Feb. 25, 2020

Write your story for your grandchildren!

Author Ernest Hemingway was once asked if he could write a novel with only six words.  He took a pencil and scribbled on a sheet of paper, “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Hemingway’s story was powerful because it caused the reader to try and fill in what was not said that caused the shoes to come on the baby shoe market. Were the shoes simply not needed by a healthy child? Or was there a tragic loss—something requiring God’s deep love and comfort?

 I am not gifted in my writing ability to bring out such imaginative meanderings on the part of the reader with the use of such a small group of words.  But it does seem to me that there is a book in every person waiting to be told, either by the hand of that person or with the aid of a biographer friend.  Also the ability to get a book on the Amazon shelf has never been easier.  With the help of a laptop and Word, you can provide your grand kids with the story of your life very inexpensively.  Amazon’s Kindle publishing service can get your book ready to publish with almost no upfront cost if you can submit your edited and formatted manuscript to them. And you don’t have to buy a truck load of books.  You can simply buy one and take a close look at it before deciding to buy more.

 Since I retired I have had the pleasure of helping about twenty people publish their first book.  There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in holding your first book in your hand and knowing that people all over the world can purchase one of them from Amazon.  And some of the life experiences and struggles with hard times of these people would amaze the young people of today.  It is difficult to imagine folks coming to adulthood with no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no garbage pickup, no cable TV, no phone, no central heat and air, and no automobiles.  This was the case with some of the people I have helped in the publishing of their book.  And yet they survived, and in many cases thrived.

 Anyone can publish a blog that will be a source of news to all who are made aware of it and decide to read it.  To me, photos and words on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are all forms of publishing to the public.  President Trump has aggravated much of the modern media with his Twitter output in the last three years.

 It is also very easy to set up a website to communicate with the world about yourself, your business or your organization.  Helping the outside world become aware of the enjoyment of small country community living and its history has been a source of much enjoyment for me with our Red Hill Historical Preservation Association, Inc. website, www.redhillcommunityclub.com. I would also recommend the Facebook site, “Forgotten Alabama” which allows people all over the state to publish photos of buildings no longer in use, along with comments regarding their history.  I encourage you to provide your grandchildren with a book, hard copy or electronic, about how it was when you grew up.