Who has influenced your life today?

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Who has influenced you?

Here I am honoring those who have influenced me

Recently I spent some time with my parents at their home in Texas. I am collecting my father’s life stories to include them in a book of his life.

As I drove through the town, I drove down a street where an influential English professor of mine once resided. While Dr. Frank Leavell has been dead for several years, his influence continues to impact my life. He taught me to love literature and the process of writing. He was the faculty sponsor of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, when I was at Baylor University. Dr. Leavell led several of us to the biennial conference one year at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. This was my first big trip to a conference with real writers who spoke about the craft of writing. Eudora Welty, the 20th century U.S. writer, who wrote novels and short stories about southern culture. She was an established writer coming to the end of her writing life, or so it seemed to us college students. Her career would go on for another 20 years or so, actually. She spoke about the importance of working at the art of writing. She spoke of writing about what you know best and bringing that world to your readers, through the characters, the dialog, the setting, and the plot.

So, I got to thinking about us as Personal Historians. We help people write about what is important to them. Just like I was thinking about my college professor from almost four decades ago, his gift of encouraging me to read, think and write continues to affect me to this day. What a joy it is to spend afternoon reading with a hot cup of tea beside me as I enter a new world of adventures. And the advice of this famous author to write about what is important to me helps me realize how important our stories really are for our families and our friends, and even those we don’t yet know. We know our stories better than anyone else. And, those stories can make a difference in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Who has been influential in your lives? What impact has that person made on your life? How do you live differently today than you might have lived?

Remember, when you are ready to write your story, we are ready to help!
Telling our stories. Dr. Frank Leavell. Eudora Welty. Influential people.

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