2022 -2018

ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

May 25, 2022

Procrastination Another Facet

We’ve looked at the flip side or a facet of so many things in the past articles.

So this is not your usual procrastination article.

Procrastination Bane or Boon?

We’ve heard and read so many ways to defeat procrastination, and that has been covered.

So let’s move on to how procrastination helps us.

Why procrastination can work for us.

When it is right to procrastinate.

We are examining it in one tiny area but I bet you can figure out how this may apply to other areas of your life.

Snacks, procrastinate one snack a day until the next day and it is one less snack that you consume. (Or tobacco, alcohol, $x on lottery, etc.-your consumable of choice)

Even if you cut the amount in half, thirds, or fourths it all helps reduce intake.

Even if the box says a serving size is X amount, for instance, chips, if a serving size is 9 and you have 8 that is winning.

Reduction can be procrastination as well.

We are putting off something that does not add much value to our life in order to have a better quality of life down the road.

Some people call it discipline but it also just makes sense.

So we use our own logic to defeat ourselves saying to ourselves in essence, “what is one more cookie?”, well instead say, “what if we have one less cookie?”.

It is a paradigm, it is how you look at something, it is how you choose to call it one thing instead of another, it is what you say it is and we can fool ourselves or we can tell ourselves the truth.

Truth seeking is rare in our current society.

The real truth not some made up truth that is very prevalent out there.

Nations, leaders, politicians, groups, organizations, heck even social media promotes the half lie, the everything is rosey, the promiscuous cover up of what is real.

How can we begin to break that mold and move on to the rare air that we can breathe and refresh ourselves with?

It is one thing to look at something and call it by another name in order to obfuscate what it really is, and it is another thing to call it what it really is.

That is the difference between reality and fantasy.

It is still fantasy even if it is skewed a tiny bit, shrouded in a small mist of non fact, covered up even an edge in secrecy when the most part of it lies open plain as day some people can not reveal even a smallest part of something they HAVE to obfuscate just a tad.

That means we do not see reality unless we remove that portion, that piece, that cover up, that edge, that corner, the whole unmitigated essence of the item.

Back to procrastination, how about delaying reviewing the episode(s) in your past where you were slighted, abused, hurt, misrepresented, or otherwise belittled. All the review of that humiliation can wait for another day. So not today is a great mantra.

Stop carrying that pain today, put it down for just one day. Maybe just one hour. Any length of time is a win as long as it delays those feelings and emotions.

Life is too long for repetition and we repeat in our heads our mistakes and others mistakes and intentions.

The healthy alternative is to be in the now. Plan and do things for now and the future. Those are the building blocks. That other is just rubble from crumbled memories that are not usable.

Rebuild with new, not that old crappy stuff.

The new happens today. The now happens today. The future happens today.

What’s your story?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 23, 2022

Recovery begins when one understands what to recover from

Read that title one more time please.

Recovery begins when one understands what to recover from.

This is extremely important since one does not go through any kind of rehabilitation whether it is from grief, abuse, or any addiction until one understands how and why one became addicted or are going through the process in the first place.

The grief came from the loss of a friend, loved one, family member and one fills that hole with something else rather than understanding it and coping with it and overcoming it.

The abuse came from someone who we thought loved us, who hurt us, who turned our world upside down and we fill that hole with substances, food, anger, resentment, or something else.

We have to deal with all the psychological implications, we have to deal with the physiological aspects, and that takes so much out of us that sometimes we cope with strategies that are not helpful, but we are coping.

We have to turn that coping into useful things that we can control rather than losing more control over our mind, soul and body.

We have to take back what is ours. We have to reclaim our sanity. We have to take all those pieces of ourselves and put them together into a semblance of normal so we push beyond survive, into thrive.

Turning that life tragedy that was imposed upon us against our will, into a positive that uplifts us takes some creative and masterful strategies.

Even professionals sometimes come up short in their abilities to deal with their own issues let alone yours.

Yet, we do have the ability. It may take a year or more, it may take more effort than you think you can muster, but we’ve learned that persistence, patience, loving ourselves rather than hurting ourselves in whatever way is the only way to deal with it.

Be kind, not indulgent of yourself. Baby yourself for you are in the baby steps of recovery (we all are) and we do not belong here but here we are and we can overcome it.

It may be messy, it may not be pretty but we can do it.

We owe it to us. We do this for us, not anyone else.

Do not worry about forgiveness, let deity take on that task and sort it out.

Our job is to move on. We may limp and lurch but keep in mind that moving is progress. Keep moving.

Keep progressing.

It will not happen overnight and it may not end up with it all erased and you being merry and happy, that is not the end goal. Coping and using strategy and our intelligence to figure out how to apply what we are learning from all the resources available to us.

There is no shortage of resources and they all vary and it is up to us to sort it out and determine what works and what doesn’t.

Remember, we are here for each other.

What’s your story?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 21, 2022

Drama Reduction

Yes, I like to be entertained and will watch dramas, thrillers and that type of show. Also, after writing the rest of this I think that the news fits into this drama intake that we participate in. Of course, there is the economy, the invasion over there, the current or next virus and the latest shooting, but it is mostly regurgitation from the day before and the day before that. Maybe we only need to watch (or however you ingest via whatever medium) the news once per week.

One thing that we may do is watch staged drama, or scripted drama of other types, like reality shows and even YouTube or other places you may watch that introduce needless conflict to add to the controversy and drama in our lives needlessly.

Of course, not all reality shows are like that but they can be.

The need for that medium to introduce controversy induces more clicks. Hence the term click bait.

They are baiting you to jump in and see what’s going on and why people may be talking about it.

There are so many examples of this even talk “shows” radio, etc. may introduce that conflict between the old us versus them or they did that and that is why we must get involved.

No, don’t do it. Don’t even listen.

I will not listen to or about two other siblings arguing or my sons or daughter since that puts their drama into my life. (we have to listen to some of it, but do not get involved or try to fix the drama that is up to them).

Hard to do that. It is a vortex that will suck you in and you have a choice to let it or not let it.

I’ve even introduced drama from my past into my current life by wondering how, why and what happened to induce certain people close to me to behave the way they did.

Does it really matter? They did what they did and nothing we can do about it then or now.

I can either carry that forward and let it plague me and it is a plague that lays waste to my soul. Or I can drop it. Let it go. Move on.

I don’t have to forgive or forget but those lessons can help me, but I refuse to let it trap me.

I had let it trap me especially after I wrote my life story. I really went deeply through the past and did it ever induce anger, humiliation, shame, regret, etc.

I let it induce it. I induced it, is what I am saying those events happened years and decades ago and I allowed it to affect my now. My current state at that time.

I let go of my control and let it control me.

Not a happy thought or circumstance. All my fault, but I realized it through my reading and constant thought and review and figured out how to get past it.

That is how we evolve and improve is to learn those lessons (sometimes the hard way through mistakes like I did).

Another thing we can do is not bring our drama when it exists in our lives into other people’s lives. Don’t let our mood bleed over onto them. Our mood, our drama belongs to us only.

Sharing our drama with others close to us can dramatize them.

The good news is that we can learn since we are incremental-ing our way to monumental.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 19, 2022

By the way: May 15th marks my 7th anniversary of this website. What a sweet ride for me!

Unleash the Beast

Within us we all have a beast.

When we unleash it, it comes out and prowls and haunts and hunts with a passion.

Of course, I’m talking about your Creative Beast.

The animal within you that won’t eat, sleep or do anything else until its thirst is satiated by you performing and working your creativity.

It is an important part of you and yet you must learn when and where to unleash it.

Timing is crucial, for if it is unleashed where the passions and the time and the inclination and the demands upon you are placed in other directions then it is better to let the beast sleep until those other things are taken care of.

So control is key. Timing is key. When may be key for you. Also, where, and with who and with what.

Turn me loose with a reed instrument or a flute (which I’ve been able to play with since my mother had one) and I will flop about like a dying beast or a braying one at least.

This string of articles on our creativity has foundation in a recent interview I was fortunate to be able to publish with Tom Evans. The man is driven and his capabilities seem boundless and uncontained.

He is so accomplished and generates content with seemingly little effort but I would venture to guess that his creativity is like compounding interest in a financial sense.

He is able to stack and stack and stack that interest over days, weeks, months and years to yield benefits, generate content, and line his purse literally. Yet, I have sensed within him a humbleness and approachability that I thought would be unattainable.

When I had another author that I interviewed that not only was receptive to seeing my writing and then encouraged me to get an agent since she thought that particular piece was that great.

When we give to others it comes back to us. As Tom says “When someone contacts you ‘out of the blue’, as I was for this interview, grab the opportunity with both hands. You never know what doors might appear on your path that you never vaguely imagined might open for you.

So what are your thoughts and have you been magnanimous not only this last year but every day?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 17, 2022

The Creative Path

Your creative path is steeped in your past. You knew even back then.

You knew.

Building with sticks, dirt, clay, building blocks, Lincoln logs, etc. Music lessons (two years of piano for me and months of Coronet lessons). Plus all the self taught guitar and ukelele, a bit of flute since my mom played and other instruments that friends had.

Writing music, songs, poetry, stories for over 50 years.

High school art class brought me to a fruition of creativity. I was given the time, the materials, the nudges and then let loose. All A’s in that class whether painting, ceramics, cloisonne, it did not matter I could create and it was wonderful to receive the accolades.

I know why it did not continue even though I was great at it. Cost of materials, lack of space and time, the drive and ambition was there but I was not able to overcome the other obstacles.

I continued my creativity, writing songs and music and just launching myself into the things that spoke to me, that let me be creativity.

You do that as well, I can explain that, I can tell.

We are alike and yet so different.

Our creative path needs to be examined once in a while to see where we’ve come from, and yet it does and does not affect the future unless we build upon the creativity we had yesterday, last year and many years before.

Keep building your future creative path today.

Incremental building to monumental building.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 15, 2022

Creative Thinking Amplified

According to Seth Godin, Unleashing the Idea Virus, ideas are the future.

Pelting people with ideas unsolicited will not accomplish much. I can shoot all the emails, texts, tweets, instas (or whatever you call that), pics, and so forth until all inboxes are full and yet that accomplishes little to nothing. The next big idea, YOUR next big idea that comes from within must be shared with like minded people until the synergy comes together.

Speaking of Come Together (Beatles song) the real synergy of the Beatles if you’ve seen Beatles: Get Back by Peter Jackson is how they work underpressure and in three weeks bring together a concert after a three year hiatus starting with nothing.

