book

Lisa Scottoline’s writing is much better in Killer Smile

From LoriDuffWrites.com:

“One thing Scottoline is very good at, is something that many authors are not, and it is a pet peeve of mine. There is a rule in writing – if you put a gun on the mantelpiece in a scene, sometime later that gun needs to be fired. Red herrings are ok, but you can’t have irrelevant details or facts. Scottoline fires every single one of her guns, and that makes me happy.”

I didn’t like parts of Lisa Scottoline’s earlier books because she actually violated this “rule” quite a bit, but in her book, Killer Smile, she keeps the action moving and eliminates at least 90% of the “irrelevant details or facts” that I didn’t like in her earlier books. (Killer Smile is really good.)

If you can’t be brave, just be determined

I was listening to a book by Lisa Scottoline recently, and a woman in her seventies told a woman in her late 20s or early 30s to be brave.

“I don’t know if I can be brave,” the younger woman replied.

“Don’t worry about that,” the older woman said. “If you can’t be brave, just be determined.”

That struck me as smart. I’ve often thought that I don’t know what brave is, but we all know what it is to be determined.

The “Nanna teapot” (from Don Norman's Emotional Design) alvin July 25, 2019 - 6:50pm

It’s worth mentioning that my last post about a glass teapot was inspired by a book titled Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Don Norman. In that book he shows this image of three teapots, and the glass one in the middle is known as a “Nanna teapot.” I just saw that one sold on eBay for $275; that’s a little more than I had in mind. :) Mr. Norman earlier published a best-selling book titled The Design of Everyday Things.

Such a disappointing feeling when a book is a letdown alvin July 8, 2019 - 4:16pm

I just spent 45 minutes reading a new book about a programming language I was excited to learn, then slammed it shut and said, “Poorly organized, too many words, not enough code.”

That’s always such a disappointing feeling when you have that initial excitement about a programming language (or technology), and then a book is such a letdown. (I really hope people don’t view my books that way.)

“Excuse me, you’re in the way” alvin July 7, 2019 - 11:39am

“A man of knowledge lives by acting,
not by thinking about acting.”

Carlos Castaneda

By now you know that I think a lot about attitude, and if there are any major secrets to my success, one of them is that at some point I learned that I was smart enough, and aggressive enough, to know when I was right about something. Once I gained confidence in myself, if I was clearly right about something and someone didn’t agree with me, I didn’t hesitate to say, or at least think, “Excuse me, you’re in my way.”

Port covers

Just a few months out of college, I was assigned to a missile project that had to do with something known as “port covers.” In short, port covers are like little doors on the sides of air-breathing rockets. If you’ve seen a little model rocket, or perhaps a firework that shoots up into the sky, you know that a rocket is basically a tube, like the cardboard tube that’s inside a roll of toilet paper. A normal solid rocket motor like this is filled with solid rocket fuel, which is something like a solid version of gasoline.