Non-Fiction: Research vs Knowledge

research, fact checking, internet, searchTo a certain extent, Dear Reader, today’s pontification will apply to novelists and short fiction writers as well as to those of us who specialize in non-fiction. But mostly, I’m talking to non-fic writers.

It has been said, “You do not need to know everything about a subject to be considered an expert on that subject, you just need to know where to go to get the answers.”  This saying was posted above my desk when I worked for a publishing company that put out three daily newspapers, a dozen or so monthly magazines and a few books each year.  I was Production Manager, but I also did a fair amount of writing for some of our publications.

I found a good deal of truth in the saying… and a fair bit of danger. Continue reading Non-Fiction: Research vs Knowledge

FINDING OUR POTENTIAL

Regardless of your views on religion, Dr. Metcalf’s comments on motivation and accomplishment are worth reading.

AP.jpgSometimes we feel as if much of life is a waste of time.  There is so much that is lost amid our many preoccupations.  It seems impossible to make every moment count.  We procrastinate.  We daydream and we “while away” the time.  So little of our attention is directed toward things that really matter.  So often our focus is diverted to that which is peripheral and inconsequential.  There is so much to do, and we do not have the time and energy to do it.  There is so much to say and not enough words to say it.  Where will we find the will to be all we are capable of being? Where is the heart for the difficult task and the perseverance for the weary journey?

It is easy to give up when our vision exceeds our resources.  Discouragement sets in when we see so much and accomplish so little.  Often it is the cause for doing nothing.  Why should we spin our wheels and never make progress toward our destination? If we cannot do everything, why do anything? Failure comes in different packages.  Sometimes it is an over-exaggerated ambition.  We lose ourselves before we get started.  We bite off more than we can chew.  We focus on the finishing before we have prepared for the beginning.  Too much ambition can be as bad as no ambition.  Often the results are the same. Continue reading FINDING OUR POTENTIAL

The Rescue of Cochise

American Bulldog, Cochise, dog fostering, canine rescueHello, my name is Cochise. I am an American Bulldog. Well, mostly American Bulldog; I’m not a purebred, but close enough as long as a certificate isn’t important to you. This is my tale of rescue.  I was picked up by the County Animal Control officer because I was living free and easy on the streets of Newport Tennessee. I had a home once, but… well… maybe I’ll tell you about that another time. For now I want to tell you how a couple of good people came to rescue me from certain death.

See, when I was brought into the local animal shelter I tested positive for heart worms, that made me ineligible for the national Rolling Rescue program, which would have allowed me to be adopted somewhere that good pets are not so plentiful, and the prospect of local adoption was getting slimmer by the day. The shelter cannot keep dogs forever. I was on death row – with just days to go before it was my turn to take the one-way walk.

Continue reading The Rescue of Cochise

The Rescuing of Cochise: An American Bulldog’s Tale

American Bulldog, Cochise, dog fostering

Hello, my name is Cochise. I am an American Bulldog. Well, mostly American Bulldog; I’m not a purebred, but close enough as long as a certificate isn’t important to you.  I was picked up by the County Animal Control officer because I was living free and easy on the streets of Newport Tennessee. I had a home once, but… well… maybe I’ll tell you about that another time.  For now I want to tell you how a couple of good people rescued me from certain death.

See, when I was brought into the local animal shelter I tested positive for heart worms, that made me ineligible for the national Rolling Rescue program, which would have allowed me to be adopted somewhere that good pets are not so plentiful, and the prospect of local adoption was getting slimmer by the day.  The shelter cannot keep dogs forever.  I was on death row – with just days to go before it was my turn to take the one-way walk. Continue reading The Rescuing of Cochise: An American Bulldog’s Tale

Remembering 9/11: The Largest Boat Rescue Ever

The video below impressed me not only by the actions of civilian boaters but especially by the numbers of people rescued and the short time it took. It’s a great example of people helping people, and it is quite timely as we remember 9/11.

The largest sea evacuation in history; carried out primarily with civilian boats, without any preparation or practice, simply because there was a need. The previous record holder was the evacuation of Dunkirk, where 39,000 soldiers were rescued over a period of 9 days.  The 9/11 evacuation rescued almost 500,000 people in less than 9 HOURS. Enjoy

If the embed does not work, click here: to view on YouTube

Patti-n-Me: First Times

About a year ago Patricia Carrigan and I were DMing back and forth in Twitter about this and that… whaz-at?  Not a year ago? Oh, well let me think… yeah, you’re right, it was just a couple of months- err weeks?  Oh, *A* week! Yeah, that’s what I meant; a week ago.

