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November 2012

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How I Use the DavidRM Journal Software

November 28, 2012

There are many ways to keep a journal. For years I would either use bound books with blank paper to handwrite, or write in a word document I kept on a computer. But when I discovered the DavidRM Journal Software I quickly became a fan of it. For one thing, The Journal continues to be upgraded (now on version 6) and it keeps getting better. More features, powerful search functions, multimedia capability, multiple tabs and on and on.

I use The Journal as a regular calendar entry for my thoughts and feelings on the days I write in it. But I also use the multiple Notebook tab entries to record lesson plans for my teaching, to manage personal history projects, to track prospects, to contain marketing information, for training content and also to save important information (automobiles, key personal information, technical data and so forth). It really is a great product.

It's not too late to take advantage of the 30% discount off the regular price, but you need to do it by November 30 (this Friday)! Details are listed on this Upclose Look at the Journal.

Thanksgiving Day Musings

November 22, 2012

It's Thanksgiving day in the States. A day of family gatherings, food and fellowship. We count our blessings instead of counting calories. Gratitude expressed in love to our friends and family.

I've got it good right now. I'm not recovering from a big storm, without power or unemployed. Those are good things to be grateful for. I took a walk this morning with my dog, Shadow, and reflected on what it means to be grateful.

Tomorrow StoryCorps National Day of Listening will again encourage people to sit with a family member and get a story. Record it, if you can. Life is short. Don't let the stories slip away.

I stumbled across a post on Twitter about a 90 year old man who works for Writer's Relief in Hackensack, New Jersey. He's been right there with others helping out with the storm relief in the wake of Sandy. And he claims he was never interviewed before! But he shares some thoughts here. Good for you, Frank. T.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

The Journal Black Friday Sale

November 19, 2012

The Journal Softward Version 6A great way to keep track of the events in your life, record insights, preserve memories and grow from your life journey is by keeping a journal.

I really like the award winning The Journal from DavidRM Software. It is a great tool. I've used it for years and through various versions, both to journal my ideas, thoughts, memories and experiences and as a powerful project managing software. It is hard to describe all the great features without sounding like a lot of hype. But trust me - this is one product that I've continued to endorse because it is really terrific product with a lot of bang for the buck. I really think it is helpful for any writer, especially life story writers who need to write, collect and organize their stories.

The Journal's 2nd Annual Black Friday Sale starts on Thanksgiving Day (22 November) and runs through the end of the month (30 November). Save an incredible 30%!

To find out more visit my Journal Software Upclose page. November is a really good month for writing. It is National Lifewriting Month and it is Gratitude Month. My daughter has been writing each day this month something she is grateful for and posting it to Facebook. That's great, but think how much more powerful it would be to journal that daily and have it preserved and archived for future reference for years to come. The Journal Software makes that easy. Go here for more information and don't miss out on a 30% savings during the Black Friday Sale!

Martha Ann Miller Writes Autobiography at 101

November 15, 2012

Here's a heartwarming post for Life Writing Month. This 101 year old woman just published her autobiography, The First Century And Not Ready For the Rocking Chair Yet (link to Washington Post story). Way to go, Martha Ann Miller! She was a junior high teacher for 21 years and one of the first to agree to teach in Arlington, Virginia schools when segregation was ruled unconstitutional.

A Day of Listening

November 14, 2012

When is the right time to sit with someone and hear stories from their life?

The answer to that is any day they are willing to tell it. Our lives are precious and we often don't know when they will end. Passing on our experiences, strength and hope is an important part of the circle of life.

Everyone has a story to tell - but you can't force it out of someone. People need to be willing. Many don't know how to go about it. Some preparation is important.
The value of a trained listener should not be underestimated. Currently I am readying my fifth grade students to interview a family elder with a life story project around this year's Thanksgiving Holiday break. They need guidance so they will know how to approach their family member and conduct an interview.

Personal historians, life story teachers, oral and video biographers and others  who do the work of preserving life stories can assist you to find the right way and time to hear and record the stories of our lives. Furthermore, they can help you determine how you want to package those stories. But it starts with a day of listening.

StoryCorps once again is sponsoring a National Day of Listening the day after Thanksgiving. Get tips, including some good questions to ask, for interviewing an elder, family member or willing storyteller at

Veterans Show and Tell

November 11, 2012

Each Veterans Day (November 11) we have the opportunity to show our appreciation for those who have served and tell them thank you. Many of them have made great sacrifices. War is not the answer, but freedom has to be protected.

My father was a veteran of the Vietnam War. This was a time of political and cultural upheaval in America. The philosophy that the spread of communism must be stopped fueled the Cold War and also was the justification for having our troops in Southeast Asia. The protest against the war effort unfairly targeted our service men and women who returned from their tours of duty. Veterans didn't get the respect they should have. It was shameful. At the same time, the horrors of the conflict were real and the war machine inflicted much killing, harm and damage on Vietnam. In the end there wasn't much to celebrate.

As a lifelong military man my father was trained to fight. He was an oustanding pilot and part of his tour of duty including flying with the South Vietnamese Air Force. He stood up for them against corruption and he came back from his war experience a different man. He didn't talk much about his time there, but a few stories trickled out over the years. Some vets don't want to talk about their experiences and they shouldn't be forced to.

Some, however, do want to share their stories and fortunately there are people willing to hear and preserve them. Professional personal historians do much of this work, yet family and friends can also help out. The Veterans History Project is one way to go about this. You can find out more about it through this upclose profile on this site which includes links to the official program.

Election Day Stories

November 6, 2012

I am the type of person who avoids making political commentary on my blogs and social media. But I do support the democratic process. In America today is an election day and among the many local and state candidates we all have choices to make. There are initiatives and propositions that can impact your community and your life. It is democracy at work.

Of course, this is also a presidential election, so citizens are voting for the leader of the United States. It has been a long campaign with tons of media, speculation, sparring and discussion.

Despite the many challenges and problems facing us we must remember that the United States has it much better than many other countries in our world. Our income is higher and we can be guilty of expecting things, entitlement if you will, taking for granted privileges that are dreams to many elsewhere on this planet.

Election Day will have its moments in history. There are stories everywhere, from poll workers to the media, teachers and students, blue-collar and white-collar; this is a day to celebrate and exercise our freedom to vote. Participation is a big part of living. I hope you participate and I hope you share your stories. 

Hurricane Sandy Washed Away Memories Along the Jersey Shore

November 4, 2012

I couldn't help notice how the news coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (dubbed "Frankenstorm" because it hit on Halloween) included a lot about the loss of memories. The famous boardwalk along the Jersey Shore was heavily damaged, including amusement park rides where countless kids over the years enjoyed summer fun.

Many homes were also heavily damaged. The cover story of the USA Today on Friday, November 2, had people bemoaning the loss of photographs, favored toys, treasured jewelry and other family mementos. It's heartbreaking because many of those things can't be replaced. It reminds all of us that we should do something to preserve these valuables. Digitize photos and safely store them (perhaps a safety deposit box) and online (various options exist, such as Legacy Stories). Inventory your family heirlooms. Prepare an emergency kit with supplies for 72 hours (water, blankets, food, medicine).

Perhaps Hurricane Sandy also serves as a reminder that life changes can be sudden and drastic. We need to take the time to save our stories! Get interviewed. Keep a journal. Write a family history. Don't let memories slip or wash away.

Mindful Writing Day

November 1, 2012

Today is the first day of November and also Mindful Writing Day (from Slow down, look around, write about something you see. This is your small stone.

I am off to attend a personal history conference in put on by the Utah Chapter of the APH. I am sure I will have several small stones to record.

Everybody has a story to tell!
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