Tuesday, December 27, 2011
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Chris Stevenson email@example.com
Thursday, November 10, 2011
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
As you organize the chapters of your book, it looks nicer to have them each start on the right hand side of the page. In order to do that, they need to have odd page numbers on them. The standard way to number pages is to have the even numbered pages on the left and odd numbered pages on the right. You might need to insert a blank page at the end of a chapter in order to start the next one on the right side. Or an idea that I like better is to have a few pictures or documents that you were going to leave out of the book ready to be placed on these extra pages.
The title page and table of contents should also be placed on a right hand page.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
What kind of look do you want for your book? The justification that you choose will determine the look of your book. For history books there are two different justifications that look good, full or left. Full justification with both the left and right edges aligning straight up and down the page (like a newspaper column). Full justification will give your pages a clean orderly look but the spacing between words can sometimes look a little funny. With full justification, your headings could be either left, right, or centered on the page. Left justification has the left side aligned up and down and the right side is ragged. This gives a more conservative look to the book and the spacing between the words is consistent. If you have a book of poems, center justification will look great. The important thing is to choose one justification and stick to it. If you aren’t sure which way you want, look at a few different books to give you the feel of each style then choose the one you like best.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I just finished my annual family video DVD for 2010. They are so enjoyable that I wanted to share the same information that I posted last year (March 10, 2010). It might inspire you to make one for your family.
Each year for the past six years I have created a DVD that has pictures and video clips. My family loves watching them over and over and I enjoy making them. They take some time to make, but the end product turns out so good that it makes all worth it. I edit the video quite a bit so that it is interesting and I put the pictures into a slide show with musical background.
I thought that I would share some of the lessons that I have learned.
1. I transfer all of the video tapes for the year to the computer and then I make one set of DVDs without editing. I have found that if I make this set first then it’s not hard to cut out a lot of the video because I have a copy of the complete, raw video that I can personally watch if I want to see more. Maybe it is just a psychological thing but it works for me.
2. I work with a PC all day, every day and I love how it makes my life easier. But when it came to making videos, it didn’t work very well at all. I tried many different programs and even bought a new computer, but as soon as I did some video editing it wouldn’t work. I finally came to the realization that it wasn’t going to work on my PC. With my friend’s prompting, I bought a Mac and within a few weeks I had a perfect DVD to share with my family. Maybe there are new PC programs that will work now, but for me, the Macintosh is the only way to go. It works every time and editing is very easy.
3. Videos take a lot of memory, so I would suggest that you get as large of a hard drive as you can afford. You will also want to have an external hard drive that you can use as a back up. (See last week’s post about backing up.)
4. Plan a time of year to do it. For me, it works best to produce the DVD in January.
5. Put several different video clips on the DVD. Don’t try to put everything into one, long movie. If you break it down into shorter video segments then your family can watch the clips they want without having to sit through clips that they aren’t interested in (i.e. the clips they aren’t in.)
6. If you don’t have the desire or time to do it yourself, you can hire someone to do it for you, but remember that the editing decisions need to be yours. A stranger won’t know which shots are the most important to your family.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I found these instructions from a handout that we used for book publishing about 30 years ago. When I read over them again, I thought that they still applied to what we do today. These are the instructions when we were doing all of the picture insertion in a book. It applies either if you are inserting the pictures yourself or hiring it out. It is a great way to organize your book when you are ready to start inserting pictures.
1. Decide where each chapter or division of your book begins and place each chapter in a separate folder, sack or envelope or make a note in red, "start new Chapter", etc.
2. Decide where you wish each page of pictures to go and insert the dummy sheets [a sheet of paper that indicates the placement of pictures by drawing boxes. The boxes usually have a number in them that matches the number on the back of the corresponding picture.] or copy of the scanned photo page there. Or draw a box the size of the picture you want on the manuscript page. Write or type the caption for the picture where desired.
