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About zodiacimmortal

I love writing and reading and am currently writing 'everywhere' as I was a lensmaster on squidoo.com for about 3-4 years. Sadly the site closed. (In my point of view, it's their own fault, they kept making too many changes and it was fine before they started that) You can now check those pages below as well as some are available s pages in my blogs' menu. I love Horror movies as well as thrillers, mysteries, action with some sci-fi thrown in, same goes for what I like to read as well as my favorite tv shows. I have over 100 poems written, 3 that I know of have received Editors' Choice awards. I enjoy making fashion jewelry, which so far has mostly been bracelets & earrings. I enjoy making them as gifts or if someone wants to commission me to make something. My niche topic blogs are Multi Screen MoTVision, (and entertainment blog) Zi's Beauty Balm, Miss Musings Writing Essentials, Crafter Crums

The Bullet Journal Method

The Bullet Journal Method

Want a cheaper more simple way to plan your life and keep track of things? I’ve seen what is called Bullet Journals, Now I may have covered these before but I really don’t recall if I have. I have set up my own for 2018 but I have some things to change for next year. Also I thought maybe I should have 2. a different one for each year, and maybe a more permanent one,  even if its just to have a record of layouts (templates) to use.

I’ve noticed when I use a journal for the year, that by the end of the year (somewhere between July and October I end up not really interacting with it as I did when I started.

I don’t’ have nice neat handwriting or drawing

The Bullet Journal Method EXCERPT by Ryder Carroll

Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Get the Kindle or Hardcover Edition   *    BOX SET

 

Or if you want to try your own here are my recommendations to get started.

 

1        2 Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium Dotted Journal [Berry]       3DesignWorks Ink Standard Issue Bound Personal Journal, Green

1How to Guide & Journal set

Leuchtturm1917  5″ X 8.Choose Your Color Dotted Grid Page

3   I also like the Design works brand of Standard Notebooks,  Deluxe Composition Books (choose your color),

Need help on icons and making a key for your Bujo

Bullet Journal Stencils 26 Packs Diary DIY Drawing Stencils, Greeting Card Template             Bullet Journal Supplies, 10 Bullet Journal Colored Marker Pens and 12 Plastic Planner Stencils DIY Drawing Art Supplies on Notebook/Diary/Scrapbook                      30pcs Journal Painting Stencil with Extra 6 Different Design of Cards(No Duplicate)-Notebook/Diary/Scrapbook Plastic DIY Drawing Template,4x7 Inch

26 Pack BUJO stencils starter kit                       10 marks & 12 stencils starter kit                          4×7    30 pc stencils for bujo/art and more    

See the source image

 

 

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Pinning to increase blog traffic and more

A great free way to ‘advertise’ your blog is Pinning. Pin your posts to a board in your account, besides of course whatever your interests. This way after your post if you have a board on the topic you covered you can also lead them there.

Always Include a link to your Pinterest account or a specific board to your posts. (as well as other social media)

Must-Read Articles

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2018 in blogging, Focus, Help

 

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The Guilty, Crazy Secret That Helps Me Write

When I first received my MEDIUM newsletter and saw this

“I can’t get it out of my head. I just keep singing it over and over. It just comes out. I have no control over it. I’m singing it on elevators, buses. I sing it in front of clients. It’s taking over my life

I thought it was going to be about ‘earworms’. Ear worms are  those songs that no matter how much you may not like them, or just sick of them get stuck in your head and you just hear them over and over sometimes just that annoying chorus. (and not to get off topic but I Usually find the trick is to actually listen to the song then I’m good after and yes even if you don’t like it)

but when I saw the ‘Help me write’ part, I couldn’t figure out what that secret could be. After reading

The Guilty, Crazy Secret That Helps Me Write

I’d say this is a good way to GIVE yourself an earworm. It wouldn’t matter what song even one I liked I wouldn’t get any writing done, and I really do not wish  to ruin what music I still listen to by doing this.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in Writing

 

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How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence

 I came across the following article on MEDIUM, sadly I think the article was taken down, as when I opened the link, it said the author had taken it down… (Luckily I still had it in my mailbox.)  II take absolutely NO CREDIT for myself I did not write this, but I DID enjoy the article and wanted to share it with you.

