Monday, December 02, 2013

Neat mitts

(Testing a Firefox plugin that's new to me - Firescribe.)

These look nice.  They're no doubt easier to knit up than either gloves or mittens, and they'd be just the thing to keep my hands warm yet still allow me to type and swipe.  But will they really keep the fingers warm as well?

Winter Twilight Mitts - Media - Knitting Daily

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Summary: The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions

Becky Levine, Writer’s Digest Books, 2010, 293 pgs.

The book is divided into several sections. The first and last sections deal with questions that arise in looking for and/or being part of a critique group: start your own or join an existing group; in-person or online; frequency, structure or format, expectations and responsibilities of members of a critique group; etc. A relatively minor section towards the end sketches a plan for the writer to utilize critique comments in revising and/or rewriting his work. But the bulk of the reference deals with critiquing a writer’s submission; there are separate sections for critiquing fiction, non-fiction (magazine articles, non-fiction book proposals, how-to/self-help, memoir, travel writing), and children’s books. Each section, save the last, concludes with worksheets and examples that also serve as a summary or highlight of that particular section.

Regardless of genre, Levine starts off each chapter within the various critiquing sections with a call to the critiquer to pay attention to his feelings or impressions about what he’s reading; e.g., areas of boredom, lack of tension, disconnectedness, hero passivity, confusing dialogue, etc.: something that either frustrates, confuses, or bores you as a critiquer/reader. Such impressions are basically symptoms that generally signal weaknesses in the writing. After listing the possible feelings you might experience, Levine discusses probable root causes for such symptoms and suggests not only remedies, but ways to “soften the blow” and provide constructive criticism in a positive light. By way of illustration, Levine shows us actual excerpts that “get it right,” followed by a fictitious negative example of writing that falls flat, along with possible critique comments.

The critiquing fiction section seems to have the lion’s share of the book, as there are separate chapters on the different foci of critiquing fiction: critiquing for plot, character, point of view and voice, dialogue, description, and scene structure. The critiquing non-fiction section has a chapter on each of the types of non-fiction writing, and the section on critiquing children’s books has a chapter each on picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books. Irrespective of one’s particular genre interest(s), the reader would benefit from reading all sections rather than skipping the ones pertaining to other genres.

I think this book will prove helpful not only for the person interested in learning how to give a worthy critique, but also for anyone who wishes to improve his writing. Knowing in advance some of the common writing weaknesses can assist the writer in avoiding these pitfalls in the first place. I am looking forward to implementing some of the tips and suggestions I’ve gleaned from reading this book.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gamle Bilder: Bestum

Jeg lurer om det fins noen som kjenner igjen scenen hvor bildene ble tatt. Sannsynligvis er begge bilder tatt på samme sted - det ser jo ut som det er tilfellet. På baksida til det ene bildet står det skrevet "Bestum," så det fører meg til å tro at det kan være stedet hvor bildene ble tatt. Men det sier også Holmenkollen på kortet, vet ikke om Bestum ligger i nærheten.

Jeg vet ikke, derfor spør jeg...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Old Army Stuff - Addendum

I had put up this picture in a previous post, but I wanted to put it up against because I have some additional information. I found an old picture of my grandfather, ostensibly from the year 1914 (can't verify that date, but on the other hand, have no reason to doubt it), wearing some sort of uniform with the pin on the left on his hat and collar:

If you click on the picture, you can zoom in and see the pin. Now, according to census records, my grandfather was not a veteran. So, what's with the army-type getups?

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year 2011: Resolutions

Every year I make resolutions (which I prefer to think of as "setting goals"), with a track record of limited success. This year is no different: I have been thinking about what sort of things I'd like to accomplish this year, and have written them down in a rough draft. What's new (and hopefully improved) for this year is that insofar as possible, I am appending to each goal specific, actionable steps to help me achieve that goal; e.g., if one of my goals is to complete my writing projects, I have under that goal "Write a minimum of 1000 words a day."

For some, this might seem like a no-brainer, and, indeed, I have heard before the advice about being specific in setting goals. But the "a-ha" insight for me lies in not only being specific about the goals themselves, but in getting specific about the steps necessary to achieve those goals. It forces me to think more clearly about the goals - thus, the goals are more realistic, giving me a better chance at success.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years Ago Today

Never Forget.

And some want to build a mosque on its ashes, supposedly in the name of "tolerance" and "building bridges." In a pig's eye.