Do You Care about your Family history??

A recent review I offered on Maya Angelou’s book, “Mom & Me & Mom” reminded me, once again, of the importance of recording family histories and story telling. 

shaman, story telling, cave dwellers, family, tribe, historySince man formed his first vocabulary, family and tribal news was carried from tribe to tribe, village to village by a storyteller. They would be welcomed in each cave, hut, and council house as an honored guest and nights would be spent around the fire listening to the latest news from family members living afar. Famine, a good harvest, movement of wild herds, warring tribes, births, deaths, alliances, all were carried by the professional storyteller.  After a few days passed the news had been told and the storyteller, rested and refreshed, would move on to the next tribe or settlement.

While growing up in the mid-fifties my mother (certainly a modern day storyteller) would tell me the stories of her and eleven siblings growing up in the forests of Tumwater, Washington (state).  The story of my mother’s sister, Ivahfamily stories, writing, journaling, story telling, cutting off her eyebrows in retaliation.  When all the kids were down with seafood poisoning and a dairy cow wandered into the yard crying to be milked (milk being the remedy for stomach disorders).  Another of my mother’s sisters’ panties falling down around her ankles while dancing at her first dress-up dance.

family stories, writers, family history, story telling

  I believe that these oral histories, as told by the elders of our families will soon (if not already) be a thing of the past.  Whenever I have the opportunity, whether it’s teaching a class on writing and storytelling or giving a lecture on same, I relate how important it is for each of us to record our own family’s rich history.  When grandparents are gone, the stories are gone with them.  My family story, whose origin began in Ireland and France,  was great material for my writing.   I have just published my second novel, “Wild Violets“.  It is loosely based on my mother, as a young entrepreneur, flapper and owner of a speakeasy, in San Francisco roaring 20's, flappers, new fiction, Wild Violetsin the 1920’s.

 In this day of television, dvd’s, and computers with games, these stories handed down from elder to child, will be lost forever.   Do YOU know some great stories that you were told as a child?

 It’s a great place to begin your writing career!

(Photo of five sisters above from left to right: LaVerne, Violet, , Gladys, Ivah, & Lillas)


Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!    Join us at the Writer’s Corner!
I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Caroline Leavitt, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress is our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!