How It Works

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What to expect when you partner with us

We believe that preserving and sharing your loved one's memoir is as easy as telling a story during Sunday dinner.

We’ve found that when you commission a project with us, all generations of your family benefit. Many of our Storytellers are surprised by the transformation that occurs in him/herself throughout our work together. The following is just a sample of the results your family might experience:

Your loved one will appreciate how fascinating he or she really is.

We believe that everyone has a fascinating story to tell.  As soon as we begin preserving your loved one's stories, he (or she) will agree with us!  He will learn that he does have a story to tell, and no one else is qualified to tell it.

Your loved one may feel a sense of peace.

Your loved one may feel a calmness or a sense of peace while and after we work together. Whether he is preparing for a difficult surgery or treatment, dealing with end-of-life issues, or just learning to accept his own life experiences, your loved one may find that he "feels better" after we work together.

Your loved one's story speaks for itself.

Your loved one will tell his story in his own words. Our audio packages also allow your audience to hear your loved one's actual voice.

Your loved one will be remembered the way he chooses to be remembered.

Whether your loved one's stories, beliefs, and values are preserved in written or audio form, together we’ll capture the essence of how your loved one wants his family members to remember him in his own words.

We'll use creative methods to help him remember the stories to tell, to go deeper into his soul with each story, to keep him motivated, and to share his stories with each generation of your family.

He may even find that the manner in which we preserve his story improves his own emotional health and well-being as he progresses through the rest of his life.

Your loved one will be the connection between past and future generations.

Through his stories and the relationships he describes, your loved one will provide a bridge to your ancestors who have already passed and are unknown to future generations.

If you find yourself sandwiched between simultaneously caring for your parents and your children, you can begin to use the power of your stories to help the generations of your families understand each other more deeply.  When multiple members of the family participate, the power of story is even greater.

Your family members may tell themselves a different story.

Research shows that the stories we tell and hear, especially family stories, become part of our personal narrative. This is particularly true for children and adolescents. As your loved one tells his story and family members read or listen, the story each generation tells itself can and will become more authentic. Your family may experience an unexpected sense of understanding, forgiveness, and healing.

Our Approach

It is essential that your loved one's stories are told--in a respectful, comfortable and safe environment and in a reasonable timeframe. We integrate the following four principles into each service and program:

Preserve 5-Minute Memoirs

We record and package your loved one's collection of personal stories—5-Minute Memoirs—as audio tracks in a playlist and/or chapters in a book. We try to create each 5-Minute Memoir so it can be listened to or read within one sitting, usually 5-10 minutes.

Your Story, Your Voice

We record and/or write your loved one's story in his own words, in his own voice. When you say, "That sounds just like Grandpa", I say, "Success!"

Speak to Your Audience

We help you choose the method that best informs, entertains, and connects your busy family. If your family regularly listens to audio books as you drive, music at bedtime, or songs on an mp3 player, then perhaps an audio memoir is best. If your family would like a lasting heirloom that never needs technology upgrades, then a traditional book will be your choice. Perhaps a combination of both mediums will be the best heirloom for all generations of your family.

One Handful of Stories at a Time

We focus on a small set of stories at a time to start and finish each memoir collection in a timely manner. One category might pertain to a period of your loved one's life (e.g., childhood, military service, an illness, etc.), to a specific set of photographs, or to a predefined topic.

How Does it Work?

In the business world, projects that last more than 18 months are likely to fail.  The same is true with personal history projects, so we use our Time 4 A S-T-O-R- Y Recipe for Memoir Success to manage each project to completion. Each project is a partnership between our Storyteller, our Client (if different from the storyteller), and Sunday Dinner Stories.

Time 4 A S-T-O-R-Y Recipe for Memoir Success 3-D Second Edition

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One last thing...

We treat your loved one like we would treat our own grandparents.

We understand that you are protective of your loved ones because we are protective of our parents and grandparents as well. We adjust how we work with each Storyteller to meet the Storyteller's physical and cognitive capabilities, mood, and personality. If you have specific requests regarding our interaction with your loved one, please contact us. We want you and your loved one to feel comfortable, safe, and secure as we work together.

What to do now?

Now that you know the types of results to expect, what we value, and our approach to working with our Clients and Storytellers, if you think we would work well together, please read more about Our Services.