Storytelling Therapy

Recently one of my older relatives was involved in an automobile accident. Although he wasn’t seriously injured, at his age even the small things take a long time to heal. Our biggest concern is with his sight. Bottom line is we don’t know yet if his sight problems can be fully resolved and, as you might imagine, he’s in a very depressed state right now. One thing that has helped get his mind off his problems is getting him to talk about old times. That’s when the light bulb came on. The family historian in me jumped on this opportunity to provide him with some pleasant diversions while capturing a bit of family history in the process.

Monitoring recording levels

Using advice from Susan Kitchens’ RootsTech presentation, I purchased an Edutige EIM-001 microphone [$27.43] for my iPhone. Susan’s Family Oral History Using Digital Tools is a fabulous resource for anyone interested in capturing audio stories. I also found a great little stand [$9.95] that also serves as storage for my earbuds. The stand makes it easy to watch the activity on my recorder app while I’m interviewing. Speaking of apps, I’ve tried several and found the Recorder Plus + II Pro [iOS – $2.99] easiest to use with the features I want. There’s a free version of Recorder Plus + II, but the paid version includes the ability to easily move my recording files to Dropbox and other apps that support “Open In”. This makes it a whole lot easier to move the recordings from my iPhone to cloud storage so I can access the files from my desktop or other devices when I’m ready to start building storytelling projects using my recordings.

With equipment in hand, my next challenge is to organize my notes. All of us have inherited the storytelling gene to one degree or another, but we all have a tendency to wander away from the main topic. Yes, often those wanderings are just as interesting as the starting topic. The challenge will be to get all of the main story while collecting a lot of side stories too.

I’m using my Evernote Moleskin notebook for both my questions and to jot down ideas generated during the conversation. Later I can use the iPhone to capture those notes and add them to my Evernote notebook for future reference.

I’m on the transport schedule to take him to his physical therapy a couple of times this week. We’ll stop off for coffee and a bit of conversation afterwards and see if it can’t spark a bit of storytelling in the process. Stay tuned.

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