In this Monday’s Link Roundup, I really identified with Bibliocide. If you’re like me and have an old encyclopedia gathering dust, you’ll want to read this article. And have you ever wondered about whether e-mail sign offs make sense in today’s electronic universe? Then check out You Say “Best.” I Say No.
- What Happens to Publishers and Authors If a Used Ebook Market Becomes Legal? “Amazon has a patent to develop a market for used digital content. Apple has filed for a similar patent and ReDigi, a self-styled marketplace for used digital content, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Capitol Records over the resale of digital music files. Basically, it looks like a used ebook marketplace might become a reality. For consumers, this could be very good news indeed. Imagine seeing on an ebook’s Kindle page a link that will take you to a sell page for the exact same product for half the price. Same ebook, same user experience, even lower cost. For publishers, this would undoubtedly be very bad news.”
- Bibliocide. “They were mouldy, unread and long out of date. So why did I feel so bad about burning my Britannicas?”
- You Say “Best.” I Say No. “Email signoffs are holdovers from a bygone era when letter writing—the kind that required ink and paper—was a major means of communication. The handwritten letters people sent included information of great import and sometimes functioned as the only communication with family members and other loved ones for months. In that case, it made sense to go to town, to get flowery with it. Then, a formal signoff was entirely called for. If you were, say, a Boston resident writing to his mother back home in Ireland in the late 19th century, then ending a correspondence with “I remain your ever fond son in Christ Our Lord J.C.,” as James Chamberlain did in 1891, was entirely reasonable and appropriate. But those times have long since passed.”
- A Vanishing Past? “Can science save the daguerreotype, the first successful medium of photography?”
- Clare Boothe Luce’s Advice to Her 18-Year-Old Daughter. “On November 24, 1942, Luce penned a letter to her 18-year-old daughter Ann, at the time a sophomore at Stanford, found in Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children (public library)– the same wonderful collection that gave us Sherwood Anderson’s timelessly poetic advice on the creative life to his teenage son. Amidst counsel on Ann’s first romantic relationship, Luce offers the following advice, which in some ways squarely contradicts and in others subtly seconds F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous advice to his daughter, and is at its heart the same manifesto for living with awareness and presence that Jackson Pollock received from his father.”
- The loss of you lingers. “In 1989, 52-year-old Long Island resident Joan Cook Carpenter passed away after succumbing to breast cancer — a battle which she had chosen to keep from her loved ones until her final days. In 1999, a decade after Joan’s death, her 29-year-old daughter, Karin, wrote her the following letter.” [Thanks to Francie King of History Keep for alerting me to this item.]
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Posted in Monday's Link Roundup
Tagged advice, Clare Boothe Luce, daguerrotype, E-book, eBook, encyclopædia, End of life, Ethical will, How to, letter, letter writing, link roundup, photography, Photos, Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children, publishers, publishing, sign offs, Tips, used
In this Monday’s Link Roundup I’ve listed several book reviews that I think you’ll find interesting. If you’re concerned about digitizing your precious family history, you’ll want to read Digital Imaging Essentials. For an understanding of what it’s like to be supportive parents of a gay teenage boy who tried to commit suicide, be sure to read Oddly Normal. And for John Lennon fans, don’t miss The John Lennon Letters.
- No sunlit room, no last words. “As Luke Allnutt watched his father die, he thought the time for a meaningful conversation and emotional epiphany was at hand. His father had other ideas.”
- The best way to get unstuck. “Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.This is precisely why you’re stuck.”
- 10 Essential Marketing Skills for Freelancers. “As a freelancer (or potential freelancer), you live and die by your ability to sell your services. And uOddly Normal is not Joseph’s story. It’s the story of his parents, who struggled for years over how best to raise a child whom they knew was gay, who wasn’t out to them or the world, and whom they thought was mentally crumbling under the pressure of that secret.nless you’ve got some kind of agent or marketing firm doing your marketing for you, you’ve got to be your own marketer. If you’re like me, that doesn’t come naturally.”
- Digital Imaging Essentials by Geoff Rasmussen. “Genealogists use digital imaging technology every day. But what they do not know about it can harm their digital treasures. They have needed a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, full of illustrated step-by-step instructions to learn how to digitize, organize, preserve, share, and backup their digital collections.”
- The John Lennon Letters, Edited by Hunter Davies. “The triumph of these 200 or so letters is that they are not just about John and Mimi, or John and The Beatles, or John and Yoko. They are all of that but, within the framework editor Hunter Davies gives them, they’re also about a time and place, and Lennon’s role within it. It is hard to distinguish whether the honestly and innocence of some of his correspondence reflects his personality, or his era.”
