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From Blogs to Books

The written word, with photographs, finally emerges from the hard drive to a paper bound book.  It has been a struggle trying to get this together, to make a hard copy, to preserve my words and my photo' most people keep a hand written diary. It does not have a fancy hard cover, it is not of the highest quality, it isn't even for sale, what it is though, is my journey since I started taking photo's and putting my stories with those photo's. I love that I can now hold my stories in my hand, share them with those of my family and friends who don't use a computer, and yes, there are some of those people still out there, and also keep them in a safe place for my children and grandchildren.  If my computer should crash and work will not go down with it.

I started trying to put this project together quite awhile back.  I tried some of the on-line companies like Blurb.  I blog on Squarespace and none of the companies I checked with support Squarespace.  I then talked to a few other contacts to see how they were putting their own blogs to hard copies and one in particular was very helpful but I didn't move in that direction.  I'd think about it and then let it go...but then the bug would come back again to haunt me.  I really wanted a hard cover copy. What finally got me moving in the direction that I finally took was thinking about the purpose of having a real copy.  I thought about it's intention for me and then had a light bulb moment.  This printing was not to sell my blog or to even share it with anyone in particular.  To print it was just for me and my family someday.  I don't completely trust the computer world now, nor do we know what the future will bring.  What I do know is that I wished I had some writings of my Mom's that I could look back on, that would tell me not only something about her life, but also something about the things that were most precious to her, her dreams and longings and perhaps stories from her past. I have one poem from her about us kids that my brother found after she died.  It is so precious that I have framed a copy for me and my brothers and it now hangs on my simple poem. Her last gift to us. So there you have it...I want it for me and mine.

Once I understood that then the process became very simple.  I would print it myself on my home printer, which I did.  I started back in 2009 and as of right now everything is printed, bound and ready for storage through 2015.  My hope for this year is to print my blog posts each month. On Squarespace I have a tag that says "View printer friendly version"..I hit that and it lines everything up and I'm good to go.  Once they were all printed and in the right order off I went to Staples where they bound them and put a nice clear cover on the front and a heavy weight colored (black) backing on it.  They look super duper. The cost at Staples was around $5.00 a book. Ink was a lot more money. Here are a few pages to show you what I'm saving:


 And there are my lovely blog post...all bound up by years.

 I'm saving all my special dates with my loved ones..

I want to remember all the special Maine places that I have visited.

I always want to remember my Dad in a special way.



Honoring my family so my children will know their ancestors.

I want to keep the memories alive of all the countries I have traveled to...

I'm a Dreamer, a writer and a photographer...I love what I do.

Most importantly, I never want to forget the gifts that I have been given.  The gifts that really matter.


I want the dream to live on in real time and in memories..

It took time, a lot of ink and some special paper but the job is done and I just love it.  It doesn't have to always be about big and fancy or expensive..sometimes it just has to be about the simple reasons of keeping dreams alive and stories told.  I'm glad I did it my makes my blog post special because not only did I write them and photograph them but I also have my hand on them in the printing...I actually loved doing one was printing, I was reading the next one coming up...memories, even for me.


"That is the power of a good story. It can encourage you, it can make you laugh, it can bring you joy.

It will make you think, it will tap into your hidden emotions, and it can make you cry.

The power of a story can also bring about healing, give you peace, and change your life."

                                          Jeff Dixon


I hope all the words in my little stories live up, in some part, to the words above.

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Reader Comments (14)

That is quite the project, I don't think I would ever attempt this but it might go faster since I don't do much in the way of writing. :) I am sure you are glad this is under your belt and finished. This is really wonderful Cheryl and Congratulations on finishing.

March 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Hurst

You've talked about working on the printing, and taking stacks to Staples for binding, and now I see them all finished, and they look fabulous!! Four bound manuals - that is impressive. They truly are pieces of art and history right there..your photography, your words, and stories. My blog didn't function as a story writing space, but I can see it would have been really nice to have done that. I was too caught up in the "lessons" I was working on. Maybe I will start a "story telling" blog. I'm sure your family will appreciate reading the stories over and over, and looking at the photos, recalling the memories along with your words. Beautifully done Cheryl! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

March 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Thank you Barbara...It took a bit of time but I didn't do it all at will be easier now that I'm caught up. My next project will be to go through these again and print the ones I want to give to the boys and any other ones that I want to pass on. I am glad it's done but I did love doing it. I'm so happy to have these hard copies. Thanks always for stopping by.

March 31, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Thank you so much Beverly. I knew right from the start that I wanted my blog to be both words and photo's. I have always liked writing and have so many journals...this is so much easier and the photo's are really my photo albums as film photo's would have been. Sort of killing two birds with one stone. The boys will have copies that apply to them and friends and other family will have their own personal blog posts...It did take awhile but once I figured that they were just for us, the decision was easy... Thanks go to you for being so supportive and listening to me go on and on about this...I think you should do a word blog also...your writing is very good when you do it and sometimes...just a good poem will work...your photography speaks for itself. Just beautiful.

March 31, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

What a great idea. I wish I had stories from my parents and grandparents written down to read to my daughter. Your children and grandchildren will really cherish these books, it will be fun for you to look through and remember too. They look fabulous...and sturdy.

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B

What an incredible idea. Wonderful to pass onto your grandchildren!

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

This is wonderful, Cheryl!!! I agree that we must step back and think about what the purpose of the books will be. It's such a great idea to just print them out and bind them! And I love what you wrote about your mother and having something of hers. Congrats!!

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

I think this is a brilliant idea. Even though I have my journals with blogs notes, it would be so much easier to have everything together and bound like you have. That being said I will probably never do it, sad as that is to admit. The task seems daunting, but the reward would be priceless.

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

My goodness, Cheryl, this and YOU are amazing!
What a gift to your family.
You can see all of the love that went into creating these.
You have much to be proud of.

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Gordon

I'm truly speechless!
soooooooooooooo PROUD of you girl.
What an accomplishment.
I admire your persistence, not to mention all you have shared with us on line.
What keepsakes!

April 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

Great idea, huge work... and a gift to be cherished for eternity...

April 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterodile lm

this is such an awesome idea. Love the idea of printing everything off and binding it. You are a smart cookie!!

April 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E

Memories right at your fingertip, great idea and looks wonderful.

April 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

I can't tell you how happy I am to see your books printed and bound! Your stories and images are priceless to your family and all those who care about you and have been inspired by you. You did an amazing job. From the beginning you had a clear vision of your purpose and that guided you as you put your heart into this project -- the form came to you later but it is perfect for you. I have so enjoyed reading your stories and reflections over the last while and this makes me want to go back through your blog and read them all again. I have had so little good wifi since we've been cruising I haven't had a chance to tell you this before but I really am knocked out by your accomplishment. Big kisses and hugs from me…

April 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G.

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