Exploring Roots and Characters

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I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are.”  ~ Susan Cheever

Have you ever considered how our lives are made up of stories? Everyone has stories to tell and some people are natural storytellers. However, sometimes getting stories down on paper is not as easy as telling them orally.

Think about family stories for a minute. Unless these rich narratives are written down and published, future generations will never know them. The characters who sprouted from the family tree will be lost.
Not to be overly-dramatic, the truth is that unless we share family stories through the form of memoir writing, in a few generations down the road we risk becoming like be a nation of adoptees who don’t know who their parents or grandparents were.

The good news is, we are living in an age where ordinary people can write and publish their stories independently. You don’t have to have a big family name behind you or sensational story to tell in order to become published. Resources are freely available for ordinary people.

Publishing a story for personal fulfillment is reward enough. But future generations will greatly appreciate knowing something about their family narrative because so many tales just get lost.

family link to the past and bridge to future

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of an award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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Life in Chapters and Stories

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Cars, beep, beep they pass us by and then it’s time to get down to business. ~ Big Time Rush quotes

The college years! What fulfilling memories I have from 1971 to 1975. The story I recounted a few days ago on All Things Fulfilling, about my notable car in college is just one of the many memories that I like to look back on. If you missed the blog, here is a link to it.http://bit.ly/1q9rlPg.

Not only did I build friendships of a lifetime during my four years at Johnson State College http://www.jsc.edu it was the first time throughout my education that I felt I could establish meaningful student-teacher relationships. Our college town was tiny. We ran into our professors off campus on a daily basis – in the grocery store, at the local ski areas and yes, in bars. Understand that this was decades before the days of Facebook and other social media and that is how we “networked” – face to face. There were only so many public places to meet-up in a remote area.

During the college years I felt as footloose and fancy-free as any other time in my life. It’s a beautiful feeling and the college years are a great time for young adults to discover who they are, what their passions are and what they want to do in life. I wish every individual could have an opportunity to experience living on a campus but with the cost of college sometimes it is prohibitive. So many life lessons are learned when a student lives away from home and in a dormitory with others.

In my memoir I recount a college experience that changed my life forever, abruptly. With that came huge realizations about life. I wrote about this event in Chapter 32 An Awakening. This chapter is an example of why memoir writing is so important. As Karen Armstrong, author of The Spiral Staircase once said, “We should probably all pause to confront our past from time to time, because it changes its meaning as our circumstances alter.” Click for Info on Karen Armstrong books.


Life, like cars, passes by quickly. Sometimes we make stops in our journeys through our different experiences. After the college years came the responsibilities of career, marriage and child rearing. And with those events came more stories!

JSC photo

Dibden Center for the Arts, Johnson State College, Johnson, Vermont

http://www.jsc.edu

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of A Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  For more information on my publication, click here Sue’s memoir.

Filmmaking in a Different Era

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If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

What do movie mogul George Lucas and Norman Rockwell have in common? They are both visual storytellers, Lucas through film and Rockwell through iconic illustrations of of American people.

Lucas, producer and creator of the “Star Wars” empire, has sold his company, Lucasfilms, to Disney for a reported four billion dollars. As a top art collector, his retirement interests include opening a museum in San Francisco, to share with the public his vast private collection of Rockwell art, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish paintings, comic art, along with comic art and children’s book illustrations. http://yhoo.it/1baeepf.  Lucas is also interested in highlighting fashion, the cinematic arts, and digital art in the museum exhibitions to inspire young people and to appeal to a broad spectrum of people in multiple generations.

Steven Spielberg, another huge collector of Rockwell art, also has interests in Lucas’ museum plans. A book, Telling Stories, was published in connection with a 2010 SmithsonianAmericanArt Museum exhibit comprising Spielberg and Lucas’ private collections of Norman Rockwell art. The connection of Norman Rockwell’s depictions of American life and the movies is evident in this book.

Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is available through Amazon.com. Order this book, and enjoy seeing visual images of the American filmmaking way before the digital age.

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