Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Writing About Books, Movies, Music: Quick Tips

The Daily Post

Looking for ideas on how to write about books and films in a more engaging way, or interested in writing about songs but aren’t sure how to articulate your appreciation to those who haven’t heard them? Let’s talk about how to entice readers into posts on books, movies, and music they haven’t heard of.

Novelist and journalist Jonathan Gibbs at Tiny Camels comes to mind — he blogs about books, and even though I’ve never heard of the books he writes about, his writing about reading engages me. Consider his thoughtful commentary on Peter Stamm’s All Days Are Night, which doesn’t just explore the book, but the experience of reading itself.

Or take author Alec Nevala-Lee’s many posts on television and film, for example. Alec is masterful at penning succinct, focused commentaries on entertainment, often zooming in on an element of storytelling, rather than simply focusing on one production. In “The fifty-minute hour,” he discusses Mad Men and…

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Four Themes for Photographers and Photobloggers

The WordPress.com Blog

Maybe you’re working on a 365 project, with a photo for each day of the year. With a couple months under your belt, you might be looking for a new theme to showcase your work. Let’s check out four themes where the typography and color palettes step aside so that your photos get your visitors’ full attention.

Cubic

Made with photographers and photobloggers in mind, Cubic is eye-catching and bold out of the box. Its pleasing homepage grid showcases your posts’ featured images.

Consider this subtle, almost ethereal application of Cubic at WE THE BIRDS, a site “dedicated to the travelers, the nomads, the free spirits, the culturally aware, the expat kids.” The Birds’ muted photography looks fantastic with the theme’s dark filter option for featured images. Using the site logo feature, they’ve uploaded a beautiful feather illustration that lends a unique, personal touch to their…

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The Daily Post

Thomas Edison, inventor of  the commercially practical incandescent lightbulb (among other things) and natty dresser. Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb (among other things) and natty dresser.

What can we, as writers, photographers, artists, and bloggers learn from American inventor Thomas Alva Edison? Plenty, as it turns out. Edison is famous for many inventions, including the phonograph, a commercially viable lightbulb, and the motion picture camera.

His success resulted from trial and error, and many, many failed experiments before creating a lightbulb that could last 1200 hours, just as an example. He could have stopped. He could have given up. He chose to frame his work in a positive light:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Edison’s philosophy is particularly compelling to anyone who does creative work:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.

How many rough drafts, spoiled drawings, and blurry photos have you created before that stroke of serendipity? Are you looking at a…

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