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How to research, record, and write creative, salable biographies

Before you begin writing or publishing works, remember the quote from Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, "Suit the action to the word, the word to the action." Your goal in memoirs writing or writing biography and autobiography or in recording and writing life story highlights is to stimulate memories in creative ways.

How to research, record, and write creative biographies.
Anne Hart, photography and book.

Your project to enhance creativity in writing skills would include how to interview older adults, write
their stories, or video record them for future generations to make time capsules, keepsake albums, recorded oral history/transcribed also as text, or salable life stories. It would appeal not only to writers but also to personal historians and others interested in life story writing and recording.

How to Stimulate Memory by Memoirs Writing

How do you help others (and yourself) by teaching or coaching a course in how to increase memory efficiency by writing one's life story as a salable non-fiction memoir, autobiography, play, skit, monologue, or transcribed oral history recording?
The technique would be of interest to anyone working with older adults, stay-at-home moms, or persons at any stage of life from high-school graduation life stories (to be looked at a generation later) to working with senior citizens through intergenerational writing--where young and older people work together on life story writing, recording, and transcribing for memory stimulation/reminiscing. Focus on how to make a time capsule of memory from life story highlights, turning points, and significant events.

Here's how your course in writing memoirs could operate, run, and play

Writing Memoirs to Enhance Memories and Creativity

Start with Vignettes

To stimulate your age-wise memory, start by writing short vignettes about an experience that emphasizes significant events, turning points, and individual stages of life. Use insight, hindsight, and pitfalls to avoid. Use foresight if you’ve had the premonition. Put direct experience in a small package and launch it worldwide.

Write your life story in short vignettes of 1,500 to 1,800 words. Write eulogies and anecdotes or vignettes of life stories and personal histories for mini-biographies and autobiographies. Then condense or contract the life stories or personal histories into PowerPoint presentations and similar slide shows on disks using lots of photos and one-page of life story.

Finally, collect lots of vignettes and flesh-out the vignettes, linking them together into first-person diary-style novels and books, plays, skits, or other larger works. Write memoirs or eulogies for people or ghostwrite biographies and autobiographies for others.

If ghostwriting is too invisible, write biographies and vocational biographies, success stories and case histories, and customize for niche interest groups. Your main goal with personal history and life stories is to take the direct experience itself and package each story as a vignette.

The vignette can be read in ten minutes. So fill magazine space with a direct experience vignette. Magazine space needs only 1,500 words. When you link many vignettes together, each forms a book chapter or can be adapted to a play or script.

By turning vignettes into smaller packages, they are easier to launch to the media. When collected and linked together, they form a chain of vignettes offering nourishment, direction, purpose, and information used by people who need to make choices. Here's how to write those inspiration-driven, persistence-driven life stories and what to do with them. Use universal experience with which we all can identify.

Included are a full-length diary-format first person novel and a three-act play, including a monologue for performances. There's a demand for direct life experiences written or produced as vignettes and presented in small packages.

Save those vignettes electronically. Later, they can be placed together as chapters in a book or adapted as a play or script, turned into magazine feature, specialty, or news columns, or offered separately as easy-to-read packages.

Use General Statements, Proverbs, Slogans, or Mottos, and ‘Brand’ the Event

Here’s how to write, edit, dramatize, package, promote, present, publish & launch gift books as personal histories, autobiographies, biographies, vignettes, and eulogies: launching the inspiration-driven or design-driven life story and detailing your purpose.

Use personal or biographical experiences as examples when you write your essay. Begin by using specific examples taken from your personal experience, personal history, or biographical resources.

Start with a general statement, motto, slogan or proverb to connect the public to your client or the client’s attitude, purpose, achievements, or service. Then relate the general to your specific personal experience. You don't have to only write about your client or yourself. You can write about someone else as long as you have accurate historical facts about that person, and you state your credible resources. ‘Brand’ your client’s event as a stage of life celebration. With a business success story, ‘brand’ the type of event, such as a grand opening with the most important reason or purpose of the event—a good product.

Here's an example of two opening sentences that state the general and then give the specific personal experience. "Mom's a space garbage woman. She repairs satellites." Let's analyze all the different parts of an informed argument essay. By analyzing the result in depth instead of only skimming for breadth, you will be able to write concretely from different points of view.

