That's when I decided to crowd source the stories. Who else would remember these events? My dad, aunts and uncles!
Here's what I did:
- I typed up all the stories from the book.
- The whole narrative is just a collection of random mini stories. They aren't in any chronological order ans she skips back and forth between her childhood and raising her own children. So I split the narrative into the little stories and put them into a spreadsheet. (I am only using the stories of her children for this project since they obviously won't remember their mom's childhood.)
- I added a column to the spreadsheet for a date.
- Each Friday I send a mini story out to my dad and his brothers and sisters.
- Over the weekend, they send me back their version of the story and other memories that the original story triggered. They give me all the details that I was missing. They also use "reply all" on the email so that they can build off of each other.
- On Monday, I write up the new story that we have created from just a few lines.
Now you might be wondering how effective this technique has been. Stay tuned to tomorrow's post when I share how 4 lines of text turned into 2 pages.