Item description for Making History: How to remember, record, interpret, and share the events in your life by Kim Pearson...
A comprehensive, easy to use, fun method of exploring the times of your life against a backdrop of historic events. "Making History" helps you to discover your place in history, to remember the stories you thought you had forgotten, and to create powerful "memory vignettes" that will wow your audience.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Jun 15, 2007
Publisher Primary Sources Books, imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie
ISBN 193227975X ISBN13 9781932279757
Availability 92 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 02:43.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Making History: How to remember, record, interpret, and share the events in your life?
A Valuable Resource for Any Writer Sep 14, 2008
This book is a multifaceted research tool that has something for nearly anyone. It is a powerful primer for beginning lifestory writers and much more. The historical information will help any writer add authenticity and zest to fiction as well as memoir. History teachers should love it, and it's just plain fun to read. The parts about decades before I was born were as intriguing as the things I remember. The book will be a valuable addition to any writer's reference shelf and a fine gift to nudge family members into writing.
I was a bit daunted by its 400 page length, but when I discovered that a high percentage of those pages are full of lists of all sorts of historical data and writing prompts, I was intrigued. I recognized a gold mine of information I can use many ways. As I began to read, the vein proved to be rich, deep, and highly readable.
In the Preface, Kim explains that when she set out to teach memoir, the local community college insisted she teach history rather than memoir, because they already had a writing class, and she had a degree in history. Although she didn't want to teach history, she didn't want to pass up the opportunity, so she accepted. She did teach history -- writing personal history. I was intrigued by her resourcefulness, and also by her ability to organize the information between the two covers of this book with the precision of a crackerjack librarian and charm of a master story-teller.
The "pep talk" chapters in Part 1 are concise and to the point. They are highly readable, and if you are giving this book as a gift in hopes of motivating a relative to write, these chapters should get their fingers moving. Part 2 is even more concise. In a mere twenty pages Kim covers the basics of how to write memoir vignettes. She gets down to the bare bones of writing with eight "un-rules" including tips like "Don't be polite," "You don't have to be right, rational, or logical," "Forget about the rules of grammar or spelling," and "Trust yourself." These instructions are perfect for anyone who might feel daunted by more detailed directions on story structure, character development, or writing technique. The book is about defining your place in history, retrieving memories, and getting your story on paper, not about developing writing skills.
Part 3 is the meat of the book. The eight chapters are organized according to her arbitrary clustering of events into eight logical categories. Each chapter includes two comprehensive, chronological lists of key events, hit songs for each year, book and movie titles, and other provocative information. One list covers the thirties, forties and fifties, and the other spans the sixties, seventies and eighties. Those raw facts can be found in almanacs and other research publications as well as the Internet, but she brings them all together in one place. Her charmingly written overviews of each era digests that data and brings it to life. She adds sparkle to the summaries with anecdotes about her students and includes one of her own stories at the end of each list. If you finish a chapter without running off to your keyboard, the long list of writing prompts at the end should push you over the edge.
This book is a resource that belongs on the shelf of any serious writer.
An Essential Book for Writers of Memoirs and Personal Histories Jul 19, 2008
As I sat down to write this review, I flipped through the pages looking for something to stimulate a memory. I found it on page 215--the first great blackout (November 1965). I remember Daddy coming home and telling us about rescuing a woman trapped in an elevator. My sister and I listened to his story while we sat at the kitchen counter coloring in the dark. We'd illuminate the page with a flashlight, try to commit the picture to memory, color in the dark and then examine our work to fits of laughter.
It's a small memory but it's part of my story. It goes to the safe, happy childhood I was privileged to enjoy. And this is the point of Kim Pearson's excellent book. She goes beyond repeating the old saw that everyone has a story to tell and makes the case that everyone should tell their stories. Collectively and in the context of their times, our stories help expand our understanding of every-day people and their contributions--large and small.
Three quarters of Making History is devoted to 60 years' worth of timelines (1930-1989). Kim divides events into eight categories ranging from economics and politics to technology and crime. There's something in these lists for everyone. While the primary-source material makes this book an important tool, Kim waxes eloquently about writing the memoir. She makes her case for capturing our stories while we can and preserving them for all generations.
