Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Holiday Gifts for Seniors

The gift of memories
Even if a senior has never been interested in writing, the LifeBio Memory Journal is a clever way to jog memories and pass along stories and wisdom to younger family members. After each question is sufficient space to capture handwritten answers.

The journal asks more than 250 questions, such as "How would you describe your mother to someone who never met her?" and "What skills did you inherit from your parents?" It includes questions that ask writers to recall a favorite birthday party from childhood or to describe the neighborhood they grew up in. The answers can also be transferred to an online LifeBio e-journal and merged with scanned photos to become a hardbound LifeBio Book, which can be printed (at additional cost) once or in multiple copies.

To order: LifeBio

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

5 tips for writing your life story

Writing an autobiography really doesn't have to be rocket science. Here are 5 great tips to help you get started.

1. Think. Think about the people who shaped you, your childhood memories, the real world of adulthood, and the values and lessons you have learned through the years.
2. Ask. Ask questions of your relatives when you are together or by phone. After all, their lives are a big part of your life. Change your conversations from the same-old, same-old to something new. You've probably never asked a parent or grandparent to describe their childhood neighborhood to you.
3. Write. Answering questions is a great way to get started ( You've just got to put pen to paper and not be afraid of grammar or spelling ( Some of the most amazing stories are just raw, honest, and from YOUR point of view. Nothing fancy.
4. Edit. Your family and friends really don't want every detail of your life recorded. This is not a is your life story! Some of the deep questions of life mean more than knowing just the facts or just the funny family stories. Give your family and friends a little bit of everything in your story.
5. Preserve. Your story could be on your hard drive, saved on a website, or sitting on a CD somewhere. Create a book from your story--and make sure key people get a copy of your autobiography. Ensure your family can easily locate this along with your other important papers. You've made the effort so it's important that your stories live on--long after you're gone. Genealogists and your great-great-great grandchildren will thank you! Your story is a gift.

Beth Sanders
Founder & CEO