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August 29, 2012 / diannegray

Memories take us back – dreams take us forward

My daughter had an operation last week which has left her housebound for two weeks. She has a high pressure job and being at home not able to move around much has left her mind racing in the What can I do next on my computer? mode.

Enter –  Let’s go through old photographs time.

The photo above is me admiring my first writing award (Cairns Post Writers Award). After the awards ceremony we hit the town and painted it red (as you do). The pic was taken the following morning with my mother-in-law’s old camera and, needless to say, I was suffering the effects of the previous evening!

Since that time I’ve won what they (other authors) call ‘more exclusive’ awards, but the first one always holds that special place in my heart. I haven’t seen this photo for a couple of years and when my daughter put it on Facebook all the memories and the excitement I felt at the time came flooding back.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that writing can be a damn hard business. You have (what I call) that monkey on your back, and no matter what you’re doing you’re always thinking, ‘there’s a story in that.’

In fact, everyone’s life is a story. I’m a very passionate believer in everyone writing their life story. I told this to a woman at work and she came back with ‘I don’t write.’ But the thing is, you don’t have to be a writer to write your life story. Within two weeks she had started ‘her story’ and now tells me it’s the best move she ever made.

This all comes back to my first memory post. To write your life story you start with the first thing you remember. It can sound quite boring at first, but once you get into it, it’s very rewarding. No one has to read it. My life story is tucked soundly away for posterity in the hope that one day my grandchildren and great grandchildren may want to know who I was. I wish my ancestors had done this – all I know of anyone older than my parents are the faded photographs on walls. I don’t know their loves and hates, their first memories or their happiest and saddest moments. I find this very sad indeed.

Once I started writing ‘my story’ I got through an entire page of everything I remembered up to the age of 15. But then a strange thing happened. I recounted a story about my sister-in-law. Hang on – I met her when I was 11 (back I go to add how we first met). Then I recounted a story about my then best friend. Hang on – I forgot to include how we first met (go back again).

After twelve months ‘my story’ to age 15 had increased from one page to 10 pages! The more I wrote, the more I remembered.

The beauty of writing your life story is that it doesn’t have to be written in best-seller style, it doesn’t have to fit into any genre, doesn’t need an agent and it doesn’t have to be in a publishable state. Some of my life story is nothing more than dot points!

Every few months I go back and add a little more – who knows, one day I may be so old I can’t remember things and need to go back and check what my life was really like!

Until that day comes I’ll keep plugging away at it regardless of how major or minor things are – how I ran away from boarding school; my first love left me for my best friend; the music I love; my favourite foods; my miscarriage; the overwhelming adoration I have for my children; the time I fought off a taipan with a broom; how I was knocked out by a ceiling fan; my love of fishing; my first toy; my friends, enemies and lovers – and the list goes on and on.

Now I feel comfort in the fact that when my grandchildren and their children’s children think of me, they’ll certainly see more than a faded photograph on the wall.

When are you going to start penning your life story?

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115 Comments

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  1. John / Aug 29 2012 6:39 am

    That’s a great idea but how do I do it? Hope your daughter gets well. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 6:42 am

      My daughter is doing fine – thank you, John.

      Just start at the beginning and it kind of gains a life of its own:D

      Like

  2. maggiemyklebust / Aug 29 2012 6:39 am

    Check.
    I’m the poster child for “you don’t have to be a writer to write your life story”
    If I can do it anyone can.
    Great post!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 6:41 am

      Thanks Maggie!

      I should have put a picture of you up here 🙂

      Like

  3. 1girl4adamwest / Aug 29 2012 7:28 am

    Sending get well wishes out to your daughter. It’s awesome you are on a continuing quest to add till your finish your life story, your children and their children and so on, will cherish your words. Again, totally, awesome!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 7:50 am

      Thank you so much!
      My daughter reads this blog and the comments so she’ll feel very happy that you are wishing her well! She’s doing fine 🙂

      Like

  4. bulldogsturf / Aug 29 2012 7:32 am

    I have already and like you say.. I keep remembering things as I write… go back and add, more memories, add but it just seems to go on ad infinitum..

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 7:54 am

      So true!

