This image is from a book I’m working on right now to celebrate a 75th birthday. I totally love this shot. She is stunning, and he is captured perfectly with that little wink and smile. Yup, things are looking A-OK, indeed.
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Thoughts on books, design, storytelling, family, and more. From my little corner of the world to yours.
Last year I was introduced to genograms as a way of charting family relationships. If you’re not familiar, genograms are used in the medical world to show medical and behavior patterns within a family system. They’re not usually used in genealogy.
So when my client, who is making a book about his recently deceased wife, recently showed me these sketched circles and squares and scribbly names, I knew exactly what was going on. His wife – a doctor – had created her family tree.
She gave us a great starting point. In fact, it’s the best information we have. Now the task is turning the circles and squares and scribbles into a more understandable family tree.
Here’s our start on it. Next, my client will fill in whatever details he can from his wife’s last remaining relatives, photographs of gravestones, and family birth records.
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I’ve been meaning to share this book for a while now. It is a memoir. And a wonderfully honest and interesting one at that. It is the story of Chris Black, otherwise known and loved as Poppy.
So naturally, these are The Poppy Papers.
For the cover we played off the “papers” title and used part of the text for the spine detail.
What I love most about this story is how real it is. There is no sugar coating and making life seem like it was 100% perfect, or that no bad thing was Poppy’s fault. Instead, it is engaging because it is so real. Poppy talks about hopping from job to job (it is possible he had 25+ jobs in his life, I lost count…), relationship struggles, and reinventing himself. He also recounts incredible adventures – living in France making money as a juggler, living out of a jeep all summer in Alaska (with his wife and daughter!) selling necklaces at craft fairs. And he offers his philosophy on life and views of the world (“If it sounds like I am not a big fan of government, I’m not.”) It is truly a great read.
If you have a parent or grandparent who has yet to write their own story down, perhaps now is the time to suggest it. They might not think there’s much to say, but there always is!
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