#GrannyWisdom – don’t let their knowledge and wisdom remain a mystery!

#GrannyWisdom Literary Lifestories with Granny Nonna, circa 1980s…

Social media was set ablaze recently with people getting involved in a conversation using the hashtag #GrannyWisdom . YouTubers, Instagrammers, Twitterers, Facebookers and Snapchatters, asked their grannies a whole host of questions as part of an experiment to link the generations.

While writing her book titled ‘Doing It’, YouTuber, Hannah Witton spoke to both her grandmother and great grandmother for one particular chapter and this is what Hannah said: ‘If I wasn’t writing the book I don’t think I would have had the excuse to talk to them about that kind of stuff…’

Literary Lifestories can help you write your life story, or even your grandmother’s life story – so that their (and your) experiences, knowledge and wisdom becomes history, rather than remain a mystery! Get in touch today:

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Twitter: @Litlifestories

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‘I wish I had done it sooner’

In a recent episode of my favourite programme, Greg Davies unearthed the story behind a mysterious great grandfather who was always referred to as ‘the butcher’.

Greg Davies on Who Do You Think You Are?

One of the genealogists on Who Do You Think You Are? told Greg an important thing: ‘You’re finding out about the human stories behind the names.’

Greg’s last words on film were these: ‘I wish I had done it sooner’. The reason he regretted not starting his ancestry search sooner was because, his father would have loved to hear the stories about their distant relatives. Sadly he never will, because a number of years ago he passed away.

So the message from Literary Lifestories to you today is this; start writing your life story now – we can help you! Today will be the future’s fascinating insight into history.

email: literarylifestories@yahoo.com

#literarylifestories #lifestory #lifestories #WDYTYA

 

 

 

 

Who are you? #whodoyouthinkyouare #wdytya

Well,  if I were to answer this question in terms of ‘who were my grandparents’ last month I found out more about my paternal grandfather, born in 1915 and died in 1985.

His brother’s son, Ciro (my father’s cousin) came over to London with his wife and as we sat and caught-up, I thought I would ask him some questions about his uncle, my grandfather. My father had told me a long time ago that his father (my grandfather) was adopted by Ciro’s parents.

‘So,’ I asked my uncle Ciro, ‘why did your parents adopt my grandfather?’

‘Well,’ began my uncle, ‘my grandparents met when they were older than most other couples at the time, so they stopped at two children, my father and his sister. My grandfather had a fishing business and needed help with it. One son alone was not enough. So they they decided to adopt a boy from the local orphanage. That would solve two problems with one stone! My father could run his fishing business and an orphan could have a family and place to call ‘home’.’

That orphan was my grandfather. I was fascinated to know the reasoning behind it. My uncle Ciro went on to say that when the boys grew up (his father and my father’s father) and had families of their own, the families remained close. My father and his siblings called Ciro and his siblings – cousins.  But then my father’s family moved to another part of the country.

My uncle Ciro continued, ‘I recall my father urging us to write to our cousins and your grandfather. Whenever we received letters back from your grandfather they always began with, ‘I write from my pen and not my heart…’.’

I was enthralled by this anecdote, and thanked my uncle. It got me wondering, perhaps when duty bounds me to write another email or text message, I’ll also begin this way, ‘I write from my touchscreen and not from my heart…’ with a wry smile as an expression, while thinking of my long departed ancestor.

Happy discovering who you are! #whodoyouthinkyouare #wdytya Remember, Literary Lifestories can help you turn your family history into a story; a tailor-made service, to suit your budget. Contact: literarylifestories@yahoo.com

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My lovely Uncle Ciro and Zia Sara…

 

 

 

 

Beautifully created life stories for children

The children’s book series ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ by Isabel Sanchez Vegara are a delight to read, I have found, to a little girl in particular. As soon as I saw the books online I bought the first one available in my local bookshop and here it is:

 

 

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The author retells Frida Kahlo’s extraordinary life story for little ones. In fact, I too learned how she overcame tragedy to become a world class artist.

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Other books in the series include: Coco Chanel, Agatha Christie, Amelia Earhart, Audrey Hepburn and Marie Curie.

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Although they all achieved great success in their lives ‘all of them began life as a little child with a dream’.

So if your child wants to be a scientist or a designer or even an artist when they grow-up, the message to them is clear, ‘go for it little ones’!

n.b. Literary Lifestories can turn your family history into a children’s book or young adult fiction book – find out how our literary magic touch can aid understanding by contacting us today…

Jeanne turns her family life story into literature

Jeanne Englander was a client I saw weekly. I met her in a coffee shop one dreary December day in 2014, as I pinned my flyer to the cafe’s notice board.  My flyer gave details of my life writing service.

Jeanne was talking to her wheelchair-bound husband and asked him if he wanted to watch the new film based on Stephen Hawkin’s life story. I heard the words ‘life story’ and took my chance. ‘Hello,’ I interrupted, ‘I apologise for interrupting but I couldn’t help overhearing; if you’re interested in life stories, I help people turn their life stories into literature’.

Jeanne kindly replied, ‘What a strange coincidence. I am currently writing my family’s life story and I’m looking for someone to help me type it.’

This is how it started and it ended with Jeanne completing the book a year later and what a remarkable tale she tells. The story spans three generations and recounts both her family and her husband’s family story of survival during the two world wars.

When Jeanne describes scenes, she cuts from her family in Leicester to her husband’s family in Poland. She describes the anguish of her grandmother upon learning her underage son (Jeanne’s father) had enlisted in the army of his own accord and sent to fight in WWI.

Jeanne also gives us real life scenes of both her husband’s escape from Nazi-controlled Berlin and his father’s escape from an invaded Poland. Both families share one major trait – surviving  and escaping danger. The reader is left wondering, ‘Was it luck? or was it sheer determination?’ Whatever it was, it was, ‘Against All Odds, The Englanders Survived’.

It was an honour and privilege working with Jeanne. At 84-years of age, writing over 800 words a day, I so admired her determination. In time, as I learnt more about her family, I came to understand exactly where she got her resolve.

Her husband Freddy was never far away during my Tuesday afternoons at Jeanne’s.  His story, building up a factory from scratch, employing 100s of people, yet loving his wife and sons above anything else, really touched my heart.

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