Still reading Pat McNees online and her "story catching", I found another phrase I love: "between rattles and rattling bones." McKnees , Stallings and Bragg have a book titled: My Words are Going to Linger, which is top of my list to read in the near future.
"There was never yet an uninteresting life.
Such a a things is an impossibility. Inside the
dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy,
and a tragedy."
All lives contain those elements, one has only to scratch the surface of family members to see that.Those of us digging into the past for treasured facts and memories devour such books and websites. The search, in reality, is never ending. People go at their research and their presentations in all kinds of ways. Our own Eileen Gouveia painstakingly wrote out in long hand the memories she had as well as those told to her by her parents and others. She, as we know, has shared them with us. Many people do just that, writing out their thoughts and remembrances. It is always a possibility that in the future a curious descendant will enter all onto a computer and complete with photos. Arlene and her mother had saved many wonderful photos, which again, we have shared in this Blog.
Above a Page from Arlene Gouveia's
Memories of the Village
Below is a newer, sort of hybrid manner of safeguarding and presenting memories, Scrapbooking. Not like the scrapbooking you and I grew up doing, but rather a craftier method of preservation. A whole new industry has grown around this hobby and Pinterest as well as the Net in general abounds in help for this endeavor. One of my sisters is doing scrapbooks for each of her grandchildren, a grand endeavor involving all types of tools and embellishments. Two of them, twins, cannot get enough of their scrapbooks. What a treasure to keep, to hold, and to look back on when they are adults and can share with their own children and grandchildren.
I am doing scrapbooks(below) now which will utilize marvelous collage tools on my computer such as Canva and Pic Monkey as well as many others. This is a work in progress as are all things that relate to memory-keeping. My dining room table has been pressed into use, as my computer
area is not sufficient
"The greatest gift we can give our families is the story that charts our history."
Stan started with his project around 1999-2003 and as all Storycatching it was an exciting journey.
He indicates that Live Journal's time, as he knew it, has come and gone. However, it provided him a venue, a beginning, a template within which to frame his story. Stan interacted with others posting on the site.He began to post his own history stories and the response was amazing. As he was probably the oldest person posting, his online friends began to ask for more . First he made 100 friends and it went on from there, Stan entered into a whole new and interesting community.
He decided to review his posts culling them into his biography. After merging the posts, he found an online site that published them for him. This is a great option and one which eliminates the need to type and enter, cut and paste photos (not an easy task either by hand or on a computer, I assure you). Cut and paste gets old quickly.
Stan set his biography in a historical context, then goes on to lace his posts together in an easy, conversational manner. If you keep a journal and calendars, that might work for you for a foundation as Stan's posts did. Reading Stan's bio it is no wonder his readers enjoyed him so much.
He begins with:
"I am curious if you can remember the first toy that you had (and maybe the second). It has to be a toy you actually remember and one that your parents told you about."
He then skillfully goes in in paragraph bursts leading one back in time, awakening memories in many of us. One paragraph reads simply:
"It was a good life."
and much later: " and that's a sample of life in a small city in Massachusetts
in the 1934-1942 era".
Those years preceded my remembrances - just. I very much enjoy reading of those times. Things like "gas jets in every room", awaken one's imagination. Also, of course Stan writes as a boy and then a man, a different perspective from my own feminine voice, so his work is refreshing for this writer.
When you are a child you make mudpies. then on day you realize
you were really making memories.
Focused, his memories sharp and honed with telling, Stan gives his family a forever gift, movie-ready as the new saying goes. I really enjoyed hearing about the big bands and how he loved dancing to them in such places as Rosalind Ballroom in Taunton. This is a photo from Pinterest, your imagination supplies the music, right?
Wit, description of the smallest detail, a large dose of love for one's life, a sense of history - all those ingredients make for a fully-formed memoir. Watching the child, the boy, the teen and then the man you walk with him all the way. That is the way to tell a story.
Stan's memoir is 51 pages in length. When I wrote my Grandmother Isobel's story it was 100 pages but I included many photographs and it was a complicated story.. I have yet to tell my own story....hmmmm. Perhaps, Stan, you are the one to inspire me on. Right now, I write the stories of others which in reality ring around my own. The way you write a bio, your story or memoir depends on many things. In many ways our stories write themselves.
Stan finished his story, published it and then did a marvelous thing. He distributed a book to each of his children and grandchildren. Someday a future grandchild will start to ask about him and the information will be there for him or her. A forever gift, as I said.
Thank you, Stan, for your generous sharing and willingness for me to write about you. I hope I have done it some justice, and that it will inspire others.
There are many e-book publishing sites on the net. Here is one to help you begin.
They vary in price and page limits.
Other sites to help: If you do Pinterest, look for the Board: Ancestry and enjoy.
This is a site from one of the pins to be found there...
Some notions about photography in telling your story.
This is from my blog.