A book (event) brings life to a new project

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Hello Friends,

In August, late on a Saturday night, we had just finished watching a movie when I let the dogs out, rinsed our wine glasses and found Bill watching ‘Need for Speed’ (a car racing movie that he watches as much as I watch You’ve Got Mail). This was my cue to pick up my ipad and add to a Home Mood Board I started earlier in the day.

I bounce from Pinterest to Houzz, and eventually visit Instagram. This is where I see that Reese Witherspoon is coming to NYC for the launch of a new book. It’s the perfect excuse for a day in the city, so I sign up late that night and add this to the calendar. 

Let’s Discuss Live was part of the Brooklyn Book Festival

It’s a day full of book talk. Starting with a panel of editors discussing their favorite books of the year, and making reading recommendations - to ending with Reese Witherspoon sharing stories about her southern heritage. Jenny Han and Jessica Knoll chatted about book-to-film adaptations, and modern-day civil rights leader DeRay McKesson and Mark Manson also participated.

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For me, this was a day out.  Delighted to be joined by Nicole, founder of The Readerly Report, we enjoyed the quick pace of the day.  One well produced, with new panelists every 20-25 minutes, a break for wine before Reese entered the stage. 

The day included the following sessions: Your Dream Book Club, From Novel to Netflix, The Subtle Art of Changing your life, The case for Hope, and the Keynote.

The day ended with a rooftop happy hour, with lovely views of the Manhattan skyline, and this important observation…

“Right now, you are the youngest YOU you’re ever going to be”

A week later…

I finally had time to sit, and page through Whiskey in a Teacup.  Hearing Reese Witherspoon talk about her grandmother, and reading the stories shared in the book gave me an idea. 

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In 2002, I inherited about a hundred photo albums.  A photo archive, for one side of my family, dating back to the 1800’s.  As a child, these albums were a must see during family visits.  I remember having three favorites albums as a child… I especially liked the 1950-60’s. Three years ago I decided to go through all the albums, toss the duplicates, blurry photos, and photos of complete strangers. My grandparent’s lives spread out on the floor of a guest room, building a storybook with photographs spanning more than a hundred years.

Today these photos are organized into albums.  Next to them are a few boxes filled with letters and published stories.  It’s time to take the next step, merging photos and recipes with stories. 

Photo: A rare photo with both of my grandmothers. Alice sitting next to her husband, and Sara in the front right corner. It was Sara’s anniversary, and the day she received the diamond that I now wear in my wedding ring.

This fall I received about a hundred photos from my Mother’s side of the family, along with dozens of letters (in Swedish). Over the winter, I hope to create something from this history. Something that can be shared with family so everyone can enjoy this collection.

This will be a wonderful winter project, one that I will start with my Mother’s mother, Alice.

I can’t wait to share her story with you.