~ Family Resemblance ~

I’ve Been Holding Out on You

I just realized I forgot to post some of the guest blog posts I wrote this year. Okay, and maybe I didn’t think one or two of them were relevant to this blog. But you know what? I’ve decided it’s all relevant! This blog is just as much about my life as it is about my family’s, and family resemblance in general. So, without further ado, introductions and links to my guest blog posts!

Starting with the oldest guest blog post, this was posted in March. It’s about travel, exploration, and studying abroad in the Netherlands, and is a part of Sonia Marsh’s Gutsy Living Series.

Growing up, summer vacations meant hiking in Mammoth Mountain. After the first couple consecutive years, I was ready to go somewhere else. We used to go other places—Palm Springs, Big Bear, San Francisco, Arizona, Utah. We even went all the way to Disney World when I was seven. So I began looking through the AAA book for some new ideas. Maybe my parents had forgotten what else was out there.

They hadn’t. I’d point out a place and my dad would say, “What are we going to do there?”

“We could do anything! What do we do in Mammoth that’s so fun? We hike.”

“Exactly. Let’s go back to Mammoth.”

This was published in May. It’s about Random Acts of Kindness and Messages in a Bottle done in collaboration with the fabulous guerrilla artist, Mary England.

“I love reading stories about people finding bottles with messages inside of them. I like imagining the original message-writer flinging a bottle into the ocean, not knowing where and when their letter will be read. It’s especially exciting when the bottle is found 50 or 100 years—and many travel adventures—later. Then it’s a Message in a Bottle and a time capsule!

I thought it would be fun to do my own take on the Message in a Bottle idea by combining it with random (and not so random) acts of kindness. I started by preparing a bottle for my friend Sarah, whose birthday is coming up next week. Instead of sending her a card, I wrote her a long letter, threw in a ($4) winning lottery ticket, and sealed the bottle with a cork and some cute washi tape.”

In June, I was interviewed by Sarah Von Bargen for her True Story interviews, which feature “people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things.” I talked about being a personal historian.

What does a personal historian do? And how did you come to do this as your career?

Most people have never heard of my profession, so I usually say I help people save their life stories or that I’m part ghostwriter, part historian (ghostorian?).

Basically, I interview people to get their stories, then transcribe and edit their words into a narrative. Once that’s done, I collect photos from the person’s life, layout the book, and send it to a printer to be printed. I can also provide an audio version of the interviews. Of course, those aren’t the only two mediums that personal historians use. There’s also video and digital media as well. 

I met Jenny Williams through the Yes and Yes interview. She and a few other gals wrote to me because my interview inspired them to consider becoming personal historians (yay!). She did a guest blog post for me, and then I asked if I could do a guest blog post for her. (Her blog is really cute and she’s a great writer, so I had to ask!) One of Jenny’s favorite topics is books, so I wrote about three books that shaped my life (spoiler alert: The Diary of Anne Frank, Lauren Bacall’s autobiography, and my grandfather’s Korean War memoir).

My love affair with books started at an early age, so even with some less passionate years (I’m talking about you, year I was forced to read The Scarlet Letter and Heart of Darkness in English class) I’ve still loved a long list of books. I could easily write a prolific, interesting-only-to-me dissertation on them and their influence on my life, but there’s only a couple books that left a significant mark on my life path and sense of self.

Alright, no more guilt for me! (The first time I wrote that sentence, I said, “Alright, now more guilt for me!” Talk about a Freudian slip.) Now we’re officially caught up. On to new adventures!

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4 Comments

  • October 3, 2014 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Thanks again for guest posting, Rachael! It was great to collaborate with you. And I totally missed your interview with the lovely Sarah, so I’m glad you recapped it here!

    • October 9, 2014 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

      And thank you for agreeing to collaborate with me! Your blog is a constant source of inspiration. :-)

  • October 4, 2014 - 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing these with us. You are right — they are all relevant and important. I may contact you soon to guest post on my blog. Sorting out scheduling issues right now. :)

    • October 9, 2014 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Sherrey! I would love to guest blog for you, so contact me anytime.

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