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Eastmorelander helps you remember and preserve your family stories

by: Elizabeth Ussher Groff, Eastmoreland resident Emily Aulicino’s instructive booklet contains a list of 130 prompts--stimulating ideas and tips on writing about and organizing your memories.

What are some ways to preserve memories, precious moments, family stories and cultural traditions? Certainly photos are one way. Another is by writing about them.

But writing? …How to begin? How can I discipline myself to set aside the time?

Help is on the way, beginning in mid-April.

Emily Aulicino, an Eastmoreland resident, a retired Portland Public Schools teacher, and an experienced workshop leader and genealogist, will be offering a class on 'Writing Your Memories' every Tuesday for ten weeks at the Woodstock Community Center.

'This is not a high-pressure writing class, but one to enjoy. It is for genealogists and non-genealogists, and will use a simple writing technique, to encourage you to write your memories and family stories,' Aulicino explains.

Aulicino has compiled her ideas and techniques into a 146-page booklet and workbook, ''Memoing' Your Memories: A Simple Technique for Writing Your Family Stories'.

The word 'memoing' is in quotes, she notes, because it is not a real word. 'I encourage people to write memos, or short notes, about their family and family stories; then I show them a method for organizing and expanding on them, so at any time they will have material for a story,' she says. The booklet, available in the class and by mail, is used by people across the country to stimulate and guide writing.

Ideas from the booklet are used in the classes. Several of the classes will focus on writing tips, such as sentence structure, and writing opening paragraphs using various literary devices. Other classes will be on such topics as 'Invoking the Mind's Eye: Descriptive Writing', and 'Flashback and Foreshadowing.'

Aulicino has researched her own family genealogy for 37 years; she describes herself as an 'avid' genealogist. 'I currently administer four e-mail lists on 'RootsWeb' and one on Yahoo, which help genealogists and non-genealogists write their own family and personal memories,' she says. She has given writing workshops throughout the Northwest, including ones held at the Sherwood and the Hollywood Senior Centers. She teaches monthly classes on Genetic Genealogy at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.

Asked for a summary of her upcoming class, Aulicino remarks, ' It is solely meant to help you leave your stories for your descendants. Whether in a paragraph or a book, it is to have fun.'

Her classes at the Woodstock Community Center, 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue, just north of Woodstock Boulevard, will be on Tuesdays, April 17th to June 19th from 1:00-3:00 pm. (Note that in a mailing from Portland Parks, the day for the classes was incorrectly listed as Thursday.)

Cost for the ten class sessions is $40. To register, call the Woodstock Community Center on Mondays from 3:30-8:30 pm, or Wednesdays from 5-8:30pm, at 503)/823-3633. You can also call the Mt. Scott Community Center for registration at 503/823-3183.