[Editor’s Note: The Tell Your Tale series is available in PDF e-book format from Legacy Tale for $5.99 USD (click here). Individual e-books are $4.79 each, a 20% savings! Or purchase all 9 books in the series together as a bundle for only $29.99 with this special introductory price! This would make a great Mother’s Day gift as a not-so-subtle hint to the women in your family that their life stories need to be recorded. Offer good through Monday, May 15th.]
Robison, Hilarie Hicks. Tell Your Tale: Write & Share Your Life Story, Legacy Tale, 2017, 31 pages.
When it comes to writing my life story, even as a prolific writer, I often find myself “putting off” the task. I’m not sure if it is because I don’t think others will find my stories interesting, or I just don’t know where to start. Many of us tend towards the “linear” side where we want to “start at the beginning” and that can often make the overall task of capturing our life story too monumental.
So I recently decided to start writing using the Tell Your Tale e-book series from Legacy Tale and their system really works! There are plenty of topics covered and I can choose which topics to use or not (like Golden Years – I’m just not there yet!)
- Early Life
- Family Roots
- School Days
- Working Life
- Marriage and Family Life
- Golden Years
- Holidays and Traditions
- LDS Writing Prompts*
* I’ve been able to use these prompts even though I am not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was able to tailor them to my own faith background and journey.
Every book in the Tell Your Tale series includes:
- A Getting Started section which includes an overview, where to start and how to start.
- A Photo Instructions section which includes information on gathering and labeling old photos, photo scanning instructions and options, document formatting instructions and more.
- A Themed Topics and Checklist with writing prompts for recording memories as well as associated photo prompts to illustrate those memories and time periods.
Source: Legacy Tale Website, Tell Your Tale Book Series (http://www.legacytale.com, accessed 5 May 2017).
Why I Think the Tell Your Tale e-book series Works
The Getting Started as well as the Photo Instructions and Document Instructions are pretty straight-forward and offer solid advice for anyone who embarking on this type of project. Robison keeps the advice in plain-English and even with the photo scanning information, she doesn’t get too technical.
There is a quote from the author that really sums up why the Tell Your Tale books work: “It is a guide to keep you on course, not a corset to restrict your thoughts and writing.” Robison also issues a “call to action” and implores the reader to act upon memories when they come to mind . . . make sure you are working on capturing the memory and the related story and images.
I’ve started with the Early Life e-book of writing and photo prompts; the author has some prompts included that I would not have considered. For “Tell about your childhood home(s),” the author just doesn’t leave it at that. She asks the writer to describe a specific event that took place in the home as well as the layout of the room(s). The resulting story about my family’s weekly Saturday night card games became so much more vivid using this technique.
And at the end of the prompts is a one page checklist making it easy to print out and check off what you’ve already accomplished.
There are tons of books and websites filled with family history and story preservation writing prompts. The Tell Your Tale series from Legacy Tale provides not just prompts to help you tell your own story, but an action plan for including photos and all the other details that help you create a legacy for future generations.
About The Author: Hilarie Hicks Robison, M.A.
Hilarie Hicks Robison is a third generation native Las Vegan whose professional career spanned roles in government agencies, education and non-profits. After graduating summa cum laude from BYU and earning a Master’s in Ethics and Policy Studies, she published and presented widely on a variety of topics throughout North America, receiving multiple awards for publications and innovations. A teacher and writer at heart, she loves helping people recognize how history has shaped their lives, and how making and recording your own history shapes the future. Hilarie and her husband, Ben, are the owners of Legacy Tale, where they harness the power of storytelling and technology to strengthen families across generations.
* * *
Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.
©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.