that
comes from her very real drive for survival. She is a cancer
survivor, and a survivor the doctors held out very little hope for.
Doreene was diagnosed with two kinds of rare breast cancer and was told
she would die without immediate surgery. However, she believed she
would die in the surgery. She opted instead for alternative medicine
in Mexico. It was a long journey that she chronicled and shared with
Now, cancer free and a cancer victor, Doreene needs additional
treatments to obtain total health.
And She Needs Your
Help. And You Can Help For Only ONE Dollar! I don't
normally pitch for
charitable causes through my website, however I think Doreene's case is
well-deserving. Plus, she's
only asking for ONE dollar. If enough people help out that will add up.
Even more important,
Doreene finds a way to give back to her readers and provides great
products like the 5 Year Journal.
Here's the website address. Take a look and consider sending your
Today is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
This powerful storm devastated much of the Gulf Coast.
Orleans the levees broke and much of the city was underwater.
A year later there are still parts of the city without
electricity. It is a long rebuilding process ahead.
Other towns, like Biloxi, Mississippi, suffered, too.
However, I find myself drawn to the stories of the survivors.
Truly there is evidence that the human spirit is hardy,
especially amidst tragedy and when people reach out to help each other
and let their faith and spirituality work through them. There
are some very powerful stories
recorded for an oral history project for Katrina survivors by Abe
Louise Young, an Austin Poet (but native of New Orleans) who felt
compelled to give these people
the dignity of being heard. More on After
Flood: Stories of Survival - go
Kitty Axelson-Berry is the founder of the Association
that I've frequently written about. I'm a
member of this outstanding not-for-profit association of professionals
dedicated to the craft of preserving personal history.
As more people discover the value of writing their memoirs there is the
ongoing revelation of how family members get intriguing insights
from the authors. You can be pleasantly, or not so
pleasantly, surprised by the content. This is why it is
important for anyone writing their memoir to carefully consider the
impact of their story on friends and family. Axelson-Berry
knows this well from her many years with her business, Modern Memoirs.
She and others are mentioned in yet another article about the
growing trend of writing and self-publishing memoirs. You can
read Keeping memories -
and love - alive in the Republican online here.
If you check the dates of my entries you can see some time has passed
since my last entry. Alas, I had a computer crash and could
not update my site. However, I now have a nice new Dell
computer and I'm back in business.
It has been a bit frustrating to not be able to update you the past
couple of weeks on the continuing media coverage I'm seeing for the
personal history field. There's a lot of exciting
If you get a chance be sure to visit the story from the San Francisco
Chronicle (Sunday, August 20) that talks about developments in the
field of personal history. You can read the article online here.
I live in a desert, a high desert actually, so the climate can be hot
in the summer and cold in the winter and quite dry most of the time.
The first half of this year in Albuquerque was practically bone dry. We
didn't have much snow this past winter so the snowpack in the mountains
was much less than we need.
However, the last 2-3 weeks we've been getting an unusual amount of
rain. It seems that every afternoon or evening clouds roll in,
sometimes majestic thunderheads. Then the thunder, the lightning and
sudden downpours. Even now as I type this the television is reporting
the possibility of flash floods.
It's odd to realize that even with all our recent rain we are still in
a significant drought. The rains may have eased the immediate dryness
and fire danger, but we still have a long ways to go to replenish our
I do like the change in weather. Despite the uncomfortable higher
humidity (although nothing like some places) it is great to smell the
rain, watch the lightning and hear the thunder and the sound of rain
beating on the roof. I just wish I could get my dog to quite whining.
He's a big labrador/chow mix and spends most of the time outdoors. We
have a nice covered patio so he's fine when it rains. But because he's
been inside during the more intense showers now he thinks he is
supposed to be in all the time. So Shadow whines,
barks and scratches at the back patio door even when the weather is
fine. It's funny how quickly animals can be imprinted and how it
affects their behavior.
Here's more evidence of the growing popularity of everyday people
telling their stories. An article titled "Other Voices" by Kiera Butler
in the July/August issue of Columbia Journalism Review profiles
the growing radio documentary trend popularized by Ira Glass' "This
American Life", David Isay's founding of StoryCorps, and more. It
supports my belief that "everyone has a story to tell".
Article online here.
of the greatest autobiographies written comes
from the pen of the great American statesman, Benjamin Franklin. He
wrote, "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and
rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the
writing." Certainly he did many things worth reading about. You can
view his autobiography on line here.
honor of Ben Franklin's 300th birthday the
Tercentenary and One Book, One Philadelphia invited today’s
Philadelphians to submit a memoir of their own, using no more than 300
words. At the end of the project – May 17, 2006 – a
panel of judges selected twenty autobiographies to appear on bus
shelters throughout the city. The contributors vary in age, from young
to old, and you can find the stories and learn more about the project
by visiting the Autobiography Project