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For All Time: A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History [Paperback]

Charley Kempthorne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 24.08 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

August 1996
A pratical guide to documenting your family history, detailing how to get started, and specific forms and techniques.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

The author, a former teacher and magazine editor and publisher who specializes in teaching family history, has combined his talents to produce this work. In four chapters, he discusses family history and its importance, includes techniques for writing family history, provides forms, and explains the methods of printing and publishing the histories. Part 3, "Forms of Family History," for example, not only addresses writing biography, autobiography, and family newsletters but provides an especially useful illustration of how to incorporate letters and cookbooks into family history. The print and publishing chapter looks to be just as useful for general works as for family history publications. Ultimately, Kirk Polking's Writing Family Histories and Memoirs (Betterway, 1995) is probably more useful to genealogists, as Kempthorne's work emphasizes writing in general. But it adds an exciting new dimension to writing modern family history that seeks to place our ancestors in a larger framework of family, neighborhood, and history. It suffers from the lack of an index but otherwise is recommended as source both for writing modern family history and for writing in general.?Judith P. Reid, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

"You need to bring your family history to life by recreating it," admonishes the author of this unique handbook on writing--with emphasis on the word writing one's family history, as opposed to simply compiling the usual chartlike family tree. His book stresses the presentation of family history in narrative form; and to that end, he addresses such topics as the various ways in which family history might be recorded, including keeping a journal, conducting interviews, writing captions for photo albums, compiling biographies of current family members, and composing one's own autobiography. Finally, he discusses publication of family history, either by self-publishing or by commercial publisher. Equal parts how-to and inspiration, this is a perfect public library purchase. Brad Hooper

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
FOR ALL TIME: A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History By Charley Kempthorne
To be honest, every night I fall asleep reading the books and magazines sent to me for review in my Tuesday column. Its not that they are boring, it is just sometimes late when I finally get to that part of my day! But when I got through the stack to this packet of materials, I became so excited over the content, that I actually got up and e-mailed the author within the hour! I just had to let him know how much I like his work. Who is this person, and what did he write that kept me awake nights?!! Met Charley Kempthorne, editor of LifeStory Magazine, author of For All Time.
This man is a pusher, a puller and an enticer of writers-who-don't-know-they-are-yet. Charley's gift is that he can talk just about anybody into opening up and writing down even a few episodes of a personal history. I'm quite sure that at his LifeStory writing workshops, he will sing and dance, stand on his head, smile that certain smile, pat a shoulder, and draw faces on the blackboard -- ANYTHING to unlock the spirit that is in you! His main tools are humor and encouragement which he uses to tickle your fancy and those memories right onto the page.
Unlike our overbearing high school grammar teachers, and "hypercritical and hyperlearned" college professors, Charley is accepting and encouraging any form of writing you set your mind to do. He's even given in and decided to like poetry! (Read his magazine, you'll get the gist of THAT story!) Charley says: "In our culture much is made of the virtue of excellence. If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well. This might go right under the eagle along with our national motto of E. pluribus unum. Well, fine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars

Wow! I'm writing stuff worth reading now. March 17 1998

Format:Paperback
Starting with easy suggestions from each chapter I was nudged into making lists, writing a short piece about a memory, writing in a more natural voice. I was freed from seeing family history as a huge chronological undertaking.
It's rare that I check out a book from the library, then have to buy it for myself, but that's what I'm doing here at Amazon today. This book wasn't available from any of my local bookstores.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a treasure. July 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What an encouraging, useful read! This short book is chock-full of little gems on writing your family story -- in whatever form! The author has a delightful knack for giving you permission to be authentic in your writing, while at the same time giving you permission to write "just a little." This book has been such a help to me. I refer to it over and over again.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars

Wow! I'm writing stuff worth reading now. March 17 1998

By Fred Franke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Starting with easy suggestions from each chapter I was nudged into making lists, writing a short piece about a memory, writing in a more natural voice. I was freed from seeing family history as a huge chronological undertaking.
It's rare that I check out a book from the library, then have to buy it for myself, but that's what I'm doing here at Amazon today. This book wasn't available from any of my local bookstores.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Time: A complete guide to writing your family histor Feb. 23 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
FOR ALL TIME: A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History By Charley Kempthorne
To be honest, every night I fall asleep reading the books and magazines sent to me for review in my Tuesday column. Its not that they are boring, it is just sometimes late when I finally get to that part of my day! But when I got through the stack to this packet of materials, I became so excited over the content, that I actually got up and e-mailed the author within the hour! I just had to let him know how much I like his work. Who is this person, and what did he write that kept me awake nights?!! Met Charley Kempthorne, editor of LifeStory Magazine, author of For All Time.
This man is a pusher, a puller and an enticer of writers-who-don't-know-they-are-yet. Charley's gift is that he can talk just about anybody into opening up and writing down even a few episodes of a personal history. I'm quite sure that at his LifeStory writing workshops, he will sing and dance, stand on his head, smile that certain smile, pat a shoulder, and draw faces on the blackboard -- ANYTHING to unlock the spirit that is in you! His main tools are humor and encouragement which he uses to tickle your fancy and those memories right onto the page.
Unlike our overbearing high school grammar teachers, and "hypercritical and hyperlearned" college professors, Charley is accepting and encouraging any form of writing you set your mind to do. He's even given in and decided to like poetry! (Read his magazine, you'll get the gist of THAT story!) Charley says: "In our culture much is made of the virtue of excellence. If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well. This might go right under the eagle along with our national motto of E. pluribus unum. Well, fine. But the downside of the excellence cult is we are a nation of spectators.
We watch Michael Jordan dunk 'em, we watch Sam Donaldson and George Will duke it out verbally. We watch any number of professionals go to it in any number of occupations, sports, pasttimes, and other activities....and then we decide that since we can never be that good, we can only watch. Maybe we'll try it "later."
In this issue are a number of suggestions about how to write some parts of your history quickly and easily and... pleasantly. SO please go to it. Today. And if you just sit down and scribble it down without much worry about anything but being yourself, you may well be surprised how excellent a person -- and storyteller -- you are!"
Don't get me wrong, this guy also has the credentials to give you practical and worthwhile writing advice. His resume fills an entire web page! Charley is a former college professor, farmer, adult educator, and contractor. Since 1991 he has edited and published LifeStory Magazine ("The Family History Writer's Workshop") and conducted workshops in writing family history in more than a dozen states. He holds an MFA in narrative (fiction) writing from the famed Writer's Workshop of the University of Iowa. In 1977 he founded the first reminiscence workshop in the nation in Manhattan, Kansas.
One of his workshop attendees, Jessie Lee Brown Foveaux, was reported in the Wall Street Journal with the headline "The Hottest Prospect in Publishing Worlds is about to Turn 98: Mrs. Foveaux Wrote a Memoir Nearly Two decades Ago: Now the Bidding Begins" (See: The Wall Street Journal, Friday, March 14, 1997, page 1.) You know where the bidding stopped? Somewhere just over a million dollars! The Bridges of Madison County have just met their match!
While any book title including the words "the COMPLETE" can raise eyebrows and questions, I can state unequivocally that this book is literally all you need to get going! Remember, I am the one who buys two or three books like Strategies for Writing Successful Essays, The Elements of Style, and other difficult titles such as the Writer's Handbook and studies them over Christmas vacation each year. But let's take a step back and take a different look at things. Quit worrying! YES, document your family history, and be precise. But START WRITING that PERSONAL history now! Charley's advice will get you on task, and loving it! Charley has the knack.
Adding our personal insights give an element of genuine caring for our descendants to an otherwise sterile compiled genealogy. This is the week you are going to take the plunge and begin writing your personal history! With Charley's help YOU CAN DO IT!
For All Time : A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History   By Charley Kempthorne
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a treasure. July 23 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What an encouraging, useful read! This short book is chock-full of little gems on writing your family story -- in whatever form! The author has a delightful knack for giving you permission to be authentic in your writing, while at the same time giving you permission to write "just a little." This book has been such a help to me. I refer to it over and over again.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Help from a born teacher Jan. 25 2008
By Hawley Roddick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you need encouragement in writing your family history, Charley Kempthorne can help you. He doesn't ask you merely for a dry recitation of facts and who begat whom. Instead, he advocates setting family history in the larger context of the society in which the family took root. He maps a variety of routes to and through the past, so there is something for everyone. And he shows readers how to humanize the past and pass it on to future generations.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guide Book I Have Ever Read! Aug. 16 2010
By Martha N. Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was the best guide book I have ever purchased. By the time I was finished with the book, I had sub titles for so many stories. It triggers memories and as you complete a chapter, he gives you directions to write things, not always the story itself, but ideas. I loved it! I orginally got it to guide me into writing the history of my grand parents & great grand parents, but ended up with so much more. Now I have stories to leave my grand children about when I was growing up. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Get a pen, notebook and this book and leave something precious for you children & grand children for years to come.
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