If they don’t know the words they just put in nonsense like cauliflower. According to John the words will come eventually and not to worry about it.

If we put too much pressure on ourselves to have a finished product from the beginning then we are defeating ourselves and hobbling ourselves then shooting the runners gun and thinking we can run a race that way.

Don’t get in the way of your ideas, make way and move with the flow. It is all about the flow.

From Seth Godin’s blog here is what he has to say about Half Baked (a different phraseology describing the creative process that is still in flux):

Seth’s post is about Paul.

“Paul’s not a genius, neither is John. This isn’t about talent, it’s about skill. And the genius that was the Beatles happens between Paul and John, not inside of either of them.

Paul wants the group to be excited. He wants George to be happier. Most of all, he wants John to like his songs. That’s his fuel.

And Paul’s practice is simple: Bring the work forward.

Play a song before it’s ready.

Because in the moment before it’s ready, that’s when it’s ready.

By bringing music that’s half-baked to the table, he takes a risk. It means that George might become critical or mopey. It means that John might not be engaged. It means that the room might not feel it.

But the risk is worth it. Because the half-baked work, shared in a trusting environment, is the fuel for the system that created the works of genius.

Paul needed the movie and the live event in the future to create tension, tension that he knew would be pushing against the group’s need for approval and not-blowing-it. By putting themselves in a corner, he created (at no small cost) the conditions where he could do the work.

And it begins, as it usually does, by having the guts to share something that’s half baked.”

The creative juices need to marinate and induce their influences and often evolution from just plain “cauliflower” into a dish that will please thousands if not more.

Our ability to devolve and evolve work together in the forum of our creative process.

Bring all the ideas and then work with them and winnow them if need be, rearrange them if need be.

I am reading a book by Michael Conneley, the third Harry Bosch novel. It states how Harry met his father. Now I know for sure that in a much later book that it is about Harry meeting his father and it takes that timeline and changes it and rearranges it until it is quite different yet it does not negate the third novel, it is just a different take and maybe adds more insight or who knows what the author was thinking but it still works.

Our characters are there for us to use, not the other way around. The characters must not impede us from using our creativity and continuing on other paths that might be possible but may not have been possible much earlier.

That is “creative process”. Use it then evolve or percolate or whatever you want to call it then create some more.

Your thoughts?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 13, 2022

Robert McKee great advice

I regularly read Robert’s emails and find nuggets of information most of the time.

Here is the latest:

“Experience tells us that 90 percent of everything we write will be mediocre at best. In your search for quality, you must create far more material than you can use, then cast most of it aside.

Destroy your work.

Too many writers spend years working on ideas that were never good enough to begin with. At some point you must be willing to pull the plug and move onto your next story.

In other words, you must have the taste and judgment to decide whether a particular idea has potential. If a first draft doesn’t really come to life, you must have the objectivity to ask yourself if the inspiration at the heart of your story is worth pursuing.

A writer secure in their talent knows there’s no limit to what they can create. So you must trash everything less than your best on your search for a gem-quality story.”

What do you think?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 11, 2022

The Divided States of America

The “we” I am discussing below is the collective “we”.

Not you and I but the people of this nation and world.

I really wanted to write this article about even though we are called the United States of America it seems like we are not.

Even though we are a member of the United Nations it seems like we are not.

We are losing the war of acceptance and thereby we lose the war and every battle we wage against each other due to any reason, cultural, religious, vaccinated, race, ethnic, gender, or non-gender, or any other form that one can think of and any other division that we can think of, is unacceptable.

If our acceptance depends on how much other people think, act or do or are like us then we will never have acceptance.

Deep down peace and harmony comes from accepting others for who they truly are. Let people be themselves and live their lives. Stop trying to legislate and set up rules for others to live by and follow.

As long as we do not commit crimes against others then let it go.

Let others be as they want to be, it hurts no one other than themselves ultimately.

What you do or are does not affect me! What I do or am does not affect you!

IF WE DO NOT LET IT AFFECT OR EFFECT US THEN IT WON’T.

If we allow it to then it will, the crucial difference is if we let it and it is our choice to let it or not.

In the end this article is very tame compared to what I initially thought about writing yet this captures what I am feeling and wanting.

I want to live in peace and harmony and for all people-kind to get along and let each other live and let live.

After all, if we do not have peace and harmony we have nothing.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 9, 2022

Why oh Why

In a world of people who for the most part seem to have good sense and desire stability, peace and coexist in harmony with others and nature does this happen?

The sheep (countless members of society) follow leadership (this ranges from small government, small business clear up to leadership of countries and multinational businesses) and this leadership is mostly completely self absorbed, self entitled, letting friends and associates profit and get ahead through various means. This same leadership then line their pockets and others pockets with the proceeds and to the detriment of the sheep.

The sheep just stand there doing little other than bleating as they continually get fleeced of their money, their freedoms and their stability and harmony they so desperately desire.

These sheep do little to nothing about these situations believing that they are just one or a few sheep and therefore can do nothing.

Look at the herds and herds of sheep out there doing nothing. A country goes to war and the sheep say give me a gun and tell me where to point it. SHEEP YOU OUTNUMBER THOSE SAID LEADERS! YET YOU ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.

Silly sheep.

The powerful get more powerful yet the sheep feel like they are powerless which is not true.

There have been uprisings before and will be uprisings again when finally the sheep get fed up.

We see this constantly in many countries that allow or permit genocide. We see this in many countries where the ultra rich only get richer and richer while the sheep get poorer and more oppressed.

Where is their indignation? Where is the anger? Where are their guts? When will they revolt against the tyranny of that said leadership?

We vote everyday with our dollars when we shop at a store or business. That profit is tremendous and yet we save a few precious dollars to these monopolistic companies that know we will continue following the other sheep to save a few dollars.

Do you even like the policies of the companies where you shop? Do you even know their policies? And I mean the track record of helping others, supporting basic human rights, of giving decent wages PLUS BENEFITS?

Does the business where you shop even give their employees benefits?

That is something to consider when you shop. Ensure that when you shop your dollar vote will help out businesses that truly deserve your dollar vote and the profit they make from you and the rest of the herd.

Lack of awareness affects more than you. Awareness extends into so many areas of our life and others lives.

Think, think, THINK before you vote with your mark on a ballot or your dollar in an exchange of profits for goods and services.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 7, 2022

May Day

I got to wondering about May Day and what it means and the significance of it and also thought, wait, it means two things. How did it come to mean, help?

Here is the answer if you’ve ever wondered. If not, here is the answer, lol.

Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday" because it sounded like the French word m'aider, which means “help me."

You are now incrementally smarter or at least more knowledgeable.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 5, 2022

Tom Evans Interview with David Alan Binder

Bio from his website: My passion is a curiosity to discover how things work and to make what is complex into that which is understandable and accessible.

Some of you might think of me as an author. Some of you will know me as a meditation guide, and perhaps an ambient composer, on Insight Timer.

My real persona is that of a modern day mystic, sage and channel. Over the years, I have studied with a number of esoteric schools and latterly have tapped into a source of wisdom from higher dimensions. This gives me access to information that I have not read in any books or been provided with by any earthly agency.

So I make use of existing glyphs and models but expand upon them and, at the same time, make them accessible for all and practical to use.


Tom Evans Website: https://www.tomevans.co

[that is correct it is not a .com it is a .co only]

Tom Evans Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebookwright

Tom Evans on Insight Timer (A meditation website): https://insighttimer.com/tomevans

Tom Evans Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thebookwright/

  1. Where are you currently living?

Wiltshire, UK

  1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

That I do have a message that people want to hear and that I am actually quite good at explaining complex concepts in a manner that people find digestible. I call it making the esoteric exoteric.

  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

I tap into my future self who knows the words I have yet to write.

  1. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I have had four of my books published by traditional publishers. In all cases, the lack of control led to a less than desirable outcome. One didn’t pay any royalties, one overpriced the book so it didn’t sell, one added errors they wouldn’t change and one changed the colour of the cover so it was nearly monochrome. They will re[main] nameless.

  1. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Write or create something every single day. Go to a book fair. Subscribe to the podcast of the Creative Penn. Read interviews on sites like this to see the journeys of others who were once not writers and not published.

  1. How did you or would you suggest acquiring an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

Just write and independently publish, let the agent find you. Make sure you create the audiobook too.

  1. Do you have any suggestions or helps or tips for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

In your diary, make immutable appointments with your chapters. This way they come to meet you.

  1. How many books have you written?

18 of my own and during a period as an author’s mentor, helped hundreds of other authors write and publish their books.

  1. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Learn the art of hypnotic language and how to write ‘in trance’ so that your reader becomes entranced. Of course, meditate every day if you can and at least before your writing session.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Open loops in your writing that get closed down later, sometimes even in another book or sequel.

  1. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

I love using compound new words in the title and even an ambiguity in the strap-line e.g. Soulwave (a wave from one soul to another or the missing dark energy in the Universe?) A Future History (which is it, past or future?)

  1. What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?

My last two books inspired me to compose two ambient music albums and [a] series of meditations. So I put samples from the albums, meditations and the audiobooks out in my blog, on social media and on the biggest ‘unknown’ social network for awakened souls which is Insight Timer.

  1. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

I wrote and published one book, This We Know, in three weeks, from writing the 1st word to having it available on Amazon worldwide. My 19th book is somewhat of my life’s opus and is called The Path To Overstanding. It is a collation and exposition of a life time’s metaphysical study. I am writing, recording and serialising it over 24 months. It too has an ambient album and set of meditations to accompany and augment it.

  1. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Just for today, be mindful, timeful and kindful.

  1. Anything else you would like to say?

When someone contacts you ‘out of the blue’, as I was for this interview, grab the opportunity with both hands. You never know what doors might appear on your path that you never vaguely imagined might open for you.

  1. Additional question : How do you generate so much content in such a short amount of time?

When I first learned to meditate, I noticed I got more done in less time of a higher quality. So the engineer in me started to research the subjectivity of time, how it can drag in a doctor’s waiting room or fly by when you are having fun. I learned how to enter a time zone I call EMT which is Extended Me Time. I even wrote a book about it, Managing Time Mindfully and have [a] course on Insight Timer on how to do it called The Art of Timefulness (there I go again with made up words).


May 3, 2022

Echos

Seth Godin and I echo each other a lot and agree on many things. Here is his latest which further proves this.

