(Courtesy of Wayne Casper) With the launch of a new Web site, two women have given ordinary people the chance to create an autobiography by answering over a thousand story-provoking questions.
The Remembering Site
JANUARY 09, 2006By Marie Fida , HappyNews Citizen JournalistWhen Johnny Cash sat down to write his autobiography, he arguably offered readers a soulful look into the musical icon. With such cachet in the music world, it seemed fitting for the man in black to write his memoirs.But what about the average person who wants an account of their life’s history? You don’t have to be a musical legend to chronicle the details of their story. At least that’s what business developer Dr. Sarah McCue believes. "Everyone, and I mean everyone, has led an interesting life" she theorized.
The brainchild of McCue and biographer DG Fulford, The Remembering Site is a new non-profit initiative that allows anyone—anywhere—to create their online autobiography by answering a series of story-telling questions from birth to present day. When completed, the author can email the biography to loved ones, make it available for others to read online or even print paper or hardback copies. "Writing a biography is not as daunting as it appears,” said McCue. “The way we have designed the site makes it easy, fun, and once you get into it, you just can't stop." And writers shouldn't have to worry about privacy. You can remove your text from the site at any time, and your answers will remain confidential until you are ready to share them. Biographer DG Fulford lends her expertise to the Web site's visitors by offering tips and inspiration and answering registrants’ questions. In fact, it was one of Fulford's books that stimulated the birth of The Remembering Site. Inspired by Fulford's book, To Our Children's Children, McCue asked her parents to write their life story. Her mom did a bang-up job in five months and presented it to McCue as a birthday gift. Regrettably, her father passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 55. His story was started but never finished. And now McCue and Fulford have discovered a way to ensure that doesn't happen to any other family. "There's got to be a way the book could be put online so that biographies were easier to write, easier to share and easier to publish," McCue claimed. What they have accomplished is an exceptionally novel idea—no pun intended. Serving as non-profit initiative in partnership with Women with 2020 Vision, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization of which McCue is also a founder, The Remembering Site charges a one-time $10 registration fee. This covers operational expenses for the organization, and all profits go toward growth and expansion of the initiative. That is a small price to pay for such a meaningful gift that will last for generations. "The best gift you could ever give is to allow someone to share their life story," said McCue. In addition to wide response in the United States, registrants on the site come from far away places such as Sudan, Ireland, Poland, Japan and Switzerland—just to name a few. While women relate to the emotional connection in more numbers than men do, both sexes are signing up to write their autobiography. And people of all ages are participating as well. The youngest author to date is 21, and her biography is currently featured online on the site. The oldest biographer is in his 90s, and McCue admitted that she can't wait to read his biography as he told her many fascinating stories when she met him in a test group for the Web site at a retirement community in Nebraska.
It’s a fact that one cannot fully appreciate the enormity of its undertaking and the value of its purpose until you visit the site. As the site declares, the collective memory of our society is not written in history books. It is the story of all of our lives; what happens in our living rooms and in our back yards. The Remembering Site helps you capture your memories, photos, and experiences to share with posterity; to create an Internet-based anthology of personal histories so we may learn from one another. Looks like Johnny Cash’s autobiography may be getting a run for its money.For more information on The Remembering Site, please visit the Web Site.