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The Magical, Mystical Addiction of the English Language

Today’s guest post is by Dan Vale.

My family lived in Germany for five years, and when we first got there, we went to a German restaurant. We soon learned that we had a lot to learn. When my twelve-year-old son asked a German waitress where the bathrooms were, she gave him a cookie.

In spite of the difficulty of learning a foreign language, I am in awe of foreigners who are able to learn our difficult English language. Still, the complex and convoluted nature of our language is addicting and wonderful.

That is why we writers have become addicted to the English language. Isaac Asimov once said, “If my doctor told me I had only six months to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d just type faster.”

Although we are enthralled by words, we know that reading too many poorly chosen words to describe something is like eating too much of a mediocre meal. The US government regulations on the sale of cabbage, for example, consist of 26,911 words. The Gettysburg Address, however, consists of only 286 words. Thomas Jefferson appropriately said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Continue Reading…

Half-Off Online Courses in July!

A few years back, I decided to create online video courses. Many writers had expressed interest in getting deep into topics that I had written blog posts (as well as an elaboration of my free email course on Amazon success, which you can take anytime, for free, by clicking on the link at the right).

Since I opened my online school, more than 1,000 writers have taken my courses! And I’m presently putting a new course together on emotion: a really intense, deep look at how to both show emotion in our characters and evoke emotion in our readers. I plan to launch that course this fall.

In order to encourage you to check out my courses, this month, July 2019, I’m doing something I have never done. I’m offering all my courses and course packages for HALF OFF. While you get to access these courses forever (or as long as the world and/or internet exist …), you would have to enroll in my school and pay for the courses in JULY using this coupon: JULYHALFOFF.

It only takes a minute to sign up. Go to my school (cslakin.teachable.com) and enroll by putting in your email and a password. That’s all! Choose which course you want to take, go to pay, and type in the coupon. Easy peasy! Continue Reading…

The Writer’s Practice: Your Everyday Writing Warm-Up

Today’s guest post is by Anuradha Prasad.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about practice.

Did you know that all art forms and spiritual work are rooted in deliberate practice? Practice is the time set aside every day to honor your work and develop your skills. It takes the shape of rituals and exercises. Practice gathers your attention and brings it to your work.

Ballet dancers train for hours. Even the most basic steps are repeated over and over again. The movements and the dancers are inseparable. When they are on stage, these movements are transformed into performance.

Singers  warm up with the basics, stretch their vocal chords for two to three hours a day. Athletes and gymnasts train every day. They are always in shape and ready to push to the next level. Continue Reading…

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