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It is not unusual for me to get asked just what is an autobiography
and how do I go about writing one? I'm sure most people have an idea of
what it is, but they are looking for help getting started. They want some
guidance on the format and good questions to ask themselves.
One of my friends in the "business" of family and personal history,
Michael Boyter, has written an excellent article detailing some
of the key points for your autobiography. I recommend that you read it
You can also see more about autobiographies here
at my website.
I've told you before about Steve Pender and Family Legacy Video. Steve is very good at creating family video histories,
but he's not one to keep all that knowledge to himself. He's holding another
workshop in May in Tuscon, Arizona for people who'd like to learn do-it-yourself
video biography techniques. The dates are May 19-21 and you can find complete
details at Steve's website.
Barry K. Baines, MD, Co-founder of The Legacy Center: Dedicated
to preserving stories, values, and meaning, is releasing a second edition
of his book, Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper,
Da Capo Press, 2006.
Dr. Baines is widely recognized as a leading proponent and something of
an expert on ethical wills, so you might want to look for his book. His
web site is worth checking out at www.ethicalwill.com.
If you are interested in learning more about ethical wills see
this article I've written.
Most men do not spend time writing letters. In this age of emails and
cells phones the time spent communicating thoughts and concerns for wives,
children, family and friends can be nearly nonexistent.
Larry Sanders of McMinnville, Oregon found it doesn't have to be that
way. And other men are discovering, too, the importance of passing along
meaningful letters to loved ones. Greg Vaughn, a Christian film producer
from Richardson, Texas, has been traveling the country giving presentations
to men on how to pass along in letters the values and feelings men have.
He is teaching them to leave legacies in writing. (more here in this Washington Post article)
This is another example of "ethical will" writing, and it is
also representative of the ideas promoted at this site. The "strong,
silent" type of man does not have to be the stereotype when it comes
to the invaluable importance of opening up to family and friends about
what is really important in our lives.
Tomorrow (March 8) on National Public Radio's "Radio Reports from
New Orleans" will feature an interview with "neo-griot"
Kalamu Ya Salaam. He's touring the country to raise funds for his
video and oral history project about displaced and current New Orleans
residents. Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that city may never
be the same, so the cultural legacy is very important. Here's a link to his Listen to the People website.
Today, Ash Wednesday, and on a day when we are reminded that we come from
dust and return to that (physically) a poignant story about a couple who've
been memorialized by StoryCorps.
National Public Radio (NPR)
has run a series of shows on StoryCorps, an organization dedicated to
recording oral histories of everyday people. They have a booth in Grand
Central Station, New York City, that has been named after Danny and Annie
Perasas, a couple who were very much in love and recorded their story
at the booth. Danny lost his battle to cancer last week As he was passing
on in his sleep letters and emails were being read on the air at NPR from
many listeners touched by their story. Read more here.