If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tell Your Story

Recently, my youngest niece asked me, “What was life like when you were young?” Despite feeling ancient and that I should be on display in a museum after hearing her question, I realized that my life at her age really was different. One difference is that I didn’t have easy access to technology like she does. She can find information at the click of a mouse or by using her cell phone whereas I had to thumb through books and talk to people. Also, I feel that my generation had more freedom and perhaps felt safer than kids today. For instance, I didn’t need to go through a metal detector to check for hidden weapons before entering school. If I came down with a headache while at school, I could take an aspirin whereas now some kids are required to have the school nurse dispense over the counter medicine.

It occurred to me that I should somehow record information about my life for my niece but I wasn’t sure the best way to do this. After researching, I learned that there are organizations that have created ways for people to record and share their stories.
Thanks to the People’s Library project at the Richmond Public Library in Virginia http://www.nomovement.com/People-s-LIbrary, people are writing about their lives to pass along to others. A thousand blank books are being created from discarded books for participants to fill in their history. They can take a class from the library on how to write memoirs. Then they inscribe their life stories on the pages by hand. Completed books are included in the library’s permanent collection and placed on shelves next to bestsellers and classics for residences to check out and read.
Another creative project I read about in Readers Digest is StoryCorps. It began as a small oral history project at Grand Central Terminal in New York City then spread throughout the United States. Almost 100,000 people have participated over the past ten years telling their stories in recording booths. Sometimes family members interview each other and touching stories have emerged. One man talked about how he left the Navy in his mid-twenties to stay near his newborn daughter. When his daughter was about ten months old he began raising her as a single parent. He worked as a janitor at night and sometimes had to hide her in the closet at his job. He even took her to college classes and several of his basketball teammates occasionally babysat. When he graduated from college he carried his daughter with him as he received his diploma. His classmates gave him a standing ovation!
I think sharing our personal stories is a great way for a younger generation to better understand people they care about as well as learn a more personal version of our shared history.
Have you recorded your story? How do you think life is different for kids compared to when you were a child?


Jim Jackson said...

My father was a diariest from about his ninth birthday until shortly before his death. After heart surgery in his 70s he wrote his memoirs for family consumption after his death. My father, the statistician, was all about facts: this happened then, how big, long, many, etc. Interesting, but unlike the storycore vignettes, the soul was missing.

When (if?) I write mine, they will be short on facts (I don’t keep a diary and my memory for personal facts is inconsistent at best) and long on how I perceived events and how they affected my life. I wish Dad had done that – of course my kids may get mine and wish for a series of facts.

I suspect the reality is we write memoirs for ourselves; if others read them after we are gone, it’s a bonus.

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

I liked so much about this post, especially learning about StoryCorps and the People's Library project. And you got me thinking about how things are different for children now as opposed to "back in the day" when, it seems to me, we had so much more freedom.

Warren Bull said...

My father asked me to help him write is memoirs. It was a great experience. I learned more about him during the process than I expected. We stopped when he wanted to so the result is far from publication quality. Shortly after we stopped his health deteriorated. It would have been impossible to continue. I've published excerpts on WWK that you can look up.

Sarah Henning said...

How cool! My son (who is almost 5) is already asking questions about what we were like when we were kids. I've never been good at keeping a journal. It's been a New Year's Resolution for years. But maybe looking at it as telling my story might be more motivating, because, as Jim said, "if others read them after we're gone, it's a bonus."

Kara Cerise said...

Jim, I'm sure your kids will be happy to have your memoirs focusing on how events affected and shaped your life. My parents told me stories with “soul” about their lives although I wish they would have recorded them because I'm not sure I remember them accurately. However, while I may not remember the facts, I remember the lessons they learned.

Kara Cerise said...

Shari, I think we had more freedom and privacy than kids do today. We had the ability to make a mistake and not worry that photos of it would go viral for everyone in the world to see and add their comments.

Kara Cerise said...

What a wonderful way to learn more about your father, Warren. I remember reading some of those interesting and touching excerpts on WWK.

Kara Cerise said...

Sarah, how nice that your son wants to know about your life when you were a child. I bet you have some good stories to tell him!

E. B. Davis said...

What would be interesting to me--comparing a person's story to that of their biographer. Like portraying an MC, people color their lives with their own POV. No one can be objective, but I wonder how aware we are of our own slants. To be able to step outside of ourselves, to see ourselves as others see us--I think that would be a big benefit.

My father told so many stories about himself during his lifetime that no one is inclined to write down his stories now when he is dead. Perhaps we felt they had all ready served their purpose.

Gloria Alden said...

Nice blog, Kara. I kept a journal as a teenager, that sadly got ruined when the basement flooded. I didn't keep a journal again until I started again in 1990 and have kept it up ever since. I'm not sure how interesting it would be to anyone else. :-) One of my sisters thinks they should be packed up with a note to have them turned over to the Ohio Historical Society. She visited it in Columbus once and it's a huge place with many boxes all labeled and stored for historians to read.

I used to be a great letter writer - before computers - and that same sister saved all the letters I sent her when she was in college and living elsewhere afterwards, and for Christmas one year she gave them to me in a scrapbook with a cover she'd quilted. It was one of my best ever Christmas gifts because it tells the story of my life as a young mother and what was going on.

I worry about future historians. Who is saving emails, texts or twitters?

carla said...

This is such a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Kara, I'm sure you'll find the best way to share your story with your niece. When you do, please come back and share it with us on WWK.

Kara Cerise said...

Interesting idea, E.B. I hadn’t thought of comparing a person’s story with the biographer and I don’t remember reading a book or seeing a movie with that exact concept. A somewhat similar idea is the movie, Julie and Julia, which weaves together two lives even though they are years apart. It is based on the life of Julia Child and, Julie, a modern woman whose goal is to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook.

Kara Cerise said...

Gloria, what a thoughtful present your sister gave you!

I’ve found historical societies are interested in photos and letters from the past. After my mother died, I donated photos she had of an ancestor who was in the Civil War. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in them but, surprisingly, the historian I spoke with had researched and written a paper about this man. One hundred years from now someone could be writing about your life:)

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you, Carla. Today, as I was voting in the newly remodeled high school with computers everywhere and huge lockers in the halls (I guess today’s kids have a lot of stuff), I hoped family members recorded their personal history for these high-tech kids.

Kara Cerise said...

Paula, I have several idea how to tell my story to my nieces and if one of them is successful, I’ll definitely write about it.