Social Network That Helps You Tell Your Life's Story
July 30, 2011
Some people will put just about anything on Facebook, Twitter or other
social networks. Me, I prefer to be a bit more anonymous. But the
evergrowing online trend of social network has an undeniable power to
connect us with others and to think about our lives.
A new social network called Proust,
named after the 19th century French
writer Marcel Proust
because of his infamous questionnaire,
is designed to help you tell your life story by recalling certain
memories through the experiences embedded in your senses and containing
deep meaning. Examples include, "Who was your first kiss?" and "What
was your biggest fear as a child?" But the site also prompts you to
consider some "what-ifs". When you pray, what do you pray for? If your
pet could talk what would he/she say to you?
This is different stuff from other social networks. You might want to
look into it when you are struggling with how to move forward in your
reminiscing and writing. CNET has the story.
Association of Memoir Writers Fantastic One Day Deal
July 28, 2011
I spent some time once again reviewing the difference/benefits of
memoirs versus some other forms of personal history life stories in
this month's newsletter. If you missed it, it's online here.
One of the main things I favor about memoir - perhaps the main thing -
is that memoir can concentrate on a particular part of your life. Not
just the "who, what and where", but most especially the "why". Memoir,
done right, speaks truth. It's the author's truth, to be sure, but
isn't that important? Don't we all want to know our truth? If life is a
journey that has purpose and meaning then I hope you answer with a
The NAMW (National
Association of Memoir Writers) is a group dedicated
to helping you discover the power of memoir, to craft one, and get the
support, insight and tools that every writer needs. Along with
inspiration and motivation (what I think we really need). Right
now they are running a TODAY
ONLY membership drive that saves a healthy
chunk off an annual membership. Heck, they're even rewarding current
members with today's sale. They call it "Christmas in July" and anytime
you can save $40-50 on something as valuable as this it is worth
considering. I know money's tight; believe me, I know. But at least check it out. The offer is good
just today. I want you to find your
truth and NAMW
might just do that. See the offer
Picchu's Discovery 100 Years Ago
July 24, 2011
I loved the Indiana Jones movies. There was great adventure, thrills,
humor and history. The man who stumbled upon the amazing "lost" city in
Peru - Machu Picchu - was something of a real-life Indiana Jones. Hiram
married an heiress to the Tiffany Company fortune which in turn allowed
to travel to exotic global destinations in search of historical
treasures. One hundred years ago today he was
scrambling through a Peruvian rainforest in search of the lost capital
of the Incas, that civilization's supposed refuge during the time they
were resisting the Spanish
conquistadors. What he found instead was Machu Picchu.
This 15th century citadel has become a popular historical tourist
attraction in Peru. It really is a remarkable and beautiful place. The
Incan civilization is one of the fascinating ancient cultures of our
You can read about Hiram Bingham and a newly published biography about
him as a "real-life Indiana Jones" with this review published at IrishTimes.com.
Horizons in Las Vegas
July 22, 2011
The saying is, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".
However, just the opposite should be the case if you decide to attend
the annual Association
of Personal Historians conference October 16-20 in Las
conference is where you discover that you are not alone in your passion
to preserve your life story! Many people (more each day) are entering
into this line of work just as more people are discovering the
importance of telling their story, or the powerful need to have it done
with help from Personal Historians.
When I first started exploring this line of work I thought maybe I'd
discovered a brand new business. The APH both confirms my passion for
this type of work and assures me I'm not alone or the first. Check out
my Upclose look at the Association of Personal
Historians - maybe it will resonate with you.
of Your Town
July 20, 2011
Everybody is from somewhere. The towns we were born in, raised in,
moved to - these places are full of stories. Some of them are yours. Bruce Springsteen sings a poignant
tale about his hometown.
I first moved to Albuquerque in the summer of 1979. At the time I was
living in Norman, Oklahoma, but I'd graduated the year before from the
University of Oklahoma. I was flipping burgers and still hangin' on at
the college radio station while mailing off packages in search of my
first fulltime radio gig. When my college roommate convinced me to come
visit him in Albuquerque with the possibility of scoring the overnight
DJ slot at a new station, KFMG, well, I jumped in my car and drove out.