      I know we’ve spoken about this before – but if you ever publish your life story – I’ll be first in line 🙂

      Like

  5. Bonnie at {PaperKeeper} / Aug 29 2012 7:44 am

    I love this…the idea of just starting a list, and not letting the whole thing be so daunting. What a great gift, to make this to accessible to us!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 8:00 am

      Thanks, Bonnie. I once had the idea that I wanted to write the WORLD life story – I was wishing that I could get one paragraph from everyone and put it all into one huge book!

      Never know – I might start another blog one day and call for submissions – I guess this would be a lot easier doing than knocking on everyone’s doors 😀

      Like

      • Bonnie at {PaperKeeper} / Aug 29 2012 8:04 am

        WOW! That’s ambitious…and cool. And yes, the blogosphere would sure make that much more possible! I’m going to keep my eye on you! 🙂

        Like

      • bodhisattvaintraining / Aug 29 2012 8:31 am

        I love that idea ! One paragraph from everyone…

        Like

      • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 9:39 am

        I’m determined to do it one day! 🙂

        Like

      • Aimee / Aug 29 2012 1:59 pm

        That would be very cool 🙂

        Like

  6. Rick Mallery / Aug 29 2012 7:51 am

    Writing my life story would be easy. I’d just have to compile and edit my psychoanalyst’s notes.

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 8:03 am

      LOL! Love it!

      I see you have a new book out – going to check it out now 🙂

      Like

      • Rick Mallery / Aug 29 2012 8:32 am

        Awesome! Thanks, Dianne. And best wishes to your daughter.

        Like

      • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 9:40 am

        Thanks, Rick!

        Like

  7. Amanda / Aug 29 2012 8:29 am

    My life is way too “middle of the road” to be interesting! I think this is the essence of why I can’t find an idea for any kind of book!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 9:38 am

      Aw – come on Amanda! You’ve got a very interesting life. You can put it under ‘things I’m going to do after I hit 30’ 😀

      Like

  8. lacunakittie / Aug 29 2012 8:33 am

    I love this idea. How come no one keeps a journal or diary any more? Oh yeah, Myspace and Facebook happened.

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 9:44 am

      Exactly right, Maray (or should I call you Kitty?) 🙂

      Everything now is instantaneous – people FB and twitter and life is just too fast. Journals and diaries seems to have been pushed aside.

      Bring it all back I say 😀

      Like

  9. jmmcdowell / Aug 29 2012 10:47 am

    I love the post title—it is so true. Genealogists get advice like this, too. We’re so busy gathering dusty facts about our ancestors and searching for elusive words from them (diaries, for example) that we forget to let people know our own stories. Of course, I still haven’t gotten around to doing that. 😉 Maybe when my characters are willing to have me spend time on it….!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 1:18 pm

      Glad you like the title:) We really do have to dig for everything – even from 50 – 100 years ago! Such a shame.

      Just get the main character to push the others aside for a while 🙂

      Like

  10. Ruth Rainwater / Aug 29 2012 10:55 am

    This is a great idea; but most people won’t do it because they think they can’t write. It doesn’t matter. What matters is to get down on paper (or computer :-)) what happened in your life. I know some Boomer women who are now doing just that as a gift for their grandchildren. I know there are others like me who live too far away from grandchildren for them to get to know who we are. A ‘remembering’ journal is a great way for them to know us.

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 1:23 pm

      It’s a fantastic idea, Ruth! And you’re right – you don’t need to be a writer to do it – no one’s going to look at it in 100 years times and say ‘this persons not an author!’ They’ll say ‘wow, this person was real – they had a life!’

      Like

  11. jmgoyder / Aug 29 2012 11:33 am

    Love this post and the photo. I think the idea of writing one’s life story can be a bit daunting – I have found myself accidentally doing if with the blog, tidbit by tidbit – and enjoying myself!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 1:30 pm

      Thank you, Julie 🙂

      The blog is a great way to put it out there without really knowing you’re doing it! You may look back in ten years time and remember the beauty of those magnificent camellias in your garden and the feeling of love you felt looking at them:)

      Like

  12. tchistorygal / Aug 29 2012 11:41 am

    What a great idea!! I am just streaming the thoughts I have currently day to day, but since I am retiring in 2 days, that could be a project. I am nominating you for a cute award, The Super Sweet Award. It will be up later tonight so you can check it out. Congratulations, and thanks for being a “sweet” follower.

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 1:32 pm

      Thank you, Marsha! What a beautiful thought 🙂 I’m very flattered!

