Monday, April 22, 2013

Writing-Related Sessions at Jamboree 2013

The Southern California Genealogical Society' Jamboree will be held in Burbank, California, from June 7-9, with a pre-conference event on June 6. 


Over 100 sessions are scheduled over the three-day conference, and there are plenty of writing- and storytelling-related sessions (I was thrilled to see such a selection!!).  I also threw in a few sessions on the preservation of artifacts, since many times, we incorporates these elements into our stories.

Date/Time Session Speaker
Friday, June 7
3:00 PM
Evidence from Material Culture: Using Artifacts in Research and Writing about Ancestors John Philip Colletta
Friday, June 7
4:30 PM
Recording, Preserving, and Sharing Your Family’s Oral History Thomas MacEntee
Saturday, June 8
8:30 AM
RootsMagic Demo, Publishing Your Family Online Bruce Buzbee
Saturday, June 8
8:30 AM
Preserving Digital Files: A Step-by-Step Guide D. Joshua Taylor
Saturday, June 8
2:00 PM
Turning Genealogy into Family History: Creating Stories from Stats Jean Wilcox Hibben
Saturday, June 8
3:30 PM
Demo, Family Chartmasters: Beyond Scotch Tape: Charts to Fascinate Your Family Janet Hvorka
Sunday, June 9
8:30 AM
Demo, Personal Historian 2: New Tools to Write Your Life Bruce Buzbee
Sunday, June 9
10:00 AM
Creating a Custom Photo-History Book Richard Humphrey
Sunday, June 9
10:00 AM
Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop Denise Levenick
Sunday, June 9
1:00 PM
The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History Lisa Alzo
Sunday, June 9
2:30 PM
Demo, Use Legacy Family Tree to Create Shareable CDs, Books, Charts and More Geoff Rasmussen

Not registered yet?  Early bird registration end on April 30, so hurry over and register today!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mashable Highlighted 2 Storytelling Apps This Week

MP900439090It’s so great to see family history in the mainstream.  And for Mashable, a technology blog, to highlight, not one, but two apps related to family history is unbelievable!  What’s better is that I personally had not heard of one of the apps.  In case you missed the posts, here they are:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories – Book Blog Tour

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith recently released the second edition of his book 13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories, which is available at both Amazon and Lulu.  As part of this launch, Dr. Bill organized a Book Blog Tour where various bloggers will feature the book with either a review, interview, or author guest post.  Today it’s my turn to present a review of the book.

13WaysDo you have family history and ancestor stories collected and researched?  Do you want to share them and tell your stories, but don't know how or what venue to use?  This book has your answer.

Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if you use multiple approaches to telling your ancestor stories to your family and interested others. Showing you how to this is the purpose of this book.

The content of you telling of ancestor stories includes your life as well as the lives of your two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, etc., and their siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestor stories include the social context in which these folks lived, their clothes, their farms or ranches, their religion (or not), their occupations, their loves and antagonisms, their education (or not), their friends and neighbors, and the mundane details of their daily lives.

13 sections suggest a variety of ways to tell your ancestor stories; each section has a Planning Worksheet to assist you in doing it most effectively.

The main point of 13 Ways is to encourage people to tell their stories, regardless of how this is actually done. Oftentimes, people want to share their stories, but they do not know where to start, what tools/technologies/media are available, or what option(s) work best for their particular goal(s).  This book is broken up into 13 chapters, each presenting a different idea that can be used to tell your family stories.

You probably have heard of or seen each of these mediums in everyday life.  But you may not have thought about how they could be applied to family history and sharing your family stories.  13 Ways puts some perspective around this and lends some ideas in the context of family history.

At the end of each chapter, the author offers up some pros and cons, as well as additional resources.  There is also a planning worksheet for each chapter to help you get started and determine if the idea is a viable option for you.

To be clear, this book is a high-level introduction to various tools/technologies/media to help you tell your family stories.  It is not necessarily an instructional guide on how to implement each type of project, although additional resources are provided to point you in the right direction.  Think of this book as an inspirational tool to get you thinking about how you might go about sharing your family stories.  I myself found some motivation to explore some options I had not previously considered for sharing my family stories.  Perhaps you will find the same motivation—remember, it is really about telling the story.

For a chance to win a PDF version of the book, visit:

13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories.  By Dr. Bill (William L. Smith).  Published by Lulu, 2013.  ISBN 978-1-300-79789-0.  77 pp.  Appendix, worksheets.  Paperback.

DrBillAbout Dr. Bill:  "Dr. Bill enjoys telling and sharing ancestor stories and related family history social context. He has published four family histories, to date, with more in progress.  For the latest on Dr. Bill, his writings, and stories, see his complementary blog Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a complimentary PDF version of this book as part of my participation in the Book Blog Tour.

Monday, April 1, 2013

StoryPress: Big News!

I received the following press release from StoryPress and thought I’d pass it along to my readers.  Also note that during the RootsTech 2013 conference, DearMYRTLE spoke with Mike Davis about StoryPress. You can watch the five-minute interview here.


AUSTIN, TX - Everyone has an important story to tell, and the free StoryPress app lets you easily save these stories to share with future generations. Since the v1 launch in December 2012, thousands have already downloaded.

Stories are not traditionally thought of as something that can be easily saved and shared. Most are never written down, and are too often forgotten. Use the free StoryPress app to capture your own personal history, or tell a loved one about it – we designed it to be unbelievably easy to use, even for seniors.

There is an authenticity in someone’s own voice that transcends time and carries more weight than any other element, and StoryPress is here to capture these moments – your favorite memories, your successes, and your funny stories – and let you share them with your loved ones.

The user can customize a cover, then either freely talk or choose a topic and be interviewed by our program. (Yeah, it’s pretty amazing.) Then the software automatically turns the audio recordings into an audio story permanently saved on our cloud.

Kickstarter Campaign

A 30-day Kickstarter campaign starting April 1 hopes to raise $15,000 to fund development of v2, which will integrate photos and music into completed audio stories.


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