Category Archives: Mary May Larmoyeux

Google Docs: A Helpful Tool for Writers Who Want to Collaborate

I wanted to share this post by Mary Larmoyeux from the WordServe Water Cooler with our StoryWriting Studio friends. Hope you enjoy it! Karen

WordServe Water Cooler

woman on laptop

Years ago Ethan Pope and I wrote a book together called There’s No Place Like Home (Broadman & Holman). Thanks to email, the phone, and a fax machine, we were able to communicate pretty well back them. But not nearly as well as Karen Jordan and I recently did as we worked together on a book proposal. Our collaboration was so much easier because of Google Docs!

What is Google Docs? It’s a free online word processor available to anyone who has a gmail account (which you can get for free). Like most word processing programs, it makes it possible for you to change the appearance of a document: the size of the text, spacing of lines, paragraph styles, headings, etc.

It also allows you to write, edit, and collaborate with others at the same time. And you can upload a Word document and then convert it to a Google document…

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Four Ideas for Helping Children Learn How to Write Stories

– by Mary May Larmoyeux

notebook and penSome of my grandkids live out of state, and we have great fun connecting each week for our online writing “class.”

Here are four ideas for helping children learn how to write stories:

1) Read the same book and then, via Skype, talk about the author’s ideas, writing style, etc.

2) If possible, watch the DVD “Writing Strategies” by Rock N Learn. (It features Marco the Pencil and covers things like how to brainstorm ideas, hook the readers, write effective dialogue, and much more.) Then help the kids put what Marco says into practice.

3) Ask the kids to write something every week in a journal.

4) Read author Tricia Goyer’s wonderful blog post  “6 Activities for Your Kids’ Writing Club/For Teens & Preteens.”

What suggestions do you have for teaching kids how to write stories … and how to help them love the written word?

Post © 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Photodiane | Dreamstime.com
The Grandparent Connection

Visit Mary at http://www.legacyconnection.org. She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Sharing Family Stories at Thanksgiving

horn of plentyby Mary May Larmoyeux

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s a perfect time to share family stories.

As our family will enjoy turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving, we’ll recall not only God’s blessings, but also share some of our family’s favorite stories.

I’ll never forget a time long ago when my mom and dad were visiting for Thanksgiving while Jim’s and my kids were still living at home. We were sharing our blessings and my dad said he was thankful that he had a good wife. Mom couldn’t understand him. “What?” she asked. “You want a new wife?”

We all leaned back in our chairs and laughed, and a Thanksgiving memory was etched on our hearts.

When I think of Mom and Dad, I can still see them holding hands (even after being married for 50 years) and kneeling side-by-side at the foot of their bed to pray. I am very thankful for the parents God gave me!

What is one of your favorite family stories?

Post © 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Photodiane | Dreamstime.com
The Grandparent Connection

Visit Mary at http://www.legacyconnection.org. She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

 

For Lovers of Genealogy and Family Stories

by Mary May Larmoyeux

3 generationsI just discovered Family Search, a wonderful free genealogy website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

And I stumbled on info. about the Roots Tech 2015 conference, which has been called the world’s largest family history and technology conference. Although Roots Tech will be held in Salt Lake City (February 11-14, 2015), anyone can register for it online.

If you’re like me and love to tell your family’s stories, you might want to check out this website and conference.

Photo © Monkey Business Images / Dreamstime.com

Read:

Grandma’s Quilt

40-Day Challenge: Telling the Stories That Matter Most

Stories Shape History

Saving Family Stories

The Grandparent Connection

 

Visit Mary at http://www.legacyconnection.org. She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

What difference does a deadline make?

dreamstime_stopwatchby Mary May Larmoyeux

Do you have good intentions about your writing? But do you always follow through on those intentions? I don’t.

Once I read something that has stuck with me for years:  A goal without a deadline is a dream.  I really like that. Maybe because I identify with that statement so much.

When I first wrote about capturing our family stories, I said that I’d jot down at least six times when God intervened in a family situation and write about at least one of those things.

I considered my story journey that week a success because I actually made a list of a dozen times when God intervened in my family’s life, and I actually wrote about one of those things.

