Conversations, Entry #1: Has Regret Helped You Grow as a Writer?


From now on, I’ll share comments posted by you, dear readers, that have inspired me, in a rubric I’ve generically named “Conversations.” I highly value your insights, and occasionally I’m sure there will be a few that are too valuable to be left buried and forgotten in the comments section, seen by my eyes alone.

It’s not the first time I’ve done this, as you may recall from this post and this little survey. But I hadn’t thought of dedicating an entire category to reader responses.

Until now.

I envision this to be a weekly post. There may be irregularities, however, should I fail to sufficiently engage my readers. 🙂

For our debut, I present you this inspiring comment I received from Melissa Janda, in response to my post, “Have You Been Using ‘Epiphany’ Wrong?

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The Liebster Award

liebster-awardLadies and gentlemen, the third award for this blog is in! This is my favorite so far; this weekend I’ll show you why.

For now, I’ll just say it’s a great way to celebrate up-and-coming bloggers—in line with the mission of this blog. If you’re interested in the history of the Liebster Award, click here.

Thank you Susan T. Sweeney for nominating me. I’m simply going to steal her description:

[It’s] like a chain letter. You nominate blogs with less than 200 followers, ask them 11 questions. Have them post 11 facts about themselves, and then you nominate 11 blogs (also providing them with your own questions). Then thank the person who nominated you. From what I can tell it’s a cool informal way to say ‘I think your blog is interesting and fun, good job.’

If you haven’t already, please check her blog for more interesting quotes and images like this:


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Find Your Element, Overcome Obstacles: 3 Success Stories

The Element cover“We all have distinctive talents and passions that can inspire us to achieve far more than we may imagine,” writes Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., in his phenomenal book, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”.

He encourages every one of us to find our Element, “the place where the things you love to do and the things that you are good at come together.”

Some call it “the sweet spot.”

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy. I know that the “necessity” to settle into a routine, to choose job security over job satisfaction, can prevent you from doing what you love. You drift further away from your Element each day, thinking it’s the safest route to take—while the opposite is true. Continue reading

Update: ‘About’ Page, New Design

Instead of writing, I’ve spent the weekend:

  1. Changing my domain;
  2. Rewriting my “About” page to include the philosophy behind my blog—and my domain;
  3. Implementing a new design, which involved CSS editing, uploading new images, new fonts, etc.

What do you think? Please let me know in the comments.


Yes, Neil. I know. Right away.

The Georges Say Cut the Crap and Write Better

In his 1946 essay, George Orwell warned us that inflated prose can muddy our writing so badly its meaning becomes vague. Pretentious diction, it seems, serves no other purpose than to make the writer appear more important and knowledgeable.

The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing.

Another George, the legendary George Carlin, didn’t need a lengthy essay to express the same concern. Filled with Carlin’s typical charm and wit, this hilarious performance is guaranteed to both educate and entertain:

As a final note, considering the current state of humanity, I think we could use more people like both Georges.

That is all.

The Sunshine Award


Thank you TPG for nominating me for this award. It’s only the second time this blog has been nominated for anything, I think.

The rules for the Sunshine Award are:

  1. Post the sunshine award logo;
  2. Accept the nomination and link back to the nominator;
  3. Answer the questions;
  4. Nominate ten other blogs (or sites) and inform them of the award.

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On Education, the Arts, and Writing


First of all, let me just say how funny writing is, and the process through which any written material comes to fruition. This particular post is the result of my discussion with Julie Israel a few days ago. One thing led to another, and soon we found ourselves talking about education.

Respect the arts

Unfortunately, we live in a society where the arts—and writers, in particular—are not appreciated. First I thought that it was strictly an Asian thing. But Julie soon confirmed, “Even in the States, writers are not thought particularly high of. Certainly some are; but generally-speaking, I think, writing is not seen as prestigious work. Even when it comes to basic schooling, which has been hurting financially in recent years, the arts are usually the first thing to go.”

Why is that? Continue reading