A One-of-A-Kind Gift
Drawing on decades of experience as a professional journalist and writer, Jessie helps clients create a unique gift, a Forever Book, to share your legacy and values. This is a contemporary version of an ethical will, the ancient Jewish tradition of bequeathing one’s wisdom and life lessons.
Print or share virtually to:
Celebrate happy occasions such as major birthdays and anniversaries, weddings, graduations and other life events.
Remember someone for whom time is precious due to age or health status.
Inspire next generation philanthropy as you share insights about causes you hope will be supported in your memory.
Spur meaningful conversations with a keepsake for loved ones and future generations.
The Creative Process
Jessie has a knack for putting others at ease as she interviews people in-person or remotely. She elicits key details and helps people explore, refine and express their core beliefs and wisdom effectively and without sentimentality. Sample interview questions.
Drawing from the interview transcript, Jessie writes text that memorably conveys each person's unique voice and perspective. After client review and approval, she designs a four-color book with visually appealing layouts with essential messages next to client-supplied digital photos.
"When Jessie suggested creating a Forever Book with my late husband, I wasn’t sure if he would be up for the task. He agreed without hesitation, and seemed to find the two interview sessions with Jessie to be a moving experience. Very little time and effort on our part was required. The result is a remarkable book that captures my husband’s essence—what made him a vital, loving person. With his death, this beautiful testament to his life allows me to hold and cherish his memory and share it with others." -R.M
"I am amazed, so thankful for the work you put into making this book. I felt my life in each page. It's beautiful, just perfect — am speechless. I know how important this book will be for my kids. My hope is that this will help my kids remember me, feel my love for them and realize my vision for their future: that they will be happy, good people doing what they love." -H.B.
The Ethical Will, an Ancient Concept, Is Revamped for the Tech Age, The New York Times, October 31, 2014
Telling Their Life Stories, Older Adults Find Peace in Looking Back, The New York Times, December 9, 2016
"Stories are our prayers. Write and edit them with due reverence, even when the stories themselves are irreverent.
Stories are parables. Write and edit and tell yours with meaning, so each tale stands in for a larger message, each story a guidepost on our collective journey.
Stories are history. Write and edit and tell yours with accuracy and understanding and context and with unwavering devotion to the truth.
Stories are music. Write and edit and tell yours with pace and rhythm and flow. Throw in the dips and twirls that make them exciting, but stay true to the core beat. Readers hear stories with their inner ear.
Stories are our soul. Write and edit and tell yours with your whole selves. Tell them as if they are all that matters. It matters that you do it as if that’s all there is."
- Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight Chair in Editing, University of Missouri School of Journalism