Ten Questions to Ask Family

istockphoto 03-10-12 @ pictafolioReady to start capturing family stories this year? We found a great article with tips for collecting parents’ and grandparents’ stories. A real gem in the WSJ article (paywall) is a list of 10 questions to ask the important people in your life. Getting started is easy. Why not pose one question a month from the list to Mom, Dad or a grandparent? Then, by the end of the year you’ll have captured 10 valuable life lessons & words of wisdom to share with family and friends.

Our tip: Have your loved one share their answers in the way that is most comfortable and natural for them. Based on our interviewing experience, we find some people prefer to think about, ponder and handwrite or type answers, while others prefer to digitally record the responses as questions are asked. Both ways will work. Most of all, enjoy capturing the answers!

Maps Help Capture Memories

Hearing parents and grandparents share stories about their childhood and teenage adventures is something you’ll always treasure… and maps are a great icebreaker to start the conversation. We often use period maps to launch a memoir project and lately we’ve been exploring some really cool maps from the 1930s. It’s been a joy to watch our clients point to a spot on a map, laugh and launch into a favorite memory from 70+ years ago.

So the next time you are hoping to capture a great family story from the past, try finding a period map and start exploring it with your parents or grandparents. You may be amazed at the stories that unfold. Wikipedia.org is a great place to find period maps like the Shanghai map we found above.

Happy exploring!

A Note From Nanci

“The books arrived yesterday. They are BEAUTIFUL!!!…  Our family book exceeded my expectations. My mom had written our family story, so we left it in her own words which made it more meaningful to us.  It was so easy for me to just forward the word document, scan a few pictures and let the experts lay it out and put it together. Proofing it on line made the whole process even easier. My books arrived in perfect condition, and I love that other family members are able to order their own books from my creation. I can’t wait until Christmas when my Mom sees this beautiful memoir!”

– Nanci G.