How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence

To do great things, you have to read to lead.

Go to the profile of Ryan Holiday

Ryan HolidayFollow

The best advice I’ve ever got about reading came from a secretive movie producer and talent manager who’d sold more than 100 million albums and done more than $1B in box office returns. He said to me one day, “Ryan, it’s not enough that you read a lot. To do great things, you have to read to lead.

What he meant was that in an age where almost nobody reads, you can be forgiven for thinking that the simple act of picking up a book is revolutionary. It may be, but it’s not enough. Reading to lead means pushing yourself–reading books “above your level.”

In short, you know the books where the words blur together and you can’t understand what’s happening? Those are the books a leader needs to read. Reading to lead or learn requires that you treat your brain like the muscle that it is–lifting the subjects with the most tension and weight.

For me, that means pushing ahead into subjects you’re not familiar with and wresting with them until you can–shying away from the “easy read.” It means reading Feynman over Friedman, biographies over business books, and the classics over the contemporary.

It worked wonders for me: at 19, I was a Hollywood executive, I was at 21 I was the director of marketing for a publicly traded company, and at 24 I’d worked on 5 bestselling books and sold my own to the biggest publisher in the world. I may have been a college drop out but I have had the best teachers in the world: tough books.

My apartment is filled with such books that on paper, I never should have been able to understand. It wasn’t easy to crack them, but with the secrets below I was able to. And the process starts before you even crack the spine of a new book.

Before the first page…

Break out of the School Mindset
The way you learn to read in the classroom is corrupted by the necessity of testing. Tests often have very little to do with proving that you know or care about the material but more about proving that you spent the time reading it. The easiest way to do this is picking obscure things from the text and quizzing you on them: “Name this passage” “What were the main characters in Chapter 4?” We carry these habits with us. Remember: now you’re reading for you.

Let’s say you’re reading the History of the Peloponnesian War. That there was once a conflict between Corinth and Corcyra is not really worth remembering, even though the proxy fight kicked off the war between Athens and Sparta.

(To write this, I had to look the names up myself, I only recalled that they started with a C)

What you should latch onto is that as the two fought for allied support from Athens, one took the haughty “you owe us a favor” route and the other alluded to all the benefits that would come from aiding them. Guess who won? Place. Names. Dates. These are unimportant. The lessons matter.

From Seneca:

We haven’t time to spare to hear whether it was between Italy and Sicily that he ran into a storm or somewhere outside the world we know–when every day we’re running into our own storms, spiritual storms, and driven by vice into all the troubles that Ulysses ever knew.

Forget everything but that message and how to apply it to your life.

Ruin the Ending
When I start a book, I almost always go straight to Wikipedia (or Amazon or a friend) and ruin the ending. Who cares? Your aim as a reader is to understand WHY something happened, the what is secondary.

You ought to ruin the ending–or find out the basic assertions of the book–because it frees you up to focus on your two most important tasks:

  1. What does it mean?
  2. Do you agree with it?

The first 50 pages of the book shouldn’t be a discovery process for you; you shouldn’t be wasting your time figuring out what the author is trying to say with the book.

Instead, your energy needs to be spent on figuring out if he’s right and how you can benefit from it. Plus if you already know what happens, you can identify all the foreshadowing and the clues the first read through.

Read the Reviews
Find out from the people who have already read it, what they felt was important. From Amazon to the New York Times, read the reviews so you can deduce the cultural significance of the work–and from what it meant to others. Also by being warned of the major themes you can anticipate them coming and then actually appreciate them as they unfold.

Tip: if you agree with their assessment of the work, go ahead and steal it once you’ve finished. You can’t copyright an opinion–this isn’t school, this is life.

The book itself…

Read the Intro/Prologe/Notes/Forward
I know, I know. It infuriates me too when what looks like a 200 page book turns out to have 80 pages of translator’s introduction, but that stuff is important.