“We need to make (and own) our own decisions.

To do that effectively, consider:

  1. Do the reading


  1. Show your work


  1. Avoid voices with a long track record of being wrong


  1. Ask, “and then what happens?”


  1. Ask, “how would that work?”


  1. Ignore people who make a living saying stupid things to attract attention


  1. Follow a path you’re eager and happy to take responsibility for


  1. Be prepared to change your mind when new data arrives


  1. Think hard about who profits and why they want you to believe something


  1. Consider the long-term impact of short-term thinking”

There are only ten items on this list. Can you think of anything else?

Just 10 little incremental items to ensure you stay monumental.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


May 2, 2022

Follow up on my article titled: Some Thoughts on Crypto

Warren Buffet stated that a certain brand name of crypto which in my mind translates into any brand of crypto:

"it's not a productive asset and it doesn't produce anything tangible."


May 1, 2022

Lorraine Heath interview with David Alan Binder


Her bio from her website: Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her "dual" nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” She began her career writing training manuals and computer code for the IRS, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her novels have been recognized with numerous industry awards and have appeared on bestseller lists, including ​​​​​​​USA TODAY and the New York Times.

The author of more than 60 novels, she writes historical and contemporary romance for adults and historical romance for teen readers. Under the names Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker, she writes popular contemporary, historical, and paranormal r​​omance for teens readers. She also writes young adult novels with her son under the name J. A. London.

Her website: https://www.lorraineheath.com

Her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorraineHeathBooks

Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lorraine_Heath

Her Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/LorraineHeathAuthor


  1. Where are you currently living?

North Texas

  1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

Trust your instincts and write the draft of your story as you think it needs to be told. It may change somewhat during the editorial process but don’t pre-guess what an editor or reader will want. Remain true to your voice and the story.

  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

For nearly 30 years now, whenever I’m writing, I play a storm CD, with thunder and rain, that always helps to take me to my inner writing place.

  1. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

  1. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?


I’ve not yet self-published so don’t feel that I can offer any insights into that aspect of publishing. My books have all been published by a New York publishing house. For 24 years, I’ve been publishing with AvonBooks, located in New York.



  1. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Persevere. Getting published is not easy for most writers. Sometimes the reasons for rejections have nothing at all to do with the writing. The publisher may have recently purchased a book with the same subject or theme. They may already have an author in their stable whose voice is similar to yours. Understand that rejections are not personal, but that publishing is very subjective. Sometimes a story might not be to the taste of one editor but it might appeal to another editor.

  1. How did you or would you suggest acquiring an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

I acquired an agent in 1992. I would think the process I used might still work today. My criteria for querying an agent were that the agent:

  • Was a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (http://aaronline.org) because they have ethics standards that must be met.

  • Did not charge a read fee (an agent should earn money selling our work, not reading it).

  • Represented the genre that I was writing.

  • Was willing to take on novice writers.

It’s important to do our research to find out as much as we can about the agent to ensure a good fit. If at all possible, meet with agents at conferences before you sign with one.

  1. Do you have any suggestions or helps or tips for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Read the present-day debut works so you can get an idea of what publishers are purchasing right now. This is not to imply that you should try to follow a trend, but it helps to understand the market that you hope to break into.

  1. How many books have you published?

75



  1. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

I have a “fine tune” list which contains weak words that I tend to use or that trigger what might be a weak sentence. When I’m finished with a manuscript, I search for each item to see if I can improve the sentence in which that word appears. Example: move. He moved across the room. That doesn’t really paint a picture of how he moved so I’ll rework the sentence to make it more active and more descriptive. With a loose-jointed stride, he sauntered across the room. A sentence that begins with “there” can sometimes be improved. There were a lot of people in the room. I find: A lot of people were in the room. is a bit stronger. I don’t worry about writing the best sentences possible while I’m creating the draft. I just want to get the story down. But when the draft is completed, I work to find better ways to create images for the reader.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

The twists need to be believable and need to further the story along.

  1. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

Characters are an important key to any book standing out from the crowd. Readers have to care about the characters or they are not going to care about the plot, the twists, the story. How many times have you put down a book or stopped watching a TV series or movie because you simply couldn’t relate to the characters or didn’t like them? We should make our characters compelling by giving them an interesting backstory and a strong motivation for whatever actions they are doing. Remember that secondary characters are as important as our main characters. Hans Gruber in Die Hard is one of my favorite characters, even though he was the villain. He was just so well done.

  1. What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?

I don’t know how unusual it is but whenever I have spoken at a library or to a group where a bookseller is not on hand, I give away my books rather than sell them myself. If I don’t have enough books on hand so everyone in attendance can have one then I hold drawings for the books I have.

  1. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

In the spring of 1993, I signed my first contract and it was for 1 historical romance novel. By the summer, I had signed 2 more contracts for 1 historical romance novel each. Another publisher expressed an interest in having me submit some contemporary romance novels. However, with 3 contracts signed so quickly, I thought I was well on my way to success and declined to send anything to the other publisher. It was a few years later before I realized the wisdom in never passing up an opportunity that might result in another publishing income stream. A publishing career can be like a rollercoaster ride with a lot of ups and downs. If I had it to do over, even though I was also working another job at the time, I would have found a way to try to write something that the other house would have wanted so I didn’t have all my eggs in 1 basket.

  1. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Never envy anyone for acquiring something (fame, success, house, car, etc.) because you don’t always know the price they paid or sacrifices they made to acquire it.

  1. Anything else you would like to say?

Never lose the joy of writing.


Her Awards:

2016 RT Book Reviews Pioneer of Romance Award

2016 RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance

1995-1996 Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Americana Historical Romance

1999 Affaire de Coeur Top Ten Favorite Author Award

2015 RWA Emma Merritt Award for Service

2014 RWA Service Award

2015 Dallas Area Romance Authors Robin Teer Memorial Service Award

2003 Dallas Area Romance Authors Robin Teer Memorial Service Award


April 29, 2022

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout PHD

Here is a summary of the book from Penguin Random House:

Who is the devil you know?

Is it your lying, cheating ex-husband?

Your sadistic high school gym teacher?

Your boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings?

The colleague who stole your idea and passed it off as her own?

In the pages of The Sociopath Next Door, you will realize that your ex was not just misunderstood. He’s a sociopath. And your boss, teacher, and colleague? They may be sociopaths too.

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five[I believe that there are more or those that have some sociopathic tendencies at least]—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They’re more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others’ suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.


The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.

The following link has the full book free online as a PDF. Do with it what your conscience allows you.

https://marucha.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-sociopath-next-door.pdf

Interesting note, Martha Stout more than mentions conscience and how it affects and does not affect us and how it may be scaled up or down depending on what is going on in our lives and what society thinks (One of the most famous but not limited to is, Hitler for instance was a sociopath and also encouraged his followers to follow that “path” as well.)

The book has a long intro of about 20 pages and references and notes at the end of about 20 pages. If you find it a bit dry, start reading at Chapter 2. Read the whole chapter. Then your eyes will be opened and I believe that after reading that section then you’ll want to read the whole thing.

Let me know what you think, please.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 27, 2022

Some Thoughts on Crypto

Why? Because it is important to be able to see what it is and what it is not.

Crypto is not just digital money. People want you to think it is a wave that will consume spenders and society and we should all jump aboard.

I’ve been hearing about one type or another for a few years now.

Here are my thoughts:

The early adopters of anything are going to profit from that early adoption.

It is like that next new thing, like Tupperware, remember that? I had a step cousin that made a lot of money since she was an early adopter and became a sales person and gave parties.

Think pyramid but not pyramid. The first one to adopt and buy Microsoft made a mint. Same with Apple, Google and other types of technology.

Crypto is the same thing, a new way of doing something and the value of that thing is determined by how many people adopt it and in what form. Yes you will see many people talking about, suggesting, selling you, trying to persuade you to buy.

Don’t do it because everyone is doing it? Do it because it is right for you. Do your research! Do your homework.

You are a professional and you have all the skills that everyone else has. Maybe you need to learn more about this one thing and once you see the pros and cons of this one thing then you will be able to make professional grade decisions.

Become immersed before you jump into that pool of crypto or any technology. Just because you are not an early adopter does not mean you have lost anything.

Remember the VHS versus Beta debate. Beta was actually a better technology; however, the winner was VHS in that war of video recorders and players.

The better technology does not always win. It is the one with the most momentum. Which crypto has the momentum? Depends on who you ask and it has yet to be determined if a country such as the USA will adopt its own and leave the others in the proverbial dust.

You want one that is trusted and that will be here for your lifetime.

Which crypto will win? Who can tell? Which person will win? Again hard to tell.

Be informed and do your homework and study it out.

If you are not comfortable then wait. You are not losing anything.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).



April 25, 2022

Awareness has strings attached

Socrates quote: “Awareness of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.”

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “The beginning of wisdom is the knowledge of your own ignorance.” I am sure Ben probably restructured the phrase to make it his own.

In the last ten years, I’ve learned so much about narcissists, behavioral traits, how to deal with manipulators, learning persuasion and how to look for negotiations for each to have some winning and how to meet in the middle, communication skills and enhanced methods of dealing with people and life.

All of this has strings attached.

I was telling my wife about how it seems as I get older that it is more difficult to do everything, communicate, deal with people and situations and she made this profound statement:

She stated that we are not really that much older, a year, or two or six or eight. It is not the age that makes life more difficult, it is the awareness and using new skills and communication methods. She further said, in the past you just said what you thought and did not think about it much, now you are using new skills and those do not come easily.

I am blazing new neural pathways of communicating, dealing with issues, people and situations. All of this is the price one pays for being aware.

It takes work. It does not come easily. It takes repeated practice. It takes determination. It takes skill. It takes crafting those skills. It takes thought and effort and energy.

What a wonderful new age I am entering. A thoughtful, pragmatic, communicative and adaptive person.

I did not really think about it that deeply and that my dear readers is why others can help us see what may not be clear to us. We learn from others' perspectives.

Their guidance opens new paths for us. Their thoughts let us know things we did not know, or could not know.

There is so much in this wonderful life, to be able to see and appreciate all of this is exactly where, how, and who we need to be.

We are each making progress every day.

Anything you see or have learned that you’d like to pass along?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 23, 2022

Mentalists

Yes, we are mentalists, at one time or another we are able to “...demonstrate extraordinary mental powers…”

This depends on situations and we have our moments both ways from “I lost my keys” to “Wow, I just figured that darn thing out!”

