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

Can anyone be president?

US Presidential Seal (from Wikimedia Commons)In the United States, we tell our children that they can be anything they want, including president. But this past year has shown us that just because almost anyone can be president, it doesn’t mean they should. Now, Oprah Winfrey’s name is being floated as a possible presidential candidate in 2020. Before we can decide whether or not she’d make a good president, we have to figure out what qualities a good president should have.

Read more »

A writer’s perspective on Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury on AmazonI’m going to look at Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff from a different perspective. (If you want my opinion about the subject of the book, click here.) It has been a long time since a book received such a reaction and widespread discussion. What does this mean for us as writers, and what can we learn that can help us?

Read more »

Basing the villain on yourself

Caricature of a villain (image from Wikipedia)What makes for a good villain? Their motivations? Their reactions to their misdeeds? The possibility for redemption? And where can you find inspiration to create such a good villain in your stories?

There is one place we overlook because we don’t feel comfortable looking there. But suppose you base the villain on yourself?

Read more »

Create a vision of the life you want – a lesson from 30 years ago

A sample vision board (image from Pixabay)In 2017, we felt like we’re falling down the rabbit hole, watching our society burn down to the frame, and begging for a good stiff drink. At times like these, it’s easy to give into cynicism and despair as we imagine all the ways things can get worse.

That’s the way I felt 30 years ago. Then, I made a decision that changed my life.

Read more »

2017 Parody: I Want a Case of Jameson for Christmas

Jameson Whiskey - Image from PixabayI wasn’t sure about doing a year-end parody because this year has gone beyond parody. But if there is ever a year when we need a laugh (and, if you’re so inclined, a good stiff drink), it’s this one.

My parody is inspired by the suitably creepy “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” (And after a few shots, my song might actually fit the melody.)

Read more »