From Blogs to Books
Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 03:20PM
Cheryl Crotty

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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