“When did you do that?” you might ask.

Well … right before writing this post. Although I finished at the last minute, I accomplished the goal. Why? Because I had a deadline: Finish before this post goes live.

Making and meeting a deadline truly is the difference between an idea and an elusive dream!

Here’s what a few people said about deadlines:

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” —Nolan Bushnell

“A deadline gets a writer’s work done better and faster than any inspiration, if only because inspirations don’t always come, but the deadline is always there.” —A.A. Patawaran

And my favorite:

“I don’t need time, I need a deadline.”  — Duke Ellington

Story Journey Challenge:  I asked fellow StoryWriting Studio blogger Karen Jordan for some suggestions for writing family stories. “I’d encourage you to focus on your blessings,” she said, noting that some people are writing down a blessing a day on their social media networks this month.  “It really doesn’t matter where (or how) you begin to count your blessings,” she said, “but that’s always a great place to start telling the stories that matter most.”

So, how about carving out time this week to count your blessings? You may want to do this on Thanksgiving Day, or perhaps you’d rather brainstorm beforehand with friends and family about the blessings you’ve received this year. Karen is so right about counting blessings being a great way to find the stories that mean the most.

And you might just want to write a story about one of those blessings, and give yourself a deadline.

Post © 2013, 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Geoarts | Dreamstime.com

How to begin to tell your personal stories

Stories Shape History

Writing a Memoir?

The good ole days

8 Thanksgiving Promises

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Visit Mary at http://www.legacyconnection.org. She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Hemingway App

notebook and pen

– by Mary May Larmoyeux

Have you ever heard of the Hemingway App? I first learned about it on Daphene Gray-Grant’s blog, the “Publication Coach.”

The Hemingway App is an easy-to-use, online tool for editing. Here’s how to use it:

 

  1. Go to the Hemingway App.
  2. Notice the two buttons on top-right side of the screen: Write and Edit.
  3. Click on Write.
  4. Now delete the sample copy on the screen (“Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences …”) and replace with your own copy
  5. Click “Edit” and the see the online editor’s suggestions.

If you’ve used the Hemingway App before, what tips do you have for us?

Do you have another favorite editing tool?

Finally, if you live in the Central Arkansas Area, StoryWriting Studio blogger Karen Jordan and I will be doing a workshop on Friday, November 7, called Countdown to Christmas. We’ll share how to write special family stories and makes some unique Christmas gifts. For more information go to the Countdown to Christmas page.

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Visit Mary at http://www.legacyconnection.org. She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Painting With Words

– by Mary May Larmoyeux

tree in fallAs I sipped a cup of coffee on our front porch this morning, I was captivated by the beauty of nature and reminded of how much I love the fall. After all, that’s when God displays one of His great masterpieces.

I love how the leaves transform into brilliant colors … deep oranges and bright yellows. And with each dropping leaf I’m reminded of not just the changing seasons, but also the changes in our own lives.

What thoughts come to your mind and heart when you think of fall? Poet William Cullen Bryant, who was born in 1794, said “Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

How could you and I use personification (giving the qualities of a person to something that isn’t human) to describe something about the fall?

Here are some thoughts that come to my mind:

  • The leaves waltzed …
  • The trees waved their arms …
  • The crisp wind slapped …
  • The multi-colored hills listened as …

Now it’s your turn. Using personification, what is a description that you could give to something about the fall?

In “An Essay on an Old Subject” (written in 1866) Alexander Smith paints a beautiful picture as he compares middle age to the fall:

“I take it that middle age is a happier period than youth. In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter morning and evening,—no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air. The lyrical up-burst of the lark at such a time would be incongruous. The only sounds suitable to the season are the rusty caw of the homeward-sliding rook,—the creaking of the wain returning empty from the farm-yard. There is an “unrest which men miscall delight,” and of that “unrest” youth is for the most part composed. From that middle age is free. The setting suns of youth are crimson and gold; the setting suns of middle age.”

Yes, with the changing seasons, we are reminded of the changes in our own lives.

I love the fall!

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

 

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