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In the recent movie Seven, Brad Pitt tracked down a killer who modeled his crimes after the seven deadly sins. If the killer had taken a more professional view of sin, he might have plotted quite differently. For a doctor, I suppose, the great sin is leaving a sponge in the patient. For an accountant, it’s got to be moving money from your clients’ ledgers to your own. And for a writer, of course, the deadliest sin is plagiarism.
Every writer has heard stories of careers ruined by a single, inexplicable slip of passing someone else’s work off as his or her own. Yet every writer also knows the importance of thorough research, including hitting the books with secondary sources–in short, using other writers’ work. So where’s the line between deadly sin and dogged reporting? And how do you keep from crossing it without losing your own readers in an ocean of attribution § Read the rest of this entry…
Skin tags are small, harmless, soft pieces of hanging skin. The have a short, narrow peduncle (stalk) that connects it to the surface of the skin. They can appear virtually on any part of the body, but normally show up in the areas where the skin rubs up against other skin. Typical areas where they can appear are:
• Under the breasts
• In the groin area
• On the upper chest
• On the neck
Skin tags are characteristically small, benign, non-cancerous tumors of the skin that don’t exhibit any type of symptoms. They are also known as a acrochordon.
A person generally doesn’t notice a skin tag until it has been scratched or rubbed off which can cause pain or discomfort. However, in some cases, depending on the location of the skin tag, they can cause irritation or pain and may not be aesthetically pleasing.
Over 46% of the population experience incidences of skin tags. Some people are pre-disposed to the condition. They are common in people who are overweight or have diabetes.
There are a vast number of commercial over the counter skin tag removal products available. You should always consult your doctor before trying any product and to verify that in fact what you are experiencing is a skin tag. In some cases skin tags can look very similar to certain types of skin cancer.
The following are the best products I recommend to remove skin tags. Full and comprehensive reviews of these skin tag removal creams are here.
Tee Tree Oil: One of the best and highly recommended products available for skin tags is tea tree oil. You can purchase it in your local health § Read the rest of this entry…
In 2014 Americans spent more than $2 billion on business-related books.
You can get a share of that business.
The market is so hot that writing a business-related book has become one of the best ways to break into print. Many topics can be explored by authors who wouldn’t consider themselves “business” experts. Editors actively seek manuscripts covering job and technical skills training, starting and running a business, market trends, sales training and coaching, performance improvement, business letter writing, financial and investment advice, time management, company case studies, leadership styles, new management philosophies, career guidance, and much more — including computer operation manuals, guides for women and minorities and biographies of famous business personalities. According to Launchscore.com, strong writing is essential for almost all of the top 10 startups-most-likely-to-succeed in the US.
The Root of All Success
Most business books § Read the rest of this entry…
Use this seven-step “building block” process to keep your articles on track, without getting locked into the rigidity of a commanding outline. Here’s the plan that I tend to roll with:
* Let’s say you’re writing a piece titled “How to Grow Bigger and Brighter Begonias.” Before you start writing, organize your research material through a system of indexing and filing; you must know where everything is and how to get at it easily. (If your notes or interview transcripts aren’t extensive, you can simply number your notebook pages, then make a list of broad information categories with references to page numbers.
* Stop thinking of your article as an article. Concentrate only on the first step-your opening. What is it about growing begonias that most interests you? What will be most interesting and valuable to your target reader?
Start writing with a good begonia-related line that will grab readers’ attention, set the right tone and get to the point quickly (be sure you know what the main point of the piece is). If § Read the rest of this entry…
If you drank a gallon of gasoline and then sat in a hot tub filled with napalm to have a cigarette, your chances of survival would be better than your chances of selling an original series idea to television.
The best way to do it is still to work your way up in the world of episodic television by successfully peddling scripts to other people’s shows, then become a staff writer on a series, then a story editor, an executive story editor, an associate producer, a supervising producer, a co-producer, a producer and finally an executive producer. Why, in five or ten years …
Despite these odds, creating a TV series is not categorically § Read the rest of this entry…
It was 9:30 at night and I was driving north on a quiet road, hooked to a cell phone. My 6-year-old son, Lucas, sleepy and tearful, was on the line.
Do you love writing better than me?” The asked.
Peering into the darkness, I increased my speed. I had just walked out in the middle of a blue-ribbon publishing panel so I could be home in time to put Lucas and his older sister to bed.
“I love you and my work,” I explained. They’re two different kinds of love. Mommy has lots of love inside.”
I listened to his shortened breathing. “It’s just like your hockey,” I went on. “You love hockey so much, but you also love Mommy.”
For the moment, Lucas seemed content. Now I was the one feeling off-balance. I hadn’t expected to be explaining Freudian concepts of love, economic freedom and work to my first grader from the shadowy womb of the car. The need to write and the need to mother were on a collision course that evening. The clash seemed particularly jarring because it came amid the holiday season’s heightened expectations. It was the week before Thanksgiving, and my children were looking forward to their upcoming vacation in Florida with their father. I would miss them, but I welcomed nights of uninterrupted writing time.
Their flight was scheduled for Friday afternoon. Most of my week was filled with odd computer problems and evening writing events — all of them promising to be interesting and stimulating. As usual, I did mental gymnastics, trying to figure out how to vault to my writing events and still stick my landings at home.
I forced myself to make choices. I’d forgo my ongoing fiction class; I’d attend a new screenwriting workshop. But the real crunch came with the publishing panel, scheduled for Thursday, the night before my children were leaving.
I planned an early, cozy dinner together and arranged for the children’s favorite sitter. On Thursday morning, however, my daughter woke up with a horrible, hacking cough, and I left work early so we could go to the doctor. At 10, Elissa considers doctors’ visits a fate worse than losing telephone privileges. Her mood was bleak, and when she was diagnosed with bronchitis, she turned sullen. We waited for a prescription for nearly an hour. When I was curt with the pharmacist, Elissa ducked down the nearest aisle, embarrassed.
Our cozy dinner became a hasty affair of some good homemade soup and half-eaten sandwiches. The sitter came and I rushed out to the publishing program with promises of being home in time to read bedtime books. In one § Read the rest of this entry…
It’s a writer’s nightmare: That magazine you’ve been angling to write for, that editor you’ve been courting so assiduously, finally comes through with a plum assignment. Your big chance to break into some coveted market is at hand at last.
And then you can’t deliver.
It’s not your fault, of course. Maybe Your source takes a six-month fellowship in Zimbabwe. Perhaps a crucial interviewee gets cold feet about talking to you. Or, worst of all, maybe you start researching your story and discover it’s not the story you sold to the editor — what you promised m your query just isn’t so. That hot trend sweeping the country turns out to be colder than Hula-Hoops, or the medical miracle promising relief to minions gets deflated by a contradictory study.
Whatever the reason, your article goes awry and you can’t deliver on an assignment. What should you do? Can this marriage of query and reality be saved?
As with most such cosmic questions, the answer is: It depends. The important thing is not to panic, to think creatively, to be honest with your editor, and to never, ever deliver an apple when your assignment asks for an orange.
Being honest with your editor and sticking to the assignment doesn’t mean giving up at the first detour, The immediate thing to do when an assignment goes awry is to evaluate the damage § Read the rest of this entry…
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