Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Story Corp Struggle

This turned out to be a tougher assignment than I planned, some people had a bit of a panic, a few got it done, and some including  me are still working on it.

I guess I wasn’t clear enough that it was a two-fold job, one to conduct the interview, and two to write a six-hundred-word piece about your experience. And nobody did the uploading to Story Corp yet.

The people interviewed and the stories were interesting. Molly asked her Aunt to tell her a story about her Mother because she hadn’t asked those questions before her Mother died. So she got to know her better through the eyes of her Aunt.

Ruth interviewed an old guy who is an excellent golfer, she asked his advice on golfing. The punch line was that he always sought to score his age. He finally made it. He is eighty!

Ralph interviewed his Granddaughter-in-Law. She told him stories of the many years of studying and degrees she had received, the main one being a Degree in Questions! Ralph, a Minister, had the pleasure of performing the marriage ceremony for her and his Grandson.

Kathy’s title was I Flunked! She interviewed her neighbor, she had her questions prepared, but he kept changing the subject. She was afraid of being too personal and he thought her questions were too general. We were all surprised at her ending.

Ani interviewed a woman wearing many hats among them developing a program called Keep St Pete Lit and raising a daughter, as a single mother. She loves her work for the non-profit but needs more money!

I’m off to Sarasota to interview my son, Kris, who is always too busy for the interview. He loves flying and he just built another airplane. More later.

I Invite you, readers of this blog to look at the last entry and see the instructions, then participate. I promise an exercise in thinking, interviewing and writing.



Categories: Story Circles | Leave a comment

The single most important key to success is to be a good listener.

We had a great variety of stories about keys, last months assignment. There were so many readers we barely had time to let everyone read.  Here are some of the themes.

  • After a long journey, a hotel key card that wouldn’t work no matter how many times it was exchanged left the traveler frustrated and angry.
  • a typesetting class where the letters or ‘keys’ have to be set a certain way; a p and a q look the same upside down, we learned that mind your p & q’s refers to typesetting.
  •  A key to a safe deposit box left to a son by his father and its mysterious contents.

Surprised that no one thought of this. “More than once, I’ve wished my real life had a delete key.” Harlan Coben

Jan has a new project that she is excited about. She’s setting up a new way of earning income from writing and will use her extensive workshop and training experience to make it successful. Here is how. Home Parties are here again! Invite four or five women to your home for a Writing Party! Choose either Memoir, Life-story Writing, or Advanced Writing Skills.The one and one half hour session can be daytime or evening. The fee is $25 per person and you are free, it’s your gift for arranging the gathering. Call Jan now for dates and details. 727-254-1997

Assignment for June 15th: Story Corps, NPR

We discussed interviewing skills. And asked you to think of your favorite interviewer.Who do you listen to? Like? Why? Listen to some Story Corp segments including the TED TALK by Dave Isay, founder of Story Corp. Then …

  • Download the Story Corps App for instructions.
  • Choose someone to interview.
  • Pick great questions.
  • Record the story. Find a quiet place to record. Listen carefully.
  • When you are finished, upload the file from the app to share the conversation with the world or just our class.
  • Story Corps wants you to help create an archive of the wisdom of humanity.

You will find plenty of good tips here: https//

Remember, you can use a smartphone, iPad, tablet, or any recording device. Download the Story Corps App then use it to upload to the Library of Congress. Yes! The person you select will be in the Archive of the Library Of Congress for generations to read.

For class – Write about your experience in 600 words or less to read in June. Remember to title your piece and give us the word count when you read.We will continue this project in months to come. The point is good interview skills are important to a writer’s work.

Write! Publish! Sell! In her most recent issue, Joan West highlighted our group and published the story Maria Mason wrote for our key prompt. We appreciate her support.  To sign up for her terrific FREE newsletter send Joan an email to   Check out this comprehensive newsletter.


Categories: creatiity, creative writing, essay, finding yourself, memoir, personal stories, stories, Story Circles, women, writing | 2 Comments

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