Confirmation bias — looking for evidence that supports a belief and throwing away anything that disagrees with it.

Other marketers use advertising to create a positive bias towards their brand. Nike wants to motivate you to “Just do it” with their swoosh. Tide wants your clothes to be whiter and brighter.

Bias is fine for shoes or detergent; do you run faster with their shoes or do your clothes look better? …

Scrivener is a tool for writers with a singular focus. It’s not for publishing, layout, or for creating fancy newsletters; it’s for writing. All the scenes, outlines, character maps, pictures, resource and anything else you can think of goes into your Scrivener project. No longer will you be searching folders on your computer for the last draft of a scene or a snippet of a character arc — everything can be managed in Scrivener.

A couple of years ago when I was editing my first novel — The Amsterdam Deception, a beta reader suggested I needed to tune the pacing…

Yesterday, we foraged for flour, eggs and sliced ham at a Vancouver Costco. Civil lineups, lots of hand sanitizer and diligent, sign-wielding employees reminding people to social distance. I flashed my Costco card and the door employee waved us in. No temperature check or mask required. Hand sanitizer at the many stations but still optional.

Vancouver’s Covid-19 rate has been flattening so the probability that an active carrier is in the store would be low.

But not zero, and that was the issue.

After we left the store with our Costco grocery buy high score, I felt icky. Wishing-for-a-decontamination-station icky…

Taken by author

We are a Canadian family on a trip to the UK. As my wife and kids sleep, I’m typing this at a coffee shop in the Stockbridge area in Edinburgh. We are exploring Britain and Scotland a bit before dropping our son off for a year of college in Manchester.

Stockbridge is a cute little area filled with coffee shops, restaurants and for reasons not clear to us from the colonies, the home to about ten charity shops (thrift shops in North America). All well laid out, exceptionally clean and each supporting a different charity. Heart and Stoke, Cancer, Oxfam…

I’m not planning to fight, but hitting is great!

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

I’m a 50 (cough, cough) year old man. I work out four to five times a week; cardio, some weights, stretching and the occasional yoga class. And I’m bored. If it wasn’t for Netflix on my phone, cardio on an elliptical device would be the equivalent to an aerobic root canal. I’ve found watching Matt Damon kick ass in a Bourne movie kicks my heart rate up high enough so I’m getting a workout.

To mix things up, I occasionally engage the skills of Vancouver’s Mike Howard as a personal trainer. Focused one-on-one workouts in a private gym. However, after…

Applying butt to chair with a word deadline works wonders

image courtesy of Pixabay

Tom Wolfe squeezed out only 135 words a day; Hemingway averaged 500.

Both guys didn’t have the internet pounding on their door. Netflix wasn’t screaming for a novel they could monetize into a TV series. Both guys didn’t give a rat’s ass. They wrote to a schedule and a quota and with paper and pencil.

Coffee shop creativity

I do my best writing in coffee shops. The combination of paying for a coffee and a light murmur makes for good writing.

But why is that? Hemingway famously drank, but only after he’d written. The Atlantic reports, Lee Child exists on 20 cups of coffee and a pack of cigarettes a day. Diana Gabaldon starts her day with a Dark Mars Bar and a Diet Coke.

At home, I’m drawn into the siren calling of fiber optic internet. CNN, Facebook, Reddit and email are my mistresses. Did you know that Charlie Chaplin accepting an honorary Oscar in 1972 is…

Courtesy of Pixabay

Writer’s block can be hell. Like insomnia or constipation. You want something to happen and it just doesn’t.

Writer’s block is like a concrete barrier keeping your car from falling down to the next floor. Not all writers have this problem but when it hits, it’s a bitch.

Lots of reasons why you can’t write. Usually nothing physical; no person is blocking you from your computer unless you have a two-year-old that wants to play or a cat that likes to sit on your keyboard.

Writer’s block is just yourself getting in the way. Or more accurately, your inner critic…

My father was born in 1932, quit school in Grade 9 and started working. In his early twenties, he drove a milk wagon for Silverwood’s Dairy in London Ontario. A wagon pulled by two horses. No gas or batteries required. Just a stop for hay and water. I have a small typewritten card from the London Police that said he could be hired because he was free from a criminal record. Overall, my Dad as a hard worker.

He also was bi-polar. I’ve written about him in two other articles.

After he married my mother, he leased his first Gas…

My brother and I

My father lived with manic depression. His brother and sister also had it. Bi-polar is another name, but manic depression is more accurate for his mental state. When I was younger, I worried I might be next, but it’s skipped my siblings and I.

I’m three years older than my brother. As kids we bugged each other - a lot. Our mother would pilot her old Ford around with him and I bouncing around in the back (sans seat belts). He also had better timing than me. He’d smack me on the arm and yell that I hit him. Just…

Tony Ollivier

Technologist, writer, boomer, father

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