Athletes will confirm that not only baseball but in most forms of athletics:

Yogi Berra

“Baseball is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

The mind is powerful and it can be limiting us if we let it. Self talk has to always be positive for that will guide you and allow you to overcome.

Of course, without the physical the mental can only accomplish so much, so each goes hand in hand and work together.

Life is a mental game and having a positive attitude and being encouraging of yourself (and others) and not allowing the mind clutter to bog us down.

Incremental leads to monumental


A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 21, 2022

What does Quick and Dead mean?

There is a film and the film's tagline was 'The Quick and The Dead - in this town, you're either one or the other'. That clearly uses the popular meaning of 'quick', that is, 'fast' - in this case on the draw.

The earliest meaning of 'quick' had nothing to do with speed, it meant 'endowed with life', or more simply, 'alive', as opposed to the current 'lively' meaning.

To 'quicken' was to receive life and the first movement of a baby in the mother's womb was called the quickening.

This use of 'quick' is extremely old and is recorded, as 'cwice', in an Old English translation of the Orosius Histories, dating from around the 4th century.

The word has largely died out now, although we still retain the meaning in words like 'quicksand', that is, sand that moves (I had thought that it meant sand pulls you down and eventually kills you) and has 'life', or the bubbling and gurgling 'quicklime'.


The quick and the dead are referred to several times in the Bible. These texts relate to judgment, with the admonition that only the divine may judge the quick and the dead.

Word usage can be extremely interesting and as meanings change over time (for instance “bad” used to mean not good; however, the Michael Jackson song changed that depending on context).

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 19, 2022

From vs Through

For context on this article we were watching “Inventing Anna” the Netflix series and the parents of Anna said that she was different than their other children.

They said that their other children came “from” them. They were conceived, born and nurtured and loved.

Then they said that Anna came “through” them. Anna was conceived, born and nurtured and loved; however, the nurturing somehow was different. Anna did not fit into their micro society and was in many ways different and did not want to behave, or conform, or somehow on some occasions just chose to be someone other than a person that they would raise and became different from the other children that they raised.

I understand.

If you have a child that is a murderer, or a thief, or breaks the law, or is somehow delinquent or has vices or habits that then they chose to operate outside the law then that particular child is not from you, they merely came through you.

It is a nature versus nurture element to it; however, if a parent does not aid and abet the unlawful, or lawless behavior and does everything within their ability to steer and raise them to be a contributing member of society then it is NOT the parents fault.

The parents were not able to affect the child or correct the child or enforce on the child the good behaviors and ethics that most people inherit and adopt as they are raised.

This is hurtful to parents since others believe that somehow it must be the parents fault.

The parents did everything in their ability and even perhaps sought outside counsel, and expert advice, etc.

I know we did. Religious teachings, a whole different school type of learning system, psychologists, therapy and more and still the child became who the child wanted to be and all these experts and counselors and behaviorists could not change it either.

This is small consolation; however, the way the particular episode of “Inventing Anna” phrased it hit home with me and helped to a small extent and assuaged the parent within me that wanted so much more for this child and wanted the child to operate within the law.

I won’t go into more details or specifics; however, someone else may need this article for this alone.

This also goes the other way as well. My mother was a hoarder and had some very destructive behaviors and I know my grandmother tried so hard to give her the best and raise her correctly and grandmother was not able to. (Grandfather died when my mom was eight or so and was not around to help.)

Sometimes we feel like if we had been a different child then a parent would not have turned out like they did.

Sometimes we feel like if we had been a different parent then a child would not have turned out like they did.

No, the paths chosen are not within our choosing; it is theirs and theirs alone.

In Dale Carnegie there was a person who related how their child was a drug addict. This person and their spouse tried everything and eventually all their best efforts failed and the teenager had to be turned out of the home to pursue the choices the teenager chose over the family.

Sometimes that is how it is. Some have “cancer” of the soul, it is not inherited, it is not because of anything, they just have it. There are so many methods to avoid the choices that bring the consequences however, some are destined to challenge, charge right through and sometimes seemingly on purpose make those choices that others can see are detrimental to the person making the choices and it is also detrimental to others that love and care for them. IT is their choice and there is NOTHING we can do to stop it. It has to take the course chosen until either some type of fatality happens or a faint glimmer sparks within the chooser and they change course.

These situations are very difficult situations to deal with and take comfort that sometimes a child or a parent does not come “from” us but “through” us in spite of our best efforts.

Please share this article if there is someone who could use this comfort and small consolation.

Thanks and they will thank you as well.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 17, 2022

Funny for the day:

At our age Easter is just like any other day, one of us misplaces something and then we spend the rest of the day looking for it.


Your personal looking glass

If you're not looking at the whole thing then you are not seeing it.

Issues are all around us. Events are all around us. Factions are all around us.

We see all of these every day, or do we?

Do we really see them? Not that they are invisible, but seeing means seeing all sides of the issue, event, faction.

So in essence the issue, event, faction become partially invisible if we do not “see” all of it. Not just using our eyes, but our mind, heart, soul, and every force within us to complete our understanding, complete the vision, to be empathetic enough to give each portion of it some time in the light of our day.

I’ve experienced this so many times in my life. I find out a bit about someone or something and jump or make conclusions without having complete knowledge of someone or something.

Later I find out some other compelling information about someone or something and the more complete information changes my initial thoughts about the someone or something.

I’ve even gone from being on one side of an issue until when I received more knowledge about that issue I changed to the other side.

If you're human you are prone to this type of thing. So there is no fault in being human. The fault lies in not looking DEEP enough, FAR enough, THOROUGHLY enough to COMPLETELY understand that issue or something.

Completeness may never actually be fully gained. For instance, I did not know very much about Muslims until I lived next door to some of them. They (at least the ones next door were) are actually very nice people, very polite, caring and will greet you and talk with you but seem to be a bit reticent or shy probably since some people do not treat them well just knowing that they are Muslim and not knowing much more.

Yeah, I’ve heard so much about the bad things that “some” Muslims do or people who claim to be Muslim and are not actually Muslim. I’ve seen the same for Christians who claim to be Christian and yet are far from it.

That misrepresentation of one person or a few from a certain type of person does not make that all people from that type are the same way.

We lump things, people, animals, cultures, races, religions and others together based upon a few facts or even prejudices. We think we know when in fact we know nothing.

Remember how little we know and then we will seek out to learn the rest of what we don’t know and I for one am attempting NOT to LUMP even though my human mind attempts to do just that.

Lumps tend to be when we have not found out the extent, the breadth and the whole of it (whatever it may be).

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 15, 2022

Need vs Invention plus Reinvention

In the Socratic dialogue 'Republic', Plato famously wrote: “our need will be the real creator”

Which was then molded over time into the English proverb “Necessity is the mother or father of invention”.

So if we need it, it will happen is basically the same information in another way of stating it.

So why do we need invention? As we grew are were synonymous with our parents or caregiver we gradually learned to become ourselves.

At some point in our lives later we may have decided we weren’t happy with who or what we were, we may have decided changes needed to be made or circumstances alerted us to who we were, is no longer serving us.

As I have evolved or invented or reinvented myself over the decades who I was lo those many years ago is far, far from whom I’ve become today.

It is interesting to see the “invention” that I thought I went through in my teens and twenties to the “reinvention” in my thirties, forties and beyond.

You may call it your evolutionary path, your invented self, your hero’s journey or many things; however, it is basic to realize that we have all gone through a journey in this life that necessitated changes, morphs, and different types of acting and reacting to the circumstances forced upon us or even taken upon us.

I would say that most times we didn’t even realize we were evolving. We just did it to a certain event, issue, faux pax or something else however you want to state it.

Awareness encompasses all the stages we have willingly and unwillingly gone through to become who we are currently. That awareness serves us (just as unawareness for some serves them in a different way) we force that awareness to serve us.

Awareness gives us more choices and a cognitive approach. Un-wareness is more willy-nilly and maybe it is a fearful approach, or an approach that dodges us questioning and having to find harder answers.

Being aware means we are open to us questioning ourselves and others questioning ourselves and being willing to answer at least to ourselves in some manner.

Any thoughts on this?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 13, 2022

Charles Dickens

A posthumous interview with the author. No, I did not channel him nor did I talk with his spirit but his spirit lives on in his books and tales.

The all too familiar first line up to the first comma doesn’t even begin to cover it.

In the Tale of Two Cities the first paragraph in it’s entirety:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

THAT REFERS TO THE TIME THAT WE CURRENTLY LIVE IN! If you analyze it and see what it says it could also refer to many periods during history and currently.

We have all the technology that brings us a life of ease and yet that technology also destroys us at the same time.

We use it for social good and social evil.

The various machinations that could do so much good perpetrated so much evil.

We communicate instantly and disagree in that same instant. Plus we are not communicating just barraging each other with insipid and useless information, emotes (which really mean nothing except an acknowledge meant that I saw your message and have NOTHING to say about it, that is how meaningless it is). Yet we are proclaiming it otherwise.

All the channels of people yapping and extolling and selling everyday items (buy it through my channel so I get a cut they exclaim and it costs you nothing but if my thousands of followers-sheep do it then money is made and for some lots of it).

We are all dipping into local and international ponds of opinion and hoping that we come out without the stench of the other dippers.

Tirades are common on the internet and yet we listen to that drivel as much as people did in the soap opera days of early TV.

We get caught up in the hype and drama and all those internet channels are listening to us to see what we are looking at, what we click on and then try to sell, sell, sell.

Sales drives the corporate mandate so that all we see are tailored commercials just for us, hyped up demand for products just for us, the personalized (if an algorithm can be personal) fodder for our tastes and we SWALLOW IT ALL WITHOUT QUESTION.

Be aware of what you are consuming each and every day. Not just the calories but the bloat that fills our minds and ears.

Awareness is a double edged sword, as we become more aware we have a choice to be more selective, the flip side adds to our jadedness and horror at what we now know that we once did not.

Yes there are cesspools all around us, yet most are actually very avoidable.

Come, come, dear readers, it is not the worst of situations at all.

It is an age of enlightenment where we can use our souls, hearts and minds to educate and spend our repast in wonderful sensations to be found.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 11, 2022

Wait, Flip Side, how many Flip Sides are there?

There exist currently recognized depending on the source either 4 or 5 racial types.

There exist over 4,000 recognized religions in the world.

There exist over 3800 different cultures in the world and they vary in many ways. One of the most obvious ways is the language, among other things.