      You lucky thing retiring – that will be me soon (just not soon enough for my liking) 😀

      Like

      • tchistorygal / Aug 29 2012 2:00 pm

        I am very excited – 2 more days. It doesn’t seem real at this point!

        Like

  13. ocdreader / Aug 29 2012 1:04 pm

    That is a great idea. I am excited to start but also tired just thinking about it! 🙂 I would need to ask my friends and family about certain things because I feel like I have forgotten so much, but you are right, it would jog dusty memories. It could be a lot of fun.
    I wish my grandma and grandpa did that. I always meant to get more of their stories. What that means is that I should get my parents to jot some stuff down. 🙂

    Glad to hear your daughter is recovering nicely!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 2:19 pm

      Thanks, Elisa 🙂

      Start asking family now…

      If I asked my mother she probably wouldn’t remember much. There are six children in my family and I celebrated my birthday on the wrong day until I got my driver’s license and realised my parents had no idea about my real birth date (they were only a few days off). Hahaha – I only just remembered that (must put it in ‘my story’) 😀

      Like

      • ocdreader / Aug 30 2012 1:25 am

        Wow – yea, when there are that many kids I guess things can be close and still count as ok. That is a little bit of a nutty story though, especially finding it out as a teen, were you dramatically upset? 🙂 I am one of six, but my parents split so there were four of us in one house, it was still so noisy and complicated! One friend from highschool had 11 or 12 siblings. Crazy!!

        Like

      • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 7:46 am

        It didn’t upset me at all – I actually thought it was kind of funny in a weird way (I’ve always been told I have a relaxed and happy disposition – whatever the hell that means!)

        My house was noisy and complicated as well and I guess my parents had a lot going on all the time.

        11 or 12 is a LOT of kids! I couldn’t begin to imagine what hat would be like 😀

        Like

      • ocdreader / Aug 30 2012 2:30 pm

        That is good! I am listening to a book on tape where the teen is upset by all sorts of things…just curious. 🙂

        Like

  14. jannatwrites / Aug 29 2012 4:07 pm

    Love the title of this post – so true.

    I like how you suggest doing a life story, beginning with the very first memory. No life story for me, though. Too many things I’d rather not remember, especially from childhood. I’ll stick with fiction 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 4:33 pm

      Oh – that’s really sad, Janna 😦

      I think this is probably the reason my hubby likes fiction as well…

      Like

  15. Tarina / Aug 29 2012 4:15 pm

    Oh yes, I do want to write my life story! But don’t know when. I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I remember and want to write it all down at once but I can’t so I stop. I know that’s bad 😀
    Your post about first memories was interesting. I couldn’t think of mine for a while but it did get me thinking and I know what it was now. It’s a brilliant way to start a life story.
    Life stories could even be published, when we’re dead and famous (or just famous, it depends) as those bestseller autobiographies. I think of that sometimes. 😀
    Still loving your blog 😀

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 4:47 pm

      It would be a lot better if we write our life stories so no one else does it when we’re gone 😀

      Glad you love the blog!!!

      Like

  16. Janna Noelle / Aug 29 2012 4:37 pm

    I did this once in high school: the assignment was to write our autobiography. I had a surprising lot to say for a 16-year-old. I never thought about doing it again, but it’s a neat idea. I can definitely see how the story would unfurl like yarn, even for non-writers. It could be a good exercise to help non-writers gain confidence in their storytelling abilities.

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:37 am

      Hey, Janna. My son also did this in high school and it’s amazing what he remembered and I didn’t!! I guess we all have our ways of looking at things and what was exciting or important for him was not the same for me. In this sense, we should probably encourage our children to do the same thing because it may help us better understand where they’re coming from.

      You’re so right about non-writers gaining confidence by doing this exercise 😀

      Like

  17. Carolyn Mers / Aug 29 2012 6:57 pm

    WOW! Dianne!!!! For many years I have only “thought” about making notes of my life to share with children and now grandchildren who are scattered 1,000’s of miles awway but I have always put it off because I was too busy. For the last 6 years, I have been journaling, and now blogging, about my ride with my mom on the Alzheimer Roller Coaster, I have received great comfort in the writing, as well as rereading them myself. My intention has always been to share this journey with others to show that while it is quite difficult to live in and amongst the Alzheimer World, there can also be great joy. But what you have put into perspective for me today with your story and all the wonderful comments, is that this Alzheimer thing is just one chapter of my life, and that my true story is so much more. In order for anyone to truly know who I am today, they also need to know where I came from. Thanks for making me realize that there is more to my story that needs to be shared.
    Carolyn
    http://alzheimerrollercoaster.wordpress.com

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 29 2012 8:25 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing, Carolyn. Incredible story!

