A writing tip (because I’m totally an amazing writer and anything I have to say about writing is guaranteed to be pure gold)
I am much better at editing that I am at writing. Unfortunately, Llandrillo College doesn’t give me the option of editing other people’s papers for my grades. Since most of the writing I do these days is for my grades, I’ve had to figure out a way to do actual writing of lots of words in a row. My solution is to get to the editing as quickly as possible. I slam words into my word processor as fast as I can until I’ve met the word count (this still takes hours). I’ve learned not to care about spelling or using exactly the right word or even finishing sentences.The important thing is to get through the necessary hardship of filling the blank page with words as quickly as possible. Once I’ve got a terrible first draft, the work becomes much easier for me because I’m doing the much more natural (for me) work of editing.
So here’s the tip: think about the part of writing that you are best at then adjust your workflow to turn the majority of the work into the thing that you do best.
1 April 2013
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A thing we old people like to do to amuse ourselves is to subscribe to ‘blogs’ via ‘feed readers’. Many of you youngsters won’t understand these things because you haven’t found the secret click combination to get outside of Facebook or else you aren’t sure what to do with writing that is longer than 140 characters. But some of you kids might want to experience the old-fashioned Internet. If that’s you, there is a small chance you may enjoy some of the things on the non-exhaustive list of what I like to read and look at.
Comics, illustration, design
- Doodlemum – these are way better than doodles
- Dresden Codak – cyborg sci-fi in a weird world
- False Positive – webcomic tales of the surreal, fantastic and macabre
- Happle Tea – a funny and insightful webcomic about mythology and other things
- Hark a Vagrant – Kate Beaton is excellently superly excellent
- Illustration Art – insightful commentary on the world of illustration
- Jill Lorraine Turpin has a great take on family life
- Marlo Meekins is much funnier and stranger than most people
- Nimona – when the sidekick has actual powers and doesn’t follow the supervillain rules
- Punching the Clock – surviving the daily fail of big box retail
- RUTH AND ANNABEL RUIN EVERYTHING – it’s in all caps for a reason
- Ryan Andrews – beautiful engrossing short story comics
- Sin Titulo – It’s going to take a while to read, and it will suck you in. Clear your afternoon schedule
- The Abominable Charles Christopher – he’s actually not abominable at all
- the johnson banks thought for the week is the blog of my favourite UK design studio
- Thrillbent’s Insufferable – What happens when you’re a crimefighter and your sidekick grows up to be an arrogant, ungrateful douchebag? What on Earth could draw the two of you back together again?
- Willow Wood Starfall – gorgeous comic in a nouveau style
- XKCD – a webcomic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.
Lots of words in a row
- Doors of Perception – John Thackara’s blog about design, energy and the planet’s future
- Heresy Corner – questioning received wisdom on culture, politics and religion
- Kester Brewin – Peter Rollins’ mate writes about pirates, theology, education and stuff
- Michael Rosen – author and former children’s laureate blogs mostly about education, especially how Michael Gove is ruining everything
- Peter Rollins – pyrotheology
- What If? – the author of xkcd answers hypothetical questions with physics and funny
Good blogs I’m not reading right now because I’m taking a break from American Christianity and politics
- Greg Boyd – with all the shouty Calvinists about it’s nice to be reminded the bible has other salvation metaphors and visions of eternity
- Matthew Paul Turner – obvs
- John Michael Greer – Druid perspectives on nature, culture, and the future of industrial society. Don’t let the ‘druid’ throw you. This guy is a genius
- Larry Shallenberger – author, pastor, writer of this blog that I really like even though he sometimes writes about sports
- Love is what you do – she’s actually living the gospel in real life
- Rachel Held Evans – obvs
- The Beautiful Due – I’m not a fan of poetry. I love this guy’s poetry
- Two Friars and a Fool – theology and culture with an emergy kind of vibe
What do you like to read and look at?
21 August 2012
john michael greer,
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… So as you might guess that means I’ve had to pass more than
one large stone plus chit-chat with a rather annoying host of young men, all
dressed in white linen, who consistently parrot ‘not here, not here.’ …
If you are not reading John Blase’s blog The Beautiful Due, you should stop being bad to yourself right now.
10 April 2012
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15 December 2011
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I have this blog on Tumblr and I’m posting to it more and more and I love it because it is so easy and fun and I don’t feel the need to improve it. My thinking at the moment is that the beloved D Train is going to reserved for writing about Important Things for now at least.
Bonus: My Tumblr blog automatically imports anything I write here.
27 March 2009
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There is a wasteland not far from here that is more like the desert around the Land of Oz than anything in the real world. It just starts. There is a straight line as far as the eye can see. On one side is plenty of nice green grass. On the other is black wasteland where nothing grows. There is no dirt for anything to grow in, just hard black ground and rocks.
When the traveller comes to this wasteland there is no question about what to do…
9 September 2008
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This weekend our church is looking at the story of the good Samaritan. I want to rewrite it for my class of 10-13 year-olds and set it in high school. (For those of you outside the UK secondary education starts at age 11 here.) I found some interesting retellings laying around the internet: here (scroll down), here and here, but none of them are really what I need. How do you think I should update the cast?
Who are the attackers?
Who is the victim?
If all goes well, I shall put a working draft story online in a day or two for your further comments and sugestions.
I ended up not rewriting the story beforehand. Instead, I did it live as a mad lib with my class. They loved it. And they heard the story three times, once proper and twice silly. AND they all asked for a copy of their own. Here is their story with a little help from the TNIV:
Once a footballer slide tackled Jesus to test him. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit fantastic life?’
‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’
He answered, ‘‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’‘
‘You have answered Jeffly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’
But he wanted to sit himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’
In reply Jesus said: ‘Conor was going down from Tesco to i61, when he fell into the hands of terrorists. They stripped him of his table, karate chopped him and went away, leaving him half hairy. A referee happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side of the Aston Martin. So too, a fit, sporty girl when she came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side of the elephant. But a nerd, as he read, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on 7up and lemon juice Then he put the man on his own ferret, brought him to Jamaica and took care of him. The next day he took out two dollars and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will paint you for any extra expense you may have.’
‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the terrorists?’
The footballer replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’
Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Access Elevation is a behind the scenes blog of a young, fast-growing multi-site church. Their graphic designer Ryan Hollingsworth has posted six very good tips for avoiding the dreaded typo. Go read them.
Mr Hollingsworth also wrote:
Good design goes a long way when you’re developing print materials for your church. But it quickly can become all for naught if your print piece comes back from the printer with misspelled word or misplaced period. Like a pimple on prom night, it doesn’t matter how pretty your dress is – everyone else is only seeing the zit. Without good proofing, one glaring error that would have taken just a second to fix now seemingly negates hours of quality design work.
Notice the word seemingly. This is important. You’ve probably realised by now that the pimple on prom night isn’t disaster they told you it was in the Clearasil ads.
Do follow Ryan’s advice. Make sure at least three people proof everything important. But when a mistake slips through, remember: It’s just a pimple.
8 April 2008
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From The Book of Dave:
Dave Rudman looked at the faces paled by resentment, the eyes bright with anger. How’s this going to help? Adding his own can of pain to this slopping tank of loss?
‘It’s a good job you don’t believe in him, then’ said Masklin
‘Of course I don’t,’ agreed Gurder.
‘Your teeth are chattering though.’
‘That’s because me teeth believe in him. And so do my knees. And my stomach. It’s only my head that doesn’t, and it’s being carried around by a load of superstitious cowards.
Interestingly, a central theme of both books is how religions are formed over time.