Archive for the 'Going Up From Egypt' Category

TAKING A MUCH NEEDED BREAK FROM THE NEWS…

November 24th, 2016

Between now and the morning of 25 November, I’ll be taking a news break. I’ve removed all of my usual news-source links from my blogroll and I won’t be listening to the radio in my car. The only story I intend to follow will be events surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline and I’ll be doing […]

EVERY TIME I THINK OF GOING BACK ON TWITTER…

November 24th, 2016

So, you know I ditched both Twitter and Facebook more than three years ago, but occasionally I think about returning. Thankfully, on this Thanksgiving, someone writes a post or an article reinforcing my position that all social media (not just Twitter and Facebook) are addictive time sucks designed to be addictive time sucks and, like […]

THIS COLUMN POST WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE…

November 23rd, 2016

So, I’ve been a devotee of Julia Cameron’s morning pages from her 1992 book, The Artist’s Way, since the mid-90s when I began writing my first (yet unpublished) novel Cold Silence. My morning writing routine consisted of: Step 1—complete my morning pages, Step 2—read a Lawrence Block article from his collections of Writing Fiction columns […]

GODZILLA—DR. ROBERT CIALDINI—EMERGES…

November 22nd, 2016

So, about two years ago Oliver Burkeman wrote in This column will change your life: false reasons for The Guardian, about how people convince us to elect them to public office. That column now, in retrospect, seems a template for the past 15 months. Everyone knows politics is a cynical game: to last a week […]

DON’T WAVE THE CARROT; LIGHT THE FIRE…!

November 18th, 2016

I first came across Alfie Kohn’s work fifteen years, or so, ago when I read Punished By Rewards. The basic idea is that punishment and rewards are equally bad for a student’s education because the central message of both tactics is that the task at hand really sucks and that no one in their right […]

OUT OF SORTS…? MISE EN PLACE…!

November 12th, 2016

Over the course of my life I have found that when I feel out of sorts the reason lies in the chaos or clutter in my surroundings. If I want to be focused and deliberate then I have to ensure that my place is focused and deliberate. This is the lesson of Mise En Place, […]

I REALLY LIKE THIS: COMFORT IN, DUMP OUT

November 10th, 2016

I once lost a job opportunity in my 20s because, I believe, I didn’t know what to say when I learned of someone’s potential tragedy. I simply didn’t know what to say. How do you respond when you learn (as I did this morning) of a death? What words are right when someone you know […]

THE VERY REAL DANGERS OF PRECRASTIONATION…

October 28th, 2016

I’ve been told that I’m a Johnny On The Spot kind of guy. When presented with a task that I can deal with in less than five minutes, I do the task. I even have a phrase for such tasks on my Daily Action lists: Two-Minute Drills. (No, I’m not a football fan, I just […]

AM I, ARE YOU, A PEACH OR A COCONUT…?

October 22nd, 2016

We all want to grossly oversimplify and bifurcate our world into dichotomies, into black and white. There are, of course two kinds of people, those who embrace the aforementioned and those, wiser, people who think that is pure rubbish. Like determining if a person is a peach or a coconut. Oliver Burkeman, writing in Are […]

WHEN BAD PEOPLE GIVE GOOD ADVICE…

October 11th, 2016

I own a copy of Richard Bach’s Illusions and while I wouldn’t call the book life-altering, I did learn a bit of wisdom from what Bach had to share. That was why when I read Oliver Burkeman’s Good advice from bad people this morning I was pleased to read him quote Bach: You teach best […]

WELL, THE RED QUEEN NEVER PROCRASTINATED…

October 8th, 2016

My first-draft mantra is I’m OK when the writing sucks. No one ever wrote a perfect first draft. Hell, no one ever wrote a perfect 10th, 100th or 1,000th draft. The work gets better with ever pass, but at some point you have allow the editor to pry the manuscript from your fingers. I once […]

SORRY, I’M NOT ALL THAT INTERESTED. ..

August 7th, 2016

Some people wonder why I’m not all that interested in travel, or accumulating new experiences. My standard answer is: been there, done that, but that’s a bit too flippant. As I’ve entered my third score and ten I can look back at 60 years filled with more experiences that I can ever hope to process […]

BUTT, CHAIR, WRITE, REPEAT…

August 6th, 2016

Howard Jacobson, in I’m like a painter, adding a dab of colour before popping out for absinthe for The Guardian, writes: This was a mode of work so uncomplicated it didn’t deserve to be called a routine. No neurotic rearranging of stationery, no minimum number of words, no plan, no mental deadline, no drafts – […]

HOW WILL I RECREATE MYSELF TODAY…?

August 1st, 2016

Previously…

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN THE DEEPENING BLOGPILE…

July 25th, 2016

Biggest US coal company funded dozens of climate denier groups saved 41 days ago. Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone saved 40 days ago. Trump bans Washington Post from officially covering his campaign saved 40 days ago. Mormon Secrets: What the Missionaries Don’t Tell saved 36 days ago. Banned Mormon Cartoon—EXTENDED VERSION […]

TIME TO SHOVEL OUT THE BLOGPILE…

July 24th, 2016

Taxpayers Really Do Subsidise Walmart’s Wage Bill saved 410 days ago. Why I Hate the Internet found so many readers saved 69 days ago. The Persuasion Reading List saved 69 days ago. Impossible To Ignore saved 67 days ago. Walmart milk plant gets $10.7 million tax breaks, ups job estimate saved 64 days ago. Let’s […]

HOW GETTING SOME PERSPECTIVE MIGHT WORK…

July 21st, 2016

There may be a benefit in living to Cleveland: we’re small enough (urban population: ~390,000), and far enough away from cool cities like Toronto, 292 miles; Chicago, 343 miles and New York, 464 miles, for non-Clevelanders to think the ideas we conceive to be abstract. Maybe. At least that’s what Oliver Burkeman suggested in Want […]

LOUSY FEEDBACK AND A NEW WORD…

July 18th, 2016

Someone, probably a frustrated writer, once wrote: The most primal human urge is not to procreate, but rather to edit someone else’s copy. One-upmanship is part of our genes and, as Oliver Burkeman writes in The perils of feedback for The Guardian, even when we try to formalize the process, we suck. Too many managers […]

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD RIGHT NOW…

July 2nd, 2016

Don’t cue Bobby McFerrin or raise visions of Haley Mills as Pollyanna. I’m serious. Yes, we’re not living in a utopia and there will always be challenges to make life even better, but for all the grumbling we do, for all the hand wringing of those who just can’t be happy, the world, as a […]

MY HEART’S DESIRE IS A TRAP…

June 14th, 2016

Many years ago I gave a writer friend of mine a copy of Outsider in Amsterdam. I discovered Janwillem Van De Wetering through his non-fiction Zen trilogy: The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery; A Glimpse of Nothingness: Experiences in an American Zen Community; and Afterzen: Experiences of a Zen Student Out on […]

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