Life Story Links: June 11, 2019
“I thought everything you wrote had to be about England; nobody ever told me you could write about growing up in Ireland.”
What We Leave Behind
A MEANINGFUL LEGACY
“It’s easy to leave the house, the car, the money, the boxes of pictures,” Sarasota–based personal historian Curt Werner says. “But it’s much harder to leave pieces of yourself.”
MATTERS OF THE HEART
“I was looking for pictures that had the power to turn bitter memories into sweet. Images that said, ‘I love you more than anything.’ Images that whispered, ‘I can’t express how sorry I am to leave you.’” Mary Bergstrom curates her legacy while decorating a new home.
THE (DIGITAL) PIECES OF A LIFE
“If the only way to preserve her memories was to put together the pieces of her digital life, then we had to hack into her online accounts.” Historian Leslie Berlin recounts her desperation to break into her mother’s phone after she died.
Process of Discovery
A SCRIVENER WORKFLOW
Sarah White, whose First Person Productions is based in Madison, Wisconsin, describes her conversion from an occasional Scrivener user to a devotee who finds it “highly useful in finding the best structure for long-form writing projects.”
How interviewing yourself (follow-up questions and all!) can be a useful writing exercise for generating life story vignettes.
FILLING IN THE GAPS OF WWII VETERANS
“Those lauded as the Greatest Generation might just as easily be called the Quietest”—leaving family members to wish they had asked more, and to attempt to recreate their loved ones’ stories through a vast archive of war papers.
ONE FAMILY’S NUCLEAR HISTORY
“Never one to talk directly about his role as a pilot in the Second World War, my grandfather instead told my siblings and I scraps of his story that I would eventually stitch together into an incomplete whole,” Tyler Mills writes.
Storytelling in Unexpected Places
OFF THE CHARTS
“There is research that suggests when caregivers know their patients better, those patients have improved health outcomes.” See how personal storytelling is filling the gaps between patients and staff at VA hospitals.
DEPT. OF STORYTELLING
The city of Detroit has hired a Chief Storyteller. You heard that right—and with a team of storytellers on board, The Neighborhoods has become a platform that shares locals' stories and aims to change the traditional narrative surrounding the place they call home.
...and a Few More Links
Do you have (or need?) a writer’s will?
Some research suggests that events in our lives can affect the development of our children and perhaps even grandchildren.
Unique documentary series follows group of schoolchildren over six decades.
Have you listened to episodes from the new season of the StoryCorps podcast?
D-Day vet bonds with 9-year-old through the magic of music.
If you are interested in learning more about a family member who served in WWII, explore this Research a Veteran Guide.
New York State substitutes for the lost 1890 census