You'll learn how to construct a memoirs or commemoration gift book from bare bones--from its concept. You start with a concept. Then you add at least three specific examples to your concept until it develops into a mold. A mold is a form, skeleton or foundation. Think of concept as conception. Think of mold as form or skeleton. Think of awning as the outer skin that covers the whole essay and animates it into lively writing.

You don't want your memoirs or other gift book to be flat writing. You want writing that is animated, alive, and able to move, motivate, or inspire readers. Finally, you cover the mold with an awning.

The mold is your pit, skeleton or foundation. Your mold contains your insight, foresight, and hindsight. It has the pitfalls to avoid and the highlights. You need to put flesh on its bones.

Then you need to cover your mold with an awning. You need to include or protect that concept and mold or form by including it under this awning of a larger topic or category. The awning holds everything together. It's your category under which all your related topics fall. That's what the technique of organizing your essay or personal history is all about.

In other words, concept equals form plus details. Story equals form plus details. That's the math formula for writing an essay if you'd like to put it into a logical equation of critical thinking. C = Fo + De. That's what you need to remember about writing an essay: your concept is composed of your form (mold, foundation, or skeleton) and details. A concept isn't an idea. It's the application of your idea.

A concept is what your story is about. Your concept is imbedded in your story. A story can mean your personal history or any other story or anecdote in your essay, or any highlight of your life or specific life experience. A concept also can be a turning point such as rites of passage or take place at any stage of life.

When writing the informed argument, you will be able to give examples backed up with resources. That's what makes an essay great--knowing what examples to put into the essay at which specific points in time.

Gone will be general, vague, or sweeping statements. Therefore, I'd like each of you on this learning team to start planning your essay by analyzing and discussing the parts that chronologically go into the essay. That's how you organize essays in a linear fashion.

Take an essay apart just as you would take a clock or computer apart, and put it back together. Now all the parts fit and work. Taking apart an essay helps you understand how to plan and write your own essay-writing assignments or personal history as a time capsule.

Here's how to take apart a memoir or life story or a business success case history. Some of your gift books will commemorate an event such as a bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation, sweet sixteen party, graduation, wedding, baby shower, anniversary or retirement. Your business clients may want to commemorate a grand opening or narrate a business history. To analyze a memoir in depth, you break the significant events into its six parts: statement-of-position, description, argumentation, exposition, supplementation and evaluation just as you would take apart a persuasive essay. Use the same format as if you’d write a persuasive essay destined to convince. This is your foundation or umbrella. On top of this framework, you’d add the creative elements that make the life story or business success narration able to hold the attention of the reader. Remember that this is a coffee-table type gift book.

If you need to find out what the parts of a persuasive life story are, they are similar to the six parts of a persuasive essay. You can organize the parts of a life story as you would organize the six parts of an essay as explained in the book titled, The Informed Argument. (ISBN: 0155414593). Use the same technique when writing life stories, skits, plays, persuasive essays, and gift books based on significant events of lives or business histories. This technique works because readers look to be convinced by experiences backed up by facts. It works for persuasive essays, and it works as well for life story experiences. Action verbs also help you organize your gift book topics or chapters by achievements done and results obtained or problems solved. For more ideas, you also can look at some action verbs in another book titled, 801 Action Verbs for Communicators. (ISBN: 0-595-31911-4).

Argumentation is part of a memoirs gift book if handled with courtesy and details that can be fact-checked or verified, if at all possible. Include resources and photos or video clips or audio interviews on a disk placed in an envelope at the back of the book if at all possible. Or use interviews in text in print paperback books. Before you even get to the expressive part of argumentation, you have to state your position and describe it by using specific examples. Then you get to the informed argument in the middle of your essay.

After you've finished arguing logically using critical thinking and your resources, you use exposition. Then you use supplementation, and finally evaluation. To practice writing personal history essays in text or on video, define and analyze the words 'exposition' and 'supplementation.' Use exposition and supplementation in at least one sentence each as an example of how you would use it in your essay. Don't stick to only what is familiar.

My dictionary defines 'exposition' as "a careful setting out of the facts or ideas involved in something." The principal themes are presented first in a 'music' exposition. Apply it now to an essay. Present your principal themes first in your personal history. Supplementation means adding to your work to improve or complete it.

The goal of an essay is to analyze your informed argument in depth. That's why there are six parts to an essay. Knowing what those six parts are as well as showing examples gives you the experience you need to plan and organize your essay. The result is that once you have organized your plan in writing, the essay almost writes itself.

