Writing Life Stories in November

November is Family Stories Month and National Life Writing Month.  I remember as a young child my grandfather telling stories about his days as a cowboy. On holidays when the big extended family gathered to celebrate, he regaled us with his exploits. No one ever bothered to write the stories down. Grandpa was always telling his stories. … Read more

I Love to Write Day 2012

Today is I Love to Write Day, and 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the event. Author John Riddle started I Love to Write Day to encourage people to write and to nurture a love of writing in children. November is National Lifewriting Month. I encourage everyone to write their own life story or family … Read more

Author Interview: Karen Fisher-Alaniz

My guest today is Karen Fisher-Alaniz, author of Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything . I met Karen several years ago through her blog and have been interested in her book long before it was even accepted for publication. You can read my review of Breaking … Read more

November is Lifewriting Month

In addition to being National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), November is National Lifewriting Month. Although you aren’t likely to find lifewriting in the dictionary, you can probably guess its meaning–writing about life, specifically memoir and family history. I encourage everyone to write their own or their family’s life stories. In my ebook, Preserving Memories: How … Read more

Book Review: Breaking the Code

Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything Karen Fisher-Alaniz Sourcebooks November 1, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1402261121 Paperback, 336 pages, $10.19; also available in Kindle edition, $9.99 Nonfiction/Memoir The cover of the book calls it a memoir, but it is much more than that. It is a story about … Read more

Case Study of a Life Story: Part 4 – The Result and Recommendations

Now, long after Borge started recording his life story and a little more than seven months after his first phone call to me, Borge can hold his life story in his hand and share it with those he loves. Borge and Brigitte are traveling to Germany next April to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary with Brigitte’s family … Read more

Case Study of a Life Story: Part 3 – Turning a Story into a Book

As I said in the previous post, the Hansens and I were excited to have a completed story, but it existed on my hard drive and on computer printouts. Borge and Brigitte wanted the story in a book to share with loved ones. Knowing that they would want fewer than 100 copies, I explained that … Read more

Case Study of a Life Story: Part 2 – Writing the Story

In the first installment of the series, I discussed my first meeting with my client Borge Hansen, who had dictated his life story into audiotapes. I transcribed the tapes one side at a time. Understanding and spelling the names of places Borge visited and people he encountered in his world travels turned out to be a … Read more

Case Study of a Life Story: Part 1 – The Beginning

When people contact me about publishing their memoir or family history, I always encourage them to do so for a family legacy. I make sure they understand that it’s highly unlikely their story will be published by a large New York publisher and distributed in bookstores around the country—unless they were famous (or infamous). However, … Read more