Jun 272016
Silver linings behind broken hearts

Are there silver linings behind the heart-break in your family stories?

Last week, however, a friend showed me how to look for silver linings.

The news is often disturbing, but in the last couple of weeks the horrors that some people will inflict on others makes me want to run and hide. Only I don’t know where I’d go. Continue reading »

Nov 052015
NaNoWriMo to write your stories participant Logo

Need to stop procrastination or to jump start your creativity? Use NaNoWriMo to write your stories.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t heard of, much less embraced, National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. (#NaNoWriMo on social media). It’s the extremely popular, “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” Conceived as a way to motivate and enable writers to create a 50,000-word novel during the month of November, NaNoWriMo has grown to well over 300,000 participants.

In my opinion, too many people stumble over the “No.” Because fiction isn’t their thing, they think they can’t take advantage of the motivation, camaraderie, and writing tips that NaNoWriMo the ultimate procrastination breaker, offers. Of course, there’s a complementary WNFIN (Write NonFiction In November) which is run a little differently if you prefer to stick with other nonfiction writers.

Luckily, NaNoWriMo welcomes “rebels,” though the majority of participants are writing a novel. They even have formulated the Camp NaNoWriMo Guide to Rebelling. And, even though you might be in the minority, all momentum created by highly imaginative, productive novelists can be a powerful motivator. Continue reading »

Jul 222015

pIRATE-lAURAOfficially, Talk Like a Pirate Day won’t come until September 19, but I’ve been saying “Arrrggghhhhh!” a lot this week.

Channel Changing

It’s bad enough that if I leave the room for more than two minutes, my husband finds an Iron Man or Transformers movie to watch for the eighty-fifth time this month. However, the real problem is the channels changing in my brain without my permission. Continue reading »

Nov 112013
Write about gratitude at Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to write about gratitude.

November is a great time to write about gratitude. Although our neighbors to the north (Canadians) celebrate Thanksgiving in October, USA-Americans associate November with gratitude and thankfulness. It’s a great time to stop and think about what we have. Show and share your gratitude by recording your blessings for loved ones and future generations— write about gratitude. Write about the things for which you’re thankful and what they mean to you. Continue reading »

Nov 072013
Oral History Traditions start with Gramps

Grandpa’s got stories. Have you heard them all?

I’m excited to present a guest post by Tami Koenig, aka Your Story Coach. Today she gives us tips on starting an oral history tradition during your next family gathering. 

Start an Oral History Tradition during Holidays

Traditions have to start somewhere. Maybe it’s time to start your own family tradition of “listening.” Why not set aside an hour or two every Thanksgiving, Christmas or Memorial Day—whenever your whole family gathers together—to record the stories of your senior family members?

I remember my own grandparents sitting in my parents’ living room as we all relaxed after a huge celebratory dinner. It was a warm scene with family in high spirits—with my grandparents at the center of it all—and the stories would naturally start to flow. Continue reading »

Nov 032013

Missing Someone on All Saints Day It’s a somber celebration, if that’s not an oxymoron. Many of us find ourselves missing someone on All Saints Day.

Theologically we celebrate the face that loved ones have joined God and are in communion with other saints. We also confirm our belief that we will join them at the heavenly table one day. (Read a full explanation from Presbyterian Missions.) I used to wonder if missing someone on All Saints Day was bad. Because I always do.

When we think of all the “saints” that have gone from our lives, the less faithful—or more honest–part of us wants to lament. “But I’m going to miss him or her! I already miss them!” If the loss is recent, it can even be difficult to hold it together.

In my church, the bulletin contains a list of individuals who have died since the last All Saints Day. Reading the list is like taking a fist into the gut. It contains the names of lovely people who contributed so much to the life of the church. It has names of people who inspired me. When I think of these people–friends, co-workers, and prayer partners and relatives who have died, I miss them. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
Fall memories of playing in the leaves

This photo brings back great memories of my mom spending hours playing in the leaves with my son.

What fall memories are special to you? Chances are that you can revive, if not re-live, a lot of them. Here are some ideas on immersing yourself in fall and fall memories. After all, the more you remember, the easier it is to share. Have fun!

Fall Leaves

As adults responsible for lawn care and not irritating the neighbors, we forget how much fun it used to be to rake leaves. Continue reading »

Oct 232013
Family fibs pinocchio's ose

I wouldn’t have been so gullible if the Pinocchio legend was true. (Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

NBC’s Today show did a short segment on family fibs. These are stories that parents tell children, probably because reasoning with them is much more cumbersome.  The funniest was Carson Daly’s report that his family told him that if the ice cream truck was playing music, it meant they were out of ice cream.

Nearly all, if not all, parents fib at some point in time. Which ones were unique to your family? Continue reading »

Oct 172013
Vacation Memories start with departure

Getting there is part of the story

When we first come home from a trip, we’re excited to show off our photos and talk about our vacation memories. But, as our tans fade, so does the gumption to write about our adventures.

Don’t keep your vacation memories to yourself!  This doesn’t mean you have to write everything down during or right after vacation. (See 5 Tips for Writing about Travel Memories.)  However, when you do start describing your vacation memories, don’t just preserve your itinerary. Take your readers with you as you re-live your trip. Continue reading »

Sep 192013

Fashion history flower childWhat’s your personal fashion history? As fashion trends have come and gone, which ones have resonated with you over the years? (That might not be the same question as which ones actually looked good on you.)

Which ones did you wear gladly? Which ones did you wear that you shouldn’t have worn. What fashion history do you fervently hope does not repeat itself? “Big hair” of the 80’s comes to my mind.

It can be fun(ny) to provide others with a personal fashion history or retrospective. I’m not talking about just cutting out old magazine covers, though they can provide inspiration.  (See M. Howsom’s Vogue Cover Pinterest Board) Write yourself into the story. What did you wear? What were you required to wear? Did you think you were “all that” at the time? What do you think now? Continue reading »