About me

Beginning in the 1980s when my mother was in her 70s, I began to record her stories. Later, in her 80s and 90s, we would sit down with photos and I would make notes on the back of each photo as she narrated. Into her late 90s, when I thought I had heard all the stories she had to tell, she would tell stories I had never heard before. I’d pull out whatever was handy and begin to write. Since she has been gone, I’ve come up with many more questions I wished I had asked.

In 2002, in the middle of getting my degree in journalism, I came up with the idea of helping others write their life stories, but had not heard the title Personal Historian. After I graduated from college in 2004, I went to work full time at a community newspaper, first as a reporter, writer and columnist and later as editor. In 2007 I helped start a newspaper in Selah, as the editor/writer/photographer. In 2008 I quit my job at the Selah paper to be more available to my mother, who was by then 99. She died March 2011.

After mom died I began researching my idea to write life histories. I discovered that others were doing exactly as I had imagined and they called themselves personal historians. I launched my business. My ten-year vision had come to fruition. Story telling is my passion. We each have a story to tell and it’s my job and mission to help others tell it.

Education:  

Bachelors in journalism, 2004.

Owner: Connecting Points; Stories Matter. Editor and Personal Historian. I help people write and publish their life story.

Owner, Memory Makers Photography, Owner, 2001 – present. Experience in photo restoration, layout and design.

Past Experience:

Editor/Reporter/Photographer/Layout:  Yakima Valley Newspapers, Selah Independent. 2007-2008

Editor/Reporter/Photographer/Layout: Yakima Valley Newspapers, Toppenish Review and Yakima Valley Business Journal, Sept. 2006 – July 2007.

Reporter/Photographer:  Yakima Valley Newspapers, Toppenish Review, March 2005 – July 2007.

Reporter Intern:  The Issaquah Press, Issaquah, Washington, Summer 2004.

Editor:  The Observer, Central Washington University Newspaper, Spring 2004.

Selah Secretarial Services, Owner, 1996 – 2000. Provided desktop publishing for local professionals.

Sub-contractor for Harvest House Publishers entering book editors’ corrections in digital copy of author’s manuscript, 1996-2000.

Awards:  

Washington State Newspaper Association awards —

  • 2006: 1st Place, best personality profile; 1st place, best environmental story; 1st place; best spot news, photography.
  • 2007: 1st place, best general interest column; 1st place, best personality profile.
  • Community Pride Award, from City of Selah, WA, 2008.

Edited:

The Art of War and Dental Health, by Dr. Margaret McMillan, to be published winter, 2014.

Published: 

The Story of Zachary Alfred Lerner, printed in CAM Newsletter, Spring, 1992, about my experience as a homebirth midwife helping a family birth a baby who they knew would die at birth.

Rose-Colored Reunion, Convincing your kids that the divorce is final–and survivable, published in “Single-Parent Family Magazine,” October, 1997.

Taking Care of Mom, a blog about taking care of my mother the last years of her long life. She died March 4, 2011 at the age of 101 (and ten months). After she died, the blog morphed into “Life After Taking Care of Mom, Reflections,” mostly a blog about grief and the year of firsts after the death of a loved one. The blog has since changed to Connecting Points–Stories Matter.

Book in progress: The Bitter and the Sweet, A Caregiver’s Chronicle, to be published in 2015.

Other experience:

Midwife, 1987-1994. Apprenticed to become a homebirth midwife, 1989-1990. Attended 160 births, either as assistant midwife, midwife, or support. Was independent midwife from 1989 to 1994.

Health Educator, 1992-1994. Worked for a drug and alcohol treatment center for pregnant and postpartum drug or alcohol addicted women in treatment. Oh, the stories they had to tell.