Articles from 2016

Research first or write first?

I’ve occasionally come across this question online: Should you write your novel and then research (and have to go through and rip up parts of it and do them over), or research first and then write?

I can see the logic in researching first and then writing.  But there’s a little problem with that: Me itching to get the story down and dang the plausibility of it!  I can go back later and fix things.

That is, in fact, how my rewrite of Unwilling Time-Traveler has been going.  I write and research at the same time, then find something in the research that makes me go back and rip up everything, then write again, then stop to research for a while, then stop the research for a while to write again….

The thing is, until I get the story down, and know how I want it to go, how do I know what all I need to research, where to focus my efforts?

And the other thing is that the Muse is there, alive and yelling at me to get to it.  If I ignore her, she might leave me, leave my mind a dry and barren land, with no ideas to turn all those research facts into an entertaining story.

I’ll make up my mind to stop the writing and just research, research, research for a while, because I have story difficulties that can only be resolved by knowing historical facts.  But then after doing some research, I start to feel like a ripe grape, ready to burst with all those creative juices and ideas.

I suppose this is a good thing: If, after more than a year, you’re still itching to write your story, it must at least be readable when it’s done, I hope?  😀

Hypnosis and Trump

Today (or, rather, yesterday now), I read several blog posts which claim that Trump has been using hypnosis to win the Presidency.  For those of us watching from outside the Trump rallies, his strange rise and win has been baffling because we can see he’s a showman, a con-man, a braggart–and nowhere near qualified to be President.

(We also wonder how the Electoral College became so ineffective, because it was supposed to prevent this kind of travesty from happening, but has turned into a rubberstamp instead.  Since nobody else elects leaders like this, we might as well abolish it.)

Now, him using hypnosis is not all that surprising to those of us who recognize the techniques of narcissists and of salesmen.  Hypnosis is not some mystical myth that belongs in fantasy movies, but actual psychological manipulation.  But the following posts have been enlightening:

Adams explains the hypnosis and persuasion methods he believes Trump has used, and since Adams is a trained hypnotist, Scott has plenty of research and background knowledge to pull from. The writer uses the terms persuasion, hypnosis, and negotiating as part of a three-legged branch all belonging to the same stool. –Paula Mooney, Donald Trump Uses Hypnotism And Persuasion, Says ‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams

 

Would Trump use his negotiation and persuasion skills in the campaign? Of course he would. And we expect him to do just that.

But where is the smoking gun of his persuasion? Where is his technique laid out for us to see.

Everywhere.

As I said in my How to Fail book, if you are not familiar with the dozens of methods of persuasion that are science-tested, there’s a good chance someone is using those techniques against you. —“Clown Genius” by Scott Adams, not just a cartoonist, but also a trained hypnotist

 

“I teach hypnosis, and if you want to learn hypnosis, look at the way Trump’s doing it,” says Barker, author of the book “Selling Hypnotically: The Art of Suggestion.” –Judy Kurtz, Hypnotist: Trump winning with ‘Trumpnosis’

I also became fascinated with these posts because one of the main characters of my novel uses hypnosis.  These posts help me flesh out how the character persuades the heroine to trust and help him.

Another interesting post I found, somewhat related, and certainly of interest to victims of narcissists:

To be clear, at no time did Navarro diagnose Trump as having a narcissistic or predator personality. He says we should leave formal diagnoses to professionals — but that each of us still needs to be able to identify and protect ourselves from harmful people in our lives. And so he created behavior checklists and published them in his book to let you do just that.

Navarro’s book warns that if a “person has a preponderance of the major features of a narcissistic personality,” then he “is an emotional, psychological, financial, or physical danger to you or others.” As the book The Narcissism Epidemic explained, “A recent psychiatric study found that the biggest consequences of narcissism—especially when other psychiatric symptoms were held constant—was suffering by people close to them.” –Joe Romm, What a Top FBI Profiler Taught Me About Extreme Narcissists Like Donald Trump

 

Reblog: Vets beg forgiveness for war crimes against tribal nations

From Daily Kos:

Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The veterans gathered to join the Dakota Pipeline protest stunned the gathered tribal members when they took a knee and asked for forgiveness:

“I witnessed something powerful and profound today. Wes Clark Jr and the assembled veterans took a knee and collectively asked for forgiveness for the genocide and war crimes committed by the United States Military against tribal nations in this country.”

Read more of Jen Hayden’s post here: Veterans at Standing Rock shock tribe members, beg forgiveness for war crimes against tribal nations

I hope this awesome moment will help bring healing to this country over long-standing resentments.

 

There, now the site has an SSL, dang it

I read last night in a WordPress news bulletin that Google and, now, WordPress itself will soon be forcing websites to get those fancy SSL certificates (going from http to https).  Basically through shaming (Google flagging your site on Chrome if it’s not https), lowering your SEO ranking, and certain changes in the development of WordPress.

So, okay, I went over to Siteground to see if I could get one of these certs.  Turns out you can get one for free now, through a third party which wants the whole Web to be secure, even little sites like mine that have no direct sales, and Siteground makes it available through cPanel.

But forcing everyone’s browser to automatically use the cert?  Not so easy.

Turns out some WordPress sites have issues with being forced to go to https.  You can use it easily, but if someone types an old link into their browser, they go to http.

Hours upon hours of a days-long migraine getting worse, trying to fix it, none of the .htaccess codes are working, the cPanel fix is not working, and–

Hey, a plugin takes care of that.  Load it up, plug it in, and–

My site is secure now.  Yay.

So much trouble for a little “s.”

 

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