Writing family stories
May 13, 2009
Writing our stories
We write our stories and make history every day we live. This year, my parents, who are not writers, decided they wanted a family history to celebrate their 60 years of marriage this coming June.
First on the list was making rough notes about their lives. Mom wrote copious notes on whatever paper she had in the house—brainstorming we writers would call it. Making lists of things to include, to get the process started.
Next came the interviewing and initial writing by an outside writer who gathered stories of my mother and father’s growing up years, their courtship and their life together. But there were still stories left untold, things they missed earlier.
I marked my mother’s copy with questions for other anecdotes I’d heard over the years. We filled in those gaps, probably still missing some.
A project that was to be a simple story of their lives has turned into something that’s anything but simple. More on this another day.