Jul 222014
Writing about bullies of childhood

Writing about bullies is a way to open up your past to your readers.

Writing about bullies doesn’t come easily. We want to put that behind us. We wonder, “Who wants to read that?”

Probably most people.

Whenever we get together and share memories and stories, encounters with belligerence, arrogance, or outright bullying invariably come up. It’s always a compelling story.

Our listeners commiserate. They respond with their own stories. This happens when we write too. When we write about bullies and persecutors, we connect with readers and start conversations. We see new facets of each other’s personality. Continue reading »

Jul 172014
Use Fiction to tell true stories

It’s not just either or. You can also use fiction to tell true stories.

How do you communicate your story without having to tell it? One way is to use fiction to tell true stories. Writers often use this tool when they (or their editors) feel that real life fails to produce great literature. (Julie Schumacher’s Turning Real Life into Fiction explains some of these quandaries.) Continue reading »

Jul 152014
A typical day in your life

Describing a typical day can deepen connections.

Your story does not have to be extraordinary to be worthy of the written word. In fact, memorializing a typical day can be the key to connecting with loved ones.

I remember my younger son’s fourth grade teacher pulling me aside to describe my son’s “spacy” behavior. “Welcome to my world,” I told her. Although I sympathized with her, a part of me was grateful for someone who understood—viscerally understood—life with my son.

We hear “Walk a mile in my shoes!” with good reason. Experiencing the dust around another’s feet and the rhythms of their daily life promotes understanding and empathy. Continue reading »

Jul 102014

STrong family roots and ugly treeA strong family root system doesn’t always lead to a pretty tree.

It happens in nature too. Take my backyard willow tree for example. Its root system supposedly can spread over an acre. Despite its ability to efficiently retrieve nutrients and water from the soil, its limbs break off in every storm.

When that happens in families, it’s downright scary. There are times when love, faith, resources, and parents trying their absolute best aren’t enough. Children rebel and run away. Siblings become estranged. Mental illness or emotional scars reign over nurturing. Family members choose (or end up on) paths abhorrent to the rest of the clan—and society.

Usually we think of an imperfect family tree in terms of missing family members. It’s important to write about the parent that you never knew or cousins you never knew existed. Sharing how tangled roots lead to dysfunctional trees can jumpstart meaningful dialogues and conversations.

Unfortunately, dysfunction can also grow out of symmetrical, strong family roots. Continue reading »

Jul 082014
Anti-bucket list

What items are on your anti-bucket list? More importantly, why are they there?

Without question, our hopes and dreams tell a lot about us. Shouldn’t an anti-bucket list do the same thing?

On the other hand, why write about the negatives when you can focus on the positives?

An anti-bucket list isn’t just a litany of things you don’t like or dreams you’ve given up on. It’s a chance to explain what makes you tick, to write about the lesser-known side(s) of yourself. Writing about your dreams is important. But, life’s realities matter too. As wonderful as rainbows and ponies are, sometimes the deepest connections result from knowing understanding the negatives. Continue reading »

Jul 022014

Craft Squad July 4 TraditionsIn my project for this month’s blog hop, I’ve tried to highlight my families 4th of July traditions. Welcome to my Treasure Chest of Memories blog. It’s all about preserving and sharing personal and family stories, whether you’re scrapbooking, writing, journaling, or augmenting your family tree. If you’re coming from The Crafty Neighbor, you’re in the right place. Continue reading »

Jun 302014

Various Roots Roots by Another Mother…

When we think of roots, we think of family trees. If we’re from a loving, supportive family, we think of those roots supplying stability and nourishment. If we’re from an atypical—or even dysfunctional—family, we think of them as hidden, dirty, cavorting with worms and grubs.

Those roots are great to write about. But, we have other roots. Some of them have nothing to do with family. Bear with me as I beat the metaphor a little longer. Continue reading »

Jun 262014
Steelers Sports Traditions

Steelers sports traditions are so strong in our family that we’ve added something to our family crest.

Many families have traditions that center not around the dining room table, but rather the television set. Other families have built their sports traditions around a particular section of the local ballpark or stadium. It’s easy to look over such sports traditions when we’re documenting family stories. However, sports traditions are often imbued with deep emotional connections.

Team Traditions

Even though we live in the Detroit area, my kids grew up watching the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a continuation of my husband’s childhood traditions. In his family, fall Sunday afternoons meant tuna fish sandwiches, a Steelers game, and a nap. I vetoed the tuna fish part, but we continue the rest. Although not together physically, my husband, his parents, and his siblings’ continue to root for what used to be the home-team together. Continue reading »

Jun 242014
What you were doing was right street sign

Those times when you knew what you were doing was right make great stories!

