Write Once, Then Link

If I’ve got something to say, I write it and then link to that post: Write Once, Then Link.

Follow this link if you want to read more about the thinking behind these posts. If you’re digging around and looking for the topics I’ve covered, you’ll find every page is categorized and tagged with either or both person tags and content tags. There is also a separate tag for authors/screenwriters.

If you’re unsure how this tagging can help you, then read this article.

last updated: 15 November 2020

I’ve tried many word processors but, for me, Microsoft Word is the best tool for outlining and writing novels. Let me explain the features that matter to me, how I use these features, and why they make Word the right tool for me.

Filed under

Category: tools
Tags: Microsoft   Word  

...continue reading: Word for Authors

last updated: 8 November 2020

Text expanders are utilitarian tools that make each day a little bit easier, and anything that makes each day a bit better must be good.

Filed under

Category: tools
Tags: AutoHotkey  

...continue reading: Text Expanders

last updated: 7 November 2020

A standard computer keyboard does not have an em dash key. For Windows computers there’s a quick and easy way to add this key.

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Category: tools
Tags: em dash   AutoHotkey  

...continue reading: Windows Em Dash Key

last updated: 12 July 2020

People used to want your money. Now they want your attention and they want your attention so they can make money. Perhaps the best reaction to the demand for your attention is simply to reach for the off switch.

Filed under

Category: current affairs
Tags: outrage  

...continue reading: The Off Switch

last updated: 19 June 2020

When most of our written communication is electronic, it might seem strange to think about pens, but there much to commend analog writing, for instance, speed, utility, and permanence. But getting the right writing instrument is not always straightforward.

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Category: tools
Tags: Kaweco  

...continue reading: The Right Pen

last updated: 11 May 2020

There’s a widely held view that acquiring wealth is a good thing with no downside. And indeed, there is much to be said for the acquisition of wealth. However, there are consequences that flow from having wealth.

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Category: writing
Tags: money   wealth  

...continue reading: The Consequences of Money and Wealth

last updated: 8 March 2020

The concept of usury is one that has been around for nearly as long as civilization. But why do we still care about it, and why is a fiction writer interested in the notion?

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Category: writing
Tags: money   value  

...continue reading: Usury

last updated: 8 February 2020

Have you ever thought about getting yourself a teeny tiny phone? Let me tell you a bit more about these devices.

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Category: tools
Tags: miniaturization   phone   prison  

...continue reading: Teeny Tiny Phone

last updated: 12 January 2020

Storytelling is something that is known in every culture and has always been a central part of human existence. But what makes it so?

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Category: story
Tags: culture  

...continue reading: Why Do We Tell Stories?

last updated: 8 December 2019

At first glance, Baby Driver is an everyday caper movie. But dig a little deeper and it’s a movie worth watching…and watching again.

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Category: books, tv, and movies
People: Ansel Elgort   Lily James   Kevin Spacey  
Tags: Baby Driver  

...continue reading: Baby Driver

last updated: 7 December 2019

The Irishman is the latest movie from Martin Scorsese. It tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a low-level criminal who rises to positions of power within the Teamsters union and the Bufalino crime family. It is a detailed and complex story crossing the intersection between organized crime, trade unions, and politics. But at its heart, it is a story about family.

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...continue reading: The Irishman

last updated: 8 November 2019

You can find and listen to podcasts on the web. However, an app on your phone and/or tablet may offer features that give a better podcast listening experience.

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Category: tools
Tags: podcast  

...continue reading: How to Listen to Podcasts

last updated: 3 November 2019

UK authors with US earnings will find that these overseas earnings are taxed at source, meaning the author receives less. By filling in a few forms, the author can arrange for payment to be made without the deduction of US tax.

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Category: writing
Tags: tax   ITIN   W-8BEN   self publishing  

...continue reading: US Earnings for UK Authors

last updated: 6 September 2019

In The Late Show Michael Connelly introduces us to a new character, Renée Ballard. The novel includes the best of Connelly’s police procedural story telling and overlays the tale with a look at the internal politics of the LAPD. I loved the book; let me tell you why you might enjoy it.

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Category: books, tv, and movies
Author: Michael Connelly
People: Renée Ballard  
Tags: 2019 reads   The Late Show  

...continue reading: The Late Show by Michael Connelly

last updated: 5 September 2019

There’s a Napoleon Bonaparte quote: “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?” Was Napoleon right? Is there luck—or is luck just a matter of skill and hard work paying off?

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Category: story
People: Napoleon Bonaparte  
Tags: luck  

...continue reading: Lucky Generals

last updated: 7 July 2019

Lies are part of our everyday currency. Sometimes we tell untruths with the best of intentions, however, usually our motives are less pure. Whether a lie then matters is a combination of many factors. But how do we think about lies in novels which are, by definition, collections of lies?

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Category: story
Tags: truth   lies  

...continue reading: Truth and Lies

last updated: 11 May 2019

Thinking about the choices available and the decisions photographers make when taking a photo can help an author focus more tightly on the aspect of the story they want the reader to see. And by equal measure, by highlighting one aspect to the reader, then another aspect can be understated or hidden.

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Category: writing
Tags: point of view  

...continue reading: Through the Camera Lens

last updated: 28 April 2019

I was recently accused of giving advice. This may seem like a strange thing to bridle against, but there are important issues here—both for the people giving advice and for anyone seeking advice.

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Category: strategy
Tags: advice   opinion  

...continue reading: Giving Advice

last updated: 31 March 2019

The Maltese Falcon is seemingly a chase for a valuable statue, but when looked at through the lens of five questions the story can be seen as a quest for justice.

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Category: story
Author: Dashiell Hammett
People: Sam Spade   Humphrey Bogart  
Tags: five questions   The Maltese Falcon  

...continue reading: The Maltese Falcon: Five Questions

last updated: 29 March 2019

On first sight, Chinatown feels like a story about political corruption, corporate greed, and financial shenanigans, but as the story develops it becomes far more about the exercise of personal power. By asking five questions we can get to the central core of the story.

Filed under

Category: story
People: Jake Gittes   Roman Polanski   Jack Nicholson   Faye Dunaway  
Tags: five questions   Chinatown  

...continue reading: Chinatown: Five Questions