- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Conari Pr (January 11, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573245526
- ISBN-13: 978-1573245524
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,865,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Living Legacies: How to Write, Illustrate, and Share Your Life Stories
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From the Publisher
We at Conari Press are very pleased to be publishing LIVING LEGACIES because we believe it fits right into our mission of "books that make a difference." All of us, no matter our age, no matter our circumstances, have important stories to tell. And the more we tell our stories, the more we connect deeply to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to future generations. LIVING LEGACIES offers a simple process for recording and preserving our stories for posterity. We encourage you to try it.
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Big on illustrating stories with collages, this book tells how specific collages can be created to fit specific stories. It defines and suggests "props" to use in creating symbols or metaphors for the story. These can be used as background pages or frames for photographs. For instance, here is a quote with suggestions about gathering and using "props":
"You might use a leaf to express nature, a child's drawing to evoke playfulness or innocence, a candle flame to represent hope or tranquility, or a nest to symbolize preparations for a new baby. If the setting is relevant to the story, you might illustrate it with floor plans, maps, postcards, or drawings. You can even use color and symbols to evoke feelings and reveal layers of meaning to your story....Here are some of the things you might consider using as props: sheet music, old calendars, comic strips, maps, stickers, charts, time lines, images from magazines and books, and paper with color, texture, and backgrounds. To add a personal touch, you might use thumb- or handprints, a clipping of hair, drawings, your handwriting, or quotes from your story, books, or poems."
The above is just a tiny sample of the many plentiful suggestions provided. Altogether it is a book that will really get your imagination going
One point the authors make is about the meaningful use of "handwriting" as part of an illustration, either your own or that of the person you may be writing about. You can show bits of a journal entry or a letter in your collage, for instance. Handwriting, the authors say, is a personal artifact that will be interesting to future generations who may read your stories. "Wow!," I thought, "That never occurred to me! Thanks for the good idea!"
Also, I was glad to receive the teaching of the authors about using all acid-free materials. I had known to use acid-free paper, but I never knew that fountain pens, glue, tape, and other accessories often contain acid which will create stains in the future, and so you have to be careful to use ALL acid-free supplies.
This book is really geared toward the production of high quality life-story SCRAPBOOKS. It contains many sample stories, all of which are brief, maybe as brief as just one or two 8 x 10 pages. Most are told as "first person" narratives, but one is in the form of a letter from a mother to her child--and there are other story forms and subject matter suggested. There is one chapter which makes suggestions for recording a story that you get from your child or children, recorded and told uniquely in the typical childhood language of your child. There are suggestions for how to elicit stories from children or elders or other people, or how to communicate and edit your own stories. All the teaching in this book is deft, easy to understand, quick to pick up, not ponderous.
My project is not a scrapbook--although after reading this book I think it would be a really fun and worthwhile project to make one as a family gift, or for whatever your purposes might be. I'm beginning to finalize plans for a genealogical-type family history book. I found only some minimal suggestions specifically along those lines, but a lot of the scrapbook info here can be applied to a genealogical history book.
I bought this book really just for one reason: Since it was supposed to tell how to Illustrate a life-story book, I hoped chiefly for help with how to use my computer to effectively improve the flaws in old photographs and how to use the computer to compose a page that would contain photographs with labels under them. I had in mind just some very conservative, non-creative pages of photographs to go with my family history info--maybe like something you'd find in old-fashioned biographies. I guess that the "Help" feature which explains how to use one's MicroSoft Word computer program, or whatever other program one might have, tells how to do this, but I find it very difficult to understand the instructions in the "Help" feature. The vocabulary is so strange--I often get confused when I try to use the "Help" feature. Usually it's possible to learn eventually how to do some minimal tasks just by trial and error, so I guess I'll go back to such efforts for awhile as I search further for the kind of specific instructions that I need for working with photos.
This book does give some very minimal, basic suggestions about cropping your photos. And it does give some useful illustrations of ideas for placing photos into pages of text. For instance, placing a 3 x 5 photo at the center of a 2-column page of text; placing a 4 x 6 photo at the top of a 1-column page of text; and so on. It demonstrates 8 possibilities. This info about placing photos has been helpful to me.
Overall, from patiently reading most of this book, I picked up LOTS of hints that will help me to make good decisions about some details that I think will improve my genealogical family history book.
(One aesthetic feature I didn't care for in this book is that all the pages, including illustrations, are printed on tan paper which greatly obscures the photographic and artistic details. And the overwhelmingly tan monotone effect throughout is also quite boring.)
Elgin and LeDrew on focus on what they call the "life story," which is more than photographs or a biography. Life stories delve into feelings about what happened or why it mattered. They incorporate visual images and memorabilia as well as the written word. As well as sharing events with others, "when we record our life stories, we enter a process of self-reflection that often leads to new insights about our lives."
Recording a life story can be very simple, and often only takes only a page or two. Elgin and LeDrew provide step-by-step instructions for deciding what stories to share and how to get to the essence of each one. They also explain how to choose the visual images that best illustrate the story, with lots of examples.
Stories can be simply typed out on plain paper, or they may incorporate fonts and backgrounds that enhance them. The authors explain how to choose what materials and techniques that best communicate what you want and how to best use your personal information and style.
Life stories aren't just for the older generations-one chapter is devoted to helping children tell their special stories.
The authors present their guidelines in a practical, easy-to-understand manner that allows lots of room for individual creativity. They also provide a resource guide with additional tips, organizations, and vendors of speciality materials.
Your life is filled with unique and priceless experiences. Living Legacies provides all the information and tools you need to share those experiences with others.