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Busted! How to deal with the unexpected

not teaching,still THINKING … This “F” goes to a busted water heater. It is not so much that this much-needed appliance broke — or even that it leaked water onto the basement floor at an alarmingly steady rate. This broken water heater earns an “F” because of how it totally upended the normal routine of […]

Choose lively language with these 3 tips

not teaching,still THINKING … Lively language. The way we put words together makes a difference in how our message is received. One way to achieve lively language is to choose strong verbs. Substitute a strong verb for a weak one. Choose verbs that show action. Avoid “there is” and “there are.” Here are some simple […]

Look up! What stories will you tell?

not teaching,still THINKING … Blue-sky thinking is a must for writers — whether they are interns, newcomers or veterans. That’s because pitching stories is still THE top request of writers at digital-first operations and print publications. If you think it is difficult to come up with ideas no one has thought of already, then the […]

3 ways to test your trust in today’s news

not teaching,still THINKING … Now is a good time to share, again, some key ways that news consumers can test whether they can trust the information bombarding them about serious national issues in today’s news. Try any — or all — of these three simple exercises. After you have followed your normal routine for consuming […]

Fears and tears? Write through them

not teaching,still THINKING … Memories. That’s what “the Goodbye Diaries” is about — a mother-daughter memoir published almost 20 years after the death of mother Sally Bardach. Writing began during her illness in partnership with daughter Marisa Bardach Ramel, who just published the book these many years later. Marisa invited us to attend her book-signing […]

Turn on and stay on — all the time

not teaching,still THINKING … Spaghetti supper one night recently turned into a lesson relearned in how we need to be “on” all the time. The spaghetti saga starts with two cooks in the kitchen. Cook 1 boiled the water. Cook 2 added the pasta. Easy enough. But a simple meal took a nasty turn in […]