Archive for July, 2013

Revision – Week ending July 26, 2013

27 Jul

 Revision – week ending July 27, 2013


The weeks most interesting news; for writers.


1. The Healing Powers of Writing

We have long heard about the psychological benefits of writing about old trauma, but a new study has shown that it can also help open wounds heal faster.

If only writing could do something about this pain between my shoulders that I get from sitting in front of my computer for so long every day…


+ And then there are the superpower inducing abilities of active reading.

There are many paths on the road to old age and not all of them pleasant, but the path that scares me the most holds a form of dementia (any form). I’m no philosopher (okay, maybe all writers are philosophers at some level, but let’s leave that off for now) and don’t know what makes us, us, but I do believe that the sum of our experiences and memories make up a large portion of our individuality. Without them, we are nothing more than people-shaped husks. And so I will proselytize more active reading (and eating more turmeric).


2.The Inner Game Still has Much to Teach Us All

40 years later and this book is still one of the top self-help sellers… It’s spawned a number of related books, and a speaking tour and still sells to top athletes and coaches like crazy.

I wonder if he could write a follow-up: The Inner Game of Writing


3. Happiness is a…

Happiness is not connected (in any lasting way) to stuff, but we all already knew that deep down, didn’t we?

Recent studies have shown that real happiness is found through regular effort and accomplishment (active busy people being more happy than relaxed ‘inner peace’ seekers) and having people to share it with. Sometimes, for writers, with feedback and any real sense of accomplishment somewhere over a distant horizon, happiness can be like a flickering shadow; visible at the corners of the eye, but hard to grasp. It helps to have a system for happiness.

Of course, I worked a corporate gig for 10 years where feedback was ladled over us like mana from heaven – and that didn’t make me any happier


4. Book Deals

Easy come, easy go. Is there any reason for a juror to not write about the case they served on? Personally I don’t thinks so, I’ve read a couple of trial non-fictions in the past. Of course all of the emotion surrounding the Zimmerman trial isn’t so much about the violence as it is about race relations.

BTW, most of you don’t know me yet so on a more personal note/observation: I have a degree in Anthropology and hate terms like ‘race relations’ – We’re all the same on the inside and I hope that someday we, as a ‘race’, will learn to celebrate the small differences, instead of using them to judge others.


+ 5 other jurors who cashed in with a book deal


5. Books We Pretend to Read

I try to be honest. I’m well read and I don’t generally need to lie about having read books.

Of course, I do tend to say ‘I’m currently reading…’ for some books (like Moby Dick – damn that whale), even when I haven’t actually picked up the book in a while. As long as there is a bookmark still between the covers somewhere: I’m still reading it. But apparently most people lie about reading the classics.

Okay, so maybe that would be more honest with others, less honest with myself, but we all have our little foibles.


 6. Oh, Did I Tell You the One About the Dead Guy?

Need to write a funny scene? Start with your Obit…

I think about death all the time, maybe that’s why I’m so funny (that’s your cue to chuckle).


7. More Quotes From Writers

Quotes from famous authors who write for children. I read the Dr. Seuss quote a few times. I’m still not sure if it were tongue-in-cheek or not, but I interpret it to mean that all ideas come from life; if you are just paying attention. Hmm… maybe I should buy a cuckoo clock…


8. To Steal a Mockingbird

Harper Lee signed over the rights for her famous, and only, novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (on of those books on my ‘to read someday’ shelf). Now she is suing her agent for duping her into it.


9. Has Anybody Saved the Cat Yet? Or Are We Still Trying?

It’s everywhere; every movie you watch, every news site you read. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but ‘Save The Cat’ is making the rounds lately.

If you haven’t read it yet, you should. You don’t want to be the only writer in a conversation who hasn’t! What is it? A step by step guide to screenplay writing – a play by play beat sheet formula.


10. On the lighter side of the news (from Mental Floss)

Have a terrible idea for a book? So did these authors and THEY got published!


+ A look at word pronunciation in English:


Words that are older than they seem.


+ There is a debate raging that will affect the future of the internet, and I’ll bet that most of you have never even heard the word skeuomorphism before?

More and more new writers are moving towards embracing the Internet. And for many it’s a necessary evil. While you won’t hear me saying that traditional publishing is dead, I do believe that the next generation of super successful writers will be people who have truly embraced the medium, understand it, and know how to make it work for them.

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Revision for week ending on July 20, 2013

20 Jul


The days most interesting news for writers.


1. Focus, GTD and the creative process

I have a problem with focus, so I love reading about people who really know how to, um, ah, hey look, a squirrel!

Rick Rubin on crashing the new Kanye album in 15 days:

“I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it. So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know. And the more that we can remove any baggage we’re carrying with us, and just be in the moment, use our ears, and pay attention to what’s happening, and just listen to the inner voice that directs us, the better.”


2. The line between reality and fiction

“I wish I’d written that…”

Snowden through the eyes of a spy novelist

Of course, other writers WILL write it. Watch for this storyline to become a future spy novel trope!


3. On Life & the time we have to be creative

How much time to we have left? What will you do with your time? And… um… what are they going to do with all those jellybeans now?

4.Train your brain

“All that mystical Woo-Woo stuff is so retrograde. This is about training your brain.

For years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that meditation can help with all facets of life – and writing… Of course, the last time I got myself into a half-lotus position, I had to call 911 to rescue me.


5. The Death of language = Return to the caveman era.

Or: ‘Let’s all just talk via photos.

On the upside, it’s sort of like a layman’s telekinesis for all you sci-fi buffs out there. Language barriers fall in the face of photo communication, only, instead of being in your head, it’ll be in your hands (smartphone).

On another note, I wonder what sort of image a neanderthal would have texted…


6. On Life

Not one I that typically fits into the news I share, but this carries such a fundamental message on life that I think everyone should reread it periodically just to keep perspective on life.

1/2 way down is an image of a piece of paper with notes the captured man wrote while held by the Taliban. It is unfortunate that it takes a near death experience for most of us to focus on the things that are really important. I cropped the image for regular rotation on my desktop wallpaper.


7. MMMM…. Coffee.

Sweet nectar of the gods. And, the single biggest factor that allows me to make this list every morning.

But, do you know how it works it’s magic on you?

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