I was listening to the latest episode of the Paperclipping Roundtable the other day. It's all about Christmas pages, which isn't my favourite topic but actually despite the festive theme, it was an enjoyable hour spent with it playing on my headset as I strolled down by the river.
If you are a regular listener, you'll know that at the end of each show, the panel choose a pick of the week and one of them lead me to an astonishing new online tool.
It's called The Story Swoop and it's from Debbie Hodge.
On the podcast, the panellist who picked it, enthused at how well it worked. She picked an ordinary photo that held, so she thought, no particular story and after running it through the Story Swoop, ended up in tears, with the tale it elicited. So I thought I'd try it out.
I picked a random photo which I thought as ordinary & without a story. Honestly I put no thought into it. I uploaded it to Story Swoop and followed their instructions. And blow me down, it happened to me too. I had no idea how it would work but I ended up with a story and a layout, and a lump in the back of my throat, from a photo I initially felt had no tale.
I'm not saying that Story Swoop will only give you poignant stories. That's just a coincidence. It's designed to help you come up with all manner of journalling. So it's worth giving a go to see what happens.
Yes, it's about my Mum. Yes it comes about from her illness. And actually, for the most part I'm okay about it. She's been ill a long time. Long enough for grief and sorrow to pass along into acceptance. But there is a chink in the armour. I do miss lots of little things, true. But it's Mum's smile and her laugh that will always catch me out. It's a quality she and my brother share. Unlike those two, I rarely laugh until tears roll down my cheeks. But to them it's as natural as breathing.
And it's that quality and how it affects me which came to light when I wrote about this photo.
I want to try this clever tool again. To pick another random photo. Perhaps without a person in it this time and see what transpires. I'm crossing fingers for a funny fable next time.