Fun With Photoshop

You may recall a blog post I submitted earlier this year, titled “Change the Channel.” In it I discussed the importance of channeling your creativity into a medium that isn’t writing. Simple enough. After some deliberation, I feel it’s time for another round of off-the-wall Photoshopped images.

Please keep in mind that these mocked-up images are playful takes on the originals. It’s all about having fun during your down time, right?

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How a Little Fiction Can Help You in Your Real Life


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received this response when speaking about my favorite novels to nonfiction-lovers. While it’s true that Sherlock Holmes may not really be around to solve crimes and Hogwarts might not actually exist, that doesn’t make the worlds in which they exist any less relevant to us real folk. Continue reading

7 Popular Internet Memes You Should Know

memesInternet memes are little snippets of instant gratification and joy; if you think otherwise, then you’ve clearly clicked on the wrong link. Memes have become so mainstream that you can barely browse the web without tripping over half a dozen of ’em. Some are iconic, others hilarious, and some are downright “what-the-heck?” worthy. Continue reading

My Deep, Dark Writing Secret

After nearly two decades of writing, including my tenure in San Francisco where I wrote for a nationwide publication, it’s about time I finally confessed something about myself. I’d like to let everyone in on my deepest, darkest writing secret.

Are you ready?

(Sigh) here goes nothing. … Continue reading

Set Your Writer Free

Getty Images

Sergey Nivens/iStock/Getty Images

I only used to write when an idea or a concept raced through my head —  I’d run to my computer (or my smartphone) in order to secure it, and then revisit my idea when inspiration hit me.

The idea of sitting down, with the clock ticking, and no inkling of what I want to say is scary—will anything come? What if there’s nothing but silence? Turns out, this scary act is somewhat magical. In writing what I don’t already know, I’ve discovered that images and words could unfold in new and unexpected ways. Continue reading

6 Everyday Words That Annoy Me


–> Fact:’s “The Best ‘New’ Words of the Last Hundred Years” caters to my inner word junkie and serves as inspiration for this blog post. If you haven’t already checked out the infographic, now’s the time!

–> Fact: Contrary to the aforementioned eHow article, there exist certain words/phrases out there that, when uttered in a particular vernacular, makes my blood boil — I’m sure I’m not the only one. Buzzfeed hit the nail on the head with their spot-on “13 Most Annoying Words And Phrases On The Internet,” which covers most (if not all) of my most hated words. Highlights from their article include …

  • Totes — “It’s totes cray up in the airport this morning.”
  • YOLO — “Keep calm because #YOLO
  • Amazeballs — “We’re literally amazeballs at sport.”

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How Adding Voice & Having Fun Can Make the Mundane Entertaining

We asked one of our editors (Betsy Brooks) to provide an example of how a little bit of voice can drastically improve a potentially boring topic. “Sure thing,” she said. The topic she chose? McDonald’s ketchup.

datoneEveryone knows McDonald’s ketchup is fantastic. F a n t a s t i c. Don’t trust anyone who tells you otherwise. As a kid, I always assumed McDonald’s served Heinz, mostly because they really are the household name in ketchup, and also because I was a kid and didn’t yet know how to spot a Heinz imposter. Turns out, most people think that McDonald’s serves Heinz – to the layman condiment consumer, they taste virtually the same. As the years passed, though, I became a budding condimenteur, and I began to notice the subtle differences: the extra hint of vinegar in the Fancy Ketchup at McDonald’s; the smoother texture and richer red delivered by Heinz; the saltier aftertaste of the FK at McD’s…  Also, the label on the ketchup at McDonald’s says “Fancy Ketchup,” and not “Heinz.” That probably should have been the first clue. Continue reading

DMS Content: Enriching Lives, Ruining My Favorite Flicks


Plot narratives – unless highly cerebral or well… boring, hinge upon conflict. Conflicts big and small are what entertain and watching characters resolve aforementioned conflicts is what bonds us to them. Some of my very favorite films and characters go through substantial messiness to conquer their unique breed of conflict: Harry and Sally realize that, despite their best efforts, men and women can’t be just friends – oh and that they love each other in When Harry Met Sally; Entrepreneur, John Hammond learns that bringing prehistoric creatures back to life, to live in a theme park was one of his less responsible business ventures in Jurassic Park; Jerry Lundegaard, poor guy, realizes that he not only can’t sell cars, but is unable to execute the fake kidnapping of his own wife in Fargo. Conflict – this is the stuff. It’s the same stuff that keeps sites like LIVESTRONG.COM and eHow in business. After all, we’re answering questions and providing solutions to life’s conflicts.

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7 Popular Sayings and What They Really Mean

7thingsThe Bee’s Knees, Pleased as Punch, Paint the Town Red … have you ever wondered why we say such odd expressions? What, exactly, do they mean, and where did they originate from?

Behold, seven of the more popular sayings/expressions/phrases, each with the most favorable explanation on their origins. You might be surprised to learn more about them, and you might even think twice before you say ’em again. Continue reading

Moving Off the Block


Sitting here, staring at a blank page, filled with dread, the switchblades slicing my innards. They’ve demanded a blog, and I have no idea what to write. Not a clue.

To help writers find inspiration, Gabriele Rico, author of “Writing the Natural Way,” recommends an exercise in which you compose a paragraph in the style of some famous author. Then, immediately afterward, you write your own original prose, and the creative start the exercise provides should free your head, heart and hand.

I like that idea. Merely reading a fine novel often spurs my creativity. Perhaps one of those writers, peering down from the bookcase shelves hovering above my desk, could assist me. Continue reading