Monday, 2 August 2010

The way we do things is what we are doing

We tend to think of the message and the packaging as two different things. We even argue about whether the form or the content is more important (we do this a lot in teaching). And yet a few hours spent in any family or workplace are enough to show us the truth: the way the message is delivered is often the most important part of the message. Was there ever a great parent or teacher who talked to children as if they were idiots or wastes of space? How many rebellious teenagers have you known who rejected their parents' politics or religion, only to adopt a substitute ideology that perpetuated the same patterns they were trying so hard to escape from? More and more I am convinced that the way we do things is actually what we are doing.
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Saturday, 31 July 2010

The 'Paperback' Kindle is here!

So Seth Godin was right, as usual! The new Kindle Wifi is about to launch, retailing in the UK at just 109 smackeroos. So what are we waiting for! I can't wait to have my own portable library in my coat pocket. Bliss!


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Thursday, 22 July 2010

July is my Golden Month!

July is my favorite month of the year as a writer - it's the one month I can concentrate completely on writing and nothing else! I am really pleased with myself this month, because I have just finished Book Two of Moldavite: it's called IL Filo, the thread, named for Leopold Mozart's term for the theme in a musical composition.
Now that the text is finished, I am planning to publish the expanded version of the novel on My Ebook, and maybe Lulu. So I still have plenty to keep me busy! I have also started compiling a series of short pieces about Bohemia and Moravia, one or two of which have been published elsewhere, such as Words Without Borders. These are mainly short stories about real-life characters and daily life. Have a good summer!
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Friday, 21 May 2010

Nine

Funny, Nine has always been my favorite number. And I love musicals. So when last weekend turned out really wet, I thought to myself "What a perfect late afternoon for the big screen." I went expecting to be musically entertained, and I certainly was. What I wasn't expecting was a work of art on the level of the "first things", a masterpiece about the creative process itself (shades of "This is It") and the pressures of life in the spotlight. It was moving, it was illuminating. It is not to be missed.
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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Heidegger and all that

Sometimes one just stumbles on the most interesting things....

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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Self-Published Titles Topped 764,000 in 2009 as Traditional Output Dipped

Self-Published Titles Topped 764,000 in 2009 as Traditional Output Dipped: "A staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 byself-publishers and mic..."

This is a very interesting development indeed, showing that readers (and writers) are starting to dominate the market, as are niche interests. All of this is no doubt giving the traditional publishing industry serious pause for thought.....
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Friday, 9 April 2010

The Secret Inner Life of Alzheimer's Disease: A Spiritual View

The Secret Inner Life of Alzheimer's Disease: A Spiritual View
I stumbled on this amazing article about Alzheimer's while doing research for something I am writing at the moment. Not only is it full of inspiring and comforting insight about an increasingly prevalent disease, but it is also beautifully written. I pass it on as my thought for today.
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Tuesday, 6 April 2010

eReading Devices | eBookGuru.org

eReading Devices | eBookGuru.org
I am eagerly following the current discussion about e-readers since the unveiling of the iPad, which I am sure will oust the overpriced one-stringed instruments out there.
Aside from the technology used to deliver ebooks, the future of ebook publishing seems to be rather more difficult to predict. The industry is undergoing a revolution, putting authors and readers in the driving seat of what is being written and read, but throwing up a plethora of new issues about how livings are to be made (what will happen to agents? to publishing houses?) how authors are to promote their own work and what is to be done about such bastions of the publishing industry as copyright. Will we see a return to the pre-Enlightenment era of no intellectual property rights, only skilled developers and deliverers of the written word or melody?
It's an exciting time, for sure.
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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Riemann for Anti-dummies: introduction and critique

Riemann for Anti-dummies: introduction and critique
You know how you sometimes get an apparently random idea in your head while you are working on something, and it doesn't seem to make any sense, but it just won't go away? Well while I was working on Moldavite, the first part of my novel (downloadable from www.meiraeliot.com) I kept thinking of Mozart, again and again. I kept thinking about the wit, brilliance and lightness of touch in his music, the pace and the elegance of his composition - the way his melodies seem both simple and complex at the same time. "Now that is how I want to write," I kept thinking. It may be because I was raised in a musical family - my mother was a professional soprano - that I have always found musical analogies meaningful. When I am editing my writing I also read the text out loud at least once and take anything out that trips up the flow of natural speech.

I am now several chapters into Part Two of the novel. This part is called Il Filo, or 'thread', which was the term Mozart's father Leopold used to describe the motif developed in the various parts of a musical composition. Mozart learned this art in Vienna by making a detailed study of Bach's fugues, which astonishingly from our present perspective were virtually unknown in Austria at that time. After the event, genius always seems to have a kind of inevitable quality about it, a sense of natural evolution, but on the ground and at the time it is usually acquired by hard work, study and practice. If the 'thread' did not have enough mileage in it for development and counterpoint, then this was usually a reason to abandon the composition, as numerous abandoned works by Mozart testify.

Riemann for Anti-dummies offers a fascinating journey into the often hidden connections between apparently unconnected things - time-space, the audio-visual, the architecture of creation and the thought processes, mathematical and philosophical, that underpin it.
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