      Like

  18. amb / Aug 29 2012 10:25 pm

    I love this idea – I’ve been keeping journals since I was about 11, and now they can be “research material” instead of just notebooks taking up space in my tiny closet 🙂 Thanks so much for following my blog, by the way!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 7:52 am

      Journals are very handy, Amber! I find it great because my memory is ‘less then perfect’. There’s a saying that goes something like – ‘if you think you have a great memory, try and remember what you were doing a year ago today’. I never can!

      Thanks for popping by – I’m looking forward to following your blog 🙂

      Like

  19. justinwriter / Aug 29 2012 10:58 pm

    It’s good that you’re doing this. To write your life story is such a gift to your children. I started writing my life story some time ago, so the generations that follow me will have something. My grandparents died when I was very young. I wish they had written something about their lives; even a shopping list would have been gold. 🙂

    By the way, I’ve awarded you the Creative Writer Blogging Award. For details, see my latest post: http://write21.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/creative-writer-blogging-award/

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 7:54 am

      Thank you so much Justin – that’s wonderful 😀

      Totally agree on the shopping list analogy!!!

      Like

  20. Anna Scott Graham / Aug 29 2012 11:49 pm

    Wishing your daughter a full recovery!

    I love that photo, very spontaneous. I wrote part of my life story after my brother died in 1997, very cathartic. Now I wonder if in every book there’s a part of me unwinding a little more. Sometimes I don’t even realize it until well after a book has been written. I so lament knowing very little about my ancestors. Several amazing things in their lives, but I only have sketches of who they were under those events. The writer in my itches to fill in the blanks, but I’d rather have truth than speculation. However, those generations might be the last where privacy ruled. It’s a different world now. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:02 am

      Well said, Anna 🙂 Our future generations may very well read these posts (if they can find them!)

      So terribly sorry to hear about your brother. I started writing my story when my father died. There is something about tragedy that brings out the inner workings and a quest to find out ‘why’ through writing. Like you, there is always a little piece of me in my work 🙂

      Like

      • Anna Scott Graham / Aug 30 2012 11:53 am

        Dianne, I agree; loss does trigger reflection. But without those alterations, even miserable at the time, we don’t grow. Something I try to express in my writing is that very theme; crap happens, but not always for the worst. 🙂

        Like

  21. adinparadise / Aug 30 2012 12:45 am

    What a great idea, Dianne. I have an empty journal just waiting to be written in.:)

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:09 am

      Oh – go for it, Ad! I could imagine you would have a library full of amazing adventures and stories 😀

      Like

  22. starproms / Aug 30 2012 2:10 am

    That’s a lovely picture of you. Do hope your daughter soon gets back to her normal self!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:16 am

      Why thank you so much – on both counts 😀

      Like

  23. Tina / Aug 30 2012 2:13 am

    Beautiful post

    Like

  24. Lucy / Aug 30 2012 2:53 am

    Beautiful post, Dianne. Isn’t it amazing how writing from what we know is such an organic process? Our memories unfold more and more as we write about them! You put it so beautifully. Thank you, also, for liking my post. I appreciate that a lot! Keep up the great work on your blog. I’ll be back again to read more.

    Like

  25. cocoaupnorth / Aug 30 2012 3:47 am

    Lovely post, so well written. I don’t know about writing my life story but I’m looking forward to yours, sounds more interesting:-)

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:21 am

      Hahaha – thank you 🙂 The funny thing is we all do the same things, but its really good when we know it’s happened to someone else because it give us the notion that we are part of ‘one’. We all have a break up at some time, or have a stupid accident, or lose something, or someone and we know we’re not alone 🙂

      Like

  26. Linda Vernon / Aug 30 2012 5:08 am

    What a wonderful post. First of all, I’m enjoying your book and am not surprised at all that you have won prestigious awards! You are a wonderful writer. It’s always seemed odd to me that we know so little about our ancestors — any farther back than our grandparents. And how fascinating it would be to read the story of one of my ancestor’s lives! I really liked this post Dianne and I’m going to find a way to incorporate the story of my life into my daily writing schedule. Oh and I hope you daughter is back on her feet in no time!

