Sunday, October 30, 2016

Telling Your Story

Your story is important.

When we forget our histories, we forget who we are.

These were the themes that threaded through my writing workshop at The Clearing in Door County last Friday.  The maples were in their full fall colorful glory.  The waters of Green Bay were slate colored and a bit angry as a stiff northwest wind sent waves crashing on the rocks.

I call these workshops “Writing From Your Life” as we searched our memories, recalling the good and bad of our lives, and then writing about them—and sharing our writing with each other.  There is laughter and tears.  And surprises, too, as participants recall memories thought lost and  now remembered.

Young and old, recently retired and those still working, all remembering, writing, discussing—getting down their stories of growing up, important people in their lives, turning points, joys, sorrows.  They came from Green Bay and Clinton, from Seymour and Tomah, from Baraboo and Milwaukee, from Fish Creek and Bailey’s Harbor.  All getting to know each other, all listening to each other’s stories, all getting ideas for their own stories.

We talked about keeping a journal, and how that can contribute to our stories.

We discussed the elements of a story and the importance of a strong beginning—even first lines that made a difference.

We practiced writing six-word stories using Ernest Hemingway’s example: “For sale:  Baby shoes.  Never Worn.”

We used my new book TELLING YOUR STORY: PRESERVE YOUR HISTORY THROUGH STORY TELLING as a reference. (For those interested you can order it by going to my website,,)

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Never forget the power of a good story.


November 3, 6:30.  Rock Springs Public Library, 6:30. Whispers and Shadows and Roshara Journal.

November 5, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose, Roshara Journal. With both Jerry and Steve Apps
November 10, 7:00 p.m. Menomonie Falls Public Library. One-Room Schools

November 12: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Second Saturdays Plymouth Art Center, 520 East Mill Street, Plymouth.  Farm Memories From Yesterday. Sponsored by Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.

November 29.7:00 p.m. Sequoia Public Library, Madison.  Roshara Journal with both Jerry and Steve Apps

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

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