Every time I have skipped through it, I’ve had to go back and start over. Read the intro, read all the stuff that comes before the book–even read the editors notes at the bottom of the pages. This sets the stage and helps boost your knowledge going into the book.

Remember: you need every advantage you can get to read a book above your level. Don’t skip stuff intended to add context and color.

Look It Up
If you’re reading to lead, you’re going to come across concepts or words you’re not familiar with. Don’t pretend like you understand, look it up. I like to use Definr or I use my phone to look stuff up on Wikipedia. With Military History, a sense of the battlefield is often necessary. Wikipedia is a great place to grab maps and to help understand the terrain.

I was once trying to read some books on the Civil War and got stuck. 10 hours of Ken Burn’s documentaries later, the books were easy to breeze through (see, looking stuff up can be as easy as watching TV) That being said, don’t get bogged down with the names of the cities or the spelling of names, you’re looking to grasp the meta-lesson: the conclusions.

Mark Passages
I love Post-It Flags. I mark every passage that interests me, that makes me think, that is important to the book. When I don’t have them, I just fold the bottom corner of the page. (I actually folded the corner of every page of Heraclitus’ Fragments). If there is something I need to look up, I fold the top corner of the page and return to it later.

I carry a pen with me and write down whatever thoughts / feelings / connections I may have with a passage.

It’s much better to do it in the moment than to risk losing the contemporaneous inspiration. Don’t be afraid to tear the book up with tags and notations–books are a cheap. Plus you’ll get more for your money this way.

After you finish…

Go Back Through
I have the same schedule with every book I read. After a mandatory 1–2 week waiting period after finishing, I go back through the book with a stack of 4×6 index cards. One these cards, I write out–by hand–all the passages I have noted as being important.

It might seem strange but it’s an old tactic used by everyone from Tobias Wolff to Montaigne to Raymond Chandler. (Who once said: “When you have to use your energy to put those words down, you are more apt to make them count.”) Each one of these cards is then assigned a theme and filed in my index card box.

The result of 4–5 years of doing this? Thousands of cards in dozens of themes–from Love to Education to Jokes to Musings on Death. I return to these pieces of wisdom when I am writing, when I need help or when I am trying to solve a business problem. It has been an immense resource.

Read One Book from Every Bibliography
This is a little rule I try to stick with. In every book I read, I try to find my next one in its footnotes or bibliography. This is how you build a knowledge base in a subject–it’s how you trace a subject back to its core.

Just keep a running list through Amazon’s Wish List service (here is mine). Last month I read a book on Evolutionary Psychology and discovered that I’d read almost 80% of its sources because I’d been pulled down the rabbit hole of a predecessor.

Apply and Use
You highlight the passages for a reason. Why type the quotes if you aren’t going to memorize and use them?

Drop them in conversation. Allude to them in papers, in emails, in letters and in your daily life.

How else do you expect to absorb them?

The more fulfilling an outlet you find for the fruit of your database, the more motivated you will be to fill it. Try adding a line to a report you’re doing, find solace in them during difficult times or add them to Wikipedia pages. Do something.

I give you Seneca again:

My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.

Remember: we read to lead for moral and practical lessons. The point is to take what we’ve read and turn the words, as Seneca says, into works.

Conclusion: It’s on You

Of course, none of this is easy. People always ask me if the books I carry around are for school because they’re full of notes, flags and folded pages–why would anyone work so hard on something they were doing on their own? Because I enjoy it, because it’s the only thing that separates me from ignorance.

These are the techniques have allowed me to leap years ahead of my peers. It’s how you strike out on your own and build strength instead of letting some personal trainer dictate what you can and can’t be lifting.

It’s also expensive, I’ve purchased thousands of books and invested hours upon hours of time learning them. But how expensive is going back for an MBA? Or attending TED? I think there is more wisdom in the timeless books of the last 5,000 years than a conference or two–if you do it right and push yourself.

