What it’s REALLY like to be a child

In honour of “back to school” time in many countries this week…
Many thanks to the original author of this piece that shares what it was like to be a child back in the dark ages of pre-WWW…of course we’re all too young to remember those days, aren’t we? But read on out of interest, anyway…LOL…

How to tell if you're getting old

We had friends – we went outside and found them.

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s probably shouldn’t have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked. [Read more…]

Popular writing questions answered – shared to Quora from HTWB

I’ve been answering quite a few questions about writing, on Quora recently – and given that #HTWB is such a huge writing resource these days, it’s great to be able to share some of its expertise (and not just mine, but that of all contributors) to an even broader audience.

Questions on writing are being answered by Suzan St Maur and other contributors on How To Writer Better - a great resource for writing at all levels

Have you tried answering questions on Quora yet ?

Some of the questions on Quora are, er, interesting to say the least … it’s fascinating to see how some people expect answers to questions that are so vague and garbled. And it annoys me when responders sneer at such questions. Why not just respond by asking for more information so we can help more effectively? Grrrrr…

A few answers to questions about writing, on Quora, that could help you, too

[Read more…]

What to write to someone who comes out as LGBTQ

Much as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) people are now widely established in their rightful place in many of our communities, when someone close to you “comes out” it can still be an uncomfortable journey for them and their families.

HTWB LGBTQ

For your friend or family member to have braved it and stuck with it can, sometimes, have been one hell of an achievement.

You may well feel, as I have done many times when a friend or family member of mine has come out, that you want to drop them a note to show that you care. Whether you are gay, straight or any other gender identity, the process for your friends and relatives who are “coming out” may be challenging for them – even though in our enlightened times it should not be so. Sadly what “should be” is often very different from the reality.

Whatever your gender, do you know what to write to your “coming out” friend or relative? [Read more…]

Cheap, drive-thru video: what little monsters we’ve unleashed!

Being a veteran of the very late 20th century when companies paid an average of £30K / USD $37.5K for a basic “corporate video” and in return received a top-class, professional production, I can’t help but be gob-smacked by the way businesses are whining these days.

Cheap business video on HTWB

Cheap business video: panacea or pain in the *ss?

This of course is about their paying more than a few hundred pounds/dollars for a business video, because they believe – and it’s true, sort-of – that all you need is to shoot it on an IPhone, edit on a laptop, and shove it up on YouTube as well as on their websites. Done and dusted in an afternoon.

And if you want something more sophisticated, you can hire that guy from the next town who just bought himself a fancy new video camera and could put Quentin Tarantino to shame, now that he’s read the instruction booklet.

Is this really the ultimate panacea for getting SMEs into the movies? Or is it the quickest, most monstrous way for those SMEs to flush their professional credibility down the toilet?

[Read more…]

Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

A sparrow joined us for our women’s business networking lunch yesterday in grizzly, drizzly south central England. Poor little guy was perched high up on the picture rail of our meeting room, watching us talk and eat our lunch.

Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

Go, little sparrow. We love you, your simplicity and what it can teach us about getting stuff right first time.

At one o’clock I thought, he’ll spring out and yell “Cuckoo!” But instead he took off along the lunch table (fortunately without dropping a bomb load) and landed on the floor near a doorway, just as one (fortunately) bird-loving guest was half-way through her 60-second elevator pitch. [Read more…]

Swearing: XXXX it, I’ve cleaned up my XXXXing language

OK, not everyone swears. But if you do let rip with the occasional 4-letter word, have you ever tried stopping yourself to use a “proper” word instead?

Swearing: why I've cleaned up my language

The (real) town of Shitterton, Dorset, England

As I write this I am in Canada and have been staying with my wonderful aunt who never swears, and has always frowned on us juniors using rude words in her company. So I resolved to clean up my potty-mouth while with her and use only the cleanest of expletives. [Read more…]

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