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Write Like Hemingway, the App

Hemingway App is a text editor designed to keep your writing tight like Papa’s. Hemingway checks your text for areas that could be simplified or cut entirely. The app highlights hard to read sentences, and suggests simpler alternatives to words like ‘utilize’ (use) and ‘individual’ (person.) It counts your adverbs, and highlights passive voice. All… Read more »

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A Guide to Kayak Camping — DD Hammocks

My first kayak camping trip was a disaster – a brilliant disaster that got me hooked on the sport for life. Three of us (kids at the time) set out on a bay in the southwest of Ireland, to see how far we could go. Our gear was loaded in bin bags; our pillows took… Read more »

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Gear Review: UDT Fins

UDT stands for Underwater Demolition Team. These are the fins used by the frogmen of the 50s and 60s who preceded the Navy SEALS. UDT fins were state of the art in their day, and although the Navy has since upgraded their technology, the original UTDs remain a coveted piece of kit for bodysurfers and… Read more »

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Cormac McCarthy: a Reading List

Cormac McCarthy is a mentor I’ve never met. We all have one of those, a teacher who sends us on a quest to seek our teacher’s teacher’s teacher. Here is an ever-growing reading list of my informal study of McCarthy and his influences. I’ll be updating the list on Goodreads.   FICTION The Novels of… Read more »

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Alternatives to Outrage

Silence. Witt. Write an articulate response. (Not in the comment feed.) Get on with your day. Behave differently than the source of outrage. Take a deep breath. Know that life is short. Have faith in some sort of karma. Reach out to the source of outrage. Ask a tough question. Suggest to ‘take this outside.’… Read more »

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The Blue Sky Period

Your story can be about anything, that is until you start writing it. Once you put words on the page, you start to impose limits. With each word, you are drawing the lines of a box which will eventually contain all you have to say. Or, as Beckett put it, ‘Every word is like an… Read more »

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No Comment

I recently disabled the comment feed.  I have my reasons, take your pick: Online discussions are high octane procrastination fuel. The mark of a successful comment feed is frequent engagement and that takes time. On a good day, I’ve said everything I need to say on the page/ screen. But I don’t want to ignore well-meaning commenters…. Read more »

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Writing Prompt: Cliché Remixed

Take a tired phrase you’re sick of reading–something lazy we’ve all read before–and rewrite it your way. Some examples: ‘The heat was stifling.’ ‘You almost gave me a heart attack.’ ‘She riffled through her purse.’ Write the sort of thing you want to read. Boredom with what’s already out there is a sign that it… Read more »

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Talker’s Block -or- Who the Hell am I to Give Writing Tips?

You ever have one of those days when you wake up and find yourself unable to talk? Of course you don’t because there’s no such thing as talker’s block. It’s a made up condition invented by Seth Godin who uses it to illustrate the absurdity of the all too real writer’s block. According to Godin,… Read more »

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Imperfectionist Guest Post

George Lois, the legendary ad man, once said: ‘You can be cautious or you can be creative. But there’s no such thing as a cautious creative.’ Consider the opposite of ‘cautious.’ Try bold, or even reckless… Read on at The Imperfectionist.