Aug, 2011


Are We Still a Nation of Science?

“We once had a group of brilliant, influential and politically engaged leaders who were fascinated by science, wanted the country to be the world leader in the pursuit of new knowledge about the natural world, and in some cases even made original contributions.

They were called the founding fathers.”

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas JeffersonJohn Adams, John Hancock and James Bowdoin, Abraham Lincoln … the list goes on. If you want to support the ideals of the Founding Fathers, you must support science. Let’s be very clear about that.

(via Science Progress, emphasis mine)

Aug, 2011


How to Read People’s Minds
H.J. Burlingame. Chicago, 1891 and Chicago, 1905.

Two Volumes, Illustrations, Stanley Collins’ copy, with his inscription to endpaper and bookplate to pastedown, modern half cloth, original wrappers bound in, Chicago, 1905; Leaves from Conjurers’ Scrap Books, illustrations, original cloth.

Aug, 2011
This is a repost. I originally wrote this piece at Paper Hangover. Reblogging it here for backup and to share with you.

The Thinking Man statueA writer friend of mine who went through a bout of “analysis paralysis” prompted this post. This writer was so stuck on a part of their story that they became frozen and couldn’t even begin to try to work the story issue out. Instead, they began a futile search for answers from sources outside of their self, which lead to more procrastination.

A certain level of stress builds as we bounce around the social media sphere reading blogs like this one, and recommended how-to books; as we follow agents on twitter in hopes of mining that one jewel that we can use to pawn our babies off to stardom; and as we glue our rear-ends to a chair and toil away in seclusion, never surfacing air.

Too much of that behavior can lead to over-thinking. In extreme cases, you may become paralyzed and incapable of making any decision like my friend.

Over-thinking can also lead to second guessing our choices and not trusting our gut instincts when we should; we may edit the life out of our manuscripts, and blindly follow advice that’s bad for us.

Deep down we all know how to tell stories. Storytelling is built into our DNA. Some of us can whip out those instincts more naturally than others, but it’s in all of us regardless.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you writing is hard. It’s simply not true.

All the things that come with navigating the industry: prepping a story for publication, finding an agent, building a platform, getting published, and becoming the next J.K. Rowling/Stephanie Meyer/Dan Brown etc.; those things have certain degrees of difficulty. But the act of writing is easy.


Keep calm.

Write. One. Word. At. A. Time.

The Thinking Skeleton

Don’t be this guy.