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 »

Jun 172014
 
In this house now and then

The Crymes house then and now. Many wonderful things happened in this house.

Homes are the settings for our stories. With the passing of years, we become emotionally attached to the building itself. The house itself is akin to a repository of the thing that happened within its walls. Years ago, I saw a van stop on my street to disgorge a group that stared wistfully at my house. Since my house is relatively unremarkable, I immediately knew they were former residents of my home. My husband and I went outside and heard stories come tumbling out of each of them. We received an education about things that happened in this house during the fifties and sixties. Continue reading »

Jun 102014
 
Elopement memories happy couple

Our elopement memories don’t include photos, but this was taken around that time.

In my book, I intersperse ideas on what to write about with memories of my own. Today, I feel moved to do the same here on my blog.

Twenty-six years ago today, my husband and I eloped but didn’t call off the wedding. Looking back, I regard that decision to be one of the best I ever made. Not just marrying Matt—the whole thing. We treasure having elopement memories. It was a day to remember just between the two of us—but we’re also glad we have wedding day memories as well. Continue reading »

Jun 022014
 

Craft-Squad-I-doWelcome to my stop on the Craft Squad’s “I Do” Blog Hop. If you’re coming from The Crafty Neighbor you are in the right place.  If you want to start at the beginning, go to Roxie’s Stamping Rooms at http://roxiesstampingroom.blogspot.com/2014/06/june-blog-hop-i-do.html.

Ideally wedding pictures should do more than memorialize the event. Photos and scrapbook layouts should tell a story–a story that began long before the ring was offered on bended knee. This scrapbook layout takes advantage of a wonderful photographer who came up with a way to help the bride always remember wedding dreams coming true.

Continue reading »

May 132014
 
Dreams come true through a book

I’m on cloud nine, loving watching my dreams come true.

I’m sitting on cloud nine.

Cue the trumpets… Today, May 13, 2014 is the long awaited publish date of Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. Memories-of-Me-Cover

It turns out that clouds are good for your perspective. Though I have butterflies, I’m grateful. I feel blessed. Continue reading »

May 082014
 
Memorable Mother's Day Gfit Idea

Finding mom a memorable Mother’s Day gift

Mothers deserve meaningful gifts, but it’s tough to come up with original ideas year after year. Just in time for Mother’s Day, here are seven memorable Mother’s Day gift ideas that won’t break the bank. And, you can get them done by Sunday.

What makes a Memorable Mother’s Day Gift?

Have you seen #avacuumcleanerisnotagift on Twitter? Though Mother’s Day sales are great for buying household gifts, beware. Think about what your mother or wife values and how they would prefer to spend their time. Continue reading »

May 062014
 
Road Trip Memories

Do your road trip memories include going over the hills etc. to grandma’s house?

Hours in a car doesn’t sound like the stuff of great stories. Admittedly, the mind-numbing monotony of the passing miles might not make for interesting reading. Nevertheless, many good stories—if not pleasant memories—grow out of road trips. No doubt when good friends or family members get together, someone is going to bring up a story related to long trips.

Road Trip Memories with Children

Trips with kids are certainly memorable! “Are we there yet?” “Daddy, I have to pee.” “Mom, she’s touching me!” Sound familiar? Continue reading »

May 022014
 

Graduation Layout GraphicWelcome to my stop on the Craft Squad’s Con-Graduation Blog Hop. If you’re coming from The Crafty Neighbor, you are in the right place.  If you want to start at the beginning, go to http://stampinginferno.blogspot.com/2014/05/congradulations-blog-hop.html.

Graduation is a big deal at our house. Our youngest is graduating on June 8th. Thrilled as we are that he’s been successful, my husband and I aren’t really looking forward to his absence.  With that in mind, I wanted to create a scrapbook layout that shows my mixed feelings. I also wanted to highlight the fact that the memory of him starting kindergarten doesn’t seem old and faded. In fact, in many ways it seems like yesterday. Continue reading »