So try it: Do your research, read diligently without getting bogged down in details, and then work to connect, apply and use. It’s your job as a leader. And I think you’ll find that you’re able to read above your supposed “level” and that people will follow your example. If you put in the work, books, as the great writer and voracious reader Petrarch once said, will pay you back:

“Books give delight to the very marrow of one’s bones. They speak to us, consult with us and join with us in a living and intense intimacy.”

Enjoy the journey.

Like to Read?

I’ve created a list of 15 books you’ve never heard of that will alter your worldview and help you excel at your career.

Get the secret book list here!


This originally appeared on Thought Catalog.

 

This Simple NoteTaking Method Will Help You Read More (and remember what you’ve read) Honestly not exactly

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Writing

 

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Is Chicago the Poetry capital of America?

http://www.chicagomag.com/arts-culture/February-2018/Is-Chicago-the-Poetry-Capital-of-America/

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2018 in Poetry

 

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Infographic- 28 Boring Words; and what to use instead

While writer and Blogger Jack Milgram  asked me what I thought of his infographic “Boring Words”28 Boring Words

I GREATLY WISH Jack had asked me BEFORE he made or finalized the graphic.

As when you read through my suggestions etc you will find that is just not right or as I called them ‘layered’,  graded or ranked versions of a word. Like Chilly is a little cold, then cold, then freezing. When you are writing you may want to place the usual word there, as well as the alternate word, read the sentences twice, once with the alternate word (to be sure it is used properly. After all New and improved… is not really right if a product is improved, it is not new, there was a previous incarnation of it. It should say NEWLY Improved. Some yes can be used alternately for a word, some (like for old, some may work but may not read well.

Please keep in mind my Judgement on the words is by how they sound on their own in the category, as well as in trying to use them in a sentence. Do they still read well when used in place of the ‘boring’ word. Also, I try to see it as will an editor hack up the book if I were to use these words, same with an office setting (especially if you are an executive) Usually if I feel comfortable with using one of the alternate words, and not feel like I sound like an uneducated idiot, then they pass the tests.

https://custom-writing.org/assignment-writing-services#boring-words

All credit for InfoGraphic as well as the alternative words to use is  by  Writer & Blogger Jack Milgram

wCW blog e: milgram.jack@yahoo.com

t@Jack__Milgram           fJack.Milgram

My replies in helping Jack out on the infographic.

on your words for ‘new’   different is not a good word to use in my opinion at all. 

Different is basically when something is being compared so it would certainly not be new. 
‘Virgin’  you buy something called virgin aside from olive oil? New is the best to describe something NEW… Fresh is ok, the latest.  Modern is a little so-so for me as someone can say something is modern now, but it could also mean something from anywhere from the 90s til now in the 21st century. State of the art is not a good ‘NEW’ word as state of the art is something specific. Think of it as something more like the military uses but the common man can’t afford. Usually, pretty much anything you’d see in a sci-fi movie, even the old Star Trek movies (and really never watched them but the few things I see) say their guns that is state of the art. State of the art usually has something to do with machines and technology so not really a good word for new. 

Move EMERGING to words for next as that is usually used for ‘up and coming’ bands artists and that sort but you need to remove succeeding  


Tone is NOT feel,  nor is effect or affect spirit is not a sense so that is not right…Discern… I’m not sure about you’d have to ask a proper English teacher on that one. I read the definition but still not sure. Viibe is good cause that’s another way I am judging these. If I get a bad vibe or feel indifferent that I can not agree with it. 

Lose pretend under seem. Shows signs of and come across as is ok but a little longer (though maybe a bit more sophisticated sounding than seem) 

See what you have under “Best, a lot of them are ‘grades’ or levels of that. You can use all those words for best my argument on that is this…

You have Best, Better and ‘bestest’  (which really is greatest’) just like There’s Cool weather which would be 60 F there’s cold weather 40s-50 and Freezing weather 35 and below.
Terrific is out… doesn’t work in place of Best/ The best bowler got a perfect score.    as to  the Terrific bowler got a perfect score 

in Old get rid of last 3 

in Other  need to lose fresh 

For important I’d take out Essential and meaningful (they don’t hold the power to show importance) same with significant, serious and necessary. 

