Category Archive: Opinion

Mar 14

Happy Pi(e) Day!

Pi Pie

















Reposted for 2014!

What kind of pie will you serve for “Pi Day”?


Every March 14 (3.14) is “Pi Day”, because 3.14 is the beginning of the never-ending mathematical computation

of the ratio of a the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

As a former English teacher, the above is the most I will say about math!

But you remember calculating “pi” in school, don’t you? Some scientists have calculated the value of pi to at least 10,000 digits, but in reality, the value of “pi” has no ending. In mathematical terms, “pi” is an irrational number and repeats forever.

As a bonus, it is also the birthday of Albert Einstein, so math geeks are really geeked today!

For those of us who just want to celebrate the day, the best way to do that is to have a piece of pie!

What is YOUR favorite pie? Whatever it is, could you please bring me a piece? I’ll be home about 5.


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Mar 10

Defamation: Libel or Slander?

Writing It Right For You - English Grammar Usage Tips

“Defamation” is the legal term for publishing disparaging information about a person in verbal or written form with the intent to damage the reputation of that person. Whether the defamation attempt is considered “libel” or “slander” depends on how the defamation attempt is published.

Libel is a defamatory remark that is published in writing, on the radio, or in audio or video form.

Slander is a defamatory remark that is published orally via a gesture or verbal communication that is not recorded.

The person who is the target of defamation by either libel or slander can file suit against the defamer by with court action to prove:

1) that a defamatory statement was made;

2) that the statement was published (as outlined above) to a 3rd party;

3) that the defamer knew or should have known that the statement was false;

4) that injury was caused to the target of the defamation.

Unlike the usual court cases where someone is “innocent until proven guilty”, in defamation court cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff or the person who is the subject of the defamatory publication.

That is why it is imperative for creative freelancers and other business owners who provide services to clients to ensure that they are protected with detailed and legally binding contracts and that they have complete documentation of any and all communications–just in case.

The person who intends to defame, even “casually”, should also be prepared to defend their claim as they can very easily be counter-sued by the original plaintiff.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. Please consult your own legal professional for detailed information on libel and slander.



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Feb 02

Learning to Use New Apps for Increased Productivity

Dragon_Dictate_348X300 ScrivenerForWriters

It’s the first full week of February, and “Punxsutawney Phil” has predicted six more weeks of winter (like a rodent is actually a meteorologist…but I digress). This is a perfect time to really work on learning two apps I’ve used in the past.

Scrivener is the #1 app designed exactly for writers, I am in the process of moving all of my writing and editing projects from Word to Scrivener. It is already making a difference in how I work on projects for clients and for myself. In addition to the two books that I will have finished for myself by the end of this month, I have seven client writing and editing projects that I have uploaded to Scrivener to work on. I recently published a post about how I plan to use Scrivener.

Dragon Dictate for Mac (I stopped using a PC years ago) will allow me to speak most of what I want to do on the computer instead of typing. I am really enjoying working with a microphone and seeing what I see appear on the screen. I use an approved dictation microphone with the app on my MacBook Pro at my Midtown Detroit co-working community office, and I use the Dragon Microphone app on my iPhone5S with Dragon Dictate on my MacBook Air in my home office.

Both apps are so feature rich that I know it will take months for me to become really proficient with them, but I look forward to the increased productivity that I will have.

I always appreciate the fact that I can use apps on both on my MacBooks as well as on my iPhone5S, iPad2, and iPad Mini because of seamless integration.

I will keep you updated on my progress as I learn to use all of the features of these great apps that help writers like you and me.

If you use one or both of these apps, we’d love to hear your story! Let us know in the comments!

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Jul 22

Stay in Your Lane and Hire the Best

keep-calm-and-stay-in-your-laneAs I write this post, it is early afternoon, and I have completed three smaller client projects while members of my team are working on different components of a few much larger client projects. In a few minutes, I will participate in a Google Hangout with yet another client.

While I “know how” to do many different business tasks and activities, including blog design and setup, Powerpoint slides, app installation and use, those are not my specialties. What I do best: writing, editing, publishing, project management, and social media marketing. 

In the five years since I started my first business in July 2008, we have grown to three related businesses, four employees, four independent contractors, and clients in Michigan, the United States, and eleven other countries.

What I’ve learned along the way is to focus on what I do best and to grow my team with wonderful and uber-talented people who have other specialties and skill sets. 

I can provide the best service to my clients and achieve better work-life balance when I stay in my lane and hire the best people to work with me to grow my business and to manage and complete my client projects.


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Apr 26

Motivation or Inspiration? Which Works Best?


Many times we’ve heard people say that so-and-so motivated them, or that they were inspired to achieve something. The words “motivation” and “inspiration” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same.

Simply put, motivation is usually external, while inspiration is usually internal. 

Many people are motivated to achieve a goal or finish a project because of what they will get at the end. What is gained at the end can be either positive or negative.

  • If you are motivated to finish planting your garden, your motivation is what you will see when you are finished: beautiful landscaping or a food garden that will yield enough food for you for a year.
  • If you are motivated to avoid dangerous situations, it is because you know what would await you in that situation is something painful or something you fear.

You can be motivated to make a job change because you will make more money or finally work in the field in which you have your degree.

You can be motivated to stick to your diet because of the fear of diabetes or other health challenges, or even fear of not fitting into your clothes.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is not so much in your control. Have you heard the phrase, “I’ll do it when the mood strikes me”? That is one way of understanding inspiration. Inspiration comes to you, often when you don’t expect it.

Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a great explanation on the difference between motivation and inspiration:

  • When you are motivated, you get hold of an idea and you carry that idea through to its natural conclusion.
  • When you are inspired, the idea gets hold of you and it carries you to where you are supposed to go.

The word “inspire” originally meant being in or with a spirit or “force”. When you are inspired, all blockades and limitations seem to disappear; the “how” just appears. When you are motivated on the other hand, you have to figure out how to get the task done.

What motivates you to achieve something? When have you been so inspired that you knew you just had to do something?

Let us know in the comments section.


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