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 8:27 am

      Thank you so much, Linda! It also seems odd to me as well that we know so little. If we lived in a village where the elders repeated the old stories over and over again our lives would be so much richer – but we seem to have lost that. Now they call it ‘myth’ which also puzzles me!

      I’m so glad you’re going to include this in your daily writing schedule – we forget things so quickly and it’s good to look back over what we’ve written to see where we once were and how we felt about being there!
      😀

      Like

  27. Shanan / Aug 30 2012 1:44 pm

    Writing from my own life is my cathartic little exercise. I love to take some memory I’m noodling over and give it to another character. I know how I reacted, but how would someone else react? Or maybe I wish I would have made different choices…. if I give that crossroads to a fictional character, I can play out what might have happened. It’s fun, it’s enlightening, and it helps me see my own life from a fresh perspective.

    I do, however, journal daily about how I’m feeling “right now.” I ponder over whatever is happening in life, and I scratch out ideas of how to solve my current issues. I get wild ideas and run with them, and then sometimes even go act on it! 🙂

    Like

  28. Rustic Recluse / Aug 30 2012 1:46 pm

    I hope all is well now for your daughter and yourself. Great idea about penning your life story for your children and grandchildren. I never thought about it – life on my end didn’t seem exciting enough. Well, unless we refer to the fact that phones with numberpads would eventually become alien to them? And floppy disks are a thing from ice age… 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 30 2012 2:16 pm

      Floppy what? Lol!!

      Everything is fine this end – thank you for asking.

      Your life doesn’t need to be thrilling to write about it – mine certainly isn’t. It’s just that I wish my ancestors had because that would be really cool 😀

      Like

  29. audiophileparadise / Aug 30 2012 9:28 pm

    Awesome post Dianne! Sending my heartiest well wishes to your daughter! Hope she gets well soon!

    Like

  30. audiophileparadise / Aug 30 2012 9:31 pm

    P.S. : Tell her to listen to some music (Probably the oldies)… It’s said that music is best natural remedy… Again, looking forward for your daughter’s full recovery! 🙂

    Like

  31. 4amWriter / Aug 31 2012 6:25 am

    This is lovely. I often think about doing something like this, but then I think it’s only interesting if I’m ‘someone’, if you know what I mean. Doing it for myself is certainly reason enough, but right now I prefer either making things up or writing about my kids’ lives.

    I think it’s kind of funny that you got knocked out by a ceiling fan. My husband is constantly getting knicked by those suckers, and all I can do is laugh at him and tell him that’s why he’s bald now. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Aug 31 2012 7:32 am

      Hahahaha – I got knocked out with the aid of a ladder and a ceiling fan! I was doing some work in one of the rooms and went to move the ladder and it hit the fan and the ladder hit me straight between the eyes! Ouch!
      (Hope I don’t go bald) 😀

      Like

  32. MyAddMoment / Aug 31 2012 8:22 pm

    That is such a great idea. Continued well wishes for your daughter.

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 1 2012 7:46 am

      Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to let her know 🙂

      Like

  33. Jennifer Ritchie / Sep 1 2012 4:45 am

    I LOVED this post! My Dad spent 5 years after his retirement compiling a complete history of our family since we came to Ireland, going back to the 1600s – and a little bit about himself too. He was an airline pilot for his working life, so surprised us all with his writing skills. He published 6 beautiful bound copies of his book – one each for our closest family members. It is a real treasure.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas so eloquently and inspiring so many. xx

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 1 2012 7:49 am

      Thank you so much, Jen! This is a fantastic story. You’re so lucky your father did this! What an incredible idea! Love it 🙂

      Like

  34. Denise Hisey / Sep 1 2012 5:56 am

    I told someone at work I wanted to write my memoir and he almost wet his pants laughing so hard. When he finally came up for air, he said “only people like Colin Powell write their memoirs- you know, people who are ‘someone’!”

    It hurt my feelings to say the least, but I am determined to write it nevertheless.

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 1 2012 7:27 am

      Oh – that’s SO mean!!!! What a rat 😦

      Get it done and take no notice of people like that. Everyone has a story, regardless of who you are or where you come from. I’m so glad you’re still going to it! Good on you 🙂

      Like

    • Photos With Finesse / Sep 7 2012 1:41 pm

      OMG – what a thoughtless dolt! I would love to know more about my grandparents and great-grandparents but no-one thought to write their memoirs. Do it for yourself! You are someone!