There exist 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

So many types of flip sides exist and of course there are mixes of each type of flip side which brings us more sides.

If one takes sides there are thousands that will be against you from another side. There are too many sides for us to justly or unjustly take sides.

Most people think there is their side and then all other sides.

You pick and choose each day who to allow in your inner circle and those decisions are how you divide yourself and decide who is favored, who is not favored and who does matter and who does not matter.

When you pick a side you automatically alienate yourself from a potential ally, a potential friend, a potential person who can help you understand their narrative and let you see that all narratives matter truly.

Encourage seeing the other side, the other point, the real ramifications of what helps society and what breaks society down or alienates society.

The more sides we see maybe the more sides someone else will see until we finally see all sides are equal in importance.

Diversity is more than you and me.

Diversity is all of we.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 9, 2022

What are your thoughts?

I ask this question as I write the article for you, reread and edit the article for you, plus ask it at the end of very nearly EVERY article.

BECAUSE…

Your thoughts are more important than what I am saying. Is there something in the words that tantalize, provoke thought, encourage you to dig deeper, lead you to make incremental improvements?

Just how does the article speak to you, move you, engage you, propel you to share it, think on it, repeat some of the message [even all of it].

I know me and my motivations and what I intend, but what are you receiving? How do you relate?

Is there a tangent that I have not thought of that would be interesting to follow up with? Did I miss something completely? What did you think of that I did not?

We rely on each other to encourage, help, suggest, augment, bounce ideas off of and just be there for each other.

Every friendship, partnership, has give and take, mutual understanding and discussion to take it to the next level.

Give me your thoughts and questions and musings and let’s make this even more incremental together.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 7, 2022

Positives and Negatives

For now when your story is graphed it is necessary to understand how it should look. Graphed, you may question?

Good question for each story, each chapter has positives and negatives and this gives your story movement.

Too many positives and you have a straight line which is NOT a story.

Too many negatives and you have a straight line which is NOT a story.

The movement up and down, success then failure, then attempt with minor success or leads to an a-ha, gives the story movement.

Here is an example of what graphed your story should look like this: (This graph is from Story Grid of the Wizard of Oz)

Now if you can’t read each of the tiny points that are not that important. Just look at the way the lines move up and down and the suspense heightens, then the main character attempts something, or meets someone and we hear their story and then continue on.

It beckons us, it calls to us, it demands that we continue reading to find out what happens next and eventually overall.

That keeps us readers reading and that is when you as an author adds layers and followers because they have learned that you understand how to pique their interest.

If there is no piquing then why continue to read.

We want, we need, we HAVE to know, what happens to this, your character.

How will they get out of this situation? How will they overcome this issue? How will they defeat, or triumph over various obstacles? How will they overcome their own feelings, their doubts, their fears, others manipulation, the environment?

I’d love to hear from you.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 5, 2022

Another thought on: The Greatest Article I Never Wrote

As with most things there are flip sides, some that we don’t think about.

Several days ago I wrote an article on The Greatest Article that I Never Wrote.

Now that I’ve processed the whole event and I now see a flip side.

The flip side is that my brain was working and writing and processing and the article came together and though it was not actually written down; IT IS A FANTASTIC EXERCISE and PRACTICE.

So mentally if you are a writer or another craftsperson even if you don’t have media in hand you can perform it all in your mind and that is great practice.

You are putting you body and soul and effort into doing something even if it does not come alive as a real tangible piece of art. It still existed in your mind and all the learning and teaching that came forth from that crafting is yours.

You own it! Even if it never sees the light of day.

Hone your craft, think and plan and use your craft even if your tools are not at hand for all that honing will make your blade sharper and more useful for future crafting.

There are always silver linings and it is up to us to go after and seize those linings and use them to our advantage.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 3, 2022

Self Publishing another whack

Yes, I’ve discussed self publishing many times and thought I knew a lot about it; however, I’ve been reading Mark Coker’s free book The Secrets to eBook Publishing Success.

To find the PDF for a free download, it is available from a few sites but SmashWords is owned by Mark and so that is the origin, Google this:

The-secrets-to-ebook-publishing-success.pdf

Yes, Mark owns SmashWords and so it is somewhat self promoting and it also gives extremely good advice.

There are many self publishers and it seems to me like aggregators (self publishers that distribute to many sellers rather than just one like Amazon) are maybe the route to choose.

I really haven’t decided.

Here is a Reedsy blog only about self publishing companies to potentially choose from. I do not endorse or recommend or have been paid in any form, I am just passing along information.

https://blog.reedsy.com/best-self-publishing-companies/

AND Reedsy has services for authors as well, so there is that.

We all have to self promote to some extent, here’s why:

  • We are a business and that business is in the business of creating growth and opportunity.

  • Very seldom will someone else do it for us unless they are paid, although reviews are some of the best free promotional channels.

  • If you are not self promoting then who will promote you, lol?


There are probably dozens more reasons but these are a few I could think of, if you think of more then send me some and I’ll follow up with another article and credit you.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


April 1, 2022

Chris Lynch interview with David Alan Binder


His Website: https://www.chrislynch.link

About Chris Lynch from his websitte:

He’s a technologist, digital marketeer, writer, film-maker, comic book guy, hypnotist, foodie, and general nuisance.

The Day Job

I’m currently the IT Director of Source Insurance. Prior to this I was the founder and CTO of Cardiff based digital agency Gravit-e for almost ten years and spent eight years before that working for the National Health Service on a wide range of software projects. I am also a founder director at TruTech and ReturnApp.

My book on digital marketing and search engine optimisation, “The Truth About SEO“, has been a number one download on Amazon across multiple categories. I’m a strong advocate of open source technologies and share software and open-source advice on my personal technology website.

Books and Comics

I also write books for children and adults, most recently working on Doctor Who spin-off books in the extended Haisman universe for Candy Jar Publishing. Over the past few years, I have written a number of books, novellas, and short stories for Candy Jar and always have more in the pipeline. My children’s book, “Curse of the Mirror Clowns“, was shortlisted for a Scribe Award in 2019.

When I’m not writing books I create comics as one-half of the comic book studio Monkeys with Machineguns. As well as self-publishing our own comics, we have worked with a range of comic book publishers in the UK and US including The Judge Dredd Megazine, Arcana, Metaverse, The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel, 2026 Books, Accent UK, Something Wicked, The Sorrow, The Mad Scientist Journal, KZine, Wilde Times, Another Realm, 10thology, Midnight Hour, and Insomnia Publications.

TV/Film and Radio

I am co-writer/producer at Welsh independent film studio The Black Room. Our short “The Black Room” has been featured on Amazon Prime Video and our first feature film, OffWorld, is currently in post-production ahead of a world-wide release with a major distributor.

More or less once a week, you’ll hear me on South Wales ONE (formerly ACJ Radio) on the Soundclash. This show is syndicated worldwide with an audience as far away as Australia!

  1. Where are you currently living?

I live in Wales, just to the left of England, in the UK.

  1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

Always write what you want to write. People will tell you to write to the market, to target a publication and write what that publication wants, but that way lies nothing but the soulless grind of the word-mines.

  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

I love to hide references and quotes from books, TV shows, and movies in my stories. It's a habit I picked up as a software developer. Working on Doctor Who spin offs there are a lot of rules about what you can and can't use, so I'd like to think I've become pretty adept at skirting the fringes of intellectual property law.

  1. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I've done both and there are pros and cons on either side. Working with a publisher means sacrificing control and accepting that you will be one of a stable of authors they are working with, according to their own priorities and budgets and timelines. Self-publishing means you have to do everything, including stumping up all the money and investing all the time, and any day you take off is a day another self-publishing writer didn't but… you get to treat yourself as the number one star client every single day.

There's nothing wrong with a mix and match approach and you can pick and choose depending on what you need at the time. Just remember that nobody owes you a shot. Publishing's a business and both you and your words

Also, people who think that self-publishing is somehow invalid really don't understand how it works. Publishers aren't hatched out of eggs in an alternate dimension then dragged to the mortal plain through some unholy ritual to rule over us. They don't have some sort of preternatural ability to tell good from bad. They are just people, with opinions. All the literary agents and publishers who turned down Harry Potter? Probably all still working today, definitely not a single one of them shot into the heart of the sun.

  1. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?


Right now most of my work is The Candy Jar Publishing, who are based right here in Cardiff with me.


  1. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Nope. Because there is no secret. Write a good book. Find the right agent or publisher, or be the right agent and publisher for yourself. Work hard. Don't give up. It can take a really long time to be an overnight success.

  1. How did you or would you suggest acquiring an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

Research definitely matters here. Agents put out really clear guidelines on what they are looking for, so read them and make sure you're targeting agents who are looking for the kind of work that you are doing.

  1. Do you have any suggestions or help or tips for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Don't waste money on specialist writing software. I've tried it all, I've written some too. Every minute you spend messing about learning how to use a piece of software is a minute lost from your writing time. Every one of these platforms is going to take your money, many of them every month for as many months as they can keep their leech-like hooks into you, and none of them add a great deal of functionality that will really help you write your story. When you're done, you're going to find that every editor and agent and publisher out there just wants the file in good-old Microsoft Word format so you won't be editing in that special magical piece of software anyway.

Stick to Word or Google Docs. They really are all you need.

  1. How many books have you written?

Five.

  1. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

No matter the story, it should be about something everyone can relate to, something fundamentally human. I write mostly about robots, aliens, magic, and weird time travel stuff. All of which is a smoke screen to hide what I'm really writing about.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Structure matters. Sometimes your story will offer up a twist of its own, one that even you didn't see coming. That's when things are working, at least for me. When the story pops the rails and goes off on its own, don't fight it. Just make sure that the story supports what happens logically. Plug your plot holes.

  1. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

You've got to have a hook, or so I'm told. One thing I definitely think is true is that if you can't sell your story in one breath, then you don't understand your story. You've got to understand its essence, its core, the fundamental building blocks that everything else rests on.

  1. What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?

I give a lot away for free. Every year I'll write at least one novella that gets sent out by my publisher to our readers as a Christmas gift. Whenever I can, I do school visits to talk to kids about writing and teach them what little I can. I never charge for the time. A lot of my fellow writers get cross with me about that, because school visits and lectures are a part of their income, but I truly believe that it's important and that schools deserve our support.

I may not be the next JK Rowling, but maybe the next JK Rowling will meet me and think "Yeah, writing's a pretty cool thing to do. I'm gonna do that." That would be cool, right?