Use proverbs, quotations, (with credits) and flesh out the proverbs or quotes with details of life stories and events. Keep an old proverb or quotation in front of you when you write. A memoirs book is about wanting others to know that your client cares

One goal of a memoirs book is to let the reader know that the client cares more about the readers than the readers would care what the client knows. It's a great saying to remind others why the client is creating a book. Everyone has a life story of great value.

How do you present the outcome of significant events, family or business history, or commemorations as a gift book? How do you publish the book? You start with your time and money budget and only then begin to break your organizing, writing, editing, and publishing into weekly tasks. The first week is for interviewing and gathering significant facts, events, and turning points.

A gift book may be presented also as a skit, play, or monologue and/or as a narrative book of highlights. For business histories and success stories, the narrative also can be turned into a 28 ½ minute infomercial script with two or more people interviewing the client.

The business success story infomercial, like the life story interview, needs a list of questions to present in advance that would take a specific time to answer such as a half-hour to an hour. Business infomercials usually are limited to 28 ½ minutes. Attention span for viewing is short. So write in seven to 10-minute chunks of reading or viewing time that allows time out for breaks.

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“The Mind that Alters, Alters All” __ William Blake

Course Overviews: Weeks 1 through 5 - 6

Week 1

1. Put Direct Experience In A Small Package And Launch It Worldwide. Make Time Capsules.

2. Write, Record, & Publish Purpose-Driven Personal History

Dramatize, Package, Promote, Present, & Launch Your Purpose.

3. Edit, Dramatize, Package, Promote, Present, Publish, Record, Produce, & Launch Time Capsules of Personal Histories, Autobiographies, Biographies, Vignettes, and Eulogies: Launching the Inspiration-Driven or Design-Driven Life Story and Detailing Your Purpose.

Week 2

Use Simplicity and Commitment in Personal History Writing, Time Capsules, and Videos. Here's useful insight to those who may someday write fiction, or their life stories, true experiences, or other people's life stories as vignettes or books created by linking a dozen or more vignettes together into a publishable book. Your aim is to produce time capsules or keepsake albums and other family history-related books, videos, audio projects, memory and/or prayer boxes, or memorabilia as heirlooms.

Look for insight, foresight, and hindsight. Mentoring is about pointing out what pitfalls to avoid. Instead of a formula, aim for simplicity, commitment, and persistence. Use simplicity in your writings.

Week 3

How to Motivate People to Interview One Another for Personal History Productions

People are "less camera shy" when two from the same peer group or class pair up and interview each other on video camcorder or on audio tape from a list of questions rehearsed. People also can write the questions they want to be asked and also write out and familiarize themselves with the answers alone and/or with their interviewers from their own peer group.

Some people have their favorite proverbs, or a logo that represents their outlook on life. Others have their own 'crusade' or mission. And some have a slogan that says what they are about in a few words...example, "seeking the joy of life," or "service with a smile."

A play can come from someone's slogan, for example. A slogan, logo, proverb, or motto can form the foundation for a questionnaire on what they want to say in an oral history or personal history video or audio tape on in a multimedia presentation of their life story highlights.

