13 July 2011

Going on vacation is easier than coming off vacation

It's not that I didn't write anything last month during my vacation in my little beach cottage by the ocean. I just wrote about my beach thoughts and my grandchildren thoughts. (We had three granddaughters with us.) I kept reading and I kept writing, but I didn't have my regular computer and I don't have a current project or a deadline. I've been home about a week and I keep waiting for blog inspiration to hit, but today I decided I'll just freewrite. That's writing about whatever comes into your mind. 

My mind is a little tired and a lot distracted. I wonder why I am keeping a blog. I have read so many great things that I sometimes wonder what I have to offer. Maybe just that, a round-up of some of the things I have read--I love Dan Curtis's blog about being a professional personal historian. I found an article about family reunions when following one of his blog recommendations. I have a reunion coming up next month and three nieces' weddings. Two of my boys have or are getting married this year and six of their cousins are as well. Those types of occasions tend to be reunion-type get-togethers too. 

Here are some of the ideas given last year on the website, LIFE STORY TRIGGERS
  • If you are planning to hand out your own or another's history, but haven't finished yet, take a chapter to the reunion to share. Don't beat yourself up for not getting it done; just call it a preview. 
  • Take your digital recorder with you and ask for responses to a particular question like "Who in history would you like to have met and why?" or  "What would you like to ask Grandma, Grandpa, Great-grandma, Great-grandpa etc.?" or "What is the funniest story about our family?" Asking the same question to 5 or 10 people could be a great chapter in a family story. And of course you can always catch an interview with someone who may not be there next year. 
  • Don't forget a camera. Take photos of everything and everybody. Once you have your photo, step forward one step for an even better one. If you are going to a place where you have an old photo, take a copy of the old photo and try to find the same spot. (Check out Dear Photograph for some examples of this.)
Whatever you do, have some fun and make some memories this summer. Then write about those memories and share your writing with others. Get connected via social networking or a family newsletter and stay connected by adding something often.


  1. Thanks for the mention!


  2. Asking the same question to 5 or 10 people could be a great chapter in a family story.

    When I read that line I thought of the Mickey Mouse rings that M.J. Christensen would give to my siblings and I. It is so true that many the different experiences give depth to stories of a person.

  3. Dan, I read you faithfully.
    Jeni, have you written about those rings? It was a new one to me when you shared at the reunion. :)