Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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A recent "Ask Fortune Small Business" segment about getting into the
personal history business gives some insight into what I find true
about the work of preserving life stories (story at CNNMoney.com).
I do it primarily because I think it is important and
valuable. Still, I must see some financial return for my time and
The Internet is helping a great deal in making it easier and more
affordable to have a life story in a variety of formats - book, CD,
DVD, etc. I find that every project is different, but it is
possible to give a ballpark estimate to a project when you figure out
how much time goes into it. If you are considering working
with a personal historian you should find out if they will give a free
initial consultation. I always do. You can get more
at the Get Started
For those of you who are in the personal history business and looking
for ways to reach more people through the web you should consider
marketing through this site. My traffic has consistently
grown and the majority of visitors are interested specifically in
preserving their life story. I can help you generate
qualified leads for your service. Drop
me an email to find out more.
Pender is a video biographer and video specialist working in the field
of personal histories and life stories. I've written about him before.
He does interesting and good work.
Steve scored some new publicity from the Tuscon Citizen about
idea of his. He and his company, Family Legacy Video, Inc,
have recently expanded their services to focus on your best friend -
your pet. He calls the service a Pet Legacy video and according to
Steve, it "allows the pet owners to capture and preserve the story of
their pets and them together, the impact their pets had on their lives."
I love the title of the article about this - Dogumentary captures whole
family (read it here). Dogumentary - what
a great word!
Some Presidents Day holiday musing on the life of Abrahahm Lincoln.
It's remarkable to me that he endured so much heartache,
tragedy, melancholy and depression in his life, but was such an amazing
leader. He persevered. He led the country through a
civil war. He faced the grim realities with faith and
courage. He wasn't perfect and he certainly wasn't
pollyanish. I'm sure he anguished over things many times.
But what a triumph of a life, even though it was cut short by
an assassin's bullet.
While there circulates embellished stories of Lincoln's life hardships
(the "he never quit" is the most popular - see this entry at snopes.com that deals with many urban legends
and exaggerations) our 16th president should always be viewed as fine
example of facing life's challenges. He's an inspiration to
Hip, slick and cool. Did you ever consider yourself to be
that way? Maybe you think you are now. Some friends and I
were talking today about how we used to think we were "where it's at"
and that we were once "hip, slick and cool".
What we once considered to be hip can change over time. Although there
are still certain things - some music particularly - that I still
consider to be hip and good.
It is funny to me now to think about how obsessed I once was with being
cool. I guess when you get older you don't try so hard for that, mainly
because it is harder to achieve. But, I'll cop to wanting to be
perceived as cool at times.
In your life reminiscence it is helpful to look at how your values and
perceptions change over time and why. Your life story is more
than just a record of places and events over time. It is what
it means to you and you can share that to the benefit of others.
Well, it is almost Valentine's Day. That's the big romantic holiday and
lots of cards, candy, flowers and jewelry will be exchanged.
Nothing wrong with that. But I hope if you have a significant
other that you also spend time expressing your love by spending time
sharing as friends.
I've been very fortunate that my wife and I have remained married for
over 22 years now. We met when we both worked at the same radio station
many years ago. And we were friends before we dated and
became romantically involved. I think that was beneficial.
In November I wrote about a service that will write about your
courtship stories. With Valentine's Day nearly here it seems
a good time to remind you of Ellen
I think she offers a very good product.
Have you ever heard of Mel
Walsh? She's a columnist and I knew next to nothing about
her prior to now, but I was tipped to her
blog by some member of the APH
and her entry today is great. It's about how you have a story and it is
important and your children and grandchildren would appreciate it.
Sound familiar? Yes, it's the same theme I reiterate here. Everyone has a
story to tell.
Mel writes about how she wished she knew more about her own
grandparents. During the depression they took in a very large number of
their family. People were living on the couch, in the attic, in all the
bedrooms - wherever they could squeeze them in!
Her blog states at the top of her website that she is an author, radio
host, columnist and spokesperson for the new older adult. Her remarks
in this blog post are right on target for why you should preserve your
story - be it a written memoir, audio or video product. Even
just writing down something is a start. But her recommendation to use
professionals - personal historians like you can find through the
Association of Personal Historians (www.personalhistorians.org)
- is worth serious consideration. I continue to learn so much
from my peers in life story work. Visit
her blog post for February 8. Then put some thought into getting started.
The craft of biography writing doesn't seem to have the support on the
academic level that it should. However, the Center for Humanities at
the City University of New York Graduate Center is looking to change
that. With support from the Leon Levy Foundation they will be offering
year-long paid (about $60,000 a year) residencies to a few biographers.
They also intend to present lectures, conferences and other activities.
As reported in The
Biographer's Craft monthly ezine, "It is going to be big,"
according to David Nasaw, Executive Director of the Center for the
Humanities whose biography of Andrew Carnegie was a Pulitzer Prize
finalist in 2007. Read more here.
Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. A big party.
You probably have memories of Mardi Gras celebrations. Even if you
don't you've heard about the parties. This year New Orleans
probably jumpin'. It's been two and a half years since Hurricane
Katrina. It is still taking a while for the city to come back from the
devastation, but progress is being made.
The hardest hit area of New Orleans by Katrina was the Lower 9th Ward.
The Make it Right
foundation is a charity helping to rebuild homes in that area. Brad
Pitt (actor and founder of MIR) is using his celebrity status to help
the cause. He says it's "not a handout, but a hand up".
There were many stories from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.
Now with the rebuilding there will be new stories. Stories of
overcoming the challenges and people working together to help. How the
human spirit rises to meet difficult conditions is always a worthy
story to tell.