Week 4

  1. How to Gather Personal Histories
  2. Use the following sequence when gathering oral histories:
  3. Develop one central issue and divide that issue into a few important questions that highlight or focus on that one central issue.
  4. Write out a plan just like a business plan for your oral history project. You may have to use that plan later to ask for a grant for funding, if required. Make a list of all your products that will result from the oral history when it’s done.
  5. Write out a plan for publicity or public relations and media relations. How are you going to get the message to the public or special audiences?
  6. Develop a budget. This is important if you want a grant or to see how much you’ll have to spend on creating an oral history project.
  7. List the cost of video taping and editing, packaging, publicity, and help with audio or special effects and stock shot photos of required.
  8. What kind of equipment will you need? List that and the time slots you give to each part of the project. How much time is available? What are your deadlines?
  9. What’s your plan for a research? How are you going to approach the people to get the interviews? What questions will you ask?
  10. Do the interviews. Arrive prepared with a list of questions. It’s okay to ask the people the kind of questions they would like to be asked. Know what dates the interviews will cover in terms of time. Are you covering the economic depression of the thirties? World Wars? Fifties? Sixties? Pick the time parameters.
  11. Edit the interviews so you get the highlights of experiences and events, the important parts. Make sure what’s important to you also is important to the person you interviewed.
  12. Have the person you’ve interviewed approve of the selected highlights, experiences, or turning points to make sure what you select is the same as what the person wants included and emphasized in the memoirs gift book. Make any adjustments.
  13. Process audio as well as video, and make sure you have written transcripts of anything on audio and/or video in case the technology changes or the tapes go bad.
  14. Save the tapes to compact disks, DVDs, a computer hard disk and several other ways to preserve your oral history time capsule. Donate any tapes or CDs to appropriate archives, museums, relatives of the interviewee, and one or more oral history libraries. They are usually found at universities that have an oral history department and library such as UC Berkeley and others.
  15. Check the Web for oral history libraries at universities in various states and abroad.
  16. Evaluate what you have edited. Make sure the central issue and central questions have been covered in the interview. Find out whether newspapers or magazines want summarized transcripts of the audio and/or video with photos.
  17. Contact libraries, archives, university oral history departments and relevant associations and various ethnic genealogy societies that focus on the subject matter of your central topic.
  18. Keep organizing what you have until you have long and short versions of your oral history for various archives and publications. Contact magazines and newspapers to see whether editors would assign reporters to do a story on the oral history project.
  19. Create a scrapbook with photos and summarized oral histories. Write a synopsis of each oral history on a central topic or issue. Have speakers give public presentations of what you have for each person interviewed and/or for the entire project using highlights of several interviews with the media for publicity. Be sure your project is archived properly and stored in a place devoted to oral history archives and available to researchers and authors.
  20. Recorded and Transcribed Oral History Techniques (Video and/or Audio)
  21. Begin with easy to answer questions that don’t require you explore and probe deeply in your first question. Focus on one central issue when asking questions. Don't use abstract questions. A plain question would be "What's your purpose?" An abstract question with connotations would be "What's your crusade?" Use questions with denotations instead of connotations. Keep questions short and plain--easy to understand. Examples would be, "What did you want to accomplish? How did you solve those problems? How did you find closure?" Ask the familiar "what, when, who, where, how, and why."
  22. First research written or visual resources before you begin to seek an oral history of a central issue, experience, or event.
  23. Who is your intended audience?
  24. What kind of population niche or sample will you target?
  25. What means will you select to choose who you will interview? What group of people will be central to your interview?
  26. Write down how you’ll explain your project. Have a script ready so you don’t digress or forget what to say on your feet.
  27. Consult oral history professionals if you need more information. Make sure what you write in your script will be clear to understand by your intended audience.
  28. Have all the equipment you need ready and keep a list of what you’ll use and the cost. Work up your budget.
  29. Choose what kind of recording device is best—video, audio, multimedia, photos, and text transcript. Make sure your video is broadcast quality. I use a Sony Digital eight (high eight) camera.
  30. Make sure from cable TV stations or news stations that what type of video and audio you choose ahead of time is broadcast quality.
  31. Make sure you have an external microphone and also a second microphone as a second person also tapes the interview in case the quality of your camera breaks down. You can also keep a tape recorder going to capture the audio in case your battery dies.
  32. Make sure your battery is fully charged right before the interview. Many batteries die down after a day or two of nonuse.
  33. Test all equipment before the interview and before you leave your office or home. I’ve had batteries go down unexpectedly and happy there was another person ready with another video camera waiting and also an audio tape version going.
  34. Make sure the equipment works if it’s raining, hot, cold, or other weather variations. Test it before the interview. Practice interviewing someone on your equipment several times to get the hang of it before you show up at the interview.
  35. Make up your mind how long the interview will go before a break and use tape of that length, so you have one tape for each segment of the interview. Make several copies of your interview questions.
  36. Be sure the interviewee has a copy of the questions long before the interview so the person can practice answering the questions and think of what to say or even take notes. Keep checking your list of what you need to do.
  37. Let the interviewee make up his own questions if he wants. Perhaps your questions miss the point. Present your questions first. Then let him embellish the questions or change them as he wants to fit the central issue with his own experiences.
  38. Call the person two days and then one day before the interview to make sure the individual will be there on time and understands how to travel to the location. Or if you are going to the person’s home, make sure you understand how to get there.
  39. Allow yourself one extra hour in case of traffic jams.
  40. Choose a quiet place. Turn off cell phones and any ringing noises. Make sure you are away from barking dogs, street noise, and other distractions.
  41. Before you interview make sure the person knows he or she is going to be video and audio-taped.
  42. If you don’t want anyone swearing, make that clear it’s for public archives and perhaps broadcast to families.
  43. Your interview questions should follow the journalist’s information-seeking format of asking, who, what, where, where, how, and why. Oral history is a branch of journalistic research.
  44. Let the person talk and don’t interrupt. You be the listener and think of oral history as aural history from your perspective.
  45. Make sure only one person speaks without being interrupted before someone else takes his turn to speak.
  46. Understand silent pauses are for thinking of what to say.
  47. Ask one question and let the person gather his thoughts.
