The Journal Newsletter
This month we have an article from Stefanie A. Newton, entitled “Thanks for the Memories.” Ms. Newton discusses ways to encourage our parents and grandparents to write down their stories and memories.
As always, we have some new writing exercises, and a new “tip” to help you get the most out of The Journal.
Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!
TIP: Using The Journal’s export/import feature to copy loose-leaf entries from one category to another.
The Journal currently doesn’t support dragging a group of entries from one category to another. This is a planned “future feature”, but until then, here’s a workaround.
The Journal’s export format now preserves the “tree structure” of loose-leaf entries. We’ll use this new functionality as a stepping-stone for moving entries from one category to annother.
- On the “Entries” menu, click on “Export Entries…”
- Under “These Categories/Entries…” select the entry or entries you wish to copy.
- Make sure “Journal Export Format (JNX)” is selected.
- Click on “Export”, and enter a file name.
- On the “Entries” menu, click on “Import Entries…”
- Select the file you just exported.
- On the “Options” tab, make sure “Confirm all Import Categories” is checked.
- Back on the “Import” tab, select the entries to import, and click on the “Import” button.
- Choose the category where you want the entries copied.
And that’s it. Not quite as fast as drag-and-drop, but workable. =)
by Susan Michael
Writing Exercise – Write for twenty minutes starting with the phrase, “The inside of an egg…”
Journaling Exercise – Sit yourself in a favorite spot, or imagine an ideal place and describe it as an expanding bubble or sphere. Start with the center which is you, how you feel, your thoughts. Slowly expand, taking note of subtle nuances around you. Expand the sphere beyond your field of vision.
About the author: Susan Michael has facilitated several writing groups, and has lead writing & creativity workshops for the Arts & Humanties Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Thanks for the Memories
By Stefanie A. Newton
As the family genealogist, I’m in the memories business.
I constantly quiz my parents for tidbits of information about their ancestors that will aid in both my research and my understanding of their lives. Because I live in another part of the country, these quiz sessions take place over the telephone. They reminisce; I write notes frantically on scraps of paper I find nearby. I ask about a certain relative and my mother will always begin by saying, “All I know about so-and-so is …” but, after an hour of conversation, one memory segues into another, and then another. It’s amazing what emerges from the memory once the door is cracked open.
In order to lure other recollections into the light of day, I started encouraging my mother to write down whatever she could remember in between my calls. To get her started, I gave her a family history journal for Mother’s Day. This journal has prompts on each page such as “My favorite memory from our honeymoon is …” and so on. This can greatly ease the writing anxiety that some people feel when staring at a blank page.
Most of us are aware of the benefits that journaling provides for our own selves. It helps us clear our thoughts, work things out, get the creative juices flowing, confide in someone, and on and on. But perhaps you may not think of the insight those journals could give future generations. Imaging finding a trunk of your Grandmother’s possessions and discovering journals from throughout her life! You would gain insight into her personality, daily events, and even the names of family and friends that you would not be able to find any other way. It would be a priceless and precious record of those moments in time.
It’s never too late to start a journal. I highly recommend encouraging older family and friends to begin even if they never considered it before. Often times, older adults have the time to devote to writing and may be grateful to discover this enriching new hobby. They may also feel valued to know that others are interested in the stories of their lives. If they have trouble getting started, it may help for the journal to take the form of letters written back and forth and then stored in a folder.
Encourage your elders to write down their precious memories. If you are an elder yourself, know that others care about your experiences. Each life holds a wealth of knowledge, stories, heartache, and joy. When that information is passed down, our descendants will be the better for it. Our voices will be heard long after we are gone – instructing, cautioning, crying, and laughing to our future families. And they will be thankful for those memories.
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About the author: Stefanie A. Newton is a software developer, student, sometime vocalist, and budding family genealogist. Raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, she now resides in Texas with her husband and cat.
If you would like to contribute to the “How I Use The Journal”, “Writing Exercises”, or “Tips & Tricks” sections, or would like to submit an article about journaling, writing, or another The Journal-related topic, we would love to hear from you.
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As always, if you have any suggestions for, or bug reports about, The Journal, please feel free to email them. Both are always welcome.