An, er, alternative Christmas quiz

Much as we all love to play games during the Holidays … I don’t know about you but I get heartily fed up with Monopoly, Christmas quizzes about the names of all Santa’s reindeer, and trying to laugh at the feeble jokes implanted into Christmas crackers.

Santa indicating the correct way to the North Pole after having been let down by his Sat Nav and found himself returned to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here, then, is a short quiz you and your folks might like to play instead of the pedestrian old stuff. I have tried very hard to keep it Safe For Work but just in case, don’t print this out and show it to your five-year-old, OK? And the answers are not rigid: creativity and rudeness should probably score higher.

The HTWB Alternative Christmas Quiz: the questions

[Read more…]

What we ALL can learn from Hanukkah

While wishing all our Jewish friends a very happy Hanukkah which starts today, it’s worth looking at why this story has lessons we can learn from it – whether we are Jewish or not.

The story of Hanukkah

The Menorah that celebrates the story of Hanukkah

According to History.com[Read more…]

How Thanksgiving reminds the world about gratitude

Particularly in Canada, the USA and to a lesser extent Mexico, families share this day of gratitude for a good harvest and year. It’s a long-standing tradition going back hundreds of years and has become as comfortable and well-loved part of life as a pair of cozy slippers.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner this year (second Monday of October) … in Leicestershire, England

Today, however, it’s interesting to see how much the element of gratitude is taking hold within the context of positive psychology, influencing mindfulness and other techniques and therapies to help us cope with modern life. Is that really what we need? [Read more…]

Canadiana in writing: a few fun facts about our Thanksgiving

At this time of year we Canucks celebrate a successful harvest and show our gratitude by gorging ourselves on a significant proportion of the produce we slaved all year to grow and store.

Our tasty pumpkin pie, complete with maple leaf decorations to establish its Canadian-ness. Those cranberries are a good idea, too. Yum.

Unlike the Americans we don’t wait until ten minutes before Christmas / Hanukkah / other winter celebrations to get this done when anywhere North American folks other than in southern states are beginning to need to put on their woolly knickers and cosy pyjamas (a.k.a. ‘pajamas‘ in North America).

We snotty Canucks prefer to do it at a time when the seasons are changing inspiringly, leaves on our trees are turning vivid gold, orange, bronze and other flaming colours, and the air has changed from the sultry, humid warmth of summer to the crisp invigoration of ‘the fall’ before it starts to freeze our private parts and make us scrape snow and ice off our cars in the mornings, as shown below. [Read more…]

Written smiles to cheer and end our week

Want some smiles from the ‘media’ that aren’t about Brexit or Donald Trump?

sales pitches that are wrong

OK, maybe there isn’t much to laugh about in UK and USA politics right now, but let us at least try to get a smile out of something…

Given the sheer hysteria we’re experiencing in UK politics right now, plus the increasing capriciousness we ingest from politicians in the USA and elsewhere, let’s end this week with a few smiles, rather than sobs.

It has been a while since I curated the funniest of the UK’s Daily Fail’s goofs, but here are a few of my favourites that have emerged over the last couple of weeks or so. Enjoy. [Read more…]

Has Elvis left the building, in a book?

If you ever have had a book proposal turned down by publishers (and haven’t we all?) you’ll identify with excerpts from this online conversation online I had recently with an author whose feelings of dreadful frustration stormed out of every one of his words: see below…

article about Elvis Presley

You have something new and interesting to say about Elvis (or another celebrity, cause or concern) in a book. Here are some thoughts on how to get that book out there and selling even if you’re not a well-known author or personality.

ELVIS FANS – I wrote an interesting book about Elvis – publishers think there isn’t a platform for ELVIS???

Looking for a publisher – here’s one critique:

“Thanks for thinking of me for this. I’ve read and talked this over with some colleagues who also handle music books. While (name of author) has a really interesting perspective, we feel pretty strongly that the market for Elvis books is so crowded that a new one would need to come from someone with a bigger platform or access than (name of author) has here. Best of luck placing this great project!”

NO ONE HAS THIS PERSPECTIVE!!!  It’s a good book! Publishing business is CRAZY!!!!  Still millions of fans worldwide. [Read more…]

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