  48. Finish all your research on one question before jumping to the next question. Keep it organized by not jumping back to the first question after the second is done. Stay in a linear format.
  49. Follow up what you can about any one question, finish with it, and move on to the next question without circling back. Focus on listening instead of asking rapid fire questions as they would confuse the speaker.
  50. Ask questions that allow the speaker to begin to give a story, anecdote, life experience, or opinion along with facts. Don’t ask questions that can be answered only be yes or no. This is not a courtroom. Let the speaker elaborate with facts and feelings or thoughts.
  51. Late in the interview, start to ask questions that explore and probe for deeper answers.
  52. Wrap up with how the person solved the problem, achieved results, reached a conclusion, or developed an attitude, or found the answer. Keep the wrap-up on a light, uplifting note.
  53. Don’t leave the individual hanging in emotion after any intensity of. Respect the feelings and opinions of the person. He or she may see the situation from a different point of view than someone else. So respect the person’s right to feel as he does. Respect his need to recollect his own experiences.
  54. Interview for only one hour at a time. If you have only one chance, interview for an hour. Take a few minutes break. Then interview for the second hour. Don’t interview more than two hours at any one meeting.
  55. Use prompts such as paintings, photos, music, video, diaries, vintage clothing, crafts, antiques, or memorabilia when appropriate. Carry the photos in labeled files or envelopes to show at appropriate times in order to prime the memory of the interviewee. For example, you may show a childhood photo and ask “What was it like in that orphanage where these pictures were taken?” Or travel photos might suggest a trip to America as a child, or whatever the photo suggests. For example, “Do you remember when this ice cream parlor inside the ABC movie house stood at the corner of X and Y Street? Did you go there as a teenager? What was your funniest memory of this movie theater or the ice cream store inside back in the fifties?”
  56. As soon as the interview is over, label all the tapes and put the numbers in order.
  57. A signed release form is required before you can broadcast anything. So have the interviewee sign a release form before the interview.
  58. Make sure the interviewee gets a copy of the tape and a transcript of what he or she said on tape. If the person insists on making corrections, send the paper transcript of the tape for correction to the interviewee. Edit the tape as best you can or have it edited professionally.
  59. Make sure you comply with all the corrections the interviewee wants changed. He or she may have given inaccurate facts that need to be corrected on the paper transcript.
  60. Have the tape edited with the corrections, even if you have to make a tape at the end of the interviewee putting in the corrections that couldn’t be edited out or changed.
  61. As a last resort, have the interviewee redo the part of the tape that needs correction and have it edited in the tape at the correct place marked on the tape. Keep the paper transcript accurate and up to date, signed with a release form by the interviewee.
  62. Oral historians write a journal of field notes about each interview. Make sure these get saved and archived so they can be read with the transcript.
  63. Have the field notes go into a computer where someone can read them along with the transcript of the oral history tape or CD.
  64. Thank the interviewee in writing for taking the time to do an interview for broadcast and transcript.
  65. Put a label on everything you do from the interview to the field notes. Make a file and sub file folders and have everything stored in a computer, in archived storage, and in paper transcript.
  66. Make copies and digital copies of all photos and put into the records in a computer. Return originals to owners.
  67. Make sure you keep your fingerprints off the photos by wearing white cotton gloves. Use cardboard when sending the photos back and pack securely. Also photocopy the photos and scan the photos into your computer. Treat photos as antique art history in preservation.
  68. Make copies for yourself of all photos, tapes, and transcripts. Use your duplicates, and store the original as the master tape in a place that won’t be used often, such as a time capsule or safe, or return to a library or museum where the original belongs.
  69. Return all original photos to the owners. An oral history archive library or museum also is suitable for original tapes. Use copies only to work from, copy, or distribute.
  70. Index your tapes and transcripts. To use oral history library and museum terminology, recordings and transcripts are given “accession numbers.”
  71. Phone a librarian in an oral history library of a university for directions on how to assign accession numbers to your tapes and transcripts if the materials are going to be stored at that particular library. Store copies in separate places in case of loss or damage.
  72. If you don’t know where the materials will be stored, use generic accession numbers to label your tapes and transcripts. Always keep copies available for yourself in case you have to duplicate the tapes to send to an institution, museum, or library, or to a broadcast company.
  73. Make synopses available to public broadcasting radio and TV stations.
  74. Check your facts.
  75. Are you missing anything you want to include?
  76. Is there some place you want to send these tapes and transcripts such as an ethnic museum, radio show, or TV satellite station specializing in the topics on the tapes, such as public TV stations? Would it be suitable for a world music station? A documentary station?
  77. If you need more interviews, arrange them if possible.
  78. Give the interviewee a copy of the finished product with the corrections. Make sure the interviewee signs a release form that he or she is satisfied with the corrections and is releasing the tape to you and your project.
  79. Store the tapes and transcripts in a library or museum or at a university or other public place where it will be maintained and preserved for many generations and restored when necessary.
  80. You can also send copies to a film repository or film library that takes video tapes, an archive for radio or audio tapes for radio broadcast or cable TV.
  81. Copies may be sent to various archives for storage that lasts for many generations. Always ask whether there are facilities for restoring the tape. A museum would most likely have these provisions as would a large library that has an oral history library project or section.
  82. Make sure the master copy is well protected and set up for long-term storage in a place where it will be protected and preserved.
  83. If the oral history is about events in history, various network news TV stations might be interested. Film stock companies may be interested in copies of old photos.
  84. Find out from the subject matter what type of archives, repository, or storage museums and libraries would be interested in receiving copies of the oral history tapes and transcripts.
  85. Print media libraries would be interested in the hard paper copy transcripts and photos as would various ethnic associations and historical preservation societies. Find out whether the materials will go to microfiche, film, or be digitized and put on CDs and DVDs, or on the World Wide Web. If you want to create a time capsule for the Web, you can ask the interviewee whether he or she wants the materials or selected materials to be put online or on CD as multimedia or other. Then you would get a signed release from the interviewee authorizing you to put the materials or excerpts online.
  86. Also find out in whose name the materials are copyrighted. Obtain at least one-time print and electronic rights to the material to publish as a gift book for your client. Get it all in writing, signed by those who have given you any interviews, and from those who own the latest publishing rights, even if you have to call upon a local intellectual property rights attorney.

