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We love providing inspirational ideas, information about topics that affect you and your family, and tips and tricks about memoir writing and storytelling. If we haven't touched on a topic of interest to you, please feel free to send us your questions and ideas!

I Haven’t Heard That One Before

By Michelle Beckman | August 10, 2017

I HAVEN’T HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE Deeper Connections Whether you see your parents and grandparents every day or talk to them once a month, I guarantee they have a story you haven’t heard yet. Sometimes, you know the story exists. These stories are often traumatic such as living through the Holocaust, fighting in a war, …

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100+ Ways to Make Fun-in-the-Sun Memories this Summer

By Michelle Beckman | July 5, 2017

100+ WAYS TO MAKE FUN-IN-THE-SUN MEMORIES Life Used to Be Simpler “I’m bored,” Have you heard that one yet? The summer has just started, but I already feel like I am our family’s entertainment director and taxi driver. Life was so much simpler when we were kids, don’t you think? We made our own fun. …

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4 Editing Hacks I Learned from Stephen King

By Michelle Beckman | March 23, 2017

4 EDITING HACKS I LEARNED FROM STEPHEN KING Editing for Your Audience Let’s be honest. The editing process is not as fun as the initial storytelling process. Editing requires that you read your writing with fresh eyes, pull out your red pen machete, and start hacking away at superfluous details, tangents, and parts of speech. …

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A flag reminding people to say thank you and welcome home to our soldiers

Do You Say, “Thank You and Welcome Home” Often Enough?

By Michelle Beckman | November 10, 2016

DO YOU SAY, “THANK YOU AND WELCOME HOME” OFTEN ENOUGH? Thank You for Your Service and Welcome Home A few years ago I attended a presentation by a personal history colleague and mentor Mary O’Brien-Tyrrell. She served in Vietnam as a nurse, and during her talk, she described the mood of the country when she …

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Forget Me Not flowers

4 Tips to Recall It All

By Michelle Beckman | July 7, 2016

4 TIPS TO RECALL IT ALL Don’t Jump to Conclusions Do  you ever find yourself walking into a room only to forget why you made the effort? Do you forget someone’s name, even though you know the person well? Are there days when you fear you’ll forget to pick your child up from an activity? …

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Why Your Mother’s Story is as Ordinary as Sea Glass

By Michelle Beckman | May 8, 2014

YOUR MOTHER’S STORY IS AS ORDINARY AS SEA GLASS A humble gem My cousin collects sea glass—shards of ordinary glass bottles discarded without a thought that eventually wash up on shore.  The waves and glass wrestle in the world’s infinite rock tumbler.  Eventually, the glass submits and a polite dance begins—back and forth, back and …

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What Should I Do with My Life?

By Michelle Beckman | April 27, 2014

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE? Is This All There Is? Last month during the better part of a weekend, I attended a Life Calling Workshop hosted by our church. Scott and Louise Walker from Life/Work Direction, a non-profit organization, created and led the workshop. Although the workshop is faith based, everyone can benefit …

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A photo of an arch representing your family values as your overarching story

5 Steps to Identify and Share Your Family Values

By Michelle Beckman | January 29, 2014

5 STEPS TO IDENTIFY AND SHARE YOUR FAMILY VALUES Shared Values Years ago, I worked for MBNA America, an extraordinary organization.  If you found yourself in an MBNA facility, you knew their values. You knew exactly what was important to MBNA’s leaders.    The overarching value—THINK OF YOURSELF AS A CUSTOMER—was displayed above every single …

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A mini-sample family timeline

How a Family Timeline Can Jumpstart Your Personal History Project

By Michelle Beckman | May 6, 2013

HOW A FAMILY TIMELINE CAN JUMPSTART YOUR LIFE STORY PROJECT The Emergency Homework Interruption It was 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon.  My two beautiful children had just returned home from school.  They independently initiated their afternoon routine—snack, pet, homework. With laser focus, I attempted to concentrate on a continuing education class via telephone.  Within minutes, …

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It’s the Story, Stupid

By Michelle Beckman | January 14, 2013

IT’S THE STORY, STUPID Welcome to Sunday Dinner Stories! I’m so glad you are here. The following article is an updated version of my very first article for my eNewsletter/blog. I originally published it in 2013 when I rescinded—I’m not a quitter—my corporate Information Technology (IT) career. This month, I re-launched my website, and this …

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This publication is based upon personal experience, research, and education. Although the author has made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content in this article, the author and Sunday Dinner Stories assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or inaccurate information. For privacy reasons, some names may have been changed or omitted. The content is not intended to replace common sense, legal, medical, or other professional advice; it is meant to encourage, inspire, educate, and inform the reader. That means you should consult with your attorney, doctors, and other professionals if you have any concern about implementing our advice. But we hope you'll consider us your memoir professionals and will consult us for all your storytelling needs!


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