  1. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

I'd do fewer print runs and go digital way earlier. It's a great feeling to hold your work in your hands, and there's a thrill to seeing your book on the shelf in a book shop, but you can't argue with the huge number of books that are sold digitally every single second of every single day.

  1. What saying or mantra do you live by?

"Aim for indoor work with no heavy lifting"

  1. Anything else you would like to say?

Every single thing I've said in this interview could be wrong. It probably is. I don't think one size fits all. There are going to be writers who do every single thing "right" and who don't get the pay off they deserve. There are going to be writers who are lazy, disorganised, but who the universe plucks from obscurity with the fickle fingers of fate and place daintily at the top of the literary world.

Don't tell me you've never read a bad book.

So, write what you want. At least, that way, you'll know that you did the one thing that nobody else in the world could have done.


There is a new lesson number 16 here: Click or cut and paste to find it

https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder/01-free-lessons-assignments?authuser=0

March 31, 2022

Douglas Stuart the Author

Today’s article is about an author that I wrote to request an interview. Although the author declined the interview, he still was kind enough to send me an Uncorrected Proof Book of his WITH the cover art. (I saw one for sale on eBay, same book, with no cover art and called an ARC Proof.

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Obviously I love reading, and writing and spend a copious amount of time on both.

Most authors just say too busy and that is it. Even agents or publishing houses too will say no thank you, even if I follow up and say do you know any authors who would like an interview I rarely hear from them.

There is one agent who had heard of me from somewhere (the internet or another author or agent, I’m not sure) and actually requested that I do an interview with one of her authors and then a few years later she requested me to interview another author of hers. That agent I consider to be a go getter and one that uses various avenues to get the word out for her authors.

Very nice. Love hearing from any authors and especially from my readers. I really appreciate all of the time, work, attention and ability that goes into the industry.

Wait, I digress. To get back on track the book title that I was sent is Young Mungo. Here is a blurb about this nice relatively new author:

DOUGLAS STUART is a Scottish-American author. His New York Times-bestselling debut novel Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It was the winner of two British Book Awards, including Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, Kirkus Prize, as well as several other literary awards. Stuart's writing has appeared in the New Yorker and Literary Hub.

Drop me a line and I’d love to feature you in your creative craft.

In addition to authors I’ve interviewed research assistants, cover artists, forensic liaisons who’ve helped an author to ensure the book was accurate.

So anyone that helps in any capacity in the publishing business or for that matter in an artist, crafting, it is interesting to interview newcomers to well established people.

What an interesting and fun occupation and I am honored to take a small part in it.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 28, 2022

Plotters and Pantsers

Okay let’s define the two different types of writers. One is like James Patterson who is a plotter. He outlines, outlines, outlines and then writes.

The other is a Pantser and they fly by the seat of the pants and just write. Some famous examples are:Diana Gabaldon, author of Outlander. Matthew Hughes, author of What the Wind Brings. George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones. Isaac Asimov, author of I, Robot (and many more) Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe Series. James Joyce, author of Ulysses.

One more thing you need to know, THERE IS NO ONE WAY THAT IS CORRECT. THERE IS ONLY YOUR WAY and you may have an approach that is a hybrid.

This is an explanation from the Story Grid website whom I use heavily in my training and have learned so much from them. (I’ve also NEVER paid a dime to them for anything, but they are great and if you want to pay for the training, then go ahead.)

“The Exploratory Draft (for pantsers)

The exploratory draft is also known as Draft Zero and it’s ideal for writers who consider themselves “pantsers”. It allows you to free write without constraint, and to think through your story as you go. Here, you can let your imagination run wild and see what emerges. If this appeals to you, dive into your story premise and see what happens. Then, skip down to the “Editing Your Draft” section below.

Pro Tip: The exploratory draft works for every unit of story within your novel. Even if you’re a plotter, when you get stuck, try writing an exploratory draft of that part of the story to get the creative juices flowing again.

The Story Grid Drafting Tools (for plotters)

These tools help bring clarity to your idea. Your high-level story premise might have passed the coffee test, but now it’s time to drill down and see if you’ve got enough to sustain a reader’s interest through 80,000 or 100,000 words.

Yes, this takes time and requires significant mental energy but it’s much faster and much less exhausting than a page-one rewrite. Trust me on this.

What you’ll end up with is a rock solid outline that is infinitely malleable.

This is not about stifling your creativing by generating a blueprint. This is about inspiring innovation through constraints, while simultaneously setting yourself, and your story, up for success.

Not surprisingly, the Editor’s Six Core Questions (part one, part two) and the Story Grid Global Foolscap (part one, part two) factor heavily in this approach.”

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 27, 2022

“Life Finds A Way”

Nearly a year ago on March 1, 2021 I unveiled that I was writing a series of articles on:

The incremental becomes monumental

Now about a year later Seth Godin writes this article:

Who invented the smartphone?

Well, certainly Alexander Graham Bell and Antonio Meucci and Edison and Tesla had something to do with it. And the folks at Fairchild. And Palm and Cisco and General Magic and countless others.”

How does this happen? Does Seth Godin read my articles, who knows? Maybe, maybe not. I would be flattered if he did and I am flattered that great ideas have to be exposed. If not by me than by someone else, which teaches us that IF YOU DON’T write that great idea and put it out there then someone else will.

I read an article once that simultaneous discoveries or near simultaneous ones are worked on at the same time someone else is. So that if we did not have a pasteurization by Louis Pasteure then we’d have it via someone else and in about the same relative timeline.

None of us are working in a vacuum and are privy to secret thoughts. Everyone is thinking and working on problems, solutions, answers, discovery at relatively the same time and eventually as a human race we make individual incremental improvements and as a single human being we also make individual incremental improvements. This is how life is, it finds a way.

Jeff Goldblum’s famous Jurassic Park quote, “Life finds a way.” is SO true!

Sometimes it is astonishing, sometimes inevitable, and it is wonderful as well.

Let me know if you know of any specific coincidences in your life or that you know about.

Looking forward to hearing all about it.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).



March 26, 2022

The secret to living forever.

According to Brad Meltzer Novelist

“Tell your story. That's the secret to immortality. The one true way to live forever.”

Is it really as simple as that?

If you don’t write it down then who will know?

If you don’t write it, who will?

Something has to be said and this is the only way to say it, is to write it yourself to ensure that immortality lives within you.

We forget, we misremember, as do others.

We misplace things, our memories can be skewed by someone else’s memory of how it went down or their perspective.

Your perspective is what is important due to your understandings, your desires, your input, your distillation process.

We are so unique.

There is no normal you there is only the you that is here right now which may change hourly or daily.

There is no average you, you are an amalgamation of all that has happened to you. Best of all what has happened to you did not happen exactly like that to anyone else.

Your feelings, your emotions and your understanding of events, places, issues are like no one else on the planet.

You are so You-nique that you can not replicate you at any given time or place, your authenticity derives from all that has affected you and authenticity is the key to you.

That is a great place to be in your heart and mind and soul. You are you and there is no one like you, ever before, during or since you.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 25, 2022

Sally Jane Driscoll interview with David Alan Binder


Her bio information from https://www.thesavvystreet.com/author/sally-jane-driscoll/


Sally Jane Driscoll, Literary Editor of The Savvy Street, holds an M.A. in Publications Design/Creative Writing and Publishing from University of Baltimore, where she taught writing and co-founded the literary quarterly, Passager. She worked as reader/fiction editor for a literary agent who represented popular novelists and is senior copy editor on a medical journal. Her short stories, poetry and articles have appeared in Asimov's, Ellery Queen, Interzone, Daily Science Fiction, Capitalism Magazine, The Intellectual Activist, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Lyric, Seventeen, Woman's Day and others.


Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallyjanedriscoll


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5765954.Sally_Jane_Driscoll


  1. Where are you currently living?

I've been living in the Texas Hill Country for 16 years. Best place I've ever lived, because of the people. I was born in Manhattan and grew up on Long Island, where I spent a lot of time at the beach. After college I lived in Yonkers near the train to NYC and worked in Manhattan at Grumbacher, the art supply company. I spent 4 years there writing ad copy and helping with product photography. Also spent some time living in Queens. Then I moved to Peekskill, NY, where my kids were born. Later I lived in and around Baltimore for a decade or so, where I got a double MA in Publication Design, and Creative Writing and Publishing. I then taught rhetoric to upperclassmen and grad students for 5 semesters at the University of Baltimore and for 2 semesters to remedial freshmen at a small rural community college. I then spent another decade in and around San Jose, California, working part time as a novel first reader and copy editor for the literary agent Ruth Cohen, who specialized in women's fiction. I was able to train for and then walk the Honolulu marathon, and I paddled my kayak in every bay in Northern California… Now I love Texas but miss the Atlantic beaches and the Cali weather.

  1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

I've learned that I'm a short story writer—haha! I did write a novel as my MA thesis and have made several starts (up to 100 pages) on other novels. I think my error has been to spend too much time trying to learn to write novels and not enough time actually writing them. There are so many books on how to write long fiction but each one that I've read has a method that suits the type of mind of the particular writer who wrote the book. I believe now that each author must develop an individual writing focus and method, instead of modeling a character, a plot, a style on what someone else has done. I've also learned that I love the long form despite my many failures and I will not give up.

  1. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

Almost all of my stories so far have had a Twilight Zone kind of twist: "There's more to the story than meets the eye—it's not what you think!" It's kind of like having God reach down and put his finger on the page.

  1. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I've self-published 3 short books on Amazon, of which 2 were short story collections and 1 was very short—it's about Ayn Rand's wake. (This piece appeared on The Savvy Street site.) The problem with self-publishing on Amazon or elsewhere online is that it's easy for someone to steal the work and republish it, which is what happened to one of my story collections. My work with the highly professional and successful literary agent showed me that using a publishing house can be much more effective in terms of the return on the investment of time and mental energy.

  1. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?

I have no current publisher but this week I joined a Harlequin writers group on Facebook in which Harlequin publishing personnel also participate. I became quite accustomed to the Harlequin lines while being in a local romance writers group and before that by working for the literary agent. I'm toying with the notion of working on a story for one of the Harlequin lines, which now seem to have become more interesting than they used to be. This may be a place to restart.

