Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WHY tell your story -- HOW to write your story

                    [PHOTO SOURCE: The Smithsonian Collection online image]

(8 Feb 2011 – One of the most important things in Life is our Family.  Every Family is unique and has its own History and Stories.  What Family Stories have your heard?  What ones have you shared?  dht)


A recurring theme in some of my writing and notes is the importance of keeping your FAMILY HISTORY 'alive' by telling a story, writing a family history, using a genealogy program like Ancestry to record the 'source of the brook and the root of your TREE' !

After we have "heard" or "lived" a family tale or story, it then becomes our responsibility to pass the story along to family and friends and our children; for now, we become the STORY TELLER, and have the sacred HONOR and PRIVILEGE of passing it on to friends, family, and children.

In this way, the STORY continues; for you see, a FAMILY TALE or STORY is only "alive" during the telling, listening, and sharing.

If it is not being told, the STORY dies, FAMILY LORE is lost, and the richness of our lineage is diminished.

The death of a FAMILY STORY is something we must never let happen, for they are our sacred heritage entrusted to our care.

These STORIES are good; remember them, for they help to explain some of the mysteries that we find around us, some things that happen in NATURE, in the FAMILY, in FRIENDSHIPS, and in RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

Below is an excellent commentary from a correspondent of mine that believes in the value of shared family history on how to 'share your family stories'.

However, no matter the media or method, start TODAY by thinking of some things that you would like to 'share' and write them down in a list, just like a 'shopping list' or a 'to do list'.  Then while you are going through your daily routine, imagine if you will, 'telling' the story to a dear one.  Later as time permits, write down the story in whatever form fits your style (i.e., a letter style, msword, tape recording, video recording, etc).  And, don't forget to think of additional things like mementos, bibles, photos, souvenirs, badges, trophies, news clippings, cards, etc, that will add texture and flavor to your FAMILY HISTORY STORIES!

Let me know how it goes!  Put a comment here!

[Dorothy Hazel Tarr]


[The following comment is proffered by permission of author:  Paul Lewis]

I at one time wrote for a monthly charity bingo newsletter.  The audience in the bingo-hall was in the majority senior women, so the focus of most of the articles was things in past and family connections.  In addition, on my own I had been writing articles on our family, both past and present.  I hope that one day it would go into an unpublished, but family circulated book entitled, "A UNIQUE FAMILY".

One of the articles I wrote for the bingo newsletter was about writing ones family history so it could be passed along to children, grandchildren, and future generations.  I was surprised when many of the women came to tell me they were always being asked by their grandchildren, "What was it like when you were young Nana?"  They added the children would sit fascinated as they told them of times past.  They said they had no trouble talking about the past, but they were not skilled in writing such stories.

After giving this problem some thought, I came up with what I thought might be a solution for many of their generation.  Most of their generation had been skilled letter-writers, writing to distant family members and in many cases writing to soldiers during the war.  Each one of those letters was a story, or a combination of stories, of what was going on in their daily lives and their family's lives.  Therefore, I subsequently wrote an article explaining, all they needed to do was sit down and pretend to be writing individual letters telling a grandchild about something in the past.  They did not even have to send the individual letters, but could place them all in a binder or envelope and clearly labeling it "OUR FAMILY HISTORY".

A number of women came back to me and said "Thank You", saying they knew they could do it if it only involved writing letters.

I pass this along to you in case you encounter anyone hesitant about his or her writing skills.


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