Editing advice? Get Biblical!

From the Charlton Heston Fan Club? Nope. Moses, one of history's best-known editors ("Looks good to me!") can assist you on your projects. Really, he's available IN QUANTITY from Archie McPhee. Check them out!

From the Charlton Heston Fan Club? Nope. Moses, one of history’s best-known editors (“Looks good to me!”) can assist you on your projects. Yes, those are stone tablets he’s holding. Really, he’s available IN QUANTITY from Archie McPhee. Check them out!

For Thanksgiving week (in case you chose your laptop over a pumpkin pie), here’s a second helping of some tasty editing advice from earlier this year.

One of your first holiday gifts may be my two words of wisdom. Or, a lesson I learned the hard way.

Don’t overthink.

Why assume your article or manuscript needs more? It’s not set in stone (like other writing)!

The ‘little’ adjective can cause BIG trouble

You really think someone's work is "little?" You might get a LULU of a reaction with your comment.

You really think someone’s work is “little?” You might get a LULU of a reaction with your comment.

Shake it off.

People will hedge their bets when giving praise. Word-loving writers may bristle at the “L” word.

“Nice little blog.”


As in, “little effort?”

I think “little” is just one step short of “cute.” The unknowing speaker may have no idea how prickly their words might seem. You feel the ambivalence in the qualifying adjective.

Like it. Or not. Don’t build walls between you and the work you might praise.


Dick Van Dyke book reveals amazing co-star

keepmovingcoverMany reviews have recounted why Dick Van Dyke’s newest book, Keep Moving, and Other Tips and Truths About Aging, is worthwhile.

I’ve yet to see a reviewer make a case for why.

Yes, Van Dyke is honest, upbeat, surprising and FUNNY, even while approaching the 90-year horizon. Sadly, readers who don’t get to the Acknowledgements will never know how he wrapped all this tales and tips into one delightful volume.

In two words: Todd Gold.

Gold is the “as told to” author, the same partner who teamed on the previous Van Dyke memoir, My Lucky Life. To quote from the last page:

“My brother even stared him (Gold) down one day and flat-out said, “What are you going to say? Everything about the subject has already been written.” Todd was not phased. “Let’s keep moving,” he said. “Let’s see what happens.” Lo and behold, this happened.”

I adore the cameo appearance by bro Jerry Van Dyke. Most of all, I love the fact that Gold captured Van Dyke’s voice and personality so well. It’s nice to see a legendary performer sing about an unsung hero like co-writer Gold.




Legend Diary redefines adult coloring books

Legend DiaryHere’s a whole new CREATIVE way to approach 2016.

Friends Onyx and Alexa Aker have teamed for an epic creation:the Legend Diary Printable Color-Me Planner.

Anyone who has followed the Akers on Twitter knows they love proving how each day can be “Legendary.” Clients are “legends.” Their followers should be proud to connect those clues with the title.

How did the pair redefine what self-publishing can be? Here’s the inside story of “the making of” Legend Diary.

“We have been thinking for a while about what we could make that people could enjoy. We do design for a living, but it is often project based, and we wanted to be able to offer something creative for whom we hope to reach – other creative, positive people. Something they could buy and enjoy on their own,” Onyx said.

“As far as how the idea came to be – we often create custom forms to keep track of our own projects – and the silliest thing is – they usually end up being doodled upon. Not sure when the Eureka moment came to be – but it started as something simple – and then it grew and grew into what we felt were the most common things a person needs to organize their lives,” Alexa said.

“As far as the artwork is concerned – it is all computer drawn – on everyday items, and some nostalgia items that we love. We tried to make it as varied as possible (within the time constraint of having to finish it before the year ended) – and also wanting it to be for as wide an audience as possible, for both men and women. We hope it is the one of a kind gift you wish you could give to your family and friends (and of course yourself) – hoping that even when everyone receives the same planner – everyone can make it their own,” Onyx added.

“You know the strange mentality you sometimes have when you have a “formal” planner and you think you have to write so perfectly, not doodle on it… We were hoping to break that, and let people get creative as well as organized – hopefully making planning less of a chore and more of a fun habit – and a bit of a surprise too, not knowing exactly what you will see on the next page,” Alexa said.

I can’t imagine finding another quality publication for just two cents per page! It’s a Christmas gift someone can appreciate all year long. To order, go to their website, www.onyxandalexa.com.


Goodie Girl offers tasty cookies AND words!

GoodieGirl“Just the right amount of wrong.”

That’s the slogan of Goodie Girl Cookies. Their Mint Slims are awesome (even Girl Scouts may agree).

What makes them even better is the tasty text on each box. “Junk without the JUNK!” writes cookie creator Shira Berk.

Everything doesn’t have to be book length, or even essay-sized. Two bites. Two sentences. Goodie Girl knows how.

The Big Magic formula for overcoming criticism

BigMagicCritics. Reviews. Comments. Trolls.

How does a writer survive?

I believe in Elizabeth Gilbert. Her Big Magic book delivers true hope of creative living beyond fear. Best of all, she’s not done yet.

Guess who just wrote an additional chapter on criticism, sharing it with her Facebook community?

I’m amazed. I’m inspired. I’m having fun creating. I’m WRITING!

This book transforms readers. Big Magic is real. Get some today.

What Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic means to me

BigMagicIf you want a conventional review of this uplifting book, I may not be able to help you.

I can tell you that my copy looks like a purple peacock. Post-it notes are feathered throughout the book. (Traditionally, I’ll mark three or four places in a book I intend to review.)

“Creative Living Beyond Fear” should be a required textbook for all writers, current or future.

Just peek at her inspiring chapter titles. Try these on:

Fear is Boring

Hard Labor vs. Fairy Dust

Your Permission Slip

Originality vs. Authenticity

Plus, a whole lot more.

What are a few of the jewels I mined from reading Big Magic? Peruse these four favorites:

“You are not required to save the world with your creativity.” Gilbert details why “improving” books solely meant to save others often don’t work.

“I am not convinced that we need officially credentialed novelists.” Gilbert urges readers to think twice about shouldering a lifetime of student loan debt. To make her case, she points out that none of the dozen North American Nobel Prize authors since 1901 needed an MFA.

“Fourth, and most important, you’re scaring away inspiration.” The author shatters the myth of the tormented artist. Her advice? “Stop complaining.”

“Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes–but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work.” She quotes her mother, who proclaimed “Done is better than good.”

This book is the pep talk before you win the Super Bowl. A good coach might suggest how to succeed. A great coach shows you why you deserve that win. Author Elizabeth Gilbert is that writing coach.