      Like

  35. Paige Nolley / Sep 1 2012 9:40 am

    Accept your award, you Beautiful Blogger, you!
    Details here: http://paigenolley.wordpress.com

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 1 2012 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much!!!! 😀

      Just been over to your place to check it out (and the other nominees) 🙂

      Like

  36. Keeping Up With The Holsbys / Sep 1 2012 8:18 pm

    you know, I’ve started to write particular parts of the story – painful parts – and put them away. When I found them recently, I tore them up……it’s like that painful story didn’t need to remain written any longer.
    Perhaps as part of a bigger story it would wouldn’t have such ‘legs’.

    I love that picture of you. You first award would be , by far, the best!

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 2 2012 7:10 am

      Hey Danielle – It’s fine to tear them up. Once they’re on paper they’re out of your head (which can be a really good thing sometimes!) As no one ever needs to read it 🙂

      BTW – just saw your email this morning 🙂

      Thanks for the like on the picture – it was a happy day indeed!

      Like

  37. lifeonwry / Sep 2 2012 4:58 am

    Love your blog. I’m trying to get the hang of it. And it’s great therapy.

    Like

  38. Jessica / Sep 5 2012 12:19 pm

    This post…thank you for this post. You’ve inspired me now.

    Like

  39. some stolen moments / Sep 6 2012 12:04 pm

    I think this is very helpful. So many people do not write their story because they think it should be a memoir, but why can’t it start as a list! Bullet points and some paragraphs, heck on powerpoint you can add pix. Just wanted to thank you for stopping by and “liking” my post, Rain. So glad it led me to your blog. I will be following your blog and hope you stop by and visit me again some time.

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 6 2012 1:19 pm

      I loved Rain – and your poetry is beautiful!

      You’re so right about the memoir – it doesn’t need to be a ‘novel’ and doesn’t even need to be read or polished. It’s just the story of our lives 🙂

      Like

  40. Photos With Finesse / Sep 7 2012 1:39 pm

    Years ago I started a ‘weekend report’ that went to one friend in Louisiana – usually some photos accompanied my activities. She loved them and felt it brought me closer to her. She always said I should do a book to go with my photos because she loved my writing – and the stuff I ‘see’ that others don’t. (I take that for granted.) That ‘report’ still goes out – it’s my diary – but it’s now delivered to five friends who I don’t see any more (moved away, changed jobs etc). It’s wonderfully cathartic. And I can go look things up about the kids too. I guess in a way it’s a memoir. One of those friends sends one back to me. Makes me feel like I’m a lot physically closer to them too. (Hers exhausts me because she keeps a record of her boot camp exercises in it LOL.) I think it’s one of the reasons I love blogging too – each one is a memoir of something I’ve done, or accomplished, and I often find myself going places in my mind I wouldn’t otherwise. e.g. who knew I could put a cultural event and the KKK on the same page – in the 21st century! Love your thoughts on this post – and am glad you find something to keep your daughter amused! Hope she’s recovered.

    Suzan

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 7 2012 2:11 pm

      Thanks, Suzan. This is wonderful response and I’m so glad you now have all those beautiful memories written down 🙂

      This is another reason why I love blogging as well. It’s like a diary and some day I’ll probably go back to my old posts and think ‘did I really say that?’

      Love the fact that your friend keeps a record of her boot camp exercises 😀

      Like

  41. escapingdarkness / Sep 7 2012 1:40 pm

    Ive started mine already. Im only up to the last couple of years of high school in my other blog workinprogress. It has been a slow process and I havent done much, but will get there. Its a great idea to put the idea in other peoples heads and that it doesnt have to be done all at once. It can take as long as it takes. Love your blog. Im glad your daughter is doing OK. Kat 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 7 2012 2:14 pm

      Thanks, Kat. So glad you are doing this and it is a slow process! The beauty of it is there are no time constraints and we can just do it when we feel the desire 🙂

