Life Story Links: November 27, 2018

 
 

“We all practice the craft of autobiography in our inner conversations with ourselves about the meaning of our experience, and those conversations, no matter what language we use, are fundamentally theological or philosophical. Though only a handful of us set about writing down the results and publishing them for others to read, we are all autobiographers.”
—Jill Ker Conway

 
 Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille in the den of their Corona, Queens, New York home; the jazz legend’s archives are now available online.  PHOTO courtesy of Louis Armstrong Archive.

Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille in the den of their Corona, Queens, New York home; the jazz legend’s archives are now available online. PHOTO courtesy of Louis Armstrong Archive.

Stories Worth Sharing

LOUIS ARMSTRONG ARCHIVES
From handwritten playlists of his musical inspiration to scrapbooks of his life as it was lived (and as it was recorded in the newspapers), Louis Armstrong was a careful (and thorough) documentarian of his life. Now the full archives are accessible online.

VETERANS’ STORIES
In “The War Stories Their Families Never Forgot,” the New York Times collects memories of readers’ relatives who had a role in World War I—and the submissions are, unexpectedly, often uplifting.

THE ATTIC OF HISTORY
Sir Peter Jackson says he would be happy if his new war film inspires people to go rummaging around in their attics for old photos and letters, keen to piece together tales about grandfathers and ancient uncles who served in the first World War.

On People and Process

“TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF”
Terry Gross, considered by many to be a master interviewer, offers insights into how to talk to people. “As an interviewer, Ms. Gross’s goal is to find out how her subject became who they are; as a conversationalist, make that goal your own.”

SYSTEM TALK
In her latest podcast episode, Amy Woods Butler, aka The Life Story Coach, describes how she goes from interview transcript to book draft, including how Scrivener fits into her process.

A PROFESSIONAL’S PERSPECTIVE
About half Nancy West’s memoir clients are people who previously attempted writing their memoirs themselves. “They bogged down in telling very specific stories perfectly and comprehensively,” she says, “whereas I work like a journalist: facts first, then flesh it out.”

...and a Few More Links

 

Short Takes