“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” —Stephen Hawking
LOVE AND LOSS
Personal historian Lisa O'Reilly, of Carpinteria, California, writes “To Mom, With Love,” a most personal and urgent message that calls upon us all to capture our loved ones’ stories...before it is too late.
THE STORIES THAT WE WEAVE
Amanda Lacson of NYC’s Family Archive Business LLC distills some of the lessons she learned at Columbia University’s Oral History MA workshops, and discusses how we, as biographers and personal historians, can earn and tell better stories for our clients.
“There’s no quicker way to rip us off the rollercoaster and park us on the granny-bench than to adverb your verbs.” Just one of the colorfully on-point writing tips in Cyndy Etler’s “How to Write Memoir So They Don’t Read It, They Live It.”
SENIORS & THEIR STUFF
Discussions with professional organizers led MA-based Nancy West to discover interesting points of intersection between her work and theirs: How writing your memoir can help you declutter, destress, and maybe even downsize.
THE PLACE THEY CALL HOME
Miami’s iconic Little Havana neighborhood is home to an interactive museum exhibit that invites audiences to step into the daily lives of ten local residents whose passion, creativity, and penchant for history is ensuring that future generations will experience the Little Havana they know and love. Get a taste of their stories.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
“We spend our life identifying ourselves by our name,” writes Karen Bender of Virginia-based Leaves of Your Life. “Your name will go on the cover of your book. Surely, your feelings about that name warrant a paragraph or two within its pages.”
“I ate until I was stuffed full of memories.” Esmé Weijun Wang finds her way back to a beloved childhood dish.
...and a Few More Links!
- Lisa Pontoppidan of Boston-based Personal Story Films shares why she loves capturing stories—and personalities—on film, including “the spirit that shines from their eyes.”
- Freeze Frame: A panicky realization that some of my most cherished photos might be left out of my family archive led me to write this cautionary tale.
- The Audio Transcription Center rounds up seven digital recorders recommended for oral history interviews.
- Amisha Padnani, digital editor on the obituaries desk at the New York Times, has turned an idea for recognizing overlooked women into a movement.
- “My grandmother taught me that stories aren’t important because they’re written, they’re important because they’re living, embodied in the teller and the listener alike,” writes Kristin Chang.
- Digging into your family history you will find all kinds of people. Once a dark secret is uncovered, what should you do?