- Translating from speech to prose. “Terkel’s books consist of tape-recorded conversations with mostly common people; after a brief introduction from Terkel, each text unspools almost seamlessly, with only an occasional nudge from the questioner. But here’s the thing: most people don’t talk that way.” [Thanks to APH member Pattie Whitehouse for alerting me to this article.]
- Book Review: Oddly Normal. “Thirteen-year-old Joseph Schwartz …came out at school one spring day in 2009, rode the bus home, shut himself in his suburban New Jersey bathroom, and downed way too many capsules of Benadryl. He had never been subjected to overt homophobia, was only a few years away from hearing the president of the United States express unequivocal support for gay marriage on national television, and was the son of two very supportive, loving parents. But no matter his direct relationship with what it meant to “be gay,” Joseph carried the weight of his difference… and it almost killed him. Joseph’s dad, New York Times national reporter John Schwartz['s],… new memoir, Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle To Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality… is not Joseph’s story. It’s the story of his parents, who struggled for years over how best to raise a child whom they knew was gay, who wasn’t out to them or the world, and whom they thought was mentally crumbling under the pressure of that secret.”
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Posted in Monday's Link Roundup
Tagged Business, digital imaging, End of life, freelance writers, freelancer, genealogy, guide, homophobia, How to, Hunter Davies, John lennon, John Schwartz, last words, letters, link roundup, Marketing, New York Times, Oddly Normal, Parenting, sexuality, skills, small business, Studs Terkel, Tips
Life continually challenges us with the unexpected. And only a fool would attempt to prepare for the unforeseen. It does help though to go into uncharted territory with our eyes open to potential risks. Interviewing terminally ill people for their life stories is satisfying, worthwhile, and often moving work. Though it does come with precautions… Read more.
Posted in End of life, How to, Interviewing, Life stories, Tips
Tagged End of life, handling crisis, Home, How to, Interviewing, Life stories, People, precautions, risks, Terminal illness, terminally ill, Tips
In the Monday’s Link Roundup, don’t miss 20 Awesomely Creative Business Cards. It immediately made me think of ways I could add some “magic” to my own somewhat pedestrian card. If you’re self-employed, keeping a tight rein on expenses is a given. For some handy tips on penny pinching, check out 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People. And for everyone who wants to transfer some precious VHS tapes to a digital format, you’ll find a practical solution in Transfer VHS tapes to your computer.
- Maya Angelou on Home, Belonging, and (Not) Growing Up. “In 2008, Maya Angelou — one of the greatest voices in American literature — penned Letter to My Daughter (public library), a collection of 28 short meditations on subjects as varied as violence, humility, Morocco, philanthropy, poetry, and older lovers, addressed to the daughter she never had but really a blueprint to the life of meaning for any human being with a beating heart.”
- How to Automatically Archive Your Life with IFTTT and Evernote. “Keeping a journal can be fun, but it’s hard sometimes to keep up with recording all your memories or important thoughts. Brilliant webapp automating service If This Then That (IFTTT) can create an automatic journal for you by archiving your events, pics, and social media posts to Evernote.”
- 20 Awesomely Creative Business Cards. “At a time when most people network via LinkedIn or some other form of social media, business cards can seem somewhat obsolete…It doesn’t help that most of them are pretty unmemorable…But just the way a beautifully handwritten note stands out in a bevy of text messages and chats, a unique and imaginative business card leaves a lasting impression. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples after the jump.”
- 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People. “If you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck, of having your phone regularly cut off or having to make excuses to skip dinners with your friends if the money has run out before the end of the month then you can use the seven habits of highly effective people to take control of your money situation and live a more frugal lifestyle, and a happier one.”
- Introducing Literary Jukebox: Daily Book Quote Matched with a Song. “As a lover of both literature and music, I frequently find myself immersed in a passage, with a conceptually related song beginning to play in my mind’s ear. I recently started making such matches more consciously and was quickly drawn into a highly addictive exercise in creative intersections and associations…Sometimes, the connections will be fairly obvious. Other times, they might be more esoteric and require some reflection. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy — I certainly am.”
- Transfer VHS tapes to your computer. “Unlike your old vinyl record collection, those VHS tapes you stored away in the back of your closet aren’t going to see a resurgence in popularity. There are no videophiles extolling the superior experience and fidelity of these analog tapes…In this CNET How To video, and in the gallery below, I’ll walk you through the process of transferring those VHS home movies over to your computer using a simple, relatively inexpensive method.”
