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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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    Sunday
    May012011

    The Photo Detective

    A fellow member of the Association of Personal Historians recommended consulting Maureen Taylor, whom the Wall Street Journal called “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective.” The Journal’s article describes how Taylor unravels the mysteries contained in old photos. It’s a fascinating process.

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    Friday
    Apr292011

    What to Include in a Memoir or Family History Book

    How do you create a “living” person in a memoir or family history? We’ve talked about several approaches here. Today we’re going to look at some ideas from Phillip Lopate, essayist, writer and poet and author of The Art of the Personal Essay. These thoughts originally appeared in an interview with Lania Knight for the online edition of Poets and Writers Magazine.

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    Monday
    Apr252011

    I Love a Mystery

    I love mysteries. As a historian I have always found the search for the evidence that would unravel the mystery surrounding a historical event fascinating. Reading mystery novels is one of my favorite pastimes. A friends, knowing this propensity, recently sent me a story that the Associated Press reported a few years ago. It’s too good not to share.

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    Friday
    Apr222011

    Photographers, You’re Going To Love This

    What if you could reinvent the camera? Just as all our technological tools are moving toward miniaturization and wireless connections, cameras are undergoing a makeover. Photography designers Artefact have developed the prototype, the WVIL, which stands for "Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens.”

    The whole idea is that in current camera design, the viewfinder is shackled to the lens. What is the lens was in one place, but the viewfinder and controls were somewhere else, say on your computer or an iphone-type console? You could wireless adjust the lens through software, making the kind of rapid, minute calibrations that our clumsy fingers often fail to achieve.

    But wait, there’s more! Why just one lens? What if you could position multiple lenses around a subject, and control them all wirelessly? Photography is then transformed to a simultaneous input 3D art.

    To learn more, check out this article in Fast Company. There's a fascinating video, too. “Artefact claims that the WVIL concept is less about redesigning the digital camera as it is about redesigning digital photography itself.

    "It's about defining a platform for innovation in both hardware and software -- a camera operating system," Ronning says. "We've seen the effect that iOS had on phones. Now think of what effect a camera OS could have for photography."

    I can imagine, and like the fanatical iphone buyers, I would stand in line all night to buy this.

     

    Tuesday
    Apr192011

    Why I Celebrate National Library Week

    I walked into my hometown branch of the Shasta County Library on Monday afternoon. Near the front desk a colorful sign invited me to Celebrate National Library Week. As it so often happens, I missed the memo. The celebration was last week, April 10-16. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the celebration, no matter how tardy I might be

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