Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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I watched the ABC News
Primetime special last night on Randy Pausch. You may have heard of him.
A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University
known for his developments in virtual reality, he was diagnosed with
terminal pancreatic cancer in September 2006. He spent the
last months of his life inspiring others and giving of himself to his
wife and three young children. His bestseller, The Last
Lecture, documents this journey.
Terminal illness is challenging for anyone to face. And
pancreatic cancer can be particularly tough. My mother died
from it two years ago. Pausch, like my mother, accepted the
fate, certainly had sorrow about it, but then did the marvelous thing
of directing others to live for each moment. The legacy we
leave should be that we live our lives to the fullest.
Randy Prousch died at the age of 47 last Friday, July 25. But
he will continue to inspire countless others. See this ABC story.
Guess who's turning 50? Perhaps it is you - more and more
boomers are marking their golden anniversary. But I was
referring to the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
On July 29, 1958 then President Eisenhower signed the act
that established NASA.
Space exploration and the NASA missions are etched into my childhood
memory. I recall watching the TV coverage and dreaming of
becoming an astronaut. While that dream did not become a
reality, I did enjoy following the space race and even building and
flying model rockets with my brother (see
NASA has a fascinating website rich in information about the
organization's missions, history as well as activity today.
From the July/August AARP
Bulletin: More people are planning their
funerals and utilizing some new services. Two of them are
offered online, one in England and the other in America. The
allows members to choose the
music for their funeral, where and how their burial will take place and
help fellow loved ones to be prepared with access to important
information members choose to provide for them
The similar site in London, YourDeathWish.com
offers many of the same
services. Members can join an online community and share
their ideas. One member calls them, "Going away parties".
Clever. And the tone of the site is upbeat - you can't escape
death, so accept it and have a little fun.
It's not morbid to plan ahead for your funeral. And it can
help ease the pain for those left behind. But the most
important thing is to communicate to your family and friends your love
and your values. The world becomes a better place when we do
Larry King, CNN talk-show host (his show has run in the same time slot
for 21 years), has certainly interviewed just about anyony and
everyone. And his own life is full of drama, including seven
But couldn't Weinstein books come up with a better title for
his autobiography than What
Am I Doing Here? Story here on Reuters about the
The journey from thought process to printed page can be long, arduous
and even painful. It can also be joyful and carthatic.
You might be an atrocious speller, bad writer and afraid of a
computer. But still your story can be done. It just takes the
help of someone who knows how.
a great story about Michael Oke of Bound Biographies and how
he's helping others with their life stories. The Life and Tomes of an Aid-Memoir appeared a few days ago
in the Telegraph,
"Britain's No. 1 quality newspaper website".
Oke has assisted in at least 140 books for his various clients and
serves in four different roles. "I'm a friend, a secretary, an editor
and a gentle bully" he states.
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Robb
Lucy. He is writing a book that explores the idea of legacy
and the importance
of thinking about it and living it right now. Your legacy is not simply
the inheritance you pass on or the “goodbye talk”.
We all should be
living lives that make a difference. What that means varies for each of
us, but as Robb likes to say, it should be a legacy that makes you
smile. Check out his blog, Your Legacy Smile.
Here's another example of the growing credibility of memoir, biography,
and life story writing. Across the Atlantic at City College
in London they are offering a Master's degree in creative non-fiction
writing that embraces writing about your life (or that of another).
It's been said the memoir is the new novel. It's true enough
that many people have spectacular life experiences that are riveting to
read about. Having the skills to write about it in a way that
captures the reader's imagination is important.
The article, The
hottest new writing degrees are in specialist non-fiction,
by Nick Jackson is online here at The Independent.
Isn't it nice to be able to go for a nice stroll in your neighborhood?
It's also great if you live within walking distance of stores
and places you like to visit.
Walking is good for you. It can be social, and of course, it's good for
the environment. The less you drive the less gasoline you
have to buy, which at $4 plus a gallon and rising is a concern to us
I discovered a website that rates the "walkability" of neighborhoods.
Want to find out the score for where you live, or some place
you'd like to? Visit how walkscore works
and you can get the results. They also use Google map
technology to aid in the report. I found that my neighborhood
has a score of 51 out of 100. That didn't surprise me. There are a few
places within a half mile to a full mile that I could easily walk to,
including a grocery store, hardware store, fitness center, coffee shop,
movie theater and a sports bar (where my wife and I have frequently
The goal of WalkScore
is to promote walkable communities. That might be more
important as you age.
And on the theme of walking, if you've never read the short story I
wrote about a walk with my son (when he was seven), it's on my Sample Writing
page. It seems to strike a chord with many readers and it was
a true life experience that I will always treasure.
Today my daughter and her boyfriend left for a trip "down under".
They are traveling to New Zealand and Australia.
Truly, it is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am thrilled
that they are getting the opportunity to do this in their youth. They
are traveling with a group from here, all headed to the World Youth Day 2008.
Is there a particular trip you've taken in your life that has special
significance? Traveling and vacations are life events rich in potential
for your life story. When a full life story is not an option a shorter
project such as your favorite vacation or memorable travels can be the
way to go. I envision a 50 page book with many photographs
that would make a great keepsake as well as an important part of your
I've frequently recommended the MemoryPress
option for your book and it would be ideal for a project such as this.
Have you investigated this great service yet? More here.
Hot dogs. Parades. Flags. Fireworks.
It's Independence Day in the States. The July 4th Holiday is
a time to celebrate our freedoms. Do we take any of it for
granted? Are we humble in recognizing our many blessings?
Have a safe and happy holiday. If you get a chance, remind
yourself of the roots of this day of the United States. You
can read the Declaration
of Independence online here.
Jim Loehr, author of The
Power of Story, makes the point in his book that "The
stories you tell yourself about your life can either help you or hinder
I'm sure there is some truth in that. If you want to succeed
in anything you need persistence and confidence. And faith
If you are writing about your life consider the importance of purpose
and meaning in your life, including what you yet want to accomplish.
Scrap that old life script, write a new story by Wu Jiayin
is online at ShanghaiDaily.com.