      Like

  42. donnajeanmcdunn / Sep 7 2012 2:28 pm

    Hi Dianne, I stopped by to thank you for commenting on my blog and decided after reading your post I would comment too. You have a great bunch of people following you as I’m sure you are well aware. I’ve written about certain things in my past that have traumatized me. There have been two separate car accidents, the first in July 1968, claimed the lives of my brother-in-law, age 29 and his son, Danny, age 5. I was seventeen at the time and then two years later in May 1970 my two older brothers ages 33 and 23 were killed. Writing has always been an outlet for me whether it was something wonderful or something tragic, writing has never failed me. After I grew up and had three daughters, I realized how much my mom and dad must have suffered. I wish my mom and dad had talked more about their growing up years, but they didn’t and dad passed away in 1980 at age 80. Yes, he was born in 1900. My mom lived to be 86, she was twenty years younger than Dad. She passed away in 2006. You’ve made me realize I should be writing more about the good times when I was young. Thank you for that.

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 7 2012 2:41 pm

      Donna this is an amazing story! You certainly have had more than your fair share of tragedy in your life. I got very teary reading this.

      I’m so glad you’re now going to write about your childhood – this will be a wonderful thing for your three daughters. Thank you so much for sharing your story here, you are a very brave woman and I really admire you for that…

      Like

      • donnajeanmcdunn / Sep 8 2012 11:57 am

        Hi Dianne, I’m glad you liked what I wrote. I have a tendency to write what I’m feeling at the time. Well, I don’t know if I’m brave. We all have good and bad things happen to us, especially if we live long enough. You are welcome to use what I wrote in whatever way you like. I put it on your website so technically it belongs to you now. I hope I see you again on my site. I love the Internet, it has brought me some wonderful people.

        Like

      • diannegray / Sep 8 2012 12:10 pm

        Thank you so much, Donna 🙂 I’ll have it up today or tomorrow – but I’ll let you know 😀

        Like

  43. Naomi Baltuck / Sep 7 2012 4:14 pm

    A lovely piece, Dianne. Those stories are the greatest gift you can give your kids and your grandkids, and generations to come.

    Like

  44. restlessjo / Sep 8 2012 2:49 am

    It sounds like a fascinating read, Dianne. I guess you have another book project ongoing too…

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 8 2012 7:30 am

      Oh, yes. I’m just waiting on the editor to get back to me with ‘The Eleventh Question’. *tapping fingers on the table*

      Like

  45. pommepal / Sep 8 2012 8:20 pm

    G’day Dianne, I’m so pleased you dropped by my journey. Now I have found you. What a great platform blogging is for putting down thoughts and finding other people and reading their stories. I am a great listener and that is one of the things I love about travel you meet so many interesting people to talk to. Wow I am impressed you worked on a croc farm, what did you do?

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 9 2012 6:26 am

      I worked at the front desk (gift shop) and when the tourists came in I would take one of the small crocs and put some sticky tape around its mouth (this is enough to stop it from opening it and biting someone) and then I would either hold it and let people pat it, or hand it to the tourists so they could have their photos taken with it. I loved that job 🙂 They can bite as soon as they come out of the shell so you have to be very careful handling them!
      I think your journey is wonderful and I’m really glad I found you so I can follow:D

      Like

      • pommepal / Sep 9 2012 8:48 am

        What an interesting job. I can imagine the tourists loving the interaction

        Like

      • diannegray / Sep 9 2012 10:02 am

        They were wonderful and always so surprised when they touched the crocodiles how soft the leather skin is 🙂

        Like

  46. flowermenow1 / Sep 8 2012 8:49 pm

    You are so right. Thank you for liking my very first life story ! 🙂

    Like

  47. Amy Duncan / Sep 16 2012 11:58 pm

    Having just completed my autobiography, I can really relate to this! Thanks for following my blog!

    Like

  48. SJ O'Hart / Sep 24 2012 8:10 pm

    Oh, wow – I love this post! That’s exactly how I feel about my ancestors, too. I’d love to know how they felt, what they loved, who they were… that’s why I started keeping a diary as a child. I hope one day to have children and grandchildren who’ll be able to read my ramblings and go ‘yep, that settles it. Granny was a nut.’ Thanks for this post. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Sep 24 2012 10:16 pm

      Hahahaha – I laughed so loudly about the ‘nut’ comment. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to pop over and comment 😀

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. We are oceans filled with light « Dianne Gray author
  2. Memories take us back – dreams take us forward « youtopiamedia
  3. who’s a beautiful blogger? I am :-) | bodhisattvaintraining

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