Writing and Publishing

Travel Tidbits

I have returned from a phenomenal conference.  ATA knows how to put on a first-class event.  I was able to hear several great speakers (CNN’s Paul Begala, for one — he gave some cogent and compelling insight into the US Presidential race).  I saw old friends and made new ones.  I recorded three podcasts — the first one is already online.  Plus, I took over 400 pictures for Connections Magazine.  I am still processing everything — as well as trying to catch up — and will have more to share tomorrow, but first, I have a few sundry items to get off my mind:

Both airports (Grand Rapids and Washington-Reagan National) had constructions projects underway.  Am I imagining things or are airports more likely to be undergoing construction than not?

I struck out again with airplane food.  I think they’re trying to kill me.  The trail mix I ingested on the way there had 18% of my recommended daily allowance of fat — per serving.  The 4 oz bag contained 4 servings!  On the return flight I fared only slightly better with the Pringles (but they did taste good!)

The hotel was great; friendly and professional staff (who used my name whenever possible — and mostly pronounced it correctly, which is not common when I get away from SW Michigan) and smartly decorated and furnished rooms.  But how come the more you pay for a hotel, the more likely they tack on extra charges?  For a $70 for a room, there is free Internet and local calls (sometimes even long distance), the workout room is included and often a continental breakfast.  The room includes a coffee maker (not that I use it), a mini-frig, and sometimes a microwave.  However, when I pay 3 to 4 times as much, they charge for Internet and local calls (I heard of one hotel charging for room-to-room calls), there is no coffee maker, mini-frig, or microwave.  Breakfast is on your own — and expensive — while one visit to their exercise room is often more than the introductory rate for a month at the gym.  I don’t get it.

On the issue of the linens, they crossed the line.  A note card informed me that to “conserve water” they would not be changing the bedding — unless I called the front desk.

Lastly, I am perplexed.  What name do you use when the maid is a guy?  “Male maid” rolls off the tongue, but it’s certainly not politically correct.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Writing and Publishing

Hope for the Flowers

By Trina Paulus (Reviewed by Peter DeHaan.)

In addition to all my varied writing functions (writing articles, websites, and blogs, publishing two magazines, and way too much editing) I also write an occasional movie review and book review—just for fun. Here’s one of my recent efforts:

Hope for the Flowers is a delightful allegory encapsulating messages on multiple levels and applicable to all age groups. It is a short book that can be read in about 15 minutes. It is simply yet effectively illustrated by its author Trina Paulus. As such, it can function nicely as a children’s book, as well as a clever and profound teaching tool for adults of all ages.

The story chronicles the life pursuits and relationships of two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, searching for meaning and purpose in their existence.  It is about struggle, yearning, single-minded focus, diligence, perseverance, making mistakes, enlightenment, letting go, and ultimately…well, let’s not spoil the ending.

Hope for the Flowers is definitely thought-provoking and contains worthy life lessons showcased in a thoughtful and memorable storyline.

Hope for the Followers has surpassed 2 million copies and celebrated it’s 25 year anniversary.

This book is a great addition to anyone’s library.  Buy two, one to keep and one to give away!

Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.

Writing and Publishing

“R” You Ready?

After another post, considering how words are used—and misused—my thoughts turned to how words are pronounced—and mispronounced.

I, for one, have a “flexible” pronunciation style. For any word possessing more than two syllables, I am seemingly able to enunciate it in at least two different ways—sometimes within the same sentence. Amazingly, I have not had to practice this skill; it just comes naturally. In fact, placing emphasis on the wrong syllable occurs so effortlessly that when I try to avoid alternate articulations, I often invent a third utterance.

In this regard, the letter “r” is of special interest to me. When I was a lad, I pronounced “wash” by inserting an “r” in the middle, as in “warsh.” Most of the time this was’’t a big deal; I think there was a local predilection to “warsh” things.

However, at age 10, we moved a scant 15 miles west. There, nobody wanted to “warsh” anything; I faced all manner of ridicule and humiliation over my proclivity to “warsh.” Although it took a concerted effort, I was eventually able to lose the “r” and I began to “wash” like everyone else.

Other people habitually interject an “r” into idea, as in “idear.” This usage is as odd to me as my “warshing” was to my friends growing up.

Then there are those folks who have a penchant for dropping “r”s.  For example “car” becomes “ca” and “bar” becomes “ba.” For example, did you drive your “ca” to the “ba”? Personally, I admire the concise brevity of this approach, though I have yet to adapt that style.

It could be that the misplaced “r”s in the “cas” got used when they were “warshed.” There’s a certain symmetry here that I can appreciate.

Any “idear” where it’s extra “r” came from?

Writing and Publishing

Writing Rightly

On my last post, I admitted a struggle with the writing process. Not so much with the end results, but instead with the speed of getting there. Therefore, I will be working on “writing rightly,” that is writing with efficient effectiveness.

Along with that, I have established some personal blogging guidelines for “writing rightly.”

My plan is to do three or four entries a week. In order to maintain a proper balance between work and play and service (this blog is a combination of all three), I will try to post in the evenings and only on weekdays. (Notice that this entry is not in the evening and the prior one was not on a weekday. This gives me two more goals to shoot for!)

Each post will be fairly short—about 200 to 300 words is the goal. I want each entry to be long enough to convey something of merit, but not so long that people bail out at the mere sight of its length. Personally, I do that often with articles I read and emails I receive; I want to spare you from that. Brevity is the watchword!

Lastly, though I will unashamedly plug businesses and websites that are meaningful or interesting to me, know I will not accept any payment or consideration to do so. This blogger cannot be bought!


Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.