The Bathroom Reader

bathroom reader

 

During college, a roommate of mine had the perfect book—a paperback specifically designed for bathroom reading. I don’t remember checking it out then, as the thought of reading someone else’s bathroom book did not seem quite right.

 

As a side note, another friend of mine was curious about a thick book of money tips sitting I had on the back of the toilet. When he started to flip through it, my bookmark—an Our Daily Bread pamphletfell out. Into the toilet. He quickly retrieved it and attempted to clean and dry it. Afterwards, he held it out to me and said, “This book fell in the toilet.” No apology, no explanation, but hilarious to me. Not mentioning any names…

 

At a recent yard sale, I found the book my roommate had—Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, written by none less than the Bathroom Reader’s Institute. It was “especially designed with the needs of bathroom readers in mind: It’s full of brief but interesting articles that can be read in a few seconds, or a few minutes.” (p4) More importantly, it has topics ranging from historical myths to riddles, Mark Twain and Einstein quotes to vocab etymology, little known facts about Barbie to the story behind Louis, Louis. It even has a table of contents.

 

This yard sale version looked unused, so I figured it was safe to buy. I don’t suppose I can ever resell it, as most of the pages are now dogeared. Then again, I may keep it as a reference. There are few things so beneficial for authors as wide reading. Maybe a fact about Gilligan’s Island can strike a thought for a character, or a quote by Nixon could be spoken to add realism.

 

Check it out. The Bathroom Reader is meant to fill your mind as you empty your bladder. It is not meant to be read straight through. Their advice: open a page and “go with the flow.”

Get it done already! Why short-term goals are better than long-term goals

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What’s the biggest project you have ever given up on?
For me, I wanted to make a polyglot Bible, with Hebrew, Greek, and Latin in three columns, marking all major differences. (Yes, I’m a nerd!) Working full time on this, I could have finished in a couple years. Maybe.
The problem? Nobody else wanted this. Worse, I found a computer program that could do this almost as well, a website that could do this with even more languages, and a scholar who already did my exact idea with two of the languages. Bummer.
I realized the importance of first making sure your goal is worth the cost.

But let’s say you know your goal—you want to write a novel. And publish it. And make money from it.
Let’s start with the first of these.

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You’re on Fire—Three Keys to Writing Success

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Fire needs three things—fuel, heat, and oxygen. Without any of these, there is no fire.

 

Success is similar. It needs these three—time, motivation, and a plan.

 

Time

Did you know that you could save over $8,000 for your child’s college by saving $1 each day starting at birth? Wow! Or if you invest $5,000/year for 10 years beginning at age 25, you could have over $600,000 by age 65. (Compare this to the $400,000 earned by investing $5,000 from age 35 to 60.)

Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.

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How can you write with the kids around? Part 3

my family b

How do you write when you have a family, job, and possibly even a life?
   Make sure you check out parts 1 and 2 first.
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around/
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around-part-2/

1. Communicate
In a good novel, you need dialogue.
Same in relationships.
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3 things I wish I knew before becoming an author

Photo: My brother, the published author! (love how face is turned in such a way that it looks like a chunk of his beard is gone haha)

What do most people think about writers? Aside from seeing them as quirky or possibly snobbish, most non-writers think of writers as having the dream job of working for themselves at home in their pajamas, only donning normal clothes for book signings and author talks (in which hundreds of people line up to visit these celebrities).

The reality is slightly different. I learned this the hard way, and I wish I knew these three truths.
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Number one tip to overcome weariness

Keep it simple

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Try it with your daily goals

Some people try to write 1,000 words each day or exercise 30 minutes three times a week. These are helpful, but sometimes they seem like too much.

So keep it simpler.

How simple? Try this: Continue reading

Onekama – 4 easy tips on using commas

My hometown is Onekama, Michigan. But nobody knows how to say it, so many people have shirts that say “1,” making fun of tourists’ attempts at pronouncing it. (Get it? “one comma.”) But those who are from the place know the real pronunciation: “Oh-neh-ka-ma.”

Now, for writing, how should we use commas? Here are four easy tips. Continue reading