Category Archives: For Readers

Life’s Illusion, and More Challenge From Linguistic Relativity

I love reading P.M.H. Atwater. She has some way-out-there kind of stuff, but stimulating. And thought provoking. As of late, I have been reading Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story. In the chapter on shifts in perception, she talks about Benjamin Lee Whorf and the question he posed many years ago: “Does the language we speak shape the way we think?” I find this question fascinating. As a writer, words are my bread-and-butter. They are the tools I use to communicate the message I want people to get. I am very careful when I choose my words, picking out the word with just the right inference. I have a synonym … Continue reading

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The Moral Obligation of Story

By Monica Nelson People have long been telling stories. Longer, in fact, than we have been writing. Story has been a part of our various cultures from the stone age. In my family, my dad was the storyteller. He loved to captivate the family with highlights of his life. I came to know these stories by heart. Through these stories I learned about life on the farm, the depression, a young Midwestern-born-and-raised man’s trip to Florida. I also came to know my father, his character and what was important to him. Story does not just entertain. It helps us define who we are. It dictates to a new generation acceptable … Continue reading

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Surviving the Road Less Traveled

By Monica Nelson Early in my life journey I discovered the book The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. This book propelled me toward the life I have now, a mission on growth, spirituality and love. In those 30 plus years, I’ve learned a few things I want to share here. If you find yourself on the same path, and most of us do, I hope that you will gain an insight from my list. First and foremost, be kind to yourself; love starts with the source. If you can not love yourself, how do you expect to love anyone or anything else. Know that the journeys that grow … Continue reading

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Show Don’t Tell and the Love Verb

By Monica Nelson In writing, there is a rule for engaging an audience. It is the Show Don’t Tell rule. For a story to be effective, to draw in the reader, to grab hold of interest and keep it, a writer must seize the audience’s emotions. Which scene captivates you more? He could feel a surge of nausea move up from his stomach to his throat. But he could stand it no longer. Fixing his gaze into her eyes willing it to hold her attention, he slid his cold hands down to hers and held them with shaking confidence. His knee fell to the gravel, pain shooting through his leg, … Continue reading

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Psst – Want to Build Your Empathic Skills? Read Fiction

By Monica Nelson Creating empathy is a noble pursuit. It not only adds to your own character, it strengthens and makes for a more cohesive society. Business, too, has demonstrated the importance of adding empathy to its collective management skill set. The belief is widespread — empathy beats at the core of all that is good. There is no shortage of advice helping individuals create more empathy. If you google “How to build empathic skills,” you will get over 10 million results. And if you read that advice, you will find all kinds of helpful hints, exercises, and guidance for adding this important trait to your personality. The problem with … Continue reading

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Do Readers Translate the Same Words to Different Meanings?

By Monica Nelson In the book On Writing Fiction, Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft, Author David Jauss discusses the correlation between the underlying structure of a work and a piece of music’s rhythm. Basically, the author is a composer using words, sentence and paragraph structure, and flow to create a masterpiece in the same way as your favorite musical composition. Whether it is classical or rock or some other form of inspiration, the music resonates with the listener. In this same way, a story’s purpose is to resonate with the reader’s own internal linguistics. Done correctly, or should I say masterfully, it will impact a large reader audience. This … Continue reading

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