Welcome to my blog. I hope this site will become the gathering place for lifestory writers the world over.

Before we proceed, allow me to introduce myself. I’ve become something of a nut about lifestory writing myself over the last decade. I began writing stories to share with my grandchildren, shortly after the first was born. By the time I’d written the story of my preschool years, I was hooked. I’ve continued writing stories, stories about family, about school, friends, experiences I’ve had. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad, some are adventures. Some have been shared with family, some with friends, and some not at all. Some may never be shared.

Six years ago, after I retired from gainful employment, I began teaching Lifestory Writing at our local Senior Citizen Center and Library. I taught many subjects in my patchwork career, and there was never another I enjoyed nearly as much as Lifestory writing. Few things are as gratifying as having a student proudly display a finished volume full of stories and pictures, knowing how hard they’ve worked to get it together.

Through the years I’ve written dozens of handouts to answer student questions. I’ve also written essays with my own thoughts about lifestory writing, and I shall continue to do both. I’m currently compiling the handouts into a single volume which, not surprisingly, is titled THE HEART AND CRAFT OF LIFESTORY WRITING. I’ll explain the title in my next post.

I’m looking forward to this blog as a place to share snippets from the book, and other material that may not fit anywhere else, but seems likely to be helpful to someone. If you have questions about lifestory writing, please post them in the comments box. I’ll try to answer as many as I can.

I won’t be posting every day, but I hope to have something for you at least once a week.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal


CSD said...

Hello Sharon,

Welcome and I look forward to reading what you'll find interesting to write here.

I have grandkids too and time now to watch and observe so much that I never saw before.

I've also started a blog here called CSD (See San Diego), combining my new love of digital photography and my always love of writing.

Stop by! http://seesandiego.blogspot.com/

susiebell said...

Hey Sharon! How are you? Haven't seen you around in ages and I've missed your stories so I'm glad to see you on here. Beth

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

So glad to hear someone is carrying on the important work. I was just involved with writing, editing and publishing a history book on Plum made up primarily of the stories of the old time farmers and miners and just folks who lived in the 20th century. It took so much work and time but it was worth it. People seem to love reading other people's stories. I recommend it to anyone who has the time to put things together. The book, by the way is called "Barns,Barking and Boney Piles, a Collection of Stories about the Villages that Became Plum Borough."

Hal Will said...

HI Sharon,
thank you for introducing me to your blog. Because I'm responding to your blog with my Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a you might find some grammatical errors that I cannot see well enough to correct.

As I reflect on the concept of life stories I cannot help but think that my book our book liberating greatness is basically a memoir in my own life and the stories attended to the hurdles I had to overcome. Love Hal

Ritergal said...

Hal's forthcoming book, LIBERATING GREATNESS, The Whole Brain Guide to
Living an Extraordinary Life, is indeed a self-help memoir. Stay tuned for details when it is released.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

This is a great start to sharing so many wonderful ideas that you've incorporated into your upcoming book.

Since I've known you, writing has been a center of your life with other things woven in along the way. You have wonderful ideas and suggestions to share...so to offer you your own words: "Write On!"

"Bitsy's Friend"

Joie said...


"Sharin'" all your good work is a treat to those of us interested in Life Story Writing. I'm sensing the good energy surrounding this project and appreciate all the work you're offering as a guide and tool for the rest of us.

CONGRATS! on such a great beginning. Joie

Anonymous said...

Hello Sharon...
I, too, teach Lifewriting
and I wonder if you have
a background of having studied at workshops conducted by Denis Ledoux.

Winnie Easton-Jones

Kathleen Manion said...


Congratuations on starting your new blogspot! (To be honest, I never really knew what a blogspot was until I checked into yours!) -- Just one new thing I learned today.

Have you ever read Thomas Bell's book "Out of this Furnace"? It's the story of the life of those working class immigrants who came from europe and settled in the Pittsburgh area, esp. in the Braddock-Homestead neighborhoods.

It occurs to me that for anyone who wants to write their life story so that generations in the future can know something about how they lived, might want to read Bell's book. It is based on the history of his own family from the time they first came to America.
As someone who grew up in EAst Pittsburgh, and knew quite a bit about the North Braddock, Braddock and Homestead areas, and had friends and relatives who lived in and around this community, I found Bell's book to be absolutely fascinating. It has become a required reading in IUP's master's program in Labor Relations, and is also used as a text in many sociology courses. It's just that good. If you haven't read it, I really urge you to find a copy at a local library. I know the IUP book store stocks it if you have trouble finding it.