It was a bit of an adventure. The car died just outside Albuquerque,
but a good samaritan stopped and helped me out. My car limped into
town. I got an interview and then the job. Took the bus back to
Oklahoma, packed up my belongings and came to the New Mexico, ready to
launch a career that eventually spanned 30-something years and multiple
cities and stations. In 1997 my wife and I came full circle and moved
back to the Land of Enchantment and Albuquerque.
We've been here since.
I'm no longer in radio and in a less than a month, at the age of 55,
I'll start a new career as a school teacher. Albuquerque has become my
home. I love the desert, the red and green chile, hot air balloons
majestically rising over mesas, the Rio Grande winding through the
middle of the city, the towering Sandia Mountain a magnificent backdrop
to what is for me a magical place.
The city has a campaign going to gather stories from our residents
(Albuquerqueans). The intent is to drum up tourism. They are offering a
prize package to bring to town a couple of out-of-state folks for the
author of the winning My Albuquerque story. The contest prompted me to write this
post. And it will probably nudge me to enter my own story.
What about you? Have you written about your town?
and Found - Letters and Thoughts After They Die
July 11, 2011
There was an interesting exchange of emails on the Association of
Personal Historians elist the other day (APH). It
included how little privacy people have, particularly if they are
celebrities. The focus wasn't on reality TV or entertainment "news"
shows (although that was touched on). What sparked the dialogue was an opinion post by Sofia Groopman of the Harvard Crimson.
The piece discussed how people who garner a certain amount of fame
inevitably will be studied. And that means people will go through what
they've written, including letters and other correspondence. How much
of that should come to light? In our digital age when so many are
putting anything...and everything...online, it is worth pondering.
Just this past week my local newspaper, the Albuquerque Journal,
article about some discovered letters from a person long since dead.
The handwritten letters and old newsclippings had been sent to the
paper by a fellow who'd purchased them at a flea market. He wanted them
for the old airmail stamps, but he was intrigued by the letters and
passed them on to the Journal
in hopes that they could unravel the mystery of who wrote them. Staff
writer Joline Gutierrez Krueger did the research and did find out who
from the 1920's authored the letters (story here - click the trial access to read for free).
This peek into the lives of everyday people from the past furthers the
evidence for everyone has a story. But I think it would be so much
better to get with a personal historian and tell your story the way you want it told
so that you can pass on your piece of history.
By the way, I am currently reading a
novel targeted to young adults
about a high school girl who commits suicide, but before she does she
records her story and reasons on several cassette tapes and leaves
instructions for them to be mailed to a list of her schoolmates, those
she thought played a part in her reaching such a sad decision to take
her life. Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is a riveting read. It also
opens up an often taboo subject that needs to be talked about.
Discussed, of course, with care. The sad statistics of the number of
teenagers who take their own lives is troubling indeed. This book can
help spark some important dialog.
Teller of the People's District Blog
July 7, 2011
Everybody has a story. I believe it. And here's more proof. Check out
some of the stories collected by Danny Harris that he posts to People's District
- stories and images of Washington, D.C.
This is not a collection of stories about national monuments or
government or a tourist site. These are the stories of waitresses, bus
drivers, religious leaders, non-profit administrators, teenagers,
old-timers, neighborhood experts and rulers of street corners.
Fascinatin g stuff. There's a Washington
Post story to tell you more.
July 5, 2011
Can we travel back in time? We can when we see photographs of the past
and add our imagination. The culture, events, people and technology of
the past come alive at a fascinating site, How to be a Retronaut.
There is so much to see here. One of the recent features is Manhattan in Miniature. Los Angeles artist Randy Hage
makes intricate models of New York storefronts from days gone by. They
are 1/12th the original size and uncanny in their detail.
Social Network That Helps You Tell Your Life's Story