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Welcome. Whether you read, write, or both, you'll find something here. Free reads, book reviews, writing contest details and links, and much about the writing process. By all means comment; I'm always interested in the views of readers and writers. Follow the blog and connect with me on social networks; the more, the merrier.
And, if you'd like to send me a personal message, contact me here

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Last Post


This is the last post on this blog. 

From today, all my posts will appear in my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/ Please do join me there.

I would like to thank all my readers for their support here on Blogger over the past few years, I really appreciate it. So, why am I giving up this blog? Well, for one thing, as a free blog (thank you Google, for your support) it is open to the whims and fancies of its owners and controllers. 
Also, as a free blog, it has no real facility as a website.

I've migrated to a hosted site on Wordpress, where I will have much more control over the style and content of my new site, where I will be able to present my content in exactly the way I want it. Or, I will once I've learned the ropes of the new system.

So, please bear with me. It will take a little time to get on top of the technical issues, the changes in working, the simple act of placing the information on the new website, where I will also blog, of course. Please do join me there. You'll find it easier to comment as well, should you be so inclined.

Once again, thank you all for your valuable support here on Blogger. To those who don't wish to follow me into the new venture, I'm sorry to lose you. To those of you who click on the link above and join me on the new site, 'Welcome' and enjoy the read!

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #25

This time series, based on satellite data, sho...
This time series, based on satellite data, shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Large
Emotional: Big

‘As the reigning Conservative party, we are able to fool a large portion of the electorate regardless of our appalling record of broken promises.’

‘There’s a big section of voters who are easily taken in by the lies of the major political parties.’

Intellectual: Learn
Emotional: Find Out

‘What are we to learn from the speed of our response to the situation in Ukraine?’

‘Do you think we’ll ever find out why the stupid buggers took so long to actually do something about the Ruskies invading Ukraine?’

Intellectual: Peril        
Emotional: Danger

‘The evidence suggests that we will place the existence of the human race in peril should we ignore the evidence presented by climate scientists.’

‘Those bloody climate deniers have put us all in danger because they won’t believe the facts about global climate change.’

Intellectual: Worldwide
Emotional: In The World

‘There appears to be a worldwide conspiracy amongst Big Business to drive the population into a frenzy of needless consumption merely to support the excessive lifestyles of the super-rich.’

‘Nearly everyone in the world’s been fooled by the leaders of Big Business and their plan to make us all buy things we don’t need just to keep them rich and comfortable.’


This last post in this series is also the last on this blog. From today, all my posts will appear in my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/ Please do join me there.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #24

"[The] Giant Skrymir and Thor, by Louis Huard
"[The] Giant Skrymir and Thor, by Louis Huard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Huge
Emotional: Giant

‘Huge variances in voter response ensure that predicting the outcome of the election is, at best, an exercise in clairvoyance.’

‘With the giant shifts in public opinion, there’s no way anyone can guess the outcome of the election.’

Intellectual: Notion
Emotional: Idea

‘The underlying problem stems from the public’s notion that they are better informed and more suited to judging the reality of the situation, which we in power know to be a fundamental flaw in their thinking.’

‘The very idea that the plebs have a clue about what’s really going on is just bollocks.’

Intellectual: Utilise     
Emotional: Use

‘We will be able to utilise the ignorance and indifference of the electorate to impose our own will on the people, the way we always have.’

‘We can use the ignorance and stupidity of most voters to get our way, just like we always have.’


A piece of information: I intend to finish this series, which will take one more post, and I shall then cease to use this blog. From that point, all my posts will be restricted to my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/  Please do join me there.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Running and Writing for ME/CFS No.21

Some of you will know that I'm in the process of migrating from this site to a better website, where I can run a blog and a website over which I have more control.

All posts, other than the final 2 in the Word Choice series, will now appear only on the new site. You can reach it with this link: Running and Writing for ME/CFS No.21 

I want to make it clear I'm not moving because of any deficiencies of the blogger site. It's simply that the Wordpress site, which I am self-hosting, is not a free site and I therefore have more control over what I can do on there. Mind you, it's taking a while to get used to the different method of posting and applying information. But I'm getting there!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #23

just before the one mile marker
just before the one mile marker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Donate
Emotional: Give

‘There is an opportunity to donate funds to a worthwhile cause on my blog. Please consider making a donation to support my half marathon and raise money for ME/CFS through this link. Thank you.’

‘Go on, give us some dosh for Action For M.E. It’s a good cause, mate. Just text MESA76 to give £5 by text to 70070. Ta, ever so.’

Intellectual: Fortunate
Emotional: Lucky

‘I have reason to believe I have been very fortunate in recovering from ME/CFS after suffering the condition for nearly ten years.’

‘Talk about lucky: fancy getting over chronic fatigue after ten years, eh?’

Intellectual: Must
Emotional: Has To

‘In putting myself forward to run the half marathon at the Great North Run, I have placed myself in a position where I must train seriously if I am to satisfy the wishes of my sponsors.’

‘Anyone daft enough to run a half marathon for charity just has to do the training; it’d be madness not to, wouldn’t it?

My almost apologies for playing this card in this post, but I’ve allowed emotion to overcome intellect in this case. The cause is dear to my heart and I feel I must use every opportunity to raise both awareness and some funds for a cause that helped me in a time of need.


And a piece of information: I intend to finish this series, which will take another 2 posts, and I shall then probably cease to use this blog. From that point, all my posts will be restricted to my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/  Please do join me there.