This is a very simple and easy way to organize all your pictures before you start putting them in the book. Then all you need to do is scan the pictures and place them with their captions in place.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Page layout is a term which refers to the way in which text and images are situated on a page. The layout of your manuscript should be adjusted to look exactly the way you want to see it in print. Look at previously bound books for ideas. Check out several family or personal histories to see how they are done. When you see one you like then take note of the headers and footers, where the page number is located, how wide the margins are on each side of the page, and what fonts were used for the titles, text and captions.
Then you can setup your page to the same settings and see if it looks good for your book. If not then make some small adjustments until it is just how you want. This will become the template of your book and make it easier to set up the rest of the book to match. Save this layout as a separate file named something like “Book Template” and as you start a new chapter in a new file then open up a copy of the template so each chapter will match.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
When you are making corrections to your book it is easier if you start on the last page and work forward. The reason for this is that as you make changes to your manuscript on the computer everything after it will move. So if you start at the first page then as you work your way through the book it will be harder to find the corrections because the computer screen won’t look the same as the printed proof copy. By starting at the last page any change you make will effect the pages that you have already edited.
If you have pictures in your book, then after you have finished the corrections, start at the beginning and check to be sure that the pictures are still where you want them.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The file size of your book can get very large when you have a lot of pictures in it. And when the file is huge it can slow down your computer a lot and make editing drag on and on. If you are struggling with this then consider splitting the book into chapter files where each chapter (or two) are individual files. While you are editing them you can call them whatever you want, but I have a suggestion for when you are ready to take the book to the publisher. By putting numbers at the beginning of the name of each file they will be sorted into the order of how they appear in the book. Use two digits for the numbers (i.e.: 01Titlepage, 02Preface, 03 Chapter one, etc.) to keep the first nine chapters in order on the top of the list.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
When writing your personal history, I would suggest that you write it in first person. It will have the feel that you are telling your life stories to your children or grandchildren while they are sitting on your lap. It will help connect the reader to you in a very personal way. If fact, you can just grab a recorder and record some of your stories as you tell them to your children or grandchildren. Then listen to the recording to get a feel of how to write it like a captivating story (instead of dry facts). Give it a try!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Blogs have become so common and easy to use that about 50,000 are started each day. One great use of a blog is to share family stories and pictures. You can make a blog for each of your different family lines and then post information about each ancestor that has that last name or that belongs to that ancestral line. Wordpress and Blogspot are the two blog sites that are used the most, plus they are free. They have some great tutorials to help you get started and design your blog.
Here are a couple of blogs that I have made for two of my family lines. They are just an example of what you can do. I also have a private blog that just my immediate family can see where we share pictures and memories about when our children were growing up. (You can have your blog public so anyone can see it or private so only invited guests can see it.)
Go ahead and start a blog and see how it works. Experiment until you have it just the way you want and then you can make it public and tell your family about it. When it is public, other relatives can find it by searching for certain family names and will see what you have and could contact you and share information. It is a great way to share pictures and stories from your family.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
It is easy for us to write the good things about our relatives when writing a family history. It is much more difficult to write about the bad things and the mistakes that they made. It is appropriate to be very careful when writing about someone’s flaws so we don’t go too far and become distasteful to our readers.
I think that Dawn Thurston explains it best, “When writing family history, it’s difficult to create a realistic picture of people long gone. Genealogy data reveals little about how people looked, moved, or talked, or what strengths and weaknesses shaped their lives. Then there’s family pride. Absent any evidence to the contrary, we tend to idealize our forebears. We want them to be exemplary rather than human. I suspect the image that exists in our mind’s eye bears little resemblance to how they actually were.”
I think that we do our readers a disservice by only telling the good. A brief mention of the mistakes and bad qualities of our ancestors makes them more real. So, be brave and write the whole picture of your ancestors, then before you have it published have someone else read it over and make sure that you have handled it tastefully. You will be glad that you did.