The Muse: Gray Cat on Gray Chair

Wherein Phoebe commits an admirable act of camouflage, while lounging. Truth be told, she is no muse. When she hears the laptop come on, or hears me settle into my desk chair, she quits whatever she is doing (which is to say she quits sitting around looking impervious) and stages an intervention. She likes to climb on the keyboard, as she clearly feels that she has a great deal more to contribute on any subject than I do.

Gray cat on gray chair on sunny day #cats

A photo posted by Michelle Richmond (@michellerichmondsf) on

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Livescribe3 Brings the Romance Back to Writing

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my new love affair with the Livescribe3 smarten. Because the proof is in the pen, I thought I’d show you some images of the Livescribe3 at work. Here are the notebook pages in which I drafted this post by hand:

Livescribe3 ExamplesLivescribe3 ReviewLivescribe3 for Writers

And here is the partial transcription of my Livescribe3 notes. (On the Livescribe app, you transcribe y right-swiping your handwritten notes on your iPad or iPhone). As you can see, I don’t have the most legible handwriting. In fact, my husband can’t read a word I write. I might have to marry Livescribe, because it clearly understands me much better:

How does Livescribe3 transcription work

Granted, it wasn’t 100% accurate, but it was startlingly close, considering how elusive my handwriting can be. No lost notes, not lost writing…brilliant.

Go here to get Livescribe 3 or check out the other Livescribe products, including the Echo set for students.

Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Year of Fog, Golden State, Hum, and other books. She is the publisher of Fiction Attic Press and the creator of The Paperclip Method for writers.

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Maria Popova’s Animated Essay: Wisdom in the Age of Information

In this stunning collaboration with animator Drew Christie, Maria Popova parses the difference between wisdom and knowledge and ends with a question we should all be asking ourselves. Popova, the brain behind the phenomenal intellect and arts blog Brain Pickings, teamed up with Christie for the Future of Storytelling Conference.

“A great story invites an expansion of understanding.”

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Stephen King on Writing, Grammar, & Work

Stephen King recently sat down with Jessica Lahey of The Atlantic Monthly to talk about teaching writing. King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is one of my favorite books on writing ever written. I love it for its accessibility, its wisdom, its lucidity, and its utter lack of pretension.

Lahey gained a new respect for the book when she used it to unlock her students’ resistance  while teaching writing in a residential drug and rehab program for teens.

At one point, Lahey asks King about the relevance of teaching grammar in classrooms. “Why bother to name the parts?” she asks, if someone “either absorbs the principles of one’s native language in conversation and in reading or one does not.” Here is King’s response:

When we name the parts, we take away the mystery and turn writing into a problem that can be solved. I used to tell them that if you could put together a model car or assemble a piece of furniture from directions, you could write a sentence. Reading is the key, though. A kid who grows up hearing “It don’t matter to me” can only learn doesn’t if he/she reads it over and over again.

I like the idea of demystifying writing, of naming the parts in order to make them less lofty and unattainable. The key here, though, is that we learn what we hear, and if we hear the wrong thing from an early age, we will have to retrain ourselves.

Read the entire interview, How Stephen King Teaches Writing.

Or get the book.

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