  1. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

First of all—and this is very basic—be expert in your spelling, punctuation and paragraphing. It's very sad to read an interesting story with a lot of potential but which fails because of the author's sloppiness or unprofessionalism. The second most important point is to study and learn what kind of fiction the targeted publisher publishes. Would your book be out of place for that publisher? Would it enhance the publisher's line? Are there enough similar books for yours to fit in and yet be individual enough not to seem to be a copy of other books from that publisher?

  1. How did you or would you suggest acquiring an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

Be clear on what you want to achieve. Write a good precis of the work and submit it with the first 10 to 20 pages of the novel, or however many pages the agent specifies. Research agents online who would seem interested in what you write and who are professionals, preferably with a history of successful books. Check to see if the agent has any special requirements. Make sure that you and the agent would be a good match—don't try to sell a romance to a murder mystery agent or an unconventional modern novel to a sweet romance house. Go over your submission several times to make sure it's the best you can do. Follow the agent's criteria for submitting (if you can find any) and then send the precis and sample pages with a brief cover letter introducing yourself. Do not send the whole novel until the agent requests it. The agent will then either ask for more pages or send you a rejection, which may take some time. Don't keep asking the agent when a decision will be made… Be aware that the agent may request style changes as well as textual changes. The excellence of the writing will matter almost as much as the plot—sometimes more than the plot—and sometimes the plot will matter more than excellent writing. The agent will determine whether your work has potential for the publisher(s) the agent will submit to, and will request the whole novel if there is enough interest. Be aware that it can take a long time to be rejected.

  1. Do you have any suggestions or helps or tips for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

READ!!! Read the good stuff: Dickens, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Maugham, Trollope, the Brontes, Sinclair Lewis, Dostoevsky, DH Lawrence, Kipling, Hardy, Balzac, Homer, Pasternak, Fitzgerald, Tolkien. Read poetry: Voznesensky, Lewis, Kipling, Whitman, Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, Owen, Keats, Herrick, Poe. Read Chapman's Homer. Read the Greek and Roman classics and myths. Read history. Get and use a good dictionary. Get a copy of Roget's Thesaurus and use it. Several are currently for sale on thriftbooks.com for $3.99 and up.

  1. How many books have you written?

I have worked on about 5 novels but have not completed any yet except for a short romance novel, which was my MA thesis, and a couple of short story collections. My short stories, poetry and articles have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Interzone, Daily Science Fiction, Capitalism Magazine, The Intellectual Activist, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Lyric, Seventeen, Woman's Day and others.

In the past I worked part-time for two years as first reader and fiction editor for a major California literary agent of women's fiction. I was also co-founder and publisher of the literary quarterly, Passager, which was begun in 2005 and is still being published. I have 3 short books on Amazon Kindle: The Land Is Peopled by Shadows: 9 Dark Tales; You Can Get There from Here: Five Stories; and New York Story, a personal account of Ayn Rand's wake in NYC, which first appeared in The Savvy Street online.

  1. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

See the paragraph above that starts with READ!!! And get yourself a good thesaurus. If not a Roget, at least get one without any… political aspirations.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Characters should retain some mystery and not be so clearcut that the reader can easily be certain what they will do. They should be held back somewhat—even be contradictory—and become more clear gradually.

  1. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

I believe that a writer in love with the material who also has a good sense of the music of words will make any novel stand out.

  1. What is one unusual way in which you promote your work?

I have not yet promoted my work.

  1. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

There are 2 things. I would not have wasted time trying to learn and use other people's writing methods. The method has to match the psyche and the spiritual intent of the individual writer. Also, if I had had the option, I would not have spent so much time as an editor—I copy-edited an international medical journal for 27 years. Because that required such structural mental clarity, it diluted some of the energy I could have used to write fiction.

  1. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Until I read that question I was not aware that I had a saying or a mantra, but now I would say something like, "Don't live your life in Plato's cave!"

  1. Anything else you would like to say?

Yes: thank you, David! Trying to figure out answers to your questions has clarified a lot for me.


March 24, 2022

The Greatest Article I never Wrote

What? How could this happen?

I thought about it and had some great points to make and even had about a paragraph and a heading and it was fantastic.

HOWEVER…

Since I did not write any of it down, not even in my phone or a scrap of paper or even the one word headline to remind myself, I then forgot every single word of it.

Yes, my inaction resulted in nothing. So an accomplishment was not achieved, an intriguing and engaging article has me cursing myself and I KNOW BETTER, but I did NOT DO BETTER.

My point is that even one that has been ingraining this mentality and training myself and preaching action yielded to distraction enough to completely not do it.

So even the best of us succumb to this annihilation of just one item that would have resulted.

This consolation for you is yet another lesson for myself. ALWAYS WRITE IT DOWN! Even just one key word would help.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 9, 2022

Interactive

This whole website, my website is not very interactive.

There are too many other places for you to go and be bombarded by ads, click here or there, and so much frou frou that this is one place mostly free of all that jazz. I don’t push anything, it is all up to you to choose from all the choices offered and I am humbled that you choose to spend some time with me.

This is a plain, unadorned site, yet it receives hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The point of interactive is to keep you engaged and locked in.

So many other sites are that way, sending emails, alerts, coercion, and pleas for your time and attention.

Some of us don’t have to. We are quiet and worthwhile and informative and that is an important choice for you to make in your life.

It adds peace, not agnst, it adds comfort, not disquietude, it adds to your soul and your health and your knowledge base.

Once in a while I’ll place a useful link, not very many pictures since the whole point is the reading and absorbing information and not being distracted.

Choose sites that are static (very quiet and still) rather than dynamic.

In the quiet moments we learn and grow and are allowed to think freely.

Like a garden there is no room for loudspeakers or music, only nature.

The nature of this site and others like it nurture you.

Nature and nurture simultaneously.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 7, 2022

Stephen Leather

Mr. Stephen Leather is the author of many UK best sellers; we just watched The Foreigner on Netflix based on his book The Chinaman.

S. Leather has this advice about getting published:

https://www.stephenleather.com/getting-published

After five paragraphs on getting published then he talks about getting an agent.

Getting an agent goes on for eleven paragraphs then he discusses self-publishing.

He has seven paragraphs on self-publishing and then also links Mark Coker’s pdf on the subject.

Here is that link but read Stephen Leather’s seven paragraphs FIRST since he goes into detail of when you should and when you shouldn’t.

https://www.stephenleather.com/files/the-secrets-to-ebook-publishing-success.pdf

The PDF has 131 pages of useful information.

Then Stephen has a few more paragraphs on useful reading.

I recommend reading it all thoroughly, and maybe more than once if you're serious.


A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 3, 2022

Moments

Your life consists of incidents and problems and maybe abuse, maybe other types of behavior that you are in emotional terror or want to forget about.

One thing that is first and foremost is that it is NOT all bad.

Any interaction even with the most hated person, the most abusive person, the most diabolical person is never all bad.

They have used tactics to win you over, love bombing, idolizing you, overwhelming your defenses and they used those tactics repeatedly.

The sweet-mean cycle is evidence of this. You would leave if it was all mean, so they use the honey, the sweetness to win you over and to keep you coming back. You are yo-yoed by this sweet-mean cycle.

Your emotions and your self esteem and your self identity is being manipulated in order to keep you coming back

Just like a casino, which uses tactics, letting you win once in a while to keep you hooked.

The narcissist and other manipulators are experts. They know the proper bait to use at one time and for others they know that you have to use a different bait to catch the proverbial fish and to keep it.

Those little details are completely unknown to you since you are not diabolical, you do not use methods to win others over to use them and manipulate them so you are completely unaware.

Awareness is a key component in our development and our progress. If we continue to be unaware of these tactics and manipulations we then become armed to avoid these weapons.

Not to use these weapons. We develop the ability to avoid, to counter, to dodge these types of “attacks” for these are definitely attacks. They are used to permeate and dissolve our boundaries, our morals, our judgment.

If the manipulator can get us to not believe what we are experiencing, to doubt our judgment, our faith in ourselves we are undermined and become more and more mired in this manipulation swamp.

The more frantic we become the deeper we sink into that quicksand of manipulation.

Become cool, become calm, become rational, become knowledgeable, become your own savior, become able to depend on yourself and you.

You HAVE to, MUST, SHALL, become the one who comes to your own rescue.

Over the years you heard about my family and my mother and different issues that became exposed over time.

First and foremost is that it is NOT all bad.

The same with your life.

So we learn and

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


March 1, 2022

There is a NEW free lesson under the 01 Free Lessons & Assignments Tab.

What is your playing style?

Your approach to games says volumes about you.

In this article an exploration was made of play styles and what to expect; however, these behavior styles were very psychologically developed and also extremely difficult to understand from a laypersons point of view.

Here is one example:

The Four Keirsey Temperaments

In the 1970s, psychologist David Keirsey identified four general patterns from the sixteen types of the Myers-Briggs personality model. In his book (co-written with Marilyn Bates) Please Understand Me, Keirsey described these four "temperaments," giving them descriptive names much as Richard Bartle named his player types:

  • Artisan (Sensing + Perceiving): realistic, tactical, manipulative (of things or people), pragmatic, impulsive, action-focused, sensation-seeking

  • Guardian (Sensing + Judging): practical, logistical, hierarchical, organized, detail-oriented, possessive, process-focused, security-seeking

  • Rational (iNtuition + Thinking): innovative, strategic, logical, scientific/technological, future-oriented, result-focused, knowledge-seeking

  • Idealist (iNtuition + Feeling): imaginative, diplomatic, emotional, relationship-oriented, dramatic, person-focused, identity-seeking

However, simplification may be prudent at this juncture.

Here are some (there are probably dozens) playing styles (the approach to playing games):

  1. Adaptive

  2. Difficulty oriented

  3. Strategic / Thinker approach

  4. Quitter

Adaptive means that one may be overwhelmed by the rules or complications presented or just the overwhelming situations and examples. However they may adopt a show me or let’s play some example hands or turns approach to learning. This helps them to grasp key concepts and then build on those concepts until they ultimately learn to play the game.

Difficulty oriented people may be overwhelmed and avoid playing for insecurity reasons or they may have a need to be able to dominate from the beginning and if they think they can’t achieve that then they may not play for that reason.

Strategic / Thinker approach means they are willing to see and learn. Watching others play as they figure out what is applicable and when as they see how the other players play the game. This watcher approach may also be difficult since not all scenarios may play out watching others play the game and so they are not aware of every possibility.

The Quitter may not play also due to difficulty of grasping the rules or the situational options are too many and just be overwhelmed by all the possibilities and options so they opt out of playing rather than trying to attempt it.

