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    Thursday
    Jun092011

    Plan Your Family History Book Sooner Rather Than Later

    Nancy and I are here for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. We taught our first class, “The Many Ways to Organize a Family History Book,” this morning. The class reminded me that many genealogists and family historians think the process of creating a book begins after they finish their research. That’s just not true. What we need to understand is that if we begin planning our book as soon as we decide we want to write one we’ll save ourselves a lot of time and effort by avoiding detours we might otherwise have encountered.

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    Sunday
    Jun052011

    Does Creative Nonfiction Present a Danger to Writers?

    Is there a danger for writers who employ the tools of creative nonfiction? That’s a question worth some reflection. I have recommended that memoirists and family historians employ the techniques of creative non-fiction in telling their stories. The goal is to help them to bring documentary evidence and historical context to life by using literary tools like details of setting, scene and dialogue. So, should that advice come with a caveat?

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    Wednesday
    Jun012011

    See You at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree

    We are getting ready for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree next week at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. We hope to see you next week in Burbank.

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    Sunday
    May292011

    What Makes a Great Book Editor?

    What makes someone “one of the best” editors? It’s a useful question for anyone who wants to get a book published. The discussion around Robert Loomis’ retirement after 54 years at Random House offers us some clues.

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    Friday
    May272011

    Using Place to Reveal a Person

    Why did Lyndon Johnson always seem to be running when he came to work on Capitol Hill? Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Robert Caro explained the answer to the Second Annual Compleat Biography Conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Caro, who won the Pulitzer for his 1975 book on Robert Moses and again in 2003 for the third volume of his study of Johnson, Master of the Senate, focused on the importance of setting in biography.

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    Sunday
    May222011

    The National Jukebox: Family Historians Should Give It a Listen

    The Library of Congress has recently launched an online National Jukebox at www.loc.gov/jukebox/ . Created in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment the Jukebox contains 10,000 rare historic recordings of music and the spoken word produced between 1901 and 1925 now available to the public for the first time digitally. It's an exciting resource for historical and family history researchers.

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    Friday
    May202011

    Nancy Barnes Appears on Celestial Living Podcast

    Join Stories To Tell Managing Editor Nancy Barnes for an illuminating exploration of the process of creating and self publishing a book. She appeared recently on a Celestial Living podcast with inspirational author and spiritual teacher Johnna Andrea Tuttle. “Writing a book is a journey,” said Barnes. Authors go through six steps to create a book – imagine, plan, create, edit, design and publish. “Many people do the first three steps on their own. Many books never make it past that,” said Barnes. “We help people all the way through the process.”

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    Wednesday
    May182011

    Guiding Authors Through the World of Publishing

    Joel Friedlander, on his blog The Book Designer, reviews Show Me About Book Publishing. It’s a comprehensive guide designed to help an author answer the questions she needs to chart a course through the wide variety of publishing option.

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    Monday
    May162011

    What Are Good Journals?

    “What, exactly, are good journals?” asked Toby Fulwiler, of the University of Vermont, in his classic guide, The Journal Book. If you currently keep a writing journal or are thinking of starting one the list of features Fulwiler uses to answer the question is useful to think about.

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    Saturday
    May142011

    Why You Should Keep a Writer's Journal

    Call it a journal. Call it a diary. Call it a writer’s notebook. Call it what you will. If you are contemplating or working on a major writing project like a memoir or family history you should keep one.

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    Thursday
    May122011

    Margaret Atwood On Stories, Books, And Changing Technology

    Who knew that Canadian author Margaret Atwood was a stand up comedian, too? She appeared this year at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference to speak about "The Publishing Pie: An Author's View". Her humor and intelligence make this a wonderful presentation.

    The author, Atwood says, is the original source – the one who generates the content that keeps the whole publishing world in motion. Yet authors are getting less of the pie. Ebooks, in particular, make it unsustainable to write as a career. Atwood explores new publishing models and the concerns of the changing marketplace.

    Atwood discusses many ideas about the value of stories and books. And, for those of you who have been forced to read too many PowerPoints, she even drew cartoon illustrations for her slide show!

     

    Tuesday
    May102011

    A False Memoir? Why Be Shocked?

    A look at truth in memoirs and why we shouldn't be so shocked when we find it isn't there.

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    Saturday
    May072011

    Digital Dreamscapes: An Interview with Artist Nancy Gershman

    In this interview with artist Nancy Gershman, we discuss the design of family history books and memoirs, and the benefits of adding abstract images to a book cover.

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    Thursday
    May052011

    A Rosetta Stone for Cursive?

    This post examines what may be lost as people transition from writing in cursive to writing exclusively on computers and smart phones.

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    Tuesday
    May032011

    Who Are Editors and What Are They Good For?

    “Who are editors and what are they good for?” asks Anita Roy, a senior editor a Zubaan Books and associate editor of Geo magazine...Roy creates a list of the aspects of the craft of editing. Here are some excerpts from the list.

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