Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: read

A Few Bookish Videos

I was, as often happens on the Internet, “guided” to a particular post. Bookish Videos

It happened to be on Book Riot.

I’ll quote a bit from their About Page:

“Book Riot is dedicated to the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are. So sometimes we are serious and sometimes silly. Some of our writers are pros. Many of them aren’t.”

The major topics on their Home Page are Listen, Read, and Watch.

And, something I found interesting for a bookish site—an offer to sign up as an Insider, with the top category “sold out”…

But back to those videos, which are in their post, The Best Bookish Ted Talks from 2017.

There are 8 videos there and I’ll share two here.

One with Anne Lamott and one with Elif Shafak (though, I should mention there are three more videos with Ms Shafak in these posts).

You might find that YouTube has put a short ad at the beginning of the videos—you should be able to “Skip Ad” a short way in—in the lower right corner…)

If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Boosting Your #Creativity

I’m going to share two ways to boost creativity—a website and a particular article on that site… Medium

The site is called Medium and here’s a bit of what they say about themselves:

“Medium is a different kind of place to read and write on the internet.

“A place where the measure of success isn’t views, but viewpoints.

“Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications.

“A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.”

The thing is, you can read there; but also, you can write there:

“However, the real value of Medium isn’t our tools. It’s all about the network, the connections with other people, and the stories you create. Well-designed networks reduce friction and help good stuff be found. Connections allow the whole to become greater than the sum of the parts and new paths to discover and build meaning. After all, isn’t that what every writer wants?”

Interaction is Key:

“Reading these stories is not passive. Every highlight you leave changes the way others interpret the story — and maybe even the way the author thinks about what they wrote.”

So, boost your creativity by reading great articles on Medium (you can follow particular writers and/or follow tagged ideas) and share your creativity on Medium by writing articles.

And, here’s their Huge Promise:

“When you sign up for Medium, you are joining a community of millions of thinkers and doers offering their best ideas and moving conversation forward on the biggest issues and interests of the day. Because great writing deserves a great audience.”

And, here’s an article from Medium to start you off—9 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Creativity.

To encourage you to take that link, here are the topics discussed in the article:

1. Learn Through Collaboration
2. Do Something You Love
3. Find Inspiration From Other Industries
4. Unplug (Or Just Do Nothing)
5. Walk
6. Set the Right Mood
7. Use the Six Thinking Hats Technique
8. Ask For Advice or Feedback
9. Pick a Terrible Idea

I dare ya to go read what Larry Kim says about those ideas; and, that link of his name will take you to other articles he has on Medium :-)
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Etymologies & Thesaurus Trees

I think it’s time to show the Word Histories and Synonyms for the three Main Topics of this blog:

Reading, Writing, & Publishing.

The etymologies are from the Oxford Online Dictionary Pro:

Old English rae-dan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream’)

Old English wri-tan ‘score, form (letters) by carving, write’, of Germanic origin; related to German reissen ‘sketch, drag’

Middle English (in the sense ‘make generally known’): from the stem of Old French puplier, from Latin publicare ‘make public’, from publicus

And, the synonyms are from the ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus:



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The Art of Creative Reading . . .

As you can see from the subtitle of this blog, it’s about Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

Because of an on-going survey of reader desires, writing gets most of the attention.

But, checking the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar shows “read” = 20 posts, “reader” = 40 posts, “readers” = 16 posts, and “reading” = 51 posts; though, I’m sure some of those numbers overlap; and, this post will add another post to each of those categories

There are two special posts here about reading that a friend said were so “technical” that they couldn’t even come up with a comment; though, they apparently liked the posts: What Happens When We Read? ~ Part One and What Happens When We Read? ~ Part Two.

I’ve had to constrain my normal desire to read with abandon for the last long while because I’ve been involved in writing an important series of books.

When the next one is published, I’m going on a reading sabbatical with my Kindle :-)

As some of you know, I’m the Events Manager for Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

Every Saturday we have Readers’ Chat, a fun and wide-ranging free discussion of any and all books as well as surprising sessions about the act of reading itself.

Last Saturday, someone shared a link to the blog Creative Reading by Wouter Hanegraaff, Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.

There are only 8 posts on the blog and I’m hoping some of you are interested enough to visit and, perhaps, induce Wouter to write more :-)

His quote in the banner of the blog is interesting:

“‘As academics we are expected to write and publish, but we are not supposed to waste our time reading.’ This remark by a colleague—as absurd as it is true—inspired me to start this blog. Yes: as an academic in the field of the Humanities I spend much of my time reading, and on this blog you can see how that works. If scholarly writing has any value at all, then the reading that precedes it deserves respect as an integral part of the creative process that leads to knowledge and understanding.”

If all this talk of reading has gotten some of you writers fidgeting, why not read the past post, How To Read Like A Writer :-)
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What Should You Read Next?

How do you choose what to read next?


Ask a friend?

Browse a bookstore?

Browse a WebSite?

Go to a library?

Well, I found another way—based on other readers’ favorites and used over 10 million times

And, it’s called, ever so appropriately, What Should I Read Next? :-)

I’ve checked it out and it seems to have some merit.

What I’d really like, though, is for you to check it out and come back and let me know what you think in our comments.


Good :-)
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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