Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Own Family Stories

Okay, this is the year when you are finally going to write down all of those charming family stories you want to capture for posterity. But how do you start? Do you start when you were born, or do you start with something big & dramatic, or do you start with something more recent?

Good questions, but the most important thing is to just get started. You know, like the Nike commercial: Just Do It!

Grab a spiral-bound notebook or stack of paper and Voila! you have your own writing journal. Carry it with you so that when a memory pops into your mind, you can jot it down to develop later. Even if you do most of your memoir writing on a computer, using a writing journal will be useful any time you have a few minutes to kill while waiting for the kids to get out of dance class, or at the dentist, or all the other places you get stuck for any length of time. Use that time to get started on your own story.

Start with one of your own special memories and write down all the details you can remember. Think of the typical "who, what, where, when & why" questions that newspapers answer so well. In addition, think about how you felt about the event you are capturing.

So, remember: the most important thing about writing your life story is to just do it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Excuses Self-handicap Us

The New York Times has an article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/health/06mind.html?_r=1&ref=science) on the scientific research on making excuses, which the experts call self-handicapping. One of my Children's Book writer friends (Gail Piernas-Davenport) talks about the article in her blog today. Yesterday she raised some excellent points about excuses. Please check out her blog at http://gpdavenport.wordpress.com/.

We decide what we want to do and choose whether to follow through on it, so making excuses for whatever reason doesn’t really cut it. If we can talk the talk, we need to walk the walk as well and just do it.

It is nice to get inspired by scientific evidence to back it an idea. This is the year that can make a real difference for each of us. What will you commit to doing this year? As Barbara Sher tells us, "isolation is the dream killer." Find a support group who can help you reach your goals. Together, we can each accomplish so much more.

Do you need help to accomplish those goals, big or small? Check out the Pro Nagger, Rachel Zamek at http://pronagger.weebly.com/ for help in that area. She has unique ways to encourage you to get it done.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sweet Bedtime Stories

My grandson is four and a half years old. He loves to have me lay down with him at bedtime, almost as much as I love it. When his family was here over Christmas, I was elated to put him to bed. In addition to singing the usual songs and rubbing his little tummy and back, I started a new tradition.

I reminded him about all the fun things we had done during the day and then told him stories about what I did at Christmas when I was a child. He seemed to enjoy the stories and asked a few questions about them, so I definitely plan to do it again.

When my grandson is a bit older, I will also start working with him to write down our little adventures. Whenever we read the stories together, I hope he will become even more interested in creating more memories to capture.

What do you remember about your parents and grandparents? How do you build memories with your kids and grandkids? How do you preserve those memories?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Non-Resolutions

Happy 2009!

Most years, I make several New Year's resolutions that last for maybe a week or two. This year is going to be different...at least I hope so.

This year, I have one huge resolution: to be less critical of people and to enjoy whatever comes my way to count my blessings. Okay, maybe that is actually two resolutions, but you get the idea.

Oh, one other resolution is to try to post a new blog at least five days a week, so come back often and check out my website as well: www.bethlamie.com. You'll find suggestions on writing your own family stories and have the opportunity to sign up for my new newsletter.

Have a wonderful new year.