Yesterday, while sorting through some of The Family Archive, I stumbled onto this little jewel from our time in Germany. I worked for Boston University’s Overseas Programs which was headquartered at Hammonds Barracks – about halfway between Mannheim and Heidelberg. It’s a decorated egg shell created by the husband one of my co-workers. He made one for each of us in that office. Twenty-five years later, it’s still intact and a treasured memory of those days.
Our family histories are full of little stories. How are you capturing yours?
Blogging is the perfect platform for these little stories. They are easy to create. In my case, many are generated by a bit of ephemera like this egg, a photo or a newspaper clipping. The research needed to fill out the story often doesn’t take long either. Pull together words, photos, maps and anything else you want to use to tell the story and pretty soon you’re done.
The blog – and its readers – don’t mind that you aren’t building your history in perfect chronological order. And, before you know it, those little stories start piling up.
That’s where Scrivener comes in. It dawned on me a while back that while the blog was a great platform to share these little stories, it was a bit tedious to pull a collection of them together for other projects. Scrivener, however, is the perfect tool for this! I have created several Scrivener projects and each of my little stories – along with its associated research – gets added to the appropriate project. And, as that associated research grows, I find I’m often starting a little story in Scrivener then copying it to the blog.
Once in Scrivener, stories can be arranged and rearranged in any number of ways. Use Scrivener’s Compiler to quickly create a story collection to export as a PDF or an ebook you can share with family members. Yes, a photo-heavy manuscript will require additional formatting and layout efforts in other apps, but Scrivener still has much to offer family historians building their history one little story at a time.