CU Professor presents “Creating and Sharing Your Life Story” workshop

Lawton area residents wishing to leave a lasting account of their life experiences can learn techniques for composing a personal memoir during "Creating and Sharing Your Life Story," a workshop presented by Cameron University's Dr. Vivian Thomlinson, Professor of English. The workshop takes place at Brookridge Retirement Center on Wednesday, September 24 at 1 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge. Thomlinson's presentation will include ways to share the sights, sounds and feelings of one's life story and memory-prompting techniques that allow participants to delve into long-ago experiences.

"I encourage anyone who has an interest in writing his/her memoirs to join us," says Thomlinson. "Too often, fascinating life experiences are lost because they haven't been preserved by the written word. This is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to share real-life experiences that their children and grandchildren will cherish."

Vycke McEwen, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for Promises Eldercare Planning, invited Thomlinson to present the workshop.

"The idea came from just realizing the importance of people's stories," McEwen explains. "My great-grandmother was one of the originals settlers of Walters, and I still remember all the stories she used to tell about her life on the frontier. When you work with seniors, you realize the wealth of their stories and how many of those stories aren't going to last. This is a way to preserve those stories so that future generations can have a first-person account of history by those who lived it."

The workshop is just the first step of creating a memoir, and Thomlinson and McEwen have plans to continue working with workshop participants.

"We're going to work with people individually over the next six months so they can craft their memoirs and compile them into written works that can be presented to family members," McEwen says.

Another element is the future inclusion of Cameron University students, who will be partnered with participants who wish to capture their life story on paper. The students will assist with editing and grammar and may earn CU credit for their participation.

This workshop is sponsored by Brook Ridge Retirement Community, Promises Eldercare Planning, Quantum Home Health Care and Promise Care Hospice.

Organizations wishing to sponsor a similar workshop at their own location can contact Dr. Vivian Thomlinson at (580) 581-2545 or via email at



Sept 18, 2008
PR# 08-151