Patrician Carrigan, author, Antiserum, vampire novelsAnyway Patti asked if I’d do a guest post for her blog.  I’m sure you know Patricia Carrigan is the author of the Antiserum vampire series.  I had to confess that I’d never read the series because, well, because vampires are just way to scary for my delicate psyche.  I like to sleep at night. But she graciously said that it didn’t have to be about vampires, or it could be about being vampirely clueless.  I had to do a little thinking on that so I did what I usually do: fire up the tractor and go mow some lawn.

It worked, I wrote up what came to me and fired it off. It just went live, with this preamble from Patti:

I have enjoyed tweeting with Doug for some time and so I begged him to do a post for me.  Well, technically, I asked and he said yes. Then he pondered about what to write for a while (I don’t give to many constraints) And then after writing it… I got busy!! … I mean, we’re talking… totally swamped..don’t know where my head is type busy!

So, FINALLY… I’m letting the world see the wonderful post Doug wrote for me!!  He was so sweet about having to wait. huge hugs Doug!!

My pleasure Patti, it’s been fun.

Please pop over to Patti’s blog and give it  a read: First Times.  Thanks!

What’s Your Chocolate Blog Hop

Today I’m trying something new for me, a Blog Hop. If you’re new to this too, a blog hop is an easy way to discover new people with a common interest and read some great posts. This time, we’re all talking about our love affair with chocolate and invite you to join in through the comments. Below my article is a list of links to other hoppers, this same list appears on all the hop stops. Here, have a brownie, read my article, leave a comment if you like, then click a link in the list to go there. Repeat as often as you like or until you’ve visited them all.

My Favorite Chocolate

chocolate, dark chocolate, HersheysI love dark chocolate.  Yes, I know: to most of you this qualifies me as a psychopath.  “Normal” people prefer the sweetness of milk chocolate.  Be that as it may, I remain committed to the dark variety.  But then, even though I’m a Southerner, I don’t drink Sweet Tea and I prefer the taste of a diet soda over regular just because I can’t handle the syrupy sweetness. In the meals that we cook we reduce or eliminate sugar.  It’s what we’re accustomed to.

My favorite every-day treats are Hershey’s Nuggets: Special Dark with Almonds.  I keep a canister of these on the counter in the kitchen, and use them as a reward to myself for having completed all my tasks for the day and behaved myself.  On special occasions I may receive Ghirardelli or Toblerone bars. Continue reading What’s Your Chocolate Blog Hop

Rainy Days and Fridays

mountain, rainy, weather, Clingman's dome, Marie Bittinger, TennesseeCall me crazy (many do) but I like rainy days.  There is something comforting about the sound of rain drumming on the roof, and sometimes a rainy day provides me with a much needed excuse to take some time off.  I love settling into my comfy chair next to the fire place on a chilly, rainy day and reading a good book.  Or taking a mug of hot tea to my desk and writing. Continue reading Rainy Days and Fridays

Book Review: ENUFF a Guidebook for Simple Living

If you have grown weary of the rat race and are looking for an alternative, Kate Carpenter’s book ENUFF is a good place to start.  ENUFF is an acronym for Eliminate the Needless, Useless, Foolish and Frivolous and in it you will find a primer on minimalism and tips for simple living.

ENUFF – The Book

ENUFF, Kate carpenter, minimalism, simple livingThe book itself follows the tenets it teaches by not being stuffed full of pontification.  It takes a direct and entertaining approach.  In each chapter Carpenter explains her topic, explains the need, and offers a supportive anecdote, then uses great quotes from famous people, charts or illustrations, to make the point.  Most chapters include an expanded reading list and a list of movies that embrace the topic of that chapter.  Most of these outside resources are not about minimalism, they are popular books and movies about people and life, but they embody the simple living principle being discussed as a part of their story. Continue reading Book Review: ENUFF a Guidebook for Simple Living

POWER OF PEOPLE

As authors and writers, we tend to be sensitive to public opinion about us.  This guest post by Dr. Calvin Metcalf explores the power other people have over us.

AP-CalvinThe power of people to affect us is an interesting phenomenon. We are influenced daily by what people say or do to us. Sometimes it is what they do not say or do not do to us that makes a big difference in our lives. We give other folk a big amount of control over the way we think and act. Our dispositions are often the result of our reactions to the way people have treated us. Our moods are made either better or worse depending on who has been messing with our minds. For some reason we seem to be programmed to let others determine if we are to be happy or sad.

We are incurably addicted to what others think about us. We give away our freedom to be our own person in hopes that we can be liked by other persons. It can be an awkward way to live if we are intimidated continually by the power of people and never find our real identity. The strong influence of other people, however does not need to be a negative factor in our lives. We can be motivated and challenged to do our best because they expect it of us. We can get a better picture of who we are from those who love us enough to share their honest opinions. Continue reading POWER OF PEOPLE