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© Tom Gilbert

Read about quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products, links, services

                     ...and whatever else catches our fancy of personal historian  

October, 2018

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Putting Your Story in Order

October 24, 2018

If you are a subscriber of my free Your Life Is Your Story newsletter then you have already probably read the featured article for October about putting your story in order. I make some points about how and why this is important as you are doing your life story writing and organizing your material.

There is not one way to organize your experiences. But I think it can be helpful to try some different approaches.

The order of your stories in your memoir is important. It can establish a theme and a tempo. One way is to put it in chronological order. Start at the beginning of the time of the story and move across time to the place where the story concludes. This is probably the easiest approach, but it isn’t necessarily the best way to do it.

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This Month Share Your Family Stories 

October 16, 2018

October is National Family History Month. We are halfway through the month, but it is not too late for you to try to preserve some of your family stories. The first step is to sit down and have a talk with those people in your family who have the interesting and important stories to tell. As they remind us at the Talk of a Lifetime site, those stories will only last forever if you have that talk with your family members and pass the stories on.

Probably everybody in your family is interested in knowing more about their family elders. But not everyone is willing to be the family historian. Hopefully someone is willing to take on that responsibility. Is it you? Are you good at asking questions and then listening?

Nowadays we have so much technology at our fingertips that you don't need to have super fancy equipment. Most smart phones will record conversations with decent quality. Somebody needs to take the responsibility of preserving your valuable family history. There is a lot of information easily obtained to help you with this task (hint: have you looked around my site?). And there are lots of people who are available for hire
who are good at helping you preserve life stories (insert wink for another not so subtle hint).

Some of our stories are lighthearted and heartwarming. Others tell of times of great challenge. Many families have both kinds of stories. Your message in a story dealing with adversity may well be inspiration for another, maybe even a complete stranger. Here's a story shared by the Living Legacy Project about immigrants from El Salvador years ago who had to deal with some very tough times, the type of story that is still happening today, more than thirty years later. You can read Rage, Fear and Helplessness online.

Everybody has a story to tell!
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