I enjoy reading well-written books where there are earth-shattering secrets, a race against the clock, harrowing twists and turns, lives constantly under threat. But I don’t have an itch to create one.
What Sex and the City did for women’s sexuality, Fifty Shades takes to another level. Christian Grey might even make Samantha Jones blush.
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From Writer’s Relief staff:
Let’s face it: Writing a book requires different skills than writing a query letter. While there are no “rules”…
Read more: Book News, Video, Publishing Advices, Book Publishing, Literary Agent Tips, Get Book Published, Agents, Agent Tips, Get Published, Literary Agents, Literary Agent Advice, Agent Advice, Books News
There’s much romantic talk about a writer’s process. An epiphany, some procrastination, an extended trip to an isolated wooded area, immense frustrati…
That said, there’s nothing wrong with offering your book on your website or ramping up ways to sell it direct to consumer. The process might take time, but here are some ideas that could help you move a sale from Amazon to your website.
[The editors at Omnivoracious are grateful to Katie Workman for this special guest post about her new cookbook, The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket, selected as one of our Best Cookbooks of the Month for April.]
Good god, have we gotten ourselves backed into a corner when it comes to feeding our families, getting dinner on the table, fighting the good fight. Open the paper, turn on the news, and there’s another scary missive about pink slime or childhood obesity or pesticides. It’s enough to make you want to curl up and under the bed and hurl a takeout menu at your family. “I can’t possibly do all of this right,” we think. “Maybe I shouldn’t even bother.”
As Mother’s Day slides towards us, here’s what I’m thinking. Let’s stop acting as though life isn’t extremely messy and complicated. Let’s stop beating ourselves up. Let’s try and imagine that just because we’re not going to cook a homemade dinner from scratch every night, it’s not worth doing it a couple of nights a week. Let’s not hold ourselves to impossible standards, believing that if we don’t do all of our shopping at organic farmers’ markets, calling each purveyor by name and discussing the quality of the soil, we should hang our heads in shame and let the food police haul us off to a place where bad mothers go. This isn’t really a resolution (‘cause we all know how those things usually turn out), but more of a Mother’s Day gift to ourselves.
Guess what I did last night? After a full day of work, I spent the dinner hour on the phone being interviewed on the radio about the importance of cooking for our kids and families, and then I ORDERED A PIZZA! Because I wanted to take my kids to a dance performance at their school. And the pizza was great, and the dance performance was better, and I have another chance to make dinner tonight.
When I thought about writing The Mom 100 Cookbook, the simple concept was to create 100 recipes that every mom needs to have in her back pocket. Recipes to answer those every day dilemmas like “there’s a bake sale tomorrow and you signed me up to make what?” and “I need to get out of my chicken rut,” and that evergreen crowd pleaser, “I’m going to find a way to make my kids eat their damn fish.” Twenty dilemmas, five recipe solutions for each quandary, and some gorgeous photography, and the main part of the book was done.
But it turns out that just as important as the recipes is the need for us to feel enthusiastic about cooking, empowered in the kitchen. We want to face dinner hour with a little more joie de vivre than we feel when it’s time for a dental cleaning. Because we get to feed our kids every day–every day! So this book is full of tips for making things easier, getting the kids into the kitchen, preparing as much as possible ahead of time, and other thoughts about making cooking just plain old more fun.
Even the small wins feel great. Make a dish you know your family will like. Ask your kids to pick out a recipe or two for the coming week. Make a double batch of something, and freeze half. Make homemade brownies. Take a look in your pantry and make a list of what you need to stock up on, so those rushed weeknights go a little more smoothly. Pick one new chicken (or beef or pasta) recipe, and ask the kids to help. On a Sunday evening, chop up some garlic and onions and tuck them into containers in your fridge, so later in the week when you come home and look at your recipe, the phrase “mince two cloves of garlic,” doesn’t bring you to your knees. You’ve minced the garlic! Allow your future self to thank your past self graciously for being so thoughtful.
There never seems to be enough time to do everything we want to do, the way we’d like to do it. But when we’ve gotten to a place where getting dinner on the table seems way too daunting, it’s time to tell the food police to pack up their thesis about the care and propagation of endangered heirloom potatoes and play somewhere else. We have dinner to make.
Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles has the only Planned Parenthood-funded family planning clinic in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The program has its opponents, but the school’s chief nurse says “90 percent of the time, abstinence just isn’t working for them.”
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 12, 2012 is:
recalcitrant • \rih-KAL-suh-trunt\ • adjective
1 : obstinately defiant of authority or restraint 2 a : difficult to manage or operate b : not responsive to treatment c : resistant
Anna’s doctor ordered a week of complete bed rest, but, ever recalcitrant when it comes to doctors’ orders, she was up and baking a cake after two days.
