“Does anyone bother to write down personal family history anymore?” asked Bob Brody, who blogs at letterstomykids.org, today in a San Francisco Chronicle Open Forum piece titled Connect Your Children with Their Family History (It will appear online in the paper’s sf.gate.com site Sunday, June 19th)
In our last post we looked at the first steps in organizing your family history book: listing ideas you want to include and taking inventory of your existing research to see what your already have and what you still need to gather to write about those ideas. Today we’ll focus on makin
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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!
A look at truth in memoirs and why we shouldn't be so shocked when we find it isn't there.
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.