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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices.

Zeno of Citium, who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Bringing it To Your Story

I just came from a conversation which brought up a peeve of mine. This Be a good reader, to be a good writer. I want to assure you, that if you don't know what you are looking for, you're not going to suddenly recognize it from reading. Not from any author worthy of study. Because right now, you don't know enough to ask the question -- which isn't a slight. Not at all. Here are couple of examples of techniques being used which are going to slip under the radar. But maybe they will spark enough in your writer's mind to figure out a few others.

Kaizen and the Art of Improvement


The Japanese method of Kaizen, literally translating as 'good change', is a proven method for helping people to change their behavior. Rather than requiring you to do anything drastic, the emphasis is on changing habits in very incremental steps.

"Kaizen (improvement), shukanka – these are all things that are taken for granted. But they have the power to transform your life, and simplify aspects of it in the process. It's not about getting things perfect, or setting unrealistic standards for yourself.

Where is my Voice: Poems

1.

From the umbra into starfire

Pale as a new fashioned corn;

Light as the lava with the air,

twists shadow to tear; moon drop

The angels' shrieks with heavy delight

Laid her on these crystalline hands

2.

I am the moon and the air,

the wind before peaceable calm.

My breath, politely ferrous, cool,

frozen in the south.

This space, my soul, empty,

where lingering moments lurch,

and smile their moist, precious smirks,

holds me fast underground

3.

umber coffee bitter as amber

somber as fading embers

huddled in the ambry umbrosed

with umbrageous needs yet unseen:

magni nominis umbra

4.

The umbra is a blast shadow

a halo of dark flame trimmed

to a welder's blade.

Her hand flicks and then holds fast

casting a black spear past her form

at the speed of dark, throws her

voice into the void, hiding the moon

inside a folded corona of zodiacal light

5.

Our world afire you laughed

tossed your pale hair over the breach

sued the wind to rise and spread our ash

across streets and houses like snow across the dead

Social Reality into Fiction

We all love unique and crafted characters. I spend a great deal of time with creating 'real' and deep personalities with hopes and scars. That doesn't mean I do a full write up on every one of them, far from it. No, I get my MCs flush and perky, but the others I rely on reality to help fill in the blanks. There are tons of advice publications (books, articles even college courses) teaching the masses how to be popular with the masses. Each of them with wonderful personalities woven through the socialite advice of how not to sound like the last thousand people to come through the door. How to have flair and maybe even some savoir faire. 

What the Hell is Plot Again?

Plot means How the story is told. 

Take Citizen Kane, because it's easy to demonstrate with. The 'story' is a reporter is assigned to ascertain Charles Foster Kane's (Orson Welles) dying words -- Rosebud. The reporter's investigation gradually reveals the fascinating portrait of a complex man who rose from obscurity to staggering heights.

GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...