More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

Evaluation: Donald Trump’s Acceptance Speech

As I did in 2008 and 2012, I’m evaluating the acceptance speeches of the two major party candidates at their conventions. I’m evaluating them based solely on how well they communicated their positions to their audiences. I’m not going to critique their political positions. But with Donald Trump, it’s hard not to.

So, let’s try a thought experiment: Suppose for the last 13 months, you’ve been at a research station in Antarctica, or you have just been awaken from a sleeping spell by Love’s True Kiss. The acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 is your first experience of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. What would you think? Read more »

Scrivener for iOS: Now you can write anywhere

Sample screen from Scrivener for iOS

Disclaimer: I was a beta tester for Scrivener for iOS. Yes, I actually reported a bug.

If you use Scrivener for Mac or Windows, you know what a powerful writing tool it is. It keeps your writing projects organized, provides an easy way to move sections of your book, and offers a convenient place to gather notes and research materials. You can generate output in a variety of formats from Word for manuscript submissions to ePub and Kindle to create distribution-ready eBooks. Scrivener offers writers a better creative environment than a word processor. The only thing you couldn’t do with Scrivener was use it on a mobile device.

That has changed with the introduction of Scrivener for iOS.

Read more »

Fifty-five more things I learned in fifty-five years

US Highway 55 sign from Wikimedia CommonsWhen I turned 45, I wrote a list of 45 things that I learned at that point in my life. In the ten years that passed, I still agree with most of them, although my opinion has changed for a few. So, for my 55th birthday this month, here is a list of 55 more things I learned in 55 years. (For a list of more things I learned, check out the 60 things I learned at Reseda High School.) Read more »

A bad year

A crumpled 2016 calendar

By any objective measurement, 2016 has already proven to be a bad year. Heartbreaking celebrity deaths, horrific acts of terrorism, an Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro plagued with a series of problems, a US presidential election that has already gone insane, and a UK election that causes them to leave the European Union. It has also been a bad year for me personally with injuries and illnesses and having to make a painful but necessary decision about a troubled family member.

What can we do when faced with such endless bad news?

Read more »

The Remainders Beta 2 (and why writing is critical)

Front Cover - The RemaindersMy second beta of The Remainders is finished. Thanks to the feedback I got from the first beta, it is a true novel at 70,000 words and a much stronger story. Adding the first-person narration of Dylan’s father added depth to both characters. I drew parallels between both character’s lives and how they stumbled and grew through the events in the book. When father and son meet at the end, I switched between points of view so we can see how they viewed the other. I’m happy with how this draft turned out.

Revising The Remainders also provided me with much-needed therapy.

Read more »