Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cherish Bound and The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

I love to tell stories! Don't we all? I love the build up, the climax, the laughter at the end. It's the greatest. It's one of the reasons I love bogging so much. It's a place to record stories. Here I am with a few other local (in Utah) bloggers.

Last November I had the privileged of meeting Carol Rice, co-founder of Cherish Bound, at a retreat for women entrepreneurs sponsored by Startup Princess. She was lovely to chat with, very approachable and down-to-earth. I never even guessed the size of the company she and Bruce Jensen oversee. So when I was invited to learn more about the company and their commitment to storytelling, I was excited to help out this "small" startup.

Boy was I surprised to find this company is nationally well-known. Although not surprising once I saw the products they offer for capturing family stories. They have everything you need to tell a great story from chat cards and daily journals to story starters and celebrations. Then the icing on the cake! Once you have discovered a story you want to tell, they have the software to record your story with pictures and then publish it into a beautiful book.
As a treat, we were invited to choose a story from our own lives, record it and then publish it. We received story starter books to help us along the way. I received the story starter My Family intended to help children discover an record their stories. So, I decided to interview Sammi and have her write the story. I pulled out the voice recorder and opened the book and talked to her while she was eating. Probably not the easiest to understand her with a mouth full of food, but she was stationary and quite talkative. Since we just moved I thought it would be fun to record some of our memories from our home in Utah as well as her first impressions of Tennessee. These were combined with her own descriptions of our family. About Daddy she said, "Daddy's good at ducks. He just waddles and tries to catch one." We have no idea where this came from! But it'll be fun to laugh about with her when she's older. She also said he's "good at telling stories and singing songs." Which is very true. She and I had a lot of fun talking about different memories and all the members of our family.

Once I had her story, it was easy to pick pictures to illustrate what she said, except for the ducks. Then I went onto Cherish bound's website and logged in to the publishing center to put the book together. The editing software was very easy to use. I figured it all out without ever using the help function. I like that in software! I chose page layouts then added photos and text. When you go through a Cherish Bound consultant you get a personal coach to walk you through all the steps of organizing and compiling. They're wonderful.
Once I finished my book and read through it, I had Brent read it and then I submitted it for publishing. It went so smoothly. My book arrived yesterday and Sammi was so excited to sit down and read her book. She loved the pictures. As I read the questions again, she answered them again. Some answers were different, but most were the same as we had recorded in the book. When Brent came home, she told him about the book first thing then drug him off to her room so he could read it to her. What a great experience for her to have a book she helped write that is about the people and memories she loves best!
Cherish Bound didn't stop here! Their commitment to storytelling led to becoming a sponsor this year of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Utah. This is a great event where storytellers from around the nation come together to entertain, educate and enlighten their audiences. I am so sad we'll miss it. But my friend Rebecka is going and will give us a full report of how she and her family enjoyed it. This year the festival runs September 3-5, 2009.


Kristin said...

I want to go to the festival this year because they have an African American story teller.

I have made photo books for our family on walmart.com, but I'll have to check out this site.

Amber said...

From reading the bios of the storytellers, it promises to be quite the experience! They also have an evening of bedtime stories that younger children are invited to.

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