I learned to play cribbage from watching two older people (mycare givers when I was in elementary school). I watched them play for an hour or two for many weeks until one of them was busy and I wanted to try it.

My approach was that even though I had watched that game probably dozens if not hundreds of times so that eventually I’d get it. I also knew that I’d most likely lose many games before I had a chance of winning.

This approach means one is willing to not have the instant (or within a near time frame) gratification and is willing to be subjected to losing in some form or another, from a sound thrashing to the I’m getting closer and closer to winning but not there yet.

Being able to see the prize far beyond your capability is paramount to the learning process.

You believe in the inevitable. You will eventually win if you keep trying and trying and trying.

You believe in yourself.

Are you like this?

Do you believe you will eventually win?

No, not at games but whatever craft you are attempting.

Your first attempt may not look very pretty, may even be downright ugly; however, you don’t care. Just doing it is an accomplishment and propels you forward to doing it and refining it until it goes from ugly to fair to good to pretty good to great to fantastic.

I was this way at playing hearts as well. I played with a guy that was a card counter, I played with other guys who did everything they could to “run” and rule a hand and take every point. (There are two ways to play hearts, one is to avoid taking any points and one is by taking all the points and thus giving others quite a few points. The latter is very difficult but very rewarding.)

Thus, to finally play and win amongst these various types of players was difficult but all the more meaningful when I eventually did win occasionally.

Knowing your style and type of temperament and your approach means knowing how you will react and how you can play on your strengths and weaknesses.

Overcoming weakness by building slowly and surely is more of a win than if you started out very strong and then do not advance from there.

Life is the same. If you start out with not very much of one thing (you pick the thing, money, looks, personality) then being able to progressively gain means a lot and builds your confidence.

“It is not where you start but how far from that start you finally end up that determines your progression.” David Alan Binder

Give me your thoughts in a short email. I’d appreciate it.

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


February 27, 2022

Get Buzzed!

As we know the context is Royal albeit queen or king.

Get buzzed, get excited, get high, get going.

When we are excited about a project we dig in and charge forward and get it done.

Buzzing indicates not only business (bizzyness) but also indicates ACTION!

The main ingredient into which your effort gets things done.

Bizzy can be just spinning so ensure that you are not circling but main / straight lining to a goal.

The progress you make not only depends on being bizzy, but also being productive.

Productive is proactive is progress is what a pro does to get to the goal.

Buzzing everyday is an incremental way to move from one state to monumental.

Notice the action words I’m using, the action verbs!

“The action is the traction to success.” David Alan Binder

What actions shall you employ today to ensure your productivity gains you rewards, achievements and success?

Drop me a line and let me know!

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


February 25, 2022

A great article on Ten Ways to Tantalize Your Reader

You are exactly correct when you think I don’t know everything. In fact what I don’t know can be filed in a room the size of Texas or Alaska or maybe even China.

So I find ways to find out what I don’t know and if I find that it is interesting then I write about it. Sometimes it needs to come from the mouth of the original writer and who knows if they really know it or if they read it somewhere and are re-spitting it out. Who cares? We learn and grow from it.

The following website gives us this article:

Ten Ways to Tantalize Your Reader

https://thrillbegins.com/2017/07/24/ten-ways-to-hide-clues-in-your-mystery-surprise-your-reader/

[It is quoted here in its’ entirety]

“Sequence Diversion –

Put the real clue right before the false one. Readers and your sleuth often focus on the last clue presented. If you’re getting started with mystery writing, this tactic is a great place to start. Mention or show the clue first and then immediately focus on a different clue or red herring.

Secret Emphasis –

Emphasize the unimportant, but de-emphasize the clue. The reader sees the clue but doesn’t see what’s important about it. For example, your sleuth may see the value of a company report and the statistical details but doesn’t look at the man who researched and wrote the report.

Before It Counts –

Early on, plant the clue before it has any context. Your sleuth may walk by a man cleaning his yacht with chemicals before a business partner dies of toxic chemical poisoning. Carolyn Graham uses this tactic in her Inspector Barnaby mysteries.

Missed It –

Your sleuth misinterprets the meaning of a clue. The murder took place in a room with open windows. Your detective believes that’s how the murderer escaped. But the windows were open to let in the evening breeze and the murderer escaped through the door and out the back staircase. This is a great tool to use with a flawed sleuth whose flaw keeps her from seeing the real meaning.

The Not a Clue –

The clue is what isn’t there. Although the sleuth deduces certain actions happened, the real clue is what is absent. A classic clue that isn’t there is when Sherlock Holmes realizes the dog didn’t bark in “Silver Blaze.” There was no intruder.

Piece by Piece –

A time-release method to scatter pieces of the clue in different places through the story. Then mix up the logical order. Your sleuth finds an empty aquarium, water but no fish in a suspect’s room. Later on she finds six fish bodies tossed out a window. She has an “epiphany” when she remembers the empty aquarium.

In Plain Sight –

Create a cluster of clues and squeeze the real clue in with all the others. Hide the clue in plain sight. This technique works well in a story with multiple suspects from Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express to John D. MacDonald’s hard boiled Travis McGee (pick one).

Distraction –

Draw your reader’s attention away from the clue. The sleuth and the reader follow a false trail. What seem like the most evident clues are not the real trail to the suspect. In Adrian McKinty’s The Cold, Cold Ground the clues seem to lead toward a serial killer who targets homosexuals. Not the case at all.

Time Seed –

Create a time problem. A suspect has an alibi for the time of the murder. Later it turns out that the murder was earlier and the alibi does not work. Or the suspect claims a time as an alibi but could get away during the time covered by the alibi.

Camouflage with Action –

Camouflage a clue with action. Just as your sleuth glances at a scrap of paper on the floor, he’s hit from behind. In the ensuing action and consequences—trip to the hospital, a missed appointment because of time in the hospital, etc.—your sleuth overlooks the clue. Jo Nesbø uses action camouflage in his Harry Høle series.

Practice

Emulation is no crime for writers. Read your favorite authors, note how they plant their clues. Follow their example in your own style. Increase your clue planting skills by reading mystery and crime stories outside of your genre. For example, if you write cozy mysteries try reading a crime thriller. Push your envelope. Experiment with different tactics. Lead your reader toward the puzzle prize – the real villain revealed.”

By Zara Altair

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).


February 23, 2022

Author Considerations

Publishers are looking for the next great thing; however, they also consider the ethnicity, the culture, and many things about the artist (author) themselves.

Publishers may be looking to promote the next “insert race here” “insert gender here” “insert Orientation here” author or even characters. Here is a list on orientation if you are not up to speed- https://www.colorado.edu/cisc/resources/trans-queer/lgbtq-definitions

Stories require that there be characters (almost 99.99% of the time).

So as you choose your characters here are some things you may consider.

  1. Ethnicity of your characters

  2. Orientation of them

  3. Culture or lack of culture

  4. Religion or lack of religion

  5. Type of “family” or lack of “family”

  6. Friends

  7. Adversaries and their ethnicity, orientation, culture, family or lack thereof, etc.

  8. Marital Status or lack thereof, married, single, widow(er), partner, divorced

So once you’ve figured all that out then you are able to write. Correct?

Not so fast. If you have gone through all those considerations above for yourself and characters you may be so discouraged that you are attempting to hit a market segment, have the correct spin on you or your characters, that you are overwhelmed with the possibilities.

What I am trying to say is that all the above stifles your creativity.

A few years ago when Amazon became the behemoth Book seller, and eBooks were the thing then hitting the correct segment could make you a “best seller” in a certain segment almost instantly even by selling just a few to a hundred books.

No, that is true. There were algorithms and plans and software that could show you where the eBook market was underserved.

A purple leafed plant-like alien from a distant solar system could come to earth and since that was an unusual type of alien then it could take over that market segment. (I am using an example that is very unrealistic to try to make a point.) The point is that there were no other books about a purple leafed plant-like alien on the market so, voila, instant segment capture. It would be the only eBook like it and thus you’d be able to promote yourself as a best selling author in this segment and propel yourself into the limelight.

See the gimmicks and marketing that authors may think of to elevate, or create controversy or do something to further the hype about them.

There may be a way to go about this so you don’t overload yourself with all those other considerations.

Just write! Yeah, simple and effective. Forget about market segments and promotion and characters to appeal to certain groups. Just write.

Certainly a fresh approach and some unique twists are definitely needed in your book but also that adds originality and does not burden you unduly. Every author has to add unique twists and turns within a book or it will bomb if it has the same plot line as many others. The uniqueness is not there.

There is room for George R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien and many others in that genre as long as it is a fantastic story with fantastic characters.

The rage now is strong women characters that have to help the men who don’t think things through and act rashly with brawn over brains.

This is pandering and won’t breathe any more life into your story if you want to attempt to appeal to what the publisher wants or the reader wants. That track is short term thinking when that thinking needs to go into the story to develop it fully and naturally and originally.

Be yourself and have fun with it. That is the main reason to write. To be yourself. To tell your story the way you want it.

Write for you, no one else and that will add a breath of fresh air to your tale.

Yes you have to follow some conventions like an inciting incident plus all the rest. That is like ensuring that the car you build has brakes, steering and other appurtenances that will follow the laws and make the car usable. Your story must be usable within those conventions, other than that it can be quadruple deckered, 36 wheeled, nitro fueled and other maybe not so conventional approaches to enrich and embellish the transportation.

Go ahead and have fun and be yourself.

What do you think?

A Think Piece by David Alan Binder

Your thoughts, dalanbinder AT gmail DOT com (questions and inquiries).



February 22, 2022

2-22-2022 at 2:22

Is it just a date or is there more to this numerology thing?

That’s the thing, you decide what is significant and what is not.

If you believe an animal holds significance other than being an animal then it is YOUR belief and only significant to you.

If there are signs and sayings that have power to you then so be it.

In a world full of choice somehow others believe that if you don’t believe like they do that something is wrong with you.

Believe in the power of nature? The power of the sun?

Extraterrestrials or aliens? Weird ideas and opinions?

“Let's define an unusual belief as one that at least 95% of the world does not share. ... Psychotic individuals tend to have unusual beliefs that we call delusions. For example, some people think that they are Jesus or the devil”

Yes there are so many ideologies out there, the flat earthers, different cultures, the moon landings did or did not happen, etc.

Yet, you are what you believe and as a society and as humans it is time for each of us to