Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Archive for June, 2016

Words in Pictures

What do words like cognoscenta and volte-face have in common?

Allowing that the first of these has a seemingly unrecognized end spelling issue (presumably should end in i or e), these are both rather uncommon words I have found in re-reading a book by sci-fi master John Wyndham, perhaps best known as author of “The Day of the Triffids”. His writings stem from the middle of the last century, so he may be excused for using a little older, ornate language, but it is certainly not arcane. (more…)

TOP 10 Benefits of the Official Start of Summer

As summer in the northern hemisphere veers toward its official start early next week, here’s some benefits we can look forward to…

  • Omnipresent urban construction makes driving a more mentally engaging experience
  • The sound of birds chirping at 4:30 am is a great way to start the day (more…)

Seeing Red

For a long time, the expression ‘seeing red’ has had negative connotations. As in having an angry reaction to something. As in seeing communist influence on the freedom of lifestyle. As in seeing blood flow, not in the context of donating.

In more recent times optional interpretations have included more positive imagery. (more…)

Establishing Millennial Advisors

An article in the May edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal reminds me of one of the interesting evolutions in the financial advisory business, which I saw starting to impact the business before I left in late 2013.

Increasingly, younger people have been entering the fray with social media savvy, and to some extent incorporating this into their marketing. One young colleague in his twenties particularly exemplified this attitude. He was continuously using Facebook and Twitter to contact clients and market to prospects. This practice developing approach wasn’t a whisper in the old days. (more…)

Life Lessons from ‘The Newsroom’

Anyone fortunate enough to have viewed the HBO series ‘The Newsroom’ is aware of its brilliance in characters and conviction, while exploring topics of the day, albeit with an American focus and viewpoint. Fortunately, the nature of character development is such that elements of everyman are revealed, especially in personal relationships – so the vitality of the stories can resonate with an audience beyond the U.S. border. (Having a few non-Americans in the regular cast helps.) (more…)

How Deep Is Your Bucket List?

For a long time, the most common expression featuring the word bucket was ‘kicking the bucket’. A somewhat humourous metaphor, it essentially serves as salve for the ominous image of the end of life.

In recent times, the bucket has been kicked over to a more positive, forward looking concept – albeit still relating to the end of one’s road – the ‘bucket list’. One suspects that longer life beyond work years has something to do with this growing popularity. (more…)

Successful Succession

One of the most important duties of anyone leaving a business which is intended to continue in some manner is succession planning. Especially if family run, or involving tangible goods, the process should be easier: there is familiarity, incentive, and more solid inventory to work with in valuation. However, in determining fair valuation of an intangible, service-oriented ‘book of business’, the process is more complicated and subject to interpretation. (more…)

Minting Customers

The Royal Canadian Mint has become much more than a creator and distributor of Canadian daily coinage. In addition to special orders for foreign governments, transit authorities, etc., it has expanded offerings to the world of coin collectors and investors, in Canada and beyond. (more…)

More on Rewriting One’s Life

Anyone who takes writing seriously knows the importance and value of rewriting. A fresh perspective on something recently written will almost always allow for a more objective eye and ear to the words on the page. Indeed, one of the most valuable tips I’ve received as a writer is to speak the words aloud, as audible speech draws attention to rhythm issues not necessarily evident in a string of words which look good on the page.

In follow-up to a recent post, here are some additional tips about “Rewriting Your Life”, based on a series of short articles in the current edition of Psychology Today. (more…)