31 May 2007
And then I get an opportunity to share it with an audience, and those thougths go away.
Just finished presenting it to a room of AFROTC cadets, here at Rome for the summer. I had a blast, and they seemed to enjoy it as well.
I guess I'll keep it around a little longer.
That turned me on to his website, where he has links to additional articles & books, as well as a Q&A section, where I came across this principle:
"Never solve the problem as stated."
Yes, yes, yes!
Collaborage: "Dan Ward just published a wonderful book on the simplicity cycle. He presents an idea that we will all kick ourselves for not coming up with it."
Trevor Gay's Simplicity Is The Key: "Dan is a talented writer who incorporates the lighter side of life and humour together with profound messages in the same book."
30 May 2007
29 May 2007
24 May 2007
She was clearly making up the tune and lyrics as she went, but it went something like "Morning turns into night time, night time turns into morning" - repeated several times, with modulations in the notes, timing, etc each time. Then it became something of a little prayersong "Please make my cold go away, night turns into morning..."
I stood outside her door listening to her sing and pray. She must have heard me, because she opened the door. "Oh, hi Daddy. I have a question. Does God make us get sick and then make us get better?"
It's so amazing to see what's happening in her head. (and if you're wondering, I answered that God can make our colds go away, but He doesn't cause sickness in the first place).
23 May 2007
You know who you are - the writer, painter, musician who has a day job doing something other than writing, painting or music-ing. There are a lot of us out there, and many have come before. In fact, the history books are full of painters, poets, etc who had "real jobs" which helped keep body and soul together while they produced their masterpieces.
Good stuff... very good stuff.
I think we can consider this to be the definitive, final edition of The Desert. I'm not planning on making any further changes. If I come up with any more stories like the ones in The Desert, I'll put them into a sequel (Return To The Desert?).
You can find the book at Silly Hat Press.
22 May 2007
It's basically a research site, with links to digital versions of almost everything I've written. All my Defense AT&L articles, my RogueProjectLeader stuff, etc. I'll even add links to some unpublished projects (one of these days).
Even though Page Creator is fast and easy, it's going to take some time to put all the pieces together. The site is still very much a work in progress at the moment. I've only got a fraction of my stuff there at the moment, but it's a start.
Watch this space for progress updates.
18 May 2007
I also finished the plot outline for Boomer Sisters #3 (still no title... it'll come). I love the way it all came together, and I can't wait to see the illustrations!
Finally, I've got my Simplicity Cycle book about 95% finished. Now I just need to design the cover, do a few final edits, add a few bits here and there, and then all that will be left is the other 99% of the work involved with doing a book - advertising, marketing, spreading the word, etc...
15 May 2007
In my research, I came across Don Norman's book Emotional Design, which I mentioned yesterday. Here are a few quotes from the book which make me happy:
"Psychologist Alice Isen and her colleagues have shown that being happy broadens the thought processes and facilitates creative thinking... When you feel good, Isen discovered, you are better at brainstorming, at examining multiple alternatives."
"Attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively."
"[After completing a task,] tense and anxious people will complain about the difficulties whereas the relaxed, happy ones will probably not even remember them. In other words, happy people are more effective in finding alternative solutions and, as a result, are tolerant of minor difficulties."
Being happy broadens the thought processes? I guess that's why Buddah is always laughing.
And what's the connection between "attractive things" and simplicity? In a word: elegance.
14 May 2007
I snapped this shot of a very cool white board marker stand at a little company in LA (you know who you are...). It's shaped like an artist's pallet, and reminds me what color is for.
I love it because it's a great example of art & beauty combined with utility and function.
I love it when people remember that it's OK to have fun and it's Ok to make, buy, & use things that are nice.
Donald Norman pointed out that beautiful things work better, in his book Emotional Design. I definitely agree...
11 May 2007
10 May 2007
The Illiad, by Homer
Wikinomics, by Don Tapscott
City of Gold & Lead and The Pool of Fire, both by John Christopher
The Box, by Marc Levinson
The Narnian, by Alan Jacob
Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff
Hero Tales, by Theodore Roosevelt
There are a few others I can't think of at the moment. They know who they are.
BUT - here's the twist. I am also currently bemoaning the unfortunate ratio between the books I want to WRITE and the amount of time I have available for writing. My list of "Books I'm Currently Writing / Working on" looks like this:
- The Simplicity Cycle - it's about 1/2 done. No projected completion date, but hopefully in the next few months. I'm working this one pretty aggressively. Top priority between now and June 1st.
- Boomer Sisters Book 3 (untitled at the moment... maybe The Boomer Sisters In The City) - Outline is 3/4 finished. I need to have the outline done by the end of this month, because my 30-day writing period begins on 1 June. That's right, June 2007 will be DaNoWriMo (Dan's Novel Writing Month). My objective is to write it in 30 days as usual, then get it illustrated and edited in time for Christmas.
- Boomer Sisters Book 4: The Boomer Sisters and the Pirates. I'll probably do this one in November (NaNoWriMo), if my school schedule allows. I've got the plot basically sketched out already.
- Joy - That's a working title for a series of (very) mini biographies of Christian thinkers, writers, etc, exploring what they had to say about Joy (& how they lived joyfully). Other possible titles are Standing Under Joy, and Joy-ographies (lame, I know). It's partially outlined, with a few chapters sort of started and a lot more research to be done. Timeline - who knows?
- Rogue Swords - a sword & sorcery adventure novel. I've sketched out the main characters and the general plot. This one would be a lot of fun to do, but it's at the bottom of my list because it's likely to be the least-widely read.
How am I going to get this all done? I probably won't, but I'm sure going to give it my best shot, one word and one page at a time... and 3 books at a time, most likely.
08 May 2007
And even though it was pretty tiring, I think buying a house in 2 days is a lot easier than taking a week or two (or longer), and the outcome of spending more time wouldn't be noticably better. Come to think of it, writing a novel in 30 days just might be easier than spending a year or longer doing it, and with comparable results.
There's something really magic about a hard deadline, particularly if you're a happy imperfectionistic satisficer like me.