Kim is a self-confessed story junkie. The fact that she shares some of her memories and family vignettes with us is an added gift. Her memories are vivid, touching and colorful. I recommend that you do more than use this as the wonderful reference book it is. Take the time to read the many vignettes from Kim's personal history as well as from some of her students.
Making History came out of Kim's work to create a personal history and writing class for the senior continuing education program at her local community college. Her book is an essential addition for every memoir writer's library. Keep it within easy reach because I guarantee you'll be reaching for Making History regularly.
A Must Book To Have If You Want To Write Your Memoirs Jun 21, 2007
When our children, relatives and friends broach the subject of writing our memoirs, most of us manage to provide a broad array of negative responses from who cares about our lives to even if I wanted to write my memoirs, how would I go about it as I don't have a clue.
To help us overcome our lack of enthusiasm, Kim Pearson has come up with a most unique resource, Making History: How to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life, which evolved from her history class that she teaches and which is based on her system of part history lesson and part memoir writing.
This very well-organized and entertaining book, complete with extensive timelines spanning the years from 1930 to 1989, as well as exercises and suggested readings, presents a fresh look into memoir writing. To make it a delightful and interesting read, Pearson has interspersed her own personal anecdotes as well as some wonderful stories of her former students, where we are reminded why each of us plays an important part in history and why it is important to share these experiences with others.
Conveniently dividing the book into three broad sections and a conclusion, Pearson explores why tell your stories, how to tell your stories, fitting your stories into history and the meaning of life.
Commencing with the first section, Pearson examines the reasons for telling your stories which she breaks down into: connection, wisdom, inspiration and healing. As pointed out, one way or another we are all connected by our stories to each other, to the past, and to the future. It is up to us to fill in the details and connect ourselves to the events we may have experienced within a particular perspective.
No doubt living through some of these events you probably learned a thing or two. Why not pass on this knowledge to others? Moreover, you probably are one of the millions of unsung heroes who at one time or another have performed a brave deed, followed your passions or achieved your goals. Here again, why not let your descendants in on your secrets. Finally, there is probably some unfinished business where you wished you could be able to turn the clock back and apologize for what you may have done to someone. You now have the opportunity to explain why, how, to whom, the circumstances and situations. How often do we go through life wondering why our parents are not talking to a particular relative? What actually happened?
In discussing how to tell your stories, Pearson emphasizes focusing or as she states, there is no need to write a long tome about your life. Why not limit your memoir to a vignette or short-short story. This will help you resolve the problem that we all encounter, too much information and too little time.
From here Pearson gives us the tools to explore our lives within various contexts such as economics and politics, the social fabric, wars and the international scene, technology and science, crime and disaster, arts and entertainment, lifestyle activities and the weird, trivial and hard-to-classify. Each one of these sections presents an overview of the era in relation to the particular context. For example, if we refer to economics during the time frame of 1930 through 1959, we are reminded of the Great depression, the new economic and political programs, the 1940s War Production and labor unrest. If we were alive during this era, how do we fit in either as adults or perhaps children listening to the tales of our parents?
To prod our memories, an extensive events timeline is included at the end of each section. We are free to scan these timelines and circle the events we remember, make notes in the margin, and place question marks beside the events we don't remember, cross out things we believe are wrong or misleading or do whatever else works best with us. Pearson also suggests various writing topics to consider and how to go about writing about these topics.
In addition, several helpful writing rules with their explanations are presented such as using trigger sentences, don't be polite, be specific and remember your five senses when describing and telling your stories, it is not necessary to be right, rational or logical, don't worry about the rules of grammar or spelling when writing your first drafts, and trust yourself.
The concluding chapter or as it is entitled, The Really Big Stuff, Pearson challenges her readers to become philosophical and answer the biggies as to what is the meaning of life, what are we here on earth, what is your purpose and are you fulfilling?
I have to admit that by the end of the book I certainly concurred with Pearson when she states in her introduction: "we are actors, not just reactors." And if you are considering writing your memoirs, this is one book you don't want to be without. After all, we have all accumulated a wealth of information about success, failure, and life itself from many sources. We should not permit this information to be lost.