What does ‘morganatic’ mean?

morganatic

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: morganatic…. A Ukrainian-born Russian-registered cossack who became the lover of Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, Count Alexei Grigorievich Razumovsky was also rumoured to be something I'd never heard of: a morganati... Read More

How to find your six writing hats

six writing hats

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes It used to be considered bad manners to wear a hat inside. No more! Here's why you should always wear one of six writing hats when you're at your computer... While I was reaching for a metaphor about writing last week, my brain suddenly latched onto the six thinking hats of Edward de Bono. Are you familiar with him? The author of 57 books and the pers... Read More

Spend it all, counsels Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a Brain Pickings blog post about Annie Dillard... Annie Dillard is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, pr... Read More

Great computers; lousy customer service

apple's customer service

Reading time: About 2 minute Before you spend your money on a new computer, consider the issue of customer service... Since I started buying computers back in 1987, I’ve gone back and forth between PCs and Macs. But in recent years — ever since the release of the Vista operating system in 2006 — I’ve stuck with the Mac. I prefer the Mac because it’s easier to use and it needs... Read More

The figurative language of Patricia Volk…

Patricia Volk

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile from Patricia Volk... Food-related memoirs hold a special place in my heart, perhaps because I grew up in a "foodie" family where, after finishing Christmas dinner we would inevitably push our chairs back from the table and vigorously debate wha... Read More

What does ‘perspicacity’ mean?

perspicacity

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That's why I provide a word of the week. Today's word: perspicacity.... I've heard the word perspicacity since I was a child. I've probably even used it. But I could no longer remember what it meant when I encountered it in the superb political novel, The Betrayers by David Bezmozgi... Read More

Deliberate practice for writers

deliberate practice for writers

Reading time: About 5 minutes Lots of people know about the importance of deliberate practice. But few explain exactly how to execute it. Here are instructions on deliberate practice for writers. As you read my column today, I’d like you to keep one metaphor in mind. Imagine that you want to learn how to play the piano. Would you try to do it without a teacher? Probably not. Somehow, most... Read More

John Ellsworth shows the benefits of self-publishing

John Ellsworth

Reading time: Just over 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an blog post written by John Ellsworth... John Ellsworth doesn't know much about how to design an attractive blog post. Look at it! No indents or paragraphing. A yellow background (that makes my eye... Read More

Ideas for better workshops

better workshops

Reading time: About one minute I'll get ideas for better workshops wherever I can find them. Here are some tips I gathered recently from a client of mine... As a long-time conference and workshop presenter, I've learned several tricks over the years. When I ask the participants at one of my talks to raise their hands in answer to a question, for example, I always raise my own hand as we... Read More

The figurative language of Dominique Browning…

Dominique Browning

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Dominique Browning... I'm not a grandmother yet and hope not to become one for at least another eight years or so (my triplets are now 22.) Because I came late to motherhood, as did my own mother and both grandmothers, I secretly hope my ... Read More