Dementia and Life Story. A rewarding project

Dementia and Life Story can be a union that produces a wonderful family legacy. Whilst there is a lesson to be learned from obtaining the life stories of our loved ones before the onset of age and symptoms that may be associated with a decline in memory, understanding the phenomenon can help elicit communication that will be a wonderful life story.

Life Story and Dementia
A Life Story and Dementia can be a powerful union

A Salad of Information

Communication is more than the spoken word. Successful understanding and communication happens when we not only listen, but stay in the moment with the loved one and be ready to be where they are in their story telling. This salad of information can be documented as it emerged or reorganised to create a flowing narrative. Some may consider that this salad of ideas and concepts a wonderful representation of their loved one and seize as many opportunities as possible to capture experiences still stored in their mind. There is no right or wrong in either of these outcomes.Continue Reading

A Personal Historian and Life Writing are what? Isn’t that expensive?

A Personal historian is someone who sits with you, listens to you and creates a lasting legacy in the form of a book or video of your life reflections. Life Writing is non-fictional writing that records a person’s memories to tell the story of their life or parts of their life experiences. The cost relates to what you want done. It is like a holiday where you may choose to have a wonderful camping holiday with its special intimate moments or a grand luxury stay at an international hotel. Anyway, how do you value the priceless gift of a completely personalised book on your life that will be treasured for generations?

Life Writing is one of the most dynamic fields of modern writing and is generating a lot of interest amongst people of all ages. The genre is available to all people and can the final product can be as small as you like or as big as you can afford. Usually, although not exclusively, they are private books or videos that will be handed down through generations as perhaps war medals. They also serve to share precious photographs and treasured documents amongst  family members.

Personal Historian
A Life Historian will help preserve those stories she will want to know

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Is a Memoir all Fact?

When writing a memoir, the issue of fact or fiction must be addressed. It is an issue often discussed amongst memoirists and a fear born out of a deceiving one’s readers.

The issue came to mind recently when reading the novel written about Margaret Cathpole’s life as written by Reverend Richard Cobbold, the Rector of Worthham, Suffolk (http://hawkesburywriters.org.au/margaret-catchpole-her-life-and-her-letters/s).

People in the Hawkesbury did remember Margaret according to the Hawkesbury Writers website when she lived local to them. Their memories were very different to the Reverend Cobbold’s account of Margaret’s life.

The mind can play tricks and even with the best of intentions can replay events not quite as they were. I wrote an account of a memoir of my childhood to do with the opening of the Parkes Radio Telescope.  I then went about and researched the facts of the day and surprisingly many facts were not as I remembered. Of course, I was a child, and interpreted events through my own understanding.Continue Reading

My first memoir book launch

During last weekend, I attended my first book launch. The truth is I have never been invited before and perhaps I wouldn’t have accepted without a personal interest. My interpretation of book launches is champagne fuelled ego-catering strategies to entice you to buy the book in question. I liked the idea of the author reading a few passages but refuted the thought of commercial marketing pressure to purchase.

Of course it was all of these things, let’s face it. What is changed is me. Me. I have changed. I have reclaimed my love of books, book shops and appreciation of all that belongs in the writer’s box of trade.Continue Reading