Have you ever had moments of extreme confidence—times in which you knew that what you were doing was right? As a person who, on her best days, still lacks confidence, such occasions of complete certainty have been relatively rare. On the other hand, the scarcity of those times makes them doubly precious.

The circumstances of knowing what you were doing was right make for great stories to share and pass down. They can give your readers great insight into your personality. Continue reading »

Jun 192014
Five star reviews for Memories of Me

I’m humbled and grateful: Thanks to all who gave a five star review for Memories of Me: A Complete Guide.

I’ve heard publishing a book compared to birthing a child. I disagree. They’re nothing alike—from conception to delivery. For one thing, when you have a baby, you don’t wonder, “Will people like my baby?”

In my case, I knew my friends and family that had supported and encouraged me would like my book. I knew my publisher saw a market for it. However, after lining up my blog tour, I waited on pins and needles. What if they didn’t love it? What it they said my personal stories (examples) were crap?

Happily, every one of my reviewers recommended Memories of Me. The blog tour process was humbling and exhilarating. In fact, the blog tour was akin to riding a roller coaster. It’s only now that it’s over that I realize how much fun I had taking the ride.

Praise for Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life

Once again, I’d like to thank the following reviewers that took the time to read and review Memories of Me. I’m also grateful for the fact that they also posted their five star reviews for Memories of Me on Amazon and Goodreads.

Lorraine Reguly reviewed Memories of Me on Wording Well 

Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life is a true treasure chest of goodness you will benefit from and love!…I also plan on using some of the exercises and worksheets as I struggle with my book of memoirs (and dealing with some of my own demons)!

 Shelli Proffitt Howells reviewed Memories of Me on Shelli Proffitt Howells

In Memories of Me, Laura Hedgecock shares the tools that can help even the most amateur writer to bring those stories to life….I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in preserving their family history.

Donna McBroom-Theriot reviewed Memories of Me on My Life. One Story at a Time.

If you are thinking about compiling your memories, your stories, MEMORIES OF ME, is a good place to begin. It is an easy book to read with clear and precise avenues of beginning your journey… I can definitely recommend the book.

Heidi Grange reviewed Memories of Me on  LDS and Lovin’ It

This book is a great resource for those like me who want to create a personal history but don’t really know how to get started.

Melanie Valderrama reviewed Memories of Me on Mel’s Shelves

This is the best resource book I have seen to help with recording memories and writing my personal history and I will definitely refer to it many times in the years to come! I highly recommend this to everyone!

Stephanie Connelly Worlton reviewed Memories of Me on Kreating Krazy

This is seriously a book I believe everyone should take the time to read. If you take it one chapter at a time, following the direction she gives, by the time you finish reading, you will be well on your way to having your history recorded.

Jinky reviewed Memories of Me on Jinky is Reading

It felt as if she [me!] was behind me whispering encouragements. That’s a mark of an exceptional non-fiction writer because too much concentration on facts leads to a boring read. This was far from boring but rather quite a helpful tool in aiding me see the beauty of capturing my own “treasure chest of memories.”

Jinky is in the top 1% of Goodreads’ Reviewers. She also listed Memories of Me among the top ten books she’s read this year.

Brooke Berry of reviewed Memories of Me on Brooklyn Berry Designs

Memories of Me is a great comprehensive guide to break down the task of writing down your history into manageable sections and make it seem like a feasible project.

Shauna Wheelwright reviewed Memories of Me on I Love to Read and Review Books

This book will help you bring your family history or personal history alive…Phenomenal guidance! Fantastic help! Incredible worksheets!

Diane Tolley reviewed Memories of Me on On the Border

I have just been introduced to the most amazing book!…Her fun, insightful instructions and actual, physical workpages will motivate, guide and inspire even the neophytes among us.

Other five star reviews for Memories of Me

There are additional five star reviews for Memories of Me on Amazon that did not come from blog tour participants. It’s so gratifying to see people willing to take the time to give an author some positive feedback.

Spotlights, Giveaways, and Guest posts

Other book bloggers sponsored spotlights and guest blogs.

Mindy Holt of LDS Women’s Book Review ran a spotlight of Memories of Me. Though targeted at LDS members, this site is a great resource for anyone looking for “clean” reads.

Yolanda Johnson Bryant of The Author’s Hideaway ran a spotlight as well. Her site is as much as resource center as it is a hideaway.

Caren Rich of CKRich.com allowed me to guest post on her cool new author site.

Chrissy of Every Free Chance ran a highlight of Memories of Me and its author. Check out her site for reviews, interviews, giveaways and highlights.

Your Turn

Have you enjoyed a book lately? If so, do the author a favor and post a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. If you enjoyed my book, I’d really appreciate the extra time and effort. (Pretty please with sugar on top ….)