Depressed is absolutely NOT a good term for sad. I have been through that 3x and too many people use the term when it’s NOT sad it’s beyond that. (Literally, it’s dead man walking… you are the walking dead when you are depressed, or at least feel like you are)  So please take that out. There is a certain length of time you have to be ‘sad’ in order to be clinically depressed. 

Many of the words for sad are just ‘levels’ of sadness. Same with Happy 

basically, most that you used for best and good could probably be interchanged. 

Bad is not evil… Evil is bad but bad is not evil… There IS a difference. 
Cheap and poor under ‘bad’ is insulting to those that are poor and those that are cheap. 

Like and love is 2 totally different things…  Like and admire is ok, they are on the same level, I would say adore and love would be more along the same.. So those shouldn’t be in there.   Treasure I’m indifferent about for ‘like’. I don’t think it should be used for like, more like something between like and love. (well adore should be in the middle of that but I guess ‘treasure’ should be, maybe should be used more for that point where you think you love a person, and want to say it, but are not quite there yet, or maybe it’s just too soon. Oh,And would definitely come after adore!

Haven’t you seen the commercial for the Kind protein bars? Nice and kind are 2 different things. 
in Real…  Original does not fit. 

ONLY   perfectly does not fit, 

I don’t think any of those words for sweet work. Tempting they can be but the words dont work in a sentence instead of saying the sweet donut or something like that. Those words are not a way to describe a sweet or use it alternately usually someone says a ‘tempting sweet’  Frankly Think of saying “I need something sweet, then run through each of the words in the same sentence, what do you think? Do you think someone else would have any idea what you are talking about if you wrote it in a report or book of some sort?

Little, Big, Pretty are all words that describe the levels of size or attractiveness 

Would you all like if I could do a post for’Layered’ words (like for pretty) in order of what ‘rank’ of attractiveness they are for example Cute, Adorable, attractive, Pretty, beautiful, stunning, gorgeous… (oh wait I don’t think glamorous works unless they are glamed up, like they are going to a club or on red carpet)  
Neat is a definite no… that’s so 50s (and sort of their version for cool) and neat describes clean, uncluttered room, and to me that’s the only way it works.



 
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Posted by on March 7, 2018 in blogging, Coherence, Help, Lists, Writing

 

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Paper vs Digital

Why Physical paper is better than the digital variations.

There are a few reasons I still prefer to use paper or a notebook to use a digital version (like a computer/laptop/internet based e-reader). E-readers are another reason but I finally gave in to getting myself a Kindle Fire a few years back so that if I couldn’t get out of bed if my back is giving me a problem I can just check my email and be entertained that way. Now I do have books on my Kindle, but I prefer to read print books. I’m sure I have a post on this or my Entertainment blog all the reasons why a print book is better. (2 reasons I love the feel of the paper even the smell.)

I still use a notebook/paper to write my drafts.

I have a small journal to write poems I get an idea for. Sometimes it comes out a full complete poem, and sometimes a verse or 2. So if I get stuck on finishing it, I just have to open the journal (which is right next to my bed) and write the idea in.

I have a couple stories I started which are in a binder, then an idea for one which is in a composition book with xerox copies of notes from library books of my research.

So what are my reasons to ‘shun’ the digital at least until you are ready to write up the short story or poem. (If it’s a novel you are writing I’d advise typing up 5-10 pages at a time.)

So this is my lists for the pros for paper and cons for  writing

Digital                                                      Paper

1-Turn on computer                                                                    Open Book

2- wait for it to boot                                                                     Turn to page

3- Open program (word, internet etc)                                 start writing (or reading even)

4- Open new file/type in site                                             Always Available (power or 0 Power)

5- start writing                                               even if something spills on it, you can still fix it (dry it out) paper & read/write

6- now power/wifi = no work done                          *No Glare

7- distracted by the internet

8- file corruption (see paper #5)

9- screen glare

 

so that’s 2  steps before you get to writing on paper, and 4 before you can write on digital.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Help, Journals, Lists, Reading, Writing

 

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