Stuck for writing topics? Visit Quora.

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay 

Okay, so here I sit and there is a dog on the floor beside me who is morally (possibly even biologically) opposed to humans using technology when he’s nearby. In other words, he’s smarter than most humans, including me.

Despite the canine objections…seeing as how I’m well into retirement, I was struck with this thought: At what age does a man become a codger?

So I clicked over to Quora. Lots of ideas and discussion [and ads, but I’m sure you’re as adept as I am at looking past that stuff.]

Then, in the right column ‘Are you a geezer, codger, or coot? caught my eye.

Seemed like a fun little etymology exercise.

And it set off my idea machine [ten ideas ideally on a single topic] exercise for the day:

Find ten writing topics from this page on Quora.

1. When did I become a codger?

2. Does my dog think I’m a codger? [An interview]

And I came across, this guy on Quora, who fed me all kinds of topics—

He says he still believes in ‘silly little things like:

3, “Life is simply a never ending series of decisions.”

4. “We are in control of our destiny, although politicians think they are.”

And my favorite…

5. “Worry is the most egregious mistreatment of imagination that there is.”

This person is also shooting to live to 112 1/2—a source of multiple topics…

6. “What if I knew I’d live that long? How would I live my life right now?”

7. “Do I want to live that long?”

8. “If I knew the exact date, or even month, of my passing, how would I treat those last few months?”

And circling back to the original ‘When did I become a codger?’…

9. Would there be a new classification/label for someone who’s hanging around at 112? 

10. Where would I be warehoused at that age?

11. Would I still have a dog at that age?

12. When should we decide to NOT have a dog? [i.e. don’t want to leave him ownerless/homeless if I should pass—or— don’t want to be so feeble that I can’t take good care of him]

So these are thoughts that might have entered my mind as I celebrated World Baking Day yesterday. Instead, I focused on chocolate chip-peanut butter-cranberry cookies and a fresh loaf of Italian cheese bear bread.

Other stuff I’m doing:

retiredguys.net

and more Goodwill Words Project letters.

Curation Corner: Make your writing fit and trim.

Photo by Patrick Kool on Unsplash

I ran across this post from vappingo.com (a valuable new find) that’s all about ridding your work of ‘flabby words and expressions’.

Exact Title: 164 PHRASES AND WORDS YOU SHOULD NEVER USE IN AN ESSAY—AND THE POWERFUL ALTERNATIVES YOU SHOULD

I like the ‘powerful alternatives’ part…

A few examples:

— Use ‘will differ’ instead of ‘will be different’.

— Use ’emphasize’ instead of ‘point out’.

–Use ‘Start by’ instead of ‘The first step is to…’

While I don’t write essays, a quick scan of the list awakened me to lazy expressions I’ve used in my posts and letters.

Note: After reviewing the post, I’m now paranoid about every word I’m writing. Probably a good idea to NOT check out this post…

Photo by Anderson Rian on Unsplash

before your first drafts.

There are 17 more pages of Vappingo posts here.

Curation Corner: Are you a writer who’s stuck? Try freewalking.

Photo by Jamie Street (Unsplash)

Hey, it works for Jessica Lourey!

I’ve enjoyed seven of her Mira James Mysteries (set in Battle Lake, Minnesota–population 927) books, so I looked up Jessica Lourey on Amazon and voilà!

Check out her May 2, 2021 Freewalking post.

Some excerpts:

“Every time I finish these emotionally honest books, I free a piece of Little Jessie…” (herself)

The Pretender will be my twenty-first novel, so you’d think I’d have things figured out by now, and I do when it comes to the mechanics of it. My experience, though, has been that writing’s always hard, and my fears grow to fit the space I give them.”

“So when I say I have something that works despite, know that I’m not just blowing smoke. I’m coming at you from the trenches.
Here it is, my miracle cure for don’t-writis: freewalking.”

Here also is Jess’s TedX Rapid City talk: Use Fiction to Rewrite Your Life

Hope you enjoy and learn a little something!

Goodwill words: Today’s theme–Seek humor.

Had fun with this one…that poor Love for Our Elders recipient. Hoping they take it in the vein in which it was intended. (Whatever that means.)

So, yes, I really do hope the recipient has a sense of either humor (or at least compassion), as here is a portion of the stationery’s flip side…

Time to get going on my letters for the MLL folks.


Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders. And possibly undoing my literary misadventures…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Goodwill words: Today’s theme–Educated vs. Intelligent

This is the first in a series of three notes I wrote late last week.

The other two are in the ‘queue’. That is the weirdest word to type, I swear. It never feels right.

I’ll also be posting a ‘video-tour’ of this month’s letter requests from More Love Letters.


Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders. And possibly undoing my literary misadventures…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Curation Corner: Writing freebies from Scribe Media

Welcome to BooskSchool, with links to:

** four self-directed courses covering the topics highlighted in the word cloud above

** a download link to Scribe Media co-founder Tucker Max’s book, The Scribe Method

** a link to Scribe Media’s YouTube Channel

** a link to their podcast

Other Scribe Media resources can be found here.

Enjoy!

Goodwill words: Today’s theme–Reality? Overrated.

This is the third in a series of three notes I wrote on a recent afternoon.

This one was probably even more fun than the previous two.

Again, the quote was a perfect launching site for some aging-related revelry. Granted, maybe I’m unsettling the poor recipient (“What if this whack-job knows where I live?”), but hey!–those are the risks of ‘publishing’, right? Besides, I’m generally harmless. (Just keep your distance at coffee-and-scone time.)


Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders. And possibly undoing my literary misadventures…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Goodwill words: Today’s theme: Communal griping

This is the second in a series of three notes I wrote on a recent afternoon.

In my previous post, I noted that organization can be just so helpful for writers. I know what you’re thinking: Where else can you score such life-changing advice?

Anyway, this day calendar of quotes has been an invaluable springboard for themes to guide my notes. So, yes, for two straight days, it has remained glued to the laptop. Not literally…that would be ridiculous. And a mess..

As for being organized, here’s a nice set of tips from Bryan Collins on Write to Done…

The Zen of More Organized Writing: 5 Steps You Can Take Today

Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Curation Corner: Let Hemingway do the work.

Click here or on the above word cloud for a 90-second run-through of The Hemingway App, an online pair of eyes [creepy, I know] that points out [without browbeating] a writing flaw or two.

Here is an opening sentence I used on another blog…and Hemingway’s feedback. [That hack…I’ve heard he claims to have written The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms.]

You just paste in your masterpiece and out comes the quick but helpful evaluation.

There is also a $20 desktop version.

Note: Thanks to websiteplanet.com for reminding me about The Hemingway App and a few other helpful tools.

Curation Corner: Solve painful writing problems in 5 steps

I never fail to learn new writing strategies when I visit Copyblogger. Just as valuable is the writers’ acknowledgement that writing is hard…followed by helpful approaches to mindset mixed in with a few hacks to jump start our efforts.

The graphic is just the outline of a post by Brian Clark that’s well worth saving. Check it out.

Hope it helps. It should…