Writing and Editing: Don’t Look Back

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Writing and Editing: Don’t Look Back

What should you do with old versions of your manuscript? I’ve written more than 20 books and my method is to drag them into a folder called “Past Versions of X (name of book)” –and never look back. The only reason I would ever go into one of those files is if the current version…

Read More April 13, 2015

Creating a family memoir

Creating a family memoir takes time, but don’t let that intimidate you. One step in the family memoir is to preserve the oldest photographs. Those old black-and-white photographs, or the daguerrotype tins that preceded photographs in the late 1800s, become part of the musculature of the family memoir. While the photographs are important, the stories…

Read More February 23, 2015

The strong faces at Ellis Island

Arriving at Ellis Island, Esther’s grandparents were two amongst the throngs that swelled to 5000 newcomers a day. Ellis Island was their Plymouth Rock. The immigrants carried linens, embroidery, hand-forged scissors, sacred ornaments and religious objects, and sometimes they carried musical instruments. Their strong faces staring forward, they waited in long lines to be examined…

Read More January 29, 2015

The Wreck of the Andrea Doria

(Today’s history lesson is taken from my research into an event that figures into my current client’s life.  Below is a sample of how the stories of an individual’s life are woven into larger history. This blogpost is my account of the disaster, which figures into my client’s life in part because she was making her own first…

Read More January 13, 2015

My life in a book

Personal biography is your life in a book. We meet you wherever you are, prompt your stories to emerge, go away to conduct research on the era in history, and create a beautiful narrative that tells your story perfectly and completely. If you have ever imagined your memories unfolding on the pages of a hardback book…

Read More October 30, 2014

First-born Asian son bears great responsibility

Some of my clients are the first-born sons of Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, or Japanese parents, and these men hire me to honor their parents with an heirloom biography. Non-Asian people can hardly imagine the weight placed upon the shoulders of the first son of Asian descent. In a tradition passed through many generations before him,…

Read More September 1, 2014

Archive family photographs on Delkin gold CDs

Every year I research –yet again–the options for archiving family photos and mpg/audio files to see if anything has changed. Two hours on the phone this week verified what I recommended last year, which is Delkin professional-grade gold CDs purchased from B&H photo. Not gold DVDs,and I will explain why. You can store hundreds of…

Read More July 17, 2014

Jewish Genealogy is Complicated

Anyone who has ever attempted to trace Jewish roots will find a complexity that is unnerving. It drives you crazy. Soldiers of various nations swept through towns and villages, destroying records, homes, libraries, and exterminating entire populations of people. The loss of records is one challenge, but worse is the constant changing of language and names…

Read More June 25, 2014

Called: How One Couple Served A City

Called: How One Couple Served A City makes its debut in the summer of 2014 on Amazon and other online sources as well as at book-signing events in Memphis, TN. Called is an inspiring account of one woman’s effort–as a young woman, while married, and as a widow–to help the people who came her way. JoeAnn…

Read More April 10, 2014

Florida woman recalls Doolittle’s Raid

Business Insider magazine hours ago published a lengthy news story on a client memoir we wrote and published last year. Triggered by the upcoming anniversary of Doolittle’s Raid and other U.S. firebombing attacks upon Japanese civilians, the article focuses on our client, Helga, and includes a link to the memoir (truth be told, it is…

Read More April 9, 2014