December 30, 2020

Hello again! Are you on your way with your biography but need some impetus to continue? A long walk today in the cold sun on a Roman road in West Sussex near my home started a train of thought: sounds. But sounds from our past lives which can kickstart more heft, more bulk and interest to your writing. In recalling sounds, other memories will return to give a sense of place, of those involved, of your happiness, sadness, sense of achievement or disappointment, a turning point in your life perhaps. Sounds I recalled on my walk include hearing an orchestra, aged 8 for the first time, tune up before the concert itself, the setting coming to mind in vivid detail and wanting to become part of that orchestra – or any orchestra (achieved forty plus years later in a amateur London orchestra); the sounds of a strong wind in the trees, walking in Copenhagen’s Dyrhavn park as a child which left a strong impression and a love of weather sounds; the majestic sound of a ship’s horn as it sailed from New York for Europe as a child, the mournful, unexpected sound conjuring up the vastness and mystery of the ship, the excitement of the passengers waving goodbye to the New World; the sound of a shunting coal train at the back of our house in Prague as it reached a gradient, bringing back memories of being safe in bed but wondering about those at work, shoveling coal into a red-hot boiler to achieve the hill; the whirr of celluloid film on a 35 mm projector and the sudden thrill of a film coming alive on the screen in an old cinema surrounded by likewise excited small children. There are so many sounds to conjure up scenes which may lie buried and ready to spring into life again, walking an excellent way to concentrate the mind for your memoir. Your child’s first cry; hearing the breath of a dog by your side on a run and how you loved the dog and its place in the family; the sound of a school yard during break and children played with or ignored by them; the sound of sizzling bacon cooked perhaps by your mother, the smell trying too to make itself felt. The crunch of your foot on snow and where you enjoyed this most. All these and so many other sounds you recall capture the essence of who you are and what you have seen or experienced from an early age. Or any age. If you need some guidance, email me, glad to help.

October 10, 2020

Hello there! Your Life, Your Story autobiographers have contacted me, keen to continue their stories but have reached the stage when help is needed to continue to the published work. Is this you too, already started on your autobiography or biography of a friend or family member but not quite sure how to proceed? Or finish it off or need some guidance on how to format it for printing? If you send me some or all of your writing, we can discuss how I can help you get your ideas into a quality soft or hard back book.There is a reduced rate for this service. I’d be delighted to talk this through with you. Autumn is a good time too to work on your story if you haven’t started it but have a loose chapter outline of what you’d like to include. Going over photographs to jog your memory is a surefire way of getting those recollection juices going. My thanks to the various newspapers and journals for getting my message out about memoir-writing.