- 8000 Facebook members die every day. What happens to their profiles? “Five months ago, Russ Hearl had a friend pass away suddenly. Hearl found out about it on Facebook, and, going to the friend’s profile page, found several comments that he had posted the very day he died.That’s when he decided there needed to be a better way to memorialize a fallen Facebook friend…So he founded Evertalk. As of today the app has been live on Facebook for about four weeks, and users have created 3,000 memorials.”
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Posted in Monday's Link Roundup, Uncategorized
Tagged 7 Habits, archive, book quotes, business cards, creative, End of life, Evernote, Evertalk, Facebook, facebook memorial, Frugality, How to, IFTTT, life story, Maya Angelou, quote, Resources, songs, Tips, transfer VHS tapes, VHS, video, Videocassette recorder
Marc Pachter founded Living Self-Portraits at the Smithsonian and was its master interviewer. In his TED talk below he shares the challenges of getting a good interview.
…if all you’re going to get from the interviewee is their public self, there’s no point in it. It’s pre-programmed. It’s infomercial, and we all have infomercials about our lives. We know the great lines, we know the great moments, we know what we’re not going to share, …
Marc recounts several interviews and how he cut below the surface conversation to have his subjects reveal the truth of their lives…Read more.
Posted in How to, Interviewing, Life stories, Personal historian, Questions, Tips
Tagged courageous questions, difficult questions, End of life, How to, interview, Interviewing, Life stories, Living Self-Portraits, Marc Pachter, People, Personal historian, Questions, questions to ask, Smithsonian, terminally ill, Tips
I know some of you are interested in the possibility of providing personal history services to the terminally ill. I’ve been helping those at the end-of-life record their personal histories as well as volunteering at Victoria Hospice for the past five years. I find it tremendously satisfying work but it’s not for everyone. If you’re seriously contemplating working with the dying, here are seven questions to ponder… Read more.
Posted in End of life, How to, Life stories, Palliative care, Personal historian, Tips
Tagged apptitude, End of life, health, hospice, Is this the work for you?, Life stories, Palliative care, Personal historian, personal histories, Questions, Terminal illness, Tips
What part of a Life Story do you focus on when it appears patients may have only a few weeks or days to live? Patients may initially indicate that they want to talk about the broad spectrum of their lives from childhood to the present. The reality, unfortunately, is that they’re not likely to have enough time to complete such an undertaking. Here’s what I’ve suggested…Read more.
Posted in End of life, How to, Interviewing, Life stories, Palliative care, Personal historian, Questions, Tips
Tagged End of life, End-of-life care, Family, hospice, How to, interview, Interviewing, Life stories, Loss, Palliative care, Personal historian, Questions, questions to ask, volunteers
Mom at twenty-three
Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that every Monday is devoted to Monday’s Link Roundup. This Monday is different. Yesterday Mom died at Victoria Hospice at the age of ninety-three.
Mom always believed that when she transitioned to that other side, she’d be met by my Dad, Ed Curtis, who died in 1990. I like to think she was right. And whether by coincidence or design her death took place on their seventy-second wedding anniversary. They were married December 18, 1939.
Throughout my life Mom was one of my biggest fans and supporters. In many ways she introduced me to story telling at an early age. An avid reader, her favorite activity before going to sleep was to read a few pages from her latest book. Every morning I would eagerly run into her bedroom to sit by her bed. There, she would relate the latest installment – no doubt censoring some of the racy bits for the ears of an eight-year-old.
She also regaled me with stories from her teenage years when her family homesteaded in the wilderness of northern British Columbia. Eagerly absorbed by a young boy were tales of encounters with grizzly bears, hunting, and snowy winter nights, hunkered down in their log cabin.
People have remarked that it’s sad that Mom’s death came so close to Christmas. In part that’s true. I certainly haven’t had time in the past few weeks to think much about the holiday season. But central to this time of year is the message of peace, comfort, and joy. And I’ve experienced all of those in a personal and profound way. Mom and I were surrounded at Victoria Hospice by loving and compassionate care. Her final days brought her comfort and her death was blessedly peaceful. And we had joyful moments – reminiscing about Christmases past, enjoying cups of her favorite tea from her favorite cup, and laughing at this comedy called life. One of the last things she said to me, opening her eyes briefly was, “Having fun?”
I miss her dearly. My world has changed forever. But surrounded and supported by my loving partner, friends, and colleagues I’ll carry on doing honor to those values she tried to instill in me – kindness, loyalty, grace, and a good sense of humor.
Posted in End of life, Holidays, Inspiration, Palliative care
Tagged Christmas, death, End of life, holiday, hospice, Inspiration, memories, Mom, Palliative care, Victoria Hospice