Week 5 – 6 (Summary)

1. Document Recovery

2. How to Open a DNA-Driven Genealogy Reporting and Production Service

1. Overview: Document Recovery

How do you rescue and recover memories from mold using conservation techniques? You transport horizontally and store vertically. Store documents and photos in plastic holders, between sheets of waxed paper, or interleave with acid-free paper. Books are stored spine down. Archive DVDs and CDs in plastic holders and store in plastic crates. To conserve time capsules, according to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), in Washington, DC, neutralize that acid-wracked paper.

2. Overview: DNA-Driven Genealogy Reporting Service

A memoirs gift book may include a report on DNA-driven genealogy test results. Include an interpretation on how to understand and ‘read’ the test, findings, or other information about genetic anthropology and its possibilities concerning genealogy. This information may be included in a memoirs gift book slanted to genealogy information when records of surnames can no longer be found.

If you decide to open an online, home-based DNA-driven genealogy reporting and production service, reports and time capsules could include the possible geographic location where the DNA sequences originated. Customers usually want to see the name of an actual town, even though towns didn’t exist 10,000 years ago when the sequences might have arisen.

The whole genome is not tested, only the few ancestral markers, usually 500 base pairs of genes. Testing DNA for ancestry does not have anything to do with testing genes for health risks because only certain genes are tested—genes related to ancestry. And all the testing is done at a laboratory, not at your online business.

If you're interested in a career in genetics counseling and wish to pursue a graduate degree in genetics counseling, that's another career route. For information, contact The American Board of Genetic Counseling. Sometimes social workers with some coursework in biology take a graduate degree in genetic counseling since it combines counseling skills with training in genetics and in interpreting genetics tests for your clients.

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.” __ Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

Benjamin Disraeli, novelist, debator, and prime minister in England (elected to parliament), wrote many novels, including a trilogy "Coningsby,” "Sybil," and "Tancred.” and The Life and Reign of Charles I (1828). A nearly three-page listing of Disraeli’s quotations appear in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.