Haircuts & Oral Histories – Guest Post

Daniel Powell of Liminal Legacy Media shares a fun story from his own history in this guest blog post. Inspired by his grandfather’s audio recordings, in 2019 Daniel founded Liminal Legacy Media using his extensive audio production skills. He is a master storyteller!

Haircuts & Oral Histories
 
“Hey, Grandpop! Shut your eyes!”
I say to my 80-year-old grandfather as I crouch behind the easy chair clutching a pair of kitchen shears.
{*SNIP*}
 
I emerge wearing a big grin.
“Ok, eyes open! Notice anything different?” holding back a giggle as I ask.
“Uh… well… no, Daniel, I don’t see anything different.”
 “Ok, ok. Eyes closed!”
I duck behind the chair once again.
{*SNIP* – *SNIP* – *SNIP*}
 
Me: “Ok, how about now? Now do you notice anything different?”
Grandpop: “Well, nooo… No difference as far as I can see.”
I return to my hideaway, taking another lock of hair between my fingers.
{*SNIP* – *SNIP* – *SNIP* – *SNIP*}
And the fun of a 5-year-old giving himself a haircut continues. But, of course, my grandfather didn’t notice any of the changes I was making to my hair; he was legally blind! A fact I didn’t fully comprehend at the time. Eventually he did catch on though when Grandmother entered the room and filled him in on what had been taking place right before his eyes. He had a good laugh about it. Though my parents were considerably less entertained when they arrived later that day. 
 
Grandpop was a good man, and obviously, a great sport playing creative games made up by his grandson.  
 
I consider myself very lucky. You see, Grandpop took it upon himself to record a detailed account of his life story for his kids and grandkids. In fact, he was the only one of my 4 grandparents to do so before passing. Being a blind man, writing wasn’t accessible to him. So, sitting in that same easy chair I used to hide behind, he took to his cassette tape recorder and immortalized the tales of his past in the sound of his own voice.

Listening back at the age of 34, I’m forever grateful to him for it.

 
He told all about his humble beginning on the family farm in rural Arkansas, leaving home during the Great Depression to work with the CCC, and of his 2 decades of service in the USAF spanning both WWII and Korean wars. He had quite the storied past.
 
Such a wealth of stories and information is communicated through these recordings. But there are moments I find myself shouting at him through my headphones:
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Grandpop! SLOW DOWN! Stop the tape! REWIND! I want to hear more about THAT.”
But paying no heed to my pleas, he’s already told his brief recount and moved on to the next part of his tale.

 
Oh, how I wish I could’ve been there to ask him in-depth questions about his life as he told his tale.
 
We know our own stories very well. But the difficult part comes in discerning what others may want to know about our stories. Well… unless they’re in the room with you asking questions and expressing curiosity.
 
Whatever it takes for you to record your stories, do it!
Whether you write, record audio, or even make a video, just do it!


And I can’t encourage you enough to invite others into the story telling process with you. A curious individual, a good interviewer, or coach can help you tell your story so much more completely and draw out the depth, vibrance, and important details of your lived experiences.
 
There’s something quite miraculous that takes place in this collaborative and interactive way of telling your stories. Questions raised by your counterpart can bring to light connections between pieces of your story that you may have never even realized beforehand.  And when we’re really lucky these questions can even result in new self-realizations. There’s no moment more precious for your memoir than reflecting back on lived experiences and learning something new about yourself in the process!
 
Through my work helping individuals record their Liminal LegacyTM Immersive Audio Memoirs, I’ve found that when left to ourselves, just like my grandfather, we all tend to cut our own stories short {*SNIP*} and {*SNIP SNIP*} cut off many important details that others would find great value in. And oftentimes {*SNIP SNIP SNIP*} we cut out details because we’ve simply forgotten them. Though through some strange alchemy in the process of sitting with a curious person or a good interviewer, many of these details can begin to come back to light again.
 
Just like a grandchild who’s very poorly barbered their own hair, your stories will be beautiful, regardless of how completely they’re told or how much detail they contain. Just sit down and do it whatever way you can! But one thing that remains true of both storytelling and haircuts, when you do it all on your own it can be hard to ensure your not cutting off the best bits.  
***
Thanks for reading, I bet you have a smile on your face and a few ideas for your own story! I know you’ll want to stay in touch with Daniel and his oral history work. Here are a few ways you can find him:
Web Site: www.liminallegacymedia.com
Instagram: @liminallegacymedia
YouTube: Liminal Legacy Media
Facebook: @liminallegacymedia
Daniel prizes the oral tradition and through his company, Liminal Legacy Media, helps you tell your story through Immersive Audio Memoirs. What exactly is an Immersive Audio Memoir? These legacy audio documentaries lie somewhere between ‘radio theater’ and ‘intimate interview’. Your voice tells the story while powerfully designed audio imagery evokes the scene in the mind’s eye of the listener. Daniel currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI with his wife and 2 young daughters.
 
Contact Daniel today for more information or to start recording your Liminal Legacy!

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In Praise of Small Beginnings

You’ve heard some people say, “Go big or go home”. Many other times I’ve watched the opposite thought arc like a shot across the bow of a project, acting as an impetus to action. There’s a verse in the Bible that says, ““Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….” (Zech. 4:10a NLT). I love the concept of small beginnings! They’re full of potential, they are the “starter“ if you’re a baker, the seed if you’re a farmer, the empty canvas for an artist, the tiny embryo if you’re longing for a child, the single journal entry if you’re a family historian or that idea jotted down on a napkin for songwriters, scientists, and writers.

Before you can celebrate a milestone you just need to start!

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated

day-in and day-out.” ~Robert Collier

You have everything you need to begin, whether you’re blessed with loads of family mementos and archived photos, or you’re beginning with your own memories.

Start with one small thing, a memory, journal entry, letter, recipe, photograph. What is that that just grabs your imagination by the shoulders and demands, “Tell me more!”? Take a macro look at it, write a thorough, sensory filled description of that object close up. Ask it questions? I know this sounds a little weird, but trust me, it’s just a method for helping your brain to unlock different ways to see that thing with new eyes.

This object is your starting block, it will propel you, just like a relay racer, down the track to the next prompt, the next memory, the next clue. Before you know it you’ll be gathering the pieces and noting how they fit together to drive your story.

I have a news alert set to anything family history or memoir related. It is astounding to see the variety of ways this topic can be addressed and the common interest worldwide in understanding ourselves and our families, remembering and sharing what makes us tick with the future. Connecting with the generations that came before and those that will come after is a human drive, it’s how we learn.

In case you missed seeing this free offer on our FaceBook page, let me give you the link here. I’ve been hard at work creatively bringing a few of my best tools and helps together in one place.  This amazing package will give you the resources you need to share your life legacy with those you love. Just click this link to get your FREE gifts today: 

https://offer.rememberingthetime.net

Remembering the Time is all about helping you and your family save the unique stories and memories that make you who you are.  Reach out and take that small step of starting your story, you have nothing to lose and great things to gain by this small beginning.

Karen

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Top 5 Free Classes to Help You Write Your Memoir

Occasionally I curate a few excellent resources that I’ve found helpful and highly recommend. If you’re serious about sharing your memoir or family history here’s my top pick of short classes that will give you the necessary tools, confidence, and encouragement to begin telling your unique story. Each of these can help you make amazing progress writing your memoir or family history.  Two of these classes are specifically about writing memoir. The others contain tools and ideas that will help you craft memorable stories, a key element in any writing.  

Best part – you can listen to all of these free for 2 weeks. Take mad notes, listen again, dream big, and take action. Here’s how it works: try all of these premium classes for free for 14 days via Skillshare. If you decide you’re loving the great value this teaching platform provides, you can join for a low annual fee that will pay itself back in value many times over. While you’re trying out the platform explore a few other topics from their extensive offering of over 27,000 premium classes and more than 2,000 free classes. (as of March 2019)

For example, the technique of taking an event from your life and flipping it into a fiction story will give you an entirely new slant on the events. Excellent teacher Adam Janos will walk you through how it’s done with examples that are sure to get your own creative thoughts flowing.

Author Roxanne Gay will show you how to create short memoirs, also known as personal essays. These can stand alone or be part of a larger work but you’ll learn from a pro about what will resonate and how to write it.

Rebecca Livermore will walk your through an encouraging and very doable writing challenge that you can use over and over again to boost your writing sessions. Try her 7 day challenge in conjunction with one of the other classes and just see what kind of progress you can make. I think you’ll be thrilled!

Ready for the nuts and bolts of how to start writing your memoir? Best-selling memoirist Kathy Karr shares “the processes she relies on to write beautiful, visceral scenes.”

How about a jump start on your memoir writing? My own class on how to Quick Start a Memoir will give you a fun, creatively practical project and easy directions to help you begin .

  1. Autobiographical Fiction: Write a Short Story from Personal Experience, by writer/reporter Adam Janos

Adam will teach you to brainstorm ideas from your life, transform yourself into a character, and write details. You’ll learn about conflict and pacing with excellent examples. This class can help memoir writers think beyond their ideas for standard memoir and expand their storytelling skills. Click this link to try the class: https://skl.sh/3ss2WY8

2. Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact, by Roxanne Gay

Roxanne’s course is full of “practical guidance, actionable tactics, and example essays” She’ll lead you through the important step of “finding a specific purpose for telling your story”, then how to “connect your work to a larger theme”, and inspire you with how to use your “personal memories to write your story.” Click this link to take Roxanne’s class:  https://skl.sh/3rhQ9X2

3. 7 Day 15 Minute Writing Challenge by Rebecca Livermore

Developing a daily writing habit, for even just a few minutes at a time, will set you up for success in completing your story. This short challenge can launch you into storytelling productivity with 7 daily writing prompts, help in “setting personalized writing goals”, and tips and tools for writing quickly in short time chunks with minimal distractions. Click here to enjoy Rebecca’s class: https://skl.sh/2QwebRg

4. Writing the Truth, How to Start Writing Your Memoir, Mary Karr

Through a series of memory-focused writing exercises, Mary guides you through a clear, actionable plan to help you write your memoir. She “shares her wisdom and perspective on life, writing as a craft….” Mary’s class will help you develop your personal writing voice and hone your storytelling skills to connect with readers. Don’t miss this class, click here to jump right in: https://skl.sh/3cniCq3

5. It’s Time to Tell Your Story: Quick Start a Memoir, Karen Ray

Yup, this one is mine and I’ve seen these tips, tools, and techniques work wonders! You don’t have to be a “writer” to share your story in a meaningful way. This class will jump start your memoir or family history project, helping you clarify the 5 W’s of your story, the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY. You’ll create a foundational framework to build your personal history project  and have fun in the process. This can even stand alone as a mini-memoir. Click here to make fast progress with your memoir or family history: https://skl.sh/2YUDbkf

Start today — Celebrate your life and begin saving those important family memories!

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Contact Me

Please contact me for more information or to to schedule a free consultation. I look forward to visiting with you.






    Karen Ray Photo

    Karen Ray

    Address: 2877 Willow Creek Lane, Las Cruces, NM, 88007

    Phone: 575-323-1048


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