"Finally, he laid down the parental law: You will go on a hike and, gosh darn it, you will enjoy yourself. So the recalcitrant 14-year-old shrugged into her sweat shirt, slipped into her flimsy … canvas sneakers (totally hiking-inappropriate) and slumped in the back seat for the drive southwest to Vacaville, Calif., and Lagoon Valley Regional Park." — From an article by Sam McManis in Tri-City Herald (Washington), June 30, 2011
Did you know?
Long before any human was dubbed "recalcitrant" in English (that first occurred, as best we know, in one of William Thackeray’s works in 1843), there were stubborn mules (and horses) kicking back their heels. The ancient Romans noted as much (Pliny the Elder among them), and they had a word for it — "recalcitrare," which literally means "to kick back." (Its root "calc-," meaning "heel," is also the root of "calcaneus," the large bone of the heel in humans.) Certainly Roman citizens in Pliny’s time were sometimes willful and hardheaded — as attested by various Latin words meaning "stubborn" — but it wasn’t until later that writers of Late Latin applied "recalcitrare" and its derivative adjective to humans who were stubborn as mules.
In the same day, this site received, among readers’ responses to my recent post Courtesy Titles and Honorifics, two diverse email messages: One was a reasonable, well-written support of the writer’s opinion that, as she was taught, because the courtesy title Ms. is an artificial designation that doesn’t abbreviate anything, it should not include a period. The other correspondent wrote, “hey watch out your website looks like a rule book, and we all know rule books are fascist.”
Whether one’s convictions are adept or absurd, however, one must accept the incontrovertible fact that although one is free to write in any style or manner one chooses, this choice has consequences.
Linguistic anarchy is inimical to language, by virtue of the fact that language, as a form of communication, is essential to family, to society, to civilization. Just as abiding by rules of personal and community conduct (the latter extending in scope from the smallest village to the United Nations) helps protect the fragile coexistence of humans, adhering to guidelines for language use enable at least sizeable blocs of humanity to agree on common signals for cooperation (or conflict).
Language evolves, constantly and relentlessly, but precepts and attitudes about it prevail for a time before they slowly respond to changes in usage. Therefore, for example, though one of the correspondents I referred to above is correct that the period following Ms. is not logically justified — and that for that reason, early in the term’s life span, many writers omitted the punctuation — it is now standard, for the sake of consistency, to treat Ms. the same as Mr. and Mrs. One’s gender and gender politics are irrelevant: Those are the facts, ma’am — er, ms.
Do you write simply for pleasure, or to share your thoughts and ideas with a small coterie of readers? Do you self-publish, whether in print or online? Knock yourself out — you are hereby granted a dispensation to write in any fashion that pleases you and anyone who chooses to read your work. You are akin to a homesteader or a survivalist, staking out your own terrain on your own terms — and accepting the terms that go with those terms.
But if your intent is to identify yourself as a professional writer — or if your employment status is predicated on the fact that your writing is intelligible to your colleagues and perhaps even consistent with distributed guidelines — certain standards apply, and your ability to adhere to those standards is inextricably linked to your professional success or survival. If that’s fascist, then I proudly represent the New World Order.
I don’t mean to get all serious on you. I respect the point about the unpunctuated Ms., and for all I know, the comment about the “rule book” may be a goof. But both comments inspire this tip: When it comes to composition, let your unfettered freak flag fly. But if you submit the flag to be unfurled atop a highly visible flagpole, expect it to be redesigned to suit that flagpole — or to be refolded and respectfully returned for you to do with what you wish.
Original Post: The Rules of Engagement in English
Your eBook: Click here to download the Basic English Grammar ebook.
If there is such thing as the Godfather of Security, Bruce Schneier is it. He is the author of the seminal treatise on computer security and crypto technique, Applied Cryptography, which Wired described as "the book the National Security Agency wanted never to be published." In the years since Applied's original 1994 release, Schneier has extended his range and ambition, writing the layman's guide to digital warfare, Secrets and Lies, while Beyond Fear: Thinking About Security in an Uncertain World discussed security's role and efficacy in the post 9/11 world.
With his latest book, Liars and Outliers, Schneier goes delves even deeper into the philosophy of security, considering the nature of trust–its necessity, as well as its limits. Employing game theory in an examination of human behavior, Schneier explains why there will always be populations of "defectors," and why we will always need measures to mitigate the damage they cause.
Mr. Schneier recently paid a visit to the Amazon campus to talk about his new book, and he stayed behind for a few more questions about the NSA and the Red Queen Effect. See more of Bruce Schneier's books here, and check out his blog for interesting commentary on the TSA and giant squid, among other topics.