A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Memoir Research Via Telephone

SingTel phone booth
SingTel phone booth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      Remembering is often a difficult task.   We can sift through scrapbooks, photo albums, and other memorabilia in order to gather information about family histories, but occasionally more details are needed.  Sometimes those who might know best are no longer with us and cannot be asked to recount stories and other data needed to fill in blanks, but there is always help even if you live far from old family home places.

        Long distance phone calls used to be an expensive affair, but now most of us have calling plans that allow for unlimited long distance calling.  If we know a phone number--and those numbers are often very easy to find if we don't have them already--we can call relatives, friends and others who can help us find out more about our family history.

        Some folks are a bit hesitant to call strangers or people they may not have talked to in years, but in reality it's usually not all that bad.  I may have an edge on some in that I spent many years in a job that required me to call people on a regular basis.  Sure, I was nervous about it at first, but what's the worst the person you're calling can do to you?  After all they can't even see you and if they don't want to talk to you it's not the end of the world.

         I've found that most people are more than willing to chat about themselves and the things they've experienced in their past.  Often you'll find yourself getting more information than you ever expected.  And some of that info can be downright interesting.  The stories from others can take you to places you never imagined and provide unexpected details.  A good story-teller can hold your interest and provide you with research data that you're looking for.

         If you're writing memoir, don't forget those far away people who know part of the story you might need to make the story you're writing more complete.  You might just be in for an entertaining as well as educational conversation.   And you might also be making new friends or rekindling old relationships that are as good as gold.

          Do you like to talk on the phone?   Have you ever called a friend or relative who you haven't spoken to in ages?   Have you ever called someone you've never met in order to retrieve some research information?  How did your conversations go?

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  1. For some reason, I've never like talking on the phone. I'd rather meet and have coffee and have a nice visit.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. I phone John my son in Spain every week, but as for the rest of the family I don't know their numbers.
    I used to use the phone alot but not so much now.


  3. nice post thank you ... any contact is good whether by phone email FB etc etc . so long as we're communicating ..

  4. I should have answered more fully ... you are right one never knows where a conversation may go. And pick up the phone even if slightly nervous to begin with ..

  5. I'm not a phone person. I actually prefer in person conversation so that I can see the reaction of a person.

  6. Shelly -- I'd rather have a face to face encounter, but sometimes people are so far away that it's not practical. I call my mother several times a weeks since she's 2000 miles from me and I rarely get to see her.

    Yvonne-- You have email and other social networking to keep up with friends and that's good.

    Susan S-- We have so many communication possibilities in our age that there's not much excuse not to keep in touch with friends and relatives. People are usually glad to communicate.

    Ciara -- There's always Skype and other phone chat options so that has opened many new possibilities for face to face communication.


  7. Nice advice Lee. I've said so many times that I'm going to write a memoir..I think it would be an awesome thing to leave my kids and grandkids. The thing is to just start it!

  8. Dear Lee, I've been away from reading and commenting on blogs for several weeks now and I'm glad to return and discover that you are teaching me more about the writing of memoirs. One of these days, I'm going to really start working with shaping the postings from my "cominghometomyself" blog into a memoir. And when I do, all the postings you've shared with us will be so helpful. Thank you. Peace.

  9. I don't talk on the phone like I once did...long rambling conversations about anything and everything. It might be because the people I use to have those conversations with aren't around anymore. Or it might be because I do most of my talking on a cell phone and flat cell phones don't cuddle up to your ear like an old fashioned corded phone did.

  10. Eve -- I've recently started my first installment. I plan to turn my life into at least 4 books. Now I have to finish book one.

    Dee -- I certainly having been reading and commenting on blogs like I'd like to, but time is in such short supply and there's always so much to be done. Keep me posted on your progress and we'll set up a guest post when you're ready.

    LD -- I don't talk like I used to do probably because of my increased internet activity. I've have made some enjoyable calls of late though and will probably be doing more phone research in the weeks and months to come. Talking to people can be very enlightening in helping me to remember things and give me new insights.


  11. Dear Lee, I'd love to guest post sometime this fall. I have a new cat book coming out in November through Wayman Press and I'